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Article: Clinical Henderson Ends Ally Pally Jinx

Clinical Henderson Ends Ally Pally Jinx

Jubilant Big John Henderson thanked the Gods as he finally Finn-ished his Ally Pally first round jinx. The Huntly hurler dumped Finnish ace Marko Kantele 3-0 in ruthless style at the Alexandra Palace last night. Hendo, 44, admitted in SunSport that he almost quit after losing a year ago but he dropped only three legs in his straight sets win this time. He admitted: “I feel as if I played OK. I know Marko from the BDO days and I know he can do a lot better than that. I didn’t feel either of us got into our A game but I’ll take a win. “Any win on this stage will do after my record here and I’m just delighted to get last year’s nightmare out of my system. That’s why I looked to the Gods after I won. I’m relieved more than anything. “I don’t look at any match as revenge on any player when I play Daryl Gurney in the next round, I’m a nice guy. “But I’d love to get one over Daryl. He’s a good guy and he’s playing well so I’m looking forward to Saturday. “It’ll be a great game like it was in the Grand Prix, the best man will win. “I did get a lot of confidence from beating Michael van Gerwen. If you can’t get confidence from that you never will. I’m still the last person to beat him, it’s a nice record to have! “I didn’t play my best up there tonight and I’m sure Marko would say the same. “But hopefully I can find my A game for Saturday because I’ll need to improve against Daryl because he’s playing very well.” The traditional Highlander fling was more of a lunge as he struggled in the early stages and it needed a cracking 160 kill to win the opening set in a decider. However, Hendo then stepped it up a gear. It was still a mix of beauties and the beasts but a clean sweep in the second set, including a delicious 121 and bull finish put him two clear. Just 12 months ago Highlander blew a 2-0 lead against Andrew Gilding, but there was to be no deja vu for Hendo. Three clinical finishes of double 12, tops and double 10 left the popular Scot looking to the heavens in relief, grabbing only his second Ally Pally win in six attempts. By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)

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