Saturday November 19

Afternoon Session
Ted Hankey 14-16 Mark Walsh
Gary Anderson 16-12 Terry Jenkins

TED HANKEY was knocked out of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts on Saturday afternoon as Mark Walsh enjoyed a fine 16-14 victory in their quarter-final, with Gary Anderson defeating Terry Jenkins 16-12 to join him in the semi-finals.

Two-time World Champion Hankey threatened a stunning fightback when he came from 15-9 to trail Walsh by just one leg of their last eight encounter.

However, he missed three darts at double 16 to force a deciding leg before Walsh finished 90 to win through to only the second major televised final of his career.

“I missed an awful lot of doubles early on and I was always chasing the game,” said Hankey. “It didn’t seem to go for me early on but I’m happy – I played well enough and it just wasn’t good enough on the day.”

Walsh, the 2005 UK Open runner-up, will now meet Anderson in Sunday’s semi-finals as he searches for his maiden major title.

“At 15-10 I thought the game would be over soon and then he started coming back,” admitted Walsh. “I started to doubt myself and I thought I’d thrown it away, but he missed his chance and I took the 90 out.”

Anderson was also made to sweat before sealing his 16-12 win over Jenkins.

The Scot hit ten 180s and finished the game with an average of 99.97, with a mid-game burst which saw him win seven out of eight legs proving crucial before Jenkins hit back from 13-7 down to cause him some anxious moments.

“I’m relieved to have got through that,” said Anderson. “Terry’s best form is returning and he kept coming back at me.

“I knew there were a lot of 140s and 180s from me but the doubles are the main thing and I missed too many. I thought I was going to blow it at the end and started panicking, but I had a good winning leg.”

Saturday’s evening session sees the remaining two quarter-finals, as PDC World Champion Adrian Lewis plays former Lakeside Champion Mark Webster before three-time Grand Slam winner Phil Taylor meets Paul Nicholson.

MARK WALSH 16-14 TED HANKEY
MARK WALSH won through to only the second televised semi-final of his career with a thrilling 16-14 win over battling Ted Hankey at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts.

The Hertfordshire ace, whose only similar success in a televised major came when he reached the 2005 UK Open final, continued a superb debut at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall with a clinical defeat of the two-time World Champion.

Walsh led 8-3 and 15-9 in the race to 16 legs before Hankey took five straight legs to threaten an incredible comeback, finding his range on the doubles which had deserted him earlier in the contest.

Walsh missed five match darts as the tension mounted, but he regained his composure to finish 90 for a place in Sunday’s semi-finals, where he meets Gary Anderson or Terry Jenkins.

“At 15-10 I thought the game would be over soon and then he started coming back,” admitted Walsh.

“I started to doubt myself and I thought I’d thrown it away, but he missed his chance and I took the 90 out.”

Although Hankey took the game’s opening leg, he missed two early darts at a double in a taste of the finishing problems he would suffer throughout the game.

Walsh hit a 174 before levelling on double top in the second, and stepped in to punish Hankey’s misses in the next two to move 3-1 up courtesy of double four and double ten.

Walsh also landed a 180 in the fifth leg, but Hankey checked out 101 to cut the gap to 3-2, and after sharing the next two it was the Hertfordshire thrower who took command by winning four successive legs.

Hankey missed doubles to win three of them as his woes on double top and ten continued, with Walsh capitalising to move 8-3 up.

Hankey won the 12th, following up a 180 with a double top finish, and also landed a maximum in the next only to see Walsh follow up his earlier 180 with tops.

Walsh then finished 122 to move 10-4 up, and he bettered that with a 124 checkout after Hankey landed double 12 to move 11-5 up.

The next six legs were shared as Walsh moved two away from the win at 14-8, before a miss at tops from Walsh saw Hankey hit double ten to reduce the gap to five legs.

Walsh, though, hit a 180 and stepped in following a missed double ten from the Telford thrower to hit tops and move to the brink of victory – only for Hankey to spring to life.

A pair of double ten finishes won Hankey the next two legs as he fought back, and after trading 180s with Walsh he took out double two to reduce the gap to 15-12.

He posted another 180 in a 14-darter to take the next as Walsh missed tops for a 120 checkout and the match – and the drama continued as Hankey took a fifth successive leg in thrilling fashion.

Walsh opened with seven perfect darts but hit a three instead of treble 19 as his bid for a nine-darter went begging, and then after leaving 24 he missed two darts at double 12 and one at double six as Hankey posted double eight to keep the match alive at 15-14.

Walsh’s double trouble continued when he left 90 in the next, landing treble 20 but missing double 15 and then bursting his score – but Hankey crucially missed three darts at double 16 and he returned to finish the combination at the second time of asking to take the win.

Hankey admitted: “I missed an awful lot of doubles early on and I was always chasing the game.

“It didn’t seem to go for me early on but I’m happy. I played well enough and it just wasn’t good enough on the day, but I reached the quarter-finals and enjoyed the week.

