Thornton, Nicholson, Lewis & Painter Progress to Ladbrokes Round 2

Robert Thornton kicked off his challenge for the 2013 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship title with a straight sets victory over Sweden’s Magnus Caris. He took the opening leg with a 150 checkout, a  feat he was to replicate in the penultimate leg of the third set before going on to finish the match in style with another ton plus finish of 130.

World Darts ChampionshipAfterwards Thornton said, “I felt quite relaxed up there which is unusual as I’m usually quite tense, I’m taking it one round at a time and enjoying myself. If my scoring gets better and my finishing stays like that I have a good chance this year”.

The second match of the evening was a China v Germany preliminary featuring Andree Welge and Leung Chun Nam. The Hong Kong based soft tip exponent was clearly unfazed by the transition to the steel tip game; he produced a very solid performance to eclipse the wayward darts of his vastly more experienced (and much fancied) opponent to seal a 4-1 leg race victory.

Leung’s reward for eliminating Welge was a crack at the scalp of former Players Champion and Premier League star Kevin Painter in the first round proper and last game of the session. Despite a strong start from the Chinese qualifier, the step up in class against seasoned campaigner Painter resulted in less opportunities than those presented to him by Welge.The match ended in comfortable 3-0 win for The Artist, but Leung can be proud of his debut performance at the Alexandra Palace, having acquitted himself well and by his own admission ‘thoroughly enjoyed’ the occasion which saw him chuck 3 maximums against Painter on the big stage.

Crowd antagonist Paul Nicholson dropped just 2 legs en route to sending the likable but misfiring Co Stompe on the first ferry back to Holland, after a business like performance the Asset said “It is a huge relief to get through to the second round, my form hasn’t been great but I’ve worked harder than ever over the last 3 months”.

“I’ve spent hours and hours practising double 16 and double 8 which is a big part of my game down the left hand side of the board, I admit I’m not the best player but I’m the hardest worker and I believe hard work will one day pay off.”

Gino Vos exposed chinks in defending Champion Adrian Lewis’ armor, the Dutch youngster looked confident and relaxed as he claimed the first set. Lewis then squared the match and went on to pinch the third set as Vos, having initially gone two legs clear, failed to nail the all important set winning double.

The third and final set proved to be a messy affair as the bemused pairing missed doubles, bust scores and offered up sufficiently low quality tungsten to prompt jeers from the crowd. Lewis eventually escaped with a 3-1 win from a match he will want to put firmly behind him.

2013 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship Results

Friday December 14 (7pm-12am)

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1x Preliminary Round, 4x First Round
Robert Thornton 3  v 0 Magnus Caris (3-0, 3-1, 3-0)
Andree Welge 1 v 4 Leung Chun Nam (P)
Paul Nicholson 3 v 0 Co Stompe (3-1, 3-1, 3-0)
Adrian Lewis 3 v 1 Gino Vos (0-3, 3-1, 3-2, 3-1)
Kevin Painter 3 v 0 Leung Chun Nam (3-1, 3-1, 3-0)

2013 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship Links

Draw | Schedule of Play | Roll of Honour | Head to Heads | Beat The Tipster | 9 Dart Club | All Time Player Ratings | 2012 Results

PDC Match Report

Reigning and two times Ladbrokes World Darts Champion Adrian Lewis overcame a scare before defeating Gino Vos on the opening night of the £1 million tournament, with Robert Thornton, Paul Nicholson and Kevin Painter also picking up victories on Friday.

Lewis found himself a set down against the young Dutch debutant, who showed no nerves by winning the opener 3-0 to stun the defending champion at Alexandra Palace.

Lewis levelled by taking the second set but saw Vos miss darts to win the third set, before the Stoke ace edged ahead and then took the fourth set 3-1 to secure his place in the second round next Saturday.

“I’m very relieved,” admitted Lewis. “I’d felt really good in the build-up to the tournament but when I got here today I was really nervous, and my performance was pretty erratic in patches.

“I felt a lot of pressure and he had nothing to lose because he’s an unknown at the moment and up there to enjoy himself.

“I think at some points I was trying too hard but at the end the important thing was that I got the job done. I’ve got a week off and I’ll be hitting the practice board because I know I’ve got to improve.”

Robert Thornton, June’s UK Open champion who has been eliminated at Alexandra Palace by Lewis in the past two years, made a confident start to his challenge with a straight sets defeat of Sweden’s Magnus Caris.

Thornton dropped only one leg, averaged 99.06 and took out two 150 finishes before sealing the victory with a 130 checkout.

“I’m really pleased with how things went tonight,” said Thornton. “I had one or two loose darts but I’ll work on that, and if my finishing holds up I’ll be happy.”

Thornton will now play Paul Nicholson, the 2009 quarter-finalist who was also a straight sets winner in his clash with Holland’s co Stompe, losing just two legs.

“I’ve put a lot of preparation into this game and the difference between us was that I hit doubles under pressure, which is something I haven’t done this year so I’m really pleased,” said Nicholson.

