WEBSTER KO'S WHITLOCK IN WILLIAM HILL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP UPSET
DARREN WEBSTER produced a huge upset at the William Hill World Darts Championship as he dumped out former finalist Simon Whitlock with a 3-1 win in the first round,
while Kyle Anderson knocked out Steve Beaton and Gary Anderson survived stubborn qualifier Scott Kirchner on Saturday night.
On generally a good day for Australia, it was their biggest name who became the highest-profile casualty of the tournament so far as Whitlock, the seventh seed for
the event, could not live with Webster's superb finishing power as he landed four ton-plus checkouts.
Norwich man Webster averaged 94.24 and hit 11 of 23 doubles, which was the big difference as Whitlock could only manage four doubles from 24 attempts as he suffered
a first round exit for the first time in seven PDC World Championship appearances.
Webster's finishing power was evident from the start as he rattled in a 118 checkout in the opening leg of the match, landing treble 20, single 18 and double top to
get off the mark. That was followed by a "Shanghai" 120 finish in the next, and although he just missed out on a 104 checkout in the third leg he returned to finish off the set with
his next visit. Whitlock recovered to win a tight second set in a deciding leg after both men missed set darts, with the Australian initially failing to hit tops for a 76 but
finally hitting double five. A 180 helped Whitlock to win the first leg of the third set, but Webster hit back in the next, taking out 136 thanks to two treble 20s and a double eight.
Whitlock started with a 180 in the leg three, but Webster answered later on to leave himself a 101 outshot that he again finished to move ahead, and with a double
eight in the fourth leg he was back in front. It was all Webster in the fourth set, hitting a 14-darter to kick off, a 180 to help win the second leg and completing the upset win with 70 finished on tops, to
set up a second round clash with either Dean Winstanley or Wayne Jones.
"I've been working on my doubles the last couple of weeks because they've been letting me down a bit, but I was just concentrating on taking my time and letting
them go, as I can throw that final dart too quick sometimes," said Webster, who had missed match darts against James Wade 12 months ago.
I'm so happy to have won one on TV, finally! I've been throwing well and averaging 100-plus on the floor all year but up there on the big stage maybe it gets a
bit tight in the arm and it's just not happened for me, so I'm so relieved to have finally won one up there.
I'm only just getting started now, I was a bit nervous up there to start off with but now I can relax into the tournament and who knows what can happen now?"
Kyle Anderson exacted revenge on Steve Beaton with a 3-0 scoreline to progress into the second round of the William Hill World Darts Championship for the
time - avenging his defeat by the same margin to the former Lakeside Champion on his debut in the 2013 event.
The Australian hit the headlines on the first Saturday of last year's event by hitting a nine-darter against Ian White, but he still suffered defeat for the second
Two years ago Anderson was knocked out on his Alexandra Palace debut after a 3-0 loss to Beaton, but this time the tables were turned as Anderson hit three 180s. The first set was pretty even, with Beaton edging ahead 2-1 but a 15-darter and a 67 finish levelling for Anderson, who then clinched the vital leg after both men
had missed darts to win the set. Anderson came storming out of the traps in the second set, hitting 180s in three consecutive legs, the first setting up a 68 finish to grab a break of the Beaton
throw. The second 180 led to a 14-darter, but Beaton managed to cling on by hitting 36 on a double nine in leg three, although it only delayed matters as Anderson hit
double four at the third time of asking to win the set 3-1. The third set proved a one-sided affair as Anderson claimed all three legs, landing tops, double 16 for a 70 finish and double five as he sealed his place in round
two against Andy Hamilton.
"It feels brilliant, two years of hard work has paid off," said Anderson. "I didn't play as well as I can, but to play well enough to get through is brilliant,
it's great being in round two. Maybe I thought a bit too much about 2012 when I played Steve last time. I was a bit nervous at the start, but after the first set I managed to settle down."
