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REIGNING CHAMPION Scott Waites, former World Champions Raymond van Barneveld and Ted Hankey and Premier League Darts Champion Gary Anderson all suffered defeats in an exciting opening to the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts on Saturday night.

The £400,000 tournament kicked off at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall with eight first round matches from Groups A-D, as debutants Ian White, Dean Winstanley and Nigel Heydon stole the show.

Wildcard Qualifier White - who only came into the event on Monday when Simon Whitlock was ruled out through injury - defeated five-time World Champion van Barneveld 5-4 in their opening Group B clash to make a superb first appearance in the event.

Doncaster^s Winstanley, the 2011 Lakeside Championship runner-up, joined White in the winner^s enclosure with a stunning whitewash of two-time World Champion Ted Hankey.

"I^m so happy with the result and to be honest I^m lost for words," said a stunned Winstanley. "Ted is a superb champion and a great player but he didn^t take his chances tonight."

Hankey and van Barneveld will now play on Sunday evening knowing that the loser will be almost certainly eliminated from the event in the group stage.

A third debutant, Leamington Spa^s Nigel Heydon, defeated Gary Anderson 5-3 to claim the biggest win of his career a week after winning through the Wildcard Qualifier in Crawley.

Heydon now plays Wolverhampton^s Wayne Jones on Sunday night, after the home favourite overcame Brendan Dolan 5-2 in the opening game of the tournament.

Reigning champion Scott Waites began the defence of his title with a 5-3 loss to Michael van Gerwen, with the young Dutchman storming into a 4-0 lead before completing an impressive win.

Mark Walsh was a 5-2 winner against Tony O^Shea in Group A^s other contest, meaning he faces van Gerwen in Sunday^s second games and the Stockport star takes on Waites.

2010 runner-up James Wade, who lost an 8-0 lead against Waites in last year^s final, opened his challenge with a strong display to defeat Dave Chisnall 5-4 in Group D - coming from 4-3 down to take victory.

Justin Pipe impressed with a 5-1 defeat of 2008 runner-up Terry Jenkins, which leaves the Ledbury man needing to defeat Chisnall on Sunday night to remain in the hunt.

Sunday^s afternoon session sees three-time Grand Slam of Darts winner Phil Taylor in action as Groups E-H play their opening games.

Taylor faces 19-year-old James Hubbard as the Norfolk youngster makes his televised debut against the 15-time World Champion in Group E, from which Mervyn King and Steve Beaton also clash.

Wes Newton meets Swedish Wildcard Qualifier Magnus Caris and Paul Nicholson plays Barrie Bates in Group F, while Mark Webster faces Arron Monk and Jan Dekker plays John Part in Group G.

PDC World Champion Adrian Lewis opens his challenge in Group H against Welsh left-hander Martin Phillips, with Dutch pair Vincent van der Voort and Co Stompe also clashing.

William Hill Grand Slam of Darts
Saturday November 12
Groups A-D First Games
Wayne Jones 5-2 Brendan Dolan (C)
Mark Walsh 5-2 Tony O^Shea (A)
Dean Winstanley 5-0 Ted Hankey (B)
Raymond van Barneveld 4-5 Ian White (B)
James Wade 5-4 Dave Chisnall (D)
Scott Waites 3-5 Michael van Gerwen (A)
Gary Anderson 3-5 Nigel Heydon (C)
Terry Jenkins 1-5 Justin Pipe (D)

Sunday November 13
Afternoon Session - 2pm-6pm
Groups E-H First Games
Paul Nicholson v Barrie Bates (F)
Wes Newton v Magnus Caris (F)
Mark Webster v Arron Monk (G)
Vincent van der Voort v Co Stompe (H)
Mervyn King v Steve Beaton (E)
Phil Taylor v James Hubbard (E)
Adrian Lewis v Martin Phillips (H)
Jan Dekker v John Part (G)

Evening Session - 8pm-12am
Groups A-D Second Games
Terry Jenkins v Dave Chisnall (D)
Gary Anderson v Brendan Dolan (C)
Scott Waites v Tony O^Shea (A)
Dean Winstanley v Ian White (B)
Raymond van Barneveld v Ted Hankey (B)
James Wade v Justin Pipe (D)
Wayne Jones v Nigel Heydon (C)
Mark Walsh v Michael van Gerwen (A)

WAYNE JONES enjoyed a confidence-boosting victory on the opening night of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts at the Wolverhampton Civic with a 5-2 triumph over Brendan Dolan.

The local hero, who lost to Dolan in the opening round of last month^s World Grand Prix in Dublin, will now take on Nigel Heydon on Sunday evening in his second game in Group C following a revenge win over the Northern Irishman.

