VAN GERWEN DEFEATS REYES IN ALLY PALLY CLASSIC AS TAYLOR AND BARNEY EASE THROUGH

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN won the match of this year's William Hill World Darts Championship so far in a thrilling battle with Cristo Reyes, while Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld also progressed to the last 16 with victories at Alexandra Palace on Tuesday. 

Van Gerwen came out on top in a high-quality second round encounter against Spanish number one Reyes, with the pair posting the highest two averages of this year's tournament. 

The world number one and odds-on favourite to win the Sid Waddell Trophy won 4-2 with a 105.24 three-dart average against an inspired Reyes, who averaged a superb 106.07 to enhance his growing reputation.

Van Gerwen hit ten 180s and sensational finishes of 164 and 161 in the classic contest, which saw Reyes miss a dart at double 18 to force a deciding set before the 2014 champion finally closed out the win.

"Cristo played phenomenal darts," said the Dutch star, who will take on Darren Webster in the third round on Thursday.

"I'm sure everyone enjoyed it. There was high averages and big finishes. It was a really good game of darts and what everybody wants to see. 

"It gives me a good feeling for the rest of the tournament. I'm really glad I was prepared and showed everyone what I can do."

Taylor, meanwhile, began his second round clash against Kevin Painter with a sensational 167 checkout and never looked back as he dropped just four legs in a routine triumph.

The 16-time World Champion, who is yet to drop a set in this year's tournament, did survive three set darts in the third set but went on to win the fourth set 3-0 to complete the victory.

"I won four-nil but it was winning ugly," said Taylor, after setting up a third round clash against either Kim Huybrechts or Max Hopp.

"I'll move on and get ready for the next round and I know I will have to play better but I got the win. It's a scrappy win but I'll be practising tomorrow to make sure I improve."

Dutch great van Barneveld dropped just two legs against Alan Norris in a classy display to set up a showdown with Adrian Lewis on Wednesday evening for a place in the quarter-finals.

The five-time World Champion averaged over 103, fired in seven 180s and produced a stunning 121 checkout on his way to another comfortable victory, following on from his first round success against Robbie Green.

"I was really focused and I really enjoyed the game," said van Barneveld, who has been a semi-finalist at Alexandra Palace in three of the last four years.

"I practiced hard before this tournament but just rested over Christmas. I've been doing this a long time and I think I know what to do.

"I feel comfortable and confident. When you feel like that, you can beat all of them." 

Meanwhile, Mark Webster, Daryl Gurney and Dave Chisnall all progressed to the third round with wins in the afternoon session as the £1.65 million tournament resumed following the Christmas break.

Webster prevailed against number eight seed Mensur Suljovic with a solid display, in which he held off a fightback from October's European Championship finalist.

The Welshman, a two-time PDC World Championship semi-finalist, led 3-1 in sets but was forced all the way to a decider by his tenacious opponent. 

Webster, though, closed out victory in a confident fashion, taking the seventh set 3-0 to move into round three, where he will face Northern Ireland's Gurney.

"There were some moments of brilliance and some moments of mediocrity," said Webster, who hit eight 180s as he followed up his first round defeat of Joe Murnan with another good win.

"I didn't play great but I kept steady and I hit my doubles well in the last set and that's what won me the game.

"I've practiced really hard for this. I'm going to be an underdog for the next game again and I'll relish it."

Northern Ireland's Gurney, meanwhile, fought off the challenge of ninth seed Robert Thornton in another clash that went the distance.

The Dutch Darts Masters runner-up made a flying start by winning the first six legs without allowing his opponent a dart at a double, but Thornton hit back to lead 3-2 in sets. 

Gurney, however, refused to be denied his first ever appearance in the last 16 as he won six out of the last seven legs to progress.

"I'm so pleased to get through," said the 30-year-old, who produced a spectacular 161 finish to overshadow Thornton's 124 checkout.

"I've never got past this stage before and I'm really pleased to get that monkey off of my back. It feels so good and is such a relief.

"I knew the good darts would come from Robert and they did. I was very nervous towards the end but I did it and I'm over the moon."

Number seven seed Chisnall also won six out of the last seven legs as he ended the hopes of Ally Pally debutant Dobey, who had impressed in his first round success over Justin Pipe.

