Following a three day hiatus the darts is back! Boxing Day sees the return of six first round winners including reigning champion Gary Anderson. Dave Chisnall and round one giant slayer Ricky Evans also takes the Alexandra Palace stage. With the matches being played over an additional set, consistency and experience could be the decided factor in many of the seasoned professionals advancing deeper into the competition.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ will fancy his chances of progression against the in-form Daryl Gurney. In a tough first round draw Gurney sailed past Jamie Lewis in the battle of young guns, but Anderson will pose a much tougher challenge. World number two Anderson hit one of the highest averages of the first round in his whitewash of Andy Boulton. With the extra set being added I expect current Premier League champion to sail through.
In the second clash of the evening, the maximum machine Dave Chisnall faces a rejuvenated Christian Kist. The former BDO Champion has had a miserable year of the European and Pro tour circuit, but an exceptional victory over the lethargic Justin Pipe, would have lifted his Christmas spirit. With the Yellow Peril’s terrific scoring, he should allow himself leeway on the doubles, giving ‘Chizzy’ a safe pathway through to the third round.
I’m sure many of you will admit that Ricky Evans storming triumph over Simon Whitlock came as a colossal shock. The Australian was reduced to tears upon his exit from the stage, but an ecstatic Evans couldn’t hide his joy. Darts went into overload following the Kettering born players victory with his lightning fast throw catching the eye of many enthusiasts. His meeting with Jamie Caven is sure to bat a few eyelids with it’s rapid style. Just pay attention, blink and you’ll miss it.