World Darts results: Mikuru Suzuki raises the Ally Pally roof but just misses out on Miracle win over James Richardson

Mikuru Suzuki was beaten by James Richardson
Mikuru Suzuki was beaten by James Richardson

A review of Sunday's action at the William Hill World Darts Championship as Mikuru Suzuki came so close to an incredible victory and Michael Smith crashed out.

EVENING SESSION

Mikuru Suzuki came so agonisingly close to becoming the first female to win a match at the PDC World Darts Championship following a mesmerising comeback against James Richardson.

The reigning BDO ladies world champion brought the Alexandra Palace crowd - and probably most of the millions watching at home - to their feet on numerous occasions as she made three 100+ checkouts, including a 151, during an enthralling contest.

Despite that roof raising finish in the first set, she would spurn four darts at doubles in the deciding leg as Richardson moved up 1-0 up to pull the plug on the noise just like Darin Young against Raymond van Barneveld last night.

Suzuki, making her Ally Pally debut, continued to score well enough only to miss all 10 of her attempts to finish in the second set and was duly punished by the experienced 'Ruthless'.

Richardson was on the brink of a second-round meeting with John Henderson when going 2-0 up in the third set but suddenly he started falling to pieces, blowing two match darts over the next three legs as Suzuki pinched the set.

The Japanese star was now brimming with confidence and another 100+ checkout - this time from 106 - as well as a clinical finish of 76 helped her win the next 3-1 and force a deciding set, with the crowd sensing history.

After taking the opening leg, Suzuki agonisingly missed three darts at doubles for a 2-0 lead and then only managed to score 11 with 100 remaining in the next as Richardson took full advantage.

The 37-year-old wasn't done yet as a 101 checkout forced a tense finale.

Neither player was able to take control of the deciding leg but Richardson eventually got the job done with a 20-darter on double tops as Suzuki waited in vain on 36.

She told Sky Sports: "It is really tough. I am really unlucky but next time I would like to win on this stage. Many people were cheering me so I am really happy."

Bully Boy crashes out

Michael Smith became the fourth seed to suffer a shock defeat at this year's World Championship as Luke Woodhouse claimed the biggest victory of his career.

Of the five seeds to have taken to the oche so far, only Michael van Gerwen has survived, with Smith joining Jermaine Wattimena, Rob Cross and Ian White on the casualty list after this 3-1 loss.

Bully Boy's average of 95.69 was well below his usual high standards that helped him reach the final at the Ally Pally last year as well as this summer's World Matchplay while he only hit two maximums and missed 20 of his 27 darts at doubles.

That's to take nothing away from rising star Woodhouse, who continues his dream debut having also knocked out the ageless legend Paul Lim on Saturday.

The Worcestershire thrower averaged 97.81 and hit five maximums although he too struggled on his doubles, missing 25 of them including six match darts in the deciding leg of the third set.

Woodhouse's emergence won't come as a huge shock to those who saw him dump Daryl Gurney out of the recent Players Championship Finals while it was also the Northern Irishman who branded him one to watch during a special Sporting Life feature with Gerwyn Price.

"I managed to regain my composure and get the job done," said Woodhouse. "I was in a bit of a haze after missing the chance to win the third set but I kept calm and my confidence got me through.

"I've been working hard and it is showing and I really feel at home on the big stage now."

American dream for Danny

North American Darts Champion Danny Baggish earned a debut victory over Andy Boulton, who twice led by a set but failed to hold on in a tight affair.

The first four sets all went down to a fifth leg before Baggish clinched the decider 3-1 to reach round two. 

Spain's Jose Justicia enjoyed a surprisingly routine 3-0 victory over a disappointing Arron Monk, who went down in straight sets in round one. 

AFTERNOON SESSION

Anderson fights back after early scare

Kyle Anderson survived a huge scare as he came from two sets behind against China's Xiaochen Zong.

The Australian struggled after a strong start from his opponent, who took the first set in a decider before winning set two 3-1.

Anderson fired back, taking the following two sets 3-1 to force a decider - which he won by the same margin, sealing the victory on double one.

"I thought I was going out," admitted Anderson, who will face Steve Beaton on Thursday.

"I feel like I had a lot of luck with the doubles he missed. My form has been absolutely abysmal coming into this tournament.

"I was on the stage thinking about booking a flight to Australia to spend Christmas with my family but somehow I got back into it and into the next round."

Labanauskas produces another shock

Ian White was left stunned by Darius Labanauskas who earned a 3-1 victory against the world number nine to reach round three.

White took out 136 to take the first set to a fifth leg, which he lost before levelling the match by winning brilliant second set 3-0 with an average of over 107.

Labanauskas, who had beaten Matthew Edgar on Saturday, edged the third set 3-2 thanks to a clinical 74 checkout.

The Lithuanian, who had famously knocked out Raymond van Barneveld at the same stage last year, added White to his list of scalps by winning the fourth set 3-1.

Dolan cruises into round two

There was no such drama for Brendan Dolan, who eased past India's Nitin Kumar in straight sets.

The Northern Irishman, who picked up two ranking titles in 2019, won the decisive fifth leg in set one and never looked back as he claimed a routine win to progress.

"I kept my composure at the right times," said Dolan, who will meet Gary Anderson in round two.

"I've got a lot of belief in my game now - I've got concrete evidence behind me that I'm good enough to win on the tour again and to beat the best.

"I'm looking forward to playing Gary. I don't know where his game is but I know where mine is and after today I think I have an advantage."

Teehan gets the better of Smith

Ross Smith was caught cold by emerging Irish ace Ciaran Teehan, who completed a 3-0 victory on his World Championship debut.

The 20-year-old, who won a Challenge Tour title earlier this year, produced a brilliant 11-darter to win the fifth leg in set one.

An equally crucial 70 checkout in the second set decider saw him double his lead - and he went on to seal an impressive win by clinching the third set 3-1.

World Darts Championship: Sunday results & Monday schedule

Sunday December 15
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Kyle Anderson 3-2 Xiaochen Zong (First Round)
  • Ross Smith 0-3 Ciaran Teehan (First Round)
  • Brendan Dolan 3-0 Nitin Kumar (First Round)
  • Ian White 1-3 Darius Labanauskas (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900)
First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Arron Monk 0-3 Jose Justicia (First Round)
  • Andy Boulton 2-3 Danny Baggish (First Round)
  • James Richardson 3-2 Mikuru Suzuki (First Round)
  • Michael Smith 1-3 Luke Woodhouse (Second Round)

Monday December 16
Evening Session (1900)
First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Steve Lennon v Callan Rydz (First Round)
  • William O’Connor v Marko Kantele (First Round)
  • Vincent van der Voort v Keane Barry (First Round)
  • Gary Anderson v Brendan Dolan (Second Round)

CLICK HERE FOR FULL WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE AND GUIDE

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