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Norwich star Darren Webster manages to avoid World Championship upset

Darren Webster on his way to victory. Picture: Lawrence Lustig

Darren Webster on his way to victory. Picture: Lawrence Lustig

LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Norwich’s Darren Webster was almost caught out by Devon Petersen but managed to avoid yet another shock in this year’s World Darts Championships as he emerged with a 3-2 first round win against the South African.

“The first two legs I was cool as a cucumber, but the second two legs I was rough as a radish,” said Webster.

“I’ve got a new thing where I’m just focusing on the next three darts, I don’t care who I’m playing, I don’t care who’s in the tournament, all it’s about is me controlling my darts.

“There’s more to come this time, I’m feeling pretty good.”

Peter Wright overcame his recent illness as well as a spirited display from Brazilian Diogo Portela to get through the first round.

Wright was briefly hospitalised with gallstones at the end of November and has spent much of the past three weeks recuperating at home at Mendham in Suffolk, and although he has yet to return to full health averaged 98.59 in a 3-1 win.

Portela was making history as the first Brazilian to appear in the World Championship, and he did South American darts proud as he took a set and at times troubled the world number two.

With 125 places between them in the world rankings though, Wright eventually proved too strong for Portela as he booked a date with Jamie Lewis in the second round after the Christmas break.

“I suppose I was sweating up on the stage so I think I’m still not well to be honest,” said Wright, who was full of praise for his opponent, after previously meeting Portela whilst filming the “180” game show in 2016.

“I played with this man on a TV show a little while back and he said to me afterwards that he was going to Q School, and look where he is now, he’s playing the World Championship – how amazing is he?”

James Richardson beat 18th seed Kim Huybrechts 3-0.

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