Steve Beaton won through to the second round for the first time since 2012 with a 10-6 defeat of Jelle Klaasen, as the number ten seed fell to defeat despite a spirited fightback.
Beaton produced some fine darts to open up an early 4-1 lead, hitting two 180s and a 13-dart finish in the process, only to see his Dutch rival respond to cut the gap to 5-4.
Klaasen, though, crucially missed two darts to level the game in leg ten before seeing Beaton edge into an 8-4 lead, and though Klaasen finished 81 and 82 to halve the deficit he was unable to prevent his opponent closing out victory with an 11-darter.
“At 4-1 I was going okay but Jelle came back at me like a train, like you know he can,” said Beaton. “To be 6-4 up at the second break meant I had a bit of a cushion and when I got out to 8-4 it was mine to lose after that.
“I’ve been practising well and I’ve picked up my game recently, but I’ve probably never fulfilled myself on TV. Even at 52 I’m still as competitive as the rest and it’s a great buzz, the crowd are brilliant and that’s what you play for.”
Beaton now meets former World Youth Champion Michael Smith, who overcame Simon Whitlock 10-6 with a strong second half of their contest.
Jelle Klaasen v Steve Beaton
0-1 – Beaton fires in a 180 before finishing 80 on tops to break throw in the opening leg.
0-2 – Double 18 sees the former World Matchplay semi-finalist double his lead.
1-2 – Klaasen takes out 58 on tops to claim his first leg.
1-3 – Both players initially miss one dart at a double before Beaton returns on double eight to regain his cushion.
1-4 – Beaton lands his second 180 before punishing Klaasen’s miss at double 11 by landing double two.
2-4 – Klaasen lands two 180s in a superb 11-darter as double 18 sees him respond with a break of throw.
3-4 – Klaasen finishes 76 in two darts to reduce the gap to one leg.
3-5 – Two misses from Klaasen at double 18 allow Beaton back in on double 16.
4-5 – Klaasen completes a 14-dart leg on tops to reduce the gap further.
4-6 – Klaasen misses two darts to level, at double 14 and seven, and Beaton pins tops to edge two legs clear.
4-7 – Beaton breaks throw for a third time, taking out 50 on double 16 to move three legs up once again.
4-8 – Beaton wires the bull to finish 164, but three misses at double 14 from the Dutchman allow him back to land double eight.
5-8 – Klaasen wins his first leg in four, taking out 81 on double 18.
6-8 – Beaton lands a 180, his third, but misses two darts at double 16 to allow Klaasen in for a break of throw as he finishes 82 on double eight.
6-9 – Beaton finishes 61 on double nine to move a leg away from victory.
6-10 – Beaton completes the win in style with an 11-darter, hitting a 177 before landing double 16 to move into the second round.
Jelle Klaasen 6-10 Steve Beaton
17 100+ 16
8 140+ 11
0 170+ 1
2 180 3
93.00 Average 94.26
82 High Finish 80
2 Breaks of Throw 4
6/14 – 40% Checkout % 10/19 – 53%