Beau Greaves beaten 3-0 by Willie O’Connor Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship – live on Sky Sports Darts. We’re back for a double session on Saturday at 12pm and 7pm with Simon Whitlock, Daryl Gurney, Lisa Ashton, Josh Rock and Dimitri Van den Bergh in action
By Raz Mirza at Alexandra Palace & Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 16/12/22 11:19pm
There was no fairy tale for teenage sensation Beau Greaves as she suffered a first-round exit to Ireland’s Willie O’Connor at the World Darts Championship, while Michael Smith won nine straight legs to progress in style.
Eight-time PDC Women’s Series winner Greaves was aiming to join Fallon Sherrock in having beaten their male counterpart at the home of darts, but Ireland’s O’Connor showed all his experience to come through 3-0 although the scoreline did not reflect the performance of ‘Beau ‘n’ Arrow’.
Friday, December 16 – Evening Results
|Rowby-John Rodriguez||2-3||Lourence Ilagan (R1)|
|William O’Connor||3-0||Beau Greaves (R1)|
|Keegan Brown||2-3||Florian Hempel (R1)|
|Michael Smith||3-0||Nathan Rafferty (R2)|
Greaves opened proceedings with a nerveless 120, but ‘The Magpie’ responded by winning the next two legs.
The 18-year-old was not deterred as she broke throw on D2 to send the opening set to a decider in which the dogged O’Connor snatched against the darts on double 5 after Greaves wired one dart at double 16 for the set.
The Doncaster thrower was making history as the youngest woman to compete in the 30-year history of the tournament and she immediately popped a mind-boggling 122 on double 7 to start the second set before pinning double 3 to extend her advantage.
But O’Connor, who reached the semi-finals of the UK Open earlier this year, hit back to send the set into a decider in which the former World Cup finalist nailed double 8 to edge nearer to victory.
O’Connor was in the ascendancy by now and WDF champion Greaves was soon blown away in a one-sided third set and left the stage shaking her head in disappointment.
Two-time runner-up Smith eased into the third round of the tournament after beating Northern Irish star Nathan Rafferty 3-0.
The Grand Slam of Darts champion made a commanding start by the opening set without reply, kicking off with a big 114 out.
Fourth-seeded Smith casually notched the second set with more impressive arrows and with the 22-year-old now totally deflated, ‘Bully Boy’ soon completed a whitewash win with a spectacular 130 on the bullseye.
In an electrifying opening encounter of the night between Rowby-John Rodriguez and Lourence Ilagan, the latter took out 64 to seal the first set 3-1.
The 44-year-old from Manila – making his seventh appearance at the Worlds – moved one set away from a spot in the second round after slamming in a superb 116 checkout and a neat 60 out-shot.
But Rodriguez worked his way back to halve the deficit with four 180s and a fabulous 80 finish in the fourth leg and ‘Little John’ was soon level after sweeping through the fourth set to send us into a decider.
The match went the distance but it was Ilagan who dragged himself over the winning line after hitting double 18 to set up a date with Dimitri Van den Bergh.
Former Handball star Florian Hempel won an epic encounter to send Keegan Brown to Q-School in 2023, as the German closed out a hard-fought 3-2 victory.
Friday, December 16 – Afternoon Results
|Alan Soutar||3-0||Mal Cuming (R1)|
|Boris Krcmar||3-0||Toru Suzuki (R1)|
|Adrian Lewis||3-0||Daniel Larsson (R1)|
|Kim Huybrechts||3-0||Grant Sampson (R2)|
Lewis makes statement with impressive victory
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis cruised into the second round with a straight-sets victory over Daniel Larsson, as Kim Huybrechts also progressed on Friday afternoon.
The 2011 and 2012 champion fired an impressive 19 treble 19s and posted a 93.57 average, with Lewis dropping just three legs on his way to booking a last-32 contest with Damon Heta.
Lewis wrapped up a scrappy opening set by taking out tops for a 13-dart leg and took out a 92 checkout on his way to doubling his lead, with the 37-year-old posting back-to-back maximums in the final leg of the third as he claimed a 3-0 victory in his tournament opener.
“I didn’t know what to expect really,” Lewis told Sky Sports. “I know I have been practising well but I wasn’t 100 per cent certain what was going to happen up there tonight. Lucky enough for me it has gone well.”
Huybrechts will face defending champion Peter Wright after Christmas after a routine victory over South Africa’s Grant Sampson, with a low-80s average enough to recover from losing the opening leg to breeze into the next round.
Scotland’s Alan Soutar kicked off the afternoon session with a commanding 3-0 win over Australian Mal Cuming, setting up a second-round clash with two-time Ally Pally quarter-finalist Daryl Gurney.
Soutar landed four 180s and converted 124 and 119 finishes during a routine success, signing off with a 12-dart break of throw, as Cuming only registered two legs on a difficult tournament debut.
Croatian star Boris Krcmar came through a low-scoring encounter against Toru Suzuki to beat the Japanese qualifier by the same margin, securing him a meeting with two-time semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall in round two.
Saturday at Ally Pally
Belgian No 1 Van den Bergh and World Youth Champion Josh Rock headline the action on Super Saturday.
Saturday, December 17 – Fixtures (1230 GMT)
|Martin Lukeman||vs||Nobuhiro Yamamoto (R1)|
|Simon Whitlock||vs||Christian Perez (R1)|
|Adam Gawlas||vs||Richie Burnett (R1)|
|Daryl Gurney||vs||Alan Soutar (R2)|
Saturday, December 17 – Fixtures (1900 GMT)
|Ryan Meikle||vs||Lisa Ashton (R1)|
|Cameron Menzies||vs||Diogo Portela (R1)|
|Josh Rock||vs||Jose Justicia (R1)|
|Dimitri Van den Bergh||vs||Lourence Ilagan (R2)|
Former finalist Simon Whitlock, ‘SuperChin’ Daryl Gurney and ‘The Lancashire Rose’ Lisa Ashton, who became the first woman to win a PDC Tour Card through Q-School in 2020, also feature.
Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship – live on Sky Sports Darts – from December 15 to January 3.
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