World Darts Championship Betting Odds: Nine darters light up Ally Pally stage

The first round of the PDC World Darts Championship came to a close on Tuesday and the tournament has already thrown up some fabulous matches.

The PDC’s showpiece event kicked off last Wednesday with Gerwyn Price (Outright 7/2) surviving a first set scare before beating Ritchie Edhouse.

The likes of Michael van Gerwen (7/2), Peter Wright (7/1), and Jonny Clayton (13/2) have got through to the third round with the first week seeing a mix of first and second-round games.

The individual performance of the tournament so far though belongs to Michael Smith (18/1) who was terrific in his 3-0 demolition job of Ron Meulenkamp.

‘Bully Boy’ is still awaiting his first big TV title, but looked in imperious form and averaged more than 106 against the left-handed Dutchman.

Clayton, a four-time TV winner, was also very impressive in his win against young Irishman Keane Barry, with the match producing ten ton-plus checkouts.

All eyes were on Fallon Sherrock as the ‘Queen of the Palace’ made her return to the World Championship against the experienced Steve Beaton, who was appearing in the worlds for a 31st consecutive year.

The partisan crowd were cheering Sherrock on and she produced some fine darts, but Beaton came out on top in a high-quality contest to seal a second-round tie with Kim Huybrechts (Match betting – Huybrechts 4/9, Beaton 7/4).

The highest seed to topple thus far is Matchplay finalist and world number five Dimitri van den Bergh, who was defeated by Florian Hempel.

The 31-year-old German, who only took up darts four years ago after being a professional handball player in his homeland, played beautifully and won 3-1.

Krzysztof Ratajaski and Stephen Bunting, quarter and semi-finalist respectively last year, were also knocked out at the first hurdle by Steve Lennon and Ross Smith.

And perhaps the moment of the tournament came on Friday night in a battle between young guns Willie Borland and Bradley Brooks.

With the game heading into a last leg decider, Borland struck perfection with a nine darter as the Palace erupted with joy.

Sadly, he couldn’t keep up that level of performance in the second round and was beaten in straight sets by Ryan Searle (Outright 25/1).

Less than 24 hours after Borland’s heroics, the feat was matched by Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas against Mike De Decker.

It proved to be inconsequential as De Decker won 3-1 to knock the former quarter-finalist out.

With the tournament still only just getting started, we can expect more thrills and spills ahead of the final on January 3.