Tag Archives: pally

Masters 2013: John Higgins beats Ali Carter at Alexandra Palace

Higgins Masters Carter with fine victory to book quarter-final spot at Ally Pally

By
Nick Metcalfe

PUBLISHED:

22:09 GMT, 14 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 14 January 2013

John Higgins fought back from 2-0 behind to beat Ali Carter and book a place in the last eight of the Masters at Alexandra Palace.

Higgins, winner of this great event in 1999 and 2006, lost the second frame despite Carter needing two snookers, and seemed really up against it at that stage.

The Scot soon found his feet however, firing in a clearance of 117 to reduce Carter's lead, and then winning the fourth frame to level at 2-2.

Job done: Higgins came from 2-0 down to beat Carter on Monday

Job done: Higgins came from 2-0 down to beat Carter on Monday

Higgins soon went 3-2 up, and then he won the sixth frame with a 97 to take control of the match.

Carter pulled one back with an 83, and looked set to win another when he was first in with 54 in the ninth frame, but he missed a pink to middle, and Higgins made him pay with a 65 clearance to seal his win.

'I was thinking Ali was going to pull it back to 5-5 because I was beginning to feel the pressure a bit, but luckily I held myself together,' Higgins said afterwards.

On his poor start, he added: 'I was still feeling okay. I hadn't missed much and felt fine and that's half the battle. It's only you and your mind out there and I was still in the game so you just get on with it.'

Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen LIVE World Darts final

LIVE: Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen – follow all the action from the oche at the World Darts Championship final

as he won the World
Grand Prix and made the final of the Grand Slam of Darts. Taylor won the
Premier League and World Matchplay in 2012 but how will the crowd treat
him after that on-stage altercation with Raymond van Barneveld
following his semi-final win.

19.35 Taylor
is looking for his 16th world title having last won the tournament in
2010 while Van Gerwen is appearing in his first final. Who will lift the
Sid Waddell trophy at the end of the night

19.30 Good
evening and welcome to Sportsmail's live coverage of the World Darts
Championship final. What better way to end this thrilling tournament
than with the king of the oche Phil Taylor taking on the incredibly
talented Michael van Gerwen. The action gets underway shortly after 8pm
at Ally Pally.

One Direction face competition from Gary Anderson as darts ace releases 2013 calendar

Foul play from Anderson as darts star releases 2013 calendar for 'men with only a six pack in the fridge'

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UPDATED:

13:34 GMT, 12 December 2012

Gary Anderson is braced for battle with Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis at Alexandra Palace this Christmas but the Scot is facing an even stiffer challenge from pop stars One Direction.

Anderson, preparing for the World Championships at the famous Ally Pally, goes up against the latest British boy band and the likes of Justin Bieber and JLS in the 2013 calendar market.

Scot Anderson has teamed up with his sponsor Foul Fashion to release a calendar for 'men with only a six-pack in the fridge'.

Looking good: Gary Anderson has teamed up with Foul Fashion for a 2013 calendar

Looking good: Gary Anderson has teamed up with Foul Fashion for a 2013 calendar

The company produces 'horrendous and shocking shirts' and Anderson is snapped wearing them in a variety of poses to see fans through the next 12 months.

Sales of the shirts have rocketed by 200 per cent since Anderson wore one for the first time at the Grand Slam in Wolverhampton and the Ally Pally runner-up two years ago will be sporting the courageous clobber for every match he plays.

Ali Smeaton, co-founder of Foul Fashion, said: 'Gary Anderson was the perfect choice for our shirts. He’s a king of darts, Foul Fashion is the king of the party – the match was a no-brainer.

What a shot: Anderson in February

Calendar boy: Gary Anderson

'The calendar came to light after the constant promotion of the same old calendars, and we wanted to prove that not all of them have to star Adonis style sportsmen and celebrities.

'Gary was brilliant during the calendar shoot, even coming up with some of the shot concept himself.

'Foul Fashion is for people who are not scared of the limelight and who love to party, darts is a sport with a large and ever increasing following, an audience who love to have a few beers and a great time – otherwise known as real men. Hence the real man’s calendar.'

