The Unibet Masters
The Coral Masters Quarter-Finals
LEWIS & TAYLOR THRILL EDINBURGH CROWD WITH CORAL MASTERS WINS
ADRIAN LEWIS and Phil Taylor turned on the style with sensational performances in The Coral Masters on Saturday night, as they were joined in the semi-finals by comeback kings James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld in Edinburgh.
Lewis followed up Friday's thrilling first round victory over Kim Huybrechts with another sensational performance, as he averaged 107.93 in an 8-2 win over Robert Thornton, whose defeat ended Scottish hopes at the Royal Highland Centre.
Lewis opened their contest in style with a 14-darter and a 136 checkout for a 12-dart leg, and traded 180s with Thornton before taking out 80 on the bull to lead 3-0.
Thornton replied with a 14-dart finish, but Lewis took out 96 for an 11-darter and then finished 82 and 80 as he moved 6-1 up, before hitting double ten to move to the brink of victory.
The Scot replied by finishing 70, but Lewis landed double 18 to seal a brilliant performance, as he continues to defy the effects of a draining bout of 'flu to remain in the hunt for the inaugural £50,000 title.
"It was a tough game and Robert didn't do a lot wrong, but I hit the right shots at the right times and am happy to get over the line," said Lewis. "I had to go up there and attack the game, and my finishing was great.
"I'm still not feeling great but my form's brilliant and the hard work I've been doing in practice is paying off. Hopefully tomorrow I can have another good day and go all the way, but I've got to focus on the semi-finals first."
World Champion Taylor was also in unstoppable form as he won through to the semi-finals with an 8-2 victory of his own, as he averaged 109.28 in a fine display against Wes Newton.
Although Newton shared the first two legs, he was punished for missed doubles as Taylor established a 4-1 cushion, before a pair of double ten finishes saw the Stoke ace move into a five-leg lead.
Double eight saw Newton hit back, but Taylor posted a 180 in a 14-darter to respond before tops saw him complete a sensational display.
"Adrian came off stage and told me he'd averaged 107, and said 'Beat that', so I did!" joked Taylor. "It was a good game and I don't think the score reflected the game.
"Wes missed some doubles early on and let me off, but he's very consistent and it could have been a lot closer than it was. He's predictable and you know what you'll get against him, and I think he's got a big future.
"It will be really tough again against James in the semi-finals but I'm looking forward to it."
Taylor now plays seven-time major winner James Wade in the last four, after the left-hander showed his class with a gutsy comeback from 7-4 down to defeat Simon Whitlock 8-7.
Whitlock hit seven 180s in the contest, but paid the price for missing match darts in two of the final four legs as Wade clawed back level before taking out 91 on the bullseye to complete a brilliant fightback.
"It means a lot to me to be in the semi-finals," said Wade. "It was a big game and I'm trying to prove a point in terms of the rankings because I've dropped out of the top four this year.
"I don't think that I should be ranked number six in the world and it's starting to become a bit of a challenge because I know that I've got to play good darts. I'm starting to throw straight darts again and I'm feeling very good."
Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld also hit back from behind as he won the all-Dutch clash with Michael van Gerwen 8-6.
Van Gerwen established an early 4-1 lead, taking out a superb 110 finish to break throw in leg four, and though van Barneveld finished 120 and 105 to pull back the next two, double 16 put the Premier League champion 5-3 up.
Van Barneveld, though, took his tally of 180s in the game to six as he won the next four legs without reply to turn the game on its head by moving 7-5 up, and though van Gerwen rallied briefly by finishing tops, his rival took out 82 on double eight to seal his last four place.
"I'm a really happy man," said van Barneveld. "Michael's one of the toughest opponents in the game and to beat him is great.
"At 4-1 I didn't think I'd done too much wrong but Michael played some awesome darts. I felt comfortable and in the break I just told myself to relax and enjoy the game, and if I got chances I knew I needed to take them.
"I'm a winner and I want to win every single week, and I know that if I play my game like I did tonight, then I can beat anyone. I know I can do it, I played well today; my doubles were good, my finishes were good and my triples were good, so why can't I go all the way?"
Sunday's semi-finals will be followed by the final as the stars compete to take the inaugural Coral Masters title and a £50,000 first prize from the event, which features the world's top 16 players.
Tickets for Sunday's final stages, which begin at 6.45pm, are still available and can be purchased on the door at the Royal Highland Centre's Lowland Hall from 5.45pm on the night.
The Coral Masters
Saturday November 2
James Wade 8-7 Simon Whitlock
Robert Thornton 2-8 Adrian Lewis - Lewis Video
Phil Taylor 8-2 Wes Newton - Taylor Video
Michael van Gerwen 6-8 Raymond van Barneveld - van Barneveld Video
Best of 15 legs
Sunday November 3 (6.45pm)
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis
Best of 19 legs
Taylor/Wade v van Barneveld/Lewis
Best of 19 legs
James Wade v Simon Whitlock
0-1 - Whitlock hits double ten to win the game's opening leg.
0-2 - The Australian punishes a miss from Wade, at tops for a 120 finish, by taking out 112 to double his lead.
1-2 - Both players hit 180s, with Whitlock missing tops to win a third successive leg as Wade finishes 80 on double ten to hit back.
2-2 - Wade initially misses four darts at doubles, but Whitlock is unable to capitalise as he misses the bull to complete a 124 combination as the left-hander levels on double two.
