James Wade, Mark Webster and Paul Nicholson all won last leg deciders to book their places in round three of the Speedy Services UK Open, while Arron Monk and Mervyn King produced impressive displays at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on Thursday.
Wade had to fight off a strong challenge from the impressive Stephen Bunting. ‘The Machine’ won the last two legs to keep his title defence on course.
Webster needed to win the final three legs to overcome the challenge of Johnny Haines.
The Welshman trailed 3-1 after missing doubles earlier in the match but found his form in time to ensure he would be staying in Bolton for at least another day.
Nicholson beat Harry Miles 4-2 in round one, and then edged out Tony Cooper in the second round.
King produced one of the performances of the night with a 4-1 triumph over Ted Hankey, who had built up some momentum with two wins before closing the action on the main stage.
Former under-21 World Champion Arron Monk did brilliantly to win three matches, including an impressive 4-1 second round success over Adam Hunt.
Monk’s reward is a third round tie against Premier League star Kevin Painter.
Wade will face Colin Lloyd in round three on Friday evening, when Webster takes on Robert Thornton.
Nicholson takes on Michael Mansell, while King faces Gareth Cousins.
Adam Smith-Neale won two matches on Thursday before eventually losing out to Dan Stuart.
Andy Jenkins lost out to Hankey after beating Gus Santana in the preliminary round, while John Henderson won his first round tie but was denied a place in round three by Colin Osborne.
Premier League finalist Simon Whitlock, five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld and PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion James Hubbard enter the tournament on Friday.
‘The Wizard’ has drawn Terry Temple in round three, while ‘Barney’ and Hubbard face Jelle Klaasen and Terry Jenkins respectively.
Vincent van der Voort, also enters on Friday. He plays Paul Amos, while his compatriot Michael van Gerwen faces William O’Connor.
By Chris Murphy