Lakeside 2023: Opening Session

Red Dragon Darts

Poland’s Sebastian Białecki kicked off the 2023 Lakeside World Championships with a strong win over Scott Marsh.

A total of six players secured spots in the second round of the WDF World Championships in an entertaining opening session.

Białecki Bolts Through:

Teenager Białecki made a stirring impression on his Lakeside debut, dropping just the one leg as he dumped out an out-of-sorts Scott Marsh in the opening game of the Men’s World Championship.

‘The Bolt’ raced out of the blocks, taking the first set 3-0 and running up a 2-0 lead in the second. Marsh got on the board by pinning 80 for an 18-darter, only for Białecki to then seal victory with a match-best 15-darter.

Białecki finished with an 85.42 average and will now return to the stage on Monday evening to take on top seed and pre-tournament favourite Andy Baetens.

Classy Colley:

It was another debutant that made an impressive impact at the end of the session as England international Reece Colley beat the experienced Dave Prins 2-0.

‘Chaos’ dropped just one leg against his compatriot, winning the first set 3-0 and then sealing the second with a tournament-best checkout of 150.

Prins got on the board in the second set with a 14-darter but was unable to match the steady scoring of his younger opponent who finished with an 83.69 average.

Smooth Sailing for Murphy:

Paula Murphy became one of the oldest match-winners on the Lakeside stage as she beat Spain’s Almudena Fajardo 2-1 in their Women’s World Championship first-round clash

Fajardo was runner-up in the World Masters last year but dropped the first set 3-1 as 67-year-old Murphy won legs in 17, 18 and 18 darts.

A brilliant 98 finish set the Spaniard on the way to levelling up the score at one set apiece but momentum swung back to Murphy in the deciding set as Smooth won three legs on the spin to seal a 2-1 victory with a 73.04 average.

Swedish Pair March On:

There was double joy for Swedish duo Dennis Nilsson and Ricky Nauman as they won their opening round games against English opposition.

In his first Lakeside appearance in five years, former professional strongman Nilsson won both sets 3-1 and recorded a brilliant 119 finish on the bull as he ran out a 2-0 winner over Jordan Brooks.

A little while earlier, Nilsson’s former Sweden teammate Ricky Nauman won a dramatic back-and-forth game with Aaron Turner.

Nauman won his opening leg on the Lakeside stage with a 101 finish and eventually sealed the first set 3-1 with a 16-darter.

It was roles reversed in the second set, with Turner producing a 111 checkout to level up the scores and force a deciding set.

Turner drew first blood in the third set before Nauman reeled off three legs on the spin to progress 2-1 and book a difficult second round assignment against Scotland’s Gary Stone.

Ihász Through

She produced the highest checkout in the history of the Women’s World Championship on her debut and while there weren’t quite the same heroics this time, Veronika Ihász did win her opening game of this year’s tournament against Jo Clements.

The first four legs of the opening set were all breaks of throw, with Ihász eventually breaking the pattern in the fifth with a 20-dart hold to take the first set.

It was a clearer margin for the Hungarian in the second set as she won three legs on the spin, including a 16-darter, to run out a 2-0 winner with a 64.2 average.

2nd December 2022 – Afternoon Session Results

Sebastian Białecki 2-0 Scott Marsh

Veronika Ihász 2-0 Jo Clements

Ricky Nauman 2-1 Aaron Turner

Dennis Nilsson 2-0 Jordan Brooks

Paula Murphy 2-1 Almudena Fajardo

Reece Colley 2-0 Dave Prins


Images: Chris Sargeant / Tip Top Pics

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