Nathan Aspinall (25/1 to win World Championship) survived a scare to book his place in the third round of the PDC World Championship on Wednesday, but Simon Whitlock became the latest big-name casualty to fall at Ally Pally.
Wednesday 22nd December Results:
Ryan Searle 3-0 William Borland (R2)
Glen Durrant 0-3 William O’Connor (R2)
Luke Humphries 3-0 Rowby-John Rodriguez (R2)
Joe Cullen 3-2 Joe Williams (R2)
Nathan Aspinall 3-2 Joe Murnan (R2)
Dirk van Duijvenbode 3-2 Boris Koltsov (R2)
Kim Huybrechts 3-1 Steve Beaton (R2)
Simon Whitlock 1-3 Martijn Kleermaker
Thursday 23rd December Order of Play:
Damon Heta v Luke Woodhouse (R2) – 12:40
Brendan Dolan v Callan Rydz (R2) – 13:30
Mensur Suljovic v Alan Soutar (R2) – 14:30
Jose de Sousa v Jason Lowe (R2) – 15:30
Danny Noppert v Jason Heaver (R2) – 19:10
Gabriel Clemens v Lewy Williams (R2) – 20:00
Rob Cross v Raymond van Barneveld (R2) – 21:00
Chris Dobey v Rusty-Jake Rodriguez (R2) – 22:00
Aspinall overcame an injection to ease an ongoing elbow injury and he survived a match dart before eventually getting past Joe Murnan 3-2 to secure his place in the competition beyond Christmas.
The Asp had been advised by doctors to miss this year’s Worlds in order to give his elbow time to heal, but he insists he was never going to consider sitting out the biggest tournament of the year.
“Joe put me under a lot of pressure so I’m so relieved to win that match,” the two-time Ally Pally semi-finalist told the PDC website.
“I’ve been struggling with tendonitis and tennis elbow but it was never going to stop me playing. I love this tournament, especially the crowd. They were so good tonight. They helped to get me through that.”
Kim Huybrechts is also through to round three after overcoming Fallon Sherrock’s conqueror Steve Beaton 3-1, with the Dutchman’s reward for reaching the last 32 being a showdown with world number one and defending champion Gerwyn Price (Match Betting – Price 2/9, Huybrechts 10/3).
Dirk van Duijvenbode, Joe Cullen, Luke Humphries and Ryan Searle are also safely through, but 2008 runner-up Simon Whitlock became the latest seeded player to fall, going down 3-1 to Martijn Kleermaker.
Whitlock’s loss came quickly off the back of Glen Durrant’s exit, after the 24th seed suffered a 3-0 whitewashing at the hands of Ireland’s William O’Connor – who now faces a tasty clash with in-form Michael Smith having survived post-Christmas for the first time in his Ally Pally career.
Thursday will see the eight remaining second round matches take place before the tournament takes a three-day break over Christmas.
The main highlight will undoubtedly be the heavyweight meeting of former champions Rob Cross and Raymond van Barneveld – Barney overcame Lourence Ilagan in round one on his first return to Ally Pally since coming out of retirement (Cross 8/15, Van Barneveld 6/4 – Match Betting).
Former Grand Slam champion Jose de Sousa will be one of the other big-name draws when he takes on Jason Lowe (De Sousa 1/3, Lowe 23/10 – Match Betting), while Brendan Dolan vs Callan Rydz also has the makings of being a blockbuster contest (Dolan 4/5, Rydz 21/20 – Match Betting).
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