Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC
JOHN PART hit a nine-dart finish in defeat to Mark Webster on the opening night of the Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay on Saturday, as World Champion Adrian Lewis edged past Kevin Painter in a classic at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
Canadian ace Part, a three-time World Champion, became only the third player behind Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld to achieve a nine-darter in the 18-year history of the World Matchplay.
Part is now in line to claim a £10,000 bonus should no other player hit a nine-darter during the remaining eight days of the tournament in Blackpool, although that would be double his prize money of £5,000 after he went on to lose 10-8 to Mark Webster.
Webster capitalised on a string of missed doubles by Part in taking a 7-1 lead, and although the nine-darter came as Part hit back to trail only 8-7 at one stage, the Welshman held his nerve to take the win.
“For a player who’s been around a long time and been acknowledged for a lot of achievement’s it’s great,” said Part. “Some other guys hit nine-darters all the time but I’m a three-time World Champion and I hadn’t had one, so now I’m in there too and it’s nice.
“I needed it to get back in the match too. I have been playing well and showed some good darts up there against Mark, but it was spotty and I gave away too many chances.”
Webster will now take on Steve Beaton in Wednesday’s second round, and admitted: “I need to improve but I’m still in the competition. The first round’s always tough but John gave me chances and I took them early on.”
Beaton had produced his best-ever World Matchplay performance to dump two-time runner-up Terry Jenkins from the event, averaging over 100 in a 10-3 victory.
Beaton led 3-0 before Jenkins hit back to level, but the former World Champion hit an 11-darter amongst a run of seven successive legs as he powered to victory.
Holland’s Vincent van der Voort also survived a comeback before winning his clash with left-hander Alan Tabern, who hit back from being 3-0 and 7-3 down before losing out 10-7.
The night’s best fightback, though, came from World Champion Lewis, who edged out Kevin Painter 14-12 in a thriller.
Painter missed three darts for a 10-6 victory and a further trio of chances to take a 12-10 triumph before Lewis, who hit 12 180s, finally edged through to the last 16.
“It was a brilliant game and I thought Kevin was absolutely fantastic,” said Lewis. “I thought I’d lost it at one stage and put my darts away, but he missed his chance and I came back well and took mine in the end.”
The first round continues on Sunday, with the four matches including 2007 champion James Wade up against Jamie Caven and Raymond van Barneveld – who hit a nine-dart finish in last year’s event – taking on Steve Brown.
Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay
Saturday July 16
Terry Jenkins 3-10 Steve Beaton
Vincent van der Voort 10-7 Alan Tabern
Adrian Lewis 14-12 Kevin Painter
Mark Webster 10-8 John Part – includes nine-dart finish from John Part
Sunday July 17 (7pm)
Paul Nicholson v Colin Osborne
Mark Walsh v Dave Chisnall
James Wade v Jamie Caven
Raymond van Barneveld v Steve Brown
STEVE BEATON 10-3 TERRY JENKINS
STEVE BEATON produced his best-ever display in the Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay to power past Terry Jenkins 10-3 in the opening game of the £400,000 event at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
Beaton had won just three games in Blackpool over the past decade since reaching the 2011 semi-finals, but averaged over 100 in a superb performance.
After leading 3-0, Beaton allowed Jenkins back in to level but won seven successive legs to sweep to victory and a second round spot.
Beaton had secured an early break of throw in the opening leg following a nerve-settling 180, although he received a let-off for missed doubles when Jenkins missed four darts to lead and he stepped in to hit double nine with his fifth dart at a finish.
Beaton doubled his lead with a 13-darter in the second leg, and after Jenkins saw two further darts at a double miss in the third the 1996 World Champion moved 3-0 up on double eight.
He also missed four darts to win the fourth leg, with Jenkins checking out 118 to get himself off the mark before hitting a 180 and double 18 to pull back to 3-2.
The two-time World Matchplay finalist then levelled the game in a dramatic sixth leg, with Beaton needing 52 but hitting the treble 20 instead of a single which would have left double 16 to allow Jenkins in to take out 60 on double ten.
Jenkins, though, was unable to capitalise as Beaton responded in style to the error, hitting legs of 12 and 11 darts to take the next two legs and lead 5-3.
He then defied a 180 from Jenkins by checking out 85 in two darts, landed double eight for a fourth straight leg and a 13-darter to move 8-3 up.
