Ross Smith and Ciaran Teehan meet for the first time at the World Championship, the grandest of arenas.

At Dartsnews, we’re previewing all of the 32 World Championship first round matches. Earlier today was Kyle Anderson vs Xiaochen Zong; this covers Smith’s clash with Teehan.

Facts and figures

Match time/date: 13:30, December 15

Head-to-head record: First meeting

Previous meeting: N/A

Best major performance this season: Quarter-finals, UK Open (Smith); N/A (Teehan)

Previous PDC World Championship appearances: Smith 2, Teehan 0

Best PDC World Championship performance: Last 64, 2014 & 2019 (Smith); N/A (Teehan)

PDC

Photo: PDC

Preview

Thanks to the explosion of young talent – and the ability of the likes of Xiaochen Zong, Keane Barry and Nico Kurz to win spots among the senior field – we’re seeing the future of darts at the World Championship of present. One such player is Ciaran Teehan, part of the ongoing Irish revolution. William O’Connor and Steve Lennon are the Emerald Isle’s established top two, but Teehan, along with Barry, will be up there with them in the coming years.

To date, it has been a fantastic campaign for the 20-year-old from Cork. It looked like Shane McGuirk would take the last Development Tour qualifying spot, but an outstanding final weekend saw Teehan nick the place from his compatriot, pipping McGuirk to the post by a mere £50. Sealing a World Championship place means that he’s guaranteed £7,500, his biggest ever payday here, just by turning up. A Challenge Tour title was also added to his glowing resume, but it was in the BDO where Teehan enjoyed his season highlight. In a packed field, Teehan stormed all the way to the World Masters quarter-finals at the Circus Tavern. The momentum is strong for the youngster.

The opposite is probably true of Ross Smith, his  first-ever World Championship opponent. Smith started the season in good form and made it to the quarter-finals of the UK Open, beating James Wade on the way before falling to eventual champion Nathan Aspinall. Thanks to his hard work over the year, he earned spots at the European Championship, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals.

The first of the three went fairly well; Smith stunned Michael van Gerwen in the first round at the European Championship. But it all went wrong in the latter pair, with Smith losing every game he played and failing to hit his stride at any point. The Kent native beat Paul Lim this time last year for his first World Championship win. If he can beat Teehan, the 30-year-old would meet Mervyn King in round two.

Prediction

Smith is ten years Teehan’s senior, and has been on the PDC scene for many a year. There’s no doubt that experience weighs heavily on his side. We also know what Smudger can do, even if it has been lacking recently. Ross Smith 3-1 Ciaran Teehan is a prediction which favours the established name; Teehan will still fancy his chances.

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Author: Ed McCosh