NI star Daryl Gurney starts World Championship bid with big target on his back
Daryl Gurney begins his bid for glory at the World Championship at Alexandra Palace tonight as one of the men to beat.
The Ulsterman tackles Belgium's Ronny Huybrechts and approaches the contest full of confidence after landing his first major title - the World Grand Prix - in October in Dublin.
Gurney, from Londonderry, has reached at least the quarter-finals in his last five events and is up to number four in the world.
Ulster's only other representative in the £1.8m showpiece, Brendan Dolan, bowed out on Saturday.
The Fermanagh thrower won his preliminary round encounter against Croatian Alan Ljubic 2-0 before going down 3-1 to Scotland's Robert Thornton.
Both Thornton and Dolan produced some vintage darts, with the Scot threatening a nine-dart finish and taking out a superb 144 finish.
Big guns James Wade and Dave Chisnall exited the tournament last night.
Wade lost 3-2 to fellow Englishman Keegan Brown, while Chisnall was beaten 3-0 by Vincent van der Voort of the Netherlands.
Australia's Kyle Anderson passed his first test.
The world number 24 beat England's Peter Jacques 3-1 to book his place in the second round.
Joining him there are England's Alan Norris, who beat Finland's Kim Viljanen 3-0, and Jamie Lewis, who won an all-Wales encounter with Jonny Clayton by the same margin.