Fallon Sherrock makes her PDC World Championship debut against Ted Evetts.

With the World Championship almost upon us, we’re previewing every first round match. We ended last week’s run with Jose de Sousa versus Damon Heta, and we’ll have looked at all 32 before it all kicks off on Friday. Are you too excited and need to soak in every upcoming game? Too right, you do. Here’s the full tournament schedule for you.

Facts and figures

Match time/date: 21:00, December 17

Head-to-head record: First meeting

Previous meeting: N/A

Best major performance this season: Last 32, European Championship (Evetts); N/A (Sherrock)

Previous PDC World Championship appearances: Evetts 2, Sherrock 0

Best PDC World Championship performance: Second Round, 2019 (Evetts); N/A (Sherrock)

Evert Zomer

Photo: Evert Zomer

Preview

Fallon Sherrock became the last player to qualify for the World Championship when she came through the Women’s UK & Ireland qualifier. The Buckinghamshire ace had to do it the hard way, too; packed into a devilishly tricky half of the draw with Lisa Ashton, Lorraine Winstanley and Rachel Brooks among others, Sherrock had to beat the former pair en route to the final. She was the best player by a distance throughout the day; an excellent tournament average dipped due to double trouble in the final, but a 91.3 average against Ashton and a 99.1 achieved against Lisa Brosnan were sure signs of Sherrock’s explosive talent.

The 2018 BDO World Trophy champion is partial to the odd burst of incredible form in which she becomes unstoppable, particularly last summer. If she’s in the same mood now, Sherrock will be a match for anyone. And while the scale of the Ally Pally is unprecedented for her, this is a player who appeared in a World Championship final at just 20 years old. The Milton Keynes ace can handle a big occasion, and will be out to claim a scalp here.

Sherrock couldn’t have got too much of a trickier draw. Three years her junior at 22, Ted Evetts is one of the PDC’s brightest young stars. The trained chef has served up some delicious darts in the past 12 months and blew away the competition at numerous Development Tour events. SuperTed suffered the blow of failing to live up to the favourite tag at the World Youth Championship, but is well placed for a strong World Championship performance.

A year ago, he thrashed Simon Stevenson for his first Ally Pally win, maintaining an unusual record of all of his World Championship matches finishing 3-0 one way or the other. That scoreline was reversed when he met Adrian Lewis in round two. A decent enough Pro Tour season and a German Darts Grand Prix quarter-final (which almost became a semi-final, but for a last-leg intervention from Michael van Gerwen) mean that Evetts actually qualifies as a Pro Tour qualifier. The prodigy will still be a fine ambassador for the Development Tour anyway.

Prediction

A best of five sets format is a new one for Sherrock. As we saw with Lisa Ashton last year, the length of game demands sustained brilliance. We know the Milton Keynes star can do it in bursts; can it be carried across a game which would likely go the distance if she were to come out on top? Evetts is someone still waiting to make his mark in a major. But like Sherrock, time is very much on his side. Ted Evetts 3-0 Fallon Sherrock won’t account for how well-fought each set will be, but we feel that SuperTed will be out to make an impression. He’d be quite the prospect for a rusty Mensur Suljovic in round two.

Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe

Photo: Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe

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Author: Ed McCosh