Raymond van Barneveld
with special guest Andy Fordham
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James Wade faces Colin Lloyd on Friday evening after booking his place in the third round of the UK Open following a high quality encounter against Stephen Bunting at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium.
The world number three battled hard to see off his impressive opponent in a last leg decider.
Bunting took the first leg, before Wade hit double ten to draw level.
‘The Machine’ hit double twelve to grab a break of throw but Bunting restored parity when he hit double top in leg four.
Bunting then held his throw to move within a leg of beating the defending champion.
Wade hit double top to set up a deciding leg, which he won on double ten after his opponent missed three darts at double nineteen.
By Chris Murphy
James Wade is aiming to successfully defend his Speedy Services UK Open title when the tournament, known as the ‘FA Cup of Darts’, begins on Thursday.
The world number three is bidding for a hat-trick of titles, after beating Wez Newton in the final to claim the £40,000 first prize last year.
“It’s a completely different challenge to the Premier League and any other major event that we do,” said the seven time major winner.
“I know people say they only take one game at a time but that’s literally all you can do because you’ve no idea who you’ll play in the next round if you get through.
“It’s not like the Premier League or, for example, the World Matchplay in that sense, but that adds to the excitement for me.
“I’m fortunate enough to have won twice in Bolton and it would be fantastic to do it again, but I know I’ll have a tough weekend ahead of me.”
Wade’s second round game will be against either former quarter-finalist Mark Lawrence or one of three amatuer qualifiers, who will battle it out in the preliminary and first rounds earlier in the evening.
“I still don’t know who I’ll be playing on Thursday night, and they’ll have played twice already so that adds to the challenge,” added Wade.
“It’s a short format, the first to four, so I’ll have to be ready because there’s no time to get settled in. I’ve just got to go out there and do a job.”
By Chris Murphy
JAMES WADE 6 – 8 Phil Taylor
James Wade produced a fantastic performance in the Play-Offs of the McCoy’s Premier League, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Phil Taylor reaching the final.
Wade gave ‘The Power’ an almighty scare, pushing his opponent all the way, but a brilliant 149 checkout against the throw in the penultimate leg of the match was effectively the difference, in a high quality affair at London’s O2.
Wade settled in quickly, as he held his throw with a twelve-dart leg, but ‘The Power’ took out 112 to level up.
‘The Machine’ edged back in front by taking out 104 in ruthless fashion, before Taylor hit double eight to restore parity.
Wade hit his first 180 in the fifth leg and Taylor responded in kind. ‘The Machine’ then narrowly missed the bullseye for a 161 checkout, but tidied up the remaining 25 to restore his lead.
The world number three grabbed a potentially crucial break of throw before the break, hitting his second maximum in the process.
Taylor broke back immediately after the interval, before holding to tie the match at four legs each.
Wade missed double 18 by no more than the width of the wire, before the world number one hit double five to break.
With Taylor leading for the first time in the match, Wade piled on the pressure by hitting another maximum against the throw, but Taylor managed to hold after both players missed darts at their double.
‘The Machine’ hammered home his fourth 180 in leg eleven, before hitting double twelve to cut the deficit to a single leg.
Wade just missed the bull again, this time for a spectacular 164 checkout, but he hit trusty double ten to grab what looked like being a vital break of throw.
Taylor took out a brilliant 149 finish on Wade’s throw to leave himself throwing for the match, before hitting double top to progress to the final.
By Chris Murphy
James Wade could be crowned as McCoy’s Premier League Champion for the second time, when the competition’s Play-Offs take place at London’s O2 Arena on Thursday evening, and ‘The Machine’ says he will be ready to face Phil Taylor in the semi-final.
Wade takes on Taylor in a repeat of the historic 2010 final, when two nine-darters from ‘The Power’ were the deciding factor in the match.
The last-four clash sees the PDC’s two most successful players go head to head, with Wade gunning for an eighth televised title on the night.
“I’ve got to win two games now but it’s not as simple as that because I’m playing Phil in the semis,” said Wade, the world number three. “Hopefully I’ll win the first one and then we’ll see what happens.
“I think it’s quite clear that Phil does something special against me and prepares perhaps even a little bit differently.
“If I can beat him in the semi-finals then hopefully I’ll have a good game in the final – but I’ve got to try and beat Phil first. I’m being positive about it and not frightened by playing him.”
15-time World Champion Taylor admitted that Wade is always one of his toughest opponents.
