phil-taylor-ladbrokes09PHIL TAYLOR came from a set down before seeing off Kevin Painter 4-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship on Monday night.

The 13-time World Champion responded from losing the first set by winning ten consecutive legs in the course of the match and finished the match with an average of 101.63.

He will meet either Wayne Mardle or Co Stompe in the last eight on New Year’s Day, as he bids to claim glory at London’s Alexandra Palace.

“I’m so determined to win this tournament and that’s showing in my game,” said Taylor. “Kevin had a brilliant first set but then I came back and seemed to take advantage when he missed and put him under pressure.”

Taylor will now return to Alexandra Palace on New Year’s Day to meet the winner of Tuesday’s third round clash between Wayne Mardle – who knocked him out of last year’s World Championship at the same stage – and Co Stompe, who defeated him in the German Darts Championship final at the start of December.

Welshman Barrie Bates joined Taylor in the last eight with a 4-0 rout of Mark Dudbridge, with the 2006 UK Open finalist producing his best World Championship display to check out 60 percent of his chances at a double.

The third round continues on Tuesday, with James Wade progressing to the last 16 earlier on Monday night with a 4-1 win over Tony Eccles.

The world number three – who meets Vincent van der Voort in round three – was not at his fluent best despite the win, and admitted: “I’m practising well but not taking it up on stage.

“I’m relaxed and happy and it’s only a matter of time before it clicks in.”

Tuesday’s afternoon session begins with the meeting of two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley and Australian number one Paul Nicholson, while resurgent Dennis Smith meets in-form Mervyn King before Mardle and Stompe clash.

Andy Hamilton and Jelle Klaasen – who have impressed so far in the tournament – meet in the evening session’s opener, while five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld takes on Ronnie Baxter.

Monday December 29
Second Round
Paul Nicholson (AUS) 4-3 Adrian Lewis (ENG)
Dennis Priestley (ENG) 4-1 John MaGowan (N.IRE)
Vincent van der Voort (NED) 4-1 Colin Osborne (ENG)
James Wade (ENG) 4-2 Tony Eccles (ENG)
Third Round
Phil Taylor (ENG) 4-1 Kevin Painter (ENG)
Barrie Bates (WAL) 4-0 Mark Dudbridge (ENG)

Tuesday December 30
Afternoon Session
Paul Nicholson v Dennis Priestley
Dennis Smith v Mervyn King
Wayne Mardle v Co Stompe
Evening Session
Andy Hamilton v Jelle Klaasen
Raymond van Barneveld v Ronnie Baxter
James Wade v Vincent van der Voort

JAMES WADE 4-2 TONY ECCLES
(3-0, 1-3, 3-1, 3-1, 0-3, 3-2)
JAMES WADE earned his place in round three of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship with a 4-2 defeat of Tony Eccles.

In a game mirroring his first round win over Brendan Dolan, Wade never hit top gear during the contest but did enough to end the challenge of the Hartlepool man.

Wade led 2-0 in the opening set, breaking throw in the second leg by landing double ten.

Eccles missed two darts at doubles to win the third leg, and Wade stepped in to hit double top and take an early lead.

All three legs were won with throw at the start of the second to give Eccles the edge, and he then managed to win the fourth with an excellent two-dart 79 finish to level the match.

Wade missed two darts at doubles to win the first leg of the third set, and Eccles managed to hit double one with his last dart to go 1-0 up.

But Wade was clinical from then on, and took the next three legs in 14, 15 and 15 darts to regain lead.

Both players hit maximums at the start of set four, but it was Eccles who ended up taking the leg.

Wade soon levelled and then won the third leg against the darts with a 14-dart finish before punishing Eccles misses to take a 3-1 advantage.

In the fifth set Eccles, who defeated Remco van Eijden his first round game, produced some brilliant finishing to reduce the deficit to 3-2.

He hit a two-dart 65 finish to win the first leg, a 119 checkout to break throw in the second and a fine 143 to wrap up the set.

Both players held throw at the beginning of the sixth set, before Eccles hit a superb 123 finish on the bullseye to go 2-1 ahead.

Wade won the fourth leg and then hit his seventh maximum of the game in a 13-darter to seal victory.

Wade admitted afterwards to being frustrated with his performances so far at Alexandra Palace, saying: “I’m practising well but not taking it up on stage.

“The standard for the World Championship is high and I’m not there yet, but I can do it.

