The darts have grown in popularity massively in the last few years. Since being picked up by Sky, the sport was been revolutionized and packaged together nicely with a plethora of colorful characters and a choir of chanting fans inside London’s Alexandra Palace — making the World Championships one of the most exclusive events to watch over the festive period.
Last year, Gerwyn Price took home the title after an exciting final behind closed doors against Peter Wright, and this year the action has picked up where it left off, only this time it is backed by a boisterous 3,000 spectators to create a carnival-like atmosphere. There have already been plenty of exciting matches that have upset the darts World Championship odds, so read on as we go through some of the best so far.
William Borland vs Bradley Brooks
Even if you aren’t the biggest darts fan, or keep up with the darts tips today from Betfair, almost everyone would have seen the ending of this match by now. Becoming an overnight sensation across various social media platforms, William Borland was relatively unknown heading into the Championships, with just a handful of victories in majors to his name. However, his fantastic nine darter sent Ally Pally into delirium in one of the best endings to a Championship match you are ever likely to see.
Considering Borland had been white-washed in the first set, with Brooks making an impressive start, he mounted an impressive comeback and completed the 3-2 turnaround in ceremonious fashion. For two young players who have plenty of years ahead of them, this could well prove to be a watershed moment and a match that will go down as one of the all-time greats.
Raymond van Barneveld vs Lourence Ilagan
Having announced his retirement in 2019, after losing in the first round of the tournament, few would have expected Raymond van Barneveld to come back in the way that he has. The Dutchman was unsure about his future but after making a return to the oche last February, he has been on a rampage and looks to right the wrongs of two years ago.
This performance over Lourence Ilagan showed his superiority and why he has the potential to be an outside favorite to go all the way if he continues to dazzle with 3-0 wins as emphatic as this one was.
Peter Wright vs Ryan Meikles
For world number two Peter Wright, the prospect of exiting last year’s World Championship in the third round would have been as frustrating as it was underwhelming, but after making his return to Ally Pally, it was Ryan Meikle who found himself on the receiving end of a devastating snake bite. Wright looked back to his best with a resounding 3-0 win and despite a frustrating fifth leg for the Scot, in which Meikle looked to find his feet, albeit momentarily, the darts world was really reminded how good Wright was can be.
While it remains to be seen how far he will go in the competition, he was quietly confident beforehand: “I know the way I can play and if transfer that on to the TV stage, then I know I can win it again,” Wright said: “There is not that great an amount of players that are that good over long distances – only a handful – so if I am getting to the latter stages then I am going to be very hard to beat.”