Home hero Whitlock eases past Wade in superb display, Van Gerwen survives scare against fearless talent Marsh

For the first time in his career, Simon Whitlock had his mum watching on as 'The Wizard' conjured up a magic display to ease past James Wade 6-2 as the opening day of the Queensland Darts Masters continues in Townsville.

Whitlock averaged 96 with two 180's and 6/15 on his doubles as he returned home for the first time since becoming a World Cup champion and the fans in the crowd will be left delighted.

Whitlock started proceedings with a 56 checkout to hold on double four. Wade missed a chance to hold and ‘The Wizard’ conjured up a break with a 49 checkout to go 2-0 up.

A 180 and double three saw Whitlock consolidate holding to go 3-0 up. Wade finally got off the mark at 4-1 down with a 124 checkout.

He followed that on double 10 to make it 4-2. Whitlock staved off the break threat with a 78 checkout on double nine and go one away at 5-2. Sealing a break, he pinned double 20 first time to claim it 6-2.

While Michael van Gerwen in his first match since becoming World Matchplay champion again nearly suffered an early exit to fearless 20-year-old Aussie talent, Bailey Marsh.

'The Ghost' found himself 4-2 up in a scrappy tie which was full of breaks of throw but MVG found a way in the end as experience tolled against the debutant who made an impression in his first and only appearance of this year's World Series.

Next up for the Dutchman is Haupai Puha who took out Jonny Clayton earlier and if MVG plays like he did against Marsh could have his eyes on an upset.

Marsh opened the tie superbly missing the bull for a 121 checkout before returning to hit double four to lead and break. Van Gerwen was poor but hit a timely maximum to leave double eight only leaving Marsh 143 to hold and he drifted into single five which meant MVG returned to break back and level up.

Van Gerwen missed three to hold though and Marsh hit double 20 to break again and go 2-1 up. MVG had more trouble on double eight but broke back after Marsh missed double 13 for 81 to go 3-1 up.

A 72 checkout saw Marsh go 3-2 up as the breaks continued. A 60 checkout saw ‘The Ghost’ finally hold to go 4-2 up. MVG pinned 72 to stave off threat of another break at 4-3 down.

Marsh had a bounceout at a wrong time and Van Gerwen hit 134 to leave double 20 pinning double 10 to pick Marsh’s pocket and break back at 4-4.

Van Gerwen missed double 20 for a 115 checkout but bounceouts for Marsh saw him not get a shot at 116. But despite missing three more, Marsh missed the big number on 76 and MVG hit double 10 to go one away at 5-4.

Marsh missed 121 on double 18 to send it all the way but returned to send it all the way at 5-5 only after MVG got a shot at 126 which he spurned.

Van Gerwen produced a ridiculous 180 in which one deflected in and he still followed it in to hit a maximum. He got a match dart at 80 and Marsh looked at 111. But he couldn’t get a treble and Van Gerwen hit double 10 to claim it.

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