Easy work for Barney, Wade
Nicholson next for Dutchman after thrilling triumph over Osbourne
Last Updated: 18/07/11 8:50am
Van Barneveld: comfortable victory over Steve Brown on Sunday night
Big guns Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade both strolled to opening-round victories at the Sky Bet Mobile World Matchplay in Blackpool.
Barney booked his place in the last 16 with a routine 10-3 victory over Bristolian Steve Brown, the biggest scare for the Dutchman coming before the match had even started when he discovered he'd lost his darts.
The replacement set didn't too badly though, as the 44-year-old brushed aside 'The Bomber' to set up a showdown with Paul Nicholson.
"Jamie Caven is one of the top 10 players in the world and, I'm sure he won't mind me saying this, he played like a drainpipe there. It was awful."
James Wade Quotes of the week
After splitting the opening two legs van Barneveld took the next five on the spin, including a treble 18, double 18 finish in the last of them.
Brown, who had won the bullseye before going on stage but opted to give up the throw, finally broke the run in the seventh - he also hit double 10 in the 10th leg to keep himself alive in the contest.
However it was only a case of delaying the inevitable, van Barneveld landing double eight in the next leg having missed five darts at double 16.
Life had been even easier for Wade against Jamie Caven, the former champion whitewashing the man from Leicester 10-0.
The Machine didn't have to break sweat in reaching the second round, meaning he has now won 19 of his 23 matches at the Winter Gardens.
An out-of-sorts Caven missed four darts to win the sixth leg, though Wade failed with five attempts himself before hitting double five at the third time of asking.
It looked like his streak would end in the ninth leg but the left-hander nailed double 20, after hitting double 18, when his opponent was well placed. Wade then finished things with a flourish, hammering home a 136 checkout.
"It's probably less enjoyable than losing a game of darts," he told Sky Sports afterwards.
"Jamie Caven is one of the top 10 players in the world and, I'm sure he won't mind me saying this, he played like a drainpipe there. It was awful.
"It's not fun - it's not nice to play a player when they're not playing well. We've all been there."
Wade admitted that Blackpool held a special place in his heart, adding: "This for me is my favourite venue. I would pick this over the World Championships and the Premier League.
"You come here early before any of the games start and there's an atmosphere. There's just something special about this place and I don't know what it is."
Mark Walsh should give Wade a tougher challenge next, having impressed with a 10-3 victory over the much-fancied Dave Chisnall in the night's second match.
Chisnall has made an immediate impression since joining the PDC but endured a nightmare in front of the Sky cameras, taking 16 attempts to hit a double.
His misses allowed Walsh to race out to a 9-1 lead and although he lost legs 11 and 12 in a hurry, he secured victory with a 13-darter.
Nicholson, meanwhile, had kicked off proceedings on Sunday night by battling back from the brink of defeat to seal a thrilling 12-10 triumph over Colin Osbourne, who missed no less than five doubles for the match.
"I am the habitual entertainer," said Nicholson after his dramatic victory.
"I feel Colin was the better player there. For the first 10 legs I felt like I was hanging in there and trying to stay with him. Then I found another gear and felt like I could get on top of him."
"I missed a few match darts - I've got to learn from that. But, at the same time, I gave myself another chance. But I still feel he was the better player."