WORLD CHAMPION Raymond van Barneveld stormed into round two of the Las Vegas Desert Classic with a 6-1 victory over Kevin Painter at the Mandalay Bay Resort on Thursday.

The Dutchman averaged almost 103 in a clinical display to see off Painter in style, restricting the world number 15 to just one leg in the match.

Van Barneveld, who reached last year’s final, will now take on Wayne Mardle in Friday’s second round, and said: “I felt comfortable today and my doubles were good.”

Phil Taylor’s defeat on Wednesday leaves van Barneveld as the bookmakers’ favourite to take the title, but he said: “There is always a lot of pressure on me and Phil anyway so it doesn’t mean anything else to me.

“There are 15 other great players left. Last year I beat Phil and lost in the final, and it’s an open draw now so we’ll see what happens.”

The draw produced a number of other tasty encounters, with Taylor’s conqueror, Mark Dudbridge, drawing defending champion John Part.

2003 champion Peter Manley, who defeated Holland’s Vincent van der Voort 6-4 on Thursday, will take on rising star Colin Osborne, while Mervyn King’s reward for a 14-minute, 6-1 win over Gerry Convery is a clash with Adrian Lewis.

Lewis hit six maximums in his 6-3 defeat of Steve Smith, while Dennis Smith came from 4-0 down to defeat Dennis Priestley 6-5.

Smith now takes on America’s Darin Young, who was too strong for Tony Eccles, while fellow home favourite Gary Mawson meets Alan Tabern – who ended John Kuczynski’s hopes in a final-leg shoot-out.

Roland Scholten, who was a 6-4 winner over Andy Smith, takes on Steve Beaton, while world number five Terry Jenkins clashes with two-time Desert Classic semi-finalist Wes Newton.

Las Vegas Desert Classic VI
First Round Results
Colin Osborne 6-5 James Wade
Gary Mawson 6-2 Stuart Holden
Steve Beaton 6-5 Andy Hamilton
Mark Dudbridge 6-5 Phil Taylor
Wes Newton 6-3 Colin Lloyd
Terry Jenkins 6-3 Ray Carver
Wayne Mardle 6-3 John Ferrell
John Part 6-4 Steve Maish
Mervyn King 6-1 Gerry Convery
Dennis Smith 6-5 Dennis Priestley
Darin Young 6-3 Tony Eccles
Peter Manley 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 Kevin Painter
Alan Tabern 6-5 John Kuczynski
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Steve Smith
Roland Scholten 6-4 Andy Smith

Second Round Draw & Order of Play
Roland Scholten v Steve Beaton
Wes Newton v Terry Jenkins
Peter Manley v Colin Osborne
Raymond van Barneveld v Wayne Mardle
Adrian Lewis v Mervyn King
Mark Dudbridge v John Part
Darin Young v Dennis Smith
Gary Mawson v Alan Tabern

MERVYN KING 6-1 GERRY CONVERY

MERVYN KING celebrated his Las Vegas Desert Classic debut with a 6-1 win over Gerry Convery at the Mandalay Bay Resort.

The PDC newcomer produced a clinical display to end the Canadian’s hopes in less than 15 minutes to book his place in the second round.

King dropped just one leg – a 14-darter from Convery which included one of two 180s from the Canadian qualifier – on his way to the win, and also landed a 121 finish.

Convery had initially levelled the match by winning the second leg, but King surged clear by taking the next three – including a 13-darter in leg five.

Convery paid for missed doubles in the next as King took a 5-1 lead, before the Englishman hit double 18 for the match.

DENNIS SMITH 6-5 DENNIS PRIESTLEY

DENNIS SMITH produced a stunning comeback to dump Dennis Priestley from the Las Vegas Desert Classic with a 6-5 win.

Smith, who fought through the qualifiers to win a place in the main field, looked set to lose in the first round to Priestley for a second successive year when he fell behind 4-0 early on.

However, he fought back to 4-3 and then sent the game into a deciding leg before prevailing to put himself into the last 16.

Priestley began superbly, averaging over 100 in taking the first four legs without reply, including a 134 finish in leg three.

Smith got off the mark in leg five with a 13-darter, and then took the next two to reduce the deficit to one leg.

He looked set to level the match by setting up a possible ten-darter in the next with scores of 180, 140 and 165 – but then missed six darts at the double to allow Priestley to steal in and move to within a leg of victory.

The double World Champion, though, missed doubles in the next two legs to allow Smith to level at five-all and send the game into the final leg.

Smith landed two 140s to put himself in command, and closed out the win with double top.

