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Article: World Grand Prix - Night Two Round-Up World Grand Prix - Night Two Round-Up World Grand Prix - Night Two Round-Up

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD and James Wade ended the hopes of crowd favourites John MaGowan and Mick McGowan with convincing wins in the first round of the World Grand Prix on Tuesday night.

Dutchman van Barneveld began his bid to reach a third successive final at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin with a straight sets defeat of 69-year-old MaGowan.

Van Barneveld dropped only one leg in his win as he made a steady return to action following a two-month break since the European Championship.

"I^m working hard but I^m not at my best yet and I^m just pleased to be through because there are a lot of players who played better than me in the first round, average-wise, and are out," said the Dutchman. "I^d rather have a worse average and win my games."

2007 champion Wade, meanwhile, won both sets against Balbriggan^s Mick McGowan to move into the second round and set up a clash with Colin Osborne on Thursday.

Wade failed to hit top gear, and admitted: "I^m a bit disappointed in my performance but it^s a win and I^ll take that because since I won the event two years ago I^ve lost twice in the first round.

"I showed glimpses of my best but it depends which James Wade turns up on the night and hopefully I can keep that winning mentality in the second round."

Osborne^s narrow 2-1 win over Holland^s Co Stompe saw him win past the first round in only his third televised event in the last ten, as he looks to challenge for the £100,000 title.

Van Barneveld will take on Mark Walsh in the last 16 after the Hertfordshire man won his game against local rival Denis Ovens in straight sets.

Walsh was impressive in his accuracy with both his starting and finishing doubles, and later revealed he has employed a sports psychologist to help him overcome his recent double trouble.

"I^ve had trouble with my doubles for about six months, losing games I shouldn^t be losing," said Walsh. "I^ve only been seeing him for about three weeks but he^s helped me big time."

Another Irish hopeful, 24-year-old William O^Connor, was defeated in straight sets by Barrie Bates on his World Grand Prix debut, and the Welshman will now take on room-mate Wes Newton at the Citywest Hotel in round two.

Newton also impressed in round one, defeating 2004 champion Colin Lloyd 2-0 and only dropping one leg in securing a second round spot.

Simon Whitlock wrapped up a straight sets win over Australian rival Paul Nicholson with a brilliant 170 finish to set up a second round tie with Andy Hamilton, who knocked out two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley 2-0.

The tournament^s second round begins on Wednesday evening at 6pm, with the games including reigning champion Phil Taylor up against Andy Smith.

Tickets for the World Grand Prix are still available on 0818 33 33 44 or from, or in person at the Citywest Hotel Convention Centre. World Grand Prix
Tuesday October 5
First Round
Dennis Priestley 0-2 Andy Hamilton
Denis Ovens 0-2 Mark Walsh
Colin Osborne 2-1 Co Stompe
Colin Lloyd 0-2 Wes Newton
James Wade 2-0 Mick McGowan
Raymond van Barneveld 2-0 John MaGowan
Simon Whitlock 2-0 Paul Nicholson
William O^Connor 0-2 Barrie Bates

Second Round - best of five sets
Wednesday - 6pm start
Wayne Jones v Steve Brown
Terry Jenkins v Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor v Andy Smith
Gary Anderson v Kevin Painter
Thursday - 6pm start
Raymond van Barneveld v Mark Walsh
Simon Whitlock v Andy Hamilton
James Wade v Colin Osborne
Wes Newton v Barrie Bates

(3-1, 3-2)
ANDY HAMILTON battled past Dennis Priestley to win through to the second round of the World Grand Prix in straight sets at the Citywest Hotel.

Hamilton made a solid start to his challenge in the double-start event, but was pushed all the way by the plucky Yorkshireman.

Hamilton, the Stoke-born star now based in Derby, made a confident start by taking out 66 in two darts in the opening leg, before Priestley replied with a 180 in levelling.

Double ten gave Hamilton the third, and he punished a slow start from the two-time World Champion in leg four - as Priestley missed six starting doubles - to take out double eight for a 14-dart finish in wrapping up the set.

Hamilton also landed a 180 to leave 40 in the second set^s opener, but Priestley brought the Citywest Hotel crowd to its feet with a party-piece 100 finish of single 20 and two double tops.

He came back from missing six starting doubles in the second to open with a 160 and also hit a 180 before punishing a missed double 16 from Hamilton to hit the same bed and establish a 2-0 lead in the set.

Hamilton, though, hit a 180 and took out double 16 to win the third, as Priestley waited on 40, and also hit a maximum and double nine to level.

Priestley battled to save the match, but Hamilton was first to a finish in the next leg, missing the bullseye for a 170 finish before returning to post double four for the win.

"It^s always tough playing against Dennis because he^s a good old pro and it^s hard in the first round," said Hamilton. "I can relax and play better darts now because the format^s longer and I^m playing well.