“I stuck to my task and after getting myself a lead I stuck with it, and I took advantage of the lead and sprinted away. I’m trying to rediscover the Paul Nicholson of 2009 but I’ve still got to improve if I’m going to defeat Robert next week.”

2004 finalist Kevin Painter booked his place in the second round with a 3-0 defeat of Hong Kong’s Leung Chun Nam, who impressed on his debut in the tournament.

Leung, who won the Greater China Qualifier in October, knocked out Germany’s Andree Welge 4-1 in the preliminary round earlier in the evening and showed flashes of quality against Painter.

The experienced Englishman, though, proved too strong and hit a 160 finish as well as an 11-darter as he booked his place in the last 32 against either Ronnie Baxter or Dennis Priestley next Saturday.

“I thought he played some fantastic darts so I’m pleased to get through,” said Painter. “He’s an unknown quantity for me but he really impressed me with his win in the preliminary round and he

“I played some good darts and my finishing was okay, and I outscored him. That’s the best I’ve played for a little while but I’ve been working hard, and if you put the effort in then sometimes things come good for you.

“If I can go up there with sort of feeling in my second round game, someone’s going to have to play really well to beat me.”

The first round continues with a double session on Saturday, with former World Champion Richie Burnett facing World Youth Champion James Hubbard, Terry Jenkins playing Steve Brown, Wayne Jones meeting Jerry Hendriks and Andy Smith playing the winner of the preliminary round contest between Daryl Gurney and Robert Marijanovic.

The evening session sees 15-time World Champion Phil Taylor enter the fray when he plays Northern Ireland’s Michael Mansell, while three-time World Champion John Part faces Joe Cullen.

Dave Chisnall – who knocked out Taylor in last year’s event – plays top Australian Shane Tichowitsch, while Denis Ovens will play the winner of the preliminary round clash between 16-year-old German Max Hopp and South African newcomer Charl Pietersen.

Match Reports
Robert Thornton 3-0 Magnus Caris
(3-0, 3-1, 3-0)
ROBERT THORNTON breezed into the second round of the 2013 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship with a straight-sets victory over experienced Magnus Caris in the tournament’s opening fixture.

Thornton dropped just one leg during the course of the match and hit a brace of 150 checkouts and a 130 finish in a fine display.

The UK Open champion ended the match with a three-dart average of just over 99, and will now face Paul Nicholson for a place in the last 16.

Thornton kicked-off the tournament superbly with a 150 checkout to win the first leg before winning the second against the darts with the aid of a maximum.

The Scot, who has reached the last 16 of this event in the last two years, then sealed the first set by hitting double five to make a confident start to the contest.

Caris, making his fourth consecutive appearance at Alexandra Palace, improved at the start of the second set as he hit a 180 in the opening leg before claiming it thanks to a 64 finish to get his first leg on the board.

Thornton hit a maximum in the process of winning the second and the third also fell in favour of the man from Stevenston, thanks to a clinical 12-dart finish.

Thornton then won his third leg on the spin with an accurate attempt at double top to move two sets up and leave his Swedish opponent with a mountain to climb.

Thornton continued the dominate the contest in set three as he won the first leg in just 13 darts before hitting ton-plus checkouts of 150 and 130 to seal the game in excellent fashion.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking having to play the first match of the biggest tournament in darts, but I felt quite relaxed by the time I came out on to the stage,” said Thornton.

“My scoring was a bit rusty at times but my finishing was good. I’m really pleased with how things went tonight and I hope that continues in the next round.”

Preliminary Round
Leung Chun Nam 4-1 Andree Welge
HONG KONG’s Leung Chun Nam secured a first round tie against Kevin Painter thanks to an excellent 4-1 triumph over Germany’s Andree Welge in their preliminary round clash at the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.

Debutant Chun Nam won the first leg against the darts thanks to an accurate attempt at double eight before taking the second on double top, after kicking-off the leg with a pair of 140 scores.

Welge, making his fourth World Championship appearance, got a leg on the board by hitting double eight, but Chun Nam restored his two-leg advantage by landing double 16 in the next, after the German ace had missed a dart at the same double.

Welge missed two crucial chances to keep the match alive in the fifth leg, and Chun Nam hit double ten to secure a superb victory on his World Championship debut and set up a contest with the 2004 runner-up later in the evening.

Paul Nicholson 3-0 Co Stompe
(3-1, 3-1, 3-0)
PAUL NICHOLSON set up a second round clash against Robert Thornton after overcoming the challenge of popular Dutchman Co Stompe with a 3-0 victory on the opening night of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.

Nicholson produced a solid display against Stompe, who was unable to show the form that saw him reach the quarter-finals in 2009 and 2010 as he exited the event by winning just two legs.

“I took out some good finishes on double 16 and took the chances that Co gave me,” said Nicholson. “I stuck to my task and after getting myself a lead, and I took advantage of that and sprinted away.

“It’s a good feeling to get the first round out of the way but I know that I will have to play a lot better if I am going to beat Robert Thornton in my next game. He’s had a superb year and I was delighted for him when he won the UK Open.”

