Christmas Day came and went in a flash but I made time to raise a small sherry to the hope of a championship that catches fire when it resumes on Monday. And Flash could be just the guy to do it when Mark Dudbridge faces up to Adrian Lewis in what is arguably the mouth watering tie of the round. Here are the pick of the second round matches…


Adrian Lewis v Mark Dudbridge (Prediction 4-3)

These two have been around a while now and it is Dudbridge who has the best world championship pedigree having been runner up to Phil Taylor in 2005. Lewis has never got past the quarter final stage. They have met 13 times before and the head to head stands at 7-6 to Lewis. They met four times in 2010 – winning two each illustrating how evenly balanced this game is. Both have nearly identical career win %’s of around 65% but Lewis is the more consistent scorer. It is this fact that I think might just tip it Jackpot’s way if he can bottle the fragile temperament.

Ronnie Baxter v Mark Webster (Prediction 2-4)

2010 semi finalist Webster is looking impressive already, recording the second highest average of round one in his demolition of Steve Maish. Ronnie Baxter is also in the top 10 averages and will give Webby a game. The Rocket also matched his best world championship run last year in reaching the quarter finals. Their head to head record stands at 2-2, they have almost identical career win %’s, averages & 180s but I think Webster is in better form and will progress to the last 16 after a struggle.

Andy Hamilton v Robert Thornton (Prediction 3-4)

After six previous meetings their head to head stands at 3-3 and a look at their career stats shows another evenly matched pair. 2007 semi finalist Hamilton was frankly awful in his opening game against an even worse Dennis Smith and must improve on a performance in which he didn’t hit a 180. Thornton was untroubled against Nigel Heydon and has better form as he bids to improve on his best placing of the last 16 last year. Interestingly, they have alternated wins in their 6 previous matched and it is Thornton’s turn next!

Terry Jenkins v Steve Brown (Prediction 4-2)

Brown surprisingly leads the head to head 5-3 and won recently at the World Matchplay in 2010. He will go into this full of confidence knowing he can win. Jenkins doesn’t have the best world championship track record; the quarter finals in 2007 is his best run. He looks to be coming into a little form but is always prone to dangerous lapses as he showed against Joe Cullen in his opener. My heart (and head) says Brown but I have a gut feeling for Jenkins that is based on nothing more that a hunch.

Mark Walsh v Alan Tabern (Prediction 4-2)

Tabern was a quarter finalist on 2007 but has lost his way a little this past year or so, while Walsh has been highly impressive and is firm favourite for this. However, a look at their head to head record (8-7 in Walsh’s favour) and their closely matched career stats makes this an intriguing game that could spring a surprise. Tabern is a real handful on his day and the left hander from Saint Helens should give Walshy a run for his money. Astonishingly, Walsh has never made it to the last 16 in the world championship but I expect him to rectify that here.

Colin Osborne v Jamie Caven (Prediction 4-3)

The seemingly unflappable Osborne might need to flap hard against Caven who has had a fine 2010 and will be looking to crown it with a good run here. I feel The Wizard, quarter finalist in 2007, will edge it through his ability to pull out the scores & finishes when he needs them. Their head to head stands at 6-3 to Osborne but Caven won their last meeting in Germany in March. They are closely matched on career stats and closely matched at the oche making another tussle that is difficult to call.

The Rest

Elsewhere, it is interesting to see that two-time world champion Dennis Priestley holds a 4-1 advantage over Gary Anderson on the head to head with The Menace winning as recently at November. Anderson has to be favourite but this is a contrast of the nervy & nerveless and Priestley has a big chance.

Another pairing who are closely matched on the head to heads is Mervyn King and Andy Smith – King leads 5-4. He also has a better career win ratio and outscores the Pie Man in all other areas but the head to head history suggest Smith might be a bit of a bogey player. This could be another edgy one.

Of the favourites, an out of sorts Phil Taylor will be thankful he’s not facing his old nemesis John Part and will have little trouble with Per Laursen. James Wade has no previous with Mensur Suljovic but should breeze past the Austrian. Simon Whitlock has won his last two matches against Denis Ovens and will be too strong for The Heat. Raymond van Barneveld has never lost to Kevin McDine and won’t start now.

Paul Nicholson lost his only meeting with Peter Wright which sets this one up nicely. Wes Newton lost his last match against Brendan Dolan so cannot be complacent. Wayne Jones is 5-3 down to Vincent van der voort in their previous meetings so has his work cut out. Lastly, Colin Lloyd takes on newcomer Mark Hylton with no previous to go on and we could see Lloyd using his fists again if Hylton can reproduce the form he found against Steve Beaton in round one.

