Skybet World Grand Prix - Night Three Round-Up
Phil Taylor almost hit the first nine-darter in the history of the Skybet World Grand Prix in winning through to the quarter-finals of the event on Wednesday night.
Taylor defeated Wayne Jones 3-0 to progress to the last eight of the tournament, and missed the bullseye for a nine-darter in the process.
The attempt at a perfect leg came in what proved to be the game^s penultimate leg, opening with a 160 and then hitting a 180 before narrowly being off-target on the bull for a 161 finish - which would have earned him a £20,000 bonus and the honour of the first in a double-start format.
Taylor will now meet Adrian Lewis in Friday^s quarter-finals, with his Stoke rival and former practice partner defeating Gary Anderson 3-2 in a classic.
Lewis continued to show his newfound maturity since becoming a father in August with a high-quality display, including a 167 finish in seeing off the Scot in match that featured 16 180s.
"He^s been playing really well this week and his whole life has changed recently," said Taylor. "He^s got responsibilities and it makes you be a lot more serious.
"It^s a game I^m looking forward to. Wayne was a really tough test for me because he got away on double 16 nearly every time, but that has set me up for the rest of the tournament."
Terry Jenkins and Andy Smith, practice partners who are sharing an apartment during the tournament at the Citywest Hotel, will also meet in Friday^s quarter-finals following victories on Wednesday.
Jenkins defeated Mark Dudbridge 3-1 to reach the last eight for a fourth successive year, while Smith came from a set down to defeat 2004 champion Colin Lloyd 3-2.
Lloyd hit four ton-plus finishes in his clash with Smith and took the first set without reply, but failed to maintain that standard as Smith edged through.
Thursday sees the remaining four second round games take place, with world number three Raymond van Barneveld facing Wes Newton and Dennis Priestley - who knocked out James Wade on Tuesday - meeting Kevin Painter.
Dublin’s Jacko Barry returns to the stage following his first round win over local rival Mick McGowan when he takes on former World Champion Steve Beaton, while Mervyn King meets Andy Smith.
Skybet World Grand Prix
Andy Smith 3-2 Colin Lloyd
Adrian Lewis 3-2 Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor 3-0 Wayne Jones
Terry Jenkins 3-1 Mark Dudbridge
Mervyn King v Andy Hamilton
Raymond van Barneveld v Wes Newton
Dennis Priestley v Kevin Painter
Steve Beaton v Jacko Barry
ANDY SMITH 3-2 COLIN LLOYD
(0-3, 3-2, 3-1, 2-3, 3-2)
ANDY SMITH came from a set down to edge out Colin Lloyd in a five-set thriller and reach the quarter-finals of the Skybet World Grand Prix.
Lloyd, the 2004 champion, looked set to power to victory following a brilliant opening set, only for Smith to hit back and lead 2-1.
Smith missed match darts in the fourth as Lloyd ensured a deciding fifth set, but the Studley-based thrower prevailed to move into only his second televised quarter-final.
Lloyd made a stunning start, winning the opening leg with a 124 finish, taking out 90 for a 14-darter against the throw in leg two and 110 for a 12-dart finish in sealing the set.
Smith got off the mark by winning the second set^s opener, and landed a 15-darter to lead 2-1 before Lloyd opened with scores of 160 and 180 in the fourth.
While he missed a possible nine-darter, Lloyd took the leg in 13 darts on double eight, only for Smith to edge the set on double 16.
Lloyd missed 12 darts at a double to open the third set, with Smith landing a 180 and double top to break before posting another maximum in taking a 2-0 lead.
Lloyd took out 156 to wi the third, only for Smith to win the set against the darts with a fine 105 finish.
Double top put Smith ahead in the next before Lloyd landed a 150 finish for a 12-darter in levelling.
The pair shared 180s in leg three, with Lloyd missing the bull to break as Smith landed tops.
Lloyd matched that finish to win leg four, and opened the deciding leg with scores of 160, 140 and 145 - but two missed darts for the set allowed Smith in needing 108 for victory.
After hitting 20 and treble 16, Smith missed double top for the match, with Lloyd hitting the same bed to square the game and ensure a deciding set.
The pair traded double top finishes to stay locked, before Lloyd missed nine darts to begin in leg three, eventually clawing his way back into the leg only to miss the bull as Smith broke on double five.
Smith then missed double 18 for the match in leg four, but Lloyd was unable to close out on double six and could only watch as his opponent returned to the oche and took victory.
ADRIAN LEWIS 3-2 GARY ANDERSON
(3-2, 2-3, 3-2, 1-3, 3-1)
ADRIAN LEWIS booked a spot in the quarter-finals of the Skybet World Grand Prix in a thrilling five-set contest with Gary Anderson.
The pair shared 16 maximums in one of the finest games seen in the tournament, which also featured a 167 finish from Lewis in three ton-plus checkouts.
The duo also exchanged words during a tense first set, with Anderson believing Lewis had encroached in the players^ exclusion zone around the oche.
Lewis put that behind him to take the set, with Anderson matching him over the next three to force a decider, but the Stoke youngster prevailed 3-1 in the fifth to progress to Friday^s quarter-finals.
"Gary thought I was standing on the stage and bouncing, but he apologised after because it happened to him too," said Lewis.
"That was that, and I had to concentrate on what I had to go and we got on and had a fantastic game.
"We hit 16 180s between us and it was a good game, and I^m happy to get the win."
Lewis showed newfound maturity in winning a Players Championship on Saturday and then to defeat Robert Thornton in round one, and continued that form against the Scot.
