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Article: Las Vegas Desert Classic

Las Vegas Desert Classic

DEFENDING champion Raymond van Barneveld crashed out of the Las Vegas Desert Classic with an 8-4 defeat to Alan Tabern on Friday.

The Dutchman had whitewashed Matt Clark in the first round at the Mandalay Bay Resort on Thursday, but failed to reproduce that form as the left-hander sent him packing.

Tabern won the final four legs of the match to pull clear from 4-4 to take victory and move into the quarter-finals.

"It^s the biggest win of my career on TV, without a doubt," said Tabern. "I feel I got what I deserved today, I didn^t throw away any legs and was pretty solid."

Tabern now meets Peter Manley in the last eight, after the 2003 champion knocked out Adrian Lewis 8-6 in a thrilling contest, which featured 11 maximums and saw Manley come from 4-1 down to win.


Desert Classic champion and world number one Phil Taylor cruised past Dennis Priestley 8-4, and now takes on Adrian Gray on Saturday.

Gray defeated Hampshire qualifier Sam Rooney 8-3, including a 160 finish to set up a repeat of his meeting with Taylor in the 2007 World Grand Prix, which the Sussex-based carpet-fitter won.

World number three James Wade moved into the quarter-finals with an 8-5 defeat of Mark Walsh, and faces Andy Hamilton, with the Stoke player seeing off Jelle Klaasen in a deciding leg after overcoming a 6-3 deficit.

The other quarter-final will see Roland Scholten, who overcame Terry Jenkins 8-6, take on Mervyn King.

King landed six 180s and three ton-plus finishes in his 8-6 victory over Darin Young to end American hopes at the tournament.

Las Vegas Desert Classic VII

Second Round

James Wade 8-5 Mark Walsh

Peter Manley 8-6 Adrian Lewis

Andy Hamilton 8-7 Jelle Klaasen

Roland Scholten 8-6 Terry Jenkins

Phil Taylor 8-4 Dennis Priestley

Alan Tabern 8-4 Raymond van Barneveld

Adrian Gray 8-3 Sam Rooney

Mervyn King 8-6 Darin Young

Quarter-Final Order of Play

Roland Scholten v Mervyn King

Phil Taylor v Adrian Gray

James Wade v Andy Hamilton

Alan Tabern v Peter Manley

Best of 21 legs

Play begins at 11am on Saturday (7pm BST)


JAMES WADE progressed to the quarter-finals of the Las Vegas Desert Classic with a battling 8-5 win over Mark Walsh.

Wade remains on course for a second successive major title, although he was forced to battle all the way by resurgent Walsh.

A year ago, Watford-based Walsh was fighting dartitis and had tumbled to the edge of the top 32, but pushed Wade all the way and even had his chances, pulling back from 4-1 to level at 5-5 but eventually paying for a missed dart at double top to lead.

Walsh landed two maximums in the second leg as the first two were shared, but double top edged Wade ahead and he then broke the throw after Walsh missed three darts at double top.

Wade kicked off leg five with a 180 of his own, and took out 72 in two darts to move 4-1 up.

Walsh replied on double ten and Wade took out a tricky double 13, but three successive legs, including a break of his own, saw Walsh square the contest.

Wade steadied any nerves with a 180 in the 11th leg, and he stepped in to move back ahead after Walsh missed one dart at double top for a 6-5 lead.

It proved crucial, with Wade then taking out 96 in two-darts to break Walsh^s throw again before he hit double four to seal the win.

"I^m just glad to be through," admitted Wade. "I^m not happy with my performance and I know I^ve got lots of improvement in me.

"Mark fought hard and came back well, but I did enough in the end."


PETER MANLEY booked his place in the last eight of the Las Vegas Desert Classic, edging out Adrian Lewis 8-6 in a classic contest at the Mandalay Bay Resort.

The 2003 champion was in sensational form with his finishing to overturn a 4-1 deficit and take the win.

Lewis played his part in a brilliant game, averaging over 100 for most of the clash but paying for missed doubles - especially at double top - as Manley battled through.

Lewis found an extra gear after the first two legs were shared, winning the next three to storm into a 4-1 lead.

Manley returned from the break to win three legs in a row himself, twice punishing misses from Lewis to level with two 13-darters and a 14-dart leg.

The pair traded 180s in the next, with Lewis taking a 5-4 lead before Manley took out 62 in two darts to square matters again with a 14-darter.

A 13-dart leg from Manley broke Lewis^ throw to put him ahead for the first time at 6-5, although the Stoke youngster hit his fifth maximum of the match to reply in the next after Manley missed double top.

But three missed darts at double top in the next cost Lewis dear, with Manley taking out 87 on the bullseye to steal the leg and move one away from victory.

Lewis also had chances in the next, missing four darts to stay in the game before Manley eventually landed double one to put himself into the quarter-finals.

"Maybe at 4-1 Adrian thought he would coast the game, but I did a job and just to get the win is fantastic," said Manley.

"Adrian will be a fantastic player in years to come, but he thinks he^s the best in the world at the moment and he still has to prove it.

"Although I finished up just under a 100 average, I think the Premier League this year proved I can average over 100 and that^s what you have to do to win a game at this level."


ANDY HAMILTON edged a final-leg thriller to knock out Jelle Klaasen in the Las Vegas Desert Classic with an 8-7 victory at the Mandalay Bay Resort.


trailed the youngster 6-3 and was staring defeat in the face, only to take victory in a deciding leg.

The game^s first five legs went with the throw to leave Klaasen 3-2 up before the Dutchman took advantage of seven missed doubles in the next to break the throw.

A 127 finish from Hamilton saw him hit back, but two double top checkouts from Klaasen put him 6-3 ahead.


landed double six in the next two legs, and then squared the contest on double ten after two missed doubles from Klaasen.

