Ian White will take on James Wade as the final three games of the Players Championship Finals second round went to deciding legs. The ninth seed crept past close friend John Henderson 6-5 in a ding-dong battle between two evenly matched players. Henderson smashed in a superb 161 checkout to push White, but ‘Diamond’, who averaged 102, was able to rely on his scoring power and typically strong finishing. The Scot started the better in the final leg but stalled and, after he was unable to set up a double when on 117, White struck the all-important winning dart.

Peter Jacques continued his fine run at the Players Championship Finals in a clash between giant-killers in Minehead. Having stunned Cristo Reyes in the first round, the ‘Terrier’ overcame Steve Hine in a second successive 6-5 victory. ‘The Muffin Man’ provided the shock of the night yesterday in edging past Peter Wright, but could not save his best for last this time around. Jacques would have felt aggrieved had he lost, as he led throughout. The Yorkshireman went 3-0 up in a low-quality clash, and then made it 5-2 after Hine had reduced the deficit. Yet Jacques, so wasteful on tops, could not finish the world number 102 off. A brilliant 149 checkout kept Hine in the running, but back-to-back 140s had Jacques on top in the final leg. The debutant made no mistake on double 10, and progressed to the third round.

He will face Jan Dekker, who caused yet another upset by defeating Simon Whitlock on board two. It took yet another deciding leg to separate the pair, but two outer bulls followed by a double 16 saw the Dutchman home. A visibly frustrated Whitlock struggled throughout and averaged a mere 81.96, but made it tough for Dekker. The 27-year-old checked out 109 en route to victory, and now has a chance to defeat the similarly inexperienced Jacques and set up a quarter-final against Michael van Gerwen.

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Author: Ed McCosh