The Welsh World Cup team are battling for their PDC World Championship futures tonight.
It’s a packed evening session, with four more seeds looking to avoid a shock. Top players have been falling left, right and centre in this year’s PDC World Championship. It means the draw is more open for those who remain, but the threat of elimination looms larger. Devon Petersen has looked defeat in the eye, and survived. Now he plays the David to Ian White’s relative Goliath. White, for all his talent, has a wretched record at majors. That’ll be more than enough encouragement for the South African, who hopefully has been practicing clutch doubles after a nervy win over Wayne Jones.
Last year, Keegan Brown caused a real stir by beating James Wade. He could do the same again this year, as Wade awaits in the third round. Before that, the Isle of Wight-based star has to find a way past Jelle Klaasen. The Dutchman, a world champion and PDC World Championship semi-finalist, has done it on the biggest stages of all. But it hasn’t been a vintage year for Klaasen. He has played in five majors in the past 12 months – and failed to win a single match. Now is the best time to arrest that painful run.
There are three Welshmen in this year’s World Championship. Two of them compete in this very session. First up is Gerwyn Price, who has been watching events unfold gleefully. And not just because James Wade’s now the crowd’s favourite pantomime villain. Peter Wright and Joe Cullen have both been knocked out, meaning the Iceman’s potential run to the semi-finals looks infinitely smoother than before. Nathan Aspinall enjoyed a simple victory over a distracted Geert Nentjes. This time, he’s the junior figure on the stage, against a man who certainly likes to assert himself.
Jonny Clayton is much quieter than his Welsh World Cup partner. That’s not to say that the passion isn’t there. Clayton showed in a stunning Grand Slam win over Michael van Gerwen that there’s a fire in him that can see him through big moments. In a fascinating tie, he meets Dimitri van den Bergh. The Belgian was miles below par in the first round, mostly because he didn’t need to leave first gear to whitewash Chuck Puleo. Van den Bergh has produced big moments on the big stage – like Clayton, the Grand Slam was a fine example of it. This one could go either way, and then Luke Humphries stands between the winner and a potential last 16 meeting with Rob Cross.
Click here for more information about the PDC World Darts Championship, including schedules and the prize fund breakdown.
Evening session schedule
19:10 Ian White vs Devon Petersen (R2)
20:10 Jelle Klaasen vs Keegan Brown (R2)
21:10 Gerwyn Price vs Nathan Aspinall (R2)
22:10 Jonny Clayton vs Dimitri van den Bergh (R2)
Author: Ed McCosh