Both landed 180s in the game^s opening leg, which Lewis took on double top, only to miss four darts to take the second as Anderson levelled.
Lewis punished two misses from Anderson to take the third on tops, but the Scot landed another maximum in winning the fourth.
After the duo exchanged words during leg five, it was Lewis who took the opening set with a fine 14-darter.
Lewis also broke throw in the third set^s opened, only for Anderson to defy a 180 in winning the second with a 92 finish and then take out 100 for a 2-1 lead.
He missed double top for the set as Lewis levelled, but edged the fifth leg on double ten to square the contest.
Lewis hit scores of 180 and 140 in taking the third set^s opener, with Anderson powering back to level and hitting a 180 against the darts in the third leg.
But a missed double top let Lewis in on a 126 finish, which he took out on double six.
It was Lewis^ turn to miss finishing doubles in leg four, being off-target on double eight for the set as Anderson levelled.
However, the youngster applied a devastating touch to win the set, hitting a sensational 167 checkout to lead 2-1 in the match.
Anderson once again came back strongly, taking out double ten to win the opening two legs of set four, before Lewis traded 180s in leg three and took out 140 to pull back to 2-1.
The Scottish ace, though, posted double top to win the set and ensure the game would go all the way.
Anderson hit a ninth 180 of the match in the fifth set^s opener, landing double top to break throw and lead, only to miss double 12 in the next as Lewis levelled.
Lewis posted his seventh maximum in taking the third, before starting the next with scores of 160 and 140 seeing him pull clear and punish eight missed starting doubles from Anderson, before taking out tops for an 11-darter and victory.
PHIL TAYLOR 3-0 WAYNE JONES
(3-2, 3-1, 3-0)
PHIL TAYLOR powered into the quarter-finals of the Skybet World Grand Prix with a straight sets victory over Wayne Jones - and missed the bullseye for a historic nine-darter in the process.
Taylor almost became the first player in the history of the double-start tournament to achieve a perfect leg, hitting scores of 160 and 180 but narrowly missing the bullseye for a 161 checkout and a perfect leg.
Although he missed out on that achievement and a £20,000 bonus, he does remain on course for the £100,000 title following a dominant display.
Jones held his own early on, sharing the first four legs with Taylor only to see the defending champion win the opening set on double 16.
Jones^ accuracy on his starting double 16 continued in the second set, seeing him lead before Taylor levelled and then broke throw in the third leg.
Taylor then posted double 16 himself to win the set 3-1, and a 64 finish put him ahead in the third.
The 14-time World Champion then lined up a potential nine-darter in the next leg, following up his missed bullseye with double eight to take out an 11-dart finish to lead 2-0.
He then landed double 14 for a sixth successive leg in securing victory and a quarter-final against Stoke rival Adrian Lewis.
"That was hard work," said Taylor. "I don^t think Wayne missed double 16 to start and that makes it so hard for you to play against.
"He^s a gritty player and it^s done me good because it was a big test and it^s set me up for the rest of the tournament."
Taylor is a former mentor and practice partner of Lewis^, and has been impressed by the youngster^s more mature attitude in this event since becoming a father for the first time recently, particularly in a narrow second round win over Gary Anderson.
"Adrian did brilliantly and took some fantastic finishes out," he said. "He^s been playing really well this week and his whole life has changed recently.
"He^s got responsibilities and it makes you be a lot more serious."
TERRY JENKINS 3-1 MARK DUDBRIDGE
(3-1, 1-3, 3-2, 3-2)
TERRY JENKINS reached the quarter-finals of the Skybet World Grand Prix for a fourth successive year with a 3-1 win over Mark Dudbridge at the Citywest Hotel.
Jenkins, the runner-up in 2006 and 2007, continued his love-affair with the double-start event in a clinical display.
In a game featuring 11 maximums, seven hit by Dudbridge, it was Jenkins^ superior finishing which proved crucial in edging him the final two sets.
Dudbridge hit 180s in the opening two legs, only for Jenkins to be first to the double to lead 2-0 before double ten get the Bristolian off the mark.
But Jenkins won the fourth on the same double to win the first set - only for a brace of double seven finishes to put Dudbridge two-up in the second set.
Jenkins won leg three, but double two saw Dudbridge square the game in 13 darts with a quality set.
Jenkins then produced a pair of 13-darters, landing 180s and double ten in both legs to lead in the third, only for Dudbridge to punish missed doubles to level.
However, a fine 116 finish for a 12-darter saw Jenkins take the set and a 2-1 lead.
Both players began the fourth set with 160 scores, and Dudbridge broke throw to lead before a 13-darter saw Jenkins level as the pair traded maximums.
Jenkins then took out 98 in two darts to edge in front, as Dudbridge waited on 50 following a 180, but the two-time finalist missed two darts for the match in the next.
Double five kept Dudbridge in the game, but a missed double 11 for a 118 finish proved costly as Jenkins landed tops for victory.
"It was a really hard game," said Jenkins. "Mark played how I expected, he has played well on the floor recently and scored well.
"I won the first set against the darts, I^m a quick starter and knew it was important but then Mark nicked the second set.
"The third was very important and I managed to edge the last one too.
"I like the double-start format, I^m usually quite good at that and I love playing in Ireland, so hopefully I can have a good week."
Jenkins now meets Andy Smith in the quarter-finals - with the practice partners set to do battle on Friday night for a place in the last four.
"We go everywhere together and he^s my best mate," said Jenkins. "We^re sharing an apartment here at the Citywest Hotel and practice together.
"We^ll put that aside on Friday night and still be friends afterwards, but I^ve got to forget that when I go on stage."