Lewis whitewashes Thornton
Whitewash for world champ and thrilling comeback for the Bull
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 21/07/12 11:19pm
Adrian Lewis: Whitewash by the world champion
World champion Adrian Lewis made a flying start to the World Matchplay with a 10-0 whitewash of Robert Thornton, while Terry Jenkins made a miraculous comeback to stun Kim Huybrechts 11-9.
Lewis may be a two-time world champion but he is yet to reach the final in Blackpool, but he will be a hard man to beat at the Winter Gardens if he continues the form who showed in his opening match.
Scotsman Thornton has been in top form himself after taking the UK Open title last month, and he started well as he kicked off the game with a maximum 180.
First round scores:
A Smith 10-6 P Nicholson
T Jenkins 11-9 K Huybrechts
A Lewis 10-0 R Thornton
R van Barneveld 10- M Smith
However, that was as good as it got for the Scot as Lewis broke on double 12 in the first leg and then hit two 180s in a 12-darter to take leg two before finishing 81.
Lewis averaged over 100 and stuck in a 126 checkout with the game already won to show he was gunning for the eventual whitewash.
"I knew it was in a tough draw with Rob who's high in confidence after winning the UK Open but I hit him early and he just couldn't recover from that," said Lewis.
"As soon as I got to seven legs I knew I could win it 10-0, and I'm happy with it. I think i can improve on that and I'll try to do that against Andy Smith on Wednesday night."
Two-time Matchplay runner-up Terry Jenkins looked like making a third first-round exit in a row as he trailed Belgian star Kim Huybrechts 9-5 to sit on the verge of defeat.
However, Jenkins held his nerve when Huybrechts failed to convert his chances and the pressure seemed to really get to him.
Jenkins hit a Shanghai 120 checkout with Huybrechts waiting on a double to save himself, and then took the next two legs to move within one at 9-8.
The next leg was a nerve-jangler as both men missed doubles before Jenkins nailed his next chance to level at 9-9, and with Huybrechts still reeling he could not compose himself enough to get back into the contest and The Bull won a thriller 11-9.
Andy 'The Pie Man' Smith finally tasted Blackpool victory for the first time in seven attempts at the Winter Gardens following a 10-6 victory over Paul Nicholson.
The Asset was amongst the more fancied players for the title but he just could not find his top game when it was needed as he suffered a disappointing exit.
Raymond van Barneveld made ni mistake in his opening match of the tournament as he beat Michael Smith comfortably 10-4.