DARTS: Dean ready for battle

WILLIAM HILL GRAND SLAM OF DARTS 2011'CIVIC HALL,WOLVERHAMPTON13/11/11'PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG'GROUP STAGE 2'DEAN WINSTANLEY V IAN WHITE'DEAN WINSTANLEY IN ACTION
WILLIAM HILL GRAND SLAM OF DARTS 2011'CIVIC HALL,WOLVERHAMPTON13/11/11'PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG'GROUP STAGE 2'DEAN WINSTANLEY V IAN WHITE'DEAN WINSTANLEY IN ACTION
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SWINTON’S Dean Winstanley is relishing the chance of taking on Alan Norris in the second round of the Lakeside Darts World Championship on Wednesday night, writes Phil Haigh.

Winstanley, known as “Over the top” is well aware of the threat posed by his Somerset-born opponent after a number of close matches between the two.

“I never look at the draw for competitions but obviously I know it’s Alan up next and we’ve had some really good battles in the past,” he said.

“The last couple of matches we’ve had have had one leg in it and I expect it to be a good game again.”

The record between the two is an even one but Winstanley won the highest profile game between the two in the final of last year’s Czech Open.

Last year’s world championship runner-up saw off Dutchman Joey Ten Berge 3-1in round one with the highlight of the match being a huge 160 finish from South Yorkshire’s premier thrower.

Coming into the tournament, though, the number three seed was less than certain about how he was going to perform.

“It went well,” he said, “I didn’t have the best confidence going into the match because I haven’t hit a double for two months.

“The Grand Slam was awesome and that was just five doubles that cost me, but then at Center Parcs (Masters) and the Zuiderduin (Masters) I couldn’t hit a thing!

“It fell into place against Joey and I was playing well, I enjoyed the 160, I’m always confident about hitting the trebles and then it’s my favourite double and it goes straight in.

“I had a bit of a miss-calculation when I was on 63 at one point but I come to expect that now, I’m allowed one a match.

“That performance has settled the nerves that were there before the tournament and I’m confident and feeling good now.”

The world number three was sporting a striking new shirt on the oche against Ten berge, but although he was delighted with his new attire, he will not be altering his routine of wearing a different shirt for the following match.

“I won’t be wearing that shirt again in the next round, I’m funny with my shirts and I never where the same one twice in a row, but if I’m still in the tournament later on I’ll probably get it out again.”