Rob Cross recovers from a set down to defeat the doyen of Dutch darts, Raymond van Barneveld in a superb second-round clash at Alexandra Palace; “I haven’t experienced that in a long, long time,” says ‘Voltage’, who goes on to play Daryl Gurney in the next round
By Raz Mirza & Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 23/12/21 10:23pm
In the most highly anticipated match of this year’s World Championship to date, Rob Cross defeated Raymond van Barneveld in the battle of the former champions, while Jose De Sousa produced a special comeback to beat Jason Lowe on the final day before the Christmas break.
The crowd were firmly behind five-time champion, Barney, who lit the blue touchpaper with a blistering opening set, which included a 13-dart opener, the second 170 finish of the tournament, and double top to claim it 3-1.
Cross responded by making a dramatic improvement on his mediocre first-set 77 average to 103.29. The 2018 winner landed a superb 128 finish in the second leg before taking out 93 to level a pulsating contest which already featured eight 180s.
The standard was incredible with two champions refusing to buckle in a humdinger of an encounter.
‘Voltage’ took control of the deciding leg of the third set, getting enough time to snatch it thanks to double 4.
The pain was strewn across Van Barneveld’s face and his spirit was well and truly shot by the time Cross landed an 86 checkout before pinning double top to send the Dutchman home.
World Darts Championship – Thursday Evening Results
|R2||Danny Noppert||3-1||Jason Heaver|
|R2||Gabriel Clemens||3-0||Lewy Williams|
|R2||Rob Cross||3-1||Raymond Van Barneveld|
|R2||Chris Dobey||vs||Rusty-Jake Rodriguez|
Former Lakeside finalist Danny Noppert, making his fourth appearance at Ally Pally, came from a set down to defeat debutant Jason Heaver.
Heaver has shown he can mix it with the best after reaching the semi-finals of Players Championship 7 earlier this year, and he wrapped up the opening set 3-1 with 75 per cent on the doubles, but the Dutchman got his game together to square things up thanks to a 104 checkout.
Despite the modest averages, Noppert swept through the next two sets to earn a place in the third round and a meeting with Ryan Searle.
Gabriel Clemens landed a stunning 143 on his way to a comprehensive victory against an out-of-sorts Lewy Williams.
In a match which saw the millionth dart was thrown in the PDC World Darts Championship, the German Giant eased through to set up a meeting with this year’s hottest player, Jonny Clayton.
Live World Darts Championship
December 27, 2021, 12:30pm
World Darts Championship – Monday, December 27 at the Worlds
|Afternoon||R3||Ross Smith||vs||Dirk Van Duijvenbode|
|R3||Michael Smith||vs||William O’Connor|
|R3||Florian Hempel||vs||Raymond Smith|
|Evening||R3||James Wade||vs||Vincent Van der Voort|
|R3||Gerwyn Price||vs||Kim Huybrechts|
|R3||Jonny Clayton||vs||Gabriel Clemens|
Live World Darts Championship
December 27, 2021, 7:00pm
World Darts Championship – Thursday Afternoon Results
|R2||Damon Heta||3-1||Luke Woodhouse|
|R2||Brendan Dolan||0-3||Callan Rydz|
|R2||Mensur Suljovic||2-3||Alan Soutar|
|R2||Jose de Sousa||3-2||Jason Lowe|
Portuguese ace De Sousa survived a major scare as he fought back from 2-0 down to edge out Jason Lowe, who took out finishes of 125 and 118 to clinch the first set with a 108 average.
Lowe then punished profligacy from the seventh seed to extend his lead, only for ‘The Special One’ to win nine of the last 11 legs, completing the comeback with a sublime 124 checkout.
De Sousa will take on Alan Soutar in round three, after the Scot also fought back from two sets down to stun 26th seed Mensur Suljovic, surviving an incredible eight match darts in the process.
Suljovic appeared in total control after winning eight of the opening nine legs, but the Austrian fluffed his lines, and his Ally Pally hopes went up in smoke when the Dundee firefighter, known as ‘Soots’ produced a magnificent match-winning 144 checkout.
Elsewhere, Callan Rydz produced the performance of his televised career to dispatch Brendan Dolan in straight sets, averaging 102.73, posting four 180s and converting 64 per cent of his attempts at double to set up a clash with Nathan Aspinall.
Earlier in the afternoon, Damon Heta was clinical as he crushed the hopes of Luke Woodhouse 3-1, averaging 94.65 to set up a showdown with world No 2 Peter Wright after Christmas.
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