The Scottish duo of Gary Anderson and Peter Wright were dumped out on a dramatic opening day at the Auckland Darts Masters at the hands of Kyle Anderson and Corey Cadby, as Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld set up a tasty quarter-final clash at the Trusts Arena on Friday evening.
Kyle Anderson continued his brilliant form to dump out defending champion Gary Anderson in a high-quality first-round tussle. Anderson was the top seed in Michael van Gerwen’s absence, but ‘The Original’- fresh from winning his maiden PDC title last weekend, produced the goods once again to upset the two-time world champion.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ did little wrong, averaging 98.73, hitting three maximums and boasting a 50% checkout success rate. Nevertheless, Kyle was in inspired form. The Australian ace averaged 102.91, crashed in five 180’s and converted 50% of his shots at double to record a memorable 6-4 triumph.
Elsewhere, Anderson’s fellow Scot Peter Wright also suffered defeat on a dramatic opening day in New Zealand. The UK Open champion was beaten by emerging youngster Corey Cadby- who made his name by virtue of shocking Phil Taylor at the Perth Darts Masters twelve months ago.
However, the World-Youth champion added Wright to his growing list of scalps as the world number three struggled throughout. Snakebite averaged a modest 90.52 despite missing just two darts at double but Cadby dominated the scoring stakes; landing an incredible six maximums and averaging 95.11 to round-off a thrilling 6-4 win.
Phil Taylor saw off a valiant challenge from TV debutant Darren Herewini to book his spot in Saturday’s quarter-finals. ‘The Power’ rolled back the years to win his 16th World Matchplay title at the Winter Gardens a fortnight ago and he continued his winning momentum in Auckland.
The 16-time world champion averaged 102.31, posted three maximums and dispatched 32% of his double attempts to record a battling 6-4 victory. Herewini averaged 88.96 and piled in four 180’s, but his 27% checkout conversion rate proved his undoing as Taylor’s experience ultimately proved decisive.
Taylor will take on his old adversary Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals, after the five-time world champion defeated veteran Kiwi Warren Parry 6-4. Van Barneveld averaged almost 15 points more than his opponent, but Parry converted clinical finishes of 107 and 80 to stay in contention.
Nevertheless, Van Barneveld’s class eventually shone through, as he prevailed with a 90.82 average and a 43% checkout success rate. The Dutchman is now the highest remaining seed in this year’s competition, after both Anderson and Wright were condemned to premature exits.
Michael Smith produced a stunning World Series debut to set up a tasty quarter-final clash with Corey Cadby. The St Helen’s star averaged 103.66, piled in four maximums and converted 40% of his attempts at double to complete an impressive whitewash victory over former Kiwi World Cup star Rob Szabo in the tournament’s curtain-raiser.
James Wade returned to winning ways with a convincing 6-2 win over Mark Cleaver- who lost out in the opening round in Auckland for the second time in three years. It was a hard-fought contest, but ‘The Machine’ prevailed after averaging 87, registering two maximums and taking out a trademark 120 checkout.
The left-hander will take on Daryl Gurney in the last eight, after the U.S Masters finalist eased past Australia’s Rob Modra. ‘Super-Chin’ wasn’t at his vintage best but still ran out a comprehensive winner- averaging 90.45, crashing in three maximums and converting 32% of his attempts at double.
Simon Whitlock will take on Kyle Anderson in an all-Australian last eight clash, after ‘The Wizard’ edged out Cody Harris in a scrappy affair. Whitlock defeated ‘The Original’ at last month’s World Matchplay, but Anderson will be confident of exacting revenge on the basis of the pair’s respective first-round showings.
Whitlock averaged 87.90 and fired in three maximums, but the pair both displayed considerable fragility in the finishing department. They missed a total of 30 darts at double between them, with Whitlock boasting a 27% checkout success rate compared to Harris’ 22%, but it was the Australian who eventually triumphed 6-4.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King
Friday August 11 (7pm local time)
Michael Smith 6-0 Rob Szabo
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Rob Modra
James Wade 6-2 Mark Cleaver
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Warren Parry
Phil Taylor 6-4 Darren Herewini
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Cody Harris
Gary Anderson 4-6 Kyle Anderson
Peter Wright 4-6 Corey Cadby
All games best of 11 legs
Saturday August 12 (7pm local time)
James Wade v Daryl Gurney
Kyle Anderson v Simon Whitlock
Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
Corey Cadby v Michael Smith
All games best of 19 legs
Sunday August 13 (6pm local time)
All games best of 21 legs