William Hill World Championship Day Ten


LEGENDARY 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor moved into the third round at Alexandra Palace despite another change of equipment, as Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright enjoyed comfortable William Hill World Darts Championship wins.

Taylor, who had used a new set of darts in his first round victory over Keita Ono, reverted back to his old style of barrel but used newly designed stems as he came back from losing the first set to defeat Kevin Painter 4-1.

The number three seed - and second favourite with title sponsors William Hill to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy - hit seven 180s and took out a fabulous 170 checkout as he moved into the last 16, despite missing 34 darts at a double during the game.

"I believe that my set-up is perfect now," said Taylor, who will take on Jelle Klaasen or Meryvn King in round three. "That was a struggle and a bit of a nail-biter but that's because I've been practicing so well with these darts and that actually made me a bit nervous.

"I make these changes to make myself better and I can stick with this set-up now and concentrate on the World Championship.

"The tournament starts now. I'm excited that I know I can still compete and I just need to take my practice game onto the stage."

Two-time World Champion Lewis produced a sublime performance to dismantle Andrew Gilding in straight sets.

The world number five hit eight 180s and averaged over 103 - the second highest of the tournament so far - as he dropped just two legs in a vintage display.

"I knew I had to be on my game and I couldn't be happier," said Lewis, who is chasing a third World Championship triumph, having won the sport's showpiece title in 2011 and 2012.

"I know what quality Andrew has in his locker so I had to punish him from the start and not let him get going.

"I'm really up for this. If you can't get excited about the World Championship then you shouldn't be playing darts and I'm not here to make up the numbers - I'm here to win it."

Wright eased to a straight sets victory against Belgium's Ronny Huybrechts, setting up a tasty last 16 clash with Dave Chisnall.

The 2014 runner-up hit nine 180s and averaged just under 100 in a comfortable win to please his fans, who provided vocal support throughout the match.

"The crowd were all singing my name and I didn't want to let them down," said Wright, who is yet to drop a set in this year's tournament.

"My consistency wasn't always there but I tried to get a business head on and I got a good win in the end. Chizzy has been playing well for a long time now so I will need to turn it on for him."

Earlier in the day, Mark Webster claimed an impressive straight sets victory over Terry Jenkins as Mensur Suljovic edged a seven set thriller and Alan Norris also progressed.

Two-time Alexandra Palace semi-finalist Webster continued his recent revival as he dropped just four legs against veteran star Terry Jenkins.

The Welsh left-hander, who reached the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix in October, set up a third round clash with Norris, who enjoyed a 4-1 success against Joe Murnan.

"I played steady darts and I'm pleased to be through," said Webster, the 2008 Lakeside Champion. "It didn't look brilliant but I got the job done.

"I've been working hard on getting my game right for a while now. I had issues with my technique which I'm still in the process of correcting but I'm making it work for me at the moment. The next match is a real opportunity for me or Alan and hopefully I'll take it."

Ally Pally debutant Norris hit 11 180s as he defeated Joe Murnan in five sets.

The former Lakeside Championship finalist, who won a Players Championship event in his first year on the PDC circuit, followed up his first round triumph over sixth seed Robert Thornton with another convincing display.

"A win is a win and I'm through to the last 16 so it's happy days," said Norris, who has hit two nine-darters in his first week on the PDC circuit back in January. "I've felt comfortable and confident and I'm really enjoying playing here.

"I can play better and I'll need to as the tournament goes on but if I can just improve my doubles then I can go further."

Austrian star Suljovic came out on top in a thrilling seven-set battle against a tenacious David Pallett, in a game that saw both players miss attempts at a double for nine-darters.

After six sets were shared, 2015 World Grand Prix and Players Championship semi-finalist Suljovic showed his class to win the final set, completing the victory with an 84 finish on the bull to set up a clash with Lewis on Tuesday evening.

"David is such a great player and at one point I thought 'I'm going to lose this match' but I never give up and I'm really happy that I came back and ended up winning," said Suljovic, who also missed the double for a nine-darter in Minehead last month.

"I tried to wait for his mistakes and when he did miss I waited and took my chances. I told my friends in Austria that I would hit a nine-darter so I was a little bit sad that I missed it but I will hit it next time - it will be third time lucky."

