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Article: Perfect Start For Taylor In Dublin

Perfect Start For Taylor In Dublin

PHIL TAYLOR made a flawless start to the defence of his World Grand Prix title with a whitewash of Brendan Dolan at the Citywest Hotel on Monday night.

The nine-time winner of the double-start tournament showed Fermanagh^s Dolan no mercy, averaging over 102 and denying his opponent a dart at a double in the contest.

Taylor will now take on Andy Smith in Wednesday^s second round, and looks in ominous form as he bids to take the £100,000 title.

"It^s a very good start for me and I^m pleased to get the win," said Taylor. "Brendan was a little bit nervous and it wasn^t as easy as it looked.

"I was pretty relaxed and came through it well. My finishing was good and I^m very pleased with that."

Smith won through to the second round with the narrowest of wins against Jamie Caven, checking out 120 to take victory in a deciding leg on his return from two months sidelined after needing surgery on an infected leg wound.

Five other matches on the opening night also went to a deciding set, including a thriller between Ronnie Baxter and Gary Anderson.

Number eight seed Baxter took the opening set of their game and also led 2-0 in the second, but missed three match darts as Scotland^s Anderson battled back into the game, winning six of the final seven legs to take the win.

Anderson now plays Kevin Painter in the second round, with the former World Championship runner-up coming from a set down against Mark Dudbridge.

European Championship finalist Wayne Jones continued his run of form with a clinical performance to defeat number four seed Mervyn King 2-1, and he takes on Bristol^s Steve Brown in the second round.

Brown won the clash of the World Grand Prix debutants with Steve Farmer in a deciding set, while Adrian Lewis saw off Alan Tabern in similar fashion.

Lewis will now take on Terry Jenkins, who overcame a slow start against Dutchman Vincent van der Voort to win six legs out of seven in a straight sets victory.

The first round concludes on Tuesday night with the remaining eight matches, including number two seed Raymond van Barneveld opening his bid to reach a third successive Dublin final when he faces 69-year-old John MaGowan.

World number three James Wade takes on local favourite Mick McGowan, while Irish newcomer William O^Connor meets Wales^ Barrie Bates.

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 - First Round
Monday October 4
Andy Smith 2-1 Jamie Caven
Terry Jenkins 2-0 Vincent van der Voort
Steve Brown 2-1 Steve Farmer
Adrian Lewis 2-1 Alan Tabern
Ronnie Baxter 1-2 Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor 2-0 Brendan Dolan
Kevin Painter 2-1 Mark Dudbridge
Mervyn King 1-2 Wayne Jones

Tuesday October 5
First Round
Dennis Priestley v Andy Hamilton
Denis Ovens v Mark Walsh
Colin Osborne v Co Stompe
Colin Lloyd v Wes Newton
James Wade v Mick McGowan
Raymond van Barneveld v John MaGowan
Simon Whitlock v Paul Nicholson
William O^Connor v Barrie Bates

(1-3, 3-1, 3-2)
ANDY SMITH won a deciding leg in his clash with Jamie Caven to book his second round place in the World Grand Prix.

Smith has enjoyed plenty of success in the double-start format, with two quarter-final appearances making it his most successful televised event yet, and he remains on course to match that after coming from a set down to see off Caven.

Caven won the game^s opening set, but paid for missed doubles in the second before Smith edged the decider with a 120 finish.

Both players made an ideal start to the game by hitting their opening double at the first attempt, although four misses at double top and double ten from Smith at the end of the opening leg proved costly as Caven landed double nine to break throw.

Caven also landed a maximum and double top to move 2-0 up in the set before the duo traded 180s in the third, with misses from Caven for the set allowing Smith back in on double five.

Double ten in the next saw Caven seal the opening set, but he missed four darts to lead in the second set, as Smith broke throw before doubling his lead thanks to a 180 and double ten.

Double ten from Caven saved the set, but Smith powered in another maximum and double eight to secure the set and level the game.

Smith produced another 180 in the final set^s opener, winning the leg on double four before Caven levelled on double eight.

