PHIL TAYLOR returned to top form to keep alive the defence of his Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts title – ditching his glasses to defeat Wes Newton 5-3 and move into the last 16.

Taylor had worn glasses for the first time in a major event in his opening two games at the Grand Slam of Darts, but after losing to Ted Hankey on Monday night decided to return to his natural vision.

The decision paid off as he hit a 108.25 average in seeing off Newton in their decisive clash, and he now takes on Ronnie Baxter in the second round on Friday.

“I’m very relieved,” said Taylor. “I was very nervous beforehand but I played better without the glasses and reacted well.

“I knew I had to perform and I did that, but Wes played really well and he’s a quality player. It’s a longer format from the second round onwards so I can relax a little more.”

Taylor joins Ted Hankey in qualifying from Group H, after the two-time Lakeside Champion came from 2-0 down to defeat Michael van Gerwen 5-4 and end the group stage unbeaten.

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld turned on the style with a 5-1 win over Darryl Fitton in their decisive clash in Group F, meaning he qualifies alongside unbeaten Colin Lloyd, who defeated Tricia Wright by the same scoreline.

After Scott Waites hit finishes of 161, 137 and 127 in the opening three legs of his win over Adrian Lewis to top Group E unbeaten, Co Stompe won a dramatic clash with Martin Phillips to join him in qualifying for the last 16.

Stompe took out 113 for the opening leg, only for Phillips to hit back with a 106 finish and a ten-darter in leading 4-1, but the binman from Dolgellau failed to close out the win as the Dutchman hit a 132 checkout in levelling and 104 to snatch a remarkable triumph.

There was also tension in Group G, where Ronnie Baxter’s 5-1 win over Arron Monk saw him qualify alongside Steve Beaton, who overcame Paul Nicholson by the same scoreline with a fine display in their decisive contest.

Baxter’s earlier win over Beaton means he tops the group, earning him a clash with reigning and three-time champion Taylor, while Beaton now plays Hankey on Friday.

2009 runner-up Waites will take on Raymond van Barneveld in a tasty encounter, while Lloyd and Stompe meet in the other last 16 clash, televised live on ITV4.

The second round begins on Thursday with four matches, as Wolverhampton’s Wayne Jones takes on Robert Thornton, Tony O’Shea meets Terry Jenkins, Gary Anderson plays Colin Osborne and Mervyn King plays James Wade.

Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts
Wednesday November 17
Groups E-H Final Games
Colin Lloyd 5-1 Tricia Wright
Scott Waites 5-3 Adrian Lewis
Ted Hankey 5-4 Michael van Gerwen
Ronnie Baxter 5-1 Arron Monk
Steve Beaton 5-1 Paul Nicholson
Co Stompe 5-4 Martin Phillips
Phil Taylor 5-3 Wes Newton
Raymond van Barneveld 5-1 Darryl Fitton

Second Round
Thursday November 18 (6pm)
Groups A-D Second Round
Robert Thornton v Wayne Jones
Tony O’Shea v Terry Jenkins
Gary Anderson v Colin Osborne
Mervyn King v James Wade

Friday November 19 (6pm)
Groups E-H Second Round
Colin Lloyd v Co Stompe
Ted Hankey v Steve Beaton
Scott Waites v Raymond van Barneveld
Ronnie Baxter v Phil Taylor

COLIN LLOYD 5-1 TRICIA WRIGHT
COLIN LLOYD secured a third successive Group F victory with a 5-1 defeat of Tricia Wright to end the group phase of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts unbeaten.

Lloyd followed up his wins over Darryl Fitton and Raymond van Barneveld with another clinical performance, although Wright’s display deserved more than the one leg she won.

While Lloyd had won the opening leg with a 116 checkout, Wright took her first chance at a double in the second, punishing five misses from Lloyd to hit double top at the first time of asking.

While Lloyd posted double eight for a 2-1 lead, the PDC Unicorn Women’s World Championship finalist was first to the finish in the fourth, missing one dart at tops before the Essex star hit the same bed for a 13-darter to break.

