World Darts Championship: Raymond van Barneveld thrills on Ally Pally return, James Wade stumbles through
Report and highlights from Night Six of the 2022 PDC World Championship. Raymond van Barneveld made a winning return to the Alexandra Palace, while James Wade laboured to a 3-1 victory over Maik Kuivenhoven.
Last Updated: 21/12/21 6:11am
Raymond van Barneveld marked his World Championship return with an impressive 3-0 first-round win over Laurence Ilagen.
Five-time world champ Barney, who came out of retirement to regain his PDC Tour Card at Q-School last January, was making his first appearance at the Alexandra Palace in two years.
His Monday night victory was in stark contrast to his last showing at the World Championship; a first-round loss to Darin Young 24 months ago.
With a pep in his step once more on the Ally Pally stage, the Dutchman has set up a heavyweight second-round showdown with 2018 winner Rob Cross on Thursday night.
|Round 1||Luke Woodhouse 3-1 James Wilson|
|Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 3-1 Ben Robb|
|Raymond van Barneveld 3-0 Lourence Ilagan|
|Round 2||James Wade 3-1 Maik Kuivenhoven|
Barney delivers on World Championship return
The 54-year-old dropped just two legs in the 3-0 romp.
It was a vintage display from the Dutch master, who resembled the Raymond van Barneveld of old. Throwing with a composed rhythm, he looked at ease moving around the board, picking Ilagen apart with ease.
After dropping the second leg of the contest, he took control, winning six without reply.
Ultimately, he was a level above 'The Gunner' and marched on in style, averaging 96.7 in an all-round performance.
"I missed it. I had one goal to be back here...I never thought I was getting back, because I was done with darts," RVB told Sky Sports after his win.
"I didn't play my A-game tonight, I can play much better.
"Rob Cross is a nightmare. He is playing amazing darts. I look forward to a fantastic game. I can't wait until Thursday night. We're going to have a massive game."
Machine fails to fire but stumbles on
Fourth seed James Wade was not at his best, but eventually managed to see off Maik Kuivenhoven.
The reigning UK Open champ looked to be cruising, taking the first set with a 105 checkout, and a second set quickly followed.
However, the 33-year-old Dutchman then showed his battling qualities and dug in his heels to halve the deficit.
The fourth and final set was not so much a case of Wade moving up a gear, but rather Kuivenhoven failing to take his chances. The underdog's doubling deserted him at crucial moments, which allowed the experienced Englishman to take full advantage.
Job done for Wade, but he will know that he must improve for his return to the North London venue after Christmas, when he will face Vincent Van der Voort or Adam Hunt.
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez joins his brother in the second round
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez ensured a clean sweep for the Rodriguez household in the first round, following his older brother Rowby-Jake into the second stage.
On his debut, the 20-year-old strutted onto the big stage and went about his business in impressive fashion. He fired in a 180 with his opening visit, taking the first leg in 12 darts en route to the first set.
However, the young Austrian star was pegged back, as Ben Robb hit back in the second.
But from there, it was all one-way traffic. Rodriguez sealed the victory in style, opening the final leg of the contest with successive 180s. Although the nine-dart finish eluded him, 'RJR3' will be thrilled with the victory, featuring a 93.86 average and an 11/25 finishing stat.
|Lewy Williams v Toyokazu Shibata (R1)|
|Jason Lowe v Daniel Larsson (R1)|
|Mervyn King v Ryan Joyce (R2)|
|Dave Chisnall v Mike De Decker (R2)|
|Vincent van der Voort v Adam Hunt (R2)|
|Michael Smith v Ron Meulenkamp (R2)|
|Dimitri Van den Bergh v Florian Hempel (R2)|
|Devon Petersen v Raymond Smith (R2)|
Woodhouse sees off Wilson
Earlier in the evening, Luke Woodhouse defeated James Wilson to set up a second-round clash with Damon Heta.
Wilson took the opening set, breaking throw in the deciding leg after Woodhouse missed a shot at D16. But from there, 'Woody' took control.
The 33-year-old levelled it at 1-1, before recovering from the concession of a break of throw to take the third set.
From there, his performance crescendoed. He broke throw in the opening leg of the fourth set with a stunning 128 checkout on the bullseye, and finished the job with a 116 out-shot.
It was a professional display from Woodhouse, who previously reached the last 32 in 2020, and he will be filled with confidence ahead of Thursday afternoon's showdown with 'The Heat'.
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