Steve Beaton beat Peter Manley (1): 10 - 8
Dennis Priestley beat Kevin Painter: 10 - 7
Richie Burnett beat Bob Anderson: 10 - 6
The first evening of the Stan James World Matchplay got the spectators on the edge of their seats with a series of nail biting matches, each of them fought to the end.
Dennis Priestley, from Mexborough, came through a tough first round match
against Kevin Painter, proving that class and experience can see you through
when the chips are down - especially when you've had laser surgery to improve your vision.
It was a shaky start for a nervous looking Priestley, who lost the first leg against the throw. Painter gifted the second leg back to the Menace however, after missing 6 darts at the double and that squandered opportunity played into the hands of the former Embassy champ.
The Mexborough Menace then took the next four legs with relative ease and
went in at the first break with a 4-1 lead.
Painter got back into things in the sixth leg and pulled one back, but was hit by a sucker punch in the next leg when Priestley checked out on 160.
Having put on a fantastic show in the seventh leg Priestley then lost a little of his composure and Painter nabbed the next three legs to even the match 5-5 before the second break. Priestley having missed 4 darts at 16 to relinquish his grip on the match.
However, Priestley recovered his earlier form and crowd's favourite the Menace is safely through to round two. The final score was 10 - 7.
Prince of Wales Richie Burnett made his way into round two with a powerful win over veteran darter Bob Anderson.
The Limestone Cowboy, came out all guns blazing to take the first two legs, the first with a cool 48 out.
However, Burnett reached the semi-finals last year and showed in the third and fourth leg the sort of resilience that saw him through in 2000, to take the next five legs and put the Cowboy under pressure.
Anderson pulled one back in the seventh to make it 5-3, Burnett held his own
throw and in the ninth with a 160 checkout on the cards, Bob just missed double tops to allow the Welshman to stretch his lead to 6-3.
The Prince of Wales was now on a roll and under pressure from Anderson, pegged a 87 out to go in at the next break four legs to the good, 7-3.
Burnett opened in the next with four T20's to give the crowd their first taste of nine dart excitement, but he ended up taking 22 darts to wrap up the leg, both players missing a score of darts at the double.
By the time it got to 9-3 Anderson's head was down, and although he got three more legs before the match was over, there was little real doubt that Burnett was going to wrap it up sooner or later.
Burnett will now play Priestley in round two, in one of the mouthwatering second stage ties.