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Champion Wright and Whitlock both exit on day of upsets

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Wrong move: Peter Wright of Scotland in action during his third round match against Gabriel Clemens

Wrong move: Peter Wright of Scotland in action during his third round match against Gabriel Clemens

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Wrong move: Peter Wright of Scotland in action during his third round match against Gabriel Clemens

Peter Wright lost his grip on the PDC World Championship crown last night in dramatic fashion at Alexandra Palace.

The man known as Snakebite was stung by Germany's Gabriel Clemens losing a last leg decider as he exited the competition at the third round stage.

The Scottish thrower was far from his best, even though he still averaged 101.5 but it wasn't enough to shake off the World No.31 who made the most of Wright's failure to take his chances.

In yesterday's afternoon session there was a big shock as Australia's Simon Whitlock, who has been in great form lately, was whitewashed by Krzysztof Ratajski.

The Pole made the most of The Wizard's doubles trouble - he missed 23 of 29 darts at a finish - to book his place in the last 16.

Belgium's Kim Huybrechts is also out after losing 4-2 to Ryan Searle but countryman Dimitri Van den Bergh had no such problems as he defeated Jermaine Wattimena of the Netherlands in straight sets.

In the evening session, it took a deciding leg in the seventh set for Joe Cullen of England to get the better of Welshman Jonny Clayton.

Meanwhile, Brendan Dolan is relishing his role in tonight's top of the bill World Championship Christmas cracker with Gerwyn Price.

The Fermanagh ace's showdown with the Welsh wizard, a former professional rugby player, for a place in the last 16 is the headline attraction on Sky Sports - and number 30 seed Dolan is sure that can only help him hit the heights necessary to down the sport's newest star.

World number three Price has his eye on the global number one ranking and needs to better current kingpin Michael van Gerwen's feats in the £2.5m behind-closed-doors showpiece to realise that dream.

But Dolan, who beat Japan's Edward Foulkes 3-1 in his World Championship opener and reached the quarter-finals two years ago, warned: "I'm looking forward to it. I know that when I'm on song I'm more than a match for anyone. I never worry too much about who I'm playing - it's all about concentrating on my own game.

"Gerwyn Price has been playing well all year and you can see why people are tipping him for the title.

"But I know I have the game to beat him."

Price, who struggled to a 3-2 win over Jamie Lewis last time out, admitted that becoming World number one is playing on his mind while he is still coming to terms with having no crowd at Ally Pally due to Covid restrictions.

He said: "It's a different kind of atmosphere but we have to deal with it and I'll try to perform the best I can. I'll be better next time (against Dolan).

"Sometimes darts goes like that - you can't hit a barn door with a shotgun, but other times I can't miss!

"I'm lucky I came through that game and sometimes you need that bit of luck, not just to win games but to win tournaments. Hopefully I can perform a lot better because that wasn't good enough."

Northern Ireland number one Daryl Gurney will start as slight favourite against Chris Dobey tomorrow afternoon. The Londonderry man beat Limerick's Willie O'Connor 3-2 in the last round.

Belfast Telegraph


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