Tag Archives: stuart

Great Britain to play Croatia away in Davis Cup World Group play-off

Great Britain face away trip to Croatia in Davis Cup play-off… and Murray will play!

By
Stuart Fraser

PUBLISHED:

10:16 GMT, 10 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:05 GMT, 10 April 2013

Great Britain have been drawn away to Croatia in September's Davis Cup World Group play-offs.

Leon Smith's team staged a stunning comeback to beat Russia 3-2 on Sunday in Coventry and earn a chance to gain promotion to the elite 16-team World Group for the first time since 2008.

Heroes: Britain beat Russia to clinch a place in September's World Group play-offs

Heroes: Britain beat Russia to clinch a place in September's World Group play-offs

World No 2 Andy Murray has already committed to play in the tie which will be held on the weekend following the conclusion of the US Open on 13-15 September.

Murray last played in September 2011 in a 5-0 win over Hungary and has opted out of each tie since, preferring to focus on his grand slam preparations.

Return: Murray (centre) has already committed to play in September's tie

Return: Murray (centre) has already committed to play in September's tie

James Ward and Dan Evans, the heroes
on Sunday as they won both their matches to clinch the win over Russia,
will likely battle it out for the second singles spot.

Croatia's team is likely to include world No 11 Marin Cilic, who Murray beat on his way to winning the Sony Open in Miami last month, and Ivan Dodig, ranked No 54.

The hosts have until April 30 to choose a venue and surface for the tie.

Leader: World No 11 Cilic will likely lead Croatia's team against Great Britain

Leader: World No 11 Cilic will likely lead Croatia's team against Great Britain

It will be Britain's first tie away from home since Smith, Murray's former coach, took over as captain from John Lloyd in 2010.

Smith has won six of his seven ties in charge and should be confident of promotion to the World Group, having avoided Spain and Switzerland in the draw.

Coach: Smith (left) was Murray's (right) coach when the world No 2 was in his teenage years

Coach: Smith (left) was Murray's (right) coach when the world No 2 was in his teenage years

Britain last played Croatia in the World Group play-offs in September 2007, winning 4-1 at Wimbledon.

Murray beat Cilic in five sets in the opening match, before Tim Henman – in his last match before retirement – clinched the tie by teaming up with Murray's brother Jamie in the doubles to beat Cilic and Lovro Zovko.

Handshakes: Cilic (right) played against Britain in 2007 in what was Tim Henman's (left) last match

Handshakes: Cilic (right) played against Britain in 2007 in what was Tim Henman's (left) last match

Harry Redknapp gives Julio Cesar the nod to save Queens Park Rangers from relegation

Redknapp set to give Cesar the nod ahead of Green in bid to save QPR from Premier League relegation

By
Stuart Fraser

PUBLISHED:

12:23 GMT, 1 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 1 April 2013

Julio Cesar is tipped to be the man Harry Redknapp will rely on to save Queens Park Rangers' season during the relegation run-in.

The former Inter Milan goalkeeper, who joined as a free transfer during the summer and earns around 60,000-a-week, has been in scintillating form at times this season and grabbed the attention of plenty of Premier League clubs including Manchester United.

Well held: Cesar's good form at times this season looks like it has clinched him the No 1 shirt

Well held: Cesar's good form at times this season looks like it has clinched him the No 1 shirt

He has fought for the No 1 shirt with Robert Green all season, although the rivalry has been tapered by injuries, but will be given the job of helping keep QPR in the top flight for the final push.

Cesar has started in 21 Premier League matches to Green’s 11 and has kept five clean sheets to Green’s none.

Run-in: QPR's final eight Premier League games

Run-in: QPR's final eight Premier League games

The Brazilian has only dropped one ball all season — give him a catch success rate of 98 per cent — and has saved 74 per cent of shots to Green’s 60 per cent.

He has also made on average twice as many saves per game (4.1 saves per match).

Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp has been maths teacher as well as manager to his players this week.

The Queens Park Rangers boss reckons that four wins plus two draws equals Barclays Premier League survival.