He then finished 68 on double 16 for a 4-1 lead before sealing the win on double top to ensure he heads Group F.

“I’m pretty pleased with that performance,” said Lloyd. “It was an enjoyable game and Tricia played well, but the important thing for me was that I got the job done.

“I’m happy with my form and looking forward to the knockout stage of the tournament now and hopefully putting a good run together.”

SCOTT WAITES 5-3 ADRIAN LEWIS
SCOTT WAITES’ impressive form in the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts continued as he defeated Adrian Lewis 5-3 to progress to the last 16 unbeaten.

The Yorkshireman powered into the final of last year’s tournament and had seen off Co Stompe and Martin Phillips in his opening two matches in this event.

He stormed into a 3-0 lead against Lewis with a trio of ton-plus finishes, and that proved enough to hold off the Stoke star’s fightback and inflict a third successive defeat on the youngster.

While Lewis posted the opening 180, Waites replied in kind before checkout out 127 brilliantly on double eight for a 12-darter to lead.

He then hit another maximum and a 161 finish for a second 12-darter to break throw, and finished 137 in the third to move 3-0 up and leave Lewis trailing.

Waites also had a chance to win the fourth, but two misses at double top gave Lewis a reprieve as he finished double two to get off the mark.

Waites landed a third maximum of the game and double ten to take the fifth leg, but another 180 was not enough as Lewis won the next with a 74 finish before posting a maximum of his own in finishing on tops to cut back to 4-3.

Waites, though, powered in his fifth 180 to pull away in the eighth, and double 16 saw him complete victory and finish the group stage unbeaten.

“I’m really happy and it was good to win again,” said Waites. “It was an entertaining game for the crowd and great for me as well.

“The finishes at the start were brilliant and they were important because Adrian improved as the game wore on.”

Lewis admitted: “It was always going to be hard for me because I couldn’t qualify and then Scott started with those massive finishes.

“It makes you think that this just isn’t your tournament because once again I’ve not qualified and it’s disappointing, but I’ll focus on the World Championship now.”

TED HANKEY 5-4 MICHAEL VAN GERWEN
TED HANKEY came from 2-0 down to edge out Michael van Gerwen in a deciding leg and qualify unbeaten from Group H in the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts.

Two-time Lakeside Champion had overcome Wes Newton and Phil Taylor in his opening two matches to ensure qualification to round two, but was made to pay for a slow start against the 21-year-old.

Van Gerwen hit a 180 and double top to break in the opening leg, before landing double 13 to win the second for a 2-0 lead.

Hankey got off the mark with a 66 finish on tops, before hitting a 180 and a 71 checkout to level.

He returned from the break with a brace of 81 finishes for 12-dart legs as he surged into a 4-2 lead, only to then miss two darts for victory in the seventh leg as van Gerwen followed an earlier 180 with double four.

The Dutch ace, who will contest the PDC Unicorn Under-21 World Championship final at Alexandra Palace in January, opened the eighth with scores of 180 and 140 before double six saw him send the game into a decider.

But his inconsistency proved costly as Hankey once again finished 66 on tops to snatch victory in the decider and progress to round two on a high.

“I didn’t play as well as I can, certainly at the start, but I came good in the end and got the win,” said Hankey. “I’ve got a few things to put right in my game yet but my aim was to make sure I got through the group and I’ve done that.

“I’m happy to get another win and happy to top the group.”

Van Gerwen admitted: “I’ve had a disappointing tournament but it’s more experience for me and I’ll look forward to the World Championship and Under-21 World Championship now.”

RONNIE BAXTER 5-1 ARRON MONK
RONNIE BAXTER turned on the style to book his place in the second round of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts, clinically overcoming youngster Arron Monk 5-1 in their final Group G game.

Blackpool’s Baxter needed to win his final group match to progress to the last 16, and hit five from seven doubles in a clinical performance.

