Following a three day hiatus the darts is back! Boxing Day saw the return of six first round winners including reigning champion Gary Anderson. Dave Chisnall and round one giant slayer Ricky Evans also took the Alexandra Palace stage. With the matches being played over an additional set, consistency and experience was a deciding factor, as the seasoned professionals advanced deeper into the competition.
The pressure mounts with every second passed as a reigning Champion. Dropping the opening set could’ve only piled on even more for Gary Anderson. The Scot admitted his nerves before his match with Andy Boulton on the opening day. In fact, he could have been in much worse shape, Gurney failed to convert two shots at double 16 to double his advantage. Anderson applied the finishing touches and was soon running away with the match. On the way to opening up a two set lead, Anderson matched the feat of Rowby-John Rodriguez by hitting the big fish, a spectacular 170 checkout, giving him a clear cushion to progress into the third round.
Jamie Caven ended Ricky Evans’ dreams of a major title with a comprehensive demolition of the Kettering man. Evans was unable to scrape a leg on the board as ‘Jabba’ romped through the sets into his first Round of 16 appearances at the Ally Pally in nine years. As expected the match was played at a lightning pace but the conqueror of Simon Whitlock was powerless to repeat that unbelievable performance.
Dave Chisnall also booked his place in the last 16 with marvellous 4-1 victory over Christian Kist. Despite averaging just over 95, ‘Chizzy’s power scoring was too much for the Dutchman. The man from St Helens may be disappointed he didn’t clinch the match earlier, he narrowly missed tops for a 4-0 whitewash, but altogether, a consistency of his game and 12 maximums will please Chizzy and his fans. Wade’s machine like scoring and dependency on the doubles should see him comfortably book his place in the next round.