Darren Webster issues warning to young guns of the oche after making World Darts Championship progress

Darren Webster celebrates beating Stephen Bunting during day three of the William Hill World Darts C

Darren Webster celebrates beating Stephen Bunting during day three of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Norwich's Darren Webster says he can mix it with the game's young guns after battling his way to a place in the second round of the William Hill World Darts Championship at London's Alexandra Palace.

Darren Webster celebrates beating Stephen Bunting during day three of the William Hill World Darts C

Darren Webster celebrates beating Stephen Bunting during day three of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

The 48-year-old punished 16th seed Stephen Bunting for missing seven match darts, going through in a tie-break, hitting eight maximums in the process.

Last month's Players Championship semi-finalist Webster produced sensational finishes of 140, 147 and 157 as he progressed to the second round for the third consecutive year.

'I am not getting any younger but I have got more energy than all these youngsters put together,' said Webster.

'I will go up there and I will fight for everything I want and I will work harder and harder than they do every day.'

Darren Webster in action during the walk on during day three of the William Hill World Darts Champio

Darren Webster in action during the walk on during day three of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 17, 2016. See PA story DARTS World. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information. - Credit: PA


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Webster credits a change of attitude which has seen his star in the ascendancy of late, highlighted by his stunning 5-0 demolition of the legendary Phil Taylor at the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton last month.

He said: 'Before I used to come to darts and I would do it all on the floor and then I suppose I used to moan about things, but now I don't moan, I just get on with things. Before I used to look for excuses - now there are no more excuses. I get on that board and if I lose, I lose and it is my own fault, no one else's, and I put it right. And that is what you have to do now to compete with these big boys.

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'It is all in the mind and you have to control yourself and that is what I have been working on in practice. My scoring is phenomenal practising, my finishing is phenomenal in practice. I am now starting to get used to it on tour and I am now starting to get used to it up on the stage and that was a major milestone for me, coming from behind against a class player like Steven. I held my nerve, he made a mistake, I punished him and I am chuffed with myself.'

However, Webster admits he can't keep relying on his ability to battle back.

'When they make mistakes, punish them – but I can't afford to keep doing that. I have got to show them what I can do, scoring-wise and finishing and taking control of games. I can't keep coming from behind – which is nice anyway because now I know I have got that in my armour. I never give up.'

Bungay's Andrew Gilding came out on top in the first sudden-death decider of this year's tournament as he came from two sets behind to beat Scotland's John Henderson, who missed a dart at the bullseye for victory.

Former UK Open semi-finalist Gilding hit eight 180s en route to victory as he moves through to face reigning champion Gary Anderson.

World number one Michael van Gerwen made light work of Scandinavian qualifier Kim Viljanen and produced the highest quality performance of the tournament so far with a straight sets victory.

The Dutch ace averaged almost 104, hit five 180s and dropped just one leg in an impressive opening display to back up his record 25 tournament wins during 2016.

'That's one down and five to go,' said van Gerwen, who is bidding to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy for the first time since his maiden success three years ago.

'I think I played okay and it was good to get through comfortably. I can relax now and look forward what feels like the real tournament.'

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