The second round concludes on Tuesday afternoon when Mervyn King takes on Jelle Klaasen, before the third round commences with five games across the two sessions which includes reigning champion Gary Anderson and the all-Dutch clash between former champions Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld.


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William Hill World Darts Championship
Monday December 28
Afternoon Session

Alan Norris 4-1 Joe Murnan
Terry Jenkins 0-4 Mark Webster
David Pallett 3-4 Mensur Suljovic

Evening Session
Adrian Lewis 4-0 Andrew Gilding
Peter Wright 4-0 Ronny Huybrechts
Phil Taylor 4-1 Kevin Painter

Second Round - best of seven sets

Alan Norris 4-1 Joe Murnan

SET ONE: 3-1
Murnan took the first leg by pinning double five but a brilliant 123 finish saw Norris level. He then hit his first 180 before taking out 60 to break and scored another maximum in the following leg, which he won with a 75 checkout.

SET TWO: 3-1
Norris pinned double six before Murnan levelled after both players hit 180s in the second leg. Norris then landed double ten and fired in his fourth maximum before pegging double 12 to move two sets ahead.

Murnan took out 61 to win the first leg but Norris' fifth maximum helped him level. Murnan pegged double two but then missed ten darts for the set before his opponent hit double one and then took out 66 to make it three sets on the spin.

Murnan won the first leg by finishing 49 and he doubled his lead with a brilliant 86 checkout on the bull after the pair had exchanged maximums. Norris pulled a leg back with the aid of another maximum but Murnan sealed the set by sinking double 12.

Murnan edged ahead on double five before another 180 helped Norris complete a 12-darter. He then grabbed a crucial break of throw by taking out 70 and finished the job in the following leg when he finished 72 after adding an 11th 180.

Match Stats

Alan Norris 4-1 Joe Murnan
19 100+ 22
14 140+ 18
0 170+ 0
11 180 4
94.8 Average 89.76
123 High Finish 86
4 Breaks of Throw 1
13/31  41.94% Checkout % 8/36  22.22%

Terry Jenkins 0-4 Mark Webster
SET ONE: 0-3
Webster pinned double ten to break his opponent's throw before landing double three. He then broke again with a brilliant 12-darter, which included his first 180 and an 81 finish.

SET TWO: 2-3
Webster took out 72 before producing a fabulous ten-darter to make it five legs in a row. Jenkins hit back by following his second 180 with a 51 finish to break. He then landed double four but missed three darts to win the set and Webster punished him by nailing double six.

Webster broke on double six before his second maximum helped him double his lead in the set. He added a third 180 but Jenkins took out 70. The pair then exchanged 180s in leg four, which Webster won by taking out 81 to complete a 12-darter as he moved three sets clear.

Webster landed tops but Jenkins took out 78 to level. The Welshman got the job done though, bedding double ten and double top to seal an impressive straight sets victory.

Match Stats

Terry Jenkins 0-4 Mark Webster
21 100+ 16
10 140+ 15
0 170+ 1
4 180 4
92.15 Average 93.37
78 High Finish 101
1 Breaks of Throw 5
4/13  30.77% Checkout % 12/35  34.29%

David Pallett 3-4 Mensur Suljovic
SET ONE: 2-3
Suljovic kick-started the contest with a brilliant 160 checkout, defying a 180 from Pallett, who levelled by taking out 64. The next three legs also went with the throw as Suljovic edged the opening set.

SET TWO: 3-1
Pallett pinned tops before Suljovic levelled on double eight. Pallett then landed 24 and produced a clinical 120 checkout to secure the first break of the game.

Pallett took out 81 to break before pinning double 16 and landing tops to make it six legs on the spin and move a set in front.

Suljovic went the closest to hitting a nine-dart-finish in the tournament so far as he wired double 18 after scoring 174 and 180 to set up a potential 147 finish. He did go out in ten darts before doubling his lead on double four. A 180 from Pallett helped him pull a leg back but Suljovic levelled the match by pegging double eight to take the set.

Suljovic edged a dramatic fifth set, starting with a 124 checkout on the bull. Pallett levelled on double ten and moved ahead by landing double two after both players missed a string of darts at doubles. The Austrian hit his third 180 and punished Pallett for missing four set-darts by taking out 64 to edge back ahead.

