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World Darts Championship 2021/22 Day Six preview and order of play | Barney returns to Ally Pally

Beaton spoils Sherrock’s return at the World Darts Championship as Clayton battles past Barry

Jamie Shaw in World Darts Championship 20 Dec 2021
Steve Beaton acknowledges the crowd (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Steve Beaton denied Fallon Sherrock a dream return to the Alexandra Palace with a 3-2 victory to reach Round Two of the 2021/22 World Darts Championship.

Sherrock returned to the stage where she made history by reaching the Third Round of the sport’s show-piece two years ago.

However, her efforts were thwarted by darting stalwart Beaton, who rolled back the years to deny Sherrock a winning return.

Beaton, making a record-breaking 31st consecutive World Championship appearance, landed checkouts of 126 and 99 as he came back from 2-0 down to win the opening set.

The 57-year-old missed a dart to win the set two decider and Sherrock made no mistake on tops to level the contest.

Both players struggled in the third set, which was won 3-0 by Beaton, before Sherrock won the fourth set by the same scoreline to take the tie to a decider.

With Beaton leading 2-1, Sherrock had the darts to force a last-leg shoot-out but was outscored by Beaton who sealed his passage into round two by holding his nerve with a last dart double 16 at the end of a 68 checkout.

“That was one of the hardest games I’ve ever had to deal with and I’ve had some really hard games through the years,” admitted Beaton, who will meet Kim Huybrechts in round two.

“Fallon played really well, she didn’t let me go at all. She’s just relentless.

“I started off so well but then I let it slip and I thought she was going to get me.

“I didn’t want to go to a last leg decider so I was relieved that I put in a decent leg to win it.

“These are the games you want to play in. I still love the game and I’m getting paid to do something I enjoy.”

Despite suffering disappointment on her return to the world’s biggest stage, Sherrock reflected positively on her latest high-profile experience.

“Steve played well, I can’t complain,” said Sherrock. “I wasn’t confident in the way that my darts were going in the board.

“I showed what I can do in patches, but fell short in the end.

“Every game I’m behind, I will always fight back. Sometimes I don’t make it, sometimes I do but I will never give up.”

Sherrock’s attention now turns to Qualifying School, where she will be bidding to win a place on the PDC tour for the first time.

She added: “My game is stronger than it was a year ago or two years ago, I feel more confident of getting through Q School.

“I just want more opportunities and chances to prove myself, it’s a privilege playing these players.”

Meanwhile eighth seed Jonny Clayton continued his sublime 2021 form by averaging 103.7, the highest of the tournament so far, in defeating Irish teenager Keane Barry 3-2.

An outstanding contest saw both players land five ton-plus finishes apiece to set a new tournament record for a five-set match.

A winner of four TV titles this year, Clayton fought back from 2-1 down in sets, winning the last six successive legs to deny Barry the biggest scalp of his career.

“That was one of my favourite games I’ve played in,” said Clayton, who averaged above 100 at the World Championship for the first time.

“It was fantastic, all credit to Keane who never gave me a chance to relax.

“My year so far has been fantastic, hopefully I can finish it off by winning this. I’d love to win that trophy, hopefully it’s my year.”

The day’s other Second Round tie saw Ross Smith reach the Last 32 for the first time as he edged out last year’s semi-finalist Stephen Bunting 3-2.

A tight contest resulted in the first tie-break of this year’s tournament, with Smith landing stunning back-to-back checkouts of 167 and 102 to get over the line.

Florian Hempel continued his emergence with a commanding straight sets win over German compatriot Martin Schindler in Round One.

Hempel, who joined the professional ranks at the start of the year, hit finishes of 158, 156 and 114 to set up a meeting with world number five Dimitri Van den Bergh.

Scotland’s Alan Soutar also enjoyed a debut win, defeating Brazilian Diogo Portela 3-2 in a keenly-fought contest to reach round two where Mensur Suljovic awaits.

Jason Heaver enjoyed a 3-1 debut win over late Australian call-up Gordon Mathers, and he will now meet Danny Noppert.

Dutch duo Martijn Kleermaker and Maik Kuivenhoven both enjoyed maiden World Championship wins over Australian youngster Ky Smith and Greek John Michael respectively.

Simon Whitlock awaits in the second round for Kleermaker, while Kuivenhoven will take on James Wade on Monday night.

WATCH WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

William Hill World Darts Championship 2021/22 Day Five Results

Sunday December 19

Afternoon Session
Maik Kuivenhoven 3-1 Ky Smith (R1)
Jason Heaver 3-1 Gordon Mathers (R1)
Alan Soutar 3-2 Diogo Portela (R1)
Stephen Bunting 2-3 Ross Smith (R2)

Evening Session
Martijn Kleermaker 3-1 John Michael (R1)
Florian Hempel 3-0 Martin Schindler (R1)
Steve Beaton 3-2 Fallon Sherrock (R1)
Jonny Clayton 3-2 Keane Barry (R2)

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