PHIL TAYLOR set a new Blue Square UK Open record average of 115.51 in progressing to the fifth round of the tournament against rookie Ken Mather on Saturday afternoon.

Taylor had averaged 114.5 against Wes Newton a year ago, and went even better in a 9-3 win against Mather, a Holsten Qualifier from Salford who had won four matches to reach the last 32.

Mather came from 3-0 down against the 14-time World Champion to pull back to 3-2, but had no answer to Taylor’s scoring power as he took six of the next seven for victory.

“Ken was fantastic and I had to average 115 to win it,” said Taylor. “He’s got a lot of bottle and was one of the best non-professionals we’ve had – and he enjoyed it.”

Mather, whose day job involves putting out motorway cones, admitted: “It’s fantastc. I played the best in the world, had loads of support and it was a dream.”

Taylor now meets Andy Smith in round five, after the Studley-based player defeated Michael Barnard 9-6.

Two-time UK Open champion Raymond van Barneveld remains on course for a UK Open hat-trick following a 9-7 win against Andy Hamilton.

Two other Stoke professionals joined Hamilton in going out of the event in round four, with Dennis Priestley defeating Mark Frost 9-6 and Adrian Lewis losing 9-3 to in-form Mark Walsh.

Walsh, who has also defeated Wayne Mardle in Bolton, now takes on Ronnie Baxter in Saturday evening’s fifth round after the Evesham-based star continued his quiet progression with a 9-1 rout of Gary Welding.

Newton reached the last 16 for a third successive year with a 9-6 win over Holland’s Roland Scholten – but avoided Taylor, his conqueror in the past two campaigns, this time after drawing St Helens’ Alan Tabern.

Tabern edged out Kevin McDine on Saturday afternoon, while Kevin Painter’s reward for a 9-4 win against Steve Grubb is a clash with two-time World Champion Priestley.

Colin Lloyd powered past Chris Thompson 9-2 and now meets Yorkshireman Mark Lawrence, who was a 9-4 winner against Mark Dudbridge.

Peter Manley was unable to repeat the display which knocked out defending champion James Wade on Friday night as he crashed to a 9-4 loss to Mark Wesbter.

Welshman Webster now takes on Terry Jenkins in the last 16, after the world number six overcame Andy Jenkins 9-7 after trailing 7-5.

Colin Osborne takes on Raymond van Barneveld following his 9-7 win against Wayne Jones, while Jamie Caven and Alex Roy meet after victories over Jelle Klaasen and Andy Roberts respectively.

Amateur pair Roberts and Mather share a £3,000 bonus from Holsten after being the Holsten Qualifiers to progress furthest in the UK Open.

Blue Square UK Open
Fourth Round Results
Mark Webster (WAL) 9-4 Peter Manley (ENG)
Raymond van Barneveld (NED) 9-7 Andy Hamilton (ENG)
Phil Taylor (ENG) 9-3 Ken Mather (ENG)
Mark Walsh (ENG) 9-3 Adrian Lewis (ENG)
Colin Osborne (ENG) 9-7 Wayne Jones (ENG)
Jamie Caven (ENG) 9-6 Jelle Klaasen (NED)
Alan Tabern (ENG) 9-7 Kevin McDine (ENG)
Terry Jenkins (ENG) 9-7 Andy Jenkins (ENG)
Andy Smith (ENG) 9-6 Michael Barnard (ENG)
Dennis Priestley (ENG) 9-8 Mark Frost (ENG)
Kevin Painter (ENG) 9-4 Steve Grubb (ENG)
Wes Newton (ENG) 9-6 Roland Scholten (NED)
Ronnie Baxter (ENG) 9-1 Gary Welding (ENG)
Alex Roy (ENG) 9-8 Andy Roberts (ENG)
Colin Lloyd (ENG) 9-2 Chris Thompson (ENG)
Mark Lawrence (ENG) 9-4 Mark Dudbridge (ENG)

Fifth Round Draw & Order of Play
Main Stage
Ronnie Baxter v Mark Walsh
Kevin Painter v Dennis Priestley
Colin Osborne v Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor v Andy Smith

Board Two
Mark Lawrence v Colin Lloyd
Alex Roy v Jamie Caven
Mark Webster v Terry Jenkins
Wes Newton v Alan Tabern

Fourth Round Updates
First Set of Games
RONNIE BAXTER is the first man into the last 16, matching his best ever run in Bolton with a 9-1 rout of Gary Welding.
Welding never recovered from going 4-0 down as Baxter made an explosive start, and the Evesham-based ace completed a comprehensive win.
“Gary couldn’t get into the game and I know how he feels – we’ve all done it before,” said Baxter. “I prepared well and it’s going well so far.”

