William Hill Grand Slam of Darts - Thursday Round-Up
VAN GERWEN STUNS REIGNING WILLIAM HILL GRAND SLAM OF DARTS CHAMPION TAYLOR
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN knocked reigning champion Phil Taylor out of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts with a sensational display at the Wolves Civic on Thursday, as Scott Waites, Dean Winstanley and Kevin Painter joined him in the quarter-finals.
Dutch star van Gerwen, the sport^s form player following his World Grand Prix win last month, ended a five-year gap without a victory over 15-time World Champion Taylor in sensational fashion with a 10-5 triumph.
Van Gerwen averaged 108.38 in what he admitted was probably the performance of his career, hitting seven 180s and a key 130 checkout which came during a run of five successive legs as he charged from 4-3 down to lead 8-4.
Taylor averaged almost 105 in reply in a superb contest, but misses at the bullseye in three successive legs in mid-game proved crucial as the 23-year-old pulled away for the win.
"I^m so proud of myself and it^s a big result for me," said van Gerwen, the new tournament favourite at 6/5 with sponsors William Hill.
"It^s been a long time for me since I beat Phil and to beat Phil Taylor in a tournament like this is amazing for me.
"I think this is one of the best games of my life, maybe the best one, and to beat Phil in this format is so hard so I^m very happy to have a 108 average and put on a good performance to beat him.
"I played very well and Phil did as well, but I put him under pressure with some fantastic shots and I^m glad to win this.
"Phil is still the man to beat but I was so confident and all the hard work I^ve done paid off for me. This will make me even more confident but I^m only in the quarter-finals so I^ve got to concentrate on playing on Saturday now."
Van Gerwen will now play 2010 Grand Slam champion Waites in Saturday^s quarter-finals, after the Yorkshireman produced a sensational display of his own to defeat Robert Thornton 10-8.
Waites - who had defeated Taylor in their final Group A game on Tuesday - averaged 103.67 to Thornton^s 102.42 in a fine game, hitting a 148 finish during the contest before sealing a memorable victory with a 120 checkout.
"It was very close and I still don^t know how I won that!" said Waites. "Robert^s a fantastic player and so consistent, but I wanted to be more consistent than him.
"I^m so glad that I won the bull before the game because he was always one leg behind me. Somewhere down the line I broke his throw and wanted to get away from him and he came back brilliantly and never gave up - he was on my heels all the time."
He added: "Michael van Gerwen was awesome tonight and he^s playing well. I^m going to go up there on Saturday and hopefully hit my 180s and my doubles and make it really interesting."
Thursday^s other winners were Kevin Painter, who defeated Mervyn King 10-5, and Dean Winstanley, who overcame Arron Monk by the same scoreline to reach his first major quarter-final since joining the PDC in January.
"I^m really happy that I got through because it was a tough match," said Winstanley. "I came out all guns blazing but I seemed to lose a bit of steam after that, and maybe we had too much respect for each other.
"I never gave up and got the win in the end, but it was hard. It^s my first time in the quarter-finals in my second Grand Slam and I^m delighted that I^m not going home."
Painter, last year^s Players Championship Finals winner, remains on course to challenge for a second major title this weekend following a solid performance, as he won five straight legs to move from two-all to leading 7-2 before completing the win.
"It^s nice to get through," said Painter. "There^s something about Wolverhampton in that I tend to do well here, and things have gone okay for me over the years.
"I^ve averaged 91, and on another day it might not have been good enough but he didn^t fire on all cylinders. I had my moments and when it was 3-2 at the break, I knew I had to push on from there and I did."
Painter added: "I^ve beaten Dean in the group stages on a shorter format but this should be a great game.
"He^s hitting his doubles well and I^ve got to settle down a little bit and hit a few better scores - I think my finishing^s good but my scoring isn^t as good as it could be. It^s your finishing which wins you matches, so hopefully I can carry that on."
Friday night sees the remaining four quarter-finals take place, including Lakeside Champion Christian Kist against Wes Newton and the all-Dutch affair between five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld and Wesley Harms.
