William Hill World Darts Championship – Day Eleven Round-Up

William Hill World Darts Championship - Day 11 Round-Up
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Jamie Lewis produced the performance of his career to knock out Peter Wright at the William Hill World Darts Championship on Wednesday, as Dutch rivals Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld set up a mouth-watering quarter-final tie at Alexandra Palace.

Youngster Lewis had to come through the PDPA Qualifier just to make it to Alexandra Palace, but it was the Welshman who played like a top seed as he averaged an amazing 107 to beat number two seed Wright 4-1 in a dream display.

The 26-year-old hit an incredible 13 180s and tremendous outshots of 125, 123 and 121 helped him to an overall checkout ratio of 54 percent as he continued what could be a breakout performance.

Lewis averaged 120 for two sets as he hit a purple patch rarely seen on the big stage at the World Championship to leave Wright trailing, despite the 2014 finalist averaging 103 in reply.

“I still can’t quite believe it to be honest,” said Lewis, who plays James Richardson in Thursday’s third round tie. “I expected to give him a good game, I didn’t really expect to beat him.

“I’ve been playing well the last couple of weeks and I thought if I can keep playing like that then I’ll give him a good game but to win – I’m obviously over the moon with it.”

Richardson will also be playing in the last 16 for the first time after he overcame former quarter-finalist Alan Norris 4-1 in another solid showing.

Darren Webster continued his dominance over Simon Whitlock as he knocked the Australian out of the tournament for the third time in four years.

Webster beat Whitlock 4-0 last year and although Whitlock this time managed to get a set on the board, it was still a comprehensive 4-1 victory for the Demolition Man.

“I’m here to win this,” said Webster. “I’m not here to make numbers up, whereas before I used to say I’m here to give them a game now I’m here to win it all.

“I think if I can win three more matches then I’ll be the number one English dart player so that’s two down, three to go!”

Webster will tackle Spaniard Toni Alcinas in the last 16 after he defeated young German Kevin Munch 4-1 for the biggest win of his career.

With the second round concluding at Alexandra Palace, the opening two third round ties saw a pair of victories for Dutch superstars, competing in front of a handful of players from their national football team’s squad.

Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen won their last 16 matches in contrasting styles as the 2007 champion eased beyond Vincent van der Voort 4-1 before the reigning champion was pushed all the way before beating Gerwyn Price 4-2.

Van der Voort had not dropped a set in the tournament before his match and started in style with a 156 checkout, but a set was all he could muster as Van Barneveld reeled off nine straight legs for victory.

“I didn’t play my A-game and still averaged 101 so I’m pleased with that,” said Van Barneveld. “A couple of times I gave away a few shots on doubles and he was there to punish me so I’m happy with the win of course.

“I was hitting tons but not too many 140s or 180s so I’m pleased with averaging 101. That’s three matches and three 100 averages so I’m happy with that.”

Van Gerwen, meanwhile, survived a huge scare against Price, with the Welshman coming from 2-0 down to level before missing four darts to go 3-2 in front as the the two-time World Champion capitalised.

Van Gerwen averaged just over 100, hit 12 180s and a maximum 170 checkout but only won the same amount of legs (13) as Price in what he deemed a below-par performance.

“I didn’t play well today, simple,” said Van Gerwen. “My game wasn’t 100 percent and I made it tough for myself but all credit to him – he kept fighting he never gives up.

“I have to play better against Raymond. This was probably 85 percent of how I can play, I’m sure I can play better against Raymond.”

Thursday’s action sees the third round conclude with the remaining six matches split across two session at Alexandra Palace.

The afternoon session sees Alcinas face Webster before number five seed Mensur Suljovic takes on World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh and European Championship finalist Rob Cross plays John Henderson.

Lewis and Richardson open the evening session before 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor continues his final tournament before retirement as he takes on Keegan Brown, and two-time World Champion Gary Anderson plays Steve West.

