World Darts Championship: Fallon Sherrock suffers opening round defeat as Luke Humphries cruises through | Darts News

Fallon Sherrock makes costly error in defeat as Luke Humphries surges through in style; the World Darts Championship runs all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – we’re back on Monday at 7pm, live on Sky Sports Darts

By Raz Mirza at Alexandra Palace, London

Fallon Sherrock suffered a gut-wrenching opening round defeat at the World Darts Championship as red-hot Luke Humphries looked cool as a cucumber as he progressed in style on the Alexandra Palace stage.

Sherrock’s opponent Jermaine Wattimena won nine out of the last 12 legs to send ‘The Queen of the Palace’ crashing out in the first round.

Humphries, who has been on an incredible run of form which has seen him win three televised titles in two months at the World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals, defeated Lee Evans in straight sets.

World Darts Championship: Sunday Evening Results

Dylan Slevin 1-3 Florian Hempel (R1)
Niels Zonneveld 3-1 Darren Webster (R1)
Jermaine Wattimena 3-1 Fallon Sherrock (R1)
Luke Humphries 3-0 Lee Evans (R2)

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Sherrock was delighted after winning the first set against Wattimena

Sherrock made a dream start by edging the opening set in a deciding leg with a cool 50 finish in two darts having levelled up the set at 2-2 with an 80 checkout on tops.

The Dutchman recovered well to seal the second set 3-1 and restore parity much to the annoyance of Sherrock, who missed two darts at tops which would have sent it into a deciding leg.

It was agony for Sherrock who made a costly error at a crucial moment of her clash against Wattimena

Wattimena soon silenced the rowdy Ally Pally crowd when he blasted his way through the third set without reply to move ahead.

Sherrock’s hopes of causing another shock at the Worlds went up in smoke when she bust aiming for double 8 with Wattimena sinking a magnificent 110 checkout to level the fourth set at 2-2. He nailed double 5 in the deciding leg to claim victory.

“Obviously, I’m gutted with the result,” said Sherrock. “I had spells when I played well tonight but I missed chances at key moments and they cost me.

“Full credit to Jermaine, he was the better player on the night and he punished me when I missed chances.

“The Ally Pally stage is a special place for me and I will be back to hopefully make more positive memories here in the future.”

Wattimena ended Sherrock’s hopes when he nailed double 5 to claim a fine win

Three-time quarter-finalist Humphries bossed the opening set of his match against Lee Evans, who hit back with the first 170 checkout of the tournament to narrow the gap in set two before the tournament favourite won the deciding leg to stretch his advantage.

Evans pinned a whopping 116 finish to take a 2-0 lead in the third set but he was punished for a total of 19 missed doubles with ‘Cool Hand Luke’ making it through thanks to a neat 70 checkout.

Humphries admitted he wasn’t at his best during his win over Evans

“I was not at my best today, the most important thing for me is it felt good,” said the 28-year-old Newbury thrower. “I said in my previous interviews, just get through the first game, it’s always the toughest.

“There will be nothing in that game where I look back and say I’m disappointed in myself because I won the game 3-0 and that’s what I wanted.

“The next game will be tough but I feel I will be a lot lot better than that.

“It’s hard not to get frustrated but this is darts. You can’t always be fantastic and that’s the way it is.”

Evans reeled in ‘The Big Fish’ during his second round match against Humphries

Dutchman Niels Zonneveld halted ‘The Demolition man’ Darren Webster’s revival to land his very first victory on the World stage.

After easing through the opening two sets, Norfolk ace Webster bounced back by edging the third set in a decider to keep his hopes alive despite 16 missed darts at doubles and an 84 average.

Niels Zonneveld eventually got over the line against Darren Webster, despite EIGHT missed match darts

However, ‘Triple Z’, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2021 World Series of Darts, booked his spot in the second round against former European Champion Ross Smith thanks to his ninth match dart.

In the opening match of the night, Florian Hempel recovered from a set down to defeat Ireland’s Dylan Slevin 3-1 with five 180s along the way.

Young Irishman Slevin piled in a 167 but former handball star Hempel showed all his experience to make a winning start to his campaign.

Dylan Slevin hit this sensational 167 checkout during his first round defeat at the Worlds

The German will now renew his rivalry with Dimitri Van den Bergh in a fascinating second round tie on Friday, two years after stunning the Belgian.

World Darts Championship: Sunday Afternoon Results

Ricky Evans 3-0 Simon Adams (R1)
Jim Williams 3-0 Norman Madhoo (R1)
Matt Campbell 3-2 Lourence Ilagan (R1)
Joe Cullen 3-0 Darren Penhall (R2)

‘The Rockstar’ lays down marker in afternoon session

Joe Cullen was happy with his victory over Darren Penhall

Joe Cullen raced into the third round after easing to a straight-sets victory over Darren Penhall on Sunday afternoon.

Cullen smashed in this 160 checkout against Penhall

Cullen fired a 93.41 average and posted six maximums during a comfortable 3-0 win over Penhall, with a 160 checkout also helping set up a last-32 meeting with Ryan Searle, Ian White or Tomoya Goto.

‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans summons the spirit of Christmas for his walk-on against Simon Adams

Ricky Evans brushed aside Simon Adams in straight sets earlier in the session to book a second-round clash with Nathan Aspinall, while Wales’ Jim Williams didn’t drop a leg on his way to defeating qualifier Norman Madhoo by the same scoreline.

The contest of the session came when ‘Ginja Ninja’ Matt Campbell battled back from squandering five match darts in the third set and a two-set lead to defeat Lourence Ilagan in a final-set decider.

Matt Campbell missed the chance to finish the match before Lourence Ilagan hits tops-tops to win the set

Live World Darts Championship

What’s happening on Monday at the World Darts Championship?

Gerwyn Price will be aiming to land a second World title at Ally Pally

Welshman Gerwyn Price begins his bid to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy for a second time on Monday.

The night will also see World Youth Championship finalist Gian van Veen make his World Championship debut.

World Darts Championship: Monday Fixtures

Mario Vandenbogaerde vs Thibault Tricole (R1)
Gian van Veen vs Man Lok Leung (R1)
Martin Lukeman vs Haupai Puha (R1)
Gerwyn Price vs Connor Scutt (R2)

The sport’s biggest event sees 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months


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