It was always going to be tough for Riley’s qualifier Barry Lynn to repeat his backstage performances against the likes of Gary Anderson, Brendan Dolan and Stuart Kellett, in front of the bright lights of the main TV stage, and that’s discounting the fact he was facing Michael van Gerwen. Arriving off the back of yet another scintillating performance against Kim Huybrechts, van Gerwen was flowing with confidence. Lynn was wobbly in the opening exchanges, but began to settle down once he was nestled into the occasion. In fact looking back on the match, Lynn had almost identical statistics to the world number one despite losing 10-6.
Phil Taylor sent out a message to his fellow competitors with a convincing win over Mark Webster. The five time UK Open champion has looked back to his best since the turn of the year, but will want to achieve much more than a final four finish in Minehead. Taylor looks accomplished on the doubles throughout the hammering of the Welshman, the consistency shown this afternoon will need to be repeated twice more should he reach the final.
Peter Wright took another step towards his first major crown with a win over Joe Cullen. The 45-year-old Scot was runner-up to Michael van Gerwen a year ago and will certainly not want to feel the heartache of another Minehead loss. He began his tussle with the former Bradford postman in confident fashion, entering the first break 4-1 to the good. He was soon on the brink of the final four, 9-3 ahead, but Cullen sparked a revival. Four legs on the bounce, including six perfect darts and a flurry of 180’s. But Wright’s experience was count in the winning leg as he semi-final space was confirmed.
Jelle Klaasen was the first man to capture a final spot following a 10-0 whitewash of the UK Open’s surprise package Kyle Anderson. Previous to this match the Aussie had dropped just six legs in his three previous games, but a clearly fired up Klaasen had far too much for the world number 40. In all honesty the former Lakeside champion didn’t really break sweat, he was comfortable in every corner of the board, and so often double 18 played right into his hands. Anderson will have plenty more chances to prove himself on the television stage this season having made the leap of faith, leaving home and joining to the PDC circuit on a full time basis.