TRIO CRUISE INTO LAST 16 AS WILLIAM HILL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RESUMES
TERRY JENKINS won 12 legs without reply and came within a whisker of a nine-darter during an impressive 4-0 victory in the second round of the William Hill World Darts Championship over Laurence Ryder, while Robert Thornton and Peter Wright also secured comfortable wins.
Derby-born Australian Ryder shocked Justin Pipe in the first round but could not live with Jenkins, who averaged 96.45 and hit seven 180s while only occasionally struggling on doubles.
Jenkins also hit a 164 finish, but it was the fifth leg of the match that almost yielded a second nine-darter in as many years for Jenkins, who hit a perfect leg in last year's event only to later lose to Per Laursen.
The Ledbury star hit back-to-back 180s, another treble 20 and treble 19 in the 141 combination he needed for another perfect leg, but was only just the wrong side of the wire on double 12 to agonisingly miss out on the achievement.
Ryder hit a single 180 and missed all six of his efforts at double as Jenkins secured a possible third round tie against defending champion Michael van Gerwen with an impressive performance.
"It was close wasn't it," Jenkins said of his nine-dart effort. "I looked at it first and thought it might have gone in, but it was close. After hitting a nine-darter here last year I really thought I could do it again, so I wasn't scared as I lined up the 141 - I was expecting to hit it."
Jenkins - the runner-up in the UK Open and European Championship this year - added of a possible third round clash with van Gerwen: "Michael's an awesome player and I'll have to play like I did today to stand a chance of beating Michael in the next round. But I've played well today so I'll keep practising as normal and fingers crossed I can play that way again. I've been on the board an hour a day and that seems to be working just fine for me I'll go into the game with no pressure on my shoulders at all, I won't be expected to win I suppose but I've beaten Michael before and I've got nothing to prove up there so I'll not be feeling the pressure at all."
Robert Thornton made it into the third round for the fifth time as he kicked-off the resumption of the tournament after Christmas with a commanding straight sets demolition of Ronnie Baxter.
Thornton averaged 93.78 and hit seven 180s and 11 140s in a tremendous scoring performance, as he managed to miss 27 doubles and still make it through without dropping a set.
Baxter hit three 180s, but paid the price for 20 missed doubles during the game, picking up just four legs in the match.
Thornton almost raised the roof as he hit back-to-back 180s to start a leg in the third set, but after the seventh treble 20 he was just millimetres outside of the treble 19 on a prospective nine-darter.
Having never made it beyond the third round at Alexandra Palace, Thornton will try and break that run against either Dave Chisnall or Benito van de Pas on Monday.
"In some of the legs I had chances to win a set and I missed a couple of doubles," said Thornton. "Ronnie missed more doubles than me and he's usually a bit better than that on them so I'm happy to have made it through into the next round. We had over a week there in between matches and thats probably a bit too long, I'm lucky I had my grandkids to think about and keep me busy over Christmas. Then when you get here it's all business again, and I'm glad it's not too long now until the next game on Monday."
Last year's beaten finalist, Peter Wright, was made to work harder in the third game of the afternoon, but in the end he also made comfortable progress into round three with a 4-1 win over Ronny Huybrechts.
Wright averaged 95.52 and threw three 180s but the real quality was in his finishing, as he hit three ton-plus checkouts and just over 46 percent of his chances at doubles.
Huybrechts had an 87.52 match average, equalled Wright's 180 tally and hit a 104 checkout of his own, but his scoring was always just a few notches behind the number five seed.
The Scot now moves on to a third round encounter with either Andy Hamilton or Kyle Anderson on Tuesday.
"It was a hard battle," said Wright. "I got very emotional up there because of all these fans singing my name, I was filling up with tears up there because I'm not used to it! It's so great getting all the support from the crowd and I came out feeling fantastic, but the emotion I got from the crowd took over and I found it hard to concentrate. I averaged 95 and I've not played well yet in this tournament but I'm through to the next round so I can only improve and get better."