BRILLIANT LEWIS JOINS TAYLOR, WADE & HUYBRECHTS IN LAST EIGHT
ADRIAN LEWIS and Phil Taylor won through to the Grand Slam of Darts quarter-finals with thrilling triumphs against Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson on Thursday, as James Wade and Kim Huybrechts joined them in the last eight.
Two-time World Champion Lewis hit an amazing 12 maximums and averaged 105.24 in an outstanding performance as he overcame van Gerwen 10-8 in their second round clash at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.
The Stoke star twice set up a nine-dart finish in the game, while van Gerwen also enjoyed six perfect darts in one leg and landed six 180s of his own in a high-paced match.
The pair shared the opening six legs, before van Gerwen broke to lead 5-3 with an 11-darter – only for Lewis to respond with an 11-dart finish of his own to kick-start a run of four successive legs as he moved 7-5 up.
Van Gerwen replied but was never able to draw level as Lewis’ pounding of the treble 20 continued, with an 11-darter moving him 9-7 up before he held off the Dutchman’s response once more to seal the win with a 14-dart leg.
“I was confident and I felt I could do a job tonight, and I did just that,” said Lewis. “I’ve got a great rivalry going with Michael at the moment and these games excite me, and we bring the best out of each other.
“Early on in the game I was scoring brilliantly but I couldn’t hit a double and Michael took his chances. I knuckled down and responded to his 11-darter with one of my own, and you have to do that against him because if you give him a chance he takes it.
“I thought I was on for a nine-darter tonight, and Michael had a chance too, and I think I’ll have a nine-darter soon, and possibly this weekend – but I’m just focusing on playing Kim Huybrechts next because he’s another great player.
“He’s had a great year to get into the top 16, he’s scoring superbly and he plays at a great pace. It’s too early to celebrate but I’m up for it, I feel good and we’ll see what happens now.”
Taylor, meanwhile, was at his clinical best as he held off a fine Anderson performance to win through in a repeat of the 2011 Wolves Civic final.
The pair traded eight legs before Taylor found another gear, trading 180s with Anderson in the ninth before breaking for the first time in leg ten after the Scot missed a dart at tops.
Taylor also took the next two legs as he moved 9-4 up, and though Anderson hit back with a 128 checkout, double 12 saw the PDC World Champion progress to the last eight.
“I loved every minute of that,” said Taylor. “When Gary scores like that he’s brilliant, and the scoreline doesn’t show how good he was in this match.
“The tenth leg was key but that’s what you have to do against Gary, you can’t miss against him if you get a chance.
“I was under pressure from the start and I went at Gary straight away. I wanted to get the first whack in and I did that in the first throw with the 180, but you’ve got to put him under pressure and hope he gives you a shot.”
Taylor now faces James Wade, the 2010 finalist who won through to the quarter-finals once again with a crushing 10-1 win over below-par Paul Nicholson, with the left-hander taking out 150 before sealing victory with a showpiece 125 checkout.
“It’s not nice to win 10-1 but I had to do my job and that’s good enough for me,” said Wade. “I hit my shots well and my darts are starting to go right.
“The 150 was a big shot, and the 125 to win the match was an easy shot because there was no pressure – it’s easy to do things like that when you’re so far in front.
“I’ve played okay this week, I haven’t been great but I’ll be looking forward to the quarter-finals. I know that when I play my good darts I can give him a game and make him uncomfortable.”
Taylor has overcome Wade on his way to winning the World Grand Prix and The Masters in the past five weeks, but added: “It’s been a different James this week.
“He’s played steady, his mind’s been concentrated on what he’s doing and I think we’ll have a good game on Saturday.”
Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts was the night’s other winner as he took a 10-5 winner over brother Ronny in an emotional evening for the siblings.
Kim was at his high-scoring best as he took leads of 3-0 and 7-2, and he also took out 117 as he moved 8-3 up.
