Top notch entertainment on Friday evening (and no Eastenders this time; girlfriend had to make a decision between Eastenders and James Wade, and James Wade won :o) )
James Wade did indeed win, beating Muffin Man Steve Hine in a match which Wade should have wrapped up fairly early; he allowed Hine back in though, and the Muffin Man came right back at him, having one dart at a double to set-up a 17th leg shoot out. Fortunately for Wade, Hine missed and Wade clinched it 9-7 (blaming being distracted by the air conditioning for his mid-match slump; hmmmmm). Wade moves on to play impressive young Irishman William O'Connor.
Gary Anderson was on fire, producing a scintilllating display and a 106 average to knock out Michael van Gerwen 9-6; Anderson plays Paul Nicholson in what should be a cracking match.
Poor Wayne Mardle went down 9-2 to Phil Taylor; it's not so much losing to Phil Taylor that hurts - anyone can do that - as the way he did it. He looked so focused at the start, and then gradually crumbled as everything seemed to go Phil Taylor's way. He was visibly melting on stage. Phil Taylor has said he's taking Mardle under his wing for some training; let's hope it produces some results for Mardle - if Phil can't train you, no one can. The Power goes on to play Kevin Painter.
Reece Robinson, the fresh-faced 18 year old debutant from Hull produced a performance that many a seasoned pro wouldn't have been disappointed with, losing out to Simon Whitlock 9-5; he took the opening two legs and produced several ton plus checkouts, but the Wizard (reckoned as the number two player in the world right now) was too much for him in the end. Robinson's mental stamina seemed to run out towards the end; his focus slipped and so did his darts, often in to the 5 and 1, but that's something which will naturally improve with time and experience; there's potentially great things ahead for Reece Robinson, and he should be very proud this morning.
In other games, Dennis Ovens overcame Dennis Priestly 9-8, Mervyn King overcame a spirited performance by Joe Cullen (and more crowd hostility: what is it about King?) to go through 9-5, and Jelle Klaasen beat Steve Evans 9-6. Full list of games and the 4th round draw here.
That sets us up for what should be a great day of darts today; drag the TV into the garden and watch in the glorious summer sunshine if you can :o)
I'm off to Northumberland for the day, though I'm hoping to be back by 7 pm for session 2.