He landed a maximum on his way to the next leg, moving ahead for the first time in the game at 7-6.

Klaasen took out double top, with Hamilton on 41, to send the match into a decider, but the Dutchman lost his range and Hamilton, aided by a timely 180, had the breathing space to land double five for the win.

"That was the best double five I^ve ever hit," admitted Hamilton, who had averaged 100 in his first round win over Shawn Brenneman and now faces James Wade in the quarter-finals.

"Getting the win is the most important thing but I was nervous and didn^t play half as well as the first round.

"I played Jelle rather than playing the board. He^s quick and I quickened up with him but when I relaxed I scored well.

"I^ve got to improve on this against James but I beat him the last time we played and I know what I need to do in the quarter-finals."


ROLAND SCHOLTEN sneaked past Terry Jenkins 8-6 to reach the quarter-finals of the Las Vegas Desert Classic.

The Dutchman continued a strong challenge at the Mandalay Bay Resort to see off the world number five.

A game of two halves saw the opening seven legs go against the throw before both found another gear, with a break from Scholten - in leg 13 - proving crucial in pulling him to the win.

Scholten took out 120 to win the opening leg, and both players traded 12-darters as the Dutchman held a slender 4-3 lead.

He then landed double top to hold throw for the first time in the game in leg eight and move 5-3 up, but six perfect darts in the next were not enough to extend the advantage, with Jenkins taking out 81 on the bullseye.

The two traded maximums in leg ten before Scholten held throw and he led 6-5 before Jenkins took advantage of a missed bullseye to level at six-all.

But, crucially, Scholten broke straight back on double top to go 7-6 up and then landed the same bed to take victory.


PHIL TAYLOR saw off old foe Dennis Priestley 8-4 to march into the quarter-finals of the Las Vegas Desert Classic.


was in merciless form to see off Kevin Painter in round one, and produced some ruthless finishing and remain on course for a fourth Desert Classic title.

Taylor kicked off the match with a 14-darter, and added a 101 finish before breaking Priestley^s throw in leg four after the Yorkshireman missed three doubles.


then added a third maximum of the match to open leg give, and landed double eight for a 4-1 lead at the first break.

Priestley responded in 14 darts and then took out 76 on double top to pull back to 4-3.

But two double top finishes pulled Taylor clear again at 6-3, and though Priestley hit back to take the tenth leg a 109 finish from Taylor took him to the brink of victory.


then ensured his place in the last eight on double top.

"My average wasn^t as good as Wednesday against Kevin but it^s a win and that^s what is important," said Taylor.

"Dennis was strong and at 4-1 he could still have come back. He^s a fantastic scorer and he grinds you down, but I managed to hold him off."


ALAN TABERN sent defending champion Raymond van Barneveld crashing out of the Las Vegas Desert Classic with a sensational 8-4 win at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

Tabern had to win through the qualifiers just to earn a place in the televised stages of the tournament, but claimed the biggest victory of his career to move into the quarter-finals.

Van Barneveld failed to find the form which took him to the title 12 months ago, slumping to defeat as Tabern won four successive legs to pull away from four-all to take the win.

The opening five legs went with the throw to leave Tabern 3-2 up, and the St Helens man took the first break of throw in leg six.

Van Barneveld responded well to break back in 13 darts, and matched that in the next to level at 4-4.

But he missed four darts at a double in the next, with Tabern taking out double 12 and then breaking again on double top after landing his first maximum of the game.

Double 16 put Tabern a leg away from victory, and the pair traded maximums in the next before Tabern landed double ten for the win.

"It^s the biggest win of my career on TV, without a doubt," said Tabern, "I feel I got what I deserved today, I didn^t throw away any legs and was pretty solid."


ADRIAN GRAY reached his first quarter-final at the Las Vegas Desert Classic with an 8-3 victory over Sam Rooney.

The 27-year-old from Sussex produced a brilliant finishing performance to overcome the PDC newcomer, who had knocked out Colin Lloyd in round one.

Gray pulled clear from 2-2 to 5-2 with a flawless display of finishing, including a double 16 to break Rooney^s throw in leg six and a double 18 in the next after his opponent had missed three darts at the same bed.

Double 18 helped Gray break throw in the next to move 6-2 up, but his first misses of the match in leg nine allowed Rooney back in.

The youngster then produced a killer blow to take a 7-3 cushion, taking out a sensational 160 with Rooney sat on a finish.

And he landed a third maximum of the game in the next to pull clear of Rooney, allowing for four misses at the double before sealing victory on double one.

Gray now meets world number one Phil Taylor in the quarter-finals, having defeated the 13-time World Champion in last year^s SkyBet World Grand Prix.

"My finishing was great and that proved the difference," said Gray. "I felt comfortable, especially on double 18, and I^m in confident mood.

"I^ve got Phil next and I^ve beaten him before so he holds no fear for me, and I can go up there and enjoy it."


MERVYN KING produced a heavy-scoring showing to see off Darin Young and book his place in the quarter-finals of the Las Vegas Desert Classic.

King landed six maximums and three ton-plus finishes to end American hopes in the Desert Classic on Independence Day.

Young played his part in a superb contest, but a mid-game blitz from the Englishman saw him into the last eight for the first time in Las Vegas.

Young led 2-1 early on, only for King to then win three successive legs, taking out 114 and 116 before a 12-darter from the American pulled him back to 4-3 - with King having hit back-to-back maximums to leave 41 after nine darts.

King then opened leg eight with two more 180s to hit four successively, winning the leg in 11 darts and also taking out a key 150 finish in leg ten to lead 6-4.

Young responded well with legs of 15 and 11 darts to square the match, only for King to again find another gear, hitting three ton-plus scores in the next two legs as he posted 14 and 13-darters to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

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