You may still be reeling from last night’s action at the World Darts Championship.
So let’s recap, shall we? As much as we enjoyed Mark McGeeney and Matt Campbell’s clash, that evening session opener quickly faded into the background. Jamie Hughes bowed out in a real surprise. Raymond van Barneveld, appearing at the World Darts Championship for the last time, suffered a first round gut-punch and a sad end to an incredible career. Just in case you weren’t satisfied with all the drama, Rob Cross became the first number two seed to be knocked out in their first match since the 32-seed system was first implemented.
The rule of the hangover is that a Sunday afternoon will always be much quieter than a Saturday night. And so it should prove, with the games on offer a little less high-stakes.
That’s not to say that the same pressure isn’t there. Kyle Anderson, who has had a 2019 to forget, will be desperate for some Christmas cheer at the Alexandra Palace. We’ve taken a close look at his tie with Chinese qualifier Xiaochen Zong right here.
Click here to get the full view of Ross Smith’s first round meeting with Ciaran Teehan. Smith has been in questionable nick ever since a huge European Championship win over Michael van Gerwen. Can Teehan take advantage and spring yet another World Darts Championship surprise on debut?
Will the Diamond shine?
Brendan Dolan had a rollicking good time in London last year, making it all the way to the quarter-finals. He’s also had a fantastic 2019. Jamie Hughes also came into this tournament feeling good, so let’s not rule anything out. Nitin Kumar will want to get a first World Championship set on the board after being whitewashed last year. If that can be secured early on, perhaps something magic can happen. That game’s been previewed for you too.
One game we haven’t already got words for is the last of the session. It was only confirmed yesterday that it would be Darius Labanauskas appearing today; though it was confirmed about five minutes into his routine win over Matthew Edgar. The Lithuanian was cool, calm and ruthless, improving on last year’s win over the same opponent.
Ian White won’t want to join Rob Cross and Jermaine Wattimena on the seed scrapheap, so he’s going to have to come out swinging. The Diamond is due a great World Darts Championship performance, though nobody is just given one. If he comes out firing, he’ll get through. But even Michael van Gerwen stalled early. This might end up being a test of what White can do when the chips are down. History tells us that it can be a mixed bag.
We’ll end this preview with proof that Ian White is the true Sports Personality of the Year 2019:
Lets get the darts started pic.twitter.com/qiGJDKPCxk
— Ian White (@IanDiamondWhite) December 13, 2019
PDC World Championship 2020 schedule
December 15, afternoon
Kyle Anderson vs Xiaochen Zong (R1)
Ross Smith vs Ciaran Teehan (R1)
Brendan Dolan vs Nitin Kumar (R1)
Ian White vs Darius Labanauskas (R2)
Author: Ed McCosh