Ronny, the elder of the brothers who had won through the group stage unbeaten, hit back to 9-5, but could only watch as the 2012 Players Championship Finals runner-up sealed the win on double ten.
“I’m really pleased to be through to the quarter-finals of such a big tournament,” said Huybrechts. “It was hard to play my brother, and though I wanted to win, I also wanted him to do well too.
“It was the hardest game I’ve had to play my career – harder than playing Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis or James Wade – but I got through it.
“I did my own thing before the game and it was a normal day for me, but it was weird when we got on stage. Ronny struggled a bit early on and I got a good lead which made it easier for me, but he made me nervous at the end!
“I think I’m at the most confident point of my life, and to win through the hardest game I know I could have is a boost. It can only get easier now and I can play my own game again in the quarter-finals now – but I’ll have to do something special to beat Adrian.”
The quarter-finals begin on Friday night as former UK Open champion Robert Thornton takes on three-time Lakeside Championship finalist Tony O’Shea, before reigning Lakeside Champion Scott Waites – the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts winner – faces two-time World Champion Ted Hankey.
Saturday’s remaining quarter-finals will see Lewis take on Huybrechts, before Taylor plays Wade.
Grand Slam of Darts
Thursday November 14
James Wade 10-1 Paul Nicholson
Ronny Huybrechts 5-10 Kim Huybrechts
Phil Taylor 10-5 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 8-10 Adrian Lewis
Friday November 15 (7pm)
Tony O’Shea v Robert Thornton
Ted Hankey v Scott Waites
Best of 31 legs
Saturday November 16 (7pm)
Kim Huybrechts v Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Best of 31 legs
James Wade v Paul Nicholson
1-0 – Wade kicks off the match with a 180 and adds scores of 140 and 137 as he breaks throw with a 12-dart finish.
2-0 – Nicholson misses double 18 and nine as Wade steps in on double ten to double his lead.
3-0 – Nicholson hits a 180, but misses three darts at doubles to win the leg as Wade returns from an earlier missed bullseye to finish double five for a three-leg lead.
3-1 – Nicholson posts another maximum as he breaks throw with double 16 for a 12-darter.
4-1 – The tension rises as Wade misses five darts to win the leg in two visits, only for Nicholson to miss three darts at tops to allow the left-hander back in on double two.
5-1 – Wade finishes 81 on double 12 to move four legs clear.
6-1 – The 2010 finalist takes out a brilliant 150 checkout on double 15 to win his sixth leg.
7-1 – Nicholson misses double top and ten, and Wade pins a 78 finish on double 12.
8-1 – Nicholson misses four darts to win the leg as Wade returns from misses in two visits of his own to finish 20 with an improvised double six, double four checkout.
9-1 – Double ten sees Wade win a sixth successive leg as he moves to the edge of victory.
10-1 – Wade seals a comprehensive victory in style by taking out 125 with a bullseye, 25, bullseye combination.
Ronny Huybrechts v Kim Huybrechts
0-1 – Younger brother Kim finishes 78 on tops to win the opening leg.
0-2 – The 2012 Players Championship Finals runner-up takes out 90 on double top to win a second leg.
0-3 – Kim hits a 180 and continues his flawless finishing by taking out 63 on double 16.
1-3 – Ronny opens the leg with a 180 before finishing double ten to reply.
1-4 – Kim lands two 180s to be first to a finish before landing double 16, at the third time of asking, to win a fourth leg.
2-4 – Ronny hits back by finishing 78 on double 12.
2-5 – Kim opens with two 180s, and though he misses out on a nine-darter, he returns to win the leg and restore his advantage.
2-6 – Kim hits a 180 before finishing double 16.
2-7 – Kim repeats the feat with his seventh maximum and another double 16 finish to move five legs clear.
3-7 – Ronny takes out 98 on double 19 to respond.
3-8 – Ronny lands a 180, but Kim finishes 117 on tops to regain his five-leg cushion.
4-8 – Ronny adds another 180 before landing tops to win his fourth leg of the game.