On the eve of the short journey to Fulham, winger Andros Townsend insisted: ‘The gaffer has said he thinks 37 points might be enough and we feel we are capable of achieving it.

‘We’re a confident group of players and we’re playing well at the moment. We can really take the game to the opposition.’

QPR will have to find a way past Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, as his side aim for a top-10 finish.

Schwarzer, 40, has been instrumental in Fulham securing a mid-table berth with eight matches remaining this season and manager Martin Jol sees no reason why he cannot continue to do a first-rate job at Craven Cottage.

Jol has opened contract talks with Schwarzer and believes the Australian can continue playing until he is at least 42.

Calculations: Redknapp reckons four wins and two draws will see QPR safe

Calculations: Redknapp reckons four wins and two draws will see QPR safe

Serbia v Scotland World Cup qualifier to go ahead despite snow

Scotland's World Cup qualifier in snowy Serbia set to go ahead as Tartan Army dig in to help clear pitch

By
Stuart Fraser

PUBLISHED:

11:40 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:04 GMT, 26 March 2013

Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Serbia is set to go ahead, despite continuing heavy snowfall.

Gordon Strachan's side are due to play tonight in the city of Novi Sad, around an hour north west of the Scots' base in Belgrade, and work to clear the Karadjordje Stadium pitch is underway.

Digging in: Members of the Tartan Army help clear the pitch in Novi Sad

Digging in: Members of the Tartan Army help clear the pitch in Novi Sad

Helping hand: Scotland fan David Wildridge clears snow from the seats in the Karadjordje Stadium

Helping hand: Scotland fan David Wildridge clears snow from the seats in the Karadjordje Stadium

The Serbia FA and the Scottish FA are continuing to monitor the situation, the latter tweeting: 'Serbia v Scotland on as it stands. Serbia FA clearing pitch of snow.'

Around 1,200 members of the Tartan Army are expected to attend the match, which would be rescheduled for Wednesday if it was postponed tonight.

Snow: The scene outside the Scotland team hotel in Belgrade this morning

Snow: The scene outside the Scotland team hotel in Belgrade this morning

Wrapped up: Strachan tries to keep warm during Scotland's training session in Belgrade last night

Wrapped up: Strachan tries to keep warm during Scotland's training session in Belgrade last night

Scotland are currently bottom of Group A with two points from five games after losing 2-1 to Wales in the snow at Hampden on Friday.

With qualification hopes for the World Cup almost certainly over, Strachan is set make a number of changes to his team tonight against Serbia, who sit fourth with four points.

Warming up: Scotland trained at the Partizan Belgrade Academy ahead of tonight's match against Serbia

Warming up: Scotland trained at the Partizan Belgrade Academy ahead of tonight's match against Serbia

Defeat: Scotland lost out in the Glasgow snow on Friday night as they were beaten 2-1 by Wales

Defeat: Scotland lost out in the Glasgow snow on Friday night as they were beaten 2-1 by Wales

Wilfried Zaha can prove himself before he joins Manchester United, says Stuart Pearce

Zaha will show he can handle the big time ahead of United move, says Pearce

and has yet to score but Pearce is set to play him as a central striker in tonight’s friendly against Romania at Wycombe.

The past few months have been high pressure for Zaha. He made his senior England debut in Sweden, joined Manchester United for 15million, was loaned straight back to Palace and earlier this week he was banned for one game by the FA after making an offensive gesture to Leeds supporters.

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Supported: Stuart Pearce is confident Wilfried Zaha can impress

Supported: Stuart Pearce is confident Wilfried Zaha can impress

Pearce, though, has no concerns about Zaha’s mental strength and is expecting him to play a significant role at Euro 2013.

‘We asked Wilf to play centre forward
(against Sweden) last month rather than his natural wide position and we
might do on that again,’ said Pearce. ‘I have to bear in mind that a
lot has happened to Wilf in a short space of time.

‘He’s still one of the younger boys
and will be involved in the next qualification campaign. I’m delighted
with how he’s come in, he seems happy.