MARK WEBSTER joins Baxter in round five, continuing a strong start to his first ever UK Open campaign with a 9-4 win over Peter Manley.
Webster pulled clear after the first four legs were shared, with five successive legs punishing Manley’s missed doubles as he took a 7-2 lead.
Manley, who knockout out defending champion James Wade on Friday, took two of the next three before Webster sealed the win.
“I’m happy with that result,” said Webster. “It was a massive result for Peter last night but I knew if I played my own game I could do well against Peter and that’s how it turned out.”

COLIN OSBORNE edged past Wolverhampton battler Wayne Jones 9-7 to book his fifth round spot.
Osborne started well to lead 5-1, only for Jones to win five straight legs and edge ahead.
Osborne levelled at 7-7, and provided the killer touch to take the next two legs and victory.
“I was 5-1 up and I didn’t take my foot off the gas but Wayne is a battler and he won five legs in a row,” said Osborne. I kept believing and in the end I got there.”

ANDY SMITH earned a last 16 spot with a hard-fought 9-6 win against Michael Barnard.
Barnard defeated Mervyn King on Friday night and came from 3-1 and 6-3 down to reduce the arrears to 7-6.
However, he could not break Smith, who won the next two legs and booked himself in Satuday night’s action.
“There were some really good legs and then a few bad legs,” said Smith. “Michael didn’t play as well as he did yesterday but I wanted the win so much and got it.”

Second Set of Games
ALEX ROY came from 4-0 down to end the hopes of Holsten Qualifier Andy Roberts in a deciding leg.
Roberts defeated Anastasia Dobromyslova, Steve Beaton and Louis Blundell to reach the last 32, and looked on course for another big scalp when he began superbly against Roy.
The Hertfordshire ace cut back to 5-4 down and went in front for the first time at 7-6 – only to be punished for failing to close out victory.
Roberts levelled twice to force a deciding leg, but missed his chance in the 17th as Roy sneaked through.
“He played like Phil Taylor in the first four legs but I kept digging in,” said Roy. “In the end there we both missed doubles but I nicked a couple of legs and got the win.
“It’s probably the hardest game I’ve had all season, which shows how good he was.”

JAMIE CAVEN reached the last 16 for the first time in a major tournament with a 9-6 win over Jelle Klaasen.
The in-form star, who won last month’s Welsh Regional Final, survived a Klaasen fightback to progress to Saturday night.
Klaasen led early on 2-1, only for Caven to take four of the next five and a 5-3 cushion.
He also held an 8-5 lead, with Klaasen taking the 14th leg to stay in the game before Caven took victory in the next.
“We both missed doubles and it was quite scrappy but it’s nice to get through,” said Caven. “Last year I lost in the second round on the Thursday round so it’s nice to come and have a good run.”

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD remains on course for a third Blue Square UK Open title following a 9-7 win over Andy Hamilton.
The Dutchman sent Hamilton packing at Bolton for a second successive year, but not without an almighty fight.
After Hamilton won the opening leg, van Barneveld took five in a row to lead 5-1 before Hamilton, sparked by an 11-darter which featured back-to-back 180s, reduced the gap to 7-5.
Van Barneveld took leg 13 to move to the brink of victory before Hamilton won the next two to threaten another comeback.
But van Barneveld landed double ten to punish a slow leg from Hamilton and earn his fifth round place.
“I went back to a slower throw and it cost me a lot of energy and focus,” said van Barneveld.
“I practiced well before the game but haven’t hit top form yet, although my finishing has been good. If I can get my scoring going too I’ll have a good chance.”

DENNIS PRIESTLEY won an epic battle with Mark Frost to secure his place in the last 16 in a deciding leg.
After the Yorkshireman battled back from 2-0 down to level, there was never more than a leg between the pair.
Priestley led for the first time at 7-6 and also took an 8-7 lead before Frost ensured a decider – but the veteran was stronger with the throw and landed the winning double at the fourth time of asking on double five.
“It was a tight game and I’m glad to get through it,” said Priestley. “Mark played well but I’m in the hat and that’s all that matters.”

