Darts: Roy holds his nerve to edge out Painter

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Alex Roy came through a fiery encounter with Kevin Painter 12-10 to book his place in the second round of the Stan James World Matchplay here yesterday.

The vociferous fans at the Winter Gardens were treated to a top-quality match. With the players level on legs at seven-all, Painter hit double top to move within two legs of victory. Roy levelled and the next two legs were also shared, which meant that someone had to win by two clear legs.

Roy moved ahead with a shot at double top, but Painter then landed his dart in the same double to make the score 10-10. It came down to who could hold their nerve and Roy won the next two, finishing with double 19.

The two players exchanged words during the first interval, but Roy played down the confrontation. "Kevin got the hump with me bouncing around the stage, but I feed off the crowd and I have to do that. It knocks the edge off my nerves. I apologised during the third break and Kevin just smiled and said it was not a problem. He's a top player."

Dennis Smith cruised into the second round with a 10-3 victory over Steve Brown. The 33-year-old Hungerford thrower took a 7-0 lead before Brown, who now lives in the United States, was able to stem the tide with a double nine.

Successful attempts at double 15 and double nine took Smith within one leg of victory but, as he started to relax, Brown responded well by winning the next two. However, Smith closed out the match in the next leg.