World Matchplay Darts: James Wade beats John Part at Winter Gardens
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 20/07/13 11:10pm
James Wade: First round winner in Blackpool
James Wade overcame a strong challenge from former world champion John Part to come through the first round of the BetVictor World Matchplay in Blackpool, where Raymond van Barneveld was also a winner.
Left-hander Wade has a great record in the event at the Winter Gardens, second only to Phil Taylor having won it once back in 2007 and making five finals in seven years in all.
Wade was given a tough first round assignment this year though as Canadian Part was his opening opponent, and Darth Maple quickly took a 2-0 lead to signal his intent.
Barneveld 10-4 Suljovic
Whitlock 10-8 Klaasen
Jenkins 10-3 Smith
Wade 10-8 Part
Wade hit back to level, and the two then traded blows by swapping leg for leg before Wade opened up a gap of two at 7-5 and then three at 8-5.
It looked to be the decisive break but part is a fighter, as he showed by snapping up the next two legs to make it 8-7, and then responding again to another Wade leg by pushing him all the way to 9-8 before Wade eventually put him away.
Raymond van Barneveld also looked to be up against it when Mensur Suljovic took an early 2-1 lead in their first round encounter, but the big Dutchman soon found another gear.
Barney took five legs on the spin to make it 7-2, before a 121 outshout gave him a 9-4 lead that he quickly converted into a 10-4 victory.
The five-time world champion has been a finalist only once in Blackpool, and although he would love to win the prestigious chances he thought the extreme heat at the Winter Gardens could work against him.
"It's very hot out there, tomorrow I might put a practice board in the sauna and practice in there!" Barney told Sky Sports. "As soon as you get up there your shirt is sticky and it's hard to play your best darts.
"One year here I was in the final and I've had a couple of semi-finals. This is a fantastic tournament and I'd really love to win it.
"I just think the heat here works against me, but after the World Championship this is one of the best tournaments that we all want to win."
Terry Jenkins produced a huge burst against Andy Smith on his way to a comfortable 10-3 over The Pieman - who actually took a 2-0 lead in the opening match of the night.
The Bull responded though with a run of eight legs on the bounce, from 3-2 down, to claim a second round spot with his 10-3 success.
Jelle Klaasen hit finishes of 158 and 118 as he tried to prevent Simon Whitlock from winning their match, but the Australian held on to claim an exciting 10-8 success.