Chisnall, who has reached three televised finals in 2016, had six 180s and a 110 checkout in the victory, which set up a third round clash with either Jelle Klaasen or Brendan Dolan.

"I had to dig deep again - a bit like in my first game," said Chisnall, who defeated Rowby-John Rodriguez in a deciding set in round one.

"I've not really got going yet. I've managed to do the job twice so I'm happy and I know that there is more to come."

Wednesday sees the second round conclude at London's Alexandra Palace with the remaining four matches, opened with Belgian Kim Huybrechts' tie against Germany's former World Youth Champion Max Hopp.

English pair James Wade and Steve Beaton then clash before Dutch ace Jelle Klaasen faces Northern Ireland's Brendan Dolan, with the evening session contest between Scotland's Peter Wright and Wales' Jamie Lewis ending the last 32 action.

The third round then begins as reigning World Champion Gary Anderson faces Dutch youngster Benito van de Pas before former World Champions Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld face off in the World Championship for a third successive year.

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William Hill World Darts Championship
Second Round 

Tuesday December 27 
Afternoon Session
Mensur Suljovic (8) 3-4 Mark Webster (25)
Robert Thornton (9) 3-4 Daryl Gurney (24)
Dave Chisnall (7) 4-2 Chris Dobey

Evening Session
Raymond van Barneveld (12) 4-0 Alan Norris (21)
Phil Taylor (4) 4-0 Kevin Painter
Michael van Gerwen (1) 4-2 Cristo Reyes (32)

Second Round - best of seven sets

LIVE STATS 
Follow live stats & see match stats throughout the event via the official PDC Live Scores website - CLICK HERE 

MATCH UPDATES

Mensur Suljovic (8) 3-4 Mark Webster (25) 
1-0 (3-1)
Suljovic pinned double six before a 180 from Webster helped him level. The Austrian ace though took the next two legs to win the first set, with both players adding a further maximum apiece. 

1-1 (1-3) 
Webster landed tops but Suljovic levelled with a 76 finish. Webster hit a third 180 and pegged double one after the pair both missed a string of darts at doubles. The Welshman then nailed the bull to level the match.

1-2 (0-3)
Webster won three consecutive legs to take the third set and move ahead.

1-3 (2-3) 
Both players hit 180s as Webster continued his dominant spell by sinking double two. He then added a sixth maximum and took out 81 to make it seven legs on the spin. Suljovic pulled one back on double six but Webster hit double 12 and finished 82 to move two sets clear.

2-3 (3-2)
Webster's eighth 180 was in vain as Suljovic hit double two. The Welshman landed double ten before Suljovic took out 80 and the next two legs also went with the throw as Suljovic kept his hopes alive.

3-3 (3-2)
All five legs went against the throw as Suljovic forced a deciding set, hitting back-to-back 180s in the deciding leg.

3-4 (0-3)
Webster took out 69 to break immediately before landing double ten. The left-hander then took out 58 to seal victory. 


Robert Thornton (9) 3-4 Daryl Gurney (24) 
0-1 (0-3)
Gurney hit a 180 in the opening leg and went on to win three in a row to take the first set without allowing his opponent a dart at a double.

0-2 (0-3)
Gurney took out 94, 70 and 87 to double his lead as Thornton was denied a double attempt for a second consecutive set.

1-2 (3-2)
Thornton missed five darts at doubles in the opening leg and Gurney pegged double eight to break. Thornton levelled on double ten and then produced a 12-darter as he went on to win the set 3-2.

2-2 (3-1)
Gurney took out 72 and Thornton levelled on tops. The Scotsman then fired in a 180 and pinned double six to break before adding a fourth maximum and an 81 check-out to restore parity.

3-2 (3-2)
Thornton took out a brilliant 124 and then doubled his lead before Gurney took the following two legs. Thornton won the decider, though, landing double ten after his opponent had missed a dart at the bull for the set.

3-3 (1-3)
Thornton won the first leg on double ten but Gurney responded by hitting double ten, then sensationally taking out 161 before winning the set on double one.

3-4 (0-3) 
Gurney finished 74, 58 and 54 to win the deciding set. 


