DAVE CHISNALL hit a stunning nine-dart finish as he qualified for the knockout stages of the SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts on Sunday night, as Andy Fordham won his first televised game for over a decade.
2014 Grand Slam of Darts runner-up Chisnall achieved his first televised perfect leg during a superb 5-2 victory over Peter Wright as he won his second game of the Group Stage and sealed progression to the last 16.
Chisnall had already finished 136 to win his opening leg against Wright and posted a 180 as he doubled his lead before kicking off the third leg with two more maximums.
He then took out 141 with treble 20, treble 19 and double 12 to bring the Wolverhampton Civic Hall crowd to its feet in recognition of the third nine-dart finish in the nine-year history of the Grand Slam of Darts.
Chisnall went on to claim a 5-2 victory, taking out 101 for a third ton-plus finish of the game, and ended the match with an average of 109.84 - the highest in the opening two days of this year's event.
"It feels good and I'm very, very happy," said Chisnall. "That was one of my best moments on stage and it's great.
"Before we went up on stage I thought there would be something special and so it turned out. Peter said to me 'let's both hit a nine-darter', I did and I thought he was going to have a shot at it too.
"Sometimes I get a bit snatchy on the double but I don't think I've ever had a shot at a nine-darter on TV and it's so nice. The nine-darter wasn't in my head - it was about winning the leg and winning the points and I did that too.
"I played well there. I felt I was going to win as soon as I walked in tonight. I really want to finish top so I won't be easing off in my third match, I'll play it like I've done in these first two days."
Chisnall's win means that Wright now faces a winner-qualifies clash with Mervyn King in Group D on Tuesday night, after the Norfolk ace overcame Lakeside Champion Scott Mitchell 5-2.
Mitchell hit back from 2-0 down to level the game, only for King to finish 78 and 83 as he took command and eventually sealed victory with a 104.31 average - with the result meaning that Dorset's Mitchell now cannot qualify for the knockout stages.
"It was a scrap and I was pleasantly surprised that my average was 104, but if I hadn't finished as well as I did he would have been there to step in," said King.
"I've got a hard game on Tuesday, and if I can manage to do the same there as I've done tonight then the chances are that I'm going to get through, or within a shout of getting through."
Sunday night's second group matches also featured a historic 5-3 win for 2004 Lakeside Champion Andy Fordham, whose last televised victory came over ten years ago at the International Darts League in the Netherlands.
The popular Charlton-based thrower had returned to form as he won through the BDO Qualifier last month and showed glimpses of his quality in Satruday's opener against Adrian Lewis.
His second Group C game saw Fordham punish Wolverhampton's local favourite Jones for a string of missed doubles as he won the opening four legs to capitalise on his opponent's profligacy.
Jones took the next three to reduce the gap to one leg, but Fordham finished 106 to claim the win and give himself a chance of reaching the second round.
"It's unbelievable," admitted Fordham. "It's just an amazing feeling to get back up there, and the relief is unreal.
"I know that Wayne can play better than that and we both struggled a bit, but he struggled a little bit more than me. Hopefully I can get through to the knockout stages now.
"The crowd have been chanting my name all the way through and, after what I've gone through to get back to where I am now, I've been close to tears a few times."
Fordham will now play Michael Smith on Tuesday, after the former World Youth Champion came from 3-1 down to defeat Arian Lewis 5-3, following an early 116 checkout with finishes of 96 and 74 as he turned the game in his favour.
"I knew that I'd be almost through with a win tonight so to get through so it's great to have won," said Smith. "I kept my head together and finished well.
"If you miss against Adrian - or Phil Taylor or Gary Anderson - you don't get that second chance, and that was always in my head. I had to dig deep but I scraped through and hopefully I can get the job done on Tuesday against Andy."
Tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen picked up his second win in Group A with a thrilling 5-1 defeat of Kim Huybrechts, as both players averaged over 106 in a heavy-scoring contest.
Van Gerwen punished early missed doubles to lead 2-0 before Huybrechts finished an 11-darter in the third, and the pair both landed two 180s each in the fourth as the Dutch ace took out 76 for a key 3-1 lead.
Another 180 helped van Gerwen to take the fifth, and he then sealed victory in style by finishing 130 on the bull to put one foot into the second round.
"I played well and I'm close now to being in the second round," said van Gerwen. "I did what I had to do, especially in the good moments, and even though Kim played his best game I still beat him so I'm proud of that.
"I feel comfortable and I'm feeling really good. I'm confident and I need to make sure I play my best game on Tuesday because I want to be the winner in the group."
Steve West joined Huybrechts on two points in Group A with a 5-0 whitewash of Dutch qualifier Mark Oosterhuis, who has yet to have a dart at a double in his opening two matches.
West landed a 180 and a 61 finish to open the game and added another maximum before sealing a comfortable win by taking out 75, and the Essex thrower now takes on van Gerwen in Tuesday's final group games.
"I've given myself a fighting chance and I'm happy with that - but we all know what the obstacle is," said West. "I've known Michael since he was 14 and he's phenomenal, brilliant.
"As long as I go up there and play well and enjoy it; obviously I want to win and if your game's good enough on the day then that's good enough for me.
"I just wanted to win tonight and I'm happy with that because I was frustrated on Saturday. You can't go 3-0 down against a person like Kim and I did that. This wasn't 100 percent but I'm happy with what I've done."
Three-time Lakeside Champion Martin Adams won his second Group B game of the weekend with a narrow 5-4 win over Jelle Klaasen, in a game where neither player was ultimately able to break throw.
Klaasen took out a 120 finish, a 13-darter and a 96 checkout as he shared the first six legs, and the game went to a decider where Adams was first to a finish as double eight maintained his perfect start to his Grand Slam debut.
"I'm very, very pleased," said Adams. "It was a tough test and I saw a lot of the Jelle Klaasen that I knew when he first hit the circuit, but he had one little thing where he just let me in and I'm very grateful to him.
"I'm enjoying it, loving it. The crowd are absolutely fantastic, they all love darts and that's the main thing."
Adams now plays Steve Beaton, who picked up his first win of the weekend with a 5-2 defeat of Ian White, who took out 57 and 108 to lead 2-0 only to miss doubles in the next three legs as the former Lakeside Champion moved ahead.
Beaton, a semi-finalist five years ago in Wolverhampton, then took out 61 and 64 as he completed five straight legs to claim the win and kick-start his challenge.
"This a great result and I'm well happy," said Beaton. "Ian took advantage early on but I was glad to get back into the game and I dug deep.
"I'm looking forward to playing Martin, but I'll be out there to win it. I love this event, there's a great atmosphere and it's a brilliant venue."
SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday November 8
Groups A-D Second Games
Steve West 5-0 Mark Oosterhuis
Ian White 2-5 Steve Beaton
Wayne Jones 3-5 Andy Fordham
Mervyn King 5-2 Scott Mitchell
Adrian Lewis 3-5 Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen 5-1 Kim Huybrechts
Jelle Klaasen 4-5 Martin Adams
Peter Wright 2-5 Dave Chisnall
Steve West v Mark Oosterhuis
1-0 - West hits a 180 before taking out 61 to claim the opening leg against the throw.
2-0 - West lands a tricky third-dart double ten to move two legs up.
3-0 - West hits a 180 before finishing 52 to claim his third leg.
4-0 - Double 16 moves West to the brink of a whitewash victory.
5-0 - West completes the win with a two-dart 75 checkout, denying Oosterhuis a dart at a double.
Ian White v Steve Beaton
1-0 - White takes out 57 on tops to claim the opening leg.
2-0 - White finishes 108 on double 16 to move two legs up.
2-1 - White wires the bull for a 129 checkout, and Beaton capitalises on double eight.
2-2 - A further six missed doubles from White allow Beaton back in on double five to level.
2-3 - White misses tops, allowing Beaton back in to win a third straight leg with double four.
2-4 - White hits the game's first 180, but Beaton finishes 61 on double 18 to move to the brink of victory.
2-5 - Beaton finishes 64 on double 16 to claim the two points.
Wayne Jones v Andy Fordham
0-1 - A nervy opening leg eventually goes to Fordham courtesy of double ten, after Jones misses six darts at a double across three visits.
0-2 - Jones wires double 12 for a 141 checkout, allowing Fordham back in to land double ten.
0-3 - Jones is unable to land double 18 to punish three misses from Fordham, who hits double five to win his third leg.
0-4 - Fordham misses double 16 for a 104 checkout, but Jones again misses double 18 to allow his opponent back in to finish a third-dart double 16 after edging across the oche.
1-4 - Fordham lands a 180, but Jones finishes 64 to finally get off the mark.
2-4 - Fordham misses the bull to take out 83, and Jones lands double 16 to continue his revival.
3-4 - Jones hits his first 180 before finishing tops to win a third successive leg.
3-5 - Fordham takes out 106 on double top to seal victory.
Mervyn King v Scott Mitchell
1-0 - King lands a 180 and finishes double 12 to take the opening leg against the throw.
2-0 - King lands a 177 as he doubles his lead.
2-1 - Double nine sees Mitchell get off the mark.
2-2 - Mitchell lands a 180 before punishing a miss at double eight from King by hitting double four to level.
3-2 - King opens with a maximum before finishing 78 in two darts to regain the lead.
4-2 - King takes out 83 on double nine as he moves two legs clear.
5-2 - Double 16 sees King seal victory.
Adrian Lewis v Michael Smith
1-0 - Two missed doubles from Smith are punished as Lewis breaks throw immediately.
1-1 - Lewis sets up a possible nine-darter with two 180s, but misses out on a perfect leg and also misses three further doubles to allow Smith in to finish 116 on tops to level.
2-1 - Smith misses tops, allowing Lewis in to hit the same bed.
3-1 - Lewis moves two legs clear courtesy of double 12.
3-2 - Smith takes out 48 on tops to respond.
3-3 - A fine 96 checkout, ending on double eight, sees Smith level the game with a break of throw.
3-4 - Smith takes out 74 on double top as he moves ahead with a third straight leg.
3-5 - Both players hit 180s and Lewis then lands a 174 score to leave 32, but Smith finishes 88 on double 14 to claim the win.
Michael van Gerwen v Kim Huybrechts
1-0 - Double 16 gives van Gerwen the opening leg.
2-0 - An 87 finish sees the Dutchman move two legs up.
2-1 - Huybrechts hits a 180 before taking out double 16 for an 11-darter.
3-1 - An amazing leg sees van Gerwen open with two 180s to set up a possible nine-darter before Huybrechts lands a pair of maximums on his second and third visits, and though the world number one misses out on a perfect leg he takes out 76 to regain a two-leg lead.
4-1 - van Gerwen opens with his third 180 of the game, before hitting tops to move a leg away from the win.
5-1 - Huybrechts hits a maximum, but misses the bull to take out 127 before van Gerwen finishes 130 on the bull for the win - both players ending the game with averages above 106.
Jelle Klaasen v Martin Adams
0-1 - Adams lands an early 180 before finishing double eight for a 14-dart leg.
1-1 - Klaasen opens with 140 and 180 before finishing 120 to level.
1-2 - Three missed doubles from Klaasen are punished as Adams finishes double 16 to move back ahead.
2-2 - Klaasen produces a superb 171 to leave 36 before double 18 completes a 13-darter.
2-3 - Klaasen hits a 180 before both players miss doubles, allowing Adams in to edge the leg on double one.
3-3 - Klaasen regains his range with a neat two-dart 96 finish.
3-4 - Klaasen lands a 180, but Adams finishes 69 on double 16 to move a leg away from the win.
4-4 - Double 18 from the Dutchman sends the game into a deciding final leg.
4-5 - Both players land two 140s in the leg, with Adams being first to a finish as he initially misses the bull to finish 161 before returning on double eight.
Peter Wright v Dave Chisnall
0-1 - Wright misses the bull, and Chisnall takes out 136 for a 12-darter.
0-2 - Chisnall opens with a 180 before finishing double ten to move two legs up.
0-3 - DAVE CHISNALL HITS A NINE-DART FINISH! The St Helens star opens with two 180s before finishing 141 to complete his first perfect leg on TV, putting himself in line for a £30,000 bonus.
0-4 - Chisnall adds another maximum before finishing 101 on double 16 - his third ton-plus checkout of the game.
1-4 - Wright this times opens with six perfect darts, as Chisnall also lands a maximum, and though the Scot is unable to match his rival's nine-darter he takes out 59 to hit back.
2-4 - Wright's revival continues with a 56 finish.
2-5 - Chisnall fires in another 180 before sealing victory on double six, ending with an average of 109.84.