Masters wins for Anderson and Wade

Unicorn duo Gary Anderson and James Wade are through to the quarter-finals of The Masters.

Wade won a thriller against Simon Whitlock on Saturday in Milton Keynes, while Anderson came through against Benito van de Pas

He was well below par but it was all about the victory. The Team Unicorn star looking to go one better than last year when he lost in the final to Michael van Gerwen.

He will now face Welsh ace Gerwyn Price in the quarter-Finals.

Anderson averaged only 90 but he wasn’t at all happy: “It was a struggle and my back was troubling me again. I felt rusty and was getting annoyed with the way I was playing. I have to improve for sure.”

The Scot raced into a 4-0 lead before Van de Pas got on the board with a 115 finish. He then missed three darts at ‘tops’ to allow the Dutchman another leg. But Anderson finally found a bit of rhythm. He won five consecutive legs with three 180s and a 109 finish.

Anderson should have won 10-2 and 10-3 but missed three match darts. He eventually clinched it on ‘tops’ with a 99 finish.

It was good to see the way Wade started the new season! The Unicorn man battled superbly to come from 2-4 down to dominate Whitlock. He will now face Van Gerwen.

Crucially ‘The Machine’ won four consecutive legs to take control, including an audacious 96 finish, D18 and ‘tops’. The Aussie took out a superb 142 to keep him in the contest but Wade wasn’t to be denied. He replied with a terrific 120 check-out and after Whitlock then missed D12 for a 9 darter, Wade closed out the match.

A 96 average and a 50% check-out success rate and a happy James Wade. “I really have been putting in a lot of work and practice over the last three or four weeks. I have a clear head and I know it is a big year ahead for me, but I am ready for the challenge and I am enjoying darts again.”

And Unicorn ace Kim Huybrechts may have lost to Van Gerwen, but the Belgian can go into the new season with confidence restored. He fell 9-1 down to the defending Masters Champion and the World No.1 missed three darts at ‘tops’ to win 10-1. That was the signal for Kim to show what he can do.

He produced a quite brilliant spell, winning five straight legs. A superb 160 check-out when Van Gerwen was sat on d18 for the match. Huybrechts also took out 107, 88 on the bull and hit three 180s. It couldn’t last and Van Gerwen sealed a 10-6 win but well done Kim....onwards and upwards.

Saturday 1st Round results:

Simon Whitlock 8-10 James Wade

Daryl Gurney 7-10 Gerwyn Price

Gary Anderson 10-4 Benito van de Pas

Michael van Gerwen 10-6 Kim Huybrechts

Sunday Q/Finals (best of 19 legs):

Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld

Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic

Gary Anderson v Gerwyn Price

Michael van Gerwen v James Wade

From Stuart Pyke in Milton Keynes

Photos courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC