Scutt Among Night Two Palace Winners

Red Dragon Darts


Connor Scutt produced a superb performance on his World Championship bow to dispatch Poland’s Krzysztof Kciuk and set up a meeting against 2021 champion Gerwyn Price in round two.

Scutt – a Players Championship runner-up in October – crashed in five 180s and pinned nine of his 14 attempts at a double to cap off an outstanding display.

“I’ve put so much into this, so to get over the line was really special,” reflected Scutt, who averaged 95 and fired in a stunning 138 checkout in the early exchanges.

“My practice game is starting to come out in competitive games which is great for myself.

“I know what Gezzy can do, but if I play my A-game, I believe I’ve got a decent chance. It’s about being comfortable, because if I get comfortable up there, I’ll be difficult to stop.”

The night’s second round clash saw Gary Anderson begin his bid for a third Paddy Power World Darts Championship crown with a dominant straight sets victory over Simon Whitlock.

Day Two of the sport’s showpiece event saw eight matches take place across an action-packed double session at Alexandra Palace, with Anderson stealing the show on his return to the capital.

Anderson, a two-time World Champion, has enjoyed a stunning return to form in 2023, and he opened his latest title challenge with a demolition job against 2010 runner-up Whitlock.

Anderson enjoyed a dream start to the contest, following up a maximum in his opening visit with an 11-dart hold to fire an early warning shot to the shell-shocked Australian.

The Scot continued his rampant run to extend his winning run to five legs, and although Whitlock stopped the rot with a 106 outshot, Anderson replied with a third 180 and a 13-darter to double his lead in sets.

Whitlock threatened to reduce the arrears with a spirited third-set display, although Anderson refused to be embroiled, producing 112 and 116 checkouts in the latter stages to seal his progress in style.

“I’ve known Simon for a long time, and he was struggling up there tonight,” reflected Anderson, who averaged 98, posted five 180s and pinned 50 per cent of his attempts at double.

“It is hard to play against that. I’m expecting the 140s, 180s, the big finishes. Simon is notorious for the 170 checkouts, but he came back at the end there, so I’m glad to get over the line.

“I have said it many times. I haven’t wanted to play darts over the last three years, but win or lose, I’m enjoying the game again. I’m getting there!”

Anderson will be joined in round three by 2021 semi-finalist Dave Chisnall, who defied a sluggish start to see off Cameron Menzies in a topsy-turvy affair.

Menzies, who overcame Rusty-Jake Rodriguez on Friday’s opening night, was punished for spurning 27 darts at a double in a profligate display, despite clinching the first set without reply.

Chisnall responded by winning six of the next eight legs to move into a 2-1 lead, and after Menzies squandered five darts to force a deciding set, the Morecambe man capitalised to complete the comeback.

“I’m over the moon,” admitted Chisnall, who could potentially meet last year’s semi-finalist Gabriel Clemens in round three.

“It was a tough game for me. Cammy is a really good player, but I couldn’t find anything in that first set.

“This is a massive tournament for me. I know I’m playing some good darts. I’ve been great on the floor and on the European Tour, but now I just want some results on the big stage.”

Former UK Open semi-finalist Keane Barry will lock horns with three-time World Champion Michael van Gerwen for a place in round three, after outlasting debutant Reynaldo Rivera.

Barry drew first blood with a 120 combination before doubling his lead in a scrappy second set, and although Rivera halved the deficit with a clean sweep in set three, the Irishman rallied to complete a 3-1 victory.

Jamie Hughes was unable to hold back the tears after winning through a gruelling contest against Canada’s David Cameron to register his first victory on the sport’s biggest stage.

The Tipton thrower had lost his four previous matches at the World Championship, but he broke his duck with a hard-fought 3-1 success to set up a tie against Krzysztof Ratajski.

Scott Williams also progressed by the same scoreline, fending off a late onslaught from PDC Asian Champion Haruki Muramatsu to set up a meeting against world number seven Danny Noppert.

Williams opened his account with a classy 120 checkout, and he rounded off proceedings in similarly emphatic style, taking out a 127 on the bull, with Muramatsu poised on a potential two-darter to force a deciding set.

Earlier in the day, Darren Penhall delivered a devastating display of combination finishing to defeat Jules van Dongen 3-1 on his Alexandra Palace debut.

Penhall – who won 11 DPA ProTour titles in 2023 – landed 108, 116 and 120 finishes to dump out the American number one, who was battling to retain his PDC Tour Card.

Meanwhile, in the afternoon’s opener, Lee Evans cruised to a straight sets victory against PDC Asian Championship runner-up Sandro Eric Sosing in a battle of the Ally Pally debutants.

Evans – a five-time UK Open qualifier – conceded just three legs in moving through to a second round showdown against world number three Luke Humphries on Sunday.

Sunday’s double session will also feature Penhall’s clash against Masters champion Joe Cullen, while Fallon Sherrock faces quick-fire Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena for a place in round two.

2023/24 Paddy Power World Darts Championship

Saturday December 16
Afternoon Session
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Lee Evans 3-0 Sandro Eric Sosing (3-1, 3-0, 3-2) (R1)
Connor Scutt 3-0 Krzysztof Kciuk (3-0, 3-2, 3-1) (R1)
Darren Penhall 3-1 Jules van Dongen (3-2, 1-3, 3-0, 3-1) (R1)
Dave Chisnall 3-1 Cameron Menzies (0-3, 3-2, 3-0, 3-2) (R2)

Evening Session
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Jamie Hughes 3-1 David Cameron (3-2, 2-3, 3-2, 3-0) (R1)
Keane Barry 3-1 Reynaldo Rivera (3-1, 3-2, 0-3, 3-1) (R1)
Scott Williams 3-1 Haruki Muramatsu (3-2, 3-0, 0-3, 3-2) (R1)
Gary Anderson 3-0 Simon Whitlock (3-0, 3-1, 3-2) (R2)

Sunday December 17
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ricky Evans v Simon Adams (R1)
Jim Williams v Norman Madhoo (R1)
Matt Campbell v Lourence Ilagan (R1)
Joe Cullen v Darren Penhall (R2)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Dylan Slevin v Florian Hempel (R1)
Niels Zonneveld v Darren Webster (R1)
Jermaine Wattimena v Fallon Sherrock (R1)
Luke Humphries v Lee Evans (R2)


Images: Taylor Lanning / PDC

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