On his second round clash with Hamilton, Anderson added: "I'll just prepare the same as this game, you've got to prepare to go out and play against any player,
whether it's Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen or anyone like that. Andy's a big name and it'll be tough but I'll be prepared."
Terry Jenkins hit the ground running in his bid to win the William Hill World Darts Championship title as he averaged 98.73 and hit five 180s in his 3-1 victory
over Australian left hander John Weber.
Jenkins started off brilliantly with a 12-dart leg which included a 140 and a 180 and culminated in a 121 finish to give him a storming start to the match. Weber responded but Jenkins could not be stopped, hitting a second 180 in the third leg before taking out 80 at the first attempt, followed by a third 180 as he
clinched the set with a 107 average. The Australian hit back though as Jenkins dropped off in his doubling, but he hit another 180 to set up a 36 finish before grabbing a fifth of the match only to
see Weber pinch the leg with a brilliant 128 checkout. A 180 for a fired-up Weber gave him the second set to level the match, but that would only force Jenkins to respond again and push on, as he claimed the next six
legs without reply. The third set came quickly and clinically despite not being of the greatest quality, but in the fourth set he upped his game as he kicked it off with two 140s and
a 170 in setting up a 15-darter. Two more 140s led to a 13-darter, and he finished the game off with a 14-darter capped by an 80 checkout to book a tie with another Australian, Laurence Ryder,
"I played really well, there was only that second set - actually just one leg in that set - that just set me back a bit," said Jenkins. "Otherwise I played nicely,
I was hitting a lot of 140s up there and playing consistently it was just the odd double here and there i need to tighten up on.
I didn't really know what to expect from the match, I hadn't played him before."
Former finalist Gary Anderson overcame an awkward challenge from preliminary round winner Scott Kirchner to grab a 3-1 victory and book a second round clash with
Jelle Klaasen at Alexandra Palace.
Kirchner made short work of his preliminary round game against New Zealand's Mark McGrath with a whitewash win, and he took that form into his first round game with
Anderson, who seemed to struggle with the American's pace of play and landed just nine of 38 attempts.
The averages were almost identical at just over 86, and Anderson hit three 180s and 15 140s but those missed doubles almost cost him dear as Kirchner saw an
opportunity to win set three for a 2-1 lead go astray. The Scot did manage to take the opening set, which went the distance after Kirchner took out 92 in two darts when Anderson failed to make the most of hitting a
180 and 140 to start the fourth leg. Anderson rallied to produce a 14-dart leg in the decider, capped off with a double ten, and he could breathe a little easier after a testing start to his World
Championship campaign. A 180 from Kirchner started the second set, which he turned into a 14-dart leg, and he followed that up by bagging the second as well courtesy of double top for
a 13-dart finish. Anderson was sat on tops in the next to stay in the set, but Kirchner took out 66 to deny him the chance and level the match at a set apiece. Anderson took the first two legs of set three, on double ten and tops, to regain his tough on the doubles, but a 180 from Kirchner in the next forced more missed
doubles as the American landed double seven to hit back. Anderson hit the 180 in the next, but was again punished for missed set darts as Kirchner levelled, before the DARTSLIVE Superdarts champion gave himself a
for the set in the decider - just missing double 11 for a 124 finish to allow the number four set to post double five to regain the advantage. A 69 finish put Kirchner ahead in the fourth set, but he missed a double 16 for the next leg, which Anderson took when he went all the way down to double one. That
let-off proved to be enough for Anderson, who followed up with a 72 finish to take the third leg. With the finish line in sight, Anderson then completed a hard-fought victory by hitting double 18 in the fourth leg to book his place against Jelle Klaasen in the
second round after Christmas.
"It was a struggle and I couldn't get my pace right, so I was just glad to get over the finish line to be honest," admitted Anderson. "I couldn't get into a rhythm
and Scott played well - he hit the big scores and I think there were a few legs where he missed doubles, and he could have taken the lead. The first round is always
the hardest, but playing Jelle will suit me because he plays quicker. I know Jelle's game back-to-front and it will be a good pace."