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World Darts Championship 2021/22 Day Seven | Afternoon Session preview and order of play

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World Darts Championship 2021/22 Day Seven | Evening Session preview and order of play

Van Barneveld enjoys winning return to the World Darts Championship

Jamie Shaw in World Darts Championship 21 Dec 2021
Van Barneveld takes the applause (Photo by Chris Dean/PDC)

Raymond van Barneveld marked his return to the World Darts Championship with a dominant victory over Lourence Ilagan at Alexandra Palace on Monday.

The return of five-time World Champion Van Barneveld headlined the night’s action as the Dutchman entered the stage where he retired two years ago after a disastrous defeat to Darin Young in Round One.

Van Barneveld banished his darting demons upon his return, brushing aside the Filipino qualifier in consecutive sets to set up a show-down with Rob Cross in Round Two.

Barney began the match by breaking the Ilagan throw, punishing his opponent for three missed doubles, before going on to wrap up the set 3-1.

The second set was even more one-sided with the 54-year-old not dropping a leg, doubling his advantage with a vintage 121 checkout.

Another comfortable set followed as Van Barneveld wrapped up the 3-0 win with an average of 97 to get off and running in style.

“I feel different now, I feel reborn. There are no demons,” admitted Van Barneveld.

“Rob is an amazing darts player and an amazing guy too, I’m really looking forward to this match.

“I can play much better but I won and that’s the main thing. I can’t wait to play Rob Cross, it will be special.

“It’s a privilege to be back, I missed it. At the start of the year I had one goal to be back here.

“My last game here two years ago was poor, it wasn’t a very good farewell and the crowd deserved better.”

Fourth seed James Wade will be back after Christmas following a scrappy 3-1 win over Maik Kuivenhoven.

Wade raced in to a 2-0 lead dropping just two legs before the Dutchman pulled a set back.

Wade then regained control in the fourth set, breaking the throw in the opening leg before going on to seal the victory.

The ten-time televised title winner did not produce his most prolific of performances, averaging just 84 with a 105 checkout the only highlight, but that was more than enough to see him progress to the Last 32.

Luke Woodhouse came from a set down to defeat James Wilson 3-1 in the opening match of the night.

Wilson started the quicker of the pair as he took the opening set 3-2 to put down an early marker.

Woodhouse immediately found a reaction to going behind by winning the second set 3-1 with the aid of a 100 checkout.

The following two sets also went the way of the Englishman who finished with an average of 91.5, hitting five maximums on his was to the win and a show-down with Damon Heta.

20-year-old debutant Rusty-Jake Rodriguez joined his brother Rowby-John in the Second Round after running out a convincing 3-1 winner over New Zealand’s Ben Robb.

Rodriguez opened the match with a 180 to settle any nerves and went on to claim the opening set 3-2.

Robb, who had been beaten 3-0 by Ron Meulenkamp in his only previous appearance at the World Championship in 2019, then claimed his first ever set on the Ally Pally stage to level the match.

However, Rodriguez rallied and went on to win six of the next seven legs and move safely in to Round Two – where he will face Chris Dobey.

“Chris and I are good friends and we know each other well but when we play we won’t be friends on the stage. I’m looking forward to that match,” said Rodriguez.

“I’m very happy with how I played, I feel blessed to play in front of this crowd for the first time.

“Playing in the Grand Slam and Players Championship Finals this year gave me stage experience and confidence to perform like I did tonight.

“My brother is always giving me advice, he has more experience than me so it’s good to have him around.”

The William Hill World Championship continues on Tuesday with two sessions of play as the First Round reaches its conclusion.


William Hill World Darts Championship 2021/22 Day Seven Results

Monday December 20

Luke Woodhouse 3-1 James Wilson (R1)
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 3-1 Ben Robb (R1)
Raymond van Barneveld 3-0 Lourence Ilagan (R1)
James Wade 3-1 Maik Kuivenhoven (R2)

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