SCOTT WAITES became the first player to win through to the Grand Slam of Darts second round with a fine victory over Michael Smith on Sunday afternoon, as Ted Hankey kick-started his challenge at the Wolves Civic.
Yorkshireman Waites, the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts champion, followed up Saturday’s opening win over Hankey with another brilliant performance as he ensured passage from Group H in the event.
Waites, the reigning Lakeside Champion, overcame emerging star Michael Smith 5-2 in their second round-robin contest, leaving the PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion now facing an all-or-nothing clash with Hankey on Monday to decide who joins him in the last 16.
“I always knew it would be a tough game and it feels brilliant to be through,” said Waites, who also reached the 2009 final at the Wolves Civic.
“I’m very happy to get up there and play as I did – when I played Ted it was difficult to get into a rhythm, but Michael is a fast, fluent player and it suited me more.
“Wolverhampton’s always been good to me and I love getting up and playing well in front of that crowd. It’s a fantastic venue and it seems to bring the best out of me.
“The hard work’s done now, and I can relax and enjoy the game against Dave Chisnall on Monday and then look ahead to the second round.”
Chisnall, though, was eliminated as Hankey produced a fine display to come from 3-1 down to claim a fine 5-3 triumph from their contest.
Chisnall took the first two legs and also hit an 11-darter, but Hankey hit back to level before taking out a 170 checkout, and then landed a 177 in the eighth leg as the two-time Lakeside Champion went on to complete the win with a fourth successive leg.
“It was so different to yesterday, and I’m very happy to get the win,” said Hankey. “Scott played well yesterday but today I got things right, I went up on stage and played well.
“I felt pretty decent and it went well for me. I fed off the crowd and it helped me, I played my natural darts and the 170 was as sweet as a nut.
“I’ve had my health problems and I’ve been on the mend, and I know that when I can play I’m as good as anybody and I can do anything.
“I’ve just got to go out to win against Michael and hopefully I will do because I’ve got a lot more to offer, not just for myself but for this crown and this tournament.”
Reigning champion Raymond van Barneveld picked up his second successive Group E victory, edging out Tony O’Shea 5-4 in a nine-leg thriller.
After trailing 2-0 early on, Stockport’s O’Shea hit back to lead 3-2, but saw van Barneveld level as the pair headed to a deciding leg, which the Dutchman won with a 72 finish.
“I like the group format of this competition and the two wins have helped build my confidence,” said van Barneveld. “I hope it will set me up well for the rest of the week.
“I don’t ever make it easy for myself, but I managed to produce good finishes towards the end and get the win.”
Mervyn King’s high-quality 5-2 win over Ricky Evans in the day’s other Group E game means that there is still all to play for going into Monday’s final matches.
Van Barneveld would qualify with a win over King, with O’Shea and Evans also still able to win through to the knockout stage of the event in the final set of games.
Australian star Simon Whitlock won his second match in Group G in impressive style, averaging 108.78 in a 5-1 victory against Mark Webster, hitting four 180s and missing only one dart at a double.
He is now in pole position ahead of Monday’s final game with Wes Newton, who was a 5-2 winner against Ross Smith earlier on Sunday afternoon as he joined Webster on two points.
Robert Thornton maintained his 100 percent record as he followed up Saturday’s whitewash of Mark Walsh with a 5-2 win over Justin Pipe, taking out a key 152 checkout in the victory.
Walsh’s 5-1 defeat to Andy Hamilton saw the Stoke star kick-start his challenge in Group F ahead of his key clash with Thornton on Monday night.
“I had to win but I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself and I went out there to relax and enjoy it,” said Hamilton. “I tried a bit too hard against Justin Pipe on Saturday but the doubles went in for me today.
“I can move forward now and look forward to my next game against Robert now. He’s a solid player, but hopefully I can play like I did tomorrow and it will be a great game.”
Groups A-D play their second games at the Wolves Civic on Sunday night, including four-time champion Phil Taylor up against Paul Nicholson, Michael van Gerwen’s clash with Dean Winstanley and Adrian Lewis up against Ronny Huybrechts.
William Hill Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday November 10
Afternoon Session (1.30pm-5.30pm)
Groups E-H Second Games
Mervyn King 5-2 Ricky Evans (E)
Andy Hamilton 5-1 Mark Walsh (F)
Wes Newton 5-2 Ross Smith (G)
Dave Chisnall 3-5 Ted Hankey (H)
Robert Thornton 5-2 Justin Pipe (F)
Scott Waites 5-2 Michael Smith (H)
Raymond van Barneveld 5-4 Tony O’Shea (E)
Simon Whitlock 5-1 Mark Webster (G)
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Groups A-D Second Games
Christian Kist v Richie George (C)
Wesley Harms v Peter Wright (B)
Kevin Painter v Stuart Kellett (A)
Kim Huybrechts v Vincent van der Voort (D)
Adrian Lewis v Ronny Huybrechts (C)
Phil Taylor v Paul Nicholson (A)
James Wade v Gary Anderson (B)
Michael van Gerwen v Dean Winstanley (D)
Mervyn King v Ricky Evans
1-0 – King starts well and wins the first leg with a two-dart 69 finish for a 14-darter.
1-1 – Evans hits double two to level the game after four previous missed attempts to win the leg.
2-1 – King fires in a 180 and lands double 16 to record his second 14-dart-finsh of the game.
2-2 – The Kettering youngster lands a 180 of his own and levels the game for a second time with a 14-darter of his own.
3-2 – The high standard continues as King hits double eight for another 14-dart-finish.
