World darts results: Fallon Sherrock's fairytale run ended by Chris 'Hollywood' Dobey as Gary Anderson bows out

Chris Dobey defeated Fallon Sherrock at the World Darts Championship
Chris Dobey defeated Fallon Sherrock at the World Darts Championship

A review of Friday's action at the William Hill World Darts Championship as Fallon Sherrock's incredible run was ended by Chris Dobey while Gary Anderson bowed out.

EVENING SESSION

Aspinall derails Flying Scotsman

Nathan Aspinall's stock rose yet another notch as he knocked out two-time champion Gary Anderson to reach the quarter-finals for the second year running.

Twelve months on from reaching the semi-finals on his Ally Pally debut despite being ranked 73 in the world and dismissed as a 500/1 no hoper, the 29-year-old once again proved he's a man for the big occasion with a steely 4-2 victory at the Ally Pally.

Aspinall, backed on these pages at 40/1 each-way pre-tournament on the back of a tremendous season in which he's won the UK Open and US Darts Masters, was let off the hook when the Flying Scotsman hit double 15 instead of two 10s for a 2-0 set lead but made the most of his opportunity to book a meeting with either Adrian Lewis or Dimitri van den Bergh.

The Stockport man said: "I've won the UK Open and in Vegas but I feel, on this stage, that was the biggest win of my career. For me to beat Gary, I'm just so proud of myself. Last year the draw opened up for me but this year I've had a really tough run-in."

Aspinall averaged 97.97 compared to Anderson's 97.42 and threw five more 180s with 11 while he also made two 100+ checkouts and converted 40% of his doubles.

His legendary opponent's blunder on double 10 was one of 28 spurned attempts to finish in a largely error-strewn performance which had started so well.

Indeed, just prior to that costly mistake Anderson, who edged a high-quality opening set 3-2 with a 111 average, had taken out a match high 128 on the bullseye when Aspinall was waiting on 45 having just pinned the centre of the board twice in his visit.

The Triple Crown champion was then punished for missing a big number when on a finish in the second leg of the third set as Aspinall made a 100 checkout that completed a superb 11-darter.

Another nail-biting set went all the way to a decider but it was the Asp who nicked it again to edge ahead for the first time.

The fourth set also went the distance after the Stockport followed up a bullseye-double eight-double eight finish with a 109 checkout, only for the Scotsman to respond in style by pinning tops for a 13-darter that restored parity in an absorbing contest.

Anderson maintained the momentum with a 12-darter to break Aspinall's throw at the start of the fifth but he couldn't make the most of it and failed to get a shot at a double in each of the next two legs.

A 15-darter forced yet another deciding leg but the UK Open champion scored strongly with the advantage of throw to restore his overall lead, with Anderson back on 128.

The standard from both players dipped in the sixth set but Aspinall had more in the tank and took it 3-1 after the 49-year-old missed an attempt at tops to take it the distance.

Van Gerwen batters Bunting

Michael van Gerwen's quest for a fourth world title continued in imperious fashion as he cruised to a 4-0 victory over Stephen Bunting.

Having watched the tournament's second favourite Gerwyn Price dismantle John Henderson earlier in the night, van Gerwen matched the Welshman's performance on many levels.

They both whitewashed their opponents, averaged 104, threw seven 180s apiece and also dropped just four legs each.

Van Gerwen had just one less attempt at a double (25) although he managed one fewer 100+ checkout, with a best of 130 compared to Price's 136.

The defending champion, who is bidding to retain the trophy for the first time in his career, was given an early scare in the opening set when the Bullet led 2-1 but the St Helens man couldn't muster another attempt at a double as van Gerwen won the decider with an 11-darter.

MVG used just 43 darts to take the next set 3-0 while back-to-back 13-darters saw him take the next 3-1 after Bunting showed a glimpse of his class with a 138 checkout.

The Dutchman kicked off the fourth set with two successive 180s and although he couldn't thrill the crowds with the 10th perfect leg in PDC World Championship history, he closed out an 11-darter before a 130 checkout helped him sprint across the finishing line.

Iceman too hot for Highlander

Gerwyn Price made a serious statement about his title credentials as he thrashed John Henderson 4-0 to reach the last 16 for just the second time in his career.

