PHIL TAYLOR and Raymond van Barneveld both overcame nervous moments before beginning their challenges at the Stan James World Matchplay with victories on Monday.

Taylor, an eight-time Winter Gardens winner, was pushed hard by Steve Beaton before taking a 10-6 victory in his opening contest.

Taylor averaged 103.5 and hit nine scores of 174 or more in overpowering Beaton to set up a second round clash with Colin Osborne on Tuesday night.

“I didn’t take Steve lightly and that’s why I played so well,” said Taylor. “I put him under pressure and he missed a few doubles, but it was a fantastic game.

“I’m a bit like Manchester United or Chelsea I think, people raise their game against me and Steve did that, but I’ll come out all guns blazing against Colin Osborne and that should be a cracker.”

Van Barneveld was made to sweat even more against Stoke qualifier Mark Frost, a scaffolder by trade who led the Dutchman 6-4 and 9-8 before succumbing to an 11-9 loss.

“I missed far too many doubles and let myself speed up into Mark’s rhythm,” said van Barneveld. “It’s not been my year so far, but hopefully I can relax a bit more now.”

Van Barneveld will face Tony Eccles in round two, following the Hartlepool ace’s 10-8 win over Kevin Painter earlier on Monday.

World Champion John Part opened his challenge with a 10-3 win over Chris Mason, who was hampered by nerve damage to an elbow which will require surgery next month.

Kevin McDine made a stunning World Matchplay debut to dump Stoke’s Adrian Lewis from the event with a 10-8 win in a thrilling contest.

McDine will now meet Mark Walsh when the second round begins on Tuesday, following the remaining five games in round one.

Defending champion James Wade kicks off his challenge to retain the £60,000 title when he meets Wayne Jones, while quick-fire Dutch stars Michael van Gerwen and Vincent van der Voort are also in action.

Stan James World Matchplay Results
Monday 21 July
Dennis Priestley 10-8 Adrian Gray
Tony Eccles 10-8 Kevin Painter
Matt Clark 10-4 Roland Scholten 4-10 Matt Clark
Terry Jenkins 10-6 Alex Roy
John Part 10-3 Chris Mason
Kevin McDine 10-8 Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor 10-6 Steve Beaton
Raymond van Barneveld 11-9 Mark Frost

Tuesday 22 July
First Round
1pm Start
Ronnie Baxter v Andy Smith
Alan Tabern v Vincent van der Voort
Andy Hamilton v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Manley v Denis Ovens
7pm Start
James Wade v Wayne Jones
Second Round – Best of 25 legs
Phil Taylor v Colin Osborne
Kevin McDine v Mark Walsh

JOHN PART 10-3 CHRIS MASON

JOHN PART produced a clinical demolition of Chris Mason to book his place in round two of the Stan James World Matchplay with a 10-3 victory at the Winter Gardens.

The Canadian failed to reach the heights which took him to a third World Championship title in January, but remained far too strong for Mason as he moved into the last 16.

Mason, who was hampered throughout by an elbow problem which will require surgery, never found his range, and was never going to recover after Part took a 4-0 lead early on.

The Canadian opened the match with a 120 ‘Shanghai’ finish, and secured two breaks of throw with Mason sat on a double.

Mason got off the mark in leg five on double ten, and further Part missed doubles allowed him to halve the deficit to 4-2.

But Part ruthlessly won the next three with Mason waiting on a finish, including a 91 finish before a 78 checkout, finishing on the bullseye, put him 8-2 up.

Double top moved Part a leg away from victory before Mason produced his best leg of the match, with three ton-plus scores followed by a 115 finish for a 12-darter.

But it was not enough to save him from defeat, with Part too strong in the next to book his round two place.

“I’m pleased to be through that,” said Part. “Chris struggled and it was nothing like our games have been in the past.

“It was easier than I thought it would be in a way, but sometimes when it’s easier you play mind games with yourself and lose focus, and luckily I got through it.

“Sometimes a guy can catch a run where they come back at you and I was also wary of that. But when it came down to the finishes I knew what I had to do and did it, and I took some good shots out.”

Part followed up his participation in the Las Vegas Desert Classic recently by playing in the World Series of Poker, where he reached the second stage before being eliminated well short of challenging for the $9million first prize.

“I’m going to have to have a good World Matchplay to pay the bills!” said Part. “It all comes down to losing at poker and I’ve got to win at darts if I can’t win at poker, and someone has to pay the price.”

KEVIN McDINE 10-8 ADRIAN LEWIS

KEVIN McDINE made a sensational Stan James World Matchplay debut with a 10-8 comeback victory over Adrian Lewis at the Winter Gardens.

