Andy Hamilton overcame a scare against qualifier Tony Ayres before keeping his Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship bid on track on Sunday afternoon.
The number seven seed from Stoke trailed 2-1 against the newcomer from Sussex, only to reel off three straight sets to book his place in the last 16 at London’s Alexandra Palace.
Hamilton struggled early on, but found some fine form as the contest progressed to land eight 180s and an impressive six ton-plus finishes, including the highest possible checkout of 170.
“I finished well and that’s what won me the game,” said Hamilton. “Some of the finishes hurt him but I need to get the whole package together now!”
Hamilton faces a Dutch test in either Jelle Klaasen or Jan van der Rassel in the third round, while Barrie Bates and Ronnie Baxter also booked their last 16 spots on Sunday afternoon.
Bates matched Hamilton’s six ton-plus finishes in ending the hopes of American Bill Davis, who had knocked out defending champion John Part last week but went down to a 4-2 loss.
Baxter took an impressive 4-1 win over Denis Ovens, coming from a set down to set up a third round meeting with world number two Raymond van Barneveld or Wes Newton.
Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship
Second Round – Sunday
Barrie Bates (WAL) 4-2 Bill Davis (USA)
Ronnie Baxter (ENG) 4-1 Denis Ovens (ENG)
Andy Hamilton (ENG) 4-2 Tony Ayres (ENG)
Evening Session (7pm)
Jelle Klaasen (NED) v Jan van der Rassel (NED)
Raymond van Barneveld (NED) v Wes Newton (ENG)
Mervyn King (ENG) v Mark Walsh (ENG)
BARRIE BATES 4-2 BILL DAVIS
(2-3, 3-2, 2-3, 3-0, 3-2)
BARRIE BATES jumped into the last 16 of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship with a 4-2 defeat of Bill Davis.
Bates fell behind on two occasions to the American, but won three successive sets to reach the last 16 for the second consecutive year.
Davis, who defeated reigning World Champion John Part on the opening night, started the better of the two, breaking throw in the first leg and then winning the next to go 2-0 ahead.
Bates punished missed doubles to win the next two legs, which included a 141 checkout, but Davis made no mistake in the decider with an excellent 116 finish as the Welshman waited for his chance.
The second set proved to be a tight affair as both players held their own throws in the opening four legs.
Bates took the decider against the darts, hitting a maximum and following that up with a 121 checkout to level the game.
The Welshman opened up a 2-0 lead in set three, hitting a 106 finish in the second leg, before Davis pulled a leg back with a 120 ‘Shanghai’ checkout.
Bates had opportunities to take the lead for the first time in the match over the course of the next two legs – but crucially was off-target with all six attempts and Davis stepped in to regain the lead with a two-dart 80 finish.
In the fourth set Bates, who reached the UK Open Final two years ago, managed to level the match once again, nicking the deciding leg against the darts with a 71 finish.
He then rattled through the fifth set to lead for the first time in the match thanks to finishes of 104 and 101 and a 13-darter, which included his fourth maximum of the game.
American ace Davis took the first two legs of the sixth set, before Bates took the next to cut back to 2-1.
Davis missed eight darts for the set in the fourth leg, and Bates took his chance on double two.
The American was made to rue those opportunities even more in the deciding leg when Bates hit a fantastic 121 checkout, landing the bullseye to win the match.
RONNIE BAXTER 4-1 DENIS OVENS
(1-3, 3-0, 3-1, 3-2, 3-0)
RONNIE BAXTER came from a set down to defeat Denis Ovens 4-1 in the second round of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.
Ovens ultimately paid the price for six missed darts for the fourth set, which would have leveled the game but saw him fall 3-1 down as Baxter pulled through for victory.
Ovens, who defeated Steve Maish in his opening game, broke throw at the start of the match and doubled his lead in the next, which included a maximum.
Baxter held throw in the third leg, but Ovens hit double top to take an early lead.
Baxter stormed through the second set without reply to level the match, hitting a 14-dart finish to wrap up the set.
Ovens won the first leg of the third set against the darts, but Baxter immediately broke back and then won the third by landing double ten.
Baxter then broke his opponent’s throw once again, landing double top to lead for the first time in the match.
The Lancastrian then opened a 2-0 lead in the fourth set, which included another 14-darter before Ovens replied in 13 and then took advantage of a Baxter miss to level.
In the deciding leg, it was Ovens who crucially missed six attempts at double 16 to level the match, and Baxter stepped in to increase his lead.
Baxter then wrapped up the match in double quick time, hitting a maximum in the course of taking the opening leg and two 15-dart finishes in succession to seal victory.
“It was very much a case of job done,” said Baxter. “I gave away the first set, which was a bit unlike me but I relaxed as the game went on.
“The fourth set was important and in the last set I played how I would like to all the time.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve done that on stage and I can go a long way if I stay relaxed and do that again.”
ANDY HAMILTON 4-2 TONY AYRES
(2-3, 3-0, 2-3, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1)
ANDY HAMILTON ended the brave challenge of qualifier Tony Ayres with a 4-2 comeback victory at the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.
Number seven seed Hamilton, who was impressive in his first round win over Michael Barnard, struggled in the early stages of the match, but hit eight 180s and six ton-plus finishes to reel off three successive sets for the triumph.
Hamilton built up a 2-1 lead in the first set, breaking throw in the third leg before the qualifier broke back in the fourth leg on double seven and then coverted an 81 finish to take a 1-0 lead.
Hamilton started to find his range in the second set, breaking throw in the first leg, hitting a 104 finish in leg two and an 11-darter to win the set without reply.
Ayres won the opening leg of set three with a 100 finish, before Hamilton hit back with a 106 checkout of his own to level.
The man from Stoke then missed seven doubles in the third leg and fell 2-1 behind, but won the fourth to level the set.
In the decider Ayres missed two darts to win the set, but Hamilton was unable to land his one attempt at double top, and the man from Sussex came back to land double ten to lead again.
Hamilton put himself in command in the fifth set, breaking in the second leg for a 2-0 advantage before missing two darts for the set, Ayres taking the third leg and then leveling.
But in the decider Hamilton took out double 18 against the darts to bring the match back all-square at 2-2.
The Sussex qualifier started the fifth set well with an impressive 13-dart finish in the first leg, but Hamilton stepped up a gear, following up a 104 finish in the second leg with a fantastic 170 – the highest of the tournament so far – in the third.
He then wrapped up the set with a clinical 13-darter to lead for the first time in the contest.
Hamilton produced his best darts of the match in the sixth set to win the match in superb fashion.
He took out 111 for the opening leg, although he hit back-to-back maximums in the next only to allow Ayres back in after two missed doubles.
However, legs of 13 and 12 darts, including three more maximums and a 110 finish, sealed the Stoke ace’s place in the last 16.
“I finished well and that’s what won me the game,” said Hamilton. “Some of the finishes hurt him but I need to get the whole package together now!
“He was inexperienced but it didn’t show. He’s a good player but maybe I showed him too much respect.
“I’m playing some good darts but I took it for granted early on and shouldn’t have, I should have played my own game but eventually did that and came good.”