Monk, the PDC Unicorn Under-21 World Championship finalist, once again impressed as he emerges on the big stage, but found himself up against a high-quality display as he suffered a third successive loss.

Baxter won the opening leg on tops before double 12 gave him the second for a 2-0 lead, and when he opened the third with a 180 a runaway win looked on the cards.

But Monk replied with a maximum of his own and added a second 180 to set up a potential nine-darter, and although that failed to materialise he closed out the leg in 11 darts on double eight.

Baxter hit a 174 score to set up a 32 finish to lead 3-1 at the break, and double 17 moved him to the brink of victory in the next.

Monk, though, continued to fight to the end and opened the sixth leg with a 180, only to miss two darts for a second leg as Baxter checked out 102 to complete the win.

“It’s pleasing to win so well and eventually my doubles came good for me,” said Baxter. “Arron was brilliant and he’s got a long future ahead of the game if he keeps playing as well as he did there.”

Monk admitted: “I’ve improved in every game but come up against really good performances from Ronnie, Steve Beaton and Paul Nicholson.

“I’m happy with my performances and it’s great experience. I can’t wait to get back up there on the big stage.”

STEVE BEATON 5-1 PAUL NICHOLSON
STEVE BEATON powered into the second round of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts, defeating Paul Nicholson 5-1 in their decisive Group G clash at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Nicholson entered the contest having won his opening two group games, but a brilliant display from Beaton saw him take victory and join Ronnie Baxter in progressing to the last 16 at the expense of January’s Players Championship Finals winner.

Beaton made a fine start, hitting finishes of 73 and 84 to win the opening two legs and take command before double top got Nicholson off the mark in the third.

Nicholson also posted a 180 in the fourth, but missed the bull for a 170 finish and two darts at double 16 before Beaton finished 68 for a 3-1 lead.

Beaton returned from the break with a 180, and also hit a 140 and double nine to take the leg, and then checkout out 80 to complete a fine victory.

“I knew what I had to do and I had to go out there and get that early lead,” said Beaton. “To go in 3-1 at the break was important and I knew I was in a good position.

“I’m happy with my form and I’ve been getting better all week, so I’ll hope to improve again when I play against Ted Hankey on Friday.”

Nicholson admitted: “To be out after winning my first two games is very bitter for me.

“I wanted to go up there and win and get through but Steve was brilliant. I’ve been confident and felt great in my first two games but I wasn’t at the races tonight and Steve was far better.”

CO STOMPE 5-4 MARTIN PHILLIPS
CO STOMPE dramatically took out 104 to win a deciding leg against Martin Phillips, coming from 4-1 down to knock out the Welshman and progress to the last 16 of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts.

The pair played out a superb battle in their winner-takes-all contest, but when Phillips moved 4-1 up many expected the binman from Dolgellau to be needing to take time off from returning to work on Thursday.

But he twice missed match darts to defeat Stompe, who took out 132 in coming back to four-all before checking out 104 in the decider before producing an incredible show of emotion to accompany his traditional ‘Karate Kid’ celebration.

Stompe had begun the match with a fine 113 checkout, but after missing his chance to take the second, following a 180, Phillips checked out 106 to get off the mark.

The Welsh ace, who had been excellent in defeating Adrian Lewis, then hit the best leg of the tournament so far, following up scores of 180, 123 and 180 with double nine for a ten-darter to lead 2-0.

Phillips then hit tops for another break of throw before trading 180s with Stompe in the fifth, checking out 32 for a 4-1 cushion.

He missed one dart to double five for the match in the next, as Stompe landed double ten to begin his revival.

The Dutchman then finished 132 in style with bull, bull and double 16 before hitting double top to force a decider.

Phillips hit three ton-plus scores with the advantage of throw, but missed a dart at double top for victory to give Stompe his chance and he finished 104 with single 20, treble 16 and double 18 to sensationally win through to the last 16.

“I was really up against it and Martin played brilliantly to go 4-1 up,” said Stompe. “The 104 finish was amazing because I thought I’d blown my chance.

