Dennis Priestley bows out
A review of Wednesday night's action at the PDC World Darts Championship.
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Dennis Priestley may have played his final match at the World Championship after losing against Ronnie Baxter at Alexandra Palace.
Priestley, the first ever winner of the PDC world title, made a fight of it against his old rival and had chances to take the opening-round match into a deciding set before losing out 3-1 to The Rocket.
Baxter raced into a 2-0 lead, before six-time world finalist Priestley capitalised on six missed match darts from Baxter to hit tops and win the third set to stay alive.
It was not to be though and after missing three chances to take it all the way to a decider, Priestley went out of what looks like being his last World Championship after Baxter completed the win.
"I'm a little disappointed that when Ronnie gave me the chances I missed the double and could not take it into a fifth set," Priestley, now 62, told Sky Sports.
"I'm not going to set my sights very highly for next year, this one was just a little bonus. I've enjoyed the experience once again but I'm not going to push myself to do it again.
"It might be time to call it a day in the big TV events, but I'm still enjoying the darts and the exhibitions."
Colin Lloyd survived an almighty scare to book his place in the second round as he beat American Darin Young 3-2 in the very last leg possible before being forced into a sudden death shoot-out.
'Jaws' trailed twice in the match but then on two occasions threw for the win in the decider - only for 'Big Daddy' Young to hit back and stay in the game. Lloyd finally sealed the win in the 10th leg in the fifth set.
There were no such problems for Justin Pipe, who completed an easy 3-0 win over former semi-finalist Andy Jenkins in the opening match on stage.
"It's only my second year on TV really so I've got to be able to deal with situations like that when I nearly let it slip when he was playing poorly and I was ahead," said Pipe. "I've got to work on my mental fitness if you like and keep my concentration levels high."
"The first round is so nerve wracking we just want to get up there and win our first round matches. Not everyone can hit 100 and 110 averages but you don't need to really, a 'W' is a 'W'."
Simon Whitlock got his campaign started with a 3-0 victory against Haruki Muramatsu.
The Australian defeated the qualifier, who had earlier beaten Dave Harrington of New Zealand 4-0 in a preliminary round match-up, with ease in the final match of the night to send a statement to his rivals.