Three-time World Champion John Part meets Brendan Dolan, and former Premier League champion Gary Anderson meets PDC World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton.
William Hill Grand Slam of Darts
Thursday November 15
Dean Winstanley 10-5 Arron Monnk
Kevin Painter 10-5 Mervyn King
Michael van Gerwen 10-5 Phil Taylor
Scott Waites 10-8 Robert Thornton
Friday November 16
John Part v Brendan Dolan
Wes Newton v Christian Kist
Andy Hamilton v Gary Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld v Wesley Harms
Best of 19 legs
Dean Winstanley v Arron Monk
1-0 - Monk starts superbly by hitting a 180 with his first three darts but Winstanley produces more consistent scoring and wins the first leg with an 80 finish.
2-0 - Winstanley wins the second by taking out 68 despite miscounting in the process of completing the finish.
3-0 - The Yorkshireman lands double five to continue his good start to this second round encounter.
3-1 - Monk wins his first leg of the game on double eight to record an accomplished 14-darter.
3-2 - The Basingstoke youngster hits a second maximum and lands double 12 for a break of throw after Winstanley is guilty of five missed darts at doubles.
4-2 - Monk is off-target with three chances to level the game and Winstanley hits tops with an accurate third dart.
4-3 - Winstanley misses two chances to move three legs clear and Monk hits double 16 to keep in touch.
5-3 - The winning double proves a problem for Winstanley as five chances go begging before landing double five to move two legs clear once again.
6-3 - Two missed darts at double top prove costly for Monk as Winstanley hits the same bed to snatch the leg.
6-4 - Monk dominates the leg and goes on to hit double ten to reduce the deficit.
7-4 - Winstanley holds throw with an excellent 13-dart finish completed on double 16.
8-4 - Winstanley hits back-to-back 180s and goes on to hit double 13 to edge closer to the finishing line.
9-4 - The Yorkshireman^s fine form continues as he hits a fifth maximum and wins the leg with another 13-darter.
9-5 - Monk hits double eight to keep the match alive with Winstanley waiting on 40 after 12 darts thrown.
10-5 - Winstanley ends a fine display by hitting double four to become the first player through to the last eight.
Dean Winstanley: "I^m delighted to be through to the next round. I had a chance last year and didn^t take it but tonight I took my opportunity with both hands. I had a great start to the game but ran out of steam a little in the middle. After the second break I really found some form and I was finding the treble 20 on a regular basis."
Mervyn King v Kevin Painter
1-0 - King finds double six to convert a 126 checkout to win the opening leg of the contest against the darts.
1-1 - Painter takes out 76 thanks to an accurate third dart, with his opponent waiting on tops.
1-2 - King hits an excellent 168 to leave 16, but six missed darts at doubles prove expensive as Painter hits double five.
2-2 - Painter hits a 180 but King wins the leg with a 13-dart finish to level the match.
2-3 - Painter converts a two-dart 96 finish to edge ahead once again.
2-4 - The reigning Players Championship Finals winner takes out a 68 finish with King waiting on 32.
2-5 - Painter holds throw to win his third leg on the spin to take command of the game.
2-6 - King dominates the leg but four missed darts at doubles allow Painter to step in and take out 56 in two darts to increase his lead.
2-7 - Painter hits double 16 to win his fifth leg in a row and leave King with a mountain to climb.
3-7 - King stops the rot by hitting double six to reduce the deficit to four legs.
3-8 - Painter hits his second 180 of the game and wins the leg on double five.
4-8 - King holds throw to keep his hopes alive.
4-9 - King is off-target at double 16 for a 109 finish and Painter hits double eight to go a leg away from triumph.
5-9 - King hits double 18 to complete a 14-dart finish.
5-10 - Painter wins the match in style thanks to a 13-darter and set up a quarter-final clash with Dean Winstanley.
Kevin Painter: "Neither of us found any fluency but I took the chances that Mervyn gave to me. I^ve beaten Mervyn a couple of times in recent TV tournaments and that could have been on his mind tonight. I seem to play well in Wolverhampton and the game against Dean on Saturday should be a good one."
Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor
0-1 - van Gerwen hits an effortless 174 to leave 72 but Taylor takes out 65 in two darts to hold throw.
1-1 - The Dutch star kicks-off the leg with a 180 and wins the leg in 14-darts to level.
1-2 - Taylor hits double eight to regain the lead.
2-2 - van Gerwen hits a second maximum and converts a clinical 82 finish by hitting a bullseye, double 16 combination.
2-3 - Taylor holds throw for the third consecutive time by hitting double 20.
3-3 - van Gerwen converts 76 finish in just two darts to keep matters finely balanced.
3-4 - Taylor hits an excellent 125 finish with van Gerwen waiting on a two-darter.
4-4 - van Gerwen kicks-off the leg with his fourth maximum and hits tops to level for a fourth time.
5-4 - Taylor just misses the bullseye for a 167 checkout and van Gerwen hits a clinical 91 finish to secure the first break of the match.
6-4 - Taylor hits a fantastic 177 but another missed dart at bullseye allows the Dutchman a chance at tops which he duly converts.
7-4 - Taylor is off-target with a dart at bullseye for a third leg running and the superb Dutchman hits the same bed to finish a 130 checkout.
8-4 - van Gerwen hits a sixth 180 and moves four legs clear of Taylor thanks to a two-dart 91 finish.
8-5 - van Gerwen experiences a rare slip-up as six chances to move five legs clear go begging and Taylor hits double ten to win his first leg in five.
9-5 - van Gerwen hits a 174 for the second time in the match, leaving 32, and hits double 16 with a vital third dart - with Taylor waiting on tops.
10-5 - Taylor^s dart at double 16 is off-target and van Gerwen hits tops to end a fabulous performance with a three-dart average of 108.38.
Michael van Gerwen: "To beat Phil on the big stage is an amazing feeling. He played great and averaged 104, so to win in this way gives me lots of confidence. The hard work that I have put in has shown in my results over the last few months and I want to produce this type of performance in the quarter-finals."
Scott Waites v Robert Thornton
1-0 - Thornton hits a 177 but a missed dart at double 14 sees Waites win the leg with an 83 finish.
1-1 - Waites kicks-off the leg with a 180 but Thornton produces more consistent scoring and wins the leg on double five.
2-1 - Waites fires in a second maximum and hits double nine to edge ahead.
2-2 - Thornton hits an excellent 13-darter to level despite Waites recording a third 180 in as many legs.
3-2 - Waites moves ahead for a third time thanks to an accurate attempt at double 14.
3-3 - The Yorkshireman is off-target with six attempts at doubles to break and Thornton hits double 14 to hold.
4-3 - Both players hit maximums before Waites wins leg seven with a 13-dart finish.
5-3 - Waites secures the first break of the match by hitting a superb 148 checkout with his opponent waiting on a two-darter.
5-4 - Thornton hits double top at the first attempt to break-back after Waites wasted two darts at double 16 to go three legs clear.
5-5 - The Scotsman takes out 68 to level the match at five apiece.
6-5 - Waites hits double ten with an accurate third dart to edge ahead.
6-6 - Thornton levels with an excellent 13-darter completed on tops.
7-6 - Thornton hits seven consecutive treble 20s, but the attempt at treble 19 on a 141 finish is off-target to end his hopes of a nine-darter -and Waites^ high scoring in reply sees him win the leg with an excellent 87 finish on double five for a 12-darter.
7-7 - Thornton lands double four to continue the tight pattern to the match.
8-7 - Waites hits a seventh 180 and wins the leg in just 11 darts.
8-8 - Waites misses a dart at the bullseye for a 132 checkout and Thornton takes out 68 in two darts.
9-8 - The 2010 champion moves a leg away from victory thanks to a 14-dart finish.
10-8 - Thornton pays the price for a missed attempt at double 16 as Waites hits a superb 120 checkout to end a high-quality match.
Scott Waites: "It was a fantastic game between the two of us and I^m glad I came out the winner. Every time I won a leg Robert kept battling back. It^s great to end the match with a 103 average and I know I will have to produce that kind of standard against Michael van Gerwen in my next match."