WEST CUTS THE POWER IN UNIBET WORLD GRAND PRIX
STEVE WEST enjoyed a dream debut at the Unibet World Grand Prix with the performance of his life to defeat Phil Taylor, as Michael van Gerwen overcame a potential banana skin against Steve Beaton in Dublin.
Waltham Abbey's West had only qualified for the World Grand Prix by reaching the final of the last Players Championship before the cut-off just over a week ago - but showed that he belongs amongst the world's best with an inspired display.
Taylor, the 11-time World Grand Prix winner, hit back from a leg down to take the opening set 3-1, and shared the first four legs of the second set to move a leg away from the win.
West, though, finished 101 for a second time as he took the set to level before winning the decider 3-1 for the biggest win of his career.
"I'm gobsmacked," said West, the world number 52 who now meets Daryl Gurney in Wednesday's second round. "It's the biggest moment in my whole darting life - there's no words for it.
"I'm glad I battled through it and got through. Phil's an absolute legend and no-one can express what he's done for this game - it's an honour to play him even, and to beat him is unreal.
"I believe in myself, I know what I can do and I've just got to carry it on. If I can, I'm going to go far."
Northern Ireland's Gurney, who returned to action on Friday after a month sidelined with a broken bone in his throwing hand, overcame Austria's Mensur Suljovic in a deciding leg as he moved into the last 16 for the first time.
"I'm over the moon and so glad to get through that," said Gurney. "I've not won here before so I'm very pleased because Mensur's a great player.
"My hand's still not 100 percent but maybe I need to break it more often if it helps me get through!"
World number one van Gerwen moved through to a meeting with debutant James Wilson in round two by coming from a set down against Steve Beaton.
Beaton produced an outstanding 135 finish as he claimed the opening set 3-1 from a leg down, but van Gerwen reeled off six straight legs to storm through, sealing the win with a 118 checkout.
"I'm really happy with my performance," said van Gerwen, who averaged an impressive 97 in the double-start format. "Steve did well but I think I produced something really special in the last six legs.
"The format goes up now and it suits me because you don't have to worry about one mistake."
Huddersfield's Wilson also came from a set down, against Ireland's Mick McGowan, as he sealed victory by claiming the decider 3-0 on his debut in the double-start format.
"I took a bit of time to settle in and I was a little bit nervous, but I got into my game," said Wilson, ranked 48th on the PDC Order of Merit. "I want to keep playing the way I am and hopefully things will keep going my way because I'm doing quite well at the minute."
World number five Peter Wright joined Taylor in being knocked out as he lost in straight sets to 2011 World Grand Prix runner-up Brendan Dolan, who now meets 2013 finalist Dave Chisnall.
"It's a very special win because my form hasn't been great this year," said Dolan, who had warmed up for the event with his marriage to Teresa last week. "I got stronger as the game went on and it's a great boost.
"Dave's another Premier League player and he's a brilliant player. He's got to the final of this tournament before so it should be nip and tuck."
Chisnall, meanwhile, overcame a power cut - forcing a 20-minute delay - and the loss of the first set against Robbie Green before he moved into the last 16.
"I didn't turn up for the first set, and the power cut probably helped me," admitted Chisnall. "I wasn't at my best but I got through it and I can look forward now to the next round."
Alan Norris celebrated his World Grand Prix debut with a 2-1 defeat of number eight seed Michael Smith, who took the first set 3-1 but saw his rival take out 156 and 136 on his way to victory as he set up a meeting with Australia’s Simon Whitlock.
Whitlock was another player to win from a set down as he overcame Joe Cullen, winning six of the game's final seven legs to continue his revival, after winning his first ranking title for two years on Saturday.
The second round of the £400,000 double-start tournament begins on Tuesday, with the four matches including World Champion Gary Anderson up against Australia's emerging Kyle Anderson.
World number three Adrian Lewis meets two-time Dublin finalist Raymond van Barneveld, two-time runner-up Terry Jenkins faces young Dutch star Benito van de Pas and Stephen Bunting takes on Kim Huybrechts.
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Unibet World Grand Prix
Monday October 3
First Round x8
Dave Chisnall 2-1 Robbie Green
Mick McGowan 1-2 James Wilson
Mensur Suljovic 1-2 Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith (8) 1-2 Alan Norris
Joe Cullen 1-2 Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor (4) 1-2 Steve West
Michael van Gerwen (1) 2-1 Steve Beaton
Peter Wright (5) 0-2 Brendan Dolan
Best of three sets, best of five legs per set.