Jenkins opened the next with another maximum, but missed double 18 for a 93 finish and Beaton took out 80 to move a leg away from the win, which was sealed with another 13-dart finish as he moved his end average to over 100.
“It’s hard being the opening game of the tournament but it’s a great result for me,” said Beaton. “Sometimes you get on a roll and I hit a peak tonight in the second half of the game.”
VINCENT VAN DER VOORT 10-7 ALAN TABERN
HOLLAND’S Vincent van der Voort held his nerve to defeat Alan Tabern 10-7 and win through to the second round of the Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay on Saturday night.
Van der Voort set up a second round clash with either World Champion Adrian Lewis or Kevin Painter with the success, as he held off Tabern’s fightback to progress to the last 16.
The Dutch ace – a quarter-finalist two years ago – led 3-0 and 7-3 during the game, but Tabern hit back to trail only 8-7 before the quick-fire ace edged the final two legs to take the win.
Van der Voort made a superb start, finishing 64 for the opening leg, a neat 90 finish of bullseye and double top in the second to break throw and double 18 to win the third leg in a lightning opening.
Tabern replied with a 180 on his way to winning the fourth to get off the mark with an 80 finish, and hit a 171 to set up double 12 in the fifth and took out 71 to level matters in leg six.
Van der Voort took a key seventh leg with a timely 14-dart finish, and when Tabern missed four darts to win the next he broke to move 5-3 up.
Further misses from Tabern allowed the Dutch ace in on tops to win the ninth leg, and he then followed up a 180 with a 76 finish to take a commanding 7-3 advantage.
Tabern regained his range with a 78 finish to pick up his fourth leg, and after double 18 gave van der Voort the 12 it was the left-hander’s turn to produce a run of legs.
The St Helens star took two breaks of throw in winning three successive legs as he pulled back to trail just 8-7 going into the final stages.
However, he wasted his chance to level in the 16th leg as van der Voort sneaked home double five to move one leg away from victory, and despite a maximum from Tabern the Dutchman secured the triumph with double four.
ADRIAN LEWIS 14-12 KEVIN PAINTER
WORLD CHAMPION Adrian Lewis survived an epic battle with Kevin Painter before taking a 14-12 first round win in their Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay contest, after his opponent missed six darts for victory in a thriller.
Painter, competing for the first time since undergoing laser eye surgery last month, produced a fine performance to go within a whisker of sending Lewis back to Stoke with a first round exit.
But he missed three darts at double top to take a 10-6 win and then saw a dart at the bull and two at double eight go begging for a 12-10 victory as Lewis clawed back to sneak through.
Lewis had put his darts away in his pocket during the 16th leg when Painter needed double top for the win, but hit five 180s in four legs as he hit back before holding his nerve as the game went all the way.
There were signs of the drama which would follow from the start of the game, with Lewis hitting a 180 in a 14-darter to open the game only for Painter to hit back with a 102 finish to level.
Two missed doubles from Lewis allowed Painter in to break in the third, and he also took the next two legs to lead 4-1 against the World Champion.
A missed double ten in the sixth leg allowed Lewis back in on double top, and he followed a 180 with a 98 finish in cutting the gap to 4-3.
Lewis, though, was denied the chance to level in leg eight as Painter finished 79 on tops, although the Stoke ace finished 106 for a 12-dart leg in remaining just one adrift.
The next two were also shared as Lewis hit another brace of 180s, but Painter took a key break in the 12th on double 16 and finished 66 – after a missed bullseye from his opponent – to lead 8-5.
Lewis followed up a superb 177 with a 100 finish to win his sixth leg of the game, but Painter landed two maximums in a polished 13-darter to edge to the brink of a shock win at 9-6.
Misses at double top and ten from the World Champion gave Painter a chance in the next, but three darts at tops agonisingly landed above the top wire as Lewis – who had pocketed his darts – returned to land double five with his final dart to keep the game alive.
Lewis then produced a remarkable three legs, hitting four 180s in taking out a 13-darter and back-to-back 11-dart legs as he incredibly moved ahead at 10-9.
Painter hit a 180 of his own in reply to Lewis as he took the 20th leg to square the match in 12 darts with an 81 finish, which he followed up by taking out 86 on the bull to break and lead 11-10.
But again he would miss his chance to take the win, with a miss at the bull followed by two further darts at double eight slip away as Lewis scrambled in double four to stay alive.
