• World Matchplay

Taylor sets up second-round clash with Smith

ESPN staff
July 20, 2014
Phil Taylor saw off Darren Webster 10-3 © PA Photos

Phil Taylor kicked off his World Matchplay title defence in impressive style as he blew away former practice partner Darren Webster 10-3 in Blackpool.

Taylor recorded a 101.79 three-dart average, with his victory setting up a second-round meeting with rising star Michael Smith - the man who knocked him out of the last World Championship - after he saw off Justin Pipe 10-8 in the opening match of the evening session.

"It's going to be a cracker. On Wednesday we are in for a treat - I'm going to give Michael a game now," Taylor told Sky Sports. "I want to have a good fight with him and let us see who is the best."

Webster took the first leg against the throw and made it 2-2 with just 12 darts, though Taylor quickly pulled away by taking the next five legs. Taylor then took out 132 before going on to complete the win.

"It was a good game. That's the best I've played all year, to be quite honest with you," Taylor added.

"He was gutsy, he's got a lot of bottle has Darren. He just doesn't give up. I used to practice with him years ago and he's a brilliant little player."

In the final match of the night, Raymond van Barneveld hit eight 180s on his way to a 10-4 victory against fellow Dutchman Vincent van der Voort.

Earlier in the evening session, Wes Newton produced a 144 checkout to seal a dramatic 11-9 extra-time win against Ronnie Baxter.

In the afternoon session, Dave Chisnall beat Dean Winstanley 10-4 while Richie Burnett saw off Brendan Dolan by the same scoreline. Paul Nicholson edged Robert Thornton 10-8 with Andy Hamilton enjoying a comfortable 10-3 victory against Wayne Jones.

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