Under pressure Zaha's profile has grown considerably this season

Under pressure Zaha's profile has grown considerably this season

ENGLAND UNDER 21 v ROMANIA

ENGLAND (4-2-3-1): Butland; Smith, Dawson, Wisdom, Bennett: Henderson, Shelvey: Sterling, Lansbury, Townsend: Zaha.

Kick-off: 7pm, Adams Park

Referee: Jonathan Lardot (Belgium)

TV: LIVE on ESPN from 6.30pm

'I’m seeing the same kid as I did a
couple of months ago. I think Wilf is one of those nice easy going lads
and not much worries him.

‘That’s the impression I get. We see
exactly the same in him as his football.

'Whether he’s gone to United or
stayed at Palace I’ll view him as the same player that’s learning,
maturing and will get better and better.’

It is likely Pearce will play a strong
team tonight and that will include Danny Rose, who will win his first
cap since being sent-off during the Euro 2013 qualifier against Serbia
in October; the Sunderland defender was also subjected to horrific
racial abuse that evening.

Centre forward Pearce says Zaha may have to play through the middle

Centre forward Pearce says Zaha may have to play through the middle

‘What went on in Serbia had nothing to
do with me not picking Danny,’ said Pearce. ‘I just needed to look at a
couple of others. He is suspended for the first game of the
Championship so we’ll have to start with another left back.

‘But he’s too important to me to leave
him out (this summer) for one game. We have Tom Ince missing the first
game, too, but the only way I’d leave someone out is if they were
suspended for all three group games.

'We are playing to win, so I’m
planning to play five games.’

VIDEO: RAHEEM STERLING SCORES TWO WONDER GOALS IN ENGLAND U21S TRAINING

Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna set to miss Arsenal game at Bayern Munich through injury

EXCLUSIVE: Wilshere in race to be fit for England after being ruled out of Arsenal's showdown with Bayern

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

22:25 GMT, 11 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:09 GMT, 12 March 2013

Jack Wilshere could miss England’s crucial World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Montenegro.

Arsenal’s brilliant midfielder is out of Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Bayern Munich after failing to recover from the ankle injury he collected in the 2-1 defeat by Spurs nine days ago.

He will be left behind when the team flies to Bavaria today, and is not expected to recover in time for Saturday’s vital trip to Swansea.

Injury doubt: Jack Wilshere is in a race to be fit for England's trips to San Marino and Montenegro

Injury doubt: Jack Wilshere is in a race to be fit for England's trips to San Marino and Montenegro

Blow: Jack Wilshere is set to miss Arsenal's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich

Blow: Jack Wilshere is set to miss Arsenal's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich through injury

That puts England boss Roy Hodgson on a collision course with Gunners manager Arsene Wenger yet again over picking the 21-year-old for his country.

Hodgson names his squad on Thursday, and will want Wilshere in his side after his talismanic performance in last month’s friendly against Brazil – especially for the must-win trip to face Group H leaders Montenegro.

But Wenger, who sent the player on a mid-season break to Dubai to aid his recovery, will fear that he could break down on international duty and miss his club’s critical fight to retain their Champions League status for another season.

The Arsenal manager was angry last month that his star player was on the field for the full 90 minutes against Brazil at Wembley, when he believed he had an agreement that he would not play the entire game.

He also clashed with Hodgson in November over his selection for the squad for a friendly against Sweden when he had only just recovered from an injury sustained on Arsenal’s pre-season trip to America.

And England Under 21 coach Stuart Pearce also bowed to pressure from the Gunners to leave him out of his squad for last summer’s tournament.

Wenger has other injury problems as his side got to Munich searching for a way to overturn their 3-1 deficit from the first leg.

Bacary Sagna is out after failing to recover from a knee problem and is also a major doubt for Saturday’s trip to The Liberty Stadium.

Setback: Wilshere could be out for a few weeks

Setback: Wilshere could be out for a few weeks

It will leave the Gunners being forced to rush back Kieran Gibbs who has missed six weeks with a thigh injury.