The next two legs also went with throw to send the game into a winner-takes-all deciding leg, and Smith was first to the finish before taking out 120 to seal the victory.

"I^m pleased with that because I^ve been short of match practice recently," admitted Smith, who needed surgery on an infected leg wound in August and was sidelined for two months.

"Jamie was one of the players who supported me when I was laid up, he sent me a card and is a good friend and it^s hard to play someone like that, but he gave me a chance and I took it.

"I was annoyed in the first set because I had my chances but I held my darts in the final set and did enough to win."

(3-2, 3-1)
TERRY JENKINS made a confident start to the World Grand Prix with a straight sets win over Vincent van der Voort.

The two-time finalist had to come from two legs down to win the opening set, but breezed through to second to put himself into the last 16.

Van der Voort, who has recently been battling a back problem, started well to win the opening leg on double top, against the throw, and he stepped in after a missed bullseye to land double 16 for a 2-0 lead.

However, the Dutchman missed a dart at the same bed in the third leg, and Jenkins finished double two to get off the mark, before a brace of double ten finishes saw him push through to edge the set 3-2.

He landed a second maximum of the game in the second set^s opener, which he won on double four before tops put him two legs up.

Van der Voort kept the match alive with double 18, but even a 180 was not enough in the next as Jenkins posted double ten to complete the win.

"Vincent^s been playing well lately so I^m very happy to defeat him but I could see he was struggling a bit with his back," said Jenkins.

"He^s usually such a quick thrower but I didn^t need to slow him down and felt good because I was able to play my own game.

"I knew at 2-0 down in the first set that I^d had my chance and I took my chances after that. I knew I needed to close out the win in the second set because he could have fought back, and I did that."

STEVE BROWN edged through to the second round of the World Grand Prix with a 2-1 win over fellow Dublin debutant Steve Farmer on Monday night.

Brown^s emergence on the big stage has continued in 2010, and he followed up July^s win over Terry Jenkins in the World Matchplay by winning through to face Wayne Jones in the last 16 at the Citywest Hotel.

Both of the first two sets went to a fifth leg, but it was Brown who finished the stronger to take the decider 3-1 and book his second round spot.

"I^m chuffed to bits to get through," said Brown. "To be in the last 16 of the World Grand Prix is a big achievement for me because it^s been a big year for me.

"I^ve felt a bit under the weather all day leading up to the game so to win by any means is enough for me.

"I rate Steve Farmer as a player, and he^s a nice bloke as well, and if I^m honest I^ve had a couple of sleepless nights thinking about this game but I played pretty well and got the win.

"I^ve played double-start before in the local leagues so it wasn^t that new for me, maybe it was an advantage against Steve."

The pair made a nerve-settling start in the opening set, with double top giving Brown the first leg before a two-dart 86 finish saw Farmer get off the mark.

The next two legs were also shared, but double two in the deciding leg saw Brown take the set and claim the early advantage.

Farmer made a confident start to the second set, landing double top in the opener and then breaking throw to move 2-0 up, although Brown responded well with 180s in taking the next two to level.

The Bristol man, though, had a nightmare deciding leg, and was left waiting on 412 as Farmer took out double 16 for the set to square the game.

Despite a 180 from Farmer, Brown took the third set^s opener before the Telford man landed another maximum and double 16 to level.

Double top moved Brown a leg away from the win, and after Farmer narrowly missed double 18 for a 156 finish, the youngster hit double ten with his third dart to secure triumph.

(3-1, 0-3, 3-0)
ADRIAN LEWIS swept into the second round of the World Grand Prix with a 2-1 defeat of Alan Tabern, winning the final set without reply to ensure his last 16 place.

The Stoke ace was looking to put behind him first round defeats in the summer^s World Matchplay and European Championship, and did so with a solid win over the left-hander.

Tabern shared the opening two sets, but Lewis finished the stronger to take the decider without reply in setting up a second round contest with Terry Jenkins on Wednesday.