Dave Chisnall (7) 4-2 Chris Dobey 
1-0 (3-1)
Chisnall hit a 180 in the first leg and he landed double ten to break. Dobey kicked off the following leg with a maximum but missed a dart at the bull and Chisnall took out 86. Dobey added a second 180 and got a leg on the board by taking out 47 but Chisnall finished 55 to take the first set.

1-1 (0-3) 
Both players opened the set with 180s as Dobey took out 84 to break. He then landed double 18 and took out  82 to level the tie.

2-1 (3-2)
Four legs were shared before Chisnall capitalised on a missed set dart from Dobey by cleaning up 70 to edge back ahead.

2-2 (2-3)
Chisnall pegged tops before Dobey took out 80. Chisnall pegged double 16 and Dobey hit tops before taking out 64 to seal the set and level the match.

3-2 (3-1)
Chisnall hit his fifth 180 and a 110 finish to break. He then took out 56 on tops before Dobey's sixth 180 helped him pull a leg back. Chisnall then nailed double top to win the set.

4-2 (3-0)
Chisnall sealed the match by winning three legs on the spin as he moved safely into the last 16. 


Raymond van Barneveld (12) 4-0 Alan Norris (21) 
1-0 (3-0)
Van Barneveld hit 180s in each of the first two legs and cruised to a opening set whitewash, with Norris' only chance being a missed darts at double 16 for a 146 combination finish.

2-0 (3-0)
Van Barneveld made it six legs in a row as he hit doubles four, six and eight to move into a commanding lead, adding two further maximums in the process.

3-0 (3-0)
Van Barneveld took out 96 in the first leg and hit a fifth 180 before landing double nine. He then pegged tops to make it nine straight legs as he moved one set away from victory.

4-0 (3-2)
Van Barneveld hit two 180s on the way to an eleven-dart leg before Norris finally got off the mark with a 64 finish. Norris then moved in front by hitting double top but a brilliant 121 finish from the 2007 champion forced a fifth leg and the Dutchman won it on double eight.


Phil Taylor (4) 4-0 Kevin Painter 
1-0 (3-1) 
Taylor started in an incredible fashion, taking out a fabulous 167 finish to break, having handed Painter the darts to start the match. Taylor then hit a 180 and landed double eight before Painter took out 101. Taylor took the set, though, pinning double eight. 

2-0 (3-1)
Taylor took out 86 but Painter replied in style with a 121 finish. Taylor then nailed double 16 and double one to open up a two-set lead.

3-0 (3-2)
Painter hit a 180 as he move ahead in the set before Taylor levelled by cleaning up 74. Painter then took out 68 but missed three darts to win the set and was duly punished as Taylor pinned double two. The 16-time World Champion then landed double 12 to move three sets clear.

4-0 (3-0)
Taylor hit double 18 and double ten to take the first two legs and he added a second 180 before taking out 60 for the match.


Michael van Gerwen (1) 4-2 Cristo Reyes (32) 
1-0 (3-0)
Van Gerwen hit double seven and then fired in his first 180 before sinking double eight. The Dutch ace then took out 54 on tops to take the first set.

1-1 (0-3)
Both players began set two with 180s and Reyes landed double 18 to complete a brilliant ten-darter. He then defied a third 180 from van Gerwen by taking out 73 to break before winning the set on double 16.

2-1 (3-2)
Van Gerwen's fourth 180 helped him win the first leg and he doubled his lead with a superb 161 checkout. Reyes hit another 180 and took out 100 with two double tops and then landed tops again to level the set. Van Gerwen pegged double five to regain his lead in the match.

3-1 (3-1)
Reyes took the first leg by hitting double ten. The Spanish number one then hit a 180 but van Gerwen pinned double eight to move ahead, before taking out finishes of 88 and 76. 

3-2 (2-3)
Van Gerwen took out a sensational 164 finish before Reyes levelled on double four. Van Gerwen edged back ahead with the aid of his seventh 180 but Reyes hit two maximums in the following leg to force a set decider. The Spanish star then produced a brilliant leg against the throw, landing double 16 to take the set. 

4-2 (3-2)
Reyes took the first leg by finishing 61 but Van Gerwen levelled by taking out 42. Reyes moved back ahead with a 92 finish despite a tenth from the world number one, who forced a set decider by sinking double five. Reyes missed a dart a double 18 to take the match to a seventh set but Van Gerwen finished the job on double eight.