Stan James World Match Play - Mon Aft
TERRY JENKINS produced his best display for five months to win a place in the second round of the Stan James World Matchplay with a 10-6 victory over Alex Roy at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
The world number five hit three ton-plus finishes, including a 160 checkout, to see off the qualifier from Watford.
It was his finest performance since defeating Phil Taylor in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League, with four successive legs seeing him pull away from six-all to take victory.
"It^s not been my year so far but the Premier League tired me out a lot," admitted Jenkins. "I^ve recovered from that now and I^ve had good practice going into this event, and that showed."
Earlier in the day, Dennis Priestley came from 8-5 down to take a 10-8 win over Adrian Gray, meaning he now meets Jenkins in the second round on Wednesday.
Roland Scholten, a semi-finalist two years ago, crashed to a 10-4 defeat to Manchester-based Matt Clark, who made it third time lucky to finally get through the first round in Blackpool.
Tony Eccles celebrated his World Matchplay debut with a gritty 10-8 win over Kevin Painter, who had hit back from 7-3 down to level before paying the price for missed doubles.
Monday^s evening session includes the start of Phil Taylor^s bid for a ninth World Matchplay title when he takes on Steve Beaton, while world number two Raymond van Barneveld and World Champion John Part are also in action.
Stan James World Matchplay
Monday 21 July
Dennis Priestley 10-8 Adrian Gray
Kevin Painter 8-10 Tony Eccles
Roland Scholten 4-10 Matt Clark
Terry Jenkins 10-6 Alex Roy
John Part v Chris Mason
Adrian Lewis v Kevin McDine
Phil Taylor v Steve Beaton
Raymond van Barneveld v Mark Frost
DENNIS PRIESTLEY 10-8 ADRIAN GRAY
DENNIS PRIESTLEY showed his resilience with a superb comeback to edge out Adrian Gray 10-8 at the Stan James World Matchplay.
The two-time World Champion needed to draw on his two decades of experience at the top level to battle back from an 8-5 deficit.
Priestley and Gray were locked for the first half of the game, with a break of throw for the veteran to take a 4-2 lead matched by the Sussex youngster as he pulled level.
Gray then broke throw for a second time in leg nine to lead for the first time in the match, and double 16 put the 27-year-old into a 6-4 lead after winning four straight legs.
Priestley replied in leg 11 on double ten, but missed the bullseye to square the match as double top put Gray 7-5 up.
He landed a second 180 of the game on his way to a three-leg cushion, but the 27-year-old saw his chance to move a leg away from the win slip away when Priestley took out double eight to break Gray^s throw.
Gray also hit another maximum in the next, but a 121 finish this time saw Priestley cut back to 8-7.
A missed double eight for a 136 finish cost Gray in leg 16, with Priestley hitting double top to level and then the same bed to lead again at 9-8, with the youngster waiting on a finish.
It was Priestley who landed a killer 180 in the next, giving him the breathing space to miss two match darts before returning for double four to progress to the last 16.
"I made it hard for myself," said Priestley. "It didn^t quite work out as I wanted it to but I showed a bit of tenacity.
"As soon as I relaxed I was okay and I won five legs on the trot in the end.
"It^s probably as good as any comeback I^ve had in 15 years at Blackpool, and I^m delighted to be through."
He added: "I^ve got Terry Jenkins or Alex Roy next, and I I^ve played them both a few times, and Alex here in Blackpool before.
"I showed Terry a bit about my form on Saturday when I beat him in the Bobby Bourn event and hopefully that^s in his mind and I can go on stage and relax."
TONY ECCLES 10-8 KEVIN PAINTER
TONY ECCLES held off a Kevin Painter fightback to celebrate his Stan James World Matchplay debut with a 10-8 win at the Winter Gardens.
The Hartlepool-based qualifier gained revenge for defeats to Painter in the UK Open and Las Vegas Desert Classic with a gritty display.
He took a 7-3 lead before Painter hit back to level, and then took advantage of misses from the 2004 World Championship runner-up to book his place in the last 16.
Painter started well to lead 2-1, but Eccles replied with an 11-darter and then broke throw with a brilliant 157 checkout.
Three missed doubles from Painter allowed Eccles in to lead 4-2, although the Daventry-based star landed a 174 on his way to winning leg seven.
Eccles hit back with a fourth maximum of the game to open leg eight, and he took three legs in a row to move clear at 7-3.
