Sky Poker World Grand Prix - Quarter-Final Round-Up
PHIL TAYLOR and Raymond van Barneveld remain on course to meet in the final of the Sky Poker World Grand Prix after successfully winning through to the semi-finals of the double-start tournament.
The world^s top two were among the quarter-final winners at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin on Friday night, with Taylor producing one of the event^s most dominant displays in a 4-1 win over Andy Hamilton.
Taylor took the game^s first ten legs in opening up a three-set lead, with Hamilton - who landed eight maximums - taking the fourth but unable to prevent defeat to his Stoke rival, who sealed the win with a 141 checkout.
Van Barneveld hit a 170 checkout in defeating 2004 champion Colin Lloyd 4-1 to book his place in a second successive World Grand Prix semi-final.
The Dutchman now meets Mervyn King on Saturday, after the Norfolk man crowned his rise into the top 16 of the Order of Merit with his first PDC semi-final appearance.
He led 2-0 against Dennis Priestley before being pegged back level, but took the final two sets to claim his place in the last four.
Terry Jenkins will face Taylor in a repeat of the 2006 final at the last four stage, following his 4-2 defeat of World Champion John Part.
Sky Poker World Grand Prix
Terry Jenkins 4-2 John Part
Raymond van Barneveld 4-1 Colin Lloyd
Phil Taylor 4-1 Andy Hamilton
Mervyn King 4-2 Dennis Priestley
Raymond van Barneveld v Mervyn King
Phil Taylor v Terry Jenkins
TERRY JENKINS 4-2 JOHN PART
(3-2, 3-2, 2-3, 3-2, 0-3, 3-2)
TERRY JENKINS produced a resolute display to defeat John Part 4-2 and move into the semi-finals of the Sky Poker World Grand Prix.
Jenkins, the runner-up for the last two years in the double-start event, continued his form with a six-set win over the World Champion.
Part started brilliantly, hitting legs of 15 and 12 darts to open the first set, but Jenkins won the third leg and then punished missed doubles from the Canadian to snatch the next two legs and the set.
Part broke throw to open the second set, but missed his chances in the next as Jenkins hit the bull to level but then suffered for his own misses as the World Champion moved 2-1 up.
Jenkins won leg four, and then edged the decider on double top to double his advantage.
Part also led 2-1 in the third set, with Jenkins landing a 180 on his way to levelling - but this time it was Part who took the set with double 16 in the decider.
A 117 checkout put Part 2-1 up in the fourth set, but a 115 checkout from Jenkins, with the Canadian waiting on 40, proved crucial in seeing him square matters.
With the pressure high in a pivotal deciding leg of the set, Part missed double 16 for a showpiece 132 checkout, after hitting two bullseyes, and Jenkins returned to land double nine.
Part took the fifth set 3-0, including a 129 checkout to break throw, and then took out 126 on the bull to level set six at one-all.
Jenkins replied with an 87 finish before Part took out 157 to level.
But a slow start to the fifth leg proved costly, with Jenkins eventually sealing win on double seven.
"I^m exhausted after that," said Jenkins. "With John you know he^ll always hit his starting doubles and you have to get away too.
"He never gives up, but I held my nerve and got the win. I^m usually better under pressure, but I had to handle being in front for a change!"
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 4-1 COLIN LLOYD
(1-3, 3-0, 3-1, 3-0, 3-2)
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD powered past Colin Lloyd into the semi-finals of the Sky Poker World Grand Prix with a 4-1 victory.
The Dutchman has regained his confidence and form throughout the week at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, returning from a two-month break to defeat in-form Alan Tabern, Adrian Lewis and now Lloyd.
He bounced back from a set down to win four in a row to seal a semi-final place for the second successive year.
"I felt comfortable at the start but Colin took the first set and that put pressure on me," said van Barneveld.
"Winning the second set 3-0 was very important, as was the 170 checkout to win the third because Colin was on a finish.
"He missed a lot of doubles to start and let me in. My doubles went in tonight but I know I can play better."
Lloyd made a strong start, taking out 98 to win the first leg despite missing nine opening doubles, and defied a maximum from van Barneveld to win leg three on double top for a 2-1 lead.
He then punished missed doubles from the Dutchman to take out 121 on the bullseye for the first break of throw to win the first set.
Van Barneveld was comfortably too strong, though, in the second to level without reply - Lloyd missing two darts at a double in the second leg but paying for some further sloppy starting doubles.
Lloyd took advantage of four missed doubles from the five-time World Champion to lead in the third, but van Barneveld levelled and then broke throw in the next on double five, before a sensational 170 checkout gave him the set and a 2-1 lead.
