Lewis whitewashes Thornton, Pie-Man gets through Nicholson test, Barney into round 2 and Jenkins comeback concludes DAY 1 of the Betfair World Matchplay.
Paul Nicholson 6-10 Andy Smith
Terry Jenkins 11-9 Kim Huybrechts
Adrian Lewis 10-0 Robert Thornton
Raymond van Barneveld 10-4 Michael Smith
ANDY SMITH 10-6 PAUL NICHOLSON ANDY SMITH tasted victory for the first time in seven attempts in the Betfair World Matchplay with a 10-6 defeat of Paul Nicholson in the tournament’s opening fixture.Smith has been a first round loser for the past six years in Blackpool, but finally ended that run as he knocked out the former Players Championship Finals winner. Nicholson had pulled himself level after trailing 4-2, but saw Smith punish missed doubles in the second half of the contest to book a second round date on Wednesday with either Adrian Lewis or Robert Thornton.
The pair traded breaks of throw in the opening two legs before Nicholson hit tops to edge in front in the third. However, it would be the only time he would lead the game, as Smith took out double 18 to level, 76 on double eight to break and 86 on the bull to move 4-2 up. Nicholson fired in a 180 to leave double ten as he hit back, and a break of throw in leg eight courtesy of a 100 checkout saw him level the game at four-all.
However, he was unable to finish double 16 in the next after a 180 left him 70, and Smith hit tops to break again before finishing the same bed to lead 6-4.
Nicholson won two of the next three to cut the gap to 7-6, only for Smith to take out 74 on tops to edge away and double two to punish four misses from his opponent in moving a leg away from the win, which he sealed by landing a 180 and double eight for a 14-darter.
“It feels good to win,” said Smith. “I feel a little bit for Paul because he wasn’t at his best and we both missed a few doubles and I’m happy to get the win. “I did my best and I got the result. I’ve got plenty of confidence in my game and I’m really pleased to be coming back on Wednesday.”
0-1 – Smith kicks off the tournament by landing tops at the first time of asking to win the opening leg against the darts. 1-1 – Both players miss the bull – Nicholson for a 121 checkout and Smith to finish 170 – before Nicholson lands double eight to level. 2-1 – Nicholson edges in front by posting tops to hold throw and win leg three. 2-2 – Smith finishes double 18 to level. 2-3 – Smith takes out 76 on double eight to break again and edge in front at the first interval. 2-4 – Nicholson misses double 18 and Smith steps in by taking out 86 on the bull. 3-4 – Nicholson posts a 180 – the first of the game – and takes out double ten to hit back. 4-4 – Smith misses double 18 and two darts at double eight to allow Nicholson to break back and level with a clinical two-dart 100 finish. 4-5 – Nicholson fires in another 180 to leave 70, but a miss at double 16 allows Smith to break on tops. 4-6 – Smith again finishes double top to ensure a two-leg lead at the second interval. 5-6 – Nicholson takes out 70 to reduce the gap to one leg. 5-7 – Smith again lands tops, finishing 76 to win his seventh leg of the game. 6-7 - Both players hit 180s, but Smith misses six darts for the leg to let Nicholson back following three misses to land double two and hit back. 6-8 – Smith finishes 74, inevitably on tops, to move two legs away from his first-ever World Matchplay win. 6-9 – Nicholson is first to a finish after landing two 140s, but misses double 16 and three further darts to win the leg to allow Smith back in to hit double two and edge towards victory. 6-10 - Smith powers in a timely 180 and follows that with a ton and 130 to leave 32, finishing double eight for a 14-darter to claim his first-ever World Matchplay win.
TERRY JENKINS 11-9 KIM HUYBRECHTS TERRY JENKINS produced arguably the best comeback of his career as he hit back from 9-5 down to defeat impressive debutant Kim Huybrechts 11-9 in a thrilling Betfair World Matchplay first round clash.
Belgian ace Huybrechts hit finishes of 167 and 152 in the opening five legs of his first-ever appearance on the Winter Gardens stage, and looked set to dump the two-time finalist from the tournament on the opening night. However, he was unable to land the winning double as Jenkins clawed back from the brink of defeat at 9-5 down to win six straight legs and edge to a remarkable victory.
The game kicked off at a breathless pace, with Jenkins starting the game with a 180 but only able to watch as Huybrechts finished 167 to win the opening leg. Jenkins added another 180 to open the second before powering in a 140 checkout to level, and he followed a third maximum of the match with double ten to edge ahead 2-1. Huybrechts, however, took command by winning the next four legs – aided by a superb 152 checkout – to take a 5-2 cushion before Jenkins stopped the run with two 180s in a 12-darter to take the ninth.
