Dennis Priestley completed one of the greatest comebacks while James Wade and Roland Scholten stared defeat in the face before holding their nerve to progress. Priestley was overcome with emotion after watching Per Laursen miss several doubles for the match. He was 3-1 down but rode some almighty luck to get back on it and win a thriller. Priestley struggled to break the Dane’s throw and had to hit some big finishes to stay in it. He capitalised on Laursen’s failure to close the match out and was might relieved to sink the winning arrow, showing emotion that we rarely see from the veteran.
Scholten won a tie-break against Alex Roy to break Roy’s heart and breath a huge sigh of relief. The game ebbed and flowed and Roy will feel unlucky not to be sitting in the next round. Scholten’s resilience kept him in it and his nerve saw him through. James Wade coasted and struggled in equal measure in his match with Dave Ladley. Ladley put everything into it and went 3-2 up looking like he might win before Wade hit form to win the tie-break 4-2 and go through to face Terry Jenkins.
The other games saw Colin Osborne cruise past a spirited Wes Newton and Andy Jenkins take out The Pieman Andy Smith in an average match. Osborne looks comfortable on the Purfleet stage and will be a big test for Scholten next up while Andy Jenkins is going to have to find a ten percent increase in his average to compete with Adrian Lewis in the next round.
The first games of the third round finished off the evening with Raymond van Barneveld whitewashing Rico Vonck – the first time this has ever occurred in the third round. Vonck hardly got down to a double in a match that lasted just twenty five minutes. Barney averaged over 102 and after coming through that epic encounter with Lloyd will now be favourite to reach the final. The other game saw Alan Tabern march on, winning 4-3 against Dave Askew. It took seven sets again but Tabern proved he has the stamina to prevail. He faces Barney in the quarter final and if he can take the game to the Dutchman he will be quietly confident.
Day Seven Results – Second Round – Wednesday 27 December
James Wade 4-3 Dave Ladley
Dennis Priestley 4-3 Per Laursen
Colin Osborne 4-2 Wes Newton
Andy Jenkins 4-2 Andy Smith
Roland Scholten 4-3 Alex Roy
Raymond van Barneveld 4-0 Rico Vonck
Dave Askew 3-4 Alan Tabern