“Mark played great, he was superb and I wish him the best of luck in the semis.”

GARY ANDERSON 16-12 TERRY JENKINS
GARY ANDERSON held off Terry Jenkins’ fightback to win through to the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals on Saturday afternoon.

The Scot hit ten 180s in another heavy-scoring display, although he was made to sweat as Jenkins threatened a comeback when he came from 13-7 behind to trail just 15-12.

Anderson, though, hit double ten to finally secure his triumph and a place in the last four of the Grand Slam for the third time in five years of the event.

Jenkins had defied a 180 from Anderson to take the game’s opening leg before the Scot levelled on tops and hit further maximums in the next two to break throw and then lead 3-1.

A fourth 180 followed in leg five, but Jenkins replied in kind and took out double top for a 14-darter to hit back.

He then took out 110 to break and double ten to lead 4-3 as Anderson stuttered, although he replied superbly with legs of 12 and 13 darts to wrestle back the lead.

Anderson missed three darts to win the tenth as Jenkins levelled, and after hitting double ten to break for a 6-5 lead was again punished as he missed seven darts at a double before his opponent hit double three.

Anderson, though, hit top gear to reel off the next four legs in effortless fashion, hitting three 13-dart finishes and a 14-darter to move 10-6 up.

Jenkins hit a 180 and a 78 finish to slow his charge, but Anderson replied with another 14-dart leg, a 128 checkout to break throw and double five for a 13-7 cushion.

Tops gave Jenkins his eighth leg and, after Anderson hit a 180 in a 13-darter, the pair traded maximums in the next as the 2008 runner-up cut the gap to 14-9.

Anderson hit double top in the next to move one leg away from the win, but Jenkins landed in the same bed in the next and punished a missed double 14 for the match in pulling back to 15-11.

Anderson also missed the bull for victory in the next as Jenkins hit tops, but Anderson landed three 140s to pull clear in leg 28 and landed double ten to secure his semi-final berth.

“I’m relieved to have got through that,” said Anderson. “Terry’s best form is returning and he kept coming back at me, so it was nice to get the winning leg eventually.

“I knew there were a lot of 140s and 180s from me but the doubles are the main thing and I missed too many. I thought I was going to blow it at the end and started panicking, but I had a good winning leg.”

Anderson now takes on Mark Walsh in Sunday’s semi-finals, and he said: “Mark’s playing well so it should be a good game. His form has been steady throughout the week and he’s done really well to get this far.”

Jenkins said: “I let Gary get into a lead and it was always going to be a big ask to pull it back. I came good at the end but wish I’d played like that in the middle of the game.

“I’m happy with how I’ve played this week since losing in my first game, and I know my form’s coming good so I’ll look to take that forward from here.”

Evening Session (7pm)
Mark Webster 5-16 Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor 16-7 Paul Nicholson
Best of 31 legs

PHIL TAYLOR and Adrian Lewis will clash in the semi-finals of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts on Sunday afternoon after they progressed safely past Paul Nicholson and Mark Webster at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Three-time Grand Slam of Darts champion Taylor swept aside Nicholson 16-7 to earn his spot in the last four as he bids to regain the £100,000 title.

Taylor led 3-0 and 8-1 before Nicholson hit back, but the 15-time World Champion had too much scoring power as he eased into the semis, which will be played on Sunday afternoon ahead of the evening’s final.

“I’m over the moon to still be in the running and it would be special to win this title back on Sunday,” said Taylor.

“It will be a hard day but I’m really looking forward to playing Adrian in the semi-finals because he’s having a good tournament so far and getting back to his best.”

PDC World Champion Lewis – the world number two – had earlier won through to the last four for the first time in the Grand Slam of Darts with a 16-5 win over Welshman Webster.

Lewis had seen John Part threaten a comeback when he pulled clear in Friday’s second round, but made no mistake 24 hours later by finishing 62 percent of his chances at a double in a clinical display.

“I started a bit slowly with my scoring but I was hitting my doubles and I kept Mark under pressure,” said Lewis. “I know I’m in good form and as long as my finishing is good I know that I’ll hit the scores.

“My finishing hasn’t let me down and I feel confident, and there’s no reason why I can’t go on to win the tournament.”

The other semi-final features Mark Walsh and Gary Anderson who had enjoyed tougher victories over Ted Hankey and Terry Jenkins respectively earlier in the day.

Anderson will be competing in his third Grand Slam of Darts semi-final as he bids to follow up May’s Premier League Darts victory with another major title, while 2005 UK Open runner-up Walsh will be appearing in only his second major semi-final.

Play in the semi-finals begins at 2.30pm, with the final to follow at 8pm on Sunday evening, and all games are the best of 31 legs.

ADRIAN LEWIS 16-5 MARK WEBSTER
ADRIAN LEWIS stormed into the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals with a 16-5 win over Mark Webster at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Saturday night.