“I’m delighted to be through and I want to do well in the tournament now.”

Phillips said: “I’m disappointed but I’ve played well and there had to be a loser tonight. Playing in the Grand Slam has been a fantastic experience and I’ll be back.”

PHIL TAYLOR 5-3 WES NEWTON
PHIL TAYLOR returned to top form to keep alive the defence of his Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts title – ditching his glasses to defeat Wes Newton 5-3 and move into the last 16.

Taylor had worn glasses for the first time in a major event in his opening two games at the Grand Slam of Darts, but after losing to Ted Hankey on Monday night decided to return to his natural vision.

The decision paid off as he hit a 108.25 average in seeing off Newton in their decisive clash, and he now takes on Ronnie Baxter in the second round on Friday.

Had Taylor entered the Wolverhampton Civic arena with any doubts, he dispelled them with opening scores of 140 and 180 in taking the first leg in 12 darts on double top.

Newton levelled with a 120 finish, but paid the price after Taylor won the third on double eight when he missed two darts for the fourth, seeing his darts at double top and ten go wide as Taylor pounced on tops.

Taylor then hit a 180 for a second successive leg and double 16 to move 4-1 up, but after the duo traded maximums he missed the bull for a 129 finish as double eight kept Newton in the game.

Taylor also missed four darts to win the game in the next leg, as Newton pulled back to 4-3 on double two.

But he was unable to force a decider in the next, with double 16 from Taylor seeing him complete the win with a 108 average.

“I’m very relieved,” said Taylor. “I was very nervous beforehand but I played better without the glasses and reacted well.

“I knew I had to perform and I did that, but Wes played really well and he’s a quality player. It’s a longer format from the second round onwards so I can relax a little more.”

Newton said: “I tried my best but it wasn’t meant to be. Phil was better but I’ve been playing well coming into this event and was too inconsistent and that cost me.”

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 5-1 DARRYL FITTON
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD powered into the second round of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts, seeing off Darryl Fitton 5-1 at the Wolves Civic.

The Dutch star met Fitton in a winner-takes-all shoot-out to battle for a last 16 berth in the £400,000 event, but was never tested as the Stockport ace limped out.

Van Barneveld won the opening leg on double six under little pressure from his opponent, who then missed double top for the second as the five-time World Champion broke throw with a 62 finish.

A 77 checkout from van Barneveld gave him a 3-0 lead, and he hit a 180 in the fourth leg only to see Fitton reply in kind and take out double 16 to get off the mark, with a 14-darter threatening to kick-start his challenge.

However, he again failed to pressure van Barneveld in the next as double five put him 4-1 up, bfeore three ton-plus scores saw him first to a double in the next as double four secured his place in the knockout stages.

“Neither of us played as well as we can but I’m happy with the win,” said van Barneveld. “The first few days are all about qualifying and I’ve done that.”

Fitton admitted: “I was really up for the match beforehand but it’s very disappointing that I didn’t perform on stage. I was practising well but couldn’t find it on stage.”

Groups E-H Final Tables

Group E

W

L

+/-

Pts

Scott Waites

3

0

+8

6

Co Stompe

2

1

+2

4

Martin Phillips

1

2

-2

2

Adrian Lewis

0

3

-8

0

 

Group F

W

L

+/-

Pts

Colin Lloyd

3

0

+7

6

Raymond van Barneveld

2

1

+7

4

Darryl Fitton

1

2

-3

2

Tricia Wright

0

3

-11

0

 

Group G

W

L

+/-

Pts

Ronnie Baxter

2

1

+5

4

Steve Beaton

2

1

+5

4

Paul Nicholson

2

1

-1

4

Arron Monk

0

3

-9

0

 

Group H

W

L

+/-

Pts

Ted Hankey

3

0

+4

6

Phil Taylor

2

1

+5

4

Wes Newton

1

2

-3

2

Michael van Gerwen

0

3

-6

0

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