Tabern made an ideal start to the game, kicking off with a 152 score in breaking throw in the opening leg, but Lewis replied with a 180 and double eight to level.

The youngster then posted double five before punishing a slow start from Tabern - who missed his first nine darts at an opening double - with another maximum and double five to take the set.

Tabern landed double top to take the second set^s opener, and broke in the second leg before double ten - after hitting scores of 180 and 177 - gave him the set without reply.

Lewis, though, held his nerve to post double eight in opening the third before taking a crucial second leg, with Tabern hitting a 180 to leave 90 but missing four darts at a double.

Double ten gave Lewis a 2-0 lead, and he wrapped up victory in the next leg on double nine.

"I won the first set but I don^t think either of us were brilliant and after the break Alan slowed down a lot and finished well to take the second set pretty easily," said Lewis.

"In the last set it was all to play for and I knew I had to hold myself. I waited until he was past me before I threw and it was a big help, and maybe my experience helped me there to take a step back.

"I^m pleased I did that and showed my experience, and I feel good.

"After losing in the first round of the World Matchplay to Mark Webster and in the first round of the European Championship to Wayne Jones, and if it had happened again people would have been asking questions and I couldn^t afford to go out in the first round again.

"I was under a lot of pressure but I think I play a lot better when I^m under pressure than when I think I^m going to walk over people."

(2-3, 3-2, 3-1)
GARY ANDERSON made a tremendous comeback from the brink of defeat to edge out Ronnie Baxter in a deciding set in a World Grand Prix thriller.

Baxter looked set for a straight sets win when he sneaked the first set and led 2-0 in the second, only for Anderson to battle back brilliantly and win six of the final seven legs to move into the last 16.

Number eight seed Baxter took the game^s opening leg and finished 130 on the bull in the next to break throw.

Anderson stepped in to punish a brace of misses from Baxter for the set in the third, and he also won the fourth before being left waiting on 20 as the Blackpool man landed double five for the opening set.

Baxter also started the second superbly, finishing 61 on double four to break and matching an Anderson 180 with a maximum of his own before landing double two to move a leg away from the win.

Anderson produced a superb pressure finish by taking out 110 to win the third leg, with Baxter waiting on 96, before the Blackpool ace missed three match darts in the next.

Anderson hit double four to square the set, and landed a 180 and double ten to level the match and force a decider.

The Scot continued his momentum with double one to take the third set^s opener and lead for the first time, and hit a 180 and double eight to move 2-0 up.

He also hit a 180 before missing match darts of his own in leg three - as five chances went begging before Baxter kept the game alive.

Anderson, though, held his nerve to open the next with scores of 160 and 123, and sealed the win on double top.

"It was a game of two halves," admitted Anderson. "He missed three darts to win the match and my luck chances, but I don^t know how I won it.

"I panic a bit in the double-start format because I find it hard enough to hit a finishing double a lot of the time, never mind starting with a double.

"I^ve been having too many slack darts and I^ve got to tighten up a bit because if I up my game it doesn^t matter who I play. I know how my darts should go and that^s what^s eating me away.

"Since I reached the final of the UK Open I^ve lost a bit of confidence and struggled with my shoulder but this win will spur me on a bit. I^m not playing my best darts at the minute but this may get me into gear."

(3-0, 3-0)
PHIL TAYLOR made a flawless start to the defence of his World Grand Prix title with a whitewash of Brendan Dolan at the Citywest Hotel on Monday night.

The nine-time winner of the double-start tournament showed Fermanagh^s Dolan no mercy, averaging over 102 and denying his opponent a dart at a double in the contest.

Taylor will now take on Andy Smith in Wednesday^s second round, and looks in ominous form as he bids to take the £100,000 title.

"It^s a very good start for me and I^m pleased to get the win," said Taylor. "Brendan was a little bit nervous and it wasn^t as easy as it looked.

"I was pretty relaxed and came through it well. My finishing was good and I^m very pleased with that."