William Hill World Darts Championship
Wednesday December 27
Afternoon Session
Second Round
Simon Whitlock 1-4 Darren Webster
Alan Norris 1-4 James Richardson
Kevin Munch 1-4 Toni Alcinas

Evening Session
Peter Wright 1-4 Jamie Lewis
Third Round
Vincent van der Voort 1-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen 4-2 Gerwyn Price

Thursday December 28
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Toni Alcinas v Darren Webster
Mensur Suljovic v Dimitri Van den Bergh
John Henderson v Rob Cross

Evening Session (7pm)
Jamie Lewis v James Richardson
Phil Taylor v Keegan Brown
Gary Anderson v Steve West

Third Round – Best of seven sets

MATCH REPORTS
SECOND ROUND

Simon Whitlock 1-4 Darren Webster
(2-3, 1-3, 1-3, 3-0, 1-3)
DARREN WEBSTER continued his dominance over Simon Whitlock as he knocked the Australian out of the William Hill World Darts Championship for the third time in four years.

Webster beat Whitlock 4-0 last year and although Whitlock this time managed to get a set on the board, it was still a comprehensive victory for the Norwich thrower.

The bare stats don’t quite tell the story of the match as Whitlock had a two-point higher average, hit two more 180s and had a higher checkout percentage than Webster, but the 2010 finalist was always playing catch-up.

Webster dominated the scoring by hitting 16 scores of 140+ compared to Whitlock’s four, and that gave the Englishman a healthy advantage in most legs leading to him having 38 throws at double as opposed to Whitlock’s 17.

On the occasions Whitlock got chances, he spurned them – such as in the second set after Webster took the opener on throw, Whitlock was broken in the third leg and then missed two doubles to go 2-0 down.

Whitlock missed crucial doubles to start and end the third set as Webster powered 3-0 in front, before the Australian star took the fourth set without reply to fire his challenge.

It was just delayed the inevitable though as Webster, with the throw, coasted to the fifth set to book his place in the last 16 after yet again claiming the scalp of Whitlock.

“I’m really pleased with myself it was the rematch and obviously he was after me,” said Webster, who plays Toni Alcinas in the last 16.

“I’ve played 12 sets against the man and he’s only won two and yet they keep making him the favourite – I love it!

“I think Simon was under more pressure than me as last two times I’ve played him I’ve won. I enjoyed it up there but there are still a lot of things for me to learn – I’m working on it.

“I think if I can win three more matches then I’ll be the number one English dart player so that’s two down, three to go!

“I’m here to win this, I’m not here to make numbers up. Whereas before I used to say I’m here to give them a game now I’m here to win it all.”

Alan Norris 1-4 James Richardson
(1-3, 3-2, 2-3, 2-3, 2-3)
JAMES RICHARDSON reached the last 16 of the William Hill World Darts Championship for the first time in his career after a 4-1 victory over an inconsistent Alan Norris.

Both players mixed some great darts with some wayward finishing, resulting in both averaging 86 with similar checkout percentages, while Richardson hit seven 180s to five from Norris.

Richardson started off the brighter to take the opening set by hitting three of just six shots at a double, while Norris wasted eight double chances.

Former quarter-finalist Norris levelled by taking the second in the deciding fifth leg, and that was to be the theme as all the remaining sets went the distance.

The next two sets also followed identical patterns as Richardson produced his best stuff early on to go 2-0 in front before letting Norris back in to force deciding legs.

Norris was remarkably unlucky in the third set as two treble 20 darts fell out of the board to help Richardson take the decider, while a 104 outshot from Richardson saw him take the fourth set under his own steam.

Nerves frayed in the fifth set as Richardson and Norris both missed darts for the fourth leg before the Bo’ness man forced yet another deciding leg, but this time it was the qualifier who made no mistake.

“I’ve worked all year for that 4-1,” said Richardson, who will take on Peter Wright or Jamie Lewis in the next round.

“That result is fantastic, especially in the second round of the World Championship – I’ve never got this far before so I’m over the moon.”

Kevin Munch 1-4 Toni Alcinas
(2-3, 0-3, 3-2, 1-3, 1-3)
TONI ALCINAS grabbed the biggest win of his darting career as he beat Kevin Munch 4-1 to reach the last 16 of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.

