• World Darts Championship

Defending champ Lewis moves into last 16

ESPN staff
December 22, 2011
Adrian Lewis progressed - although once more it was not convincing © Getty Images

Defending champion Adrian Lewis failed to completely erase the feeling that he is not quite at his best as he beat Robert Thornton 4-2 to progress to the last 16 of the PDC World Championship.

Lewis, who survived a real scare to make it through his first round match, was never behind in his second round clash - although he had to be on his toes to deny a determined Thornton, being made to sweat before eventually claiming a reasonably comfortable victory.

The first set went in Lewis's favour in straightforward fashion, as his opponent struggled to get going. But Thornton immediately gained the upper hand in the second set and ultimately won it thanks to a momentum-swinging maximum to start the deciding leg, leading to concerns Lewis might find himself in trouble at Alexandra Palace once again.

The next two sets were shared in similar fashion, before Lewis took advantage of a few errors creeping intp his rival's game to edge himself within a set of victory at 3-2.

Winning that set would prove far from straightforward, however, with Thornton immediately moving 2-0 up in legs after some inspired darts, before Lewis managed to level the scoreline and create a chance to seal victory.

In the end he would need to be gifted that important final leg, however, as Thornton missed three darts at double 14 to extend matters - opening the door wide open for Lewis to plant his dart in double five (following two prior misses at other targets) and progress.

In the opening game of the night, Wayne Jones proved too strong for Roland Scholten, romping away with a 4-0 victory.

The first set was a close fought affair - with Jones winning it 3-2 after some untidy play - but that would prove to break Scholten, who won just one more leg in the rest of the contest. Perhaps the crucial leg of the match came at 1-1 in the opening set, as Scholten missed eight darts at doubles as Jones was able to secure a break of throw that really set him on his way.

"I got away with it in the first set and that was probably key to the final outcome," Jones said afterwards. "I saw Roland start to struggle and that gave me a bit of confidence."

Jones will now play Lewis for a place in the quarter-finals. In the final game of the night, Justin Pipe held his nerve in a tight contest with Wes Newton, coming back from 2-0 down to register a dramatic 4-3 victory in a late finish.

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