With Nacho Monreal cup tied, Sagna's injury leaves Wenger short of defensive options for the clash against Jupp Heynckes men.

If the Gunners decide not to risk Gibbs, they are likely to line-up with a back-four of Carl Jenkinson, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, the club's only available recognised defenders for the clash at the Allianz Arena.

However, the Gunners have been boosted by news that Bayern forward Franck Ribery will miss the second leg with an ankle injury.

Influential midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Jerome Boateng are suspended.

Crisis: Bacary Sagna is set to miss the last-16 clash against Bayern Munich through injury

Crisis: Bacary Sagna is set to miss the last-16 clash after failing to recover from a knee problem

Paul Scholes sat in Phil Neville"s box at Everton v Oldham

Scholes watches his beloved Oldham go out to Everton in pal Neville's box

but when asked by a fan 'would you ever manage Oldham Athletic' he responded positively.

'It’s quite difficult to say. I don’t know what will happen when I stop playing and Oldham have a manager,' he said.

On the road: The United midfielder is a lifelong fan of Oldham

On the road: The United midfielder is a lifelong fan of Oldham

'But I love Oldham and it’s the first result I look out for every week. I take my lad to watch them whenever I can.'

The lifelong Latics fan names Frankie Bunn, the former Oldham striker who once scored six goals in a game, as his favourite player.

When asked to select his all-time favourite XI in 2006 he picked another Oldham old boy, Stuart Balmer, at the centre of the defence.

UEFA overturn Steven Caulker"s two-game ban but uphold Tom Ince"s one-match suspension after England Under 21 match in Serbia

UEFA overturn Caulker suspension but UPHOLD Ince ban for scuffles in Serbia despite Young Lions suffering racist abuse

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

20:20 GMT, 15 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:14 GMT, 15 February 2013

Steven Caulker is free to play at Euro 2013 after UEFA overturned the two-game ban he was given in the wake of England Under 21s' controversial game in Serbia.

But there were mixed feelings for head coach Stuart Pearce, as Tom Ince's one-match suspension was upheld following a lengthy disciplinary hearing at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon.

The hearing stemmed from UEFA president Michel Platini appealing against the severity of the punishment that Serbia were given after their fans racially abused several of England's black players during a Euro 2013 play-off in Krusevac last October.

Appeal: Tom Ince (left) and Steven Caulker (right) could have their bans increased

Appeal: Tom Ince (left) and Steven Caulker (right) could have their bans increased

Appeal: Tom Ince's one-game ban was upheld (left) but Steven Caulker's two-game ban was overturned (right)

Serbia survived the threat of expulsion from the 2015 European Under 21 Championship but they will have to play two qualifiers behind closed doors, rather than the one match they were initially ordered to, and the fine of
65,900 administered before Christmas was unaltered.

Pearce said: 'We respect UEFA's
decision and we move on. We welcome the verdict on Steven Caulker's
suspension and choose to accept the verdict with regards to Tom Ince.
Both players should be proud of the way represented themselves to UEFA.'

Europe's governing body had the
capacity to increase the lengths of bans Caulker and Ince were going to
serve had they deemed the appeals to be frivolous.

They were looking to impose a
three-match ban on Tottenham defender Caulker, a two-game suspension for
Ince and hit the Football Association with a 50,000 fine for failing
to control their players.

Sickening: Caulker is led away by Pearce after the incidents, which saw Serbia fined for racist abuse

Sickening: Caulker is led away by Pearce after the incidents, which saw Serbia fined for racist abuse

Shocking: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica tries to keep players apart in the fiery clash

Shocking: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica tries to keep players apart in the fiery clash

Fury: Marvin Sordell reacts to the violent scenes, which left the FA bewildered by England player sanctions

Fury: Marvin Sordell reacts to the violent scenes, which left the FA bewildered by England player sanctions

However, Caulker, Ince and Pearce all
conveyed the extreme circumstances that England faced at the end of a
game they won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Connor Wickham.