4-9 – Kim hits double ten to move a leg away from the win.
5-9 – Kim posts his eight maximum, but it comes too late as Ronny finishes a third-dart double eight to keep the contest alive.
5-10 – Double ten sees the younger brother complete victory and reach the quarter-finals in his Grand Slam debut.
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
1-0 – Taylor opens with a 180 and finishes double 16 with his third dart to take the opener.
1-1 – Anderson hits a 180, and returns from a miss at double 13, to complete an 81 finish, to land double four, after Taylor misses double 15 to take out 90.
2-1 – Taylor lands another maximum as he regains the lead on double 16.
2-2 – The pair trade 180s, with Anderson missing double 14 for a 121 finish only to return after a miss at double nine from Taylor, landing double seven to level.
3-2 – Taylor pins tops to regain the edge.
3-3 – Anderson holds throw to level once again.
4-3 – Taylor hits a 180 and double 16 to move back ahead.
4-4 – Anderson opens with a 180 as he levels the game.
5-4 – The players trade 180s as Taylor takes out 64 on double 16.
6-4 – Taylor breaks for the first time in the match in a dramatic leg, with Anderson hitting a 180 but missing one dart at tops to allow his opponent in to finish 70 on the same double.
7-4 – Anderson lands a sixth 180 of the contest but can only watch on as Taylor takes out double 16.
8-4 – Anderson misses double 16 for a 104 finish, and Taylor lands double nine to win a fourth straight leg.
9-4 – Taylor misses the bull, but a pair of misses at tops from Anderson allow him back to land double eight in moving to the brink of the quarter-finals.
9-5 – Anderson takes out 128 to keep his hopes in the tournament alive.
10-5 – Taylor is first to a finish, initially missing double 12 for a 144 finish before returning to hit the double at the second time of asking to complete a superb win – ending with a 102.56 average to Anderson’s 106.13 but being more clinical on his doubles.
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis
1-0 – Lewis kicks off the match with a 180, but van Gerwen hits double 19 for a 13-darter to win the opening leg.
1-1 – Lewis adds another maximum, and finishes 67 on double eight to level.
2-1 – Lewis opens with two 180s to set up the prospect of a nine-dart finish, and after missing out on a perfect leg he misses ten darts at doubles to allow van Gerwen back in on double ten to avoid a break.
2-2 – van Gerwen misses three darts at double top and ten, with Lewis stepping in on double five to level.
3-2 – Both players hit 180s as van Gerwen holds throw.
3-3 – Lewis hits another maximum before taking out 32 with an improvised finish of two double eights.
4-3 – van Gerwen lands a 180 to reply before finishing double 16 to reply.
5-3 – The Dutchman breaks for the first time with a brilliant 11-darter, opening with 177 and 180 and recovering from missing out on a possible nine-darter to take the leg.
5-4 – The pair trade 180s as Lewis replies on double 16 to break back.
5-5 – Lewis levels by pinning double 18 for a 13-darter.
5-6 – Lewis breaks again to move ahead with a 12-dart leg, with the pair trading 180s before the Stoke ace took out 82 on tops.
5-7 – Lewis hits his ninth 180 of the game before taking out 70 on tops for a fourth successive leg.
6-7 – Double six sees van Gerwen hit back.
6-8 – Lewis opens with a 177 score hits double 17 to move two legs away from victory.
7-8 – van Gerwen hits double five to respond, as Lewis is unable to leave a finish on 75.
7-9 – Lewis sets up a possible nine-darter for the second time in the game, opening with two 180s, and though he misses out once more on a perfect leg and then sees his opponent fire in a maximum, the Stoke ace finishes 73 for an 11-darter to move a leg away from the win.
8-9 – Lewis hits a 12th 180 of the game, but misses the bull for victory on a 94 finish as tops keeps van Gerwen in the hunt.
8-10 – Lewis seals victory in a thrilling contest as he takes out 78 in two darts to complete a superb display, ending with a 105.24 average.
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