The 38-year-old Spaniard will now play Darren Webster for a place in the quarter-finals after dispatching young German star Munch in great style to follow up his win in round one over fellow countryman Cristo Reyes.

Munch hit the headlines by knocking out Adrian Lewis in round one, but Alcinas was on top from the start and he navigated a few nervy moments at the end of the match to see it through.

Alcinas sprung into action with an 11-dart leg in the opener to break the Munch throw, and a second 180 helped him to double his early advantage in the set.

The Spaniard then missed set darts as Munch brought it back to all square, but a 120 checkout in the decider deservedly gave Alcinas the set.

The standard was raised even higher in the second set as Alcinas took out 121 to start what would be a clean sweep for to double his advantage.

Alcinas hit a 12-darter in the third but showed some nerves for the first time as he missed seven doubles for an early break and Munch survived a deciding leg to get a set on the board.

Mallorca-based Alcinas recovered his composure to boss the fourth set and, although Munch took out 104 in the fifth set, Alcinas hit three 180s as he eventually sealed his place in the last 16.

“I’m really, really happy,” said Alcinas. “This is my first time in the last 16 of the World Championship and I hope that tomorrow I can play the same.

“I’m enjoying this tournament and my finishing has been good. I didn’t expect to get this far because my first game was against Cristo, who’s a really good player.

“Today I played better. My doubles were really important – there are some players who are really good with the triples but the doubles win you games.”

Alcinas – who owns a garage in Mallorca and gave himself time off to practice after defeating Cristo Reyes in the first round – had won back his PDC Tour Card in January, and

“At the start of the year I could never have dreamed of this,” admitted Alcinas. “I’ve done well this year but there were 245 players, really good players, in the qualifier and it was not easy.

“I’ve played my best darts here. Now I’m practising more – after the game against Cristo I’ve been practising every day because I know that if I don’t train, I don’t win.”

Peter Wright 1-4 Jamie Lewis
(3-2, 1-3, 2-3, 2-3, 2-3)
JAMIE LEWIS sprung another huge upset at the William Hill World Darts Championship as he knocked out number two seed Peter Wright 4-1 in the last game of the second round.

The 26-year-old Welshman had won through the PDPA Qualifier just to get to Alexandra Palace, but is now starting to deliver on his undoubted talent going by the darts he delivered the performance of his career on stage.

Wright played well himself, but Lewis averaged 107, hit an incredible 13 180s and landed checkouts of 125, 123 and 121 with an overall checkout ratio of 54 percent to stun the UK Open champion.

Wright picked up the opening set against the darts before hitting an 11-dart leg at the start of the second set in what seemed liked business as usual for the favourite.

However, Lewis embarked on a sparkling run as a trio of 12-darters, including 125 and 123 checkouts, saw him level the match as he averaged a frightening 119 for the set.

Lewis was hitting 180s for fun – ten in ten legs at one stage – and left Wright needing an 11-darter on a 121 outshot to break the throw in set three only for Lewis take the set’s deciding leg to lead 2-1.

Yet another 11-darter followed for Lewis to start set four, but again Wright dug in to force a decider before the Welsh youngster again pulled out all the stops as he took out 121 with his rival left marooned on double eight.

The fifth set also went the distance and Wright was left cursing missing four set darts as Lewis roared back to take out 66 to claim a place in the last 16.

“I still can’t quite believe it to be honest,” said Lewis, who plays James Richardson on Thursday. “I expected to give him a good game, I didn’t really expect to beat him.

“I’ve been playing well the last couple of weeks and I thought if I can keep playing like that then I’ll give him a good game, but to win – I’m obviously over the moon with it.

“I’ve played better in practice and things like that but to play like that on the biggest stage in darts – I’m really chuffed.

“It’s always been there, it’s been myself not really believing in me. The last few weeks I’ve started to believe in myself a bit more and that’s obviously working so hopefully I can keep it going.”

