Bull ready to hit the Jackpot

Although it encompasses a time period longer than the Olympics and the World Snooker Championship, there is no question the darts does not come alive until after Christmas.

In many ways, the first round of the PDC World Championship is just a teaser, a way of whittling down 72 players to 32 without giving away too many clues about the form of the top players.

Between Christmas and New Year, the rounds, the sessions, the matches (sounds just like being in the pub!) come thick and fast and all of a sudden here we are down to the quarter-finals.

Now the main contenders are jockeying for position, staking their claims to hold that trophy aloft on January 2 in the way Phil Taylor has so often and Adrian Lewis did last year.

Lewis is through to the last eight again and was the first man to get there, and his clash with Terry Jenkins promises to be an absolute cracker.

These two know each other well through their involvement in the Premier League and are good mates. The reigning champion is the hot favourite, but don’t be surprised to see an upset here.

Jenkins, so often the nearly man of darts, seems to have taken on a new lease of life at the age of 48. He impressed in his opening victory against Joe Cullen and looked better still when demolishing Justin Pipe.

What struck me most about the performance of ‘The Bull’ was the way in which his first dart consistently found the treble 20, and very often at least one of the next two would follow it in there.

Pipe had done a job on Wes Newton in the second round but was readily brushed aside by the man from Herefordshire, who recorded the second best average (102.64) of the tournament so far.

With them having played each other so often, Jenkins will not be overawed by the scoring power of Lewis and quite frankly if the performance against Pipe is replicated, I honestly don’t think the title-holder will be able to live with his opponent.

Surely nobody would begrudge Jenkins a first major crown after so many near misses, mostly at the hands of Taylor and Wade, and perhaps it could be significant that he cannot meet either of those men in the final this time.

It may be difficult to visualise, but Terry Jenkins as the 2012 world champion? Unlikely perhaps, but stranger things have happened.

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