Speedy Services UK Open - Fifth Round
TAYLOR SNEAKS PAST DOLAN TO SET UP SPEEDY SERVICES UK OPEN QUARTER-FINAL WITH VAN GERWEN
PHIL TAYLOR snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Brendan Dolan as he remained on course to win a fifth Speedy Services UK Open title with a 9-8 fifth round win on Saturday night, and he has drawn Dutch rival Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals of 'The FA Cup of Darts'.
Taylor stared defeat in the face against Dolan as the Northern Irishman, who had earlier hit finishes of 102, 101 and 124 in leading 4-2, missed three darts for victory when he led 8-7.
Taylor, who took out finishes of 132 and 103 himself, landed double eight to save the game and force a deciding leg, showing his World Champion class with a sublime 11-darter as he sealed a last eight spot.
"I struggled tonight and Brendan was the better player, so I'm glad to have hit the 11-darter in the last leg," said Taylor. "I was lucky to be honest and I made it hard work for myself.
"Brendan had me beaten but I just kept trying and trying and somehow got the job done."
Taylor will now play world number two Michael van Gerwen in Sunday afternoon's quarter-finals, giving him chance to avenge last month's defeat in the McCoy's Premier League Darts final four weeks ago.
Van Gerwen won through to his first UK Open quarter-finals courtesy of a 9-3 defeat of Terry Jenkins, although he did the damage early on by taking the game's first six legs without reply.
"It feels great to be in the quarter-finals for the first time," said van Gerwen. "I had a very strong start to this game but Terry played very well this afternoon against Kim Huybrechts so I knew I needed to be sharp.
"I lost my concentration a little bit in the middle of the game, but I managed to get the win and I can improve on this tomorrow. I'll have a good rest and then prepare myself for Sunday, because it would be fantastic to win this title."
Reigning champion Robert Thornton, though, was knocked out of the event as he went down 9-7 in a thriller against Raymond van Barneveld, the 2006 and 2007 UK Open winner.
Thornton led 2-0 and 4-1 before the Dutchman produced some brilliant darts in winning four successive legs to move into the lead.
Thornton regained the edge at 6-5 before van Barneveld took command with three successive legs before going on to seal his quarter-final place.
"I'm very happy," said van Barneveld. "Robert was great in the first five legs and his finishing was fantastic, but I won four legs on the spin to get myself back into the game.
"It was a tough match and I was very relieved to win when I did, because it would have been very hard in a deciding leg.
"I would mean a lot to me to win a third UK Open tomorrow but I can only concentrate on the quarter-finals first and I'll be preparing for that."
Van Barneveld now plays Blackpool's Ronnie Baxter, who edged out another Dutchman, Jelle Klaasen, 9-7 in a tight contest which saw both players hit 160 finishes.
Two-time UK Open champion James Wade continued his challenge to claim a Bolton hat-trick with a 9-4 win over John Henderson, taking command by winning four of the game's opening five legs before fending off the Scot's fightback.
Wade has now drawn Andy Hamilton in the last eight, with the former World Championship finalist having swept aside York's Terry Temple 9-1 in their fifth round game.
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis showed flashes of his best in a 9-6 win over Kevin Painter, who hit back from 5-0 down to trail just 6-4 at one stage, but the world number three hit two 11-darters as he sealed the win.
Lowestoft's Peter Wright now faces Lewis in the last eight, after he won through to his first Bolton quarter-final with another impressive performance as he defeated Steve West 9-4 with a 102 average.
The quarter-finals will be followed on Sunday evening by the £200,000 event's climax as the semi-finals and final are staged, with the eventual champion taking home £40,000 prize money.
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Speedy Services UK Open
Raymond van Barneveld 9-7 Robert Thornton
Phil Taylor 9-8 Brendan Dolan
Michael van Gerwen 9-3 Terry Jenkins
Adrian Lewis 9-6 Kevin Painter
Steve West 4-9 Peter Wright
Andy Hamilton 9-1 Terry Temple
Ronnie Baxter 9-7 Jelle Klaasen
John Henderson 4-9 James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Ronnie Baxter
Andy Hamilton v James Wade
Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright v Adrian Lewis
The semi-final draw will be made following the conclusion of the quarter-finals.
Raymond van Barneveld knocked reigning Speedy Services UK Open champion Robert Thornton out of this year's event with a battling 9-7 win over the Scot, ending with a 101 average.
