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Article: Taylor and Van Barneveld shake off nervous starts

Taylor and Van Barneveld shake off nervous starts

PHIL Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld both overcame nervous moments before beginning their challenges at the Stan James World Matchplay with victories in Blackpool last night.

Taylor, an eight-time Winter Gardens winner, was pushed hard by Steve Beaton before winning 10-6.

Taylor averaged 103.5 and hit nine scores of 174 or more to set up a second-round clash with Colin Osborne tonight.

"I didn^t take Steve lightly and that^s why I played so well," said Taylor. "I put him under pressure and he missed a few doubles, but it was a fantastic game.

"I^m a bit like Manchester United or Chelsea – people raise their game against me. Steve did tha but I^ll come out all guns blazing against Colin Osborne and that should be a cracker."

Van Barneveld was made to sweat even more against Stoke qualifier Mark Frost, a scaffolder who led the Dutchman 6-4 and 9-8 before succumbing to an 11-9 loss.

"I missed far too many doubles and let myself speed up into Mark^s rhythm," said van Barneveld. "It^s not been my year so far, but hopefully I can relax a bit more now."

Van Barneveld will face Tony Eccles in round two, following the Hartlepool ace^s 10-8 win over Kevin Painter earlier yesterday.

World champion John Part opened his challenge with a 10-3 win over Chris Mason, who was hampered by nerve damage to an elbow which requires surgery.

Canadian Part, who recently played in the World Series of Poker, said: "Chris struggled and it was nothing like our games in the past," said Part.

"I^ve got to win at darts if I can^t win at poker and someone has to pay the price."

Kevin McDine made a stunning World Matchplay debut to dump Stoke^s Adrian Lewis out 10-8 in a thrilling contest.

McDine will meet Mark Walsh when the second round begins tonight.

Before then, Blackpool^s Ronnie Baxter gets today^s action under way against Andy Smith, and defending champion completes the first round when he faces Wayne Jones in the first of tonight^s matches.

Story By: The Gazette

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