As a result, there was no fine for
the FA and while Ince, who is understood to be disappointed, will sit
out the game against Italy on June 5, Caulker is free to play in the
tournament.

His only punishment for his
involvement in the melee that erupted after Wickham's last-minute
goal is one day's community service.

The post-match brawl began after
England defender Danny Rose complained of monkey chants whenever he
touched the ball. He was sent off after the final whistle for after
kicking a ball into the stands, gesturing to the crowd as he walked off
the pitch.

Joey Barton and Dietmar Hamann in Twitter war

Don't try to call me out, maggot: Raging Barton's tirade at former City team-mate Hamann

, and his family life.

Hamann began gambling after his marriage broke down towards the end of his footballing career.

When it all kicked off: Hamann told Barton to keep out of club politics

When it all kicked off: Hamann told Barton to keep out of club politics

Old team-mates: Hamann left and Barton (centre) playing for Man City

Old team-mates: Hamann left and Barton (centre) playing for Man City

'There was a time when I was on my own
when I got into spread betting. A painful and expensive experience,'
Hamann told BBC Radio Manchester last year.

'You have to look in the mirror and say “Can you carry on like this or this is way you want to carry on”'

He added: 'There was one night which cost me over 200,000 and that was obviously a long and painful night.

To and fro: The argument got personal with Barton persisting on his tangent

To and fro: The argument got personal with Barton persisting on his tangent

Blue boy: Hamann with Stuart Pearce when he signed for Man City

Blue boy: Hamann with Stuart Pearce when he signed for Man City

'You've got face up to it and when you wake up the next morning you look in the mirror and don't like what you see.'

The Twitter row continued with Barton seemingly becoming increasingly angry as the jibes he sent to Hamann became more personal.

'What a player you where (sic)' typed Barton. 'Tragic. Now do one Tourette's face!'

Using the term 'England international', with reference to Barton's international career which has seen him win just one cap, Hamann antagonised his target.

In a bizarre conclusion to the conversation, Barton tweeted: 'Disappointed in myself for getting involved in that. But never let a dog try to tell u its not a dog an that u are! A dogs a f****** dog…'.

The pair had played alongside each other in City's central midfield in the 2006-07 season.

Barton then moved to Newcastle at the end of that year, a club Hamann had played at almost a decade earlier.

Former Newcastle player Nolberto Solano then chipped in, telling Barton he was a 'good player but lack(ed a) yard of pace. Also lost temper too much.'

He also had kind words for Hamann, saying the man who had won the Champions League and played for Germany over 50 times deserved respect.

Celtic 1 Motherwell 0 match report: Gary Hooper"s 18th of the season extends Bhoys" lead

Celtic 1 Motherwell 0: Hooper's 18th of the season extends Bhoys' lead at the summit

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 2 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 2 January 2013

Gary Hooper's late strike gave Celtic victory over Motherwell in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League encounter at Parkhead.

Hoops keeper Fraser Forster made a brilliant save from Tom Hateley's penalty, awarded for Kelvin Wilson's challenge on Jamie Murphy, just before the Englishman converted a Georgios Samaras cross from close range with 11 minutes remaining.

Not for the first time this season at home, though, the champions ended up struggling to get three points from a match that should have been over by the interval.

Well keeper Darren Randolph kept Celtic at bay with a series of saves although there were some glaring misses too before Hooper pounced to take Neil Lennon's side into the winter break nine points clear of Inverness at the top of the table.

It's that man again: Gary Hooper slots past Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph

It's that man again: Gary Hooper slots past Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph

Match facts

Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Ambrose (Rogne 84), Wilson, Izaguirre, Commons (McGeouch 82), Kayal (Watt 72), Wanyama, Mulgrew, Samaras, Hooper. Subs not used: Zaluska, Nouioui, McCourt, Chalmers.

Booked: Mulgrew, Kayal, Wanyama, Forster.

Goal: Hooper 79.

Motherwell: Randolph, Hateley, Kerr, Ramsden, Hammell, Humphrey, Law, Lasley, Francis-Angol (Daley 86), Ojamaa (McHugh 86), Murphy. Subs not used: Hollis, Higdon, Carswell, Hetherington, Cummins.

Booked: Ojamaa, Lasley.

Referee: Steven McLean.

Latest SPL table, fixtures and results

However, Motherwell manager Stuart
McCall, set to lose forward Murphy to Sheffield United this week, will
wonder how different it might have been had Hateley scored from the
spot.

Lennon made four changes and returned
to a back four after admitting three at the back did not work in the
1-0 defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday.

In came Adam Matthews, Beram Kayal,
Kris Commons and Charlie Mulgrew with skipper Scott Brown, Mikael
Lustig, Lassad Nouioui and Thomas Rogne dropping out, the latter two on
the bench.

Motherwell showed two changes with
Fraser Kerr and Zaine Francis-Angol in for Shaun Hutchinson and Michael
Higdon, the big striker consigned to the bench where he watched the home
side's whirlwind start suggest a demolition job.

Samaras had the ball in the net from Commons' cross in the second minute but was flagged offside.
Commons then flashed a shot from the edge of the box just wide after
being set up by Hooper, who then turned and drove wide after taking a
Kayal pass with his back to goal.

In the seventh minute Randolph made a
fine save from Hooper's stab from close range after more good work on
the left from Samaras, before tipping stand-in skipper Mulgrew's curling
free-kick over the bar for a corner.

Hands on: Fraser Forster saves Tom Hateley's penalty

Hands on: Fraser Forster saves Tom Hateley's penalty

There was no let-up in the pressure
on the Motherwell goal and moments later Randolph flew to his left to
pluck a goal-bound Commons shot out of the air.

The Hoops support groaned once more
when Victor Wanyama then missed Mulgrew's corner altogether from eight
yards, allowing Well to clear their lines.

Murphy, skipper for the day, should
have put the visitors ahead following a break in the 20th minute when he
was played in by Keith Lasley but he lashed the ball over the bar.

Defender Efe Ambrose guided Mulgrew's whipped-in free-kick past the near post from six yards out.
Motherwell slowly grew in confidence as the first half wore on.

Mixed emotions: Neil Lennon applauds Hooper's winner

Mixed emotions: Neil Lennon applauds Hooper's winner

In the 37th minute Murphy tested
Forster with a drive from the edge of the box and moments later curled a
shot from 14 yards past the far post after working his way past Kayal
and into a good shooting position.

Samaras had a low drive from 20 yards saved by Randolph.

With seconds remaining Ambrose missed
the chance of the half when Randolph dropped Wanyama's header from a
Mulgrew corner, the Parkhead defender hooking the ball over the bar from
barely two yards.

Celtic had an unconvincing start to
the second period but with six minutes gone Randolph tipped a deflected
shot from Wanyama over the bar.

Celtic dropped the tempo which
allowed Well to breath slightly easier but Randolph was still seeing
plenty of the ball, making another decent save from Commons'
right-footed drive from 25 yards in the 67th minute.

Watching brief: Norwich boss Chris Hughton was running the rule over potential targets at Parkhead

Watching brief: Norwich boss Chris Hughton was running the rule over potential targets at Parkhead

Both sides were taking turns to
attack but Motherwell were handed a great chance to take the lead when
referee Steven McLean adjudged Wilson to have tripped Murphy in the box.

There was some concern as to whether
Hateley had the ball on the spot or not – and Forster was booked for
pointing this out – but when the Motherwell player blasted his shot to
his left the Celtic flew across to make a great save.

The incident seemed to energise
Celtic and they were soon in the lead when Hooper played the ball to
Samaras and ran into the box to collect the return pass and slip the
ball under Randolph from six yards.

There were some nervy moments before the final whistle as Motherwell went for broke but in the end Celtic deserved their win.

Michael van Gerwen and Vincent van der Voort advance in the World Darts Championship

Double-Dutch as Van Gerwen and Van der Voort advance with ease

|

UPDATED:

00:35 GMT, 21 December 2012

It was double Dutch on Thursday night as pre-tournament second favourite Michael van Gerwen and the rapid Vincent van der Voort booked their places in the last 32 of the World Darts Championship.

