Another dramatic night at the World Matchplay of Darts at The Empress Ballrooms in Blackpool saw Kevin Painter come from 8-2 down to deny Colin Lloyd 11-9. Painter is 100/1 at Ladbrokes to win outright. Mark Walsh, who managed to hold off the comeback of Mark Dudbridge, will face Painter on Thursday in round 2.
After a nervy start in which he missed a host of doubles, Phil Taylor eventually ousted Barrie Bates 10-6. At one point Taylor was 5-4 down before slipping into gear and hitting a 3-dart average of 114.99. Taylor is now slightly shorter at 1/3 with most firms but Coral are still offering 2/5 about him for the tournament.
Steve Beaton condemned Paul Nicholson to a debut defeat, winning out 10-3. Beaton started well and never looked back but remains a 150/1 outsider with Paddy Power for the outright.
Tonight is the start of the 2nd round and there are some good matches as a host of names take to the stage. Blackpool-boy Ronnie Baxter is 4/11 at 888sport to get off to a winning start against Wayne Jones and should post a good, solid win. Dutch pairing Co Stompe and Vincent Van der Voort take on Mark Webster and James Wade respectively and Co Stompe could be a man to watch. Stompe is 1/1 at Victor Chandler and after a fine year, in which he has won the Las Vegas Classic and reached the quarters of the World Champs, he stands a good chance of progressing. Admittedly Mark Webster was the man who knocked Stompe out in that quarter-final but the Dutchman can fly tonight.
Barney is a mere 2/9 at Boylesports to see off Alan Tabern and his 9-darter in the 1st round was certainly a statement of intent. The popular Dutchman can go far in this tournament and is currently 12/1 at Sportingbet.