Dave Chisnall v Robbie Green
0-1 - Green goes off on double one but checksout in 15 darts to break the Chisnall throw.
0-2 - Robbie Green doubles his advantage on double ten.
1-2 - Chisnall holds throw after a 20-minute break following a power cut as he hits double ten.
1-3 - Tops for Robbie Green to take the opening set.
1-0 - A break of throw for Chisnall as he takes out 60 on tops.
1-1 - Green level as he hits double eight.
2-1 - Another break as Chisnall punishes Green for missed darts and takes out 56 on tops.
2-2 - Green breaks back again on tops. He'll throw for the match now.
3-2 - Chisnall moves in and hit tops for the set.
1-0 - Chisnall hits a 174 to leave 24, which he takes out on double six.
1-1 - Green levels the score as he takes out 43 on double 16.
2-1 - 60 on doube ten for Chisnall to move one away from the second round.
3-1 - Dave Chisnall in to round two as he comes from a set down to beat Robbie Green.
|Dave Chisnall||2-1||Robbie Green|
|4||Breaks of Throw||3|
|13/34 - 38%||Starting Doubles||13/31 - 42%|
|7/16 - 44%||Finishing Doubles||6/20 - 30%|
Mick McGowan v James Wilson
1-0 - 76 on tops as McGowan holds.
1-1 - Double ten as Wilson draws level.
1-2 - 86 on double eight as Wilson breaks the throw.
2-2 - McGowan levels on double 16.
3-2 - Four misses from McGowan allow Wilson a shot, but his missed bull allows the local hero back on double two to claim the set.
1-0 - Double 13 for McGowan to punish a missed dart at tops by Wilson.
1-1 - Wilson takes out 76 on double eight to break back.
2-1 - McGowan one from the match as he takes out 85 on tops.
2-2 - Wilson breaks back again as he hits double 16 with McGowan sitting on 40.
2-3 - Two 180's not enought for McGowan as Wilson takes out 54 on double 18 to win the set.
0-1 - Wilson breaks the throw on double 16.
0-2 - One away for Wilson as he takes out 100 on tops.
0-3 - Wilson seals the win with a 12 darter on double 18.
|Mick McGowan||1-2||James Wilson|
|3||Breaks of Throw||5|
|13/31 - 42%||Starting Doubles||13/37 - 35%|
|5/10 - 50%||Finishing Doubles||8/15 - 53%|
Mensur Suljovic v Daryl Gurney
0-1 - Gurney breaks in the opening leg as he hits tops.
0-2 - 25 on double eight as Gurney doubles his lead.
0-3 - Gurney takes the set as he takes out 50 on double 16.
1-0 - Suljovic on the board as he breaks the throw on double three.
2-0 - Double four for Suljoivc as he moves two clear of his opponent.
3-0 - Suljovic levels the score as he wins the set to nil.
0-1 - Gurney breaks the Suljovic throw as he takes out 32 on double 16.
0-2 - Gurney one leg away from a big win as he takes out 34 on double eight.
1-2 - Gurney misses five match darts allowing Suljovic to pin double two to keep the game going.
2-2 - Suljovic forces a deciding leg as he breaks Gurney's throw on tops.
2-3 - Gurney beats Suljovic as he takes out 92 on double 12.
|Mensur Suljovic||1-2||Daryl Gurney|
|3||Breaks of Throw||4|
|11/19 - 58%||Starting Doubles||11/34 - 32%|
|5/22 - 23%||Finishing Doubles||6/21 - 29%|
Michael Smith v Alan Norris
1-0 - Smith away as he takes out 73 on tops.
2-0 - A break for Smith as he hits double one.
2-1 - 101 on tops as Norris breaks back.
3-1 - 100 with tops, tops! Smith takes the first set.
0-1 - Double ten for Norris as he moves ahead in the second set.
0-2 - Tops for Norris as he breaks the Smith throw.
1-2 - Seven perfect darts for Smith before hitting double 12 for a 12 dart leg.
2-2 - 65 on double four as Smith levels.
2-3 - 156 out as Norris claims the set.
1-0 - 110 out for Smith after Norris misses chances to break.
