Peter Wright started his World Darts Championship defence with a comfortable 3-1 win over Steve West on day one of the event.
Snakebite, dressed as The Grinch, certainly stole West’s Christmas, as he eased to victory at Alexandra Palace. West had beaten India’s Amit Gilitwala in the opening match of the evening by the same scoreline.
Elsewhere, day one of the World Darts Championship saw:
- Diogo Portela win his first ever match at the event v Steve Beaton
- Jeff Smith see off Keane Barry
Wright comes through West test
After beating Gilitwala 3-0 in the opening contest, West came into his contest with Wright hoping to cause a big upset. Instead, it was Snakebite who comfortably came through the final matchup of the opening night.
Dressed in a fantastic Grinch costume, continuing his tradition of festive attire in his opening game, the World Champion looked in imperious form to start. A 14 darter, followed by two 15 darters, saw him win the opening set 3-0 at a canter, with West nowhere near.
It was a similar story in in the second set, as Wright continued to assert his dominance. He punished missed darts from Simply in two of the three legs, finding double 10 for a 16 dart break to go 2-0 up in sets, and win 3-0 once again.
West though would fight back in the third. He threw six perfect darts in the first leg, but had to settle for a 13 darter to get his first leg on the board. Despite a lovely 144 from Wright, the Scot was powerless to stop the Englishman finding a 67 in the next leg to win the third set against the darts and cut the deficit to 2-1.
A 101 checkout from Wright appeared to have the match won in the fourth, before West punished missed darts from Snakebite to level. However, the roles would reverse in the third leg, as Simply missed two for an 80 checkout. This allowed Wright to find a 71 shot to break once more, and at the sixth attempt, hit double ten to round off the match, winning the match 3-1 and a place in round three.
Portela shocks Beaton to win first match at tournament
Diogo Portela caused the big upset of night one of the World Darts Championship. He saw off Steve Beaton 3-0.
The match was a cagey affair, with both men holding throw in the opening two legs. However, Portela would find double four in the third leg to break, after both players missed darts to take it. The Brazilian wrapped up the opening set by finding double 16, winning it 3-1.
Things looked up for the Bronzed Adonis in the second set, as he held throw with both players missing multiple darts for the second leg. That levelled the set at 1-1, before Portela struck. A lovely 128 saw him set up double eight to hold throw in the third, before breaking on double four for a second straight set 3-1, and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Brazilian would not let up, breaking the Beaton throw immediately at the start of the third. Despite missing a dart at bull for the match, Portela kept his cool, and found double nine for an 85 outshot, to take the set 3-1 and the match 3-0. It’s the first match Portela has ever won at the Worlds, and the emotion getting over the line showed, as he burst into tears following the winning double.
Smith sends Barry home
Jeff Smith came through a game of two halves to beat Keane Barry 3-1 in the remaining first round game this evening.
Barry held in the opening leg, but then missed five darts to break throw. This allowed Smith to eventually catch up, and found a 70 finish on the bull to level. That gave The Silencer the impetus he needed, finding double four twice to take the first set 3-1.
A cagey second set saw both players hold throw to make it 2-2. In the fifth and deciding leg, Barry then missed double 19 for a 158 checkout that would have levelled the match. Instead, The Silencer punished Dynamite, finding an 80 shot to hold and take a 2-0 lead.
That seemed to fire both players coming out of the second interval. Both moved up a gear and once again held throw to take the third set into a decider. There Barry left 44 after 12, before hitting double 16 to get on the board and trail 2-1.
The Irishman then broke Smith’s throw straight away in the fourth, before Smith responded to break straight back. Dynamite would find a break again, but then missed two darts at double 16 to take the match into a final set. It summed up Barry’s match on the doubles, ending up just 8/30 on the outer ring The Canadian punished him, hitting a crucial 82 outshot to level, before holding throw on double four in the final leg to set up a meeting with Chris Dobey on Wednesday afternoon in round two.
World Darts Championship Day One Results
Steve West 3-0 Amit Gilitwala
Diogo Portela 3-0 Steve Beaton
Jeff Smith 3-1 Keane Barry
Peter Wright 3-1 Steve West
Day Two Schedule of Play
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)
Ryan Joyce v Karel Sedlacek
Ross Smith v David Evans
William O’Connor v Niels Zonneveld
Chris Dobey v Jeff Smith
Evening Session (1800 GMT)
Max Hopp v Gordon Mathers
Callan Rydz v James Bailey
Adam Hunt v Lisa Ashton
Glen Durrant v Diogo Portela
How can I follow the World Darts Championship?
The World Darts Championship will be live on Sky Sports in the UK. You can also watch it outside the UK via the PDC’s broadcast partners, such as RTL or DAZN.
You can also live stream the event. Find out more here.
We’ll have you covered here at Online Darts, with reaction with every winner of every game direct from Coventry. Head over to our YouTube channel and hit subscribe so you don’t miss a video.
We’ll have a live blog for you every session of the tournament, so you do not miss a moment if you cannot watch it live.
We’ll also produce the World Championship Daily. This round up show will feature reaction, news and debate from every day of the event. It will be available across our podcast channels the morning after each day’s play.
Plus, we’ll be giving regular updates across our:
Follow all the drama of the World Darts Championship with us at Online Darts.