- World Darts Championship
Painter masters Monk at Ally Pally
Kevin Painter breezed into the second round of the World Championship with a 3-1 win over Arron Monk.
Painter claimed his maiden major title at the Players Championship recently and brought excellent form to Alexandra Palace. He required it after being drawn to face world youth champion Monk, but he did not allow his rival to gain a foothold as he produced a dominant display.
Painter surged through the opening set as Monk missed darts at doubles. Monk took out 83 to break at the start of the second set but he missed a shot at bullseye to secure cushion and Painter took out double-two ahead of taking a two-set lead.
Monk opened the third set with a maximum and took out an audacious double-17, double-top checkout on his way to taking the set.
Painter steeled himself in the fourth and he produced some precision play to hold his throw in legs one, three and five to seal victory and a meeting with Mark Walsh in round two.
"I don't know about impressive but I got there in the end," Painter told Sky Sports. "Aaron pushed me all the way and I am relieved to get over the line.
"I am full of confidence. When I am going for a double I am expecting to hit it. It took me a few minutes to get into the match, I snatched a few, but Aaron started badly and that helped me."
Third seed James Wade booked his place in the second round with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Petri Korte.
Wade held off a valiant comeback by Petri who, at 2-0 down, went on to claim the third set and nearly restored parity in the fourth. However, The Machine held his nerve to clinch the match with a double 19 to book a showdown with Jelle Klaasen on Friday.
"I had so many more gears to give there and it just didn't happen. If it had have gone to the last set ... I would have won it 3-0. But I shouldn't have let it get that far.
"I really was that confident to win the game and it still got close which was quite annoying. I didn't play well," Wade told Sky Sports.
Andy Hamilton narrowly missed a nine-darter but produced a brilliant fightback to topple classy Spaniard Antonio Alcinas 3-2.
Hamilton has been out of form since his stunning win over Simon Whitlock at the World Matchplay and he looked like slipping to another defeat when Alcinas powered through the opening set.
Alcinas, who has form on the big stage having helped Spain to the semi-finals of the World Cup, did not drop his level but he bumped into Hamilton who kicked into overdrive.
He levelled the match at 1-1 and narrowly missed out on a nine-darter in the third. He took that leg, but it did not enable him to take the set as Alcinas took out bullseye to clean up the third set.
Alcinas took out a brilliant 11-darter in the fourth set but Hamilton stood firm to level. Hamilton took the opening two legs of the decider and sealed victory after Alcinas missed five shots at a double.
"I was disappointed to miss a dart at double 18 for the nine-darter, but the most important thing was to win the game, as there is so much pressure in these first round matches," said Hamilton. "Antonio kept hitting the big scores throughout the game and I'm just happy to have made it through."
Mervyn King hit a match average of 98.02 in disposing of World Championship debutant Geoff Kime 3-0.