"I hit my double 16 well and for some reason I love the double-start.

"In the last couple of years I^ve done well here and I want to do that again, and if I can get further than I did last year, when I reached the semi-finals, that would be great."

(3-0, 3-2)
MARK WALSH produced a fine display of doubling to defeat Denis Ovens in straight sets at the World Grand Prix.

Walsh made one of the most confident starts to the tournament to defeat his Hertfordshire rival and set up a second round date with either Raymond van Barneveld or John MaGowan on Wednesday with a strong display.

Walsh opened the game with a show of intent with a 13-dart finish, immediately landing the double top which would become a feature of his display.

He stepped in to take the second leg on double ten, after Ovens missed double 16 for a 108 finish, before opening the third with a 160 score and landing tops for the first set.

Ovens took the second set^s opener, but a brace of double top finishes put Walsh 2-1 up, as he established a record of hitting five from seven attempts at a finishing double.

Three missed match darts in leg four allowed Ovens to take out double top to level, but he regained his range in the decider before landing double ten to wrap up the win.

"I was feeling good and tops was going in, normally first dart, so I was very happy," said Walsh.

"I had some nerves there at the end but I^ve been speaking to a sports psychologist and he^s been teaching me how to get over these things. This proved that I^m getting there."

(3-2, 0-3, 3-1)
COLIN OSBORNE banished his doubling demons with a three-set win over Co Stompe in the World Grand Prix on Tuesday night.

Osborne has suffered a torrid time in the PDC^s major televised events since reaching the final of the UK Open 18 months ago, losing in the first round in seven of the nine tournaments in that time, but edged out Stompe to move into the last 16 in Dublin.

Osborne was actually punished for his missed doubles in the opening two legs, as Stompe established a 2-0 lead, before the Dutchman hit a 180 in the third leg.

However, Derby ace Osborne finished 90 on double 16 to get off the mark in leg three and hit a 174 score and double ten to level the set.

Stompe then missed ten starting doubles in the deciding leg, allowing Osborne the chance to miss eight finishing doubles to win the set before landing double ten.

Stompe found his range in the second set, opening on double 12 and taking out 110 in the second leg, before punishing three misses from Osborne to take out double top and level the game.

However, nine misses to start in the third set^s opener proved costly as Osborne posted double top to lead.

Osborne then kicked off the second with a 160 score and took the leg on double two to move a leg away from victory.

Double ten from Stompe kept the match alive, but Osborne was swift to wrap up the win by taking out 88 on double seven to wrap up victory.

"I^m very relieved," said Osborne. "The first round is always the toughest because you just want to get through that and get into the competition.

"Once I got off I scored heavily and I felt I should have won the game, but from 200 downwards I felt I was messing about. It was only Co^s starting, where he took three or six or seven doubles to start which gave me 200 or so start, but I scraped over the line."

Osborne added: "It wasn^t just getting through the first round for me though in this game because it^s a year to the day since my dad passed away and it means a lot more than just a winning game of darts tonight.

"Last year I came off stage and found out the news at almost exactly the same time, but life goes on and I^ll be back on Thursday for the second round.

"The personal problems are no excuse for my performances on TV in the last year, though, and darts-wise I^ve not had the best seven or eight months since reaching the semis at the Players Championship Finals.

"I^ve not had enough luck and hopefully I can kick on from here and have a good rest of the year."

(3-0, 3-1)
WES NEWTON roared into the second round of the World Grand Prix with a brilliant display to defeat Colin Lloyd 2-0.

Newton dropped only one leg in a comprehensive win, denying Lloyd a dart at a finishing double until the fifth leg of the contest before closing out a memorable victory.

Newton was flawless on his opening doubles in the first set, and finishes of double 16, double ten and double four - the latter for a 14-darter - saw him win the opener without reply.

He also took the first leg of the second set before missing three darts to open the next - the first time in the game he struggled to get away, allowing Lloyd in to land double five to get on the scoreboard.

However, Newton regained the advantage, and pulled clear despite a 160 from Lloyd in the next before securing the win on double top.

"I was getting off really well and finished well," said Newton. "My scoring can go better but I^m glad to get the first round out of the way and we^ll see what happens from now because I^m really happy with my game at the minute.

"I play double-start in a local league in Fleetwood and that probably helps me, but the key thing is to get in and I did that. I took my chances and I^m happy to be through to the next round."

Newton will now face Barrie Bates in the second round - a game which sees him clash against his close friend and room-mate.

"We^ve already said that there will be no friends in the second round so we^ll see what happens," said Newton. "It^s a professional game and you^ve got to be professional about it.

"We^ll have a beer afterwards but once we get on stage there^s no sentiment.

"We^ve all done it before because we play each other week-in and week-out on the circuit, and you^ve got to forget who you^re playing and play the board.

"I^m looking forward to it and hopefully I^ll get through the game."

