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Friday, June 05, 2009

UK Open - Night One - 05 Jun 2009

JAMES WADE will open the defence of his Blue Square UK Open title against Peter Manley on Friday night, while Phil Taylor takes on Lee Williams in 'The FA Cup of Darts'.

Wade, who followed up last year's Reebok Stadium triumph with victory in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts recently, faces three-time World Championship runner-up Manley in one of the pick of the third round games in Bolton.

World number one Taylor has drawn Manchester-based rookie Williams as he begins his challenge for a third UK Open win, while Raymond van Barneveld drew Middlesbrough's Ken Dobson.

Three-time World Champion John Part's reward for a second round win over Mick McGowan in Thursday's opening night was a clash with former World Matchplay champion Colin Lloyd.

Adrian Lewis faces Robert Thornton in another high-profile game, while in-form Mark Walsh drew Wayne Mardle.

Mardle had to come from 3-0 down to win against qualifier Les Fitton on his return from mumps before sealing a third round spot.

"I was disappointed with some of my performance but I got away with a win, and that's all that mattered," said Mardle. "I'm feeling better and I'm refreshed, and I feel good about my game."

Australian number one Paul Nicholson celebrated a new look with a 6-4 win over Scottish star Gary Anderson in the biggest game of the opening night.

Nicholson sported a waistcoat and tie for the contest, and came from behind before sealing victory with a bullseye finish for a 132 checkout against Anderson.

"It's a massive confidence boost for me," said Nicholson. "This is possibly the biggest win of my career and I can go on from this."

Six of the 31 amateur Holsten Qualifiers won through to the third round, including Salford's Ken Mather and Telford's Andy Roberts - who claimed the scalp of two former World Champions, Anastasia Dobromyslova and Steve Beaton.

Roberts now takes on Chorley newcomer Louis Blundell, while Swindon's Johnny Haines drew Mark Dudbridge, Middlesbrough's Glen Durrant meets world number six Terry Jenkins and Mather takes on Nicholson.

However, 2008 runner-up Gary Mawson failed in his bid to match that achievement when he lost in round two to Haines.

Roland Scholten, the 2004 champion who has been hampered for the past year by a shoulder problem, dropped just two legs in wins over Derek Williams and Ian Critchett. (full report...)

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