“A year ago I’d caught up with Phil but then he started to play under-par. Now he’s found a new level and I’m chasing him again, and I’m not playing at the top of my game.

“I’m in the last 16, playing bad darts but still winning and I need to knuckle down now. I’m relaxed and happy and it’s only a matter of time before it clicks in.”

THIRD ROUND
PHIL TAYLOR 4-1 KEVIN PAINTER
(1-3, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0, 3-1)
PHIL TAYLOR came from a set down before seeing off Kevin Painter 4-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

The 13-time World Champion responded from losing the first set by winning ten consecutive legs in the course of the match and finished the match with an average of 101.63.

He will meet either Wayne Mardle or Co Stompe in the last eight on New Year’s Day, as he bids to claim glory at London’s Alexandra Palace.

“I’m so determined to win this tournament and that’s showing in my game,” said Taylor. “I was quite steady.

“The first set was a bit dodgy but then I came back and seemed to take advantage when Kevin missed and put him under pressure.

“If Kevin could play like he did in the first set all the time then he’ll be World Champion, but he has lapses and that costs him.”

Painter won the first leg with a 13-dart finish, before Taylor took out 68 to level the match.

But Painter, who was defeated by Taylor in the classic 2004 final, won the third leg, and produced a fantastic 10-darter to take the set.

The Stoke ace opened up a 2-0 lead in the second set, after Painter missed four darts in leg two, before double 16 gave him the set.

Taylor won the first leg of the third set against the darts with a 14-darter, and six misses from Painter were punished in the second before double four gave the world number one the lead.

Taylor continued to add to Painter’s pain by hitting a fantastic 124 checkout, finishing on the bullseye, at the start of the fourth set to take his run to seven straight legs.

He then broke with a 15-dart finish after both players had recorded maximums and took leg three to move a set away from victory.

Taylor won the opening leg of the set five, but Painter managed to stop his opponent’s run with a polished 11-darter.

However, four missed opportunities to take the third leg cost him, and Taylor broke throw again before landing double top for the win.

“I started well but went a little flat,” admitted Painter.

“Phil won four or five legs on the trot with his third dart and that killed me. I was in with a shout in the last set too and could have won the third too, but I missed a few doubles and Phil punished me.

“His last dart is as good as anybody else’s first dart and he doesn’t feel the pressure. I didn’t think Phil was particularly fantastic but he finished well.

“I had my moments but went through phases and I’ve got no complaints. I’ve got to try and up my level of consistency really.”

BARRIE BATES 4-0 MARK DUDBRIDGE
(3-0, 3-1, 3-0, 3-2)
BARRIE BATES ended the hopes of 2005 runner-up Mark Dudbridge with a convincing straight-sets victory to reach his first quarter-final at the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

Bates, a former UK Open finalist, will take on Mervyn King or Dennis Smith in the New Year after a brilliant finishing display earned him his best run in the tournament.

He checked out 60 percent of his doubles, and swept past a below-par Dudbridge.

Bates broke throw in the second leg with a 107 finish to take a 2-0 lead in the opening set, and then capitalised on three missed doubles from Dudbridge to take the third leg and open up a 1-0 lead.

The Welshman – who has defeated Felix McBrearty and Bill Davis so far at Alexandra Palace – continued his excellent start with a 13-dart finish at the start of the second set.

Dudbridge managed to get himself on the board by winning the second, but a two-dart 78 finish put Bates back in front and he also won leg four to double the advantage.

Bates continued in similar fashion in the third set, hitting legs of 15 and 14 darts to take his run to nine from the first ten in moving 3-0 up.

Dudbridge managed to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth set, courtesy of a 106 finish in the third leg, but a bullseye checkout from Bates put him one leg away from victory.

The Welshman then pounced on two missed attempts at double 12 from Dudbridge with a clinical two-dart 66 finish to reach the quarter-finals.

“It looks a big win but there was still pressure on me,” said Bates. “Mark was outstanding against Mensur Suljovic in the second round but he didn’t perform tonight.

“I’ve never lost to him and must have something over him! The commentators had Mark through to the last eight and I wasn’t supposed to win, but I’m up there to win and it’s my job.”

Dudbridge conceded: “Barrie’s finishing was brilliant and he was consistent with his scoring.

“At this level you can’t get your game together when you’re three sets down, and even then it wasn’t enough. He really ran out an easy winner.”

AUSSIE sensation Paul Nicholson booked his place in the last 16 of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship on Monday afternoon in a seven-set thriller with Adrian Lewis.