(3-1, 3-1)
JAMES WADE began his challenge for a second World Grand Prix title with a straight sets defeat of Irishman Mick McGowan at Dublin^s Citywest Hotel.

Wade showed no mercy against the home favourite to book his place in the last 16 of the tournament, where he will face Colin Osborne on Wednesday night.

Double five gave the 2007 winner the opening leg, and he hit a nerve-settling 180 in setting up double 16 for the second.

McGowan posted double top to get off the mark in the third, to the delight of his vocal support in the crowd who had travelled from Balbriggan, although he could only watch as another 180 and double top helped Wade wrap up the set.

McGowan opened the second set in winning fashion, but a brace of double ten finishes from Wade moved him 2-1 up, and he wrapped up a comprehensive win on double five.

"I^m a bit disappointed in my performance but it^s a win and I^ll take that," said Wade. "The win was well overdue because since I won the event two years ago I^ve lost twice in the first round.

"I showed glimpses of my best but it depends which James Wade turns up on the night and hopefully I can keep that winning mentality in the second round."

(3-0, 3-1)
DUTCHMAN Raymond van Barneveld swept aside veteran John MaGowan by dropping only one leg in a straight sets win to begin his World Grand Prix challenge.

Van Barneveld, the runner-up for the past two years in Dublin, wasted little time in booking a second round clash with Mark Walsh on Thursday.

The five-time World Champion was making his first competitive appearance for two months, and showed some signs of rustiness in seeing off the 69-year-old.

Van Barneveld took out double eight and double 16 to win the game^s opening two legs, settling any nerves on his return to the big stage, before winning the set on double one with his sixth dart to finish the third leg.

MaGowan missed the bull to take the second set^s opener, which van Barneveld took on double ten, before a miss at double 19 from the Dutchman allowed the Donaghadee man - a quarter-finalist in 2005 - to open his account on double 18.

However, MaGowan paid for failing to finish off the third leg, firstly missing the bullseye before miscounting when needing 49 - mistakenly taking out 39 instead.

Van Barneveld returned to take out 64 for a 2-1 lead, and he sealed the win on double eight.

"I found it hard to get into my rhythm and hold my concentration because John^s a slower player but I can look ahead to round two now," said van Barneveld.

"The first set went alright but I lost my concentration a little bit. John miscounted and let me in and I finished the job off.

"I^m working hard but I^m not at my best yet and I^m just pleased to be through because there are a lot of players who played better than me in the first round, average-wise, and are out.

"I^d rather have a worse average and win my games. Mark Walsh has a good record against me recently but maybe that will be good for me because I know I^ve got to work hard."

(3-1, 3-1)
SIMON WHITLOCK landed a brilliant 170 finish to complete at 2-0 win over Australian rival Paul Nicholson at the World Grand Prix.

Whitlock enjoyed a successful debut in the double-start event, setting up a tasty second round contest with Andy Hamilton on Thursday as he continued an impressive year.

The number six seed initially found the format hard to handle, with Nicholson winning the opening leg with a 72 finish, but double top saw the World Championship finalist level.

He then hit top gear in the third leg, with a 180 leaving 164 before he missed the bull for the showpiece finish, although he was able to return to win the leg and lead 2-1 before securing the set on double six.

Nicholson came out of the blocks firing in the second set, hitting five perfect darts with scores of 160 and 123, and a 180 left him double 19 as he took out an 11-dart finish.

However, he frustratingly struggled to hit a starting double in the second leg as Whitlock levelled, before missing tops in the third as double 16 gave Whitlock a 2-1 advantage.

Whitlock then wrapped up the win in style with a maximum 170 finish to ensure a winning debut in the Dublin tournament.

"I took a bit of time to get started but I came good in the end," said Whitlock. "I^d love to have a good run this week and to get my first win on TV would be a dream come true, and I^ll keep pushing until I get one.

"But I^ve got to get past Andy first and he^s a great player who^ll be hard to beat and I^ll have to be at my best on Thursday if I want to get any further."

(3-1, 3-0)
BARRIE BATES denied William O^Connor a dream World Grand Prix debut as he defeated the Limerick youngster in straight sets at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.

O^Connor has enjoyed a whirlwind year since turning professional in April, qualifying for the UK Open and also winning a spot in the double-start event, but won only one leg on his Dublin debut.

The 24-year-old had his chances early on but paid for missed doubles in the opening two legs as Bates punished him.

While double 18 from the Welshman saw him step in after two misses from O^Connor in the opener, nerves took over as he wasted nine chances to win leg two before double one saw Bates take a 2-0 lead.

O^Connor regained his composure to take out double 16 in the third, to the delight of his travelling fans from Limerick, but Bates swiftly wrapped up the opening set on double 18.

Bates took the second set^s opener under little pressure from the home hopeful, and an 84 finish saw the Welsh ace break and move a leg away from the win, which was sealed on double four in the next.


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