Darts: 'Jackpot' hits back to see off stubborn Jones
Saturday 23 December 2006
Adrian Lewis thwarted a superb fightback from Wayne Jones to win an exhilarating second-round match at the World Championship in Purfleet yesterday.
The 21-year-old from Stoke produced a performance of which his mentor, Phil Taylor, would have been proud as he triumphed 4-3 with the help of 13 maximum scores of 180. It was also a terrific display from Jones, who showed the quality that took him to the semi-finals of this tournament last year.
Lewis typically began like a whirlwind, kicking off with a 180 and an 11-dart leg, and took the first set in less than five minutes with an average of just under 122. He made it 2-0 but Jones hung in there and levelled the match before Lewis edged ahead again, and seemed on the brink of victory in set six.
But the man nicknamed "Jackpot" missed bullseye for the match and then failed to hit two singles to set up a finish, allowing Jones to steal in and take it to a deciding set.
Any thoughts that it could go all the way to a sudden-death leg were dispelled, however, as Lewis found top gear again and won the first three legs, wrapping it up on the bull.
Fifth seed Lewis said he had lost concentration when he missed the single nine and single five to gift Jones his chance to level it up.
"I hit the 12, started laughing and lost focus," he said. "I had to laugh, but I can assure you Phil will say something about that. I'll probably get done! When it went to 3-3 I knew I had to dig in deep because Wayne's confidence was high.
"My 180 scoring was good but my scoring generally was a bit patchy - they were all on the wires and not in the trebles," he said. "But I can rectify that by getting back on the practice board."
Rico Vonck, a 19-year-old from the Netherlands, set up a possible third-round tie against his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld, with a 4-2 win against Canadian champion Brian Cyr.
Late on Thursday, Colin Osborne confirmed he is one of the rising stars by beating the 2004 runner-up Kevin Painter. The 31-year-old was in control of the first set after a brilliant 155 checkout in the opening leg, but missed doubles at a crucial time and let in Osborne. It gave "The Wizard" confidence and a brilliant 10-dart leg set him on the way to a 2-0 lead as Painter visibly became frustrated with the way things were going.
A cut finger sustained when retrieving his darts in the third set briefly threatened to derail Osborne's surge, and Painter stopped the bleeding score-wise by making it 2-1.
But any thoughts that Osborne would lose his nerve were soon dispelled as he maintained his form and held his throw in set four, a second dart at double five putting paid to Painter.
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