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Article: O^Shea & Thornton Ensure Progression In Wolverhampton

O^Shea & Thornton Ensure Progression In Wolverhampton

TONY O^SHEA and Red Dragon’s Robert Thornton booked their places in the second round of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts on Sunday evening.

O^Shea, a quarter-finalist in last year^s tournament, continued his impressive start to the £400,000 event with a 5-1 win over PDC world number two James Wade.

Thornton, meanwhile, produced his finest televised performance for 18 months with a 5-2 win over Dave Chisnall, who took out finishes of 118 and 116 for his two legs but could not match the Scot^s scoring.

Thornton^s win meant Australian Simon Whitlock was eliminated after he followed up his opening day defeat to Chisnall with a 5-4 win over resurgent Colin Osborne, who now takes on Chisnall on Tuesday for a place in the last 16.

Mervyn King put one foot into the second round thanks to his 5-3 win over Terry Jenkins as he remained unbeaten, with John Henderson seeing off Stacy Bromberg 5-2 in the other Group C contest.

Gary Anderson also remained unbeaten in Group B after two games, winning 5-2 against home favourite Wayne Jones, while Mark Webster^s hopes remain alive after his 5-3 defeat of Mark Hylton.

Monday^s play sees Groups E-H play their second matches, including the eagerly-awaited showdown between Stoke-born duo Phil Taylor and Ted Hankey, Raymond van Barneveld up against Colin Lloyd and Paul Nicholson facing Ronnie Baxter.

Tickets for remaining sessions of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts are still available by calling 0870 320 7000, visiting the Wolves Civic Box Office or clicking

Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday November 14
Groups A-D Second Games
Vincent van der Voort 5-1 Justin Pipe
Mark Webster 5-3 Mark Hylton
John Henderson 5-2 Stacy Bromberg
Colin Osborne 5-4 Simon Whitlock
Robert Thornton 5-2 Dave Chisnall
Tony O^Shea 5-1 James Wade
Mervyn King 5-3 Terry Jenkins
Gary Anderson 5-2 Wayne Jones

Monday November 15
Groups E-H Second Games
Darryl Fitton v Tricia Wright
Steve Beaton v Arron Monk
Wes Newton v Michael van Gerwen
Adrian Lewis v Co Stompe
Scott Waites v Martin Phillips
Paul Nicholson v Ronnie Baxter
Raymond van Barneveld v Colin Lloyd
Phil Taylor v Ted Hankey

VINCENT VAN DER VOORT got his campaign in the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts back on track with a 5-1 win over Justin Pipe in their second Group D game.

Van der Voort bounced back from Saturday^s loss to Tony O^Shea in style against the ITV Wildcard Qualifier, whose hopes of progressing in the tournament hang by a thread following a second successive loss.

The Dutchman made an immediate impact with a break of throw in the opening leg on double top, and he hit a 180 and double ten in moving 2-0 up.

Pipe, who had gone down to James Wade on the opening night, got on the scoreboard by taking the third, but saw van der Voort power in another maximum and double 16 for a 3-1 cushion at the break.

Pipe was unable to punish missed doubles from van der Voort in the fifth leg as double four put the Dutch ace a leg away from victory, which was sealed in the same manner in the next leg.

MARK WEBSTER kick-started his Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts challenge with a 5-3 victory over Mark Hylton in their second Group B game at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Webster had slumped to a 5-2 defeat against home favourite Wayne Jones on Saturday night, but responded with a strong performance against the ITV Wildcard Qualifier, who was making only his third televised appearance.

Newcomer Hylton, a former airline cabin manager from Rugeley, landed double top and double ten to hold throw in the opening three legs as he led 2-1.

Webster hit a second double six of the game to level in the fourth, before a miss at tops from Hylton allowed him in to hit the same bed in breaking throw.

Webster landed a 180 for a second successive leg on his way to the sixth, which he again took on tops, before missing the same bed as Hylton landed double six to win a third leg.