Anderson kicks off his bid for glory against the winner of Jarkko Komula v Jani Haavisto on Sunday night.

Taylor starts as favourite, ahead of Michael van Gerwen and Lewis.

Party time: Anderson will be wearing the unique shirts at Ally Pally

Edge of the Box: Jim White smashes winter window again

Trust Jim White to smash the winter window as silver-haired showman reaches for the Sky

And so here we go again, another transfer window. But have you been out there Bitter, it is. You don't want to crack that window open too much or you might just catch something. Which in QPR's case, of course, is about 10million worth of strikers.

However, the chilly January night air is obviously not a problem for the folks safely ensconced at Sky Sports HQ, where the only issues were to ensure Bryan Swanson's big TV kept the 'totalizer' up to speed and that Natalie Sawyer was able to prevent Jim White exploding in what was an intensely short Transfer Deadline Day Show.

This was the result of a perverse piece of fixture scheduling which meant that Sky's now patented biannual bargain hunt was rudely curtailed by a bunch of football matches.

Window watch: Jim White was the star of the Sky show once again

Window watch: Jim White was the star of the Sky show once again

More from Mark Webster…

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Edge of the Box: Ruddock's rough tackle! Razor couldn't give a fig about Big Brother WAGs
15/01/12

Edge of the Box: Cup cracker went off with a bang but ITV were still too quiet
09/01/12

Edge of the box: Ally Pally is a TV phenomenon but darts doesn't get me dancing
03/01/12

Edge of the Box: Farewell, little dynamo of Sky Sports News, until we meet again…
29/12/11

Edge of the Box: SPOTY was more focused and unfussy than last year
23/12/11

Edge of the Box: Football Focus at the Salford Lads Club lacked edge but deserves kudos
18/12/11

Edge of the Box: Sky's epic Fight Night was marathon viewing… and worth 19 per cent of memory
11/12/11

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The pair were forced to play their own personal game of countdown in the space of just 45 minutes – from the rather ordinary 10.15pm to the somewhat nondescript 11pm – rendering Jim's opening gambit of 'this is going to make Djokovic/Nadal look like a quick catch up' a bit of a stretch.

Yep, this is not the window that our high-octane Scot is really at his best with.

Jim is clearly much more your man for the summer windows – nice, big French ones that he can burst through and proclaim: 'Anyone for Sebastian Bassong on a season long loan'

Instead, he was forced to cram his usually adept and engaging scene-setting into such a short space of time, it never got the chance to build to the usual operatic climax – especially as the fat lady that sang for us on this occasion was nothing more than the thrilling news that Keith Andrews would be joining West Brom on a short-term loan from Blackburn.

This is of course not to say that it didn't have it's usual moments, as all the chaps on their regional beats did their utmost to draw some last-minute blood from the stone of a frankly underwhelming mid-season shopping spree.

Of all the road team, it was probably Gary Cotterill who had the jammiest assignment as he basked in the warm glow of the Loftus Road reception, surrounded by an array of potted palms, like the Robinson Crusoe of Shepherd's Bush.

It was from this balmy location that he registered his surprise that Bobby Zamora 'is not as young as he used to be'.

Gary, it happens to us all, fella. Even to those of us stranded at QPR's desert island foyer.

Easy for you to say: Fulham's new signing Pavel Pogrebnyak

Easy for you to say: Fulham's new signing Pavel Pogrebnyak

Across the border, Charles Paterson brought us news of Celtic signing Pawel Brozek, who we must assume is a real belt-and-braces kind of guy as the pictures showed him greeting the Hoops faithful in a Celtic shirt, waving a Celtic shirt.

We then saw Harry Redknapp, looking much more at home than he has done in the last few days, in front of the post-match cameras, but without the usual car window that is part and parcel of his deadline-day interviews.

Somewhat out of kilter therefore, Harry mentioned a couple of potential movers before muttering to himself absent-mindedly 'that's it as far as I can think. There was nobody else, was there'

Meanwhile, back in west London, the cold night air was definitely beginning to play tricks with the mind and the tongue as Ian Bolton brought us news of events at Craven Cottage.