DARIN YOUNG 6-3 TONY ECCLES

AMERICAN Darin Young reached the second round of the Las Vegas Desert Classic for the third time in four years with a 6-3 win over qualifier Tony Eccles.

Young entered the tournament as the top-ranked US player following a series of events around America over the past 12 months, and showed his quality with a strong performance.

He landed a 180 in the game’s opening leg, and took a 4-1 lead before Eccles found his rhythm.

The PDC newcomer took two of the next three legs to get back into the game at 5-3, but was unable to prevent Young landing double ten to progress.

PETER MANLEY 6-4 VINCENT VAN DER VOORT

PETER MANLEY survived a fightback from Vincent van der Voort to keep alive his hopes of a second Las Vegas Desert Classic title with a 6-4 first round win.

The 2003 champion looked set to power into the last 16 when he took five successive legs to create a 5-1 lead in the contest.

He included back-to-back 14-darters in that run, before the Dutchman showed the fighting qualities which took him to the final of last month’s Blue Square UK Open.

Van der Voort took the next three to his back to 5-4, but Manley stormed to victory in leg ten, landing two 140s and then taking out 112 for the match.

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 6-1 KEVIN PAINTER

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD swept aside Kevin Painter to move into round two of the Las Vegas Desert Classic VI with a 6-1 victory.

The World Champion looked in imperious form against Painter, dropping just one leg and producing some clinical finishing.

He opened up a 5-0 lead with three 14-darters and two 15-dart legs, with Painter only once having the chance to hit back – in the second leg when he missed double four to level the game.

Painter did manage to get off the mark in leg six, with the Dutchman missing three match darts before the world number 15 landed double top to hit back.

It was too little, too late though for Painter, with van Barneveld taking out 116 for another 15-darter to seal a comprehensive victory.

“I felt comfortable up there and am pleased with that,” said van Barneveld, who averaged almost 103.

“My doubles were good, I think there were just two legs where I missed and I was usually the first or second dart.

“That makes it hard for your opponent and the 61 he missed in the second leg was important because it could have made it one-all.”

Phil Taylor’s defeat on Wednesday leaves van Barneveld as the bookmakers’ favourite to take the title, but he said: “There is always a lot of pressure on me and Phil anyway so it doesn’t mean anything else to me.

“There are 15 other great players left. Last year I beat Phil and lost in the final, and it’s an open draw now so we’ll see what happens.”

ALAN TABERN 6-5 JOHN KUCZYNSKI

ALAN TABERN sneaked past American star John Kuczynski in an 11-leg thriller to celebrate his Desert Classic debut in style.

The duo battled out an entertaining contest which went right to the wire, with Kuczynski sat on 40 in the deciding leg only to see Tabern land double top himself for the win.

The St Helens-based star had also hit six perfect darts in one leg, and took out 110 to move 3-2 up midway through the game.

That followed an early 116 from Kuczynski, who traded legs with the throw in the second half of the match and produced a superb two-dart 98 finish for an 11-darter in leg ten to send the game to the decider.

However, three tons from Tabern put him in command and he took his chance for victory.

ADRIAN LEWIS 6-3 STEVE SMITH

ADRIAN LEWIS progressed past the first round of the Las Vegas Desert Classic for the first time with a 6-3 win over Steve Smith.

Lewis has been a round one casualty for the past three years, and suffered a 6-0 whitewash to Phil Taylor 12 months ago.

However, he erased that memory with a high-scoring display to see off qualifier Smith.

Lewis landed six maximums in the match and restricted Smith’s chances throughout to move into the last 16.

Lewis opened with a 13-darter, and backed that up by taking leg two in 14 darts before Smith hit back to win the next two and level matters.

However, Lewis pulled clear by taking the next three without any serious pressure to move 5-2 up, including a neat 13-darter in leg seven.

Smith took out a tricky double seven to stay in the game in leg eight, but another 180 to open the next gave him the breathing space to seal victory on double top.

ROLAND SCHOLTEN 6-4 ANDY SMITH

ROLAND SCHOLTEN held of the challenge of Andy Smith to put himself into the last 16 of the Las Vegas Desert Classic with a 6-4 win in Thursday’s final game.

The Dutchman produced some of his trademark heavy scoring and capped a solid opener in the tournament with a fine 144 finish to seal the win.

Smith had come through the qualifiers to earn a place in the tournament, but found himself 2-0 down early on as Scholten started the brighter.

The Englishman hit back to level at three-all, but a double burst from Scholten put him 5-3 up and on the brink of victory.

A final-dart double 14 kept Smith in the match, but it was only brief respite and Scholten finished a sparking 144 finish on double 12 to progress.

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