Webster, though, hit another maximum to open the next and had the breathing space despite a 180 from Hylton to seal the win on his favoured double top.

"I knew I had a tough game today but I had to go up there and get a win and I^ve done that," said Webster. "I^ve given myself a chance of going through and I can get ready for Tuesday night against Gary Anderson now."

Hylton, who will play Jones in his final group game, admitted: "I thoroughly enjoyed the game again and it^s a learning curve for me. I relaxed a bit more tonight and am improving, and hopefully I can go better again on Tuesday."

JOHN HENDERSON held off Stacy Bromberg^s fightback to pick up a 5-2 victory in their second Group B game at the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts.

Scotsman Henderson, an ITV Wildcard Qualfier for the Wolverhampton event, responded well to his opening loss to Terry Jenkins by leading 3-0 against the American ace.

However, Bromberg took back-to-back legs to pull back to 3-2 and threaten an upset, only for Henderson to take out a 12-darter to steady his nerves before sealing the win.

Henderson made an ideal start by taking out 116 in the game^s opening leg, and double eight saw him move 2-0 up.

He also landed a 180 in the third, and after initially missing three darts at tops he returned to hit the bed, with Bromberg having left herself on 40.

The PDC Unicorn Women^s World Champion continued her improvement in the next, stepping in after five misses from Henderson to post double 16 and get off the mark.

She also landed double top to win the fifth and pull back to 3-2, but Henderson produced a brilliant leg to stop her comeback in its tracks - hitting scores of 180, 100 and 180 before landing double top for a 12-darter.

The Scot then edged away in the seventh, and took out 80 in two darts to secure the two points.

"It was hard because everyone expects you to beat the women players but Stacy did well," said Henderson. "She^s improved and I had to pull out some good darts to beat her."

Bromberg admitted: "I enjoyed it much more than when I played Mervyn King on Saturday and it^s a whole lotta fun on stage! The crowd were great and they make the tournament what it is, and I love them.

"I got one leg against Mervyn and two against John, so I^ll hope to keep improving against Terry Jenkins on Tuesday."

COLIN OSBORNE produced one of his finest televised performances to defeat Simon Whitlock 5-4 in a thriller as he ended the Australian^s hopes at the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts.

The pair responded superbly to defeats in Saturday^s opening games to average over 100 for most of an absorbing contest, with Osborne eventually prevailing in a deciding leg.

Osborne, who had been defeated by Robert Thornton in his opening game, took out 118 to win the opening leg and opened the second with a 180 but paid for a missed bullseye as Whitlock posted tops to level.

Double 16 gave Osborne the third but Whitlock roared back with scores of 171 and 180 before finishing 92 for a 12-darter to square the match.

An 86 finish for a 14-darter put the Australian 3-2 up, but Osborne responded to a 177 from Whitlock with a 180 of his own and double 16 to break back and level in the sixth before finishing 79 on double 11 for a 4-3 lead.

The Derby-based star gave himself a dart for victory in the eighth, but missed the bull for a 164 finish as Whitlock posted double ten to force a decider.

Whitlock, against the throw, opened with a 180, but Osborne was first to a finish and left double 16 to take the win, averaging almost 100 and checking out 63 percent of his chances.

"I was embarrassed after losing 5-2 to Robert on Saturday and had a point to prove tonight, and I went on stage to enjoy the game and express myself," said Osborne.

"I^ve been waiting a long time to play that well on stage because after reaching the UK Open final and winning the Championship League Darts last year I promised a lot and have failed to deliver.

"It^s in my own hands now for me to get through to the last 16 and I can look forward to playing Dave Chisnall on Tuesday."

The defeat, coupled with Thornton^s later win over Chisnall, means Whitlock^s challenge in the tournament will end in the group stage, with Osborne meeting Chisnall in a winner-progresses clash.

Red Dragon’s ROBERT THORNTON ensured progression to the second round of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts, maintaining his unbeaten start in the group stage with a 5-2 win over Dave Chisnall.

