Outstanding performance from Stevenson in Barnsley
SIMON Stevenson produced arguably one of his best ever performances on the PDC circuit when he twice came from behind to defeat Steve West in Players Championship 23 at the Barnsley Metrodome.
His first opponent on board 13 was Mario Robbe and after the first two legs were shared, the Mirror Man edged in front with a 13-darter and a win in 15 which he finished on the bull when checking out from 126.
The Dutchman pulled one back only for The Mirror Man to take the next three in 14, 21 and 16 for a 6-2 victory.
Stevenson’s opponent in the round of 64 was Steve West, a player who had beaten Simon on their previous two meetings and the thrower from Waltham Abbey showed that he was once again in good form when going 2-0 up in 13 and 12.
The Mirror Man responded by taking leg three in 12 with a 127 outshot and then levelled in 15 when finishing at the first opportunity from 94.
West then took three on the bounce in 13, 15 and 15 and Stevenson now had his back to the wall when trailing 5-2.
But he never dropped his head, won the eighth leg in 16 and took the ninth in 15 with yet another good checkout of 106.
He also won the penultimate leg to draw level at 5-5 and although West had the first opportunity to see the match out, The Mirror Man stepped up to the oche, needing 80 and did the business.
That outstanding performance put him up against the World 24 ranked Max Hopp, but it was Stevenson who won the early exchanges and went 2-0 up with two 15-darters and a 101 outshot.
The German pulled one back in 13, only for Stevenson to restore his two-game advantage when winning the fourth leg in 17.
Hopp then hit a 15-darter of his own before both players excelled in the next.
Aided by two maximums, Stevenson went to the oche needing 41 for a win in 11 but after leaving 20, Hopp won it in 12 with a finish of 123.
Unperturbed, Simon edged in front again after hitting an outshot of 114 but Hopp won the next to lead 5-4.
The Mirror Man was still chasing and levelled in 15 but despite leaving 40 in the decisive 11th leg, he was denied a place in the last 16, when Hopp, with the darts, checked out for a 6-5 victory.
But this was a much better performance from Stevenson, who finished the day with a 92.47 average.
Hopefully, that form can be repeated today when he competes in Players Championship 24, commencing at 12 noon.