Van Gerwen beat veteran Paul Lim, who was the first man to hit a nine-dart finish at the PDC World Championships, 3-0 after Van der Voort saw off Stuart Kellett by the same scoreline on the last night of first-round action at Alexandra Palace.

58-year-old Lim held his own in the first set as he broke Van Gerwen’s throw twice but unfortunately he wasn’t as good on his own throw and the Dutchman won the deciding leg to move a set ahead.

Dutchman Michael van Gerwen is through to the next round of the World Darts Championship after beating Paul Lim of Singapore

Dutchman Michael van Gerwen is through to the next round of the World Darts Championship after beating Paul Lim of Singapore

It was far from fluent from Van Gerwen, though, and he was fortunate Lim let him off the hook with missed doubles in the second leg of set two to leave the score at 1-1.

But the man from Holland hit double top to break in the third leg before closing out the set 3-1 as he marched towards victory.

The man from Singapore stuck with Van Gerwen throughout the third set as the Dutchman struggled to finish the veteran off, but an 80 checkout in the deciding leg sealed the win for Van Gerwen against a battling Lim.

Lim was the first man to ever record a nine darter on live television, 22 years ago

Lim was the first man to ever record a nine darter on live television, 22 years ago

Van der Voort was on the Ally Pally stage before Van Gerwen and The Dutch Destroyer had no problems in despatching Kellett.

The match started with three consecutive breaks, as both players struggled to hit doubles, with Van der Voort ahead 2-1.

The Dutchman then closed out the first set in leg four with a 76 checkout to win it 3-1.

The second set, in similar fashion to the first, started with back-to-back breaks before both players then held their throw to take it to a fifth and deciding leg.

The Dutch Destroyer Vincent van der Voort (pictured) had no problems despatching Stuart Kellett (below)

The Dutch Destroyer Vincent van der Voort (pictured) had no problems despatching Stuart Kellett (below)

Stuart Kellett

Kellett was the first to get a shot at a double but he missed twice at double 18 which allowed Van der Voort to checkout 60 and move two sets ahead.

Mark Walsh beat Darren Webster to set up a second round tie with Justin Pipe

Mark Walsh beat Darren Webster to set up a second round tie with Justin Pipe

The Dutch Destroyer then raced into a 2-0 lead in the third set as he closed in on victory. Kellett hit an 84 checkout in the next set but it was little more than a final act of defiance as Van der Voort hit double top, albeit at the fourth attempt, to seal victory.

Scott Rand also booked his place in the second round as he beat last year’s quarter-finalist Kim Huybrechts 3-2 at Alexandra Palace.

Rand rallied from 2-1 down against his Belgian opponent to set up a last-32 clash against Wes Newton on Saturday night.

Huybrechts started the final set by wasting three chances to take a 1-0 lead but Rand couldn’t make him pay and the Belgian returned and checked out double nine.

But Rand came straight back to level and then hit a 90 checkout in the next leg against the throw to take him to the brink of victory before a double 16 checkout in leg four sealed the win.

DAY SEVEN RESULTS

Mark Walsh 3-1 Darren Webster
Kim Huybrechts 2-3 Scott Rand
Vincent van der Voort 3-0 Stuart Kellett
Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Paul Lim

In Thursday’s other contest, Mark Walsh beat Darren Webster 3-1 in the first match of the evening to set up his second-round tie with Justin Pipe.

Friday sees round two at Ally Pally get underway with a double session. Andy Hamilton, Dave Chisnall and Gary Anderson are all in action during the afternoon session before Phil Taylor headlines the evening’s play.

Terry Jenkins takes on three-time world champion John Part in the standout tie of the second round.

Scott Rand rallied from 2-1 down to beat the Belgian Kim Huybrechts 3-2

Scott Rand rallied from 2-1 down to beat the Belgian Kim Huybrechts 3-2