William Hill World Darts Championship: Searle shocks Suljovic in Second Round

Ryan Searle sent Mensur Suljovic crashing out of the William Hill World Darts Championship on Thursday, while Adrian Lewis eased through to the third round at Alexandra Palace, London.

Somerset talent Searle pulled off one of the shocks of the tournament so far as he defied ten 180s from Austrian ace Suljovic to claim a 3-1 success.

The game had looked likely to go Suljovic’s way when he claimed the first set 3-1 with the aid of a superb 11-darter.

ProTour finalist Searle responded with a 120 finish on his way to winning the second set, before winning three consecutive legs to claim set three and a 2-1 lead.

World Matchplay finalist Suljovic continued to apply the pressure, but Searle landed a magnificent 118 finish to claim a memorable victory.

“I am over the moon,” said Searle, who will take on William O’Connor in round three.

“Mensur was awesome in the first set but I managed to find my game. I’m really happy to have done so well having only just squeaked into the tournament.

“I’ve got a great record against Willie. We’ve played three times and I’ve won them all so I am hoping that continues.”

Lewis produced his best quality at key moments in his 3-0 win against Ted Evetts.

The two-time World Champion won deciding legs in each of the first two sets with 14 and 13 dart legs, before an 11-darter helped him seal the third set 3-1.

“I thought it was a great game,” said Lewis, who famously suffered a shock first round defeat in last year’s tournament. 

“I did feel some pressure coming into this tournament but I’ve been playing really well in practice and I’m confident I can do really well.

Lewis, who will play Darius Labanauskas in the last 32 after the Lithuanian claimed a shock win against Raymond Van Barneveld on Monday, added: “I wanted to play Barney. I mean that from the heart.

“I think he deserved that big match. He’s only got a couple of years left of playing and it was sad to see him lose.

“It won’t change my approach because it will be an equally tough game against Darius.”

Mervyn King fended off a fightback from Jan Dekker to win a tie-break in a dramatic contest.

King appeared to be coasting to victory when he won the first two sets but Dekker took out 100 in the deciding leg of the third set after a chance to win the match went begging.

The Dutchman went on to level and took the match into overtime when the final set reached two apiece but King regained his composure to win the two legs he required to progress.

“I made hard work of it,” admitted King, who had thrown away a two-set lead to lose in the last 64 at Ally Pally 12 months ago.

“I should have won that easily but I knew Jan would come good at some point in the match because he is a great player.

“I was happy with how I played but I have been practising really well. The important thing was getting over this hurdle and hopefully my practice game will come out later in the tournament.”

Alan Norris won a thrilling contest against Steve Lennon, which went all the way down to a sudden-death leg. 

The pair couldn’t be separated after four sets and four legs, forcing a tie-break and eventually a last-leg shoot-out.

Lennon won the bull but a 180 put Norris in control and he took out 81 to set up a third round meeting with Ryan Joyce.

“Determination got me through that one,” said Norris, who was making his first televised appearance since February.

“I’ve had rough year but I’ve been on the practice board and started wearing glasses and I feel like I’m coming back.

“Simon Whitlock gave me his glasses to try and since then I can actually see again. They’ve made a huge difference and I hope things are on the up now.”  

Cristo Reyes came from two sets behind to defeat Rowby-John Rodriguez, becoming the second Spanish player to reach the last 32 – following Toni Alcinas’ win over Peter Wright.

Reyes produced four finishes of over 100 as he punished Austrian youngster Rodriguez for missed opportunities to set up a third round clash with defending champion Rob Cross. 

Day Eight of the £2.5 million event began with a straight sets victory for Jermaine Wattimena over Michael Barnard.

The highlight for the quickfire Dutchman was a 130 checkout as he set up a third round meeting with Gary Anderson. 

Luke Humphries produced a highly impressive performance to defeat Stephen Bunting, while Chris Dobey raced through a 3-0 victory over Steve Beaton.

The action continues on Friday with eight second round ties, featuring Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price.

The tournament will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1 and worldwide through the PDC’s international broadcast partners.

2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship

Schedule of Play

Thursday December 20

Afternoon Session

Jermaine Wattimena 3-0 Michael Barnard (R2)

Alan Norris 3-2 Steve Lennon (R2)

Luke Humphries 3-1 Stephen Bunting (R2)

Chris Dobey (R2) 3-0 Steve Beaton


Evening Session

Cristo Reyes 3-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez (R2)

Mervyn King 3-2 Jan Dekker (R2)

Adrian Lewis 3-0 Ted Evetts (R2)

Ryan Searle 3-1 Ryan Searle (R2)


Friday December 21

Afternoon Session (1230)

Benito van de Pas v Jim Long (R2)

John Henderson v Gabriel Clemens (R2)

Steve West v Richard North (R2)

Kyle Anderson v Noel Malicdem (R2)


Evening Session (1900)

Ian White v Devon Petersen (R2)

Jelle Klaasen v Keegan Brown (R2)

Gerwyn Price v Nathan Aspinall (R2)

Jonny Clayton v Dimitri Van den Bergh (R2)

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