1-1 - The pair miss a handful of darts each before Norris hits double one to level.
1-2 - Norris will throw for the match as he takes out 136.
1-3 - The eigth seed in out as Norris hits double ten after Smith misses double four to level.
|Michael Smith||1-2||Alan Norris|
|3||Breaks of Throw||3|
|13/26 - 50%||Starting Doubles||13/35 - 37%|
|6/26 - 23%||Finishing Doubles||7/26 - 27%|
Joe Cullen v Simon Whitlock
0-1 - Whitlock makes a fine start with a 13-dart leg.
1-1 - 82 on the bull for Cullen to level.
2-1 - Cullen breaks the throw as he hits double three.
3-1 - Double ten seals the set for Cullen.
0-1 - Whitlock breaks the Cullen throw on double two.
1-1 - Whitlock misses the chance to take a 2-0 lead before Cullen takes out 25 on double eight.
1-2 - Sloppy from both as the pair miss darts for the leg before Whitlock finally hits double two to break.
1-3 - More misses from Joe Cullen and Whitlock takes the set on double five.
0-1 - Whitlock hits his third maximum before checking out 20 on double ten.
0-2 - 135 on the bull as Whitlock moves one away.
0-3 - Whitlock will face Alan Norris in round two as he pins double two.
|Joe Cullen||1-2||Simon Whitlock|
|2||Breaks of Throw||3|
|11/29 - 38%||Starting Doubles||11/27 - 41%|
|4/27 - 15%||Finishing Doubles||7/30 - 23%|
Phil Taylor v Steve West
0-1 - West breaks the Taylor throw on double six.
1-1 - 111 out for Taylor as he breaks back immediately.
2-1 - West gets away after 16 darts as Taylor takes out 32 on double 16.
3-1 - Taylor takes the first set as he hits double six.
0-1 - 86 on double eight for West.
1-1 - Taylor hits seven perfect darts before taking out 64 on D16.
1-2 - West takes out 101 on tops.
2-2 - Taylor one leg away as he hits double eight.
2-3 - 101 from West to take us to a deciding set.
0-1 - Taylor misses two at doubles allowing West to break on double ten.
0-2 - One away as West hits double 16.
1-2 - Taylor still alive as he hits double 16.
1-3 - Phil Taylor is OUT! Steve West takes out 62 to seal a dramatic victory.
|Phil Taylor||1-2||Steve West|
|2||Breaks of Throw||2|
|13/26 - 50%||Starting Doubles||13/52 - 25%|
|6/24 - 25%||Finishing Doubles||7/10 - 70%|
Michael van Gerwen v Steve Beaton
1-0 - An early break for van Gerwen as he takes out 106 on tops.
1-1 - Great response by Beaton who takes out 135 on tops.
1-2 - Beaton holds throw as he hits double eight.
1-3 - Beaton takes the first set on double four, winning his third straight leg.
1-0 - 52 on tops for van Gerwen to hold.
2-0 - Tops again for van Gerwen as he breaks the Beaton throw.
3-0 - 102 on double 16 for van Gerwen to seal the second set.
1-0 - A break for van Gerwen as he hits tops.
2-0 - Double four for van Gerwen as he moves one away from the second round.
3-0 - 118 to seal the win for van Gerwen with a 97 average.
|Michael van Gerwen||2-1||Steve Beaton|
|4||Breaks of Throw||2|
|10/22 - 45%||Starting Doubles||10/22 - 45%|
|7/13 - 53.85||Finishing Doubles||3/8 - 38%|
Peter Wright v Brendan Dolan
0-1 - 42 on double eight as Dolan holds throw.
1-1 - Wright hits back with 60 on D10.
1-2 - 63 on double 16 as Dolan moves back ahead.
2-2 - Wright level again as he takes out 73 on double eight.
2-3 - Dolan takes the set as he hits double eight.
0-1 - Dolan breaks the throw as he takes out 74 on double 16.
0-2 - One leg away for Brendan Dolan as he hits double eight.
1-2 - Dolan misses three match darts before Wright takes out 58 on tops.
1-3 - Dolan seals the win on double 16. The fifth seed is out.
|Peter Wright||0-2||Brendan Dolan|
|0||Breaks of Throw||1|
|9/26 - 35%||Starting Doubles||9/21 - 43%|
|3/4 - 75%||Finishing Doubles||6/15 - 40%|