SET SIX: 3-1
Pallett pegged double eight but Suljovic levelled the set. The 25-year-old then set up a nine-dart attempt of his own, hitting back to back 180s before missing double 12 for the 141 combination. He eventually went out in 12 darts before a sixth 180 helped him restore match parity and force a deciding set.

Pallett broke Suljovic's throw in the opening leg, thanks to a 180 and 81 finish. The Austrian ace then punished Pallett for two missed darts at double eight by cleaning up 102. He then landed double eight to move within a leg of victory and he finished 84 on the bull to reach the last 16 for the second time.

Match Stats

David Pallett 3-4 Mensur Suljovic
31 100+ 39
28 140+ 16
0 170+ 2
8 180 4
92.21 Average 91.04
120 High Finish 160
6 Breaks of Throw 4
15/53  28.3% Checkout % 14/35  40%

Adrian Lewis 4-0 Andrew Gilding
SET ONE: 3-0
Lewis opened the match with a maximum before adding another 180 in the opening leg, which he won in 11 darts. He then added a third 180 before taking out 84 on the bull and he made it four maximums in three legs as he quickly sealed the set, taking out 60.

SET TWO: 3-1
Lewis fired in another 180 but Gilding managed to get a leg on the board by taking out 80. Lewis landed tops in each of the next two legs and pinned double ten to take the set after adding his sixth 180.

The two-time World Champion pinned double four before a seventh 180 helped him break Gilding's throw. Gilding took out 46 to pull a leg back but Lewis took out 80 to move within a set of victory.

Lewis took out 25 to break and bedded tops to take the second leg and he finished an impressive display on double 14 after adding an eighth 180, with his final average of 103.52 being the second highest so far in this year's event.

Match Stats

Adrian Lewis 4-0 Andrew Gilding
18 100+ 7
9 140+ 8
0 170+ 0
8 180 2
103.52 Average 82.7
84 High Finish 80
6 Breaks of Throw 1
12/21  57.14% Checkout % 2/4  50%

Peter Wright 4-0 Ronny Huybrechts
SET ONE: 3-1
Wright hit a 180 in the opening leg but Huybrechts finished 48 to claim first blood, before further maximums in each of the next two legs helped the 2014 finalist overturn the deficit. He went on to win the set by pegging double six.

SET TWO: 3-0
Wright landed double 18 and he fired in 180s in each of the next two legs as he finished 80 and 41 to double his lead.

The number four seed added another maximum and pinned double eight before making it eight legs in a row with the aid of his seventh 180. Huybrechts stemmed the tide by landing double 12 but Wright opened a three-set lead with a 59 checkout.

Wright raced into a 2-0 lead but Huybrechts hit three 180s in the next two legs to level the set. Wright got the job done, though, taking out 96 on double 19 for a commanding victory.

Match Stats

Peter Wright 4-0 Ronny Huybrechts
17 100+ 15
15 140+ 10
0 170+ 0
9 180 4
99.09 Average 92.07
96 High Finish 48
4 Breaks of Throw 1
12/29  41.38% Checkout % 4/13  30.77%

Phil Taylor 4-1 Kevin Painter
SET ONE: 1-3
Painter pegged tops before hitting a 180 in the second leg, but he missed a dart to break Taylor's throw and the 16-time World Champion finished 25 to level. Painter hit back by bedding double 16 after a superb 174 set-up and the former Players Champion took out 52 to take the first set.

SET TWO: 3-2
The pair exchanged breaks of throw before Taylor landed double ten. Painter levelled the set with a brilliant 110 finish but Taylor took the set by pegging double five in the decider.

Taylor went two legs clear, hitting 180s in both, before Painter took the next two to force a dramatic set decider, in which Taylor missed eight darts at double - adding to two he had missed for the set in the previous leg - but Painter missed four set darts of his own as the number three seed landed double two to move ahead.

Painter took out 116 to break but could only watch as Taylor responded in typically brilliant style, completing a maximum 170 finish to level the set. The world number three then pegged double 16 and double ten to move within a set of victory.

Taylor moved closer victory by breaking on double ten. He then hit 180s in each of the following two legs, upping his tally to seven, as he closed out the win.

  Match Stats

Phil Taylor 4-1 Kevin Painter
24 100+ 24
14 140+ 14
1 170+ 1
7 180 6
92.91 Average 92.19
170 High Finish 110
7 Breaks of Throw 4
13/47  27.66% Checkout % 8/25  32%