As he told us of Fulham's day, he took a lingering look at his notes before launching into an attempt at 'Pavel Poooo (studied pause) – Grebniak' before admitting: 'I've struggled with that all day.'

Back in the studio, Jim sympathised with his buddy by saying 'when you're frozen to the marrow, all you need is a name like…'

Earned his stripes in the trenches like the rest of them, did Jim. And so before you knew it, and before Ian Dowie and Dave Beasant had a chance to chew over any of the albeit meagre scraps of transfer news, it was time for Jim to turn to the 'big guy', also known as the clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, and proclaim the transfer window….closed….about a minute early, so by then adding a few hastily gathered thoughts as to what had gone on until BONG – Big Ben rescued him, the window came to a close, and we all got to go away and learn how you actually say 'Poooo-Grebniak'.

See you next window, big guy.

Snooker: Neil Robertson reaches Masters final

Robertson into Masters final after brilliant win over Trump at Ally Pally

Neil Robertson reached the final of the BGC Masters with a 6-3 win over an out-of-sorts Judd Trump at Alexandra Palace.

Robertson was the more clinical of the two and set up a meeting with either John Higgins or Shaun Murphy as he made more of his opportunities in a scrappy match with Trump.

Robertson had been upset by cheers from the audience when Trump fluked shots but claimed it helped him to secure the victory.

Aussie Rules: Neil Robertson in action at Alexandra Palace

Aussie Rules: Neil Robertson in action at Alexandra Palace

'If anything it made me play better,' Robertson told BBC1. 'It's disappointing because Judd is a fantastic lad and he is nothing like those guys.'

Robertson admitted he was surprised Trump kept going for his shots rather than adapting his style of play.

'It was interesting because he kept going for it and going for it. I thought I played really good match play snooker and thankfully he missed a couple today.'

Not this time: Judd Trump lost his semi-final against Neil Robertson

Not this time: Judd Trump lost his semi-final against Neil Robertson

Trump made the worst possible start to the match when he got Robertson on the board when the cue ball went in off a long red. Robertson won that frame and then took the next with a century clearance.

A break of 76 helped Trump get off the mark in frame three as he dominated for the first time in the contest.

But Robertson regained his two-frame advantage in the next. A break of 89, with his opponent once again scoreless, meant Robertson went into the break with a 3-1 lead.

What a performance: Robertson celebrates after sealing victory at Ally Pally

What a performance: Robertson celebrates after sealing victory at Ally Pally

Robertson just edged home in the next to lead 4-1 and even presented his opponent with chances in the sixth before taking it to stand on the verge of the final.

Trump belatedly fought back to win two frames in a row but was again the architect of his own downfall in the ninth frame when he missed a blue into the middle.

Robertson needed two visits from that point but was able to clinch the frame to win the match 6-3.

John Higgins hopes to overcome nerves after booking last-eight Masters date

Higgins hopes to overcome nerves after booking last-eight Masters date

World Champion John Higgins is hopeful he can conquer his nerves at this year's Masters after getting his campaign off to a winning start over Matthew Stevens.

Despite having won the tournament twice before, the Scot has never consistently excelled in the first televised competition of the year, and his 6-4 first-round defeat by Graeme Dott a year ago was not out of keeping with his overall record at the invitational event.

Eye on the ball: Higgins came through his first-round match against Stevens

Eye on the ball: Higgins came through his first-round match against Stevens

But Higgins did not struggle on Tuesday, easing to the win at Alexandra Palace – a venue more associated with darts but now hosting the Masters which has left its traditional home of Wembley after 32 years.

And, after seeing off the 2000 champion in front of a 1,500 crowd, Higgins admitted to feeling much more at home at 'Ally Pally'.

End of the road: Stevens was beaten by Higgins

End of the road: Stevens was beaten by Higgins

'I was a little bit nervous, it's the first competitive snooker I've played since the UK Championships last month,' he told BBC Sport.

'I always felt overawed at Wembley. It was such a massive area. I won it twice, but I've lost about seven or eight first-round games.

'Here, you're not as close as the Crucible, but it is an enclosed area and it gets a big thumbs up from me.'

