Menacing test for Dennis

FIRED UP: Dennis Priestley
FIRED UP: Dennis Priestley

DENNIS Priestley is set for a tough third round tie with world number 23 Alan Tabern at the Speedy Hire UK Open in Bolton tonight.

Tabern comes into the competition fresh after qualifying directly for the third round while Priestley endured two tricky matches at the Reebok Stadium last night.

The Menace edged through a difficult opening round clash with Dave Ladley 4-3 before seeing off Robbie Green 4-2.

Ladley had earlier sneaked past South Elmsall’s Mark Lawrence 4-3 in the preliminary stage.

Priestley’s Mexborough neighbour Darren Johnson enters at the first round stage and will take on Kirk Shepherd in the opening match on board three.

Shepherd emerged from no where to reach the final of the PDC World Championship in 2008 but has since failed to consistently produce performances to make him a major name in the sport.

The clash between Priestley and Tabern is one of the most intriguing ties in a third round draw where many of dart’s biggest names avoided each other.

Among the small group of eye-catching ties are reigning world champion Adrian Lewis against world number seven Terry Jenkins and Co Stompe versus Simon Whitlock.

Full draw: Co Stompe v Simon Whitlock, Steve Brown v Raymond van Barneveld, Phil Taylor v Mark Frost, Terry Jenkins v Adrian Lewis, Mervyn King v Mark Walsh, Ian White v Gary Anderson, Roland Scholten v John Part, Richie Burnett v Colin Lloyd, Darren Johnson v Kirk Shepherd, Richard North v Dave Chisnall, Justin Pipe v John Bowles, Robert Thornton v Wayne Atwood, Andy Hamilton v Andrew Gilding, Andy Jenkins v Mark Hylton, Wes Newton v John Henderson, Colin Osborne v Mark Jones, Sam Hill v Michael Smith, Denis Ovens v Kevin Painter, Vincent van der Voort v Andy Boulton, Mark Dudbridge v Joe Murnan, Wayne Jones v Reece Robinson, Joe Cullen v Stuart Monaghan, Alan Tabern v Dennis Priestley, Martyn Turner v Matthew Edgar, Mark Webster v Tony Eccles, James Wade v Michael Mansell, Richie Howson v Michael van Gerwen, Jamie Caven v Steve Beaton, Steve Maish v Ronnie Baxter, Peter Wright v Peter Hudson, Graham Hollis v Paul Nicholson, Paul Harvey v Andy Smith.