Darts: Taylor powers on with sights set on Lewis tie

Last-eight meeting with protégé on champion's mind after classy win over Hine
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The Independent Online

Phil Taylor's bid for a 15th world darts championship title gathered pace at Alexandra Palace last night as he breezed past Steve Hine.

Hine was hopelessly outclassed as Taylor romped to a 4-0 win to secure a place in the third round. The reigning champion, who has dropped just three legs in the tournament, hit six 180s and registered an average of 103.28.

He said: "When you are playing it doesn't feel easy but you try to win every leg. I am happy to get through."

Taylor is already excited at the prospect of a possible last-eight meeting with protégé Adrian Lewis. "He [Lewis] has impressed me for a few matches now. If me and Adrian play in the last eight, I think you are going to see the winner [of the event] come from that match," he said. "I used to stand next to him and say 'do this, do that' and now he is doing it. It will be like Nigel Benn versus Chris Eubank, it will light up the tournament."

Taylor's third-round opponent will be Scotland's Robert Thornton who beat German Jyhan Artut 4-1 in the final match of the day.

Earlier Mark Dudbridge edged out Alan Tabern 4-3 and needed a tie-break to progress to a meeting with Co Stompe. The afternoon session was notable for Stompe's 4-2 defeat of fifth seed Mervyn King. Dutchman Stompe, who reached the quarter-finals of last year's competition, defied eight maximums from his opponent and ended the match with a three-dart average of 99. "I know what Mervyn can do," said Stompe. "The way he plays in the practice room is unbelievable, but sometimes he can't always bring it on to the stage. When I missed those four darts at double top for the match, he came back with some fantastic finishing. But I managed to come through in the end and it feels great."

Lewis will play Kevin McDine in the third round following their victories yesterday afternoon. Lewis saw off Wes Newton 4-2 while McDine whitewashed Barrie Bates 4-0.