Thornton, aided by a 13-darter in the opening leg, took leads of 2-0 and 4-1 before van Barneveld hit back to level, following a 180 with a 121 bullseye finish in one leg, and he then edged 5-4 up before being punished for missed doubles in the next as the Scot levelled.
Thornton then moved 6-5 up, but van Barneveld won the next three to lead 8-6, and though the reigning champion took the 15th leg, it was the two-time Bolton winner who finally sealed victory on double one in the next.
Peter Wright's impressive Speedy Services UK Open campaign continued with a fine 9-4 win over Steve West, which saw him follow up his 9-2 defeat of Stephen Bunting earlier in the day with another ton-plus average.
Wright opened with a 14-darter and took out 137 to double his lead before West got off the mark, but the colourful Lowestoft thrower took the next three for a 5-1 cushion.
West hit a 12-darter as he pulled back to 5-3, but Wright won four of the next five to seal his first UK Open quarter-final spot.
Andy Hamilton stormed into the Speedy Services UK Open quarter-finals for a second time with a superb 9-1 defeat of York's Terry Temple, whose best-ever run in a televised event was brought to a halt by the Stoke ace.
Hamilton made a thrilling start by winning the opening six legs without reply, averaging around 110 throughout a fine spell, before Temple took the seventh leg to get on the scoresheet.
Hamilton, though, regained his cushion and took the ninth leg before double 16 secured his last eight spot.
Phil Taylor snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Brendan Dolan as he produced an 11-darter to win the deciding leg of their fifth round clash.
Dolan held an early 4-2 lead, hitting finishes of 102, 101 and 124, before Taylor hit back to level at five-all.
Taylor then finished 132 as he shared the next two, and after Dolan took out a 13-darter, the four-time UK Open champion finished 103 to square the match at seven-all.
Dolan hit a 103 in reply to take an 8-7 lead, but missed the bull for a 161 finish and then was unable to land further darts at double eight and double four for a famous victory - allowing Taylor in on double eight to force a deciding leg.
The World Champion showed his class in the final leg, opening with a 177 and adding scores of 140 and 136 before finishing double 16 for an 11-darter to move into the last eight.
Ronnie Baxter held off a valiant challenge from Jelle Klaasen before progressing to the quarter-finals with a 9-7 triumph.
Klaasen made a superb start, hitting a 160 checkout to take the opening leg and, after Baxter levelled, he landed a 13-darter to move 2-1 up, and the pair continued to trade blows in sharing the opening eight legs.
Baxter then broke for the first time in leg nine, on tops, before Klaasen hit the same bed to level and then move back ahead at 6-5, only for Baxter to square the game with a 14-darter.
Klaasen finished 67 for a 7-6 lead, but Baxter produced a 16-0 finish of his own to tie the contest once more, broke with a 77 finish and then sealed the victory with a 13-darter - but only after the Dutchman missed the bull for a 170 checkout to force a deciding leg!
Michael van Gerwen won through to the Speedy Services UK Open quarter-finals for the first time in his career with a 9-3 win over Terry Jenkins.
Van Gerwen needed little more than eight minutes to win the game's opening five legs, landing a 121 finish in the process, and also led 6-0 before Jenkins got onto the scoreboard.
The pair then traded double six finishes before Jenkins broke throw to pull back to 7-3, but van Gerwen won the next two legs to snuff out any chance of a fightback and continue his own amazing winning run.
James Wade remains on course to win a third Speedy Services UK Open title following a strong 9-4 win over John Henderson.
Wade took command early on by winning the first three legs without reply before Henderson took out double ten to get off the scoreboard in leg four.
Wade, though, finished 126 on the bull to move 4-1 up, and after Henderson took leg six, the world number four finished three successive legs for a 7-2 cushion.
Henderson defied a Wade 180 to take the tenth leg on tops, but a 14-darter saw Wade edge clear before he landed double four and tops to seal his last eight spot.
Adrian Lewis completed the Speedy Services UK Open quarter-final line-up with a 9-6 win over battling Kevin Painter.
Lewis punished a slow start from the former semi-finalist by winning the opening five legs without reply, before Painter took out 110 to get his first leg on the board.
He then hit an 11-darter and double ten to pull back to 5-3 and shared the next two legs before Lewis fired in legs of 14 and 11 darts to move 8-4 up.
Painter hit two 140s and tops to win a fifth leg and, when Lewis missed two match darts, he landed tops to stay in the hunt at 8-6, but the Stoke ace sealed the win in style with another 11-dart finish, hitting two 140s and a sixth 180 of the game before posting double 16.