The action continues thick and fast at the World Darts Championship on Friday with a host of international hopefuls taking…
The action continues thick and fast at the World Darts Championship on Friday with a host of international hopefuls taking to the stage at Alexandra Palace.
Day Four of the £2.5 million show-piece kicks off with three First Round ties and one Second Round show-down in the afternoon session.
The stand-out fixture sees former Czech Open winner Jamie Hughes, the number 28 seed, take on an in-form Adam Hunt.
Two-time Lakeside semi-finalist Hughes is bidding for his first win in the William Hill World Championship, having lost out to Zoran Lerchbacher on debut 12 months ago.
After his European Tour triumph in Prague last year, ‘Yozza’ has struggled for consistency since, with the highlight of this season seeing him reach the Quarter-Finals of the UK Open.
Hunt, meanwhile, registered his first win on the Ally Pally stage on Wednesday by coming through a five-set thriller against four-time Women’s World Champion Lisa Ashton.
The two-time Challenge Tour event winner is beginning to showcase his potential on the televised stage, having made the Last 16 of the Grand Slam, and will fancy his chances of continuing his run here.
The opening match of the afternoon sees Northern Ireland’s Mickey Mansell take on New Zealand’s Haupai Puha.
Former ProTour event winner Mansell is bidding for his first win at the World Championship at the sixth attempt to set up a meeting with Ricky Evans in Round Two.
Puha, who travelled to the UK a month ago after featuring in the World Cup of Darts for New Zealand, is making his debut in the tournament having topped the DPNZ rankings this year.
Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas aims to continue his strong record in the World Championship when he faces Chinese qualifier Chengan Liu.
Labanauskas reached Round Three two years ago, notably defeating Raymond van Barneveld along the way, before progressing to the Quarter-Finals last time out – where his run was ended by Michael van Gerwen.
A four-time BDO major quarter-finalist, ‘Lucky D’ has established himself as a tough player to break down on both floor and stage and will look to utilise his vast experience over the PDC China qualifier.
Liu last featured in this tournament back in 2006 at The Circus Tavern, where he was beaten in Round One by John Part.
A closely-matched contest on paper sees former World Championship semi-finalist Wayne Jones take on Irish youngster Ciaran Teehan.
Wolverhampton’s Jones reached the Last Four at The Circus Tavern 14 years ago and was notably runner-up in the 2010 European Championship.
He recently enjoyed a fine win over Premier League champion Glen Durrant in the opening round of the Players Championship Finals with a 100 average.
Teehan defeated Ross Smith on his debut here last year before losing out in a deciding set to Mervyn King, giving a fine account of himself in the process.
The 21-year-old has been sidelined with injury for large parts of this season but battled back to progress through the PDPA qualifier.
The action gets underway from 12pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of five sets, best of five legs per set.
In a change from previous World Darts Championship rules to reduce the possibility of sessions over-running, there will be no tie-break in any match. Should any deciding set reach two-all, the fifth leg would be the final leg.
William Hill World Darts Championship 2020/21 Schedule
Friday December 18
12.15pm Mickey Mansell v Haupai Puha (R1)
1.15pm Darius Labanauskas v Chengan Liu (R1)
2.15pm Wayne Jones v Ciaran Teehan (R1)
3.15pm Jamie Hughes v Adam Hunt (R2)