WORLD DARTS: Double Tops Gurney

Waterside darts star Daryl Gurney is hoping Santa leaves him a late Christmas present ahead of his third round William Hill PDC World Darts Championship encounter next week.

Wednesday, 21st December 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:02 pm
Daryl Gurney celebrates winning against Jermaine Wattimena during day four of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London.

Gurney, who jetted back home following his first round win over Jermaine Wattimena, will spend Christmas with family and friends before flying back to London to face either world number nine Robert Thornton or qualifiers Zoran Lerchbacher/Simon Stevenson on Tuesday December 27th.

“I would love a late Christmas present of getting a victory against whoever I’m playing in the second round,” he said.

“In fairness I would love to get a couple of victories and go deep into this competition. It’s the one everyone wants and if you want to have a run in a competition then the World Championships is the place to have it.

“You could be remembered for years to come if you, say, get to a semi-final or so, but at the minute I’m just going to play it by ear, take every game as it comes and hopefully I can win my next game and then we’ll see what happens.

“As I’m playing again on the 27th I’m probably going to head back early on Boxing Day.

“I’m not going to travel on Christmas, as I missed Christmas Day last year; that was the first time I was away from home and had to stay in England, so yes, getting home and getting a proper Turkey Dinner and getting to open your Christmas presents too is nice.”

The 30-year-old concedes that no matter who he faces in the second round, it is going to be tough.

“I know one of the qualifiers who Robert will have to play, the boy Stevenson. He’s a very good player and has beaten a lot of top players this year, the likes of Adrian Lewis, so if he gets through, he could beat Robert,” Gurney added.

“But with the big stage, the experience and over five sets I would say I’ll probably be playing Robert Thornton though whoever it is I’ll have the same motivation to just go and beat them and get to the winning double before they do. Hopefully I’ll get through into the third round.”

Only 12 months ago Gurney was knocked out in the second round by eventual winner Gary Anderson but he’s hoping to go further this year and maybe even do a ‘Leicester City’ and be the surprise player.

“Every year I look to do better than how I did the previous year,” he said.

“Last year it was the second round, so I’ll be trying to make it into the third round this year and if I can get to the third round then we’ll see how we can go from there. Maybe we can push on and see if I can get another round.

“The set-play format lends itself to a surprise player. If you are playing other formats, say, just playing leg-on-leg, that’s why Michael van Gerwen has been winning everything, because it’s leg-on-leg and it hasn’t been sets.

“If you hit three 12 darters in a set you have probably won that set, so that’s why Michael has only won it once in the last five years since he has been number one.”