Head 2 Head Stats
H2H Career
Player Best P W D L Last Meeting(s) Win% Avg 180s M
Phil Taylor Win 0 0 0 0 89.14 100.07 2.5 1188
Per Laursen L32 11 0 0 0 0 57.33 89.85 0.7 75
Paul Nicholson QF 09 1 0 0 1 20/06/09 Players Champ Ger L64 6-4 Wright 62.55 87.53 2.1 259
Peter Wright L64 10 1 1 0 0 56.23 86.04 0.5 106
Ronnie Baxter QF 10 4 2 0 2 06/09/09 Players Champ Aust R1 6-4 Webster 66.48 89.65 1.3 1074
Mark Webster SF 10 4 2 0 2 18/04/09 Players Champ E. Mid QF 6-4 Baxter 67.92 90.01 1.2 399
Colin Lloyd SF 02 0 0 0 0 69.11 88.88 1.2 1078
Mark Hylton L32 11 0 0 0 0 50 88.24 1 102
Adrian Lewis QF 10 13 7 0 6 14/03/10 UK Open Qualifier L16 6-2 Dudbridge 65.64 92.37 3.2 966
Mark Dudbridge RU 05 13 6 0 7 07/03/10 Players Champ Ger L32 6-2 Lewis 64.65 85.75 1.8 826
Andy Hamilton SF 07 6 3 0 3 13/03/10 Players Champ UK QF 6-3 Hamilton 68.48 90.36 2.4 844
Robert Thornton L16 10 6 3 0 3 15/11/09 Grand Slam of Darts Grp 5-2 Thornton 67.6 88.09 1.9 466
Simon Whitlock RU 10 3 2 0 1 29/06/10 Players Champ Vegas L16 6-3 Whitlock 74.64 92.95 2.3 347
Denis Ovens QF 05 3 1 0 2 09/05/10 UK Open Qualifier L64 6-4 Whitlock 65.08 88.34 1.4 922
Wayne Jones SF 06 8 3 0 5 12/10/10 Champ League Darts Grp 6-3 vd Voort 66.67 88.52 1.7 786
Vincent vd Voort L16 09 8 5 0 3 23/09/10 Champ League Darts Grp 6-3 vd Voort 64.36 87.67 2 780
James Wade SF 09 0 0 0 0 71.37 93.31 3 999
Mensur Suljovic L32 11 0 0 0 0 59.7 88.93 2.4 134
Wes Newton L32 10 5 3 0 2 08/11/09 Players Champ Scot L32 6-1 Dolan 65.81 86.94 1.7 775
Brendan Dolan L32 11 5 2 0 3 07/11/09 Players Champ Scot L16 6-5 Newton 60.19 81.69 1.7 319
Terry Jenkins QF 07 8 5 0 3 20/07/10 World Matchplay L32 10-6 Brown 64.84 91.11 2.4 947
Steve Brown L32 11 8 3 0 5 27/02/10 Players Champ UK QF 6-5 Jenkins 55.8 84.23 1.5 405
Mark Walsh L32 09 16 8 1 7 01/02/10 Players Champ UK L16 6-3 Walsh 68.67 87.78 1.6 881
Alan Tabern QF 07 16 7 1 8 04/10/09 Players Champ Ire L16 6-2 Tabern 68.15 88.67 2.5 788
Mervyn King SF 09 9 5 0 4 03/10/10 Players Champ Ire L32 6-3 King 68.59 91.98 2 866
Andy Smith L16 06 9 4 0 5 12/06/10 Players Champ UK L32 6-3 King 61.35 86.91 1.9 727
Gary Anderson L32 10 5 1 0 4 27/11/10 Players Champ UK L16 6-3 Priestley 73.95 93.85 2.8 622
Dennis Priestley Win 5 4 0 1 22/09/10 Champ League Darts Grp 6-4 Priestley 67.55 89.84 1.7 872
Ray v Barneveld Win 3 3 0 0 21/03/10 UK Open Qualifier L16 6-5 Barney 76.89 95.57 2.8 792
Kevin McDine L16 10 3 0 0 3 05/10/08 Players Champ Ire L64 3-0 Barney 62.55 91.91 2.7 478
Colin Osborne QF 07 9 6 0 3 06/03/10 Players Champ Ger QF 6-4 Caven 68.74 88.47 2.6 870
Jamie Caven L32 08 9 3 0 6 28/11/09 German Darts Champ L32 6-4 Osborne 68.11 87.16 1.9 486

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