2-3 - Whitlock hits another 180, but misses doubles across two visits as Wade seeks to move ahead - but the left-hander is also unable to take his chances as he misses the bull for a 164 finish and two darts at double ten to allow the Australian in to finish double one, with his third dart, to take the fifth leg and regain the edge.
3-3 - Double ten sees Wade level the game.
3-4 - Whitlock finishes 68 on double four to move back ahead.
4-4 - Whitlock hits a 168 score to leave 40, but Wade hits double top to square the contest.
4-5 - Wade misses darts at double top, ten and five, and Whitlock lands double nine with his third dart as he regains the lead.
4-6 - Wade is punished for further missed doubles as Whitlock hits double 17 to break and move two legs clear.
4-7 - Whitlock lands double six as he takes a two-leg lead and moves to the brink of victory.
5-7 - Whitlock posts a 180 but Wade responds on double 16 keep his hopes alive.
6-7 - Whitlock lands two 180s in the leg but misses four match darts at double top and ten, and Wade finishes 65 on tops to reply again.
7-7 - Whitlock hits another maximum, but Wade finishes 81 for an 11-darter as he sends the match into a decider.
8-7 - The Australian is first to a finish but misses two more match darts at tops, and Wade takes out 91 on the bull to complete a sensational comeback.
|James Wade||8-7||Simon Whitlock|
|3||Breaks of Throw||2|
|8/26 - 31%||Checkout %||7/36 - 19%|
Robert Thornton v Adrian Lewis
0-1 - Lewis opens with a break of throw, finishing tops for a 14-darter.
0-2 - Lewis completes a 12-darter with a brilliant 136 checkout.
0-3 - The pair trade 180s, but Lewis finishes 80 on the bull to win a third straight leg.
1-3 - Thornton htis a 180 and wins his first leg of the game with a 14-darter.
1-4 - Lewis replies to restore his cushion in style with an 11-dart finish, taking out 96.
1-5 - Lewis' charge continues as he takes out 82 with a bullseye, double 16 combination.
1-6 - Lewis hits a 180 and finishes 80 on double ten to continue a superb display.
1-7 - The Stoke ace moves to the brink of victory by landing double ten once again.
2-7 - Lewis misses the bull for a 123 finish, and Thornton keeps the game alive by taking out 70 on tops.
2-8 - Lewis completes a sensational win on double 18, ending with a 107.93 average.
Click here for Adrian Lewis video interview at the OfficialPDC YouTube Channel
|Robert Thornton||2-8||Adrian Lewis|
|1||Breaks of Throw||4|
|2/9 - 22%||Finishing %||8/11 - 73%|
Phil Taylor v Wes Newton
1-0 - Taylor hits a 180 as he takes the game's opening leg.
1-1 - Newton levels by landing double eight for a 14-dart finish.
2-1 - The pair trade 180s before Taylor pins tops to hold throw and regain the edge.
3-1 - Newton hits a 180, but misses two darts at tops to punish Taylor for his misses, initially at the bull for a 130 finish and then with three darts at double 17, before the World Champion returns to hit double 17 to break throw.
4-1 - Taylor again misses the bull to finish 130, this time returning to hit double eight for a three-leg cushion.
5-1 - Double ten sees Taylor move four legs clear of his opponent.
6-1 - The World Champion hits double ten once more to continue his charge.
6-2 - Newton misses the bull to finish 81, but returns to land double eight to hit back.
7-2 - Taylor hits a 180 in a 14-darter to move to the brink of victory.
8-2 - Taylor lands tops at the first time of asking to seal a brilliant win, ending with a 109.28 average.
Click here for Phil Taylor video interview on the OfficialPDC YouTube Channel
|Phil Taylor||8-2||Wes Newton|
|3||Breaks of Throw||0|
|8/19 - 42%||Checkout %||2/10 - 20%|
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
1-0 - van Barneveld hits a 180, but van Gerwen denies him a dart to take the leg by finishing double 12 for a 13-darter.
1-1 - van Barneveld lands a 171 to leave 36, and though he initially misses doubles, he has enough cushion to return and finish double four.
2-1 - van Gerwen lands a 180, and though van Barneveld fires in a 177 to leave 24, tops sees the world number two hold throw.
3-1 - van Barneveld opens with a 180 and is first to a finish, but misses two darts at tops, and van Gerwen takes out 110 on double 16 to break throw.
4-1 - The five-time World Champion opens with another 180, but van Gerwen replies in kind before hitting double top again to move 4-1 up.
4-2 - Van Barneveld hits back in a bizarre leg, bursting his score on 120 before returning to finish the combination at the second time of asking.
4-3 - van Gerwen misses double 16 for a 112 finish, and van Barneveld capitalises by taking out 105 on double 18.
5-3 - This time van Gerwen does hit double 16, as he regains a two-leg cushion.
5-4 - van Barneveld hits another 180, and lands double eight to pull back to within touching distance once more.
5-5 - van Gerwen misses tops to punish his opponent for a miss at double 18, as the Den Haag thrower returns on double nine.
5-6 - van Barneveld breaks throw by finishing double nine to move ahead for the first time.
5-7 - van Gerwen misses tops for a 118 finish, and his opponent once more steps in as he hits the same bed to move to the brink of victory.
Click here for Raymond van Barneveld video interview at the OfficialPDC YouTube Channel
|Michael van Gerwen||6-8||Raymond van Barneveld|
|2||Breaks of Throw||3|
|6/11 - 55%||Checkout %||8/22 - 36%|