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Phil Taylor battles past Peter Manley on World Seniors debut as Painter whitewashes Warren

World Seniors Championship Darts | Day Two Preview and Order of Play

Jamie Shaw in World Seniors Darts 04 Feb 2022
Phil Taylor returns to competitive action (Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Phil Taylor launches his latest quest for glory at the Circus Tavern on Day Two of the 2022 World Seniors Championship on Friday.

The opening night of the historic inaugural tournament saw Robert Thornton produce the stand-out performance by averaging 94.6 in a 3-0 win over former World Champion Bob Anderson, while home hero Richie Howson edged out Darryl Fitton 3-2 and Kevin Painter held his nerve to deny Tony O’Shea in a tie break.

Peter Manley came from a set down to defeat Deta Hedman 3-1 and set up a grudge clash with his old rival Phil Taylor in the Last 16.

The duo contested three World Championship finals on this iconic stage, with Taylor coming out on top on each occasion, and ‘One Dart’ is now eyeing a slice of revenge two decades on.

Manley, however, is likely to have to improve on his match average of 76 if he is to trouble Taylor – who retired from professional competition following defeat to Rob Cross in the 2018 PDC World Championship final.

Taylor picked up 11 of his 16 world titles at the Circus Tavern and was also involved in arguably the greatest game ever held at the venue in 2007 when he was beaten by Raymond van Barneveld in the sudden death leg of the World Final.

The Power, who has played only in exhibitions and online events since his retirement, starts out as red hot favourite to become the first name on the trophy and will be determined to put down a marker against Manley.

The afternoon session features the final four First Round ties, kicking off with a battle between two former BDO World Champions as 2001 Lakeside champion John Boy Walton faces 1997 winner Les Wallace.

Singapore legend Paul Lim, who featured in the recent PDC World Championship, returns to the Circus Tavern for the first time in 20 years as he takes on County Durham’s Dave Prins – who secured his spot as a reserve from the qualifiers list and has previously competed in the BDO World Championship on five occasions.

Larry Butler, winner of the inaugural World Matchplay in Blackpool back in 1994, opens up against former World Grand Prix champion Alan Warriner-Little for the right to face Keith Deller in the Second Round.

The evening session plays host to the first four ties in the Last 16, starting off with a show-down between 2020 BDO World Champion Wayne Warren and 2004 PDC World finalist Kevin Painter.

Painter led O’Shea 2-0 on opening night before being pegged back to parity, but dug deep to close out the match in a fifth set decider and mark a winning return to the big stage.

Warren became the last-ever BDO World Champion two years ago and has since gone on to win the MAD world title and compete in the Grand Slam of Darts.

The Welshman opted not to enter the recent PDC Qualifying School and will look to replicate the form of 2020 on his return to action.

Three-time BDO World Champion Martin Adams is among the strongly-fancied contenders for glory this weekend, but ‘Wolfie’ faces a tricky opening test against home hero Richie Howson.

Adams was one of the most active players during the first lock-down period, hitting nine-darters in online events, and continues to perform at a high standard at the age of 65.

Howson, who hails from nearby Rainham, held his nerve to defeat former World Trophy winner Fitton 3-2 in front of a raucous contingent of fans on Friday, and the qualifier will aim to pick up from where he left off as he eyes another big named scalp.

The final match of the evening sees multiple major winner Robert Thornton take on ten-time Women’s World Champion Trina Gulliver MBE.

Thornton, who has featured in Q School and on the Challenge Tour in recent weeks, came into the event as one of the most match-sharp contenders, and proved that with a polished First Round display against the Limestone Cowboy.

Gulliver, meanwhile, returned to competitive action during last year’s PDC Women’s Series, finishing eighth on the Order of Merit, and will look to give a good account of herself on her return to the televised stage.

The action gets under way from 1pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of five sets (best of five legs per set). The tie break rule is in operation if the score reaches 2-2 in the the fourth set.


World Seniors Championship 2022 Schedule of Play

Friday February 4

First Round

Afternoon Session
1.15pm Les Wallace v John Walton
2.15pm Paul Lim v Dave Prins
3.15pm Alan Warriner-Little v Larry Butler
4.15pm Terry Jenkins v Roland Scholten

Second Round

Evening Session
7.15pm Wayne Warren v Kevin Painter
8.15pm Martin Adams v Richie Howson
9.15pm Phil Taylor v Peter Manley
10.15pm Trina Gulliver v Robert Thornton