Nicholson missed four chances to win the opening leg before landing double two, only for Stompe to level by taking the second on double 16.

Nicholson, who lost to Kim Huybrechts in the third round of last year’s competition, hit a fine 106 finish to regain the lead and then won the set in the next leg by taking out 76 in two darts.

Stompe kicked-off the second set by converting a 72 finish before Nicholson held throw to win the second leg.

Nicholson then broke his opponent’s throw in the third by landing tops and took his third successive leg by hitting double 16 at the first attempt to leave Stompe two sets down.

Stompe hit a 180 at the start of the third set and left 40 after 15 darts, only to see Nicholson snatch the leg by hitting double eight, with his third dart, to win another leg

Two missed darts at double top from the Dutchman allowed Nicholson to hit double 16 in the next and move a leg away from victory.

The third leg saw Stompe miss another opportunity at tops, and Nicholson hit double eight to end the game and move comfortably into round two.

Adrian Lewis 3-1 Gino Vos
(0-3, 3-1, 3-2, 3-1)
ADRIAN LEWIS survived a big scare before confirming his place in the last 32 of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship with a 3-1 victory over Gino Vos.

The reigning champion fell a set down to the Dutch youngster, who also had opportunities to win the third set on his Alexandra Palace debut before Lewis hit back to secure the win.

Lewis had also had to come from behind 12 months ago in his first round game with Nigel Heydon before eventually going on to retain the title, and admitted that he was relieved to get over a potential banana-skin against the youngster.

“I’m very disappointed with my performance tonight and let my nerves get the better of me,” admitted the two-time World Champion. “I’ve probably never felt as nervous going into a game and at times I was probably trying too hard.

“I got the win and that’s the most important thing. I can go away now, get back on the practice board and try and work on things before I play again next Saturday.”

The 22 year-old Dutch ace made a bright start to his World Championship debut as he won the first leg on double eight before recording a 180 in the process of claiming the second.

Vos initially let three chances to win the set slip by in the next leg, but Lewis was off-target with two attempts at doubles and Vos returned to hit double eight to establish a 1-0 lead and put the World Champion under pressure.

Lewis, who has endured a mixed 2012 since claiming his second World Championship title, got his first leg on the board at the start of set two and then hit double four to move 2-0 ahead.

The Stoke star hit a 180 in the third leg but four missed darts at doubles allowed Vos to hit back on double top, only for the Dutchman to miss two chances of his own before Lewis levelled the game on double eight to take the set.

Vos made winning start to the third set as he hit double four to win the first leg, after Lewis was just off-target with his attempt at double 15 for a 150 checkout.

The Dutchman then won the next leg against the darts, but two missed chances to win the set in the next leg proved crucial as Lewis landed double five with a pressure third dart.

Lewis won the fourth leg with an excellent 108 finish and then took a tense deciding leg on double five to move 2-1 up and take a set he seemed unlikely to win at one stage.

Lewis produced his best form of the match at the beginning of the fourth set as he won the first leg with the aid of back-to-back maximums.

Lewis won the second leg to move a leg away from the match, but Vos kept the game alive by hitting double eight with a pressure third dart after Lewis missed two darts to end the contest.

The reigning champion, however, made no mistake in the next as he hit double top at the first time of asking to come through a tough battle.

Kevin Painter 3-0 Leung Chun Nam
(3-1, 3-1, 3-0)
KEVIN PAINTER made comfortable progress into the second round of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship with a comphrensive 3-0 victory over Hong Kong’s Leung Chun Nam.

The 2004 runner-up will now face Ronnie Baxter or Dennis Priestley next Saturday after a strong opening to his Alexandra Palace challenge.

“It was difficult playing someone who I wasn’t very aware off, but he acquitted himself well and I’m delighted to be through,” said Painter.

“I feel that tonight was the best I have played on television for some time. Since the Premier League I have found things quite difficult but I’m trying to knuckle down and practice hard and work on things.

“Whether I play Ronnie or Dennis in the next round, it will be a tough game. They are both extremely experienced and I know that I have to perform well on the day if I’m going to come out a winner.”

Chun Nam, who defeated Andree Welge in the preliminary round earlier on Friday evening, started impressively with a maximum in the opening leg, but Painter took the lead with a fantastic 160 checkout.

The Hong Kong player hit another 180 in the second leg and levelled on double three before Painter held throw for a second time to edge back ahead.

The fourth leg saw Painter hit a 180 of his own, and an accurate dart at double eight gave the Daventry man the opening set.

Painter secured a break of throw at the beginning of the second set after Chun Nam was guilty of missing four darts at doubles.

He then hit a 180 in the second leg, only for a missed dart at double top to allow Chun Nam to step in and secure an immediate break back.

Painter converted an 80 finish on the bullseye to take the third leg, and an accurate attempt at double 18 sealed the second set for the former Players Championship Finals winner.

The third set proved to be a breeze for Painter as he won it without reply, and he completed the match with an accurate first dart at double top to end the spirited challenge of the debutant.


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