PHIL TAYLOR produced the second highest average in the history of televised darts in defeating Mervyn King 9-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the PartyPoker.net European Championship.

Taylor averaged a superb 113.92, bettered only by his own display against Wes Newton in this year’s Blue Square UK Open, to storm into the last eight in Frankfurt.

King played his part in a classic, averaging over 101 and taking out legs of 12, 12 and 11 darts, including a 141 finish in the latter after Taylor hit two 180s in the leg.

“I didn’t realise the average was so high but I’m obviously delighted to have played so well,” said Taylor, who now meets Mark Walsh in the last eight.

Walsh reached his first quarter-final this year with a 9-6 defeat of Wayne Mardle, taking a 4-0 lead and hitting back-to-back 11-darters in holding off the number eight seed’s fightback.

Raymond van Barneveld defeated Dennis Priestley 9-4 with arguably his finest display of 2008, averaging over 107 against the two-time World Champion.

Alan Tabern took seven successive legs to come from 6-2 down to defeat Holland’s Jelle Klaasen 9-6 in their contest, including finishes of 141, 126 and 116 in the win.

He now meets Peter Manley in the quarter-finals, after the Carlisle-based thrower held off world number three James Wade 11-9.

Manley took seven successive legs to lead 7-2, only for Wade to level, but the former world number one prevailed in a tie break with a 115 finish.

Earlier, Adrian Lewis booked his quarter-final spot with a 9-5 defeat of Denis Ovens, and takes on van Barneveld on Sunday afternoon.

Ronnie Baxter and Robert Thornton took wins over Spain’s Carlos Rodriguez and Austria’s Mensur Suljovic to set up their last eight meeting.

PartyPoker.net European Championship
Second Round
Ronnie Baxter 9-5 Carlos Rodriguez
Adrian Lewis 9-5 Denis Ovens
Robert Thornton 9-7 Mensur Suljovic
Alan Tabern 9-6 Jelle Klaasen
Peter Manley 11-9 James Wade
Phil Taylor 9-3 Mervyn King
Raymond van Barneveld 9-4 Dennis Priestley
Mark Walsh 9-6 Wayne Mardle

Sunday November 2
Quarter Finals
2.10pm Ronnie Baxter v Robert Thornton
3.10pm Phil Taylor v Mark Walsh
4.10pm Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis
5.10pm Alan Tabern v Peter Manley
Best of 17 legs

Evening Session
Semi-Finals
7.15pm
8.30pm
Best of 21 legs

Final
10.15pm
Best of 21 legs

ALAN TABERN 9-6 JELLE KLAASEN
ALAN TABERN won seven successive legs to defeat Jelle Klaasen 9-6 and book his quarter-final place in the PartyPoker.net European Championship.

Klaasen looked set to power into the last eight when he opened up leads of 4-1 and 6-2, averaging 105 in a blistering first half of the game.

But his performance faltered, with Tabern stepping in on missed doubles and also hitting three key ton-plus finishes to secure his place in the last eight.

Tabern began the game well, hitting three-successive 140s in a 14-darter to take the first leg, only for Klaasen to win the next three and then take out 127 for a 12-darter in leg five.

An 11-darter from Tabern gave him the sixth, but Klaasen replied with a 14-darter and then landed a fourth maximum of the match in taking a 6-2 cushion.

Tabern grabbed his second maximum of the contest in leg nine, before taking out 126 on the bull for a 12-darter against the throw.

That seemed to galvanise his fightback, and he took out a 141 in extending his run of successive legs to four in levelling, and double ten for a 71 finish put him 7-6 up.

A missed double ten from Klaasen let Tabern in to take leg 14 with a superb 116 finish, and he sealed the win on double two after further misses from the Dutchman.

“I was very concerned after only two or three legs,” admitted Tabern. “I didn’t feel good and Jelle was scoring fantastically and doing everything right.

“I didn’t want to embarrass myself and wanted to show a bit of fight. I never gave up and even at 6-2 I had belief in myself and kept plugging away.”

PETER MANLEY 11-9 JAMES WADE
PETER MANLEY edged a classic against James Wade to earn himself a quarter-final spot in the PartyPoker.net European Championship.

Manley took seven successive legs in building himself a 7-2 advantage, living up to his “One Dart” nickname with some superb finishing, only for Wade to hit back and level.

But crucially, the world number three never got himself back in front and Manley took out 115 in a tie break to seal an 11-9 victory.

Wade took out double ten against the throw to win the game’s opening leg, and then took out 127 to lead 2-0 before Manley levelled with legs of 13 and 14 legs.

Two misses from Wade allowed Manley in to take leg five and lead for the first time, and key finishes of 117, 91, 93 and 61 saw Manley move 7-2 up.