The Belgian won two of the next three to move 7-4 up, and after Jenkins took the 12th on double eight, Huybrechts finished 85 and then followed a 180 with double three to move to the brink of an impressive debut victory in Blackpool. However, Jenkins finished 120 with Huybrechts waiting on a double to pull back to 9-6, and then posted double ten to kick-start his comeback.
Huybrechts then missed three darts for victory across two visits to the oche as Jenkins hit tops to pull back to 9-8, and three further misses from the Belgian allowed him to level on double two as the tension rose.
Huybrechts missed the bull to regain the lead in the next as Jenkins finished tops with his first dart to lead for the first time since leg three, and although the Belgian hit a 180 as he fought to keep the game alive, the two-time finalist completed an amazing comeback on double ten.
“I’m feeling exhausted after that!” said Jenkins. “It was a good game and maybe Kim should have beaten me, but he didn’t miss anything until the end there and I suppose he had to miss at some point.
“At 9-5 I told myself to dig in, and I knew that if I could win a leg against the darts that I was probably going to win my legs with the darts the way I was throwing, so I was waiting for Kim to make a little mistake. “I could see that he was probably thinking about winning, and I took my chances when I had them.”
0-1 – Jenkins opens the game with a 180 and leaves 121 after nine darts – only for Huybrechts to take out 167 for a 12-darter to win the opening leg. 1-1 – Jenkins kicks off the second leg with another maximum, and finishes 140 for a 12-darter of his own to continue the high-quality start to the game. 2-1 – Jenkins hits a 180 to leave 41, and when Huybrechts misses the bull for a 127 checkout he returns to finish double ten to win the leg. 2-2 - Huybrechts wins the fourth leg with a superb 13-darter on double 18. 2-3 – Huybrechts finishes his second ton-plus checkout of the game with a 152 finish to move ahead at the first interval – with Jenkins averaging 107.90 and Huybrechts up at 111.10. 2-4 – Jenkins is first to a double but misses four darts to level and Huybrechts makes him pay by landing tops. 2-5 – The Belgian continues his impressive finishing by landing double top to move three legs clear. 3-5 – Jenkins wins his first leg in five in style with a 12-darter, hitting two 180s, an 83 and finishing 58 with 18, double five and double 15. 3-6 - Huybrechts posts his opening 180 and finishes double eight to win his sixth leg. 4-6 - Jenkins hits a 174 to leave 32, and takes out double eight for a 14-darter to hit back. 4-7 – Huybrechts holds his nerve to win a key leg and regain his three-leg lead on double five. 5-7 – Jenkins finishes 61 on double eight to win leg 12. 5-8 – Huybrechts takes out 85 by landing double ten to move two legs away from a winning debut at the Betfair World Matchplay. 5-9 - Huybrechts opens with a 180, and although he misses double 12 to take out 144, he has enough cushion to miss three further darts before finishing double three. 6-9 - Huybrechts leaves 36 with a brilliant 174, but Jenkins finishes a 120 ‘Shanghai’ checkout to keep the game alive. 7-9 – Double ten from Jenkins sees him win a second successive leg. 8-9 - Huybrechts misses tops for the match – but when Jenkins fails to set up a double when on 71 he returns, only to miss double ten and five to allow the former finalist to hit tops to break. 9-9 - Jenkins opens with two 140s, but misses double 18 for a 156 finish and five further darts for the leg – only for Huybrechts to miss three more match darts and allow him to level on double two. 10-9 – Huybrechts misses the bull for an 86 finish, and Jenkins lands tops to lead for the first time since leg three by winning a fifth successive leg. 11-9 – Huybrechts hits a 180 to leave 121, but misses the bull and Jenkins returns to complete an incredible comeback on double ten.
ADRIAN LEWIS 10-0 ROBERT THORNTON WORLD CHAMPION Adrian Lewis made a sensational start to his challenge in the Betfair World Matchplay with a superb whitewash of Robert Thornton at the Winter Gardens on Saturday night. Lewis had drawn, on paper, one of the toughest first round opponents in the recent Speedy Services UK Open champion, but left the Scot reeling with a ruthless display.
Although Thornton opened the game with a 180, Lewis broke on double 12 in the first leg and then hit two 180s in a 12-darter to take leg two before finishing 81 for a 3-0 lead. After opening the fourth with another maximum, Lewis moved clear at 4-0 by hitting double ten and maintained his perfect record by taking out 80 with two double tops in the fifth.
