PHIL TAYLOR cruised into the semi-finals of the StanJames.com World Matchplay with a 16-4 defeat of Kevin Painter on Friday night, while Raymond van Barneveld ended his quarter-final hoodoo at the Winter Gardens.

Taylor, the reigning and ten-time World Matchplay champion, rarely broke sweat in a clinical demolition of Painter, who was restricted to only four legs and few more chances at a double.

Taylor won seven successive legs to move from 2-1 to 9-1 up, before going on to seal victory in setting up a tasty semi-final with World Championship finalist Simon Whitlock.

“It’s another good win and I’m really looking forward to the semi-finals now,” said Taylor. “Simon’s been great for the past year and I’ll have to be on top of my game.

“My finishing was good against Kevin and I know I can step it up another level. Simon will have to be great and I think it will be a cracker.”

Whitlock had earlier overcome Jelle Klaasen 16-8 to reach the last four on his debut World Matchplay appearance, while James Wade’s win over Wayne Jones means that the 2007 champion takes on van Barneveld in Saturday’s semis.

Van Barneveld erased the memory of quarter-final defeats in the last three years with a 16-12 win over Co Stompe in an all-Dutch affair to remain in the hunt for the £100,000 title.

“There was a lot of pressure on me because for three years I lost in the quarter-finals so I’m really pleased to be in the semi-finals for the first time,” said van Barneveld.

“James is a world-class player but this is a great opportunity and I hope I win because I’m here to win this title.”

Saturday’s semi-finals will be the first darts matches ever to be broadcast in 3D, as around 1,000 pubs in the UK watch the action live on Sky Sports.

To find your nearest 3D pub, visit www.sky.com/3dpubs.

The semi-finals will also be followed by another first, the final of the PDC Unicorn Women’s World Championship between America’s Stacy Bromberg and England’s Tricia Wright.

The event sees a £10,000 first prize on offer, the highest ever paid in the women’s game, alongside the inaugural title, while the runner-up will take home £5,000.

StanJames.com World Matchplay
Quarter-Finals

James Wade 16-12 Wayne Jones
Jelle Klaasen 8-16 Simon Whitlock
Co Stompe 12-16 Raymond van Barneveld
Kevin Painter 4-16 Phil Taylor

Saturday July 24
Semi-Finals

7.10pm James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
9.00pm Simon Whitlock v Phil Taylor

Followed by:
PDC Unicorn Women’s World Championship Final
Stacy Bromberg v Tricia Wright
Best of 11 legs

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 16-12 CO STOMPE
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD broke his StanJames.com World Matchplay hoodoo with a 16-12 victory over Co Stompe to reach the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time.

The Dutchman has been a quarter-final victim at the Winter Gardens for the past three years, but won the all-Dutch clash to set up a semi-final on Saturday with world number three James Wade.

Stompe had hit three ton-plus finishes on the way to a 10-9 lead, but van Barneveld took three successive legs to seize command of the game before sealing the win.

“There was a lot of pressure on me because for three years I lost in the quarter-finals so I’m really pleased to be in the semi-finals for the first time,” said van Barneveld.

“James is a world-class player but this is a great opportunity and I hope I win because I’m here to win this title.”

Van Barneveld made an ideal start by breaking throw in the opening leg and then landing double four to double the lead, only for Stompe to reply with a 110 finish.

Stompe punished three misses from his compatriot to level the game before being left waiting on a finish – after a 180 left 56 – as van Barneveld posted double eight for a 3-2 lead.

He won the next on double four, but after the pair traded double top finishes Stompe landed checkouts of 117 and 96 to tie the game at five-all.

He then finished 118 to lead for the first time at 6-5, although the duo traded 180s in the next as van Barneveld squared the match, and the nip and tuck continued as van Barneveld hit back to lead 8-7 and Stompe finished 80 in the 16th leg.

Double ten put the five-time World Champion 9-8 up, but Stompe won the next two for a 10-9 advantage – only to then see van Barneveld level on double 16 and punish two misses to edge 11-10 up.

A 78 finish gave van Barneveld breaking space at 12-10, and though Stompe landed double top in the next a missed bullseye, for a 135 checkout to level, cost him dear as the number two seed took a 13-11 cushion.

Two further misses from Stompe allowed van Barneveld to move three legs clear, and double 16 moved him to the brink of victory.

Stompe landed a maximum and double 16 to stay in the game, but van Barneveld nudged clear to hit the same bed in completing the win.

“Sometimes you win easily and sometimes it’s a battle and this was a very hard battle,” said van Barneveld. “I’ve known Co for 20 years and we’ve travelled the world together, and it’s not easy to play your friends.

“He really performed well but I never felt comfortable on stage and didn’t score as well as I wanted to.

“Co hurt me with his big finishes and made me work hard, and he played a really good match.”

Stompe, appearing in his first World Matchplay quarter-final, said: “It’s not how I wanted the week to end but I didn’t take my chances tonight.

“Every time he went ahead I levelled it up but when it went ten-all but I had a poor leg and you can’t afford to do it against a player as great as Raymond, and he punished me.”

PHIL TAYLOR 16-4 KEVIN PAINTER
PHIL TAYLOR’S charge towards an 11th StanJames.com World Matchplay title continued apace with a superb 16-4 quarter-final win over Kevin Painter at the Winter Gardens on Friday night.

Taylor rarely broke sweat in an emphatic defeat of his long-term rival as he stormed into the semis, where he will face Simon Whitlock on Saturday night.

The world number one proved too clinical for Painter, who battled gamely but was unable to match the scoring power and finishing accuracy of the reigning champion, who hit three ton-plus finishes.

“It’s another good win and I’m really looking forward to the semi-finals now,” said Taylor. “Simon’s been great for the past year and I’ll have to be on top of my game.

“My finishing was good against Kevin and I know I can step it up another level. Simon will have to be great and I think it will be a cracker.”

Taylor landed a 180 in an immediate break of throw to win the first leg, and scored a 171 en route to the second leg, after Painter missed a dart at double top for a 116 finish.

Painter, who had only defeated Taylor once in 24 previous meetings, got off the mark by checking out 90 on the bull in the third leg, but the world number one reeled off seven straight legs to push 9-1 up.

That run was begun with a 13-dart finish, and featured checkouts of 106, 96, 94, 89 and two 68 finishes, with Painter given almost no opportunity in a barrage of sub-15 dart finishes.

Painter halted the charge with a superb 11-darter, which was begun with a 180 and ended with a 96 finish, but Taylor landed double four for the next leg and punished misses from his opponent for an 11-2 cushion.

He then posted a 13-dart finish, double eight and a 101 checkout in moving 14-2 up before a 119 checkout – sandwiched between quality legs of 13 and 14 darts from Painter – moved him to the brink of victory.

Painter hit a fourth maximum of the game in the next, but missed the bullseye for a 121 finish to keep the match alive, and Taylor pounced on double 16.

“Phil never seems to miss anything against me and that was the case again and you can’t compete against that,” he said. “If he doesn’t miss any doubles, with his scoring power, you’ve got no chance but I maybe should have won another four legs.

“I’m obviously happy to make the last eight and if I’d drawn anyone other than Phil then you never know what might have happened. Winning breeds confidence and I got a couple of wins and will go back into the top 16.”

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