UK Darts Issue 9 - December 2013 - Page 6

comfortable 6-2 victory over Michael Smith, and Raymond van Barneveld edged through a close encounter with his good friend Mervyn King, the Dutchman eventually prevailing in the deciding leg. The second round line-up was completed by Terry Jenkins who unceremoniously dumped 2012 runner-up Kim Huybrechts out of the tournament with a 6-2 victory. “This performance showed that I’m back to my best” Michael van Gerwen Second Round The second round encounter between Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis lived up to it’s promise. Lewis, who landed seven 180s in the game put himself in pole position as he moved into a 6-3 lead only for van Gerwen to find top gear and seal a thrilling 9-6 victory with finishes of 124 and 112 in the matches final two legs. “It was a great game to play in and it was fantastic for the crowd, but it was also very important for me to win this match,” admitted van Gerwen. “This performance showed that I’m back to my best and I needed this after the last couple of months, so it’s good for my confidence.” “Adrian played really well but the tenth leg was massive because to be 7-3 or 6-4 behind is a big difference, and from there I played really well and hit some great finishes.” Photo: PDC/Lawrence Lustig Raymond van Barneveld was taken to a deciding leg for the second time in as many matches as Robert Thornton came from 6-3 and then 8-6 down to force the pivitol decider. Barneveld had missed three match darts to secure a 9-6 victory but in the end he clung on to secure the 9-8 win after a spirited fightback from Thornton. “It always seems to be exciting with me,” admitted van Barneveld. “Last night it was 6-5 with Mervyn King and tonight was 9-8 with Robert - I’d love to have a comfortable win but I never make it easy for myself.” “I got the win and that’s what you want, even though I wasn’t at my best again tonight. I thought I’d lost my chance in the final leg but I was so determined to win and I’m glad I did.” “I love it here and the venue’s being pretty good to me” Justin Pipe Reigning champion Phil Taylor’s defence continued well as he overcame Peter Wright 9-3 in a dominant performance that saw the sixteentime World Champion average 107.85. “I’m really pleased with that and I’m happy with my average and my performance but I had no choice but to do that because Peter’s a tough cookie to beat and playing really well at the moment,” said Photo: PDC/Lawrence Lustig Photo: PDC/Lawrence Lustig