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Paul Nicholson placed himself in strong contention for a spot in the last 16 of the William Hill Grand Slam of darts with a comfortable victory over Barrie Bates on Monday evening.

The 2010 Players Champion, who had suffered defeat against Brendan Dolan in his opening match, cruised to a 5-0 win over the Welshman to pick up his first points of the tournament.

“I felt like I needed to win emphatically tonight and I managed to do that,” said ‘The Asset’, who kicked off with a brilliant eleven dart leg, following three 140s with a clinical 81 checkout.

“I’m not usually the best of starters so the 11-darter to win the first leg was a real confidence booster for me. I’m going to treat my final group game against Andy Hamilton as a normal knock-out match.”

Nicholson took the second leg too, pinning double five for a break of throw.

The Australian hit double nine to take the third leg after just missing out on a 150 finish.

He almost took out 124 in the following leg, before cleaning up the remaining 16 to move into a 4-0 lead.

Nicholson completed the whitewash with a tidy 64 out-shot.

‘The Asset’ faces Andy Hamilton in his final Group F game on Wednesday.

Raymond van Barneveld lost out in a last leg decider in his Dutch dual against BDO World Champion Christian Kist.

However, ‘Barney’ is still well placed to progress from Group H ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Wayne Jones.

By Chris Murphy

Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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