Kim Huybrechts was the toast of the Emerald Isle last night as he put in a breathtaking performance, hitting a 98.47 average in his match against Stephen Bunting.
First up, Terry Jenkins and Benito van de Pas took no time at all to get the crowd on their feet, Jenkins hammering home a wonderful 156 in the opener. A tops finished followed as Jenkins doubled his lead. A missed set dart by Jenkins allowed Benito to half the lead before Jenkins returned to tops to go one set up.
The first 2 legs in the second set were halved before van de Pas clocked in a 180 and slotted double 10 to move within one of the set. He didn’t have to wait long as he made no mistake in the next, clinching it with tops.
Benito looked more relaxed now and polished off a smart 101 to break Jenkins but an instant break back set the scores at one a piece. Jenkins now looked in control as the match swayed from one to the other, hitting a fantastic 174 and checking out on tops to lead by one. Van de Pas saved on double 4 and had to watch Jenkins agonisingly miss doubles for the set. Keeping his nerve he stepped up and punished Jenkins to nab the third set.
Jenkins showed little sign of letting the missed doubles bother him, starting the next with a 160 and hitting his regular tops to claim the opener in set four. He powered in a maximum in the next and finished almost predictably on tops again to make him clear favourite to win the set. Benito was not about to lie down putting away a 76, throwing a maximum and landing double 2 to throw for the match. He made no mistake punishing Jenkins slack darts to take the match 3-1 and to book his place in the last 8 of a televised tournament for only the second time.
Who knew what was about to happen next. Matched by the bookmakers, in head to heads and nothing much separating them in the rankings Stephen Bunting took on Kim Huybrechts. It was a dream start for the Belgian walking the first set by 3 legs to nil, and not a double missed. Huybrechts took the next two legs with a 180 in both and still 100% record on the double finish. Bunting was totally out of sorts but pulled himself back together to angle in double 4 and get his first tally on the board. Huybrechts stepped in again and took the second set, finding double 10.
Bunting clearly shocked held in the next leg, Huybrechts responded with a magnificent 174 and double 10 checkout to square it at 1-1. Kim found himself on the brink of the last eight, seeing off 76, putting him one leg away. He made no mistake with an outstanding display to take the match 3-0 with an impressive 98.47 average to reach his first Grand Prix quarter final.
Billed as the battle of the Andersons, it was Gary who was firm favourite to see off his namesake Kyle in the next match. The opening leg suggested that this would be the case with Gary taking the first before landing a 160 off, a maximum 180 and double 18 finish to go 2-0 up. Kyle bagged the third on double 10 but Gary launched a 12 dart strike to go one set up.
The big Australian opened the second set but The Flying Scotsman was clinical and in no mood for messing around taking three quick legs in succession including an 85 and 118 checkout in the third and fourth legs respectively.
Kyle looked to bounce back but it was Gary who took the opener in the third set to stay on track, although a superb 90 bull checkout levelled the set for Kyle at 1-1. The Scotsman returned to go to one leg from victory but was left rueing missed doubles for the match, allowing Kyle to snatch the fourth leg to make it 2-2. Kyle saw a glimmer of hope and smashed in an 82 to get his first set and half the deficit 2 sets to 1.
Disaster then struck for Kyle as he was whitewashed unable to get away, giving Gary the simplest of legs. Clearly with this playing on his mind, Kyle lost his focus and watched on as Gary finished off the next two legs to take the match with a 96.88 average that included five 180’s and thirteen 140’s.
The last match of the night saw Adrian Lewis take on Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld. The two former world champions went toe to toe in the opening two legs sharing the spoils before Barneveld broke and set himself up with a 167 chance to win the set, unable to cash in Lewis levelled and had the darts for the set. Lewis struggled getting away trying to force the darts into the blocked double tops. Luckily he redeemed himself on his next throw hitting a 160 to keep Barney in check. Lewis was first to a double but missed his chances only to see Barneveld miss with all three of his. Lewis inexplicably again missed all three arrows allowing Barneveld to unconvincingly stumble across the line to take the set 3-2.
In the next, Lewis suffered the misfortune of being whitewashed, missing all 12 darts at the double start as Barneveld took the first leg. Barneveld went two up as Lewis again missed doubles, setting up Barneveld to throw for the set. A 180 saw him race away to leave 72 with Lewis way back. The Dutchman missed but was allowed to return and bury double 16 putting him two sets up.
Lewis tried to put the disappointment of the opening two sets behind him popping in a 180 in the opener in the third set, only to see van Barneveld pick off 72 to go one up. Again Lewis struggled missing three darts at 18’s whilst van Barneveld knocked in tops to leave him one leg from victory. Lewis responded keeping the match alive but it was an exercise in damage limitation as van Barneveld sealed victory in the next leg giving him a comfortable 3-0 win and 98 average.
Day Three Results:
Benito van de Pas 3-1 Terry Jenkins
Kim Huybrechts 3-0 Stephen Bunting
Gary Anderson 3-1 Kyle Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld 3-0 Adrian Lewis