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MICHAEL VAN GERWEN eased through to the knockout stage of the bwin Grand Slam of Darts after a hat-trick of wins in Wolverhampton saw him top Group A.

Defending champion Van Gerwen defeated Ross Montgomery, Rob Cross and Joe Murnan to set up Thursday’s second round match-up with Ireland’s Steve Lennon.

Mark Webster was eliminated in agonising fashion, losing out by just three points in a nine-dart shoot-out against Darren Webster after the pair could not be separated for second place in Group D.

Simon Whitlock was also unable to make it through the round robin stages.