By William Hill
Last Updated: 20th December 2019
Gerwyn Price survived a huge scare against William O’Connor on day seven of the William Hill World Darts Championship on Thursday at Alexandra Palace.
World number three Price was twice a leg away from crashing out of the tournament, but Republic of Ireland’s O’Connor was unable to deliver the fatal blow.
With the deciding set tied at 2-2 in legs, O’Connor approached the oche needing four points but threw a double one, allowing Price to take out 75 to break throw before winning it with a 13-dart leg.
With Rob Cross and Michael Smith among the seeded players to fall at the first hurdle, Price showed determination to avoid joining them but admitted he never felt at ease on the big stage.
After edging the opening set 3-2, Price lost the next two 3-1 to go within a set of a shock early exit.
Set four went to a deciding leg, putting the Welsh number one on the brink for the first time in the contest but Price found a last dart double six for a 15-dart leg when he needed it most.
With O’Connor 2-1 up in the deciding set, another 15-dart leg from Price took the match to a tie-break, before O’Connor’s counting error allowed Price to go ahead for the first time since set one.
Price produced a timely 180 in the next leg, followed by a 134 set-up shot to leave double 18, which he pinned with his first dart to relieve fears of a first-hurdle exit.
Day seven of darts’ biggest event also saw Chris Dobey reach the third round in dramatic fashion, as he survived two match darts to overcome Ron Meulenkamp in a thrilling tie-break.
Having squandered a two-set lead, Dobey found himself 2-0 down in the deciding set but after the Dutchman missed two darts at double eight to end the contest, Dobey made no mistake on double 14 to level at 2-2.
A 14-dart leg earned Dobey a crucial break of throw, before the next leg saw the Northumbrian seal the win on double eight to reach round three, where he will meet Mensur Suljovic or history-maker Fallon Sherrock.
Two-time World Darts Championship quarter-finalist Dave Chisnall safely secured his passage through to the third round with a 3-1 win over Vincent van der Voort.
Although Chisnall struggled to produce his trademark high-scoring on a consistent basis, his accuracy on the outer ring saw him miss just five darts at double to keep Van der Voort at bay.
Chisnall, who has enjoyed a return to form in 2019, will face another Dutchman, Jeffrey de Zwaan, in round three.
Steve Beaton began his 19th World Darts Championship with a 3-1 victory over Australian number two Kyle Anderson.
With Beaton leading 2-1 in sets, Anderson missed three darts to take the contest to a deciding set before Beaton clinically took out 50 in two darts to advance to round three.
Beaton now has the chance to reach the last 16 for the first time since the 2003/04 event against eighth seed James Wade.
Popular Scot John Henderson breezed into the last 32 for the third year in a row with a 3-0 whitewash of James Richardson.
Richardson, who came through a last-leg shoot-out with Mikuru Suzuki in round one, registered just three legs in the contest as Henderson dominated throughout.
There was a less simple passage into the last 32 for Danny Noppert, who came from behind to beat Callan Rydz 3-2.
Debutant Rydz landed a 160 checkout on his way to a 2-1 lead in sets, before World Series of Darts Finals runner-up Noppert won six of the last seven legs to book his place in round three against Kim Huybrechts.
There was heartbreak for last year’s quarter-finalist Ryan Joyce as he missed four match darts against Jan Dekker.
From 2-0 down in sets, Joyce fought hard to take the match to a deciding set but Dutchman Dekker made the most of his chance to reach round two for a second successive year, where he will take on Welsh number two Jonny Clayton.
A day of drama also saw Justin Pipe survive three match darts as he fought back from 2-1 down to defeat Slovenian debutant Benjamin Pratnemer.
Pratnemer missed a trio of darts at double ten and double five to win 3-1, before Pipe found a vital last dart double eight to level.
Pipe then went on to win the deciding set 3-1 to enjoy a winning return to darts’ biggest stage after a two-year absence, with world number six Daryl Gurney awaiting him in round two.
December 19 afternoon session results:
Justin Pipe 3-2 Benjamin Pratnemer (First Round)
Jan Dekker 3-2 Ryan Joyce (First Round)
John Henderson 3-0 James Richardson (Second Round)
Steve Beaton 3-1 Kyle Anderson (Second Round)
December 19 evening session results:
Chris Dobey 3-2 Ron Meulenkamp (Second Round)
Danny Noppert 3-2 Callan Rydz (Second Round)
Dave Chisnall 3-1 Vincent van der Voort (Second Round)
Gerwyn Price 3-2 William O’Connor (Second Round)