Jonny Clayton, Ryan Searle and Vincent van der Voort all made it through to the third round of the World Darts Championship on Sunday.
There were just three games scheduled for the evening session as Cameron Carolissen receives a bye after Martijn Kleermaker tested positive for COVID-19.
Nevertheless, the night still produced some high-quality tungsten with Clayton and Searle sealing impressive wins.
A slimline John Henderson walked on stage looking like a new man, but he faced a tough ask against Clayton.
‘The Ferret’, who teamed up with Gerwyn Price to help Wales win their first-ever World Cup earlier this year, won the opening set 3-1, sealing it with an 80 checkout.
Clayton, playing for the fifth consecutive time at Ally Pally, continued to exploit Henderson’s poor finishing despite a neat 109 from the Scotsman in the third leg of the second set.
The 46-year-old from Llanelli was in cruise control and he took the second set by the same scoreline to double his advantage.
But ‘The Highlander’ unexpectedly fought his way back into the contest by taking the next 3-1 with his 85 on the bull to break throw, a big turning point.
Henderson made it five legs on the spin to move 2-0 up in legs before Clayton stopped the rot and he then landed a 140 to take the fourth set into a decider.
But a perfectly timed third maximum and D10 put Clayton through to the third round where he will meet Joe Cullen or Wayne Jones.
Searle whitewashes De Zwaan
Jeffrey de Zwaan landed nine maximums but poor finishing cost him against the more consistent ‘Heavy Metal’ Searle.
The pair went at it hammer and tongs in a rapid second-round encounter with the Dutchman firing in four 180s in five legs but lost the opening set. Searle landed a 15-darter in the deciding leg.
De Zwaan found himself in a pickle when Searle nailed a quality 130 (T20, T20, D5) to clinch the second set 3-1 and double his lead despite a 99.5 average from De Zwaan.
‘The Black Cobra’ cut a frustrated figure as Searle railroaded his hopes to make it through to a meeting with Ian White or Kim Huybrechts.
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Sunday night’s results at the Worlds
Plain sailing for proud NHS worker Brown
Former world youth champion Keegan Brown used his experience of playing on the big stage to ease past Ryan Meikle.
The 28-year-old Isle of Wight thrower has carried on working part-time as a medical laboratory assistant for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
He struck two ton-plus finishes (113 and 111) and two 180s on his way to winning the opening set before cleaning up 126 against the darts to whitewash ‘The Barber’ in the next.
The Suffolk man replied with a brilliant 119 finish but it was curtains for Meikle soon after as Brown landed 85 to complete victory and set up a second-round clash against eighth seed Dave Chisnall.
VDV lights up Ally Pally
Vincent van der Voort produced a stunning comeback from two sets down to defeat Ron Meulenkamp in a thrilling Dutch derby in Sunday afternoon’s finale.
‘The Dutch Destroyer’ trailed 2-0 despite averaging 100, as Meulenkamp produced a series of clinical combination finishes to forge an early advantage.
However, the two-time quarter-finalist rallied superbly, winning nine of the last 12 legs to seal his progression, with sixth seed Nathan Aspinall or two-time BDO world champion Scott Waites awaiting him in the third round.
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Sunday afternoon’s results at the Worlds
Prime Time for impressive Edgar
Matthew Edgar produced a clinical display of finishing to register his first win at the Worlds at the third attempt.
‘Prime Time’ lived up to his name with 75 per cent on the doubles, as he closed out a straight-sets victory over Maik Kuivenhoven to book a meeting with Mensur Suljovic in round two.
Elsewhere, Nick Kenny came through a topsy-turvy five-set clash against fellow debutant Derk Telnekes to set up a second-round clash against another Dutchman in the shape of Jermaine Wattimena.
The early stages of the contest were dominated by missed doubles, but former World Trophy semi-finalist Kenny improved in the latter stages, taking out finishes of 90 and 119 as he reeled off six straight legs to triumph.
Live World Darts Championship
December 21, 2020, 6:00pm
Monday at the World Championship
Jason Lowe will play fourth seed Michael Smith in round two, after defying a spirited fightback from Russian debutant Dmitriy Gorbunov to prevail 3-1 on his Alexandra Palace debut.
Gorbunov made his mark with an exuberant walk-on and despite trailing 2-0, he converted finishes of 141 and 116 in consecutive legs to threaten a comeback, only for Lowe to close out a hard-fought victory in set four.
You won’t miss a dart this Christmas thanks to the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel all the way until January 4 with every session from the World Darts Championship, including the final on Sunday, January 3. Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts
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