What a night at the Reebok!
Gary Anderson was the star of the show – hitting his first ever 9-darter on ‘live’ TV at the UK Open!
Elsewhere, Phil Taylor was given a mighty fright by Roland Scholten, but defending UK Open Champion James Wade was beaten in round three on Friday night!
Wade just couldn’t get going and he was beaten 9-5 by Colin Lloyd.....Wade managed two brilliant finishes of 170 and 160 as he levelled at five legs apiece but Lloyd then raced away with it.
Anderson was playing competitively with his new Unicorn designed darts and boy, did they spark some magic!
New barrels, new darts, new start for The Scot and what a terrific achievement.....it came in the third leg of his 9-3 victory over qualifier David Dodds and earned him a £10,000 bonus!
It was the 6th 9 darter at the UK Open and the 20th ‘live’ on Sky Sports since Phil Taylor’s history maker at the World Matchplay a decade ago.
“It is very special for me,” he said. “The new darts just feel so comfortable and they feel so right....thanks to Unicorn for their patience and the new design!”
Anderson was back to something like.....180, 180 and 141 on D12 for his moment of darting history in Bolton.
He also hit finishes of 128 on the bull, 100 and 115.
The Scot added: “Hopefully I can have a good run here. I am trying to get healthy, lose some weight, gave up the cigarettes and look after myself a lot more.”
Taylor was pushed all the way by Scholten.
‘The Power’ was broken four times as the Dutchman held his own on the main stage.....he was wobbling, that’s for sure.
The turning point came in the 13th leg.....it was 6-6 and Scholten looked on course to take the lead but Taylor produced a brilliant 180 and with the Dutchman sat on 56, ‘The Power’ took out 101.
It turned the match in his favour.
And he was hugely relieved when he hit D18 to finally seal a 9-7 victory.
“It was the best I have seen Roland play for three years,” said Taylor.
“I just didn’t expect it and I’m not going to make excuses. He put me under pressure and my bottle was going. There is no point in lying – I was shaking up there,” Taylor admitted.
Raymond van Barneveld enjoyed a comfortable 9-3 win over fellow Dutchman Jelle Klaasen.
The No.1 seed here at Bolton hit four 180s and averaged nearly 100. He looked in good touch.
And we witnessed a titanic all Unicorn tussle between Kevin Painter and Arron Monk, which Monk won in a last leg decider!
He was 5-2 down as Painter dominated early on....he levelled and then went 7-6 in front before missing three darts to go 8-6 up!
Painter forced the decider and ‘The Artist’ missed one dart at the bull to win the match....Monk then took out ‘tops’ to get the job done!
Last year’s beaten finalist Wes Newton made a bit of UK Open history in his 9-1 victory over Shaun Griffiths.
The Unicorn man reached the last 32 at Bolton for a 7th consecutive year – a feat achieved only by a certain Philip Taylor!
Terry Jenkins was made to fight all the way before booking his place in the last 32.
The Unicorn star – minus moustache after it was shaved off for charity – had another close shave, as he was pushed all the way by PDC Unicorn Youth World Champion James Hubbard.
Hubbard led early on, but Jenkins experience told in the end as he claimed a gutsy 9-6 victory.
And what a big win for Jamie Caven, who is aiming to claim a place in the top 16 this year....he was 0-3 down against Alan Tabern but came back strongly with some heavy scoring to win 9-6.....and he came so very close to joining Gary Anderson in the record books.
The Team Unicorn star just missed D12 for a 9-darter! “I was very close, wasn’t I,” said ‘Jabba’ “But it was all about winning, so I am happy to be in the hat and in the last 32!”
Paul Nicholson’s winning run continued! Still battling this painful shoulder injury, but ‘The Asset’ kept his cool to edge out Irishman Michael Mansell 9-7 on board four.
Colin Osborne continued his return to form....very impressive in beating Nigel Heydon 9-4, while it was a breeze for Andy Hamilton at the Reebok as ‘The Hammer’ swept aside the challenge of Richie Howson 9-2.
Unicorn youngster Joe Cullen was in impressive form too, as he saw off Leicestershire fireman Jim Walker 9-4, but his great mate Devon Petersen is out.
The South African pushed Ronnie Baxter all the way and hit three ‘bull’ finishes but he just couldn’t break the Baxter throw and lost 9-6.
3rd Round results:
Gary Anderson 9-3 David Dodds
Roland Scholten 7-9 Phil Taylor
Raymond van Barneveld 9-3 Jelle Klaasen
James Wade 5-9 Colin Lloyd
Mark Webster 7-9 Robert Thornton
Wes Newton 9-1 Shaun Griffiths
Kevin Painter 8-9 Arron Monk
Peter Wright 9-7 John Part
Andy Smith 9-6 Scott Rand
Ronnie Baxter 9-6 Devon Petersen
Kevin McDine 1-9 Adrian Lewis
Mervyn King 9-3 Gareth Cousins
Paul Amos 6-9 Vincent van der Voort
Kevin Dowling 4-9 Dennis Priestley
Paul Nicholson 9-7 Michael Mansell
William O’Connor 3-9 Michael van Gerwen
Dennis Smith (walkover after opponent Mark Jones failed to register in time)
Jason Crawley 5-9 Dean Winstanley
Michael Smith 7-9 Darren Webster
James Hubbard 6-9 Terry Jenkins
Scott Robertson 2-9 Justin Pipe
Peter Hudson 4-9 Kim Huybrechts
Jamie Caven 9-6 Alan Tabern
Jim Walker 4-9 Joe Cullen
Dean Stewart 3-9 Denis Ovens
Dave Chisnall 9-7 Mark Layton
Mark Hylton 9-6 Stuart Kellett
Richie Howson 2-9 Andy Hamilton
Nigel Heydon 4-9 Colin Osborne
Ian White 8-9 Richie Burnett
Terry Temple 6-9 Simon Whitlock
Mark Barilli 8-9 Brendan Dolan
By STUART PYKE in Bolton
Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC