Day One of the Coral UK Open featured the first three rounds of the historic tournament, with 128 in action. The first two rounds took place this afternoon with the format being the best of 11 legs, and the third round took place this evening with a race to ten legs.
The talk before the event was that the World number one Michael van Gerwen withdrew from the tournament with a back injury, that news soon got to the players room as all the main competitors fancied their chances.
There was a lot of Darts played on day one with eight boards in play, with the main stage televised and stage two with a unique atmosphere. With various results spilling out from all of the various outside boards.
The first game of the day on the main stage featured Jamie Caven and the Rileys qualifier Dan Read, it was a slightly subdued atmosphere as they crowds were still on their way to Minehead but that didn’t bother these two players as they battled it out for a place in Round Two.
It was a cagey start from both players, Caven missed seven darts to win the opening leg, but four missed doubles from Read allowed Caven to pick out D2 to move 1-0 ahead.
Read missed a dart at D6 for a 126 to level the match, but more missed doubles from the pair proved costly for both players but it was Jamie Caven who doubled his lead after a terrific last dart at D8 when he looked like it was blocked he moved across the stage to move 2-0 ahead, Read has missed ten darts at a double in the opening two legs.
Read managed to get a leg on the board as he broke Caven’s throw with his 17th attempt at a double in the first three legs as the pair’s double woes continued.
Caven extended his lead to 3-1 as he picked out tops for a 16-darter to break Read straight back.
Caven missed a dart at tops for a 111 and Read replied in stunning fashion as he managed to take out 140 to break Caven straight back, a bizarre turn in fortune for the Rileys Victoria qualifier to pull it back to 2–3.
Read sensationally took out ANOTHER 140 finish in a sensational reverse of fortune as he levelled up the contest.
The Hampshire right-hander kicked off the seventh leg with his first maximum, Caven missed a dart at tops on 64 but unfortunately for Read he missed two darts at the same target which allowed Caven to return to move 4-3 ahead. Read missed a dart at tops for a 104, Caven stepped in and took out a superb 128 finish on D10 to move within a leg of round two. Jabba sealed the victory as he picked out D8 for a 96 finish to complete a 6-3 victory over the Rileys qualifier Dan Read who played really well it was just missed opportunities that proved to be pivotal.
Elsewhere, on Stage two Mark Frost booked his place in round two with a 6-4 win over Jamie Bain as he averaged just under 90 in a superb performance with included a tremendous 161 finish with 40% on the finishing.
The Second game on the Main Stage featured James Richardson a player who I personally know quite well as he took on Spain’s Antonio Alcinas as looked to book his place in Round two.
The pair traded maximum’s in the opening leg but it was Alcinas who left tops after 12 darts but he couldn’t take his opportunity as Richardson hit a 137 to pressure the missed darts from Alcinas and Richardson picked out D10 to take the first leg. Alcinas went on to level up the contest as he picked out D10 for a break of throw as Richardson was waiting to pounce on tops.
The third leg seen both players miss plenty of doubles, it was a great start from Alcinas as he left D16 after 12, but the pair ended up on D1 and it was pot luck to see who would win the leg, Alcinas eventually picked out the D1 to lead 2-1.
Elsewhere on Stage Two, Lee Bryant led 5–4 against Wayne Jones and missed darts to win, but the Wolverhampton star came back and won the match 6-5.
Back to the Richardson/Alcinas clash, The Spaniard extended his lead to 3-1 with a 16-darter, hitting his third maximum in four legs on route.
James Richardson held throw in the fifth leg courtesy of a 15-darter a he looked to complete the comeback, He did exactly that with another fantastic leg of darts which started with a maximum and the Rushden right-hander picked out D16 to level the match at 3-3. Richardson kicked off the seventh leg with his third maximum of the match and he won his third leg in succession as he picked out D10 to move 4-3 ahead. Richardson crucially missed three darts at tops for a 5-3 lead but it wasn’t punished by Alcinas as he missed two darts at D16 and Richardson returned to pick out D10 for a 5-3 advantage.
It was maximum number four for Richardson to start the ninth leg as her looked to close the match out, he had a chance at tops to take the match 6-3 but couldn’t take it out and Alcinas took out 56 to make it 4–5. Richardson completed the victory as he hit D12 for a 14-darter to book his place in the second round.
Elsewhere on Stage two, Alex Roy who has played in every single UK Open since it’s inception faced Kevin Edwards, The Watford man eased to a 6-1 victory in a pretty good performance with an 86 average with 31% on the doubles.
The next match on the main stage featured the Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp as he took on Hong Kong’s Royden Lam. The Dutchman opened up an early advantage with a terrific 14-darter as he picked out tops for a 76 checkout. He went on to double his lead after Lam missed a dart at D9 to level and the big Dutchman picked out D10. Meulenkamp cruised into a 3-0 lead as he found tops for a 17-darter.
The Dutchman was in cruise control as he moved four legs clear of Royden Lam without even breaking a sweat courtesy of a 16-darter as he found D10 as it looked to be all over for Royden Lam.
Lam opened his account in this one as he picked out D4 with Meulenkamp waiting to pounce on 88, however it would be the only leg he would take off Meulenkamp as the big Dutchman reeled off two legs on the spin to book his place in round two. Unbelievably there were no maximum’s in this contest but Meulenkamp’s finishing stats were to be admired as he hit 5/11 on the doubles.
Elsewhere on Stage Two, the much fancied youngster Dean Reynolds came through unscathed as he defeated Andy Roberts 6-2. Over on stage two the former World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd booked his place in round two with a 6-3 win over Mark Barilli.
The next game on the main stage featured seasoned pro Paul Hogan as he came up against a very talented youngster in Keegan Brown. Hogan started brightly as he raced into a 1-0 lead hitting a maximum along the way and took the leg by picking out D16 at the first attempt. Brown started off the second leg with a maximum of his own, but it was Hogan who was first to a double as he missed D5 but it wasn’t punished by brown as he missed a dart at D18 to level and in stepped Hogan as he found D2 to double his lead. Keegan Brown got a crucial break of throw in the third leg as he took out 51 for a 15-darter. The Isle of Wight star levelled the match as he found D8. Hogan re-established the lead at 3-2 after taking out 76 on D18 for a 15-darter. Hogan went on to double his advantage to 4-2 and got a crucial break of throw after again taking out D18 this time for a 56 outshot. Brown missed a dart at tops for a 131 checkout, but Hogan went on to miss three darts at his favourite D18, but Brown couldn’t punish the error as he went on to miss tops and D10 which allowed Hogan to take out D18 for a 5-2 advantage. However, the youngster Brown wasn’t finished as he dominated the eighth leg on his own throw and he finished it with a superb 117 finish to make it 3-5. Hogan sealed the win with a superb 81 finish on D18 and with it a 14-darter to book his place in round two.
Elsewhere on stage two, The Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode won a tremendous battle with Stuart Kellett as he averaged 93.94 with an impressive 41% on the finishing.
The next match on the main stage featured the very much in-form Northern Irishman Daryl Gurney as he took on Ryan Palmer who has had a few good runs on tour recently. Gurney was very impressive in the opening leg as he left 116 after just three visits to the board, kicking off with back-to-back 140’s.
Gurney took out 68 to take the first leg which was a 14-darter. Gurney started the second leg with the matches first maximum, but it was Palmer who had the opportunity to level the match as he missed D18 for a huge 156 outshot. It was punished though by Gurney as he took out 68 again this time on D16 to double his lead to 2-0. Palmer dominated the third leg, as he left 103 after 12 darts, Gurney hit a maximum to pressure the 103 but that didn’t phase Palmer as he took out the 103 for a 15-darter to pull it back to 1-2 and to break Gurney’s throw. Gurney however would break straight back with a stunning 11-dart leg hitting his fourth maximum in as many legs he picked out D8 to move 3-1 ahead.
Palmer broke Gurney back once more in the fifth leg, this was after both players missed opportunities to win the leg but it was Palmer who picked out D10 to make it 2-3. The Bristol right-hander started the sixth leg with a maximum as he looked to level things up in a leg which he dominated he hit a stunning 171 to leave D9. Unfortunately for Palmer he missed three darts at D9 then bust his score which allowed Gurney to take out tops for a 4-2 lead and yet another break of throw.
Gurney went three legs clear as he moved 5-2 ahead courtesy of a 62 finish on D16 as he looked to kill the match off. Palmer wasn’t quite finished though as he made it 5-3 after taking out D10 after Gurney couldn’t take out 85 for the match. Gurney sealed the win in the ninth leg, in a leg which he dominated he managed to take out a 101 finish on D16 for a superb 6-3 win. There wasn’t much separating the pair in the scoring it was simply the finishing what got Gurney over the line with 6/9 on the doubles compared to 3/13 from Palmer.
Elsewhere, the very impressive youngster Ted Evetts sealed his place in round three with a superb 6-3 win over Paul Milford. A 92.63 average and Five maximums for the Warwickshire man capped off a superb performance..
Next on the main stage it was sure to be a delightful encounter between Stephen Bunting and Mark Webster. There was a shock result coming from one of the outer boards as Terry Jenkins was eliminated by Wayne Jones in the second round. Back to the Bunting/Webster encounter, It was potentially another shock result as the Welshman raced into a 3-0 lead against the former Lakeside champion. Webster took out 103 in the opening leg for a 15-darter, He then doubled his lead with a 14-darter as he took out 61 hitting a maximum along the way. His superb power scoring and great finishing continued as he fired in a 11-darter taking out D10. He then extended his lead to 4-0 as he took out a superb 124 finish for another 15-darter after hitting his fourth maximum to stun the former World champion.
Bunting got his first leg on the board in the fifth leg as he picked out D12 for a 17-darter to keep his hopes alive. The comeback looked to be on for Bunting as he hit his first maximum to leave 75, but Webster had something to say about that as he fired in his third ton plus checkout of the match this time it was a 127 on the bullseye to move 5-1 ahead, just a leg away from the third round.
Webster looked to win the match 6-2 as he left himself on tops, but Bunting was having none of it as he took out a superb 135 finish on the bull to pull it back to 2-5. Webster sealed the victory as he picked out tops on the back of hitting his fifth maximum of the match, The Welshman averaged just under a ton and hit five maximums capping off a great performance on the oche.
On Stage two, Justin Pipe enjoyed a whitewash win over the youngster Ryan Meikle as he averaged 102.48 in a brilliant display from ‘The Force’.
The next game on the main stage featured Robert Thornton and Kevin Bambrick in which Thornton was the heavy favourite. It was a very bright start from the Scot as he took the opening left with a 12-darter with Bambrick not near an outshot. Thornton then doubled his advantage after he took out 114 for a 15-darter just after he hit his first maximum, again Bambrick was not on an outshot it looked so easy for The Thorn at this point. It was soon 3-0 too Thornton within the blink of an eye as he picked out D12 to continue his dominance in the match. A 13 darter seen the Scot move 4-0 ahead with a 13-darter as he picked out D6 to continue his superb finish hitting 4/6 of his attempts at a double.
It was proving to be far too easy for Thornton as he moved 5-0 ahead after he missed five darts at double and still his opponent was back on 138, Thornton averaging 34 points more than his opponent was just too much of a gap and he completed the rout in quick time as he found the D12 at the fourth time of asking. It was a pretty poor display from Bambrick as he averaged just 65 compared to Thornton’s 93 it was always going to be one-way traffic.
The Final game of the afternoon on the main stage featured James Wilson as he took on Vincent van der Voort. It was the Dutchman who took the opening leg in which the dominated as he took out D16 to open up a 1-0 advantage. Both players experienced missed chances at a double in the second leg, and it was Wilson who picked out the D5 to level the contest. Van der Voort dominated the third leg on his throw as he fired in his first maximum. However, Wilson hit one straight back to get himself back into the leg but Van der Voort took out 68 on tops to move 2-1 ahead. Wilson went on to level things up with a superb 110 checkout on D16 in a leg which he did dominate with Van der Voort not even on an outshot.
Another very good leg from the Yorkshire man Wilson allowed him to move ahead with a crucial break of throw as he picked out D12 including hitting his third maximum of the match. Wilson missed a dart at tops to move 4-2 ahead but he wasn’t punished by Van der Voort who missed the same target allowing Wilson to cash in as he moved two legs clear taking out D10. The big Dutchman pulled it back to 3-4 as he took out 58 on tops as he looked to complete the comeback. Van der Voort had a terrific leg as he levelled the match with a superb 11-darter as he picked out D16. The big Dutchman won his third leg in succession as he moved within a leg of the third round as he took out 60 courtesy of D10. Van der Voort missed three darts for the match, and Wilson took full advantage as he hit D8 to take the match to a deciding leg. The Dutchman managed to hold his nerve as he took out 62 on D16 whilst Wilson was waiting on D12 for the match. It was an exciting encounter with any of the two players deserving the win.
Coral UK Open
Friday March 3
Afternoon Session (11.45am-5pm)
First Round & Second Round
Played across eight stages
Jamie Caven 6-3 Dan Read
James Richardson 6-4 Antonio Alcinas
Ron Meulenkamp 6-1 Ting Chi Royden Lam
Paul Hogan 6-3 Keegan Brown
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Ryan Palmer
Mark Webster 6-2 Stephen Bunting
Robert Thornton 6-0 Kevin Bambrick
Vincent van der Voort 6-5 James Wilson
Mark Frost 6-4 Jamie Bain
Wayne Jones 6-5 Lee Bryant
Alex Roy 6-1 Kevin Edwards
Dean Reynolds 6-2 Andy Roberts
Kirk Shepherd 6-3 Mark Barilli
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Stuart Kellett
Ted Evetts 6-3 Paul Milford
Justin Pipe 6-0 Ryan Meikle
Ryan Murray 6-5 John Ferrell
Alan Tabern 6-4 Scott Robertson
Johnny Haines 6-0 Wayne Morris
Rob Hewson 6-4 Ritchie Edhouse
David Pallett 6-4 Andy Jenkins
John Michael 6-5 Peter Hudson
Matthew Dennant 6-4 Zoran Lerchbacher
Paul Hogan 6-4 Jamie Lewis
Joe Davis 6-2 Paul Harvey
Yordi Meeuwisse 6-4 Martin Biggs
James Carroll 6-3 Brandon Walsh
Paul Barham 6-4 Brett Claydon
Barrie Bates 6-3 Jeffrey de Graaf
Johnny Haines 6-3 Darren Johnson
Wayne Jones 6-2 Terry Jenkins
Ronnie Baxter 6-3 Richard North
James Wilson 6-4 Gary Eastwood
Darren Johnson 6-5 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Paul Milford 6-3 Brian Dawson
Tony Newell 6-4 Mark Layton
William O’Connor 6-2 Steve Lennon
Andrew Gilding 6-4 Ryan Murray
Paul Barham 6-5 Scott Taylor
Mick McGowan 6-4 Dean Reynolds
Matt Padgett 6-2 Paul Cartwright
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 Paul Rowley
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Jimmy McKirdy
Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Kai Fan Leung
Ross Twell 6-4 Joe Davis
James Richardson 6-1 Neil Smith
Ron Meulenkamp 6-4 Lee Evans
Rob Hewson 6-5 Jan Dekker
Kevin Bambrick 6-5 Nicky Bell
Ben Green 6-4 Darryl Pilgrim
Lee Evans 6-5 Andrew Davidson
Jonathan Worsley 6-4 Dave Prins
Martin Lukeman 6-5 Matt Padgett
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Mark Frost
Brian Woods 6-4 Tony Newell
Dave Parletti v Alex Roy
Brian Woods 6-3 Damian Smith
Neil Smith 6-4 Steve Maish
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Vincent Kamphuis
Dave Parletti 6-2 Gareth Pass
Jamie Caven 6-0 Ben Green
Alan Tabern 6-3 James Carroll
Jermaine Wattimena 6-2 Devon Petersen
Yordi Meeuwisse 6-4 Jonathan Worsley