Dirk van Duijvenbode and Vincent van der Voort followed their Christmas Day dinner partner Michael van Gerwen into the last 16 of the PDC World Darts Championship on Monday afternoon.
With the Dutch trio unable to get back to their native Netherlands over the three-day festive break, Van Gerwen played host with a barbeque before setting the tone with a blistering display to beat Ricky Evans on Sunday night as the tournament resumed.
The less-heralded pair of Van der Voort and Van Duijvenbode followed suit as the third round continued, Van der Voort shocking world No 6 Nathan Aspinall and Van Duijvenbode ensuring his memorable year continues with a best-ever showing in the tournament after a 4-0 victory over Adam Hunt.
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Monday Third Round results
Van der Voort holds off Aspinall comeback
Van der Voort ended Aspinall’s superb record in the World Darts Championship with a 4-2 victory to send the world No 6 packing before the last four for the first time.
The Dutchman had powered into a 2-0 lead on the back of blistering start but he was forced to ride out a trademark Aspinall comeback before crossing the finish line and into a date with Daryl Gurney or Chris Dobey.
Aspinall has only played at Alexandra Palace twice, reaching the last four in each of the last two years, but he was up against it early as back-to-back 12-dart legs with finishes of 121 and 110 gave the Dutchman the lead.
Van der Voort wrapped up a sensational first set when he cleaned up 42 to leave Aspinall stunned and without a dart at a double in a blistering 4mins 30secs barrage.
A third three-figure finish followed as Van der Voort claimed a sixth successive leg with a brilliant 113 finish.
Aspinall was 2-0 down in his second-round match against Scott Waites and claimed the third set opener when Van der Voort missed four darts for the leg.
The Asp is not one to turn down an opportunity and two more legs followed as the UK Open champion halved the deficit to begin his comeback.
With confidence flooding back, Aspinall took out the next two legs only to see Van der Voort hit back with two of his own to take a pivotal fourth set into a decider which Asp held his nerve to claim with a 13-dart hold of throw.
However, the fightback seemed to suck the life out of the Englishman’s challenge as Van der Voort claimed six of the last eight legs to reach the last 16.
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Inspired Van Duijvenbode powers past Hunt
A blistering display of finishing saw Dirk van Duijvenbode register a 4-0 win over Adam Hunt to reach the last 16 for the first time.
Hunt outscored the Dutchman in the 180-count, but Van Duijvenbode’s finishing and overall scoring power was enough to underline his status as a surprise contender for the title.
The tone was set in the opening exchanges when Hunt kicked off with a 145 finish but Van Duijvenbode, who won his Tour Card in January, won his first leg with a brilliant 170 check-out himself.
The Hunter was far from overmatched and averaged 97 but there was no let-up from Van Duijvenbode who took out finishes of 120 and 114 to win the second and third set.
Five years on from his only previous appearance the World Championship that resulted in a first-round defeat, Van Duijvenbode has enjoyed the season of his darting life, combining life as an aubergine farmer with a run of form that took him to the World Grand Prix final in October.
He claimed the three legs he needed to win the fourth set and complete an impressive victory that takes him to the brink of world’s top 32 as well as a winnable fourth-round contest with Glen Durrant or Danny Baggish.
Tuesday at the World Championship
Live World Darts Championship
December 29, 2020, 6:00pm
King marches on as De Sousa dream fades
Mervyn King continued his resurgence with a spectacular performance to beat Grand Slam of Darts champion Jose De Sousa with a stunning 4-0 demolition that sees him into the last 16 for the first time since 2014.
In his 25th consecutive World Championship appearance, King – twice a runner-up in BDO finals – produced arguably his best performance on the Alexandra Palace stage to reach the fourth round.
Having reached the final of the Players Championship last month, the last tournament before the World Championship, King had already fired a warning of his return to form.
The 54-year-old was beaten in a last-leg decider by Michael van Gerwen on that occasion as he continues to chase a first major televised PDC title.
However with defending champion Peter Wright dumped out of his half of the draw, King will fear no-one after averaging 104, hitting eight 180s and losing just four legs against The Special One.
De Sousa averaged 103 and piled in seven maximums himself but had no answer to King, who powered into a 2-0 lead in double-quick time.
The Portuguese thrower ended King’s six-leg burst as he took the third set into a decider but King’s classy 15-dart leg took him to within a set of the last 16 – remarkably he has only once gone beyond that stage in his 13 PDC World Championship appearances, his semi-final run in 2009.
There was time for a remarkable De Sousa miscount in the final set, taking aim at double top when he had left the bullseye, and that was to be his final notable action as King claimed the match and a date with either Gerwyn Price or Brendan Dolan.
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