Dramatic darts marathon on day two of the BetVictor World Matchplay in Blackpool

Day two of the BetVictor World Matchplay at Blackpool brought a double session, in which  eight first round clashes took place.

Monday, 23rd July 2018, 1:44 am
Updated Monday, 23rd July 2018, 7:32 am
Fans at the Winter Gardens Picture: ROB LOCK

READ MORE: Favourite Van Gerwen stunned by qualifier With the Winter Gardens still in a state of shock from Michael van Gerwen's opening night exit against Jeffrey De Zwaan, dramatic end to the afternoon session saw last year’s semi-finalist Daryl Gurney secure an 12-10 win over Steve West, who missed 11 darts to win the match.

At 9-7 West squandered seven darts to book his place in the second round as Gurney pounced to keep himself in the tie.

West missed two more darts at double in the next leg as the Northern Irishman struck double 20 with his final dart in hand to stay alive once again.

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West regained the lead at 10-9 and then missed another match dart before Gurney hit a stunning 92 finish on the bull and then followed it up by taking the lead for the first time in the tie at 11-10.

The world number five held his nerve in the final leg, landing double 16 to set up a round two clash with Joe Cullen.

Cullen secured his first win on the Winter Gardens stage with an impressive 10-3 demolition of number 12 seed Gerwyn Price.

The Bradford man raced into a 5-0 lead, hitting a clinical four doubles from six attempts before firing in a stunning 170 finish to extend his lead to 7-0.

Premier League star Price fought back to reduce the deficit to 9-3 but missed doubles and Cullen found double eight to wrap up one of the biggest wins of his career.

Two-time semi-finalist Gary Anderson struck five 180s in his 10-7 triumph over Stephen Bunting.

With the game finely poised at 7-6 in Anderson’s favour, the two-time World Champion fired in a crucial score of 177 and followed it up with a tidy 44 finish.

Despite never having progressed beyond the semi-final stage, Anderson is now favourite to win the tournament heading into the last 16.

Anderson said: “I’ll keep plodding on and see how far I can go. It’s well documented that this isn’t my favourite tournament but I’ll give it a good go.”

Two-time quarter-finalist Mensur Suljovic recorded his first win over Steve Beaton in nine attempts with a 10-6 success which included three ton-plus checkouts for the Austrian.

“I thought Steve Beaton would retire before I finally beat him!” admitted Suljovic.

He next faces Ian White, who edged out a close encounter with German debutant Max Hopp 10-7, firing in an impressive eight 180s and two ton-plus finishes.

White missed six match darts to seal victory but eventually landed double eight to banish memories of his first round defeat to Rob Cross at last year’s event.

Cross brushed aside Mervyn King to win an entertaining clash 10-5 on his second Winter Gardens appearance.

The reigning World Champion produced his best darts as the game went on, with a 121 finish for a commanding 8-5 lead.

His next opponent will be last year’s quarter-finalist Darren Webster, who produced a strong display to defeat World Matchplay debutant Steve Lennon 10-6.

Van Barneveld rounded off the night with a 10-6 victory over Kyle Anderson as he returned from a six-week break in winning fashion.

The 2010 finalist looked him top form as he raced into a 6-1 lead but his Australian opponent showed his fighting qualities to go within two legs at 7-5.

Van Barneveld did enough to keep Anderson at arm's length with a series of crucial finishes and almost wrapped up the win in style with a 154 checkout before pinning double ten with his next visit.

"I was relieved to win in the end because I started thinking it wasn't going to happen today," Van Barneveld admitted.