“Against James, you know you’re in for a good game,” ‘The Power told the PDC website. “The time I beat him in the final, I nearly hit three nine-darters and only won 10-8.
“He’s such a good player that he’s predictable and you know you’re in for a tough fight, so you might as well just relax and get on with it.”
By Chris Murphy
JAMES WADE 7 – 7 RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
James Wade booked his place in the semi-finals of the McCoy’s Premier League, after a dramatic last leg shoot-out with Raymond van Barneveld in Newcastle.
‘Barney’, who needed to win to take the final Play-Off spot, led 7-6 against ‘The Machine’, who was in need of a draw to qualify.
Wade produced a great leg under pressure to ensure it would be him who made it through, hitting 60, 180, 140 and 81, before hitting double top to set up a semi-final clash with Phil Taylor at London’s O2 next Thursday.
“It was such a hard game, with the crowd against me,” said Wade, who won the tournament in 2009.
“The eight players this year have been brilliant. I have been lucky at times over the last 14 weeks, but you have to be. I’m delighted to be in the semi-finals.”
Barney hit his first 180 in the opening leg, which he won on double 16. ‘The Machine’ responded with a clinical 95 checkout, before van Barneveld hit double ten to go back in front.
The Dutchman applied the pressure with his second 180, before grabbing a break of throw in a tense fourth leg, in which both players missed doubles.
Wade broke back immediately to reduce the deficit but van Barneveld did the same, to take a 4-2 lead into the break.
‘The Machine’ grabbed the fourth consecutive leg against the throw, hitting his first maximum in the process.
The world number three then hit double eight to hold his throw and level the match at four legs apiece.
Wade took the lead for the first time, hitting double twelve for another break of throw, before taking out 80 to go 6-4 ahead and in need of one more leg for a Play-Off place.
‘Barney’ produced a sensational 161 checkout to keep the match alive, and he finished on the bull again to restore parity.
Both players missed shots at the bull in the 13th leg, before van Barneveld hit double sixteen, but Wade held his nerve and his throw in the final leg, to book his place in the semi-finals.
By Chris Murphy
James Wade and three more of MODUS’ star players have hailed the role of sponsors The Money Shop, after a successful start to 2012.
Wade, Simon Whitlock, Raymond van Barneveld and Paul Nicholson are all enjoying the support of UK’s number one instant cash provider, and have all spoken of their gratitude and pride in sporting the company’s logo.
The players have been repaying their sponsor for putting faith in them by proudly showing off the logo, as well as making personal appearances at various branches around the country.
Whitlock has enjoyed a particularly strong few months, having already qualified for the semi-finals of the McCoy’s Premier League. ‘The Wizard’ highlighted the importance of the partnership.
He said: “Sponsorship is such a massive thing for darts players. When I hit the top a couple of years ago, I was struggling for sponsorship, so to have such a well known brand like The Money Shop onside is absolutely fantastic.
“I hope my performances are repaying their support and I am pleased that I will be showing them off on my shirt in the Premier League semi-finals.”
Wade and van Barneveld are both still in strong contention to reach the Premier League Play-offs and the pair both paid tribute to their sponsors, ahead of their crucial showdown on Thursday.
“The Money Shop has been brilliant,” said van Barneveld, who appeared at the Birmingham Store last week. “I am pleased to give something back when I visit them and meet their staff and also with my performances on TV.”
Wade added: “It will be a tough match next Thursday. Both Raymond and I are desperate for a place in the semis, not just for ourselves but everyone who supports us. Our sponsors put a huge amount of faith in us, and we want to do well for them too.”
Nicholson reached the final of the World Cup of Darts, when he and Whitlock represented Australia earlier this year. ‘The Asset’ is hoping that was just the start of a good year ahead in major tournaments.
“I really want to win a TV tournament this year,” said Nicholson, who is appearing at the Metrocentre store, Gateshead on Wednesday.
“Simon and I were so close in the World Cup but it wasn’t to be. But I’m getting closer and the brilliant backing from The Money Shop can only help me move forward. They believe in me as much as I believe in myself and I can’t thank them enough.”
By Chris Murphy
Witness this historic moment when Terry ‘the bull’ Jenkins shaves his moustache for the first time in 33 years on 25th May 2012 @ The Untouchables Charity event in aid of Bradbury Enhanced Care Unit.
Please feel free to donate to this very worthwhile cause and to see Terry clean shaven…………….. What will he look like? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please donate at www.justgiving.com/teams/terry-thebull-jenkins
Remember to tick the GIFT AID box.
Many thanks to you all for your kind support.