"I^m delighted to get the win tonight even if I didn^t play my best game," said Jones. "The fans here love their darts and I really wanted to make a positive start.

"To win this title in my home town would be amazing. But the objective over the next few days is to try and get through the group stage."

Dolan, making his first appearance at the Grand Slam after qualifying by reaching the World Grand Prix final, won the opening leg of the match with an excellent 100 finish courtesy of two double tops.

Jones, who enjoyed a superb run to the semi-finals at last year^s event, held throw by hitting double eight to win the second leg before kicking-off the next with back-to-back maximums.

That left Jones with the opportunity of completing a nine-dart finish, but his attempt at a seventh treble 20 fell below the target - although the leg was won in 12 darts as he took the lead for the first time and secured a break of throw.

Jones continued that excellent form to leave 40 after just 12 darts thrown in the fourth leg, but missed six darts at doubles to extend his advantage. However, Dolan missed two chances at double top and Jones hit double two to take a 3-1 lead.

Dolan won the fifth leg to keep in touch by landing double 11, but Jones won the sixth leg in confident fashion with a 14-dart finish.

Jones held the advantage of throw in the next leg but Dolan produced the better scoring and was first to a finish, only to miss a dart at double top to save the match as Jones stepped in to hit double ten and claim victory.

MARK WALSH secured a debut victory at the Wolverhampton Civic in the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a 5-2 triumph over Tony O^Shea.

The opening four legs of the Group A contest saw the match finely balanced before Walsh produced the more clinical finishing of the two to take three legs in succession.

Walsh won the first leg with a 61 checkout but missed three opportunities at doubles to secure a 2-0 lead and allowed O^Shea to level by hitting double four.

Walsh moved ahead for a second time by converting a 78 finish which was completed on his favourite double top.

O^Shea, making his third appearance at the Grand Slam, held throw to square the game at two apiece and had two chances to break throw in the fifth leg, but those chances went begging and Walsh hit double four to win it.

The Hertfordshire man then secured a vital break of throw by hitting double six to move 4-2 ahead before the first 180 of the contest in the seventh leg.

O^Shea managed to hit a maximum of his own but it was too little too late as Walsh stepped in to hit double top for the third time in the match to record victory.

"We were both very nervous out there as there so much riding on getting a good start in the group stages," said Walsh. "Tony certainly didn^t play his best tonight and I managed to capitalise on that. I^m happy to take the win and move on to my next game in the group."

DEAN WINSTANLEY enjoyed a memorable debut at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a whitewash victory over Ted Hankey in the first game of Group B.

Hankey, the two-time World Champion making his third appearance at this event, was unsuccessful with 14 attempts at doubles and now faces an uphill battle to qualify for the knockout phases.

Winstanley held throw to take the opening leg courtesy of an accurate attempt at double top after Hankey was off-target with three attempts at doubles.

The 2011 Lakeside Championship finalist then hit an excellent 14-dart finish to take the second leg and then won the third comfortably on double 16.

That put the 30-year-old Yorkshireman 3-0 ahead, and he then went to win the two legs to complete the whitewash with the aid of ten missed darts at doubles from his opponent.

"I^m so happy with the result and to be honest I^m lost for words," said a stunned Winstanley. "Ted is a superb champion and a great player but he didn^t take his chances tonight."

IAN WHITE stunned five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld in the opening night of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a dramatic deciding-leg victory.

White, who finished in third place in the Grand Slam of Darts Wildcard Qualifier earlier this month, was invited to compete in Wolverhampton after Simon Whitlock was forced to withdraw from the tournament with an ankle injury.

"It^s a brilliant win against a player of Raymond^s calibre," said a delighted White, who will take on Dean Winstanley on Sunday evening.

White made a confident start to the match by hitting double top at the first time of asking to hold throw and win the first leg.

Van Barneveld, whose best performance at the Grand Slam is a semi-final appearance in 2009, held throw to win the second leg but wasted two opportunities to break throw in the third, allowing White to lead again.

White then won the fourth leg with the aid of a maximum and an 82 finish to lead 3-1 but the Dutchman broke back by winning the fifth leg on double four.

Van Barneveld won the sixth leg to level the match at three apiece, but White took the lead again with a superb 90 finish on the bullseye to lead 4-3 after his opponent had missed four darts at double top.

White put the pressure on the five-time World Champion in the eighth leg after he left just 36 after 12 darts, but Van Barneveld kept his cool to slot home a two-dart 70 finish and set up a deciding leg.

Van Barneveld had the advantage of throw in the final leg, but White produced the more consistent scoring to set up a finish first.