THIRD ROUND
Vincent van der Voort 1-4 Raymond van Barneveld
(1-3, 3-2, 1-3, 0-3, 0-3)
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD cruised into the quarter-finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship with a commanding 4-1 win over compatriot Vincent van der Voort.

Barney produced his third three-figure average in three wins at the tournament with 101.04 to go along with five 180s and checkouts of 161 and 112 in another fine performance.

The last 16 match threatened to be an exciting Dutch dust-up after Van der Voort had made it past Dave Chisnall and Steve Beaton without dropping a set, and he certainly started off well with a brilliant 156 checkout in the opener.

Van Barneveld rattled off the next three legs to take the lead, but Van der Voort hit two 90 finishes in set two to level the game.

Van der Voort pinched the first leg of the third set, but that was to be his last as Van Barneveld reeled off the next nine legs in a row, taking out finishes of 161, 112 and 96 along the way, to seal another impressive win.

“Vincent played awesome for the first two sets and I didn’t play my A-game and still averaged 101, so I’m pleased with that,” said Van Barneveld, who now takes on another Dutchman, reigning champion Michael van Gerwen.

“A couple of times I gave away a few shots on doubles and Vincent was there to punish me so I’m happy with the win of course.

“I was hitting tons but not too many 140s or 180s so I’m pleased with averaging 101, that’s three matches and three 100 averages so I’m happy with that.”

Michael van Gerwen 4-2 Gerwyn Price
(3-2, 3-2, 1-3, 0-3, 3-2, 3-1)
REIGNING William Hill World Darts Champion Michael van Gerwen was pushed all the way by Gerwyn Price before earning a 4-2 victory in another thrilling last 16 encounter at Alexandra Palace.

Welshman Price came from two sets down to level and could have gone 3-2 ahead but for missed doubles in set five allowing Van Gerwen to instead regain the lead before going on to victory.

Van Gerwen averaged just over 100, hit 12 180s and had a maximum 170 checkout, but only won the same amount of legs (13) as Price, who fought tooth and nail in every single set.

Van Gerwen started off in style with a 180 and an 82 finish to take the opening leg, but Price pushed him all the way to a decider in the set that the Dutchman edged.

A brace of 180s started off set two in even better fashion for Van Gerwen, who followed up with a 170 finish and another couple of 180s in the deciding to double his advantage.

Price hit back by taking the third set 3-1 and dominating a sparkling fourth to square an enthralling contest.

Legs of 13, 13 and 12 darts saw Price average 118 when taking the set 3-0 to make the match level and suddenly have Van Gerwen on the ropes.

Price looked on top in a crucial fifth set as he twice went ahead, but a missed tops helped Van Gerwen level before four further set darts missed the target in the decider and a relieved reigning champion took out 62 to wrestle back the lead.

The chance for the biggest upset of all was then gone, and Van Gerwen narrowed his focus in the final set to take it 3-1 to set up a huge showdown with Raymond van Barneveld.

“I didn’t play well today,” said Van Gerwen. “I had a 2-0 lead but from the beginning I wasn’t feeling well, he had some chances even from the start and I wasn’t playing my game.

“I don’t know what was wrong, maybe my focus wasn’t there. My game wasn’t 100 percent but all credit to him – he kept fighting, he never gives up but I knew that before.

“That’s what I like of his game, he never gives up, he plays his heart out and he shows his emotions.

“I made it tough for myself and I have to put that right for the next game. It’s a big game for everyone when I play Raymond.”

Price admitted that missing the chance to go 3-2 up was the turning point in the match, as his best World Championship run came to an end.

“I got it back to 2-2 and could have gone 3-2 up and that probably was the turning point,” said Price. “Had I gone 3-2 up I felt confident I would have gone on to win the match.

“Fair play to Michael, he was probably the better player.. He’s a champion, he dug in deep when the crowd was against him and he deserved to win in the end.

“I was happy to get through the first round and if I was to win this one I fancied going on to win the tournament – that’s how I felt, this was my final tonight.”

Written by Paul Higham for the PDC