4-2 – One missed dart at tops from Evans proves costly as King converts a 141 checkout to break throw.
5-2 – King hits double top at the first attempt for a 13-darter to end a high-quality game.
Andy Hamilton v Mark Walsh
1-0 – Hamilton secures an early break of throw thanks to a clinical 120 finish.
2-0 – The Stoke star increases his lead by landing double five.
3-0 – Hamilton pulls further away from Walsh as he hits double seven for a 14-darter.
3-1 – Hamilton lets three chances for a 4-0 lead slip away and Walsh lands double top with a pressure third dart.
4-1 – An accurate shot at double 16 for a 64 finish restores Hamilton’s three leg advantage.
5-1 – Hamilton closes out the match in style with a 124 checkout to get the two points in Group F.
Wes Newton v Ross Smith
1-0 – Newton struggles to find the winning double before finally landing double one.
2-0 – The Fleetwood man breaks Smith’s throw at the first of asking thanks to a successful attempt at double four.
2-1 – Smith hits back as he hits double eight to break Newton’s throw.
2-2 – Smith wins his second leg in a row as he levels the game on double eight.
3-2 – Newton hits double ten towin the fifth leg and regain the lead.
4-2 – Newton takes advantage of the leg with a 177 to leave double 14 which he takes out at the first time of asking.
5-2 – The world number eight hits double ten to claim the two points and still keep qualification hopes alive.
Dave Chisnall v Ted Hankey
1-0 – Chisnall fires in a 180 with his first three darts and wins the leg on double ten.
2-0 – The world number records a second 180 before taking the leg against the darts.
2-1 – Hankey lands a 180 of his own before taking the leg on double ten with an accurate third dart.
3-1 – The high standard continues as Chisnall records two maximums before winning the leg in just 11-darts.
3-2 – Hankey lands the corner of the double 20 bed to break his opponent’s throw.
3-3 – Hankey produces scores of 135, 140, 180 before hitting double ten for a 12-dart leg to level the contest.
3-4 – Hankey sends the Civic Hall crowd into the raptures with a sensational 170 checkout with Chisnall waiting on a double.
3-5 – The drama increases as Hankey lets three match darts slip away but Chisnall misses two chances of his own to force a deciding leg as Hankey returns to land double two for a great win.
Robert Thornton v Justin Pipe
0-1 – Thornton is unable to hit the bullseye and Pipe hits double seven to secure an early break of throw.
1-1 – Thornton is off-target with four attempts at doubles but Pipe misses six of his own and Thornton accepts the reprieve to land double eight.
2-1 – The former UK Open Champion lands a maximum and converts a 96 finish to lead for the first time.
3-1 – Pipe continues to struggle on the doubles as Thornton hits double four to win a third leg in a row.
4-1 – One missed dart at double 18 from Pipe is costly as Thornton hits a fantastic 152 checkout.
4-2 – Pipe hits double seven with a pressure third dart with Thornton waiting on double four for the match.
5-2 – Consistent scoring from Thornton sees him leave 40 after 12-darts and he hits double top at the first attempt to claim a second win in Group F.
Scott Waites v Ross Smith
1-0 – Waites starts confidently with a clinical 86 finish completed in just two-darts.
2-0 – Both players kick-off with 180s before Smith adds another to raise hopes of a nine-darter. It’s not be and a missed shot at bullseye from the youngster proves costly as Waites hits double four.
3-0 – Smith fails with six attempts to win the leg and Waites moves further clear by landing double ten.
3-1 – Smith lands double top with his third dart after Waites is off-target with one dart at double 11.
3-2 – Smith keeps up the fight as he hits double 15 after Waites misses his attempt at double 18.
4-2 – Waites lands a crucial double four with his third dart to go a leg away from victory.
5-2 – Smith misses two chances at double 11 and Waites takes out a two-dart 64 finish to win the match and secure his place in the second round.
Raymond van Barneveld v Tony O’Shea
1-0 – O’Shea hits two 140s but van Barneveld holds throw by hitting double 18.
2-0 – One missed dart at double 16 from O’Shea allows the Dutchman a shot at double four which he duly converts.
2-1 – O’Shea hits the bullseye to complete an excellent 121 checkout.
2-2 – van Barneveld misses tops for a 160 checkout and O’Shea hits double eight with his first dart to level the game.
2-3 – Two missed darts at tops from van Barneveld prove costly as O’Shea lands double 18 to win a third straight leg.
3-3 – O’Shea is guilty of wasting four chances to pull two legs clear and van Barneveld lands a vital double two with his third dart.
4-3 – O’Shea hits the first 180 of the game but van Barneveld hits a two-dart 96 finish with his opponent waiting on tops.
4-4 – The Stockport ace hits another maximum and hits double ten to force a deciding leg.
5-4 – van Barneveld takes out 72 with O’Shea waiting on a two-darter to maintain his 100% record in Group E.
Simon Whitlock v Mark Webster
1-0 – Whitlock holds throw by taking out 72 to win the first leg.
2-0 – The world number four hits the bullseye for a 122 checkout to break Webster’s throw.
3-0 – Whitlock kicks-off with a 180 before landing double top to complete a 13-dart-finish.
3-1 – Webster stops Whitlock’s winning run with an excellent 96 finish by landing double nine with his third dart.
4-1 – Whitlock fires in a second maximum to leave 81 which he takes out on double 13 to restore his three leg lead.
5-1 – Whitlock hits two 180s and lands a seventh treble 20 but a missed treble 19 ends nine-dart hopes. The Australian goes on to hit double ten to end with a brilliant 108.78 average.