Taylor began the match by breaking Dolan^s throw before taking out 101 to double his lead, and he landed a 180 and double top gave him the opening set without reply.

Double 16 gave Taylor the second set^s opener, and he hit another 180 in breaking Dolan again to take the next leg and move 2-0 up.

Dolan battled to get back into the contest, opening leg three with a 160 score, but Taylor pulled clear and - after three initial missed doubles - landed double eight to complete a comprehensive win.

"The crowd were very much behind Brendan and that might have put him under a bit of pressure," added Taylor, who plays Andy Smith in the second round.

"I felt for him a little bit and wish he^d have done a little bit better. He didn^t play that badly but he missed a few doubles in.

"Andy handles the crowd well and I^ll look forward to playing him. The format^s getting longer and that will work in my favour because he had a bit of a lay-off after that blood clot in his leg and he won^t be as match sharp.

"It will be tough for him on Wednesday and I^ll go out there and go at him hard, and like a boxer I^ll try knock him out as quickly as possible."

(2-3, 3-1, 3-1)
KEVIN PAINTER battled back from a set down to defeat Mark Dudbridge 2-1 and win a spot in the second round of the World Grand Prix.

Painter showed flashes of his brilliant best during the contest, but admits he will need to improve when he takes on Gary Anderson in the last 16 on Wednesday.

"The first round of this tournament, with a double-start format, it^s just about getting through," said Painter. "I didn^t play that well but there^s a lot of respect between us and I^m relieved to get through.

"I had a couple of darts to win the first set and I was very disappointed to miss them, but I had to dig in. I had to move off double 16 starting the legs because that wasn^t working so I moved onto double top and it helped me out.

"In the end, moving there helped me out, but I^ve got work to do before I play Ronnie. I^ve got to raise my game because he^s pretty lethal but I can settle down now the format gets a bit longer and hopefully produce a better performance."

Dudbridge started well to hold throw in early exchanges, leading 2-1 before Painter took out 122 to level only to hit a 180 in the deciding leg and then miss three darts for the set - as Dudbridge returned to take the lead.

Painter won the second set^s opener, but missed double top in the second as Dudbridge levelled on double 16, although the Bristol man was left trailing in the third as Painter took out double two.

He then posted double three for the set to send the match into a decider, which Dudbridge opened in style with a 100 finish.

However, Painter levelled on double four, and then took out double 13, after his opponent saw one dart for the leg miss double five.

Dudbridge landed five perfect darts in opening the fourth leg with scores of 157 and 140, but was off-target on double top, and Painter hit the same bed to take the win.

(3-2, 2-3, 3-1)
WAYNE JONES produced a superb display of finishing to win through to the second round of the World Grand Prix, knocking out number four seed Mervyn King in a deciding set.

Jones enjoyed a fruitful summer by reaching the World Matchplay quarter-finals and his first PDC televised final at the European Championship, and continued that form on the Citywest Hotel stage.

He hit eight from 11 attempts at a finishing double in the game, and showed similar accuracy in starting each leg with a double as he moved into the last 16, where he faces Steve Brown.

King began well, winning the opening leg against the throw on double top and taking the second in an impressive 14 darts.

Jones, though, kick-started his challenge with a superb 130 bullseye finish in the third, and levelled the set with double four before hitting double 18 to edge ahead.

He also won the first two legs of the second set to extend his run to five successive legs, with double 14 from King getting him back into the set.

Another 14-darter levelled before he took out 110 to force a deciding third set.

Jones took out 74 for the opening leg as he hit a second 14-darter of the game, with King responding with a 118 finish but unable to do anything as the Wolverhampton man stepped up a gear with finishes of 89 and 75 in wrapping up the win.

"I^m really chuffed to win through that match, very pleased," said Jones. "My finishing was nice and double 16 went like a dream for me but I was annoyed with my scoring and felt I hit too many fives and ones.

"I know the game^s there because my practice is lovely but my scoring was average tonight.

"Mervyn scored well but didn^t hit as many doubles as I did and I^m pleased to be through."

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