We will leave Chris Mason until last. Before the evening shenanigans there were some great games and minor upsets with Darren Webster, Colin Osborne and Andy Jenkins all going through to the quarter finals.
Webster progressed at the expense of Wynand Havenga and looks to have come to terms with the Purfleet stage. He takes on Phil Taylor next and can take huge credit for getting this far. His ranking will improve and he will be one to watch next year if he can step up on the back of this. Osborne is another who will feature heavily next year and is set to break into the top 32 after this week. He played brilliantly to go 2-0 up and after being pegged back to 2-2 produced another spurt to take it 4-2 and claim another major scalp in what has become a dream debut. Andy Jenkins shocked Adrian Lewis coming back from 2-0 down and playing fantastic darts to stun Jackpot who fancied his chances of winning this title. Jenkins’ stunning checkout percentage of 68% was the difference and he goes into the quarter finals for the first time ever to face a red hot Colin Osborne.
The evening games saw James Wade collapse against Terry Jenkins losing from a 3-1 lead after totally losing his way at the end. Jenkins wasn’t in it until the last and Wade’s fragile temperament caused his downfall. He’ll need to learn from these disappointments to realise the potential he undoubtedly has. Dennis Priestley may have expended a little too much in his miraculous escape the day before and couldn’t match the power throwing of Andy Hamilton who will take some stopping now. Hamilton was in imperious form averaging nearly 100 and hitting nine 180’s. His quarter final with Terry Jenkins promises to be a cracker.
Now to Mr Mason. First the game – he was well beaten in a one sided match that was fully expected. Taylor went about his business and wrapped up the expected win without being troubled by Mason who actually played quite well. Mason spoiled things though by following up his pre-match insults with more verbals on stage that Taylor reacted furiously to. His post match interview saw him lose his cool as he raged to Dave Clark, even suggesting he could walk away from the game. Mason had slated Taylor in the lead up to the match calling him “patronising” and when Taylor sank the winning dart, Mason gave him more stick on the stage. Taylor accused Mason of swearing and insulting and I for one am certain that this will only achieve one thing – firing up Taylor to blast his way to a 14th title. Mason doesn’t have, and never had had, the success in the game to give him the right to these views and until he wins something major his views are best kept to himself. There is only so long one can live with the “most talented not to win” monicker.
Day Eight Results – Third Round – Thursday 28 December
Wynand Havenga 2-4 Darren Webster
Roland Scholten 2-4 Colin Osborne
Adrian Lewis 3-4 Andy Jenkins
Terry Jenkins 4-3 James Wade
Phil Taylor 4-0 Chris Mason
Dennis Priestley 4-1 Andy Hamilton