The 36-year-old's highest break of 90 came in the opening frame, only for Stevens to level despite breaking down on 45 after getting a kick. Higgins won two scrappy frames to send him into the interval with a 3-1 lead, only for Stevens to win the fifth, posting a 65 after Higgins had rattled the jaws of the middle pocket with a routine pink.

Two moderate breaks of 44 and 30 helped Higgins take the next and, with a two-frame cushion behind him he eased to the win, taking the last two frames, with a 69 in the penultimate one his second most notable contribution of the match.

Darts: James Wade beats John Part in classic

Wade wins Ally Pally classic against former champion Part to reach last four

Third seed James Wade moved into the semi-finals of the World Championship following an epic 5-4 victory over John Part at Alexandra Palace.

The match was a replica of their last-eight game in 2008 when Part went on to be crowned world champion.

Wade was in control early on, taking nine of the first 11 legs of the match.
However, he missed a chance to go 4-1 up and Part hit back to take the next three sets to lead 4-3 before Wade levelled to force a sudden death shoot-out which he won with an 85 finish. It propelled the 28-year-old into his first semi-final since 2008.

Pure delight: James Wade celebrates his dramatic win

Pure delight: James Wade celebrates his dramatic win

He said: “The 85 finish was fantastic and I”m delighted to have hit that triple 15 under pressure to leave the opportunity at double top.

“I had a great start to the match and felt like I had established control but before I knew it John was 4-3 ahead and I was struggling.

“But I did recover from that setback and I”m delighted to be in with a chance of becoming world champion.”

So near but yet so far: John Part lost his clash with James Wade

So near but yet so far: John Part lost his clash with James Wade

Andy Hamilton moved into the semi-finals for only the second time with a 5-2 win over Kim Huybrechts.

Appearing in the first of the last-eight clashes, the Stoke thrower was impressive with 11 180s and a three-dart average over 102.

Hamilton took a two-set lead before Huybrechts hit back to win the third set without reply.

Into the last four: Andy Hamilton beat Kim Huybrechts at Alexandra Palace

Into the last four: Andy Hamilton beat Kim Huybrechts at Alexandra Palace

The No 17 seed then pulled 4-1 ahead and although his opponent took the sixth, Hamilton claimed victory with three maximums in the seventh.

He said: “I played a good game again today and I still feel incredibly focused and relaxed.

“It”s been a childhood dream to win this title and I have visions of picking it up on Monday night.”

Wade looking good as he easily beats Klaasen to reach last 16 at Ally Pally

Wade looking good as he easily beats Klaasen to reach last 16 at Ally Pally

James Wade was at his ruthless best as he hammered Jelle Klaasen to reach the last 16 of the ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

Wade lit up the final session of the tournament before Christmas with a 4-0 win over his opponent, including three 180s.

Klaasen was hardly in the match as Wade steamrollered him without hesitation to win 3-0 3-1 3-2 3-1.

Looking good: James Wade throws in his match against Jelle Klaasen

Looking good: James Wade throws in his match against Jelle Klaasen

Wade briefly allowed the Dutchman a glimmer of hope in the third set but when it went to 2-2, it was the world number three who triumphed.

Wade was buoyant after the match and vowed to end his World Championship duck, if not this year, then later.

“I forgot how enjoyable darts can be,” he told Sky Sports. “I haven”t been playing well enough to enjoy it, but I proved I was good enough and I won the match.

“I never seem to do enough at the worlds, but we”ll see. I will win it. I”m not saying this year, or next year, but I will win it eventually.”

Kevin Painter also progressed from the second round after getting the better of an epic 4-3 match against Mark Walsh.

Celebrations: Kevin Painter won his second round match against Mark Walsh

Celebrations: Kevin Painter won his second round match against Mark Walsh

Both men had their moments in the match, but part of the reason for the longevity of the encounter was a lack of cutting edge from each competitor.

Painter raced into a 3-1 lead and looked to be easing to the win when he was presented with double top for the match. He missed and then saw Walsh hit the same target to make it 3-2.

The following set saw both men botch a host of finishes but Walsh hit form first to take the clash to a deciding seventh set.

Painter dominated that, taking all three legs to continue his interest in the event.