Painter finally found his range to spark to life after the break, hitting a 180 in winning leg 11 and three double top finishes to take four legs in a row and pull level.
He also gave himself a chance to lead, but three missed doubles, at double 12 and double six, cost him when Eccles produced a 106 checkout.
Painter hit back to level at eight-all with a 13-darter, but once again paid for missed doubles as Eccles moved 9-8 up on double eight before sealing the win on double 16.
"I saw the winning post too early and at 7-3 up you think you^ve got the job done," admitted Eccles. "The job isn^t done until you hit that winning double and it^s something I have to learn.
"Kevin played well in the second half of the game and I was getting a little nervy. I panicked a bit.
"It was a brilliant atmosphere though. It^s the first time I^ve played in Blackpool and I felt comfortable on that stage.
"The crowd helped me through in the end and I didn^t want to let them down. It was a battle and I^m over the moon to have come through it."
Eccles^ form has been hampered recently by a torn tendon in his arm, and he added: "I^ve had a bad arm injury and touch wood it will last the tournament.
"I pulled it a bit more in Las Vegas lifting a suitcase, but I^ve been playing well in the last couple of weeks and I^m looking to keep that going."
MATT CLARK 10-4 ROLAND SCHOLTEN
MATT CLARK gained his first Stan James World Matchplay victory with a 10-4 romp against Roland Scholten at the Winter Gardens.
Clark has been a first round loser on his two previous visits to Blackpool, including a loss to Scholten in 2005, but avenged that with a stylish display.
Scholten opened well to lead 2-1, but struggled to produce his trademark high-scoring, with Clark levelling and then pulling clear.
Double four saw him break to lead 3-2, and he also won the next three legs, including some clinical finishing on double top, to take a 6-2 cushion.
Scholten landed double 18 to hit back, but a two-dart 74 finish saw Clark restore a four-leg cushion, which was further extended on double top.
Two missed darts at double 16 allowed Clark to move a leg away from victory, although he missed two darts for the match in the next as Scholten hit double ten to stay in the match.
But Clark kicked off the next leg with a maximum, and sealed his second round place on double five.
"Years ago, someone said I^d win the World Championship on double five because it^s always been a good double for me, and that was a lovely one to win this match," said Clark.
"I always try to leave double top and that was handy for me too in this match.
"Roland didn^t really turn up, but I owed him one anyway because he^s beaten me in close games at the World Championship and here in Blackpool before."
TERRY JENKINS 10-6 ALEX ROY
TERRY JENKINS bounced back into top form to defeat Alex Roy 10-6 in the first round of the Stan James World Matchplay.
The 2007 Winter Gardens runner-up has enjoyed a disappointing year so far in the major tournaments, but a return to the Blackpool stage saw him produce arguably his best performance since a Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts win over Phil Taylor in February.
He took out three ton-plus finishes in a high-quality display, with four successive legs at the end of the contest seeing him take victory.
Roykicked off the match with a 116 finish to take the first leg, but Jenkins replied with three in a row, including a 13-darter and a spectacular 160 checkout to bring the Blackpool crowd to its feet.
Royhit back to win three of the next four, starting with a 14-darter and also including a 105 checkout, to level at 4-4 before Jenkins nudged himself back in front.
A fine 13-darter saw Roy square matters at six-all before Jenkins found another fear, hitting a 180 in moving 7-6 up, breaking the throw with a 14-darter and then taking out 127 for a 9-6 lead.
Roy battled bravely and landed a second maximum of the game to stay in touch in the next leg, but missed darts at double eight and double four allowed Jenkins back in to seal victory on double top.
"It^s not been my year so far but the Premier League tired me out a lot," admitted Jenkins. "I^ve recovered from that now and I^ve had good practice going into this event.
"That showed today and I^m going into competitions hungry for success.
"Alex is a very under-estimated player who^s been playing well recently. He^s beaten me the last two times we^ve played when I^ve played well, and I knew it would be tough.
"He played well today, had a couple of ton-plus finishes and that shows the quality of player he is."
Jenkins meets Dennis Priestley in round two on Wednesday, having been defeated by the veteran in last Saturday^s Bobby Bourn Memorial Players Championship in Blackpool.
"I owe him one for that!" said Jenkins. "Dennis is playing well at the moment but I feel I can beat him and hopefully I^ll produce the performance to do that."