The Iceman, who only dropped four legs, averaged 104.2, threw seven 180s and brought the house down with two 100+ checkouts during a largely one-sided contest.

Some will say the scoreline was a tad harsh on the Scotsman, who was averaging well over 100 after the first two sets, but Price was consistently operating at a much higher level, even when his performance dipped over the second half of the match.

The two-time Grand Slam of Darts champion cruised through the opening set 3-1 without missing a double while he took the second by the same scoreline with help from an 11-darter and a 136 checkout that completed one in 12.

At this point he was averaging almost 115 and although his performance inevitably had to drop, a pair of 17-darters either side of another in 11 was still good enough to take the third set 3-1 after Henderson had opened it up with a 101 checkout.

Price, who avoided a scare against William O'Connor in the opening round, kicked off the fourth with a fine finish from 115 and it wasn't too much longer before he wrapped that one up 3-1 as well to book a meeting with Simon Whitlock on Saturday night.

AFTERNOON SESSION

Sherrock's Hollywood story ended by Dobey

Fallon Sherrock produced another regal display at the Alexandra Palace but it wasn't quite enough to continue her fairytale run as Chris Dobey claimed a thrilling 4-2 victory.

The history maker, who launched herself into darting stardom the world over by defeated Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic, was threatening another big upset when leading Hollywood 1-0 and 2-1 in sets thanks to ruthless finishing and two 100+ checkouts, including a roof-raiser from 142.

A third three-figure finish, this time from 124 after Dobey levelled the match at 2-2, got the crowd back on their feet but the world number 22 raised his game to win five legs on the spin and move into the last 16.

The 25-year-old only missed two darts at double during an opening set that she sealed 3-1 with a 77 checkout while it was Dobey who was seemingly struggling with the nerves during the early stages as he spurned six attempts at the outer ring.

The highly-rated Northumberland thrower, who has reached two majors semi-finals this winter at the World Grand Prix and Players Championship Finals, remained under real pressure after Sherrock took out 104 for a 12-darter at the start of the second set and then hit 96 to take it to a decider.

However he pinned double two with the Queen of the Palace waiting on eight to quieten her royal subjects for the time being at least.

Sherrock came back out after a short interval to land her six 100+ checkout of the tournament - and highest so far of 142 - to bring the 3,000-strong crowd to their feet once again en route to taking the set 3-1 without a single miss on her doubles.

Eventually the Milton Keynes thrower began to falter on the doubles with a couple of costly misses in the first and third legs of the fourth set allowing Dobey to complete a whitewash and level the match at two apiece.

Sherrock, who averaged 90.45 compared to her opponent's 101.09 and threw three less 180s with eight, may not have been able to match the 29-year-old's scoring power but her finishing was vastly superior throughout and a sublime 124 put her ahead in the fifth set.

That would however be the last leg she'd win as the inexperience of a lengthy best-of-seven-set match at this standard appeared to show.

Dobey, who enjoyed a superb run to the fourth round 12 months ago, conceded just two more attempts at a double as he reeled off five legs on the spin, including 12-darters to seal both remaining sets.

Regardless of the result, this tournament will be mostly remembered by the achievements of the former mobile hairdresser, who has a five-year-old autistic son.

She said: "I have helped darts in general. I think there's people now who didn't watch darts but want to watch it. Especially with the ladies game, I have proved we can compete with all these men, we need more opportunities.

"I feel so confident up there, I feel so comfortable, the most comfortable I have ever played on a stage," she said. "I loved every minute of it."

Tennis great Billie Jean King has followed Sherrock's run and hailed her as an inspiration.

She tweeted: "While her run at the #WorldDartsChampionship is over, @Fsherrock has inspired millions. Her talent & grace under pressure will take her far. She is the 1st woman in history to win matches in the championship & I look forward to following her career for years to come. #Gamechanger"

Sherrock's achievements have fittingly even made it to the real Hollywood, with actress Sarah Jessica Parker saying on Instagram: "@fsherrock Making history and our hearts stop as we watched in astonishment and awe. A household of fans and admirers send their congratulations. X, SJ."

There were plenty of fans dressed as her at the Ally Pally and Sherrock added: "I did see some when in the practice room. (I thought), 'Ok, I have fans now! I didn't know how many people were actually dressed up, but it was cool. Nobody dresses up like me, I mean, come on, me!"