That finish was followed by a two-dart 84 checkout, and five missed doubles from Lloyd gave the Dutchman a chance to double his lead.
He took out double 16 for a 2-0 lead and then landed double top to move 3-1 up in the game.
Despite further missed doubles, Lloyd led 1-0 and 2-1 in the fifth set, but a 180 was not enough in the fourth leg, with double ten seeing van Barneveld level.
The Dutchman^s power scoring then saw him pull clear in the decider before hitting double three to seal the win.
PHIL TAYLOR 4-1 ANDY HAMILTON
(3-0, 3-0, 3-0, 1-3, 3-1)
PHIL TAYLOR romped into the semi-finals of the Sky Poker World Grand Prix with a storming 4-1 win over Andy Hamilton in their all-Stoke quarter-final.
Taylor produced some of the most dominant darts in the tournament^s ten-year history to win the first ten legs of the match and lead 3-0.
Hamilton, who landed eight maximums in a high-scoring contest, battled back to win set four against his Stoke rival but could not prevent Taylor^s march towards another title.
Taylor hit a 180 in a 14-dart opening leg against the throw, and kicked off the second with a 160 in doubling his lead and landed scores of 180 and 177 in a 13-darter to seal the opening set without reply.
Missed doubles in the first two legs of set two cost Hamilton as Taylor pushed clear, with a bullseye finish in leg two followed by double 16 to make the lead 2-0.
He hit the same bed to lead in set three, with a 106 finish then followed by a two-dart 71 checkout as he moved three sets up.
Hamilton landed a sixth 180 of the game in the fourth set^s opener, but Taylor again took out 71 - this time on double top - to make it ten successive legs.
However, Hamilton got off the mark in the next with a two-dart 88 checkout, with Taylor sat on 65.
He then punished a missed double top from Taylor to lead 2-1, and took the set after Taylor missed the bullseye for a 164 checkout.
Taylor led 2-0 in the fifth set before Hamilton landed double 16 - but the final nail in the coffin was hammered home in style by Taylor.
The seven-time World Grand Prix winner sealed the win with a show-stopping 12-darter, hitting a sixth maximum of the game and then checking out 141 to ensure his place in the last four.
"It was weird being 3-0 up and I got nervous," admitted Taylor. "I wanted to put the pressure on but lost my way a little.
"Andy^s a fantastic scorer, as good as Raymond van Barneveld when he plays like that, and I knew at one point he^d hit his finishes.
"My doubles in weren^t as good in this game, but my scoring and finishing has been good all week and I’ll always be happy with a 98 average in a double-start event.
"I thought I^d even hit a nine-darter tonight – it didn^t happen but I^ll be having a good go in the semis."
Jenkins knocked out World Champion John Part in the quarters, and Taylor added: "He^s not had a great year results-wise but he’s battling back and his confidence is up again.
"I^m really looking forward to it because every game in these tournaments now is tough and the challenge now is for me to step up a gear, which I^m normally pretty good at."
MERVYN KING 4-2 DENNIS PRIESTLEY
(3-2, 3-0, 0-3, 1-3, 3-0, 3-2)
MERVYN KING shattered the iron will of Dennis Priestley to reach his first major PDC semi-final with a 4-2 victory in the Sky Poker World Grand Prix.
Priestley mounted a memorable comeback from two sets down in the second round against Wayne Mardle on Wednesday and battled back level with King at the Citywest Hotel in their quarter-final clash.
But the Norfolk man found an extra gear to take the fifth set without reply and then wrapped up the victory to set up a semi-final with Raymond van Barneveld on Saturday night.
King came from 2-1 down to win the first set, and punished missed doubles from Priestley in two legs to take the second without reply - making it a total of five successive legs.
A missed double 16 from King allowed Priestley in to take the first set^s opener, and the veteran Yorkshireman also won the next two legs to reduce the arrears to 2-1.
The pair shared the first two legs of set four before Priestley landed a key 180 to set up a double four finish in the third, and then took out 97 on double top to level the match.
But King raised his game in the fifth, winning the first leg on double eight and punishing misses from Priestley in the second before a brilliant 13-darter put him 3-2 up.
Double 16 put King ahead in the sixth, after Priestley failed to land double ten for a 137 checkout, and double two put the new world number 16 a leg away from the win.
Priestley took out double top to hang in, and also won leg four on double eight after King missed two darts for the match.
But King wrapped up the win in style, taking out 110 on double 16 to seal his place in the semis.