Colin Osborne produced one of his best performances of the year to win a big battle of ‘The Wizards’ at the Grand Slam!
His thrilling 5-4 victory keeps him in the event, while the Australian is out of the tournament after a second successive defeat.
It was some game….the Unicorn star averaging 100 as he burst into life to show his darting credentials again in what has been a disappointing 2010 by his own high standards.
Whitlock, who is the No.3 seed, averaged 101 but Osborne deserved his win and a 67 per cent check-out success rate spoke volumes.
“That was great!” he said. “I have been threatening to do that for a while and it was perfect timing to do it at the Grand Slam in such an important game.”
But he still has to beat Dave Chisnall in his last group game if he wants to progress to the knock-out stages.
The Unicorn ace won the opening leg with a 118 finish….in fact, the first four legs were shared and at that stage, both players were averaging 107.
Whitlock then broke throw, but Osborne refused to buckle and broke back straight away after hitting his second 180. The next two legs were shared again, but only after Osborne had just missed the bull for a 164 check-out to win it 5-3.
The Aussie started the decider with a maximum of his own. Osborne held his nerve though, and hit the match winning D16 at the first attempt.
Meanwhile, the Team Unicorn pair of James Wade and Terry Jenkins still have a bit to do if they want to qualify for the 2nd Round.
Wade faces Vincent van der Voort in his last group match – it will be a ‘winner takes it all’ clash at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Tuesday night.
The reason that Unicorn’s World No.2 finds himself in this situation is a 5-1 defeat against Tony O’Shea.
It was a desperately disappointing performance. Wade hitting only one double in eight attempts and he averaged only 82.65. The 4th leg was the turning point. Wade, who was 2-0 down, missed four darts to make it two apiece and O’Shea then took control.
The Stockport man won three straight legs to clinch his place in the knock-out stages.
But at least Wade knows what he has to do against Van der Voort.
And Jenkins knows that he must now beat Ladies World Champion Stacy Bromberg to go through, after he was edged out 5-3 by Mervyn King in a high quality affair.
He hit four 180s but ‘The Bull’ missed important doubles. He was 2-1 in front and blew three darts for a 3-1 advantage. Those misses were vital.
King hit a succession of 180s himself but trailing 4-3, Jenkins missed tops for a 145 to force a decider and then had to watch King nail 96 (20, D18 and tops) and he went on to secure a 5-3 win.
Jenkins hit 3 doubles from 15 attempts. He will have to improve on that!
Elsewhere, Gary Anderson’s 5-2 victory over local hero Wayne Jones should be enough to see The Scot through to the next stage.
On Sunday afternoon, Phil Taylor played with his new glasses for the first time in competition. He missed 17 darts at doubles, averaged only 89, but was still far too good for Michael van Gerwen – winning 5-1.
In two all Unicorn affairs, Raymond van Barneveld was a 5-0 winner against Tricia Wright, while Paul Nicholson beat Arron Monk in a thriller. All nine legs were won with the throw and Nicholson edged it in the decider.
But there was disappointment for both Wes Newton and Adrian Lewis…..In Taylor’s group, Newton just didn’t get going and lost 5-3 to Ted Hankey, while Lewis was well beaten 5-2 by Welsh veteran Martin Phillips.
Realistically, both Lewis and Newton will have to win both of their remaining games to go through to the knock-out stages.
Sunday night results:
Simon Whitlock 4-5 Colin Osborne
Robert Thornton 5-2 Dave Chisnall
Mark Webster 5-3 Mark Hylton
Gary Anderson 5-2 Wayne Jones
John Henderson 5-2 Stacy Bromberg
Mervyn King 5-3 Terry Jenkins
Vincent van der Voort 5-1 Justin Pipe
James Wade 1-5 Tony O’Shea
By STUART PYKE at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC