Dunvegan Darts’ Gary Anderson claimed the final spot in round two of the World Matchplay on day three of the prestigious tournament.
The Flying Scotsman comfortably defeated Stephen Bunting 10-5 in sweltering heat at the Winter Gardens. Anderson also beat The Bullet in the first round in 2018, when he went onto lift the Phil Taylor Trophy.
Anderson took control of the game right from the first leg, taking advantage of a missed dart at tops from Bunting to break and go 1-0 in front. Three further holds from the pair gave him a 3-1 lead, before Anderson missed two darts to increase his advantage. Bunting cleaned up double four to reduce the arrears to 3-2 heading into the first interval.
The two time back to back World Champion held straight after the interval, before again missing darts to move further clear. The Bullet then found a 60 outshot to again cut the gap to one.
However, it would only be a matter of time before Anderson eventually took one of these opportunities. After holding in 14 darts, he then broke in 14 darts, hitting 50 to move 6-3 clear. Another 14 dart leg, this time taking 72 out, saw him go 7-3 in front at the final interval. Two more 14 dart holds saw The Flying Scotsman move one away, before he eventually finished the job, finding a 70 checkout to complete the round one victory.
It’s an excellent start for Anderson, as he looks to go one better than 2020’s event in Milton Keynes, where he finished runner up. He next plays on Wednesday, where he takes on Nathan Aspinall in the last 16. That game is scheduled to be second on stage, taking place at around 8.15pm BST.
Words: Jarleth Eaton
Photos: Lawrence Lustig/PDC