World Darts Championship: Lisa Ashton loses 3-2 to Ryan Meikle, while Josh Rock wins on debut
Alan Soutar beat Daryl Gurney as Dimitri Van den Bergh, Simon Whitlock, Cameron Menzies, Adam Gawlas and Martin Lukeman claimed wins; Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship live on Sky Sports Darts with a double session on Sunday at 11am and 8pm
Last Updated: 18/12/22 6:41pm
Lisa Ashton's dream of winning a match at the PDC World Darts Championship was thwarted by Ryan Meikle on Saturday night, as rising star Josh Rock won on his tournament debut.
Dimitri Van den Bergh and Simon Whitlock also picked up victories on Saturday, while Daryl Gurney became the first seed to exit the tournament at the hands of Alan Soutar.
Saturday, December 17 - Evening Results
|Ryan Meikle||3-2||Lisa Ashton (R1)|
|Cameron Menzies||3-1||Diogo Portela (R1)|
|Josh Rock||3-1||Jose Justicia (R1)|
|Dimitri Van den Bergh||3-0||Lourence Ilagan (R2)|
- As it happened on Super Saturday at Ally Pally
- Your ultimate guide to the World Darts Championship
- World Darts Championship: Fixtures, Results and TV times
Ashton's bid to become the second woman in history to win on the Alexandrea Palace stage ended in a first-round 3-2 defeat, but Meikle was forced to survive a spirited comeback from the four-time women's world champion.
The world No 48 was booed to the stage by a boisterous Saturday night crowd but brushed aside the jeers as he raced to a 3-1 win in the first set, before edging the second 3-2.
Ashton fought back with a spectacular 117 checkout which put her on track to win the third set 3-2 and she recovered from missing six set darts to take the fourth 3-2.
Despite having the throw in the deciding set, Ashton was broken twice as Meikle swept to victory to secure a second-round match with Raymond van Barneveld on Tuesday evening.
"What Lisa, Beau and Fallon [Sherrock] have done to bring on the women's game is incredible and she really is a nice woman, so I do feel a bit bad," Meikle told Sky Sports. "But I had a job to do."
Ashton's defeat follows Beau Greaves' loss on Friday evening, which means Fallon Sherrock is the only female player left in this year's tournament - and she was in the crowd to watch her boyfriend Cameron Menzies secure his place in round two.
The Scotsman delighted the crowd by talking to himself and gesticulating extravagantly throughout a gutsy 3-1 win over Brazil's Diogo Portela, which sets up a clash with Vincent van der Voort on Thursday.
Debutant Rock remarkably entered the tournament as the fifth favourite and proved his status as one of the breakout stars in world darts with a 3-1 win over Jose Justicia.
The 21-year-old won the first set 3-1, but lost the second by the same scoreline before a brilliant 150 checkout was followed by a unique double 19, double 20 finish on 98 as he raised his level to take the third set.
He didn't drop a leg in the fourth set to seal a debut victory and a match against 'The Riot' Callan Rydz next.
In the final match of the night, 15th seed Van den Bergh showed his class to ease past Lourence Ilagan 3-0 to reach the third round.
'The DreamMaker' danced his way to victory, recording the highest average of the tournament so far with 97.20, the highest finish with an epic 164 on the bullseye, dropping just two legs in the rout.
Saturday, December 17 - Afternoon Results
|Martin Lukeman||3-0||Nobuhiro Yamamoto (R1)|
|Simon Whitlock||3-2||Christian Perez (R1)|
|Adam Gawlas||3-2||Richie Burnett (R1)|
|Daryl Gurney||0-3||Alan Soutar (R2)|
Gurney sent packing by Soutar as Whitlock survives scare
Gurney crashed out during Saturday's afternoon session after a straight-sets defeat against Soutar, as Whitlock survived a huge scare to avoid an early exit.
Gurney fired seven maximums and posted a 91.25 average but was beaten in final-leg deciders in all three sets, as firefighter Soutar made two 110 checkouts and signed off with a 160 finish to book his place in the third round.
"I'm absolutely buzzing," said Soutar, who reached the last 16 of last year's Worlds. "Daryl's a tough, tough player, but he gave me loads of chances and missed a load of doubles to let me in. I'm really happy with the win."
Former World Darts runner-up Whitlock was made to sweat for his place in the second round. The Australian squandered the opportunity to move into a two-set lead but edged back ahead when Christian Perez wasted four set darts in the third, only for the Filipino to respond with 14 and 15-dart legs on his way to winning the fourth set in straight sets.
The final set was locked at 1-1 when Perez missed nine darts at double, as Whitlock snatched the lead with a 30-dart leg, before the 2010 runner-up found a 13-darter in the next leg to secure a second-round tie against former Grand Slam of Darts winner Jose de Sousa.
Martin Lukeman opened his tournament with a straight-sets victory against debutant Nobuhiro Yamamoto, setting up a second-round meeting with Martin Schindler, while Richie Burnett was narrowly beaten in his first appearance at Alexandra Palace since 2014.
Burnett recovered from losing the opening set to win the next two against Adam Gawlas, although was left to regret 20 missed darts at doubles as the Czech youngster claimed a 3-2 win.
- Mardle: Beau acquitted herself brilliantly I O'Connor: She's got a big future
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Sunday at Ally Pally
Two-time semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall gets his campaign underway with World Cup winner Damon Heta facing a potential second round showdown against two-time world champion Adrian Lewis.
Sunday, December 18 - Fixtures (1100 GMT)
|Madars Razma||vs||Prakash Jiwa (R1)|
|Karel Sedlacek||vs||Raymond Smith (R1)|
|Luke Woodhouse||vs||Vladyslav Omelchenko (R1)|
|Damon Heta||vs||Adrian Lewis (R2)|
Sunday, December 18 - Fixtures (2000 GMT)
|Mike De Decker||vs||Jeff Smith (R1)|
|Scott Williams||vs||Ryan Joyce (R1)|
|Matt Campbell||vs||Danny Baggish (R1)|
|Nathan Aspinall||vs||Boris Krcmar (R2)|
Luke Woodhouse, 'Shaggy' Scott Williams and Canadian thrower Matt Campbell also feature.
Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship - live on Sky Sports Darts - from December 15 to January 3.