Thornton missed five darts at doubles to hit back in the sixth as Lewis returned on double two before he took out double 18 and double eight to lead 8-0. The Scot fought back to leave 32 in the ninth, but Lewis powered home a 126 checkout with two treble 19s and double six, before sealing a ruthless win on double five.
“I knew it was going to be tough because Robert was full of confidence, but I wanted to hit him hard at the start and he never recovered,” said Lewis, who now plays Andy Smith in the second round on Wednesday. “As soon as I got to seven legs I knew I could win it 10-0, and I’m happy with it. I think i can improve on that and I’ll try to do that against Andy Smith on Wednesday night.”
1-0 - Thornton opens the game with a 180 but is unable to take out 95 and Lewis breaks on double 12. 2-0 - Lewis hits two 180s and a ton to leave 41 after nine darts, and finishes tops for a 12-darter to move two legs up. 3-0 – Lewis secures a second break of throw by finishing 81 on double 12. 4-0 – Lewis opens with another 180 and follows that with a 140 before finishing double ten to move four legs clear. 5-0 - Lewis moves five legs clear at the first interval by finishing 80 with a showpiece tops-tops checkout, keeping his average above 110. 6-0 - Lewis hits a 180 before wiring the bull for a 121 finish, but five missed doubles from Thornton allow the World Champion off the hook as the Stoke ace returns to finish double two. 7-0 – Double 18 for Lewis moves him seven legs clear. 8-0 - Lewis opens with a 180 and finishes double eight to edge closer to victory. 9-0 – Thornton leaves 32 but Lewis takes out 126 on double six to move a leg away from a place in the second round.. 10-0 – Lewis completes a ruthless whitewash on double five – condemning Thornton to a second successive 10-0 defeat in Blackpool.
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 10-4 MICHAEL SMITH DUTCH ace Raymond van Barneveld made a confident start to the Betfair World Matchplay with a 10-4 defeat of Michael Smith at the Winter Gardens. The five-time World Champion continued where he left off in winning the European Darts Open a fortnight ago as he swept into a second round clash with Terry Jenkins on Wednesday.
Van Barneveld took charge of the game from the opening, winning five of the first six legs to move 5-1 up, breaking in the opening leg and also in leg five by replying to a 180 from Smith with two of his own. He also hit a maximum in leg six, which he won with a 96 finish, before Smith took out a classy 126 checkout on double six to hit back.
The pair again traded 180s in the next, which van Barneveld won with a 64 checkout, and finishes of double 12 and double eight from the Dutchman moved him into a commanding 8-2 lead. Smith won two of the next three to keep his hopes alive, but van Barneveld was too strong and sealed the win on double eight.
“The first few legs looked easy but it wasn’t my A-Game and I’ll have to be better in the second round,” admitted van Barneveld. “Maybe I practised too much ahead of the game tonight and tired myself out a little bit. “This is one of the best tournaments in the world and I’d love to win here. I’ve got the belief there, and that’s an important thing – I believe I can win this. “I’ll take one game at a time because Terry has a good record, we have great battles and I’m going to look forward to the game on Wednesday.”
1-0 – van Barneveld makes a confident start to break with a 15-darter, following two earlier 140s with a 64 finish. 2-0 – The Dutchman lands double four to move two legs clear. 2-1 – Smith misses double 18 for a 104 finish but returns to hit the bed at the second time of asking. 3-1 – van Barneveld wins his third leg by posting double ten. 4-1 – The pair trade 180s before van Barneveld adds another maximum and finishes double 16 to break throw and lead by three legs at the break. 5-1 – van Barneveld posts another 180 and finishes 96 in two darts to win a fifth leg. 5-2 – Smith takes out 126 in style on double six to hit back. 6-2 - Smith hits a 180 but sees van Barneveld reply in kind before he finishes 64 on double 16 to pull away. 7-2 – Smith posts another 180 but is unable to set up a double, and van Barneveld lands double 12 to win his seventh leg and break again. 8-2 – van Barneveld moves two legs away from the win by landing double eight. 8-3 – Smith lands double 14 to hit back. 9-3 – Smith misses double 18 to continue the fightback, and van Barneveld takes out 60 to move to the brink of victory. 9-4 – Smith wins his fourth leg of the night to stay in the hunt. 10-4 - van Barneveld is first to a double, but misses four darts for the match to allow Smith a sniff on 121 – but the youngster fails to take out the finish and the Dutchman seals the win on double eight.