Two players with one World Championship appearance between them meet at the Ally Pally.

Andy Boulton and Danny Baggish will have December 15 marked in their calendars. They’ll follow on from Arron Monk and Jose Justicia, the subjects of our most recent World Championship first round match preview. You can see the full tournament schedule right here.

Facts and figures

Match time/date: 20:00, December 15

Head-to-head record: First meeting

Previous meeting: N/A

Best major performance this season: Last 64, Players Championship Finals (Boulton); N/A (Baggish)

Previous PDC World Championship appearances: Boulton 1, Baggish 0

Best PDC World Championship performance: Last 64, 2016 (Boulton); N/A (Baggish)

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Preview

July 4 is a special day for most Americans. For Danny Baggish, Independence Day 2019 will live even longer in the memory. Entering the North American Darts Championship, the Florida man wasn’t expected to make surprising headlines. Yet he battled through, stunning Leonard Gates in the semi-finals, and then holding off hot favourite Jeff Smith to become a continental champion. Thanks to that Las Vegas triumph, Baggish claimed the $10,000 jackpot and a World Championship debut.

It all sounds a bit more exotic than Andy Boulton’s route to the Ally Pally. The X-Factor, another one off the famed Stoke-on-Trent conveyor belt of talent, regained his Tour Card in January. He did very little on stage, but on the floor he did enough to be the 33rd seed at the Players Championship Finals. It was also enough for him to join Baggish, and make a first World Championship appearance for four years. Back then, he averaged 85 and lost 3-0 to eventual champion Gary Anderson. Still, the only way is up, right?

The winner of this tie will get a nice five-day break, followed by a match against 2019 World Championship semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall.

Prediction

We don’t know how Baggish will deal with the surroundings, travel, atmosphere or seasoned PDC opponent – it’s very new for the Floridian. But we know that he’s a prolific scorer. We haven’t cut the international qualifiers much slack so far – so we’re going for Andy Boulton 2-3 Danny Baggish. You’re welcome, America.

Lucas Peltier/PDC

Photo: Lucas Peltier/PDC

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Author: Ed McCosh