Chisnall had impressed in his victory over Simon Whitlock on his Grand Slam debut on Saturday, but even two ton-plus finishes were not enough against an inspired Thornton.

The pair traded 180s in the game^s opening leg, which Thornton took on double 18, before Chisnall levelled with a 118 finish on double 19.

Double four edged Thornton back in front before Chisnall followed up scores of 140 and 180 with a 116 checkout to square the game.

Thornton, though, returned from the break to miss the bull for a 161 finish before returning to post double eight, before a 174 score set up double 16 as he edged 4-2 up.

The Scot then sealed the win in style, hitting a second 180 of the game and double 16 to complete arguably his best televised display since reaching the 2009 Players Championship Finals decider and seal a last 16 place.

"I^m very happy," said Thornton. "My finished was good and I^m pleased with how I played for most of the game.

"I want to keep it up now and finish top of the group to go into the last 16 on a high, so I^ll be going all-out against Simon Whitlock on Tuesday."

TONY O^SHEA booked his spot in the last 16 of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts for a second successive year with a resounding 5-1 win over James Wade on Sunday night.

O^Shea, a quarter-finalist in last year^s Wolves Civic event, impressed in victory against Vincent van der Voort on Saturday and repeated a convincing scoreline in his second group game.

He made a superb start, opening the match with a 14-darter and punishing misses at double 14 and seven from Wade to double his lead with double ten.

Wade finished double six for a 13-darter to get off the mark, but missed four darts to level in the next as O^Shea entered the break 3-1 up courtesy of another double ten finish.

He hit the bed once more in winning the fifth leg before hitting a 180 and double 16 in the next to wrap up the win and ensure his second round berth.

Wade will now face van der Voort in a winner-progresses clash on Tuesday night as he bids to follow last month^s World Grand Prix and Championship League Darts wins with another major.

MERVYN KING put one foot in the second round of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts, impressing with a 5-3 victory over Terry Jenkins at the Wolves Civic.

King followed up Saturday^s win over Stacy Bromberg with his second successive win, and can move into the last 16 unbeaten should he overcome John Henderson on Tuesday night.

The Bradwell-based ace opened the game in brilliant fashion, finishing 158 with treble 19, treble 17 and bull to win the first leg.

Jenkins hit a 180 and double ten to break and level before double three gave him the third leg, and he also missed the bull and double four to lead 3-1 as King finished 64 to square the match.

The pair missed the bull and further darts to take the fifth before King held his nerve on double eight, although after the duo traded 180s in leg six it was Jenkins to hit double four to level at three-all.

They also hit a maximum apiece in the seventh, but Jenkins missed double top for a 145 checkout as King took out 96 with a classy single 20, double 18 and double top combination.

He then pulled away in the next to leave 32, which he took out on double 16 at the first time of asking to seal the win.

"I^m obviously pleased to get another win but I know I can still improve," said King. "I aim to hit an average over 100 in every game I play but I^ve been below-par for a few months and this is better than I^ve played for a while.

"Terry^s a great player and it was a hard game for me but I won and that^s what counts."

He added: "My father passed away recently and I^m here to win this in his memory, because every dart I throw is for him. I^m pleased to still be in the competition after everything that^s happened and I^m getting back to where I want to be."

GARY ANDERSON recorded his second successive Group B win in the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts, denying home favourite Wayne Jones with a 5-2 victory.

Anderson put a foot into the second round of the event with his win, meaning Jones must defeat Mark Hylton in Tuesday^s final group games if he is to progress.

Jones actually took the opening leg against Anderson, who missed double ten for a 140 finish and six further darts to take the lead before Jones sneaked in on double eight.

However, the local favourite was unable to capitalise in the next as Anderson levelled before double top put the Scot ahead.

Jones hit a 180 in the fourth, but missed the bull for an 81 finish and two further darts as Anderson posted tops again for a 3-1 lead at the break.

Jones finished 96 in the fifth to pull back to 3-2, but Anderson found another gear to wrap up victory, hitting a 125 finish for a 12-darter before checking out 69 in two darts to secure the points.

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