A host of in-form underdogs aim to make their move at the 2019/20 World Darts Championship as the Second Round…
A host of in-form underdogs aim to make their move at the 2019/20 World Darts Championship as the Second Round action continues on Friday afternoon.
Four seeds have bitten the dust in the sport’s show-piece at Alexandra Palace so far, with a number of debutant qualifiers having enjoyed a winning start on the iconic stage.
Part one of another marathon double-header features a trio of former Lakeside stars, as well as some of darts’ biggest personalities.
Ricky Evans, widely regarded as the fastest player on planet darts, launches his fifth William Hill World Championship campaign with a clash against former BDO world finalist Mark McGeeney.
Evans returns to Ally Pally as a seed for the first time, having enjoyed the best year of his career so far – reaching a first major Quarter-Final at the European Championship in addition to two ranking finals and a debut in the World Matchplay.
The Kettering ace is looking to reach the Last 32 here for the first time since 2015/16 and set up a glamour tie with defending champion Michael van Gerwen on Sunday.
McGeeney, meanwhile, marked his PDC World Championship debut with a 3-1 victory over Canada’s Matt Campbell and is out to emulate his Lakeside success, having finished runner-up to Glen Durrant in 2018.
World number 16 Jonny Clayton is the highest-ranked player in action in the afternoon session as he takes on two-time Lakeside semi-finalist Jan Dekker.
Welsh star Clayton claimed his third PDC ranking title earlier this season alongside a further four Semi-Final appearances but has not been beyond the Last 16 of a ranked major since the 2018 Players Championship Finals.
Clayton has crashed out at this stage of the competition in successive outings and will be poised for a tricky opening tie against the experienced Dutchman.
Dekker, who made the Last Four at Lakeside in 2011 and 2014, came through a five-set grueller against Ryan Joyce just 24 hours ago and knows he must improve upon his match average of 84 if he is to threaten an upset here.
Youth and experience collide as veteran Mervyn King kicks off his 24th consecutive World Championship campaign with a show-down against Irish youngster Ciaran Teehan.
King’s best performance at Ally Pally came a decade ago when he reached the Semi-Finals, but the two-time BDO world finalist has struggled on this stage since, making the Last 16 on just one occasion.
King has produced his best form on the big stage this season, reaching three major Quarter-Finals, including the World Matchplay and notably defeated Michael van Gerwen at the UK Open in March.
Teehan, 20, had never picked up a cheque for more than £2,000 coming into this event, but is now at least £15,000 richer after pulling off an impressive straight sets win over Ross Smith in Round One.
The highly-rated Irishman is now eyeing a significant scalp as he looks to maintain his steady scoring power and push King through the pain barrier in a match which has the potential to go the distance.
The opening match of the afternoon sees world number 20 Darren Webster take on Japanese debutant Yuki Yamada.
Webster enjoyed the best year of his career in 2018 but his progress this term has been hampered by a persistent arm injury, though ‘The Demolition Man’ will be determined to end the year on a high with a strong run in the capital.
The tenacious Norwich thrower was beaten in straight sets by Vincent van der Voort in Round Two 12 months ago and will be keen to make amends and avert a potential banana skin against the Asian Tour star.
Yamada, one of three Japanese players in this year’s event, marked a dream debut by defeating Ryan Meikle 3-1 in his opener and is now bidding to follow that up with a famous scalp.
The action gets underway from 12.30pm GMT, with Second Round matches to be contested over the best of five sets, best of five legs per set.
A tie-break will be in operation, where the final set must be won by two clear legs. If the score reaches 5-5, the 11th leg will be sudden-death.
William Hill World Championship 2019/20 Match Schedule
Friday December 20
12.45pm Darren Webster v Yuki Yamada
1.45pm Mervyn King v Ciaran Teehan
2.45pm Jonny Clayton v Jan Dekker
3.45pm Ricky Evans v Mark McGeeney