The Dutchman fired a maximum to keep in it, but White hit double 19 at the second attempt to record a famous win.

JAMES WADE edged high-quality contest at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a deciding-leg victory over Dave Chisnall in the opening match of a tough looking Group D.

Chisnall, making his second appearance in Wolverhampton, led on three separate occasions but the world number three threw the important darts when it mattered to seal victory with a 13-dart finish.

"Thankfully for me Dave didn^t produce the high scoring in that last leg that he had shown in the rest of the match," said Wade, who was runner-up in last year^s competition.

"I would love to take home the title this year after the disappointment of losing the final last year, and this is a good start."

Chisnall recorded an 80 finish to win the first leg before Wade replied to take the second in just 13 darts.

Wade then hit a fabulous 161 checkout to win the third leg before Chisnall finished 68 to break back and level the match at two-all.

Chisnall, who won his first PDC Pro Tour title in Crawley last weekend, continued the high standard by hitting an 11-darter before Wade hit back once again to level with a 79 finish.

The St Helens ace hit his third maximum of the match in the seventh leg and went to win it 13 darts to keep up a 100 percent record on the doubles.

The eighth leg saw Wade miss two darts at doubles, but Chisnall was just-off target with his attempt at double top to close out the match, allowing the left-hander to step in and hit double ten to set up a deciding leg, which he went on to win by landing double top for a superb 13-dart finish which also featured a 180.

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN stunned reigning champion Scott Waites with a superb 5-3 victory in their opening Group A clash at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts.

The 22-year-old produced some stunning darts to lead 4-0 before the defending champion forged his way back into the contest.

But Van Gerwen closed out the match to start the tournament in excellent style, finishing the game with an average of almost 102.

Van Gerwen came out of the blocks firing with a fantastic 11-dart finish to win the first leg which then followed up by a maximum and a clinical two-dart 96 finish - for the second time in the game - to double his lead.

The Dutch youngster then hit a 177 on the way to a 12-darter to take the third leg and the fourth soon followed to leave the defending champion 4-0 down.

Both players hit maximums in the fifth leg, which was won by Waites with an excellent 125 checkout to get himself on the scoreboard.

The sixth leg saw the Dutchman guilty of missing four darts at double top to close out the game and Waites stepped in to hit a 64 finish and keep the match alive.

Waites then won his third leg on the spin to increase the tension, but van Gerwen hit a third 180 of the match at a vital time in the eighth leg and returned to the oche to hit double ten and record an excellent win.

"I am really happy," said van Gerwen. "I was delighted with how I started the game and although I missed a few doubles in the middle it^s a great way to start. I^m in a good position now."

NIGEL HEYDON enjoyed a dream debut victory at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a superb 5-3 triumph over Gary Anderson.

The Scotsman, who has reached the semi-finals twice in this competition, started the better by taking the opening two legs.

But Heydon hit back to win five of the next six to defeat the Premier League champion and make a winning start to Group C, setting up a clash with home favourite Wayne Jones on Sunday night.

Anderson hit double ten to break throw comfortably in the opening leg and then doubled his lead courtesy of a 13-dart finish.

Heydon, making his debut at the Grand Slam after winning the Wildcard Qualifier, hit double top to win the third leg and then won the fourth against the darts by landing tops once again.

The undertaker from Leamington Spa hit double top for a third consecutive leg to lead the match for the first time, but Anderson quickly levelled by taking the sixth leg.

Heydon hit a maximum in the next leg and won it with a 66 finish on double nine to move 4-3 up and one leg away from an excellent win, which that was confirmed in the next as he hit a superb 121 checkout on the bullseye to stun the Scotsman.

"I beat Gary the last time we played each other on the Pro Tour and that gave me confidence coming into tonight^s game," said Heydon.

"I had been struggling in the early part of the year but over the last couple of months my form has improved and it^s almost certainly secured my place in the World Championship next month."

JUSTIN PIPE secured his first victory at the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a 5-1 victory against an under-par Terry Jenkins in their opening clash.

Pipe lost all three of his group games on his debut appearance last year, but the in-form ace made no mistake against Jenkins and is now in a strong position in Group D.

The man from Taunton, who has won three Pro Tour titles in the last month, began confidently with a 116 checkout to break his opponent^s throw.

Pipe then hit double 16 to increase his lead to 2-0 and then won the third with a 117 finish with his opponent waiting on double 12.

Pipe hit double eight to win a fourth straight leg after Jenkins continued to struggle as he missed five darts at doubles.

Jenkins did manage to get on the board by hitting double top at the first attempt in the fifth, but Pipe completed a strong display by hitting double eight

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