Third Set of Games
COLIN LLOYD raced past Chris Thompson 9-2 to secure his fifth round place.
Thompson had reached the quarter-finals last year and won 9-1 against Paul Rowley on Friday night, but was left with little chance against Lloyd.
Thompson took the game’s opening leg before Lloyd took three in a row to move 3-1 up.
The York man took the fifth, but Lloyd powered clear and won the next six without reply to reach the last 16.
“Chris is a great player but I’m through and that’s the important thing,” said Lloyd.

ALAN TABERN battled past Kevin McDine to win a spot in the last 16, taking a narrow 9-7 win.
McDine took the game’s opening leg, but Tabern won four of the next five to establish an important cushion at 4-2.
He maintained his lead until McDine hit back to level at seven-all – but crucially the youngster missed double top to lead as Tabern edged back in front and sealed the win.
“It was tough,” said Tabern. “I’d never beaten Kevin before but I feel like I’m in good form.”

PHIL TAYLOR stormed into the last 16 with a 9-3 win over plucky Holsten Qualifier Ken Mather – averaging a UK Open-best 115.51.
Taylor bettered his display in last year’s event against Wes Newton in seeing off Salford’s Mather, who had won four matches to reach the last 32.
Finishes of 116 and 98 helped Taylor into a 3-0 lead before missed bullseyes in the next two allowed Mather in to reduce the gap to 3-2, much to the delight of his fans.
Taylor won the next two but Mather, aided by a third maximum of the game, won leg eight to trail 5-3.
Taylor, though, pulled clear and won four successive legs to seal victory with a brilliant average.
“Ken was fantastic,” said Taylor. “He’s got a lot of bottle and was one of the best non-professionals we’ve had – and he enjoyed it.
“I had to average 115 to win it and I want to bounce back from losing in the Premier League. I’m pleased to get past Ken and will prepare for the fifth round now.
Mather admitted: “It’s fantastc. I played the best in the world, had loads of support and it was a dream.
“It was heart-stopping to win my first leg but Phil’s an awesome player and I enjoyed it.”

KEVIN PAINTER won his fifth round place with a 9-4 victory over Steve Grubb.
Grubb had enjoyed his best ever performance in a televised major by reaching round four, but was never in the hunt after Painter took a 6-1 lead.
The Somerset publican got back into the game with two of the next three legs, but Painter wrapped up the win.
“I felt quite comfortable throughout,” said Painter. “Steve didn’t get going and I pulled away and the 11-darter to finish it was nice.”

Fourth Set of Games
MARK LAWRENCE reached the last 16 of the UK Open for the first time with a 9-4 win against Mark Dudbridge – following Friday night’s win over Steve Brown by defeating another Bristolian.
Dudbridge led, but Lawrence took the next three to lead 3-1 and also held a 7-2 cushion.
Dudbridge won the next two legs, but the comeback was swiftly ended as Lawrence ensured progression.
“It’s tremendous, I can’t believe it,” said Lawrence. “I’m so chuffed to get through and it was another tough match.”

MARK WALSH continued his impressive start to the UK Open with a 9-3 victory against Adrian Lewis.
Walsh saw off Wayne Mardle on Friday night, and showed some superb form to power past the youngster, with an early 3-0 lead pushing him in front.
Lewis replied to win the fourth, but could not find the scoring which devastated Robert Thornton in round three as Walsh took the next five legs to move to the brink of victory.
Lewis hit six perfect darts on his way to the tenth leg, and also reduced the arrears to 8-3 before Walsh sealed victory.
“Adrian’s a superb player and could always come back but luckily I got the ninth leg I needed,” said Walsh.
“It’s a hard event and you have to be fit to do it, and it’s about handling your energy right and not using it all in the first five legs.”

TERRY JENKINS won his battle with Andy Jenkins 9-7 in a topsy-turvey encounter to move into the last 16.
The Ledbury man took an early 4-1 lead, only for Portsmouth’s Andy to hit back and lead 5-4.
He also held a 7-5 cushion, but the world number six took the next four legs without reply to progress.
“I got off to a flier and then went to sleep,” said Jenkins. “I’m better when I’m under pressure and when Andy went in front of me I had to wake up.
“Andy played well but missed a couple of crucial doubles and I punished him for it.”

WES NEWTON reached the last 16 for the third successive year with a 9-6 win over Roland Scholten.
Scholten had battled through to round four on his return from shoulder surgery, but saw Newton come from 2-0 down to lead 4-3 with an impressive burst.
He also led 6-4 before Scholten hit back to level – only for a three-leg burst from the Fleetwood man to see him home.
“This year I’ve picked up my game,” said Newton. “Dropping out of the top 32 was a kick up the backside and I’m playing good darts at the moment.”

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