Nicholson – British-born but now based in Melbourne – whitewashed Adrian Gray in the first round at Alexandra Palace and produced another impressive display to power past the world number six.

Lewis led 3-2 before Nicholson – aided by six ton-plus finishes – held his nerve to win in a tie-break, checking out 129 and 121 in the game’s final two legs.

“It was a scrap from start to finish,” said Nicholson. “I don’t think there was anything between me and Adie and it was going to take something special to break his throw in that last set.

“I’m learning so much all the time, and I’m getting more experienced with every dart I throw up there.”

Nicholson will now meet two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley in round three, after the 58-year-old took a 4-1 victory from his clash with 67-year-old John MaGowan.

Vincent van der Voort completed a quartet of Dutchmen in the last 16 of the PDC’s World Championship for the first time with a 4-1 victory over Colin Osborne.

Osborne took the first set without reply, but only won four more legs in the remainder of the contest as van der Voort swept to victory.

He now meets either James Wade or Tony Eccles in round three, which begins on Monday night with the clashes between Phil Taylor and Kevin Painter and Mark Dudbridge against Barrie Bates.

Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship
Second Round – Monday December 29
Paul Nicholson (AUS) 4-3 Adrian Lewis (ENG)
Dennis Priestley (ENG) 4-1 John MaGowan (N.IRE)
Vincent van der Voort (NED) 4-1 Colin Osborne (ENG)

7.10pm – James Wade v Tony Eccles
Third Round
8.30pm – Phil Taylor v Kevin Painter
9.50pm – Barrie Bates v Mark Dudbridge

PAUL NICHOLSON 4-3 ADRIAN LEWIS
(3-2, 1-3, 3-0, 2-3, 1-3, 3-0, 6-4)
PAUL NICHOLSON sent number six seed Adrian Lewis packing 4-3 in a classic second round encounter in the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

Nicholson, the English-born Australian number one making his World Championship, debut fell 3-2 down but won the last two sets to end the hopes of the Stoke ace.

Both players started in blistering fashion, with Lewis taking the first leg in 11 darts and then Nicholson taking the second with a 125 checkout.

Lewis broke his opponent’s throw again in the third leg, but Nicholson levelled with a 12-darter and then won the decider thanks to a two-dart 87 finish to take an early lead.

Lewis hit a maximum in each of the opening two legs of set two in the process of taking a 2-0 lead.

Nicholson won the third, but Lewis landed double top to square the match.

But the Australian, who defeated Adrian Gray with a whitewash victory in the first round, moved ahead again by taking the third set without reply.

Nicholson then hit two 14-dart finishes to 2-1 up in the fourth set, and a leg away from a 3-1 advantage.

But Lewis hit a fantastic 124 checkout, finishing on the bullseye, to win the fourth leg and then hit double 12 in the decider to level the game.

In set five, Lewis recorded finishes of 12 and 13 darts to take a 2-1 lead before taking out an excellent 95 finish in the fourth leg to win the set and lead for the first time in the match.

That proved to be short-lived as Nicholson won the sixth set without reply and send the match into a decider, before superb finishes of 101 and 121 put him a leg away from victory.

A sixth maximum of the game pushed him clear in leg three, but a dart at double 18 for victory agonisingly fell into double four and Lewis survived to keep the match going.

The pressure was starting to tell on the Australian, and he missed four more darts for the match in the next leg before Lewis landed a pressure double eight to take the match into extra time.

Lewis missed five chances of his own to take a 3-2 lead and Nicholson converted his seventh dart to win the leg on double five.

The Stoke star levelled the set once again in the next leg, but missed two more darts to break his opponent’s throw and Nicholson went 4-3 ahead.

Lewis hit his ninth maximum of the game in the eighth leg and had to convert a pressure double ten with his last dart to keep the match going.

Lewis hit another maximum in the next leg, but it was not enough as Nicholson produced a fantastic 129 checkout to lead again.

The 29-year-old then hit a dramatic 121 finish against the darts and end an enthralling match.

“It was a scrap from start to finish,” said Nicholson. “I don’t think there was anything between me and Adie and it was going to take something special to break his throw in that last set.

“I was already confident with the 121 because I’d hit it earlier in the game and I hit the 51 for the 20 and as soon as I lined up the bull I knew it was going in.

“I had the game in my hands, let it go and then won it back again. I’ve still got work to do but it feels great and I’m glad to be through.”