The 23-year-old found himself 4-1 down in a battle of two of the sport’s top young talents, but supported his growing reputation with a classy comeback to see off Lewis.

Lewis had been a semi-finalist last year, but was left ruing a below-par display as McDine finished the stronger.

The Stoke youngster included a 116 finish and a crucial break of throw in leg four, after McDine missed five darts at a double, in taking an early 4-1 lead.

McDine hit back on double top, and a 171 score in next set up a break of throw on double 18 before he landed double eight to level.

The next four legs went with the throw before a 121 finish from McDine saw him secure another break to lead for the first time at 7-6.

A crucial double five from Lewis saw him break back immediately, after McDine missed three darts at a double.

The next two legs also went against the throw, and a double top finish saw McDine move 9-8 up and a leg away from the win.

Lewis set up a finish in the next, leaving 24 to send the game into extra time, with two clear legs needed for victory, but a clinical two-dart 74 finish propelled McDine into round two.

“It’s still a blur to me but I’m over the moon,” said McDine. “It felt great for me on stage but to be 4-1 down and win is amazing.

“I said I’d have to average over 100 to beat Adrian and to finish with a 96 average is very pleasing.”

PHIL TAYLOR 10-6 STEVE BEATON

PHIL TAYLOR survived a scare from Steve Beaton before beginning his challenge for a ninth Stan James World Matchplay title with a 10-6 win at the Winter Gardens last night.

The 13-time World Champion looked set to cruise to victory when he took a 3-1 lead, only for Beaton to battle back and provide nervous moments for Taylor at 4-3 and 5-4.

However, Taylor pulled clear to move into the second round, where he will meet Colin Osborne on Tuesday night.

Beaton opened the match with a 180 and added a second maximum in the opening leg – only for four missed doubles to allow Taylor to take the lead.

Taylor doubled his advantage on double 16, but a 180 was not enough in the next as Beaton got off the mark with a double 16 finish of his own.

The two traded 180s in the next, With Taylor taking out double four to lead 3-1 only for Beaton to power home a 152 checkout.

Although Taylor took leg six, Beaton produced a 121 finish for a 12-darter to pull back to 4-3.

The next two legs were shared to leave Taylor – who was 125/1 on with the bookmakers to win the match – sweating with just a 5-4 cushion.

However, legs of 14, 15 and 13 darts from the eight-time World Matchplay champion pulled him out to 8-4 before Beaton finished 95 on the bullseye to reduce the gap.

Beaton also remained in the game at 9-6 with a double seven finish, but a 174 score from Taylor – his fourth of 174 or 177 in the game – pulled him clear before his favoured double 16 saw him complete the win.

“I didn’t take Steve lightly and that’s why I played so well,” said Taylor, who averaged 103.5 in the win.

“Winning the first leg against the darts helped me but Steve never gave in and was brilliant. I put him under pressure and he missed a few doubles, but it was a fantastic game.

“I’m a bit like Manchester United or Chelsea I think, people raise their game against me and Steve did that, but I’ll come out all guns blazing against Colin Osborne and that should be a cracker.”

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 11-9 MARK FROST

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD was pushed all the way by qualifier Mark Frost before taking an 11-9 tie break win at the Stan James World Matchplay.

Frost, a scaffolder from Stoke rated at 7/1 to defeat the Dutchman, almost caused one of the greatest upsets in World Matchplay history when he took leads of 6-4 and 9-8 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

However, van Barneveld showed the class of a five-time World Champion to battle back from the brink of defeat to win the final three legs and take victory.

Frost made a fine start on his World Matchplay debut, hitting a 180 in winning the opening leg before van Barneveld won four of the next five to lead 4-2.

Frost hit back with successive 14-darters before making it four straight legs to move 6-4 up.

Van Barneveld, inspired by a 13-darter, hit back with a quartet of his own to edge 8-6 up, but missed doubles cost him the chance of wrapping up the win.

Frost, the underdog roared on by the Blackpool crowd, hit back with a 102 finish and also took out successive 16-darters to move a leg away from an incredible win.

A second 13-darter saw van Barneveld level, before six missed doubles from Frost cost him dear as the Dutchman took a 10-9 lead.

Frost also missed two darts at double top to save the match in the next, with van Barneveld landing double 18 to sneak into the last 16.

“I missed far too many doubles and let myself speed up into Mark’s rhythm,” said van Barneveld. “Late in the game I got back to my own pace and came through.

“It’s not been my year so far, but I put myself under a lot of pressure to succeed and hopefully I can relax a bit more now.”

Frost admitted: “It was an incredible experience but I’m gutted.

“Raymond’s the number two in the world but it could have gone either way and a few missed doubles at the end cost me.”

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