Lewis then hit an 80 finish to lead 12-11, only to miss a dart at the bull for a 121 finish and the match himself in the next, with Painter hit double four to square an epic contest.
However, Painter missed two darts at double 16 as Lewis posted double ten to lead 13-12, and a 12th maximum of the game from the Stoke star helped him set up a 90 finish in the next, as he sealed victory on the bullseye.
“It was a brilliant game and I thought Kevin was absolutely fantastic,” said Lewis. “He took the lead, hit plenty of 180s and was finishing well, but when he missed the three darts at tops to win it I knew I had to hit him.
“I thought I’d lost it at one stage and put my darts away, but he missed his chance and I came back well and took mine in the end.
“I feel like I’m getting back to my best and I showed a lot of bottle in this game, but I’m on a free ticket now. I probably shouldn’t be in the tournament but I’m on a free ride now and hopefully I will be very dangerous this week.”
Painter admitted: “Adrian gave me chances and I didn’t take them, but the three darts at double top killed me.
“They were a cigarette paper away,and the bull later on is a hard chance and double eight hasn’t always been my favourite, but to be out of the tournament after playing like that is shocking. I threw it away.”
MARK WEBSTER 10-8 JOHN PART
A SENSATIONAL nine-dart finish from John Part came in vain as the Canadian lost 10-8 to Mark Webster in the Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay on Saturday night.
Part became just the third player to hit a perfect leg in the 18-year history of the World Matchplay, as he hit scores of 180, 180 and a 141 finish in the 11th leg of the clash with Webster.
He had trailed 7-1 but the nine-dart finish came in a fightback as he pulled back to just 8-7 at one stage before Webster held his nerve to take victory and progress to a second round clash with Steve Beaton on Wednesday.
Part, though, had found himself punished for a slow start to the game as Webster took an early 4-0 lead, with the Canadian missing doubles in two legs as the Welshman broke twice in the opening stages.
Part finished double 16 to finally get off the mark in the fifth leg, but after hitting a 180 missed further doubles as Webster capitalised.
He hit double 16 to lead 5-1, and after finishing 116 for a sparking 12-dart leg he then landed double six for a six-leg cushion, following three further misses from the Canadian at double 18.
Part had hit just one double from 16 attempts in the opening eight legs, but checkouts of 105 and 76 saw him pull back to 7-3 at the break, before he returned to land his brilliant nine-dart finish.
He also took the 12th leg, although that came in scrappier circumstances than his previous perfect leg as he posted double five with his final dart after Webster missed nine darts at doubles.
Webster did take the next on tops to move 8-5 up, but Part hit 180s in the next two legs, which he won in 14 and 13 darts to reduce the gap to one.
Webster, though, crucially hit two 180s in the next as he edged just one leg from victory at 9-7.
When he missed the bullseye for the match in the next, Part hit double 16 to evoke memories of Webster’s semi-final loss to James Wade in the UK Open a month ago, when he allowed a lead to slip.
However, there would be no repeat as Webster hit a 171 score to leave a finish, and he hit double top to secure victory.
“It wasn’t a brilliant performance but I just needed to get through it and I’ve done that,” said Webster. “I was a bit nervy and I didn’t feel great up there, but I’ve got through.
“I need to improve but I’m still in the competition. The first round’s always tough but John gave me chances and I took them early on.
“His nine-darter was as sweet as a nut, and because I was a long way back in the leg I was willing him to hit it. It was a brilliant nine-darter and it’s great to see John back.
“When he came back at me I started flashing back to what happened in the UK Open but I held myself together. I wasn’t bothered about my average or my performance, just getting through, and I’ve done that.”
Part – who would claim a £10,000 bonus should no other player hit a nine-darter in the remainder of the event – said: “For a player who’s been around a long time and been acknowledged for a lot of achievement’s it’s great.
“Some other guys hit nine-darters all the time but I’m a three-time World Champion and I hadn’t had one, so now I’m in there too and it’s nice.
“The only time I’ve ever hit a nine-darter before, even including practice, was in a little local singles league, against a good player who it was good fun to do it to, so this is only my second ever.
“I needed it to get back in the match too. I was still kindof lucky to win the next leg but I gave away chances before that and I think he was pretty fortunate to be in the position he was by the time I hit the nine-darter.
“I have been playing well and showed some good darts up there against Mark, but it was spotty and I gave away too many chances.”