Nicholson, whose tournament odds have now been cut to 20/1 after the win, added: “I’m learning so much all the time, and I’m getting more experienced with every dart I throw up there.

“I’m going to keep practising with Jelle Klaasen, because that seems to be working for both of us, and if I can beat Adrian Lewis, and with the people I’ve beaten in the last two months since I’ve been over in the UK, I can go far.”

Lewis said: “He took out some good shots and it was one of the best games of the tournament. He played well and deserved to win.

“Every time I had a chance to go in front I’d wire the double and I couldn’t put them any closer! It wasn’t my day and I’ve got to get back on the practice board.”

DENNIS PRIESTLEY 4-1 JOHN MAGOWAN
(3-0, 3-1, 3-2, 0-3, 3-2)
DENNIS PRIESTLEY came out on top in the battle of darts’ veterans to move into the last 16 of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship with a comfortable 4-1 victory over John MaGowan

The Yorkshireman will now take on Paul Nicholson in the third round as he bids for a third World Championship title.

A two-dart 60 finish gave Priestley the opening leg, and a maximum in the next helped to break his opponent’s throw for a 2-0 lead.

The two-time World Champion then wrapped up the set by landing double four to take an early advantage.

MaGowan opened his account at the start of the second set, before Priestley hit finishes of 14 and 15 darts to go 2-1 up in the set.

Priestley, the younger of the two players at 58, then hit double five in the fourth leg to extend his lead to 2-0.

The Northern Irishman started set three well, breaking throw with a 14-dart finish.

But Priestley replied in kind with a 14-dart finish of his own and then hit double top to go 2-1 ahead.

MaGowan managed to take the fourth leg, but Priestley hit two maximums at the start of the decider and was on course for a nine dart finish.

That attempt was not successful, but he went to win the leg in 11 darts, completing it on double 20 to go 3-0 up and one set away from the match.

Priestley missed five darts at double twelve to win the first leg of the fourth set and 67 year-old MaGowan won that leg and went on to win the next two and reduce the arrears to 3-1.

Both players took out two-dart finishes to hold their throws at the start of the fifth set, before Priestley hit double 12 to go within touching distance of victory.

In the fourth leg Magowan missed three darts to level the set, and Priestley converted double 16 to progress.

VINCENT VAN DER VOORT 4-1 COLIN OSBORNE
(0-3, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1)
VINCENT VAN DER VOORT produced an excellent performance to come from a set down and defeat Colin Osborne 4-1 in round two of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

The Dutchman lost the opening set but won four in a row to complete a quartet of Dutchmen in the last 16.

Osborne was the better of the two players at the start of the match, breaking the Dutchman’s throw in the second leg and then converting a 64 finish to wrap up the first set.

Van der Voort hit finishes of 76 and 97 in the process of taking a 2-0 advantage in the second set but wasting eight darts to wrap up the set in leg three.

However, he landed two maximums in the fourth leg, and took out double 16 for a 12-darter to level matters.

Van der Voort, who defeated Hungarian Nandor Bezzeg in the first round, began set three superbly with a 125 finish to break throw in the first leg, and a 93 finish gave the Dutchman a 2-0 lead before Osborne hit back with an 11 dart finish.

But van der Voort landed double 16 in the fourth leg to take the set and sieze the advantage.

The opening three legs of the fourth set where held with throw, giving the van der Voort and 2-1 lead, but another maximum and a 121 finish put him 3-1 up in the contest.

Van der Voort hit another maximum at the start of the fifth set, but missed two darts to break throw and Osborne held on by landing double 12.

Van der Voort levelled the set with a 14-dart finish, and then broke throw for a 2-1 lead after Osborne had missed three darts at doubles to win the leg.

In the fourth leg, van der Voort hit fifth maximum of the game, but Osborne hit one of his own.

Osborne had a dart at bullseye for a 161 finish to save the match, but he was off-target and van der Voort stepped up to land double top and seal victory.

“It was very hard work and didn’t feel like such a big win,” said van der Voort. “I didn’t play well or get into my rhythm.

“But I’m through and I feel I can play a lot better, so hopefully I will on Tuesday.”

Osborne admitted: “After winning the first set 3-0 I was full of confidence and I wanted to kick on from there, but it didn’t happen for me.

“Vincent didn’t miss any doubles but it’s back to the drawing board for me now.

“It’s frustrating not that it’s not happened for me on the biggest stage of all in the World Championship, but I’ll be back.”

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