Phil Taylor eased his way into the third round of the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace as he recorded a comfortable straight-sets victory over Denmark's Per Laursen last night.
There had been those who were less than impressed with Taylor's first-round victory over Gary Mawson, but the 15-times world champion was more like his old self as an average of 102.09 saw him brush aside Laursen. An inability to hit his trebles proved particularly costly for Laursen, with his only maximum of the contest coming with his final darts before Taylor completed the win with double top.
"I did feel pretty comfortable on the stage," said Taylor. "But fair play to Per, he kept trying and played well."
Mark Hylton held his nerve to come through a tense meeting with former world No 1 Colin Lloyd 4-2. Lloyd was twice forced to fight back from a set down to level matters at 2-2, but Hylton dealt with the pressure admirably as he won six of the next seven legs to claim victory.
Lloyd crucially missed two darts at tops at the start of the sixth set and he was made to pay as Hylton hit double 10 take that leg before hitting back-to-back 140s on his way to sealing the second leg with double 12. And the win was completed with a 68 finish.
Adrian Lewis was a comfortable 4-1 victor over Mark Dudbridge, despite a couple of late jitters. The 25-year-old from Stoke appeared in fine fettle as he raced into a 3-0 lead with finishes of 84, 94 and 111 being among the highlights.
But he was not as effective in the fourth set as some slack finishing let Dudbridge in to take it 3-1.
The No 16 seed Paul Nicholson endured a horror show on the doubles as he was dumped out 4-2 to qualifier Peter Wright during the afternoon session. Nicholson missed 35 darts at the doubles to hand his opponent a win he described as "the biggest of my career".