The PDC World Champion’s best-ever run in the Grand Slam of Darts continued as he progressed to the last four courtesy of a clinical victory, as he hit 62 percent of his chances at a double.

Lewis failed to hit a 180 until the game’s ninth leg, which sparked a run which saw him crucially win eight legs out of nine to pull away from 5-3 to lead 13-4.

Webster took out 108 to threaten a fightback, but unlike John Part 24 hours earlier was unable to cause Lewis any headaches as the Stoke ace won three in a row to seal the win.

“I switched off when I got ahead against John Part on Friday but I learned my lesson and didn’t ease up this time,” said Lewis.

“I started a bit slowly with my scoring but I was hitting my doubles and I kept Mark under pressure. My manager Keith Deller told me to knuckle down and I came out focused and firing.

“I know I’m in good form and as long as my finishing is good I know that I’ll hit the scores. My finishing hasn’t let me down and I feel confident, and there’s no reason why I can’t go on to win the tournament.”

After Lewis edged the opener, Webster hit a 180 in levelling before the World Champion landed the bull for a 95 checkout in the third.

Lewis then missed the bull in the fourth as Webster levelled on tops, but the world number two took out 104 and a superb 152 to lead 4-2 before punishing misses from the Welshman to take out 80 for a three-leg cushion.

Tops gave Webster the eighth, but Lewis opened the next with his first maximum of the contest as he took out an 11-darter to lead 6-3.

He broke twice in the next three legs and then hit tops for a 13-dart leg to complete a run of five in a row as he moved 10-3 up, although Webster hit back with a 12-dart finish courtesy of an 88 checkout.

Lewis replied with three successive 14-dart finishes to move 13-4 up, before Webster defied another 180 from his opponent to take out 108 to take his fifth leg.

That would be his last chance at a double, as Lewis followed another 14-darter with a 91 finish as he moved 15-5 up, and he sealed victory in style with a 128 checkout.

“I’m disappointed with the scoreline and maybe it didn’t reflect the game, but I missed too many doubles early on and Adrian punished me,” said Webster.

“I’ve got to take the positives out of this week and it’s another quarter-final appearance for me in a major tournament. I’m ambitious but I’ve got to be patient too because I’m still learning.”

PHIL TAYLOR 16-7 PAUL NICHOLSON
PHIL TAYLOR’S quest to regain the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts title continued as he swept aside Paul Nicholson 16-7 to power into Sunday’s semi-finals at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Taylor never looked troubled after taking leads of 3-0 and 8-1 against Nicholson, who was unable to find the form which had seen him defeat the world number one in June’s UK Open.

Nicholson had won the pre-match bullseye but handed Taylor the throw in an attempt to win an immediate break, which initially looked set to pay off when he opened with a 180 only to then miss five darts to take the opening leg as Taylor hit double ten to hold.

Taylor then broke with a superb 11-darter, which featured a 180 of his own, before moving 3-0 up courtesy of double 16.

Nicholson hit his second maximum of the game in taking the fourth on double five, landing a pressure third dart after Taylor had hit a 177 to leave 24, but it was the Stoke ace who struck the next blow.

He hit a 180 in a 14-darter to enter the first break 4-1 up and followed that with a 174 score in a 13-dart finish which he ended on double top.

Finishes of double 16 and tops moved Taylor 7-1 up before two misses from Nicholson allowed him in to pull further clear on double five.

Taylor posted another 180 in the next leg, but missed his chance to lead by eight legs when Nicholson stepped in to land double 16.

A 14-darter gave Taylor a 9-2 cushion before Nicholson produced his best spell of the game to win three successive legs, following up a double top finish with a pair of 14-dart checkouts in pulling back to 9-5.

Taylor, though, replied in the same manner with a treble burst of his own, twice hitting double six and once landing double 16 in restoring his advantage at 12-5.

Nicholson hit back with double 16, but Taylor took out 80 and then finished 88 on the bull before a 13-darter, which featured two 180s and a double 16 checkout, moved him to the brink of victory.

Nicholson hit his fourth 180 of the game in an 11-dart finish to hit back, but it was only delaying the inevitable as Taylor posted a ninth maximum and hit double 16 for a 13-darter to complete the triumph.

“It was a good game and I really enjoyed that,” said Taylor. “Paul’s got a lot of bottle and he kept coming back at me, even though he wasn’t playing as well as he can.

“I’m over the moon to still be in the running and it would be special to win this title back on Sunday.

“It will be a hard day but I’m really looking forward to playing Adrian in the semi-finals because he’s having a good tournament so far and getting back to his best.”

Nicholson admitted: “The week as a whole has been good but tonight didn’t go to plan, unfortunately it wasn’t my time.

“I still enjoyed the game and I’ve learned a lot this week, which I can take on now to the Players Championship Finals and World Championship next month.”
Semi-Finals
Sunday November 20 (2.30pm)
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
Mark Walsh v Gary Anderson
Best of 31 legs

Final
Sunday November 20 (8pm)

Source – PDC/Lawrence Lustig