Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Gurney aiming to take down Henderson and show title class

By Robert Jones

Daryl Gurney must share the limelight with the legend that is Phil Taylor at the World Championship at Alexandra Palace in London tonight.

Gurney takes on John Henderson for a place in the last 16, while 16-time champion Taylor (57) is also in action - against Justin Pipe - in what could be his last big match before riding off into the sunset.

Gurney beat Henderson on his way to winning the World Grand Prix in Dublin in October - the Londonderry thrower's first and so far only major - but that was a great tournament for the Scot too with a victory over World No.1 Michael van Gerwen to show for his efforts before eventually bowing out to the Ulsterman in the semi-finals.

"John is a top player and has the ability to beat anyone, shown by his win over Van Gerwen," said in-form Gurney. "It will be tough but I know if I play as well as I can, I will come through it."

If Gurney progresses from tonight's last-32 encounter in the £1.8million showpiece event, he will meet either Rob Cross or Michael Smith next Thursday.

In last night's matches, Mensur Suljovic beat Robert Thornton 4-2, Gary Anderson saw off Paul Lim 4-1 and James Wilson didn't even win a leg against a red-hot Van Gerwen, the Dutchman going through 4-0.

Meanwhile, Pipe has denied trying to put first-round opponent Bernie Smith off by coughing on stage.

Former star Wayne Mardle said it was "disgusting" but Pipe replied: "I'm bitterly disappointed with the comments which were made on Sky Sports. I would never do something to put another player off."

Belfast Telegraph

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