Darts: The Ice Man cometh

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The Independent Online
Alan Warriner won the opening match in the World Darts Championship in Purfleet, Essex yesterday and then claimed: "I'm good enough to go all the way." Warriner, known as the "Ice Man", beat the American Larry Butler by three sets to one in Group B. Three players contest each group, with the winner going into the quarter-finals.

Warriner, who had four 180s, was rarely troubled and might have won in straight sets. Even when he lost the second set he had two shots at double 18 in the fifth leg before Butler made it one set all.

Keith Deller, who won the official Embassy World title in 1983, beat fellow East Anglian Kevin Spiolek in straight sets, losing only three legs in a one-sided match in Group C. Then Rod Harrington, from Chelmsford, beat the American Sean Downs 3-1 in his Group G contest.

The fourth-seeded Peter Evison, the last player to beat Phil Taylor in a major tournament, opened with a 3-0 victory over Steve Raw 3-0. Evison beat Taylor 8-1 in the World Match Play final at Blackpool last August. Taylor, who was the runner-up in 1994 and has won this title for the past two years, beat Chris Mason 3-0 in his opening group match. Taylor was not at his overpowering best but he had two 180s and lost only one leg.

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