Priestley out in the last 16
DENNIS Priestley's disappointments in the UK Open continued as he was dumped out in the last 16 by Kevin Painter.
But South Elmsall thrower Mark Lawrence proved to be the surprise package of the tournament at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton as he rocketed to the quarter finals before losing to eventual champion Phil Taylor who beat Colin Osbourn in Sunday's decider.
Lawrence stood at number 80 in the world prior to the 'FA Cup of Darts' but jumped up 16 places after picking up a 6000 haul for his efforts which brought him to the attention of the wider television audience for the first time. His prize money from the UK Open alone almost doubled his winnings from the previous TWO YEARS.
The lorry driver had an easy start to the UK Open with a bye from the second round after Paul Cook was disqualified. He then edged out Phil Brown 9-8 in the third round to land a clash with Mark Dudbridge who he moved past in relative comfortable manner 9-4 on Saturday afternoon.
Lawrence then set up perhaps the biggest match of his career by beating another of the tournament's big names in Colin Lloyd. 'Jaws' was demolished 9-3 by Lawrence who was the first to break throw in the contest as he took the fifth leg before checking out 164 to build his lead. Another three legs without reply put him well on course for victory and though Lloyd managed to snatch another leg, it proved a mere bump as Lawrence coasted to victory.
After the clash he hoped to land regular practice mate Priestley in the last eight. "It's amazing," he said. "I'm on cloud nine. I'd love to play Dennis in the quarter-finals - he's my mate - but I'd play anyone and hopefully I can continue my form."
The hat threw out the biggest name in the sport for Lawrence to get his teeth into but unfortunately his journey ended against 14 time world champion Taylor.
'The Power' ruthlessly whitewashed Lawrence 10-0 to move into the semi finals and keep himself on course for his third UK Open title. Taylor broke his own record with a 115.62 three dart average, 0.11 better than the standard he set earlier that afternoon against Ken Mather.
Lawrence was not completely out of touch with Taylor and could have produced a more respectable scoreline bar some missed doubles and earned praise from his opponent. "Mark never gave up and I'll give him his due - he kept battling away and trying and I was impressed by him," Taylor commented.
Priestley once again failed to move beyond the last 16 as he was beaten 9-3 by Kevin Painter after edging past Mark Frost in a deciding leg.
The Menace battled back from 2-0 down to level against Frost and the two stayed neck and neck throughout until the veteran landed double five at the fourth time of asking to advance into the last 16.
Priestley held his throw in the opening two legs against Painter but three back to back double 18 finishes from his rival left him 4-2 behind. Winning the seventh gave ‘the Artist’ a comfortable margin and he closed out the contest with double five.
Mexborough’s other thrower Darren Johnson was beaten in the third round after surrendering a lead to lose to Roland Scholten.
This weekend sees the PDC Tour come to the Barnsley Metrodome for the latest rounds of the Players Championship events. The two events on Saturday and Sunday are not open to viewing for the general public but the Times will bring you full reports next week.
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Weather for South Yorkshire
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
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Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
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