Warriner-Little has top eight target

Darts ace Alan Warriner-Little is hoping for an extended run in the Ladbrokes.com World Championship as he attempts to work his way back into the world’s top eight.

The ‘Ice Man’, who is currently ranked 14th, has looked a shadow of the player who claimed the World Grand Prix title during the last couple of years.

But he produced a vintage display against Canadian qualifier Gerry Convery in the second round yesterday, securing an emphatic 4-0 success.

Warriner-Little kicked off with a 15-darter and reeled off the next eight legs to open up a three-set lead.

Convery finally stopped the rot with a successful attempt at double eight - but it only delayed the inevitable as his opponent clinched victory with double six.

Warriner-Little, who faces Andy ‘Pie Man’ Smith later this afternoon for a place in the quarter-finals, said: “I have had so many problems, both personal and playing, in the past 12 months but it is different now. I have got a new wife (Brenda) and life is fantastic.

“I am putting in the hard work and I know I can beat anyone on my day. I am so pleased to get my game back and I will be back in the top eight next year.”

Looking ahead to his clash with Smith, the 43-year-old added: “Andy is a fantastic player on the circuit and he has started playing well on TV, so I am looking forward to what should be a good game.”

Stoke’s Andy Hamilton, meanwhile, is ready to test himself against defending champion Phil Taylor in the ‘Battle of the Potteries’ later tonight.

Qualifier Hamilton was in great form as he overcame Terry Jenkins 4-1 to set up a mouth-watering showdown with the game’s greatest-ever player.

Hamilton breezed through the first set with a three-dart average of 102.48 and was just two away from a perfect nine-dart leg in the third set.

“I wanted to play Phil for the first time,” revealed Hamilton. “He is the best in the game and I want to find out how good I am and prove if I am good enough to compete with him. Hopefully on the day I will be.

“My other ambition is to get into the top 32 – that won’t take long the way I am playing now.”


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