Double disappointment for defeated Dennis and Darren

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THERE was double darting disappointment in Mexborough as Church Street duo Dennis Priestley and Darren Johnson suffered early exits from a thrilling UK Open in Bolton.

Johnson – who qualified automatically for the third round stage following good performances on the PDC Tour – suffered a 9-6 defeat to former World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd.

Priestley came through from the first round stage only to come up against 15–time world champion and perennial foe, Phil Taylor in the fourth round.

The Menace had battled superbly to see off Scunthorpe’s Dave Ladley, Robbie Green and Alan Tabern to put his name in the hat for the fourth round.

But he could only produce patches of quality against The Power who swept through the contest with a brilliant three dart average of more than 105.

Taylor triumphed 9-3 over his old foe who has now slipped to 26th in the world rankings.

As it stands Priestley faces an uphill task to qualify for the second biggest tournament of the PDC calendar, the World Matchplay in Blackpool next month.

The top 16 in the PDC order of merit and the top 16 of the Players Championship order of merit qualify for the tournament.

Priestley is currently £2,200 short in Players Championship prize money with just four rounds to go before the World Matchplay.

The UK Open was won by James Wade, who picked up his seventh major darts title.