Day nine at the Kazoo World Darts Championship is dominated by seeded stars

Former champion Rob Cross made a confident start in his bid for a second crown at the Cazoo World Darts Championship on Friday, while Johnny Clayton, Joe Cullen and Danny Neubert enjoyed wins as round two drew to a close at Alexandra Palace.

Day nine of the £2.5m event saw the eight remaining ties take place in the second round and it was a clean sweep of the seeded stars, with 2018 winner Kroos producing the goods on his return to the capital.

The sixth seed – who famously defeated Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor to lift the Syd Waddell Trophy on his debut – reaffirmed his credentials with an impressive 3-1 victory over enigmatic debutant Scott Williams.

Cross beat his training partner in a quality affair, averaging 99 and swinging three straight sets to come through a draw that saw every set go into the final.

Kroos – runner-up in the Players Championship finals in November – kept up his fine Minehead form to book a post-Christmas date with last year’s quarter-finalist Mervyn King.

“This place will always be special to me. This is my holy grail,” Croce, who also landed seven 180s and converted 58% of his attempts to a double, reversed for a neat display cover.

“I think I handled the big moments pretty well, but maybe I’m putting that down to experiment. I feel good. I feel like I’m getting better and enjoying it again.”

Elsewhere, Clayton kicked off his bid to win the World Championship with a dominant 3-0 win over Danny van Trigg, racing to success in straight sets in just over 20 minutes.

The Welshman produced one of the tournament’s performances to serve up the Challenge Tour star, averaging 99.6, touchdown five 180 runs and converting 50% of his attempts for a double.

After a poor start, Clayton spun to life thanks to two 11-quarter goals and 78 combinations in the second set, before a 16-and-14 and 16-dart match saw the former Premier League winner advance to the third round.

“I needed to get off the blocks and I think I did,” he said. said Clayton, who conceded just three legs on his way to victory.

“I’m happy with that. I wasn’t great and I was a bit nervous tonight because I don’t know much about Dani.

“I want to be talked about as one of the elite, but I need to prove what I can do, so hopefully I can get back on track,” added the Welshman, who plays Brendan Dolan in the third round.

Colin also booked his place in the third round with a convincing 3-1 win over Ricky Evans, challenging a late rally from fast star Kettering ace to move into a meeting against World Cup winner Damon Hita.

Cullen drew his first blood with a clinical line-up of 109 and 62 in straight legs, before doubling the lead with a deciding 105 in a second-set decider.

Evans lifted his match in the third set to reduce the deficit, and threatened to restore par at two apiece after crashing in four 180s in as many legs, only for Colin to close the deal in style.

The Masters winner got the most out of trying to finish the pre-Christmas event with a stunning nine-shooter sprint, but after failing the eighth dart he had to settle for the 11-dart.

“I think I played relatively well, but it was just about winning,” he said. said Cullen, the Premier League runners-up in June.

“It’s all about winning and I’m here to win. Damon is going to be a tough, tough game. He’s playing really well in the moment, but I’m definitely going to be ready for that.”

UK Open champion Norbert produced a stunning late surge to score a 3-1 victory over David Cameron, who failed in his attempt to complete another famous comeback in the capital.

Nobert cruised into the first set with a ton-plus average and kept on the procession to double his lead, but Cameron – who rallied from 2-0 down to stun Richie Edhouse in the first round – fired up another brave fight.

The Canadian veteran followed up his 13 with a clinical 100 kill to halve the deficit, but Nobert avoided any further drama, averaging 109 in the fourth set to seal his lead in style.

“I am really happy to win today,” Said Nobert, who will play with Scotsman Alan Souttar for a place in the last 16.

“I’m not a favourite, and there are a lot of great players here, but I’ve had a good year and I’m really happy with my performance.

“When you win the UK Open, why can’t I win here? Anything is possible. I believe in myself and I know what I can do.”

European Champion Ross Smith made his first middleweight debut at the Alexandra Palace stage in his remarkable 3-1 victory over Darius Lapanauskas.

Smith shot in ten seconds and averaged 100.97 to set up a third-round clash with Dirk van Duijvenbode, who came from 3-0 down to beat the Englishman on the same stage of last year’s event.

Martin Schindler claimed his first victory at Alexandra Palace with a 3-1 victory over newcomer Martin Lookman, which set up a struggle against two-time runner-up Michael Smith.

Schindler – making his fourth world championship appearance – notched his first 170 in this year’s championships, while also landing a six-second lead in the 180 to complete a historic victory.

Chris Dobie will take on two-time world champion Gary Anderson in a mouth-watering third round match after hitting a straight-to-back win over Martin Kleremaker.

Dube, who has reached the last 16 in three of his last four World Championship campaigns, averaged a higher point than his Dutch rival, but finishes of 86, 100 and 114 proved decisive for ‘Hollywood’.

Meanwhile, Dolan – who is competing in his 15th world championship – secured his place in the post-Christmas competition with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Dutch entrant Jimi Hendrix in Friday’s opener.

Click here to view match stats and results.

Kazoo World Darts Championship 2022/23
Friday 23rd December
afternoon session
4x second round

Brendan Dolan 3-1 Jimi Hendrix (3-1, 3-0, 2-3, 3-0)
Chris Doby 3-0 Martine Kleremaker (3-2, 3-1, 3-2)
Ross Smith 3-1 Darius Lapanauskas (3-2, 3-0, 2-3, 3-2)
Rob Cross 3-1 Scott Williams (2-3, 3-2, 3-2, 3-2)

Evening session
4x second round

Martin Schindler 3-1 Martin Lockmann (3-2, 2-3, 3-1, 3-1)
Danny Neubert 3-1 David Cameron (3-1, 3-1, 2-3, 3-1)
Johnny Clayton 3-0 Danny Van Trip (3-1, 3-1, 3-1)
Joe Cullen 3-1 Ricky Evans (3-1, 3-2, 2-3, 3-1)

Tuesday 27 December
Afternoon session (1230 GMT)

3x third round
Dimitri van den Berg – Krzysztof Ratajski
Nathan Aspinall vs Josh Rock
Johnny Clayton vs Brendan Dolan

Evening session (1900 GMT)
3x third round
Jim Williams vs. Gabriel Clemens
Jeroen Price vs. Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright vs. Kim Huybrechts

(best of seven sets)

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