Dobey revealed afterwards he was forced to resort to wearing earplugs in an attempt to block out the crowd's support for Sherrock.

He said: "I knew I was in for a tough battle, with the crowd against us all match. It's not nice to be booed, but who will shut 3,000 fans up? I didn't mind playing that.

"I had earplugs in and I could still hear it, but it's great to play in a match like that."

Sherrock will next return to your screens at the BDO Women's World Championship, for which she is the fourth seed, on January 4.

Duzza's dream debut continues

Glen Durrant's bid to become the first player to hold both the BDO and PDC world titles at the same time remains on track after an impressive 4-2 victory over Daryl Gurney.

The three-time Lakeside king, who earned his tour card at the start of the year before embarking on a superb 2019, averaged 98 and threw four 100+ checkouts to set up a last-16 clash with Chris Dobey.

Duzza punished Gurney for two missed darts at doubles in as many legs in the opening set to take it 3-1 against the throw only for the Northern Irishman to respond by the same scoreline in the second.

The 49-year-old missed two darts at double to take that previous set to a deciding leg and then just missed a shot at the bull for a 170 at the start of the next - but he quickly bounced back with a 128 checkout that completed a 12-darter.

Although Gurney edged ahead once more, Duzza's solid play prevented him getting another shot at a double in the set and he pinched the fifth leg with a clinical finish from 86.

The 2018 Players Championship Finals champion, who like Durrant won a pair of PDC titles this season, restored parity by taking the fourth set 3-1 after his opponent missed five darts at doubles after a superb 102 checkout.

Two more ton+ finishes from Duzza - from 108 and 109 - followed in the next two sets but he had to hold his nerve in deciding legs in both of them to seal his place in the next round.

Wizard comeback dethrones King

Simon Whitlock recovered from a poor start to defeat Mervyn King 4-1 and reach the last 16 at the Ally Pally for the first time since 2012.

The two veterans, who have a combined age of 103 and have competed in 41 world championships between them including their BDO days, were meeting for the 38th time in their careers but it was the Aussie who becomes the oldest man left in the tournament.

It looked like 53-year-old King was on course to extend his 24th successive outing at this level when romping through the first set 3-0 with the help of a 104 checkout before opening a 2-0 lead in the second.

However, the Bradwell thrower was unable to carve out a set dart in each of the next three legs as the Wizard stormed back to restore parity, while he also fought back from 2-1 down in the third to edge that on a decider.

King, who hit an 81 checkout to complete an 11 darter in the third leg, was left to rue two missed darts at a double to clinch the set and that seemed to knock the Christmas stuffing out of him.

The 2010 runner-up cruised through the fourth set 3-0 with the help of a fabulous 148 checkout before again defying a 2-0 deficit in the fifth - as well as two more missed set darts at doubles from King - to wrap up his victory.

Whitlock did only manage an average of 90.94 compared to King's 89.51 and hit one more maximum with six although his finishing wasn't as clinical, pinned 12 of his 30 attempts as his opponent only missed eight of his 17.

He'll need to improve against either Gerwyn Price or John Henderson on Saturday night if he's to progress much further.

World Darts Championship: Friday results & Saturday schedule

Friday December 27
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
Third Round (Best of 7 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Simon Whitlock 4-1 Mervyn King
  • Daryl Gurney 2-4 Glen Durrant
  • Fallon Sherrock 2-4 Chris Dobey

Evening Session (1900)
Third Round (Best of 7 sets)
Fourth Round (Best of 7 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Gerwyn Price 4-0 John Henderson
  • Gary Anderson 2-4 Nathan Aspinall
  • Michael van Gerwen 4-0 Stephen Bunting

Saturday December 28
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
Fourth Round (Best of 7 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Steve Beaton v Darius Labanauskas
  • Kim Huybrechts v Luke Humphries
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Adrian Lewis

Evening Session (1900)
Fourth Round (Best of 7 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Peter Wright v Jeffrey de Zwaan
  • Glen Durrant v Chris Dobey
  • Gerwyn Price v Simon Whitlock

CLICK HERE FOR FULL WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE AND GUIDE

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