Whatever next as Norwich ace Darren Webster causes a shock at PDC World Darts Championship
- Credit: PA
Norwich's Darren Webster dumped seventh seed Simon Whitlock out of the PDC World Championship with a shock 3-1 first-round victory at Alexandra Palace.
Webster made a fantastic start to the match and did not drop a leg on his way to winning the first set as an out-of-sorts Whitlock struggled to get a foothold in the game.
Whitlock cut a relieved figure when he squared the match at 1-1, but that was as good as it got for the 2010 finalist.
Webster upped his game to take the third and fourth sets and averaged more than 94 to his Australian opponent's 87 for the match.
'Simon wasn't at his best, but I just tried to keep concentration today,' a delighted Webster said after securing his place in the next round.
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'I was determined to try to win one for a change. I am so happy. Unbelievable.'
Webster added: 'I've been practising my doubles for the last three weeks.
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'That's what's usually let me down in the past but I got a couple of ton-plus finishes there and Simon wasn't on his game.
'I was determined to win one for a change, so I'm so happy.
'I'm only just getting started now, I was a bit nervous up there to start off with but now I can relax into the tournament and who knows what can happen now?'
Webster, who has qualified at Alexandra Palace for the fifth time, will now play Dean Winstanley, who won yesterday, in the second round on Sunday evening.
There was disappointment for North Walsham's Steve Beaton, who was beaten 3-0 by Kyle Anderson – having lost to the same player by the same scoreline in the first round last year.
Anderson managed three 180s during the match, and the 27-year-old Australian wrapped up victory with a double five to set up a second-round encounter against Andy Hamilton.
Norfolk-based Mervyn King makes his tournament bow tomorrow night when the 10th seed takes on Max Hopp.
In other games, Gary Anderson sealed a 3-1 triumph against Scott Kirchner.
American Kirchner had earlier overcome New Zealander Mark McGrath to earn his first-round encounter against number four seed and 2011 finalist Anderson.
The Flying Scotsman, who beat Adrian Lewis to win the Players Championship last month, did not look like his usual relaxed self early on but nevertheless took the first set.
Kirchner responded superbly by winning three unanswered legs to draw level at 1-1 before Anderson's third-set win set him up and the 43-year-old sealed the victory after racing into the lead – after losing the first leg to his opponent – in the fourth to progress.
Robert Thornton was in impressive form as he booked his place in the next round with a 3-0 victory over Andrew Gilding.
The 47-year-old Scot lost just two legs in the comprehensive victory to set up a second-round showdown against Ronnie Baxter.
Thornton hit two 180s in the first set and used his last dart on all three finishes to take the lead, with Gilding pinching just the one leg in reply.
Thornton grabbed another pair of maximums on his way to second-set victory, before upping his game to clinch the third set and the match by hitting tops in the first, then pulling out a superb 144 outshot and wrapping it up in the next to seal a 97.6 average.