price-stays-on-course-after-winning-sudden-death-ally-pally-epic

Price stays on course after winning sudden-death Ally Pally epic

Gerwyn Price stays on course to defend his world title but only after coming through a seven-set, sudden-death-leg classic, while his Welsh World Cup-winning team-mate Jonny Clayton breezes into the last 16 for the first time where he will play Michael Smith

Last Updated: 27/12/21 9:51pm

    Gerwyn Price stayed on course to defend his World Darts Championship title after winning a sudden-death epic

    Gerwyn Price stayed on course to defend his World Darts Championship title after winning a sudden-death epic

    Gerwyn Price won a last-leg shootout, while Dirk van Duijvenbode staged a remarkable comeback in Ally Pally thrillers as the World Darts Championship returned in spectacular fashion following the Christmas break.

    Price, the defending champion and world No 1, edged out Kim Huybrechts in a sudden-death leg to set up a meeting with Van Duijvenbode, who battled back from three sets down to win a nail-biter of his own.

    Jonny Clayton crushed the hopes of Germany’s Gabriel Clemens with a blizzard of blistering arrows in a comprehensive win.

    World Darts Championship – Monday Evening Results

    R3Gerwyn Price4-3Kim Huybrechts
    R3Jonny Clayton4-0Gabriel Clemens

    In the race to four, Price made a breathtaking start following a 12-day break after his opening-night win against Ritchie Edhouse, landing a 109 before clearing up 58 for a whitewash first set in which he averaged 102.48.

    An incredible 147 checkout saw Kim Huybrechts win the second set

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    An incredible 147 checkout saw Kim Huybrechts win the second set

    An incredible 147 checkout saw Kim Huybrechts win the second set

    Antwerp ace Huybrechts came out for the second set in whirlwind fashion, winning it thanks to an 11-dart break and a magical 147 checkout. In a bruising battle, the Belgian started to believe after landing a superb ‘Shanghai’ 120 finish to snatch the third set from under the nose of Price.

    But the Welshman quickly levelled it up at 2-2 in 43 darts – including a spectacular 130 checkout in the third leg.

    Price landed this 130 finish which helped him clinch the fourth set in spectacular style

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    Price landed this 130 finish which helped him clinch the fourth set in spectacular style

    Price landed this 130 finish which helped him clinch the fourth set in spectacular style

    Price nailed a 112 and a 120 en route to winning the fifth set without reply, but despite hitting a second 120 in the next, it was ‘The Hurricane’ who sent it into a deciding set with a clinical 70 finish.

    Huybrechts somehow clawed his way back from two legs down to take the match into a tie-break situation.

    After Price picked out double five to move 3-2 ahead, the two players exchanged words in a heated exchange on stage with referee Kirk Bevins having to speak with them.

    Price and Huybrechts exchanged some heated words as their epic third-round tussle entered the closing stages

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    Price and Huybrechts exchanged some heated words as their epic third-round tussle entered the closing stages

    Price and Huybrechts exchanged some heated words as their epic third-round tussle entered the closing stages

    ‘The Iceman’ survived a scare to hold leg nine, but Huybrechts sent it into a sudden-death leg with a huge 114. The world No 1 had the throw and he showed his class under immense pressure to take out 76, making it through by the skin of his teeth.

    Price was a relieved man after edging Huybrechts in a classic to reach the last 16

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    Price was a relieved man after edging Huybrechts in a classic to reach the last 16

    Price was a relieved man after edging Huybrechts in a classic to reach the last 16

    Clayton, the 2021 Premier League, Masters and World Grand Prix winner, threw a barrage of darting bullets at Clemens.

    The Welshman eased through the opener before pinning a 121 on the bull to seal the second set in which he averaged a whopping 115.04.

    Clayton won a last-leg decider to win the third set, and it was job done for ‘The Ferret’ who threw a second 121 on the bull and a 110 checkout on his way to a 4-0 victory to send out a warning to his rivals.

    James Wade, who was due to play Vincent van der Voort in the first match of the night, received a bye to the fourth round after his Dutch opponent was forced to withdraw from the tournament after testing positive for Covid-19.

    Live World Darts Championship

    December 28, 2021, 12:30pm

    Live on Sky Sports Arena HD

    World Darts Championship – Tuesday at the Worlds

    AfternoonR3Steve LennonvsMervyn King
    R3Ryan SearlevsDanny Noppert
    R3Joe CullenvsMartijn Kleermaker
    EveningR3Rob CrossvsDaryl Gurney
    R3Peter WrightvsDamon Heta
    R3Michael van GerwenvsChris Dobey

    Live World Darts Championship

    December 28, 2021, 7:00pm

    Live on Sky Sports Arena HD

    World Darts Championship – Monday Afternoon Results

    R3Ross Smith3-4Dirk Van Duijvenbode
    R3Michael Smith4-2William O’Connor
    R3Florian Hempel1-4Raymond Smith

    Check out the best of the action from the afternoon session at Ally Pally

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    Check out the best of the action from the afternoon session at Ally Pally

    Check out the best of the action from the afternoon session at Ally Pally

    In the afternoon session, Dutchman Van Duijvenbode reeled off four sets in a row to stun Ross Smith. ‘Smudger’ stormed into a 3-0 lead and was a leg away from victory in the race to four, but from there the ‘Aubergenius’ clicked into gear. His crucially found his range on the outer ring, having struggled in the opening exchanges.

    In the fourth set’s deciding leg, Smith failed to get a shot at double, in a 66 checkout attempt for the match. That proved a significant turning point, and Van Duijvenbode built unstoppable momentum to storm to victory.

    Dirk van Duijvenbode felt like he had 'anchors on his shoulders' for the first three sets before coming back to win a thriller

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    Dirk van Duijvenbode felt like he had ‘anchors on his shoulders’ for the first three sets before coming back to win a thriller

    Dirk van Duijvenbode felt like he had ‘anchors on his shoulders’ for the first three sets before coming back to win a thriller

    Meanwhile, Michael Smith saw off a gutsy display from William O’Connor. The Irishman claimed the opening set, but missed two shots at D20 for a 2-0 lead.

    ‘Bully Boy’ then reeled off eight legs without reply to seize control of the contest. ‘The Magpie’ did take the fifth set to bring it to 3-2, but Smith used all his experience to edge a dramatic sixth set.

    Michael Smith hit four ton-plus finishes during his victory over William O'Connor

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    Michael Smith hit four ton-plus finishes during his victory over William O’Connor

    Michael Smith hit four ton-plus finishes during his victory over William O’Connor

    In the third and final match of the afternoon session, Australia’s Raymond Smith continued his dream Ally Pally odyssey with a 4-1 victory over Florian Hempel.

    It was an impressive display from ‘Guru’, who averaged 94.79. He awaits Mervyn King or Steve Lennon in the last 16.

    Join us for the conclusion of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on Sky Sports Darts. Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts