Anderson survives Burness scare in Day 2 evening

Gary Anderson survived a scare from Kevin Burness, as Ted Evetts and Danny Noppert impressed during the evening session on Friday 14th December in the PDC World Darts Championships.

The session opened up with a clash between former BDO finalist Danny Noppert and Royden Lam of Hong Kong. The first legs were shared on throw, and it was Noppert who took the first break, getting the advantage after hitting the double 3. Noppert closed out the first set very comfortably on throw, with Royden Lam along way from his best. Noppert held throw at the start of the second leg, before missed doubles from Lam allowed Danny to break and lead the set 2-0. Noppert closed the second set comfortably on tops, leading 2-0 without even breaking sweat. Lam, who beat Gary Anderson in the Shanghai Masters earlier in 2018, could not find his best form. Danny took out a brilliant 97 checkout to break Lam’s throw and go within 2 legs of winning. Noppert held comfortably again to lead 2-0 in the 3rd set, and with minimal effort, Danny Noppert closed out a 3-0 win over Royden Lam with a 112 checkout. It sets up a game with Max Hopp, where Noppie will certainly fancy his chances.

The next first round game was between ‘The Mirror Man’ Simon Stevenson and ‘Super’ Ted Evetts, both hoping to set up a tie with Adrian Lewis in round 2. The opening 2 legs were shared, with Stevenson impressive in hitting an 11 darter. Evetts took the advantage with a wonderful 108 checkout on double 16, but Stevenson held his nerve on tops to send the set to a decider after Evetts missed a dart at bull for the 170 out. In a tight leg, Simon missed 2 set darts at a 64 checkout, which allowed Ted Evetts to step in and nail the double 8 with his last dart to take the opening set. The first 3 legs went on throw in the second set, with Simon leading 2-1 despite both players missing darts to break each other. Ted extended the set with a fabulous 13 darter to bring it to a decider, and it was to be Evetts who took the set, firing in a fabulous 15 darter against the throw, surviving a dart at the bull from Stevenson to lead 2-0. Ted held his throw in the first leg with a crucial 120 checkout, but Stevenson replied with a comfortable hold of his own. Ted threw a 14 darter to get within a leg of the match, and in an incredibly dramatic leg, Super Ted would finish off the job with his 9th match dart, with both players missing a rake of doubles. It was a case of what could have been for Simon, who had darts to win both the opening sets, but it was Ted who took his chances to eventually win 3-0 and set up a tie with Adrian Lewis.

Chris Dobey and Boris Koltsov were next to take the Ally Pally stage, hoping to win and play Steve Beaton in Round 2. The first set was very one-sided, with Dobey winning 3-0 finished off with an 11 darter. The Russian qualifier Koltsov had not got out of first gear, and he faced an uphill battle to live with the man they call ‘Hollywood’. Dobey broke Boris’ throw again at the start of set 2, but Koltsov dominated the next leg, giving himself 3 darts to break back. However, he missed them all and Dobey took his chance to lead the set 2-0. Koltsov missed 2 more darts at double in the 3rd leg, allowing Chris to take out a clean 88 and lead 2-0 in sets, without even dropping a leg yet. Koltsov finally got off the mark in set 3, breaking Chris’s throw with a nice 64 checkout, celebrating with some greatly exaggerated face and hand gestures. However, the advantage did not last long, as Dobey broke straight back to level the set at 1 a piece, and with a comfortable hold, he went within a leg of the match. Koltsov was not finished yet though, with his best leg of the match, he levelled the set at 2-2. But Chris Dobey was not to be denied, finishing 65 to win comfortably 3-0 and see off Boris Koltsov, who never got going. Dobey plays Steve Beaton next, potentially one of the ties of the second round.

The final game of the night was the eagerly anticipated entry of Gary Anderson, as he took on Kevin Burness, the man who saw off Paul Nicholson earlier in the day. However, the game did not start as anticipated, with Kevin Burness rattling in a magnificent 12 darter to break Gary’s throw in the first leg. Anderson did not waste time in breaking back, winning the very next leg on double 8. Both players held their throws to send the set to what could be a crucial deciding leg. With a superb 13 dart leg, The Flying Scotsman survived a slight scare from the County Down man in going 1-0 ahead. However, this did not stop Kevin Burness, who threw a 4th maximum to hold and lead the second set. Gary was on for a 12 darter in the second leg, but fluffed his lines, allowing Burness to take out 82 and break his throw. Kevin threw a superb leg to leave 40 after 12, but Anderson was in no mood to miss more doubles, checking out a magical 130 on the bull to break back and save the set. This was only a minor inconvenience for the Iron Man, who held his nerve brilliantly to take out 32 and level the match at 1 set all. Burness was hitting 180 after 180, and was really taking the scoring game to the man who many consider the best scorer in the world. Heading into the 3rd set, both players were averaging 98, and the 20/1 outsider Burness was really sticking with Gary. Anderson held at the start of the set, and punished Burness for missing 3 at tops by taking out double 4 and going 2-0 ahead. The Flying Scotsman took the 3rd set with his final dart at double 5, leading 2-1 and seemingly doing enough to finish the job. Gary began the 4th set by breaking Kevin’s throw again, nailing the double 10 to go within 2 of the match. He took out 25 to make it 2-0, and finished the match off with a 60 finish to move into the second round and set up a match with either Jermaine Wattimena or Michael Barnard. Kevin Burness can be proud of his showing, but in the last 2 sets, his level dropped and Gary proved too good.

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