Wade took out 100 to stop the rot, and then took advantage of misses from Manley in three of the next four as he pulled back level.

Manley edged leg 15, while Wade took the next thanks to a 99 finish of 19 and two double tops, only for double ten to give Manley a 9-8 cushion.

Manley missed three darts at double top for the match in the next leg, with Wade taking out 108 to level once more, but three missed doubles proved crucial in the next as he let the Carlisle star back in.

Manley regained his touch on double top to lead 10-9, and a superb 115 checkout, finishing on double 19, gave him the win.

“I should have finished James off sooner but he showed why he’s world number three by coming back like that,” said Manley.

“I was worried when he got back level but I got my doubles back when it mattered.”

Manley has yet to qualify for this month’s PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton, but a run to the final on Sunday would earn him a spot in that event.

“I’ve got a holiday booked in Tenerife at the moment,” revealed Manley. “But I’d gladly swap it to play in Wolverhampton if I can reach the final tomorrow!”

PHIL TAYLOR 9-3 MERVYN KING
PHIL TAYLOR produced the second highest average in the history of televised darts in defeating Mervyn King 9-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the PartyPoker.net European Championship.

Taylor averaged a superb 113.92, bettered only by his own display against Wes Newton in this year’s Blue Square UK Open, to storm into the last eight in Frankfurt.

King played his part in a classic, averaging over 101 and taking out legs of 12, 12 and 11 darts, including a 141 finish in the latter after Taylor hit two 180s in the leg.

Taylor made a brilliant start, with legs of 14, 14 and 11 darts putting him into a 3-0 lead without King having a shot at a double.

King, who has impressively risen into the PDC’s top 16 this year, got off the mark with an 11-darter in leg four, hitting a maximum and taking out 81, only to pay for a missed bullseye in the next as Taylor took out double 12 for a 4-1 advantage.

Double 16 gave Taylor a four-lead lead, with King then winning leg seven with a 121 bullseye finish, only for Taylor to take the next in 13 darts.

Taylor then hit scores of 180, 100 and 180 in leg nine, only for King to land a maximum in reply to set up a 141 finish, which he checked out brilliantly on double 18.

But double top gave Taylor a 7-3 cushion, he then landed a 177 on his way to the next leg in 12 darts and took out double 18 to seal a brilliant win.

“I didn’t realise the average was so high but I’m obviously delighted to have played so well,” said Taylor.

“I’m just trying to beat my opponent as fast as possible because Mervyn showed how good he can be if you give him a chance.

“He’s a real fighter and never gives in. It’s a ruthless game, though, and I’m still here to fight another day.”

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 9-4 DENNIS PRIESTLEY
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD ended the resistance of Dennis Priestley in the PartyPoker.net with a scintillating 9-4 victory.

Van Barneveld produced arguably his best display of 2008 to see off the two-time World Champion with an average of over 107.

Priestley himself averaged 102, but never recovered from the Dutchman taking leads of 3-0 and 5-1.

Priestley hit maximums in the game’s opening two legs only for van Barneveld to win both, and the Dutchman made it an early treble by hitting scores of 140 and 177 on his way to leg three.

Priestley defied another maximum from van Barneveld to get off the mark in the next, but a missed bullseye let the Dutchman in on double eight.

Van Barneveld then set up a double ten finish with yet another 180 to create a 5-1 cushion, with Priestley hitting back with a 145 finish in the next.

A brace of double two finishes put the Dutchman 7-2 up before Priestley edged two of the next three, including a 14-darter and a 117 finish, following missed doubles from his opponent.

Van Barneveld, however, regained his range with scores of 180 and 170 setting up a finish in leg 13, and he wrapped up the win on double eight.

MARK WALSH 9-6 WAYNE MARDLE
MARK WALSH held off Wayne Mardle’s fightback to win a place in his first televised quarter-final for over three years at the PartyPoker.net European Championship.

Walsh has endured some tough times since reaching the final of the UK Open in 2005, suffering from dartitis and dropping to the edge of the top 32, but confirmed his superb return to top form in Frankfurt.

Walsh now meets Phil Taylor in the last eight on Sunday, having produced a top-drawer display against Mardle.

He opened up a 4-0 lead after making a fine start, hitting 180s in the first two legs and taking out 96 in establishing a strong advantage.

Mardle won back-to-back legs to reduce the arrears to 4-2, with the next four legs going with the throw to leave Walsh in the ascendancy.

Mardle then followed a 13-darter with a 14-darter to pull back to 6-5, but his hopes of pulling level were dashed in fine style by successive 11-darters – hitting two 180s in the second – as he moved to the brink of victory.

Mardle landed a second maximum of the game in keeping his hopes alive in leg 15, but a missed double 18 allowed Walsh in to seal the win on double four.

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