Yet another adept performance from the Mirrorman
JUST 14 hours after winning his place in both the German and Austrian Darts Opens, Simon Stevenson was back on the oche at the Barnsley Metrodome and carried his good form into Players Championship Three.
In the round of 128 he was up against 29-year-old Jason Cullen and as early as the first leg, Stevenson hit back to back 180s to win in 11 darts.
He took the next two in 18 and 20 before the Irishman won in 15 but that was the only leg he was to win.
GOOD PERFORMANCE: Simon Stevenson put in another good performance when contesting Players Championship Three, finishing the day with an average of 94.33 and enhancing his Order of Merit placing by another 1,000 points.
The Mirrorman took the next with yet another 11-darter and followed it up with wins in 18 and 17 for an accomplished 6-1 win, aided by four maximums for a 96.5 average.
Stevenson had to face the challenge of Steve Beaton in the next round, a player he had never ever defeated and lost to the former world champion as recently as February in Qualifier Four of the UK Open, but he began well and took the opening leg in 14.
Beaton levelled in 17, only for Stevenson to move 3-1 in front with two more 14-darters.
Beaton then took the next two in 13 and 15 before Stevenson edged ahead once more with a win in 17 but he couldn’t shake the “Bronzed Adonis” off his back as once again he levelled with victory in 19.
But all credit to Stevenson who stuck with the job in hand and he was rewarded with a win in 17, followed by a 15-darter for a 6-4 victory which took him into the last 32.
Waiting for the Plymouth marksman on board 10 was the former World champion Gary Anderson, but he held no fears for Stevenson who went 2-1 up in 13 and 18, either side of a 14-darter from Anderson.
The Scotsman levelled in 15 and moved in front for the first time when winning the fifth leg in 12.
Stevenson levelled when he finished a 15-darter with an outshot of 123 and then edged in front for the third time with a win in 17.
Unfortunately for Stevenson, that was to be his last leg as Anderson took the next three in 11, 15 and 17 to complete a 6-4 victory with an average of 102.5.
But Anderson knew he had been in a well contested encounter and Stevenson’s performance was highlighted when Anderson went on to defeat the reigning World champion Rob Cross 6-0, posting an average of 108.7, aided by three bulls-eye finishes, including an outshot of 170.
Anderson then went on to make the final, defeating Peter Wright also 6-0, to lift the winner’s cheque of £10,000.
Stevenson finished the day with an average of 94.33 and another 1,000 points towards his Order of Merit ranking.
The Mirrorman will be in the line-up again today when the world’s top darts players compete in Players Championship Four.