Darts: PDC World Darts Championship 2021: Daryl Gurney edges William O'Connor 3-2 in second round

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney edged out William O'Connor 3-2 in his second round match at the PDC World Championship at Alexandra Palace.

Gurney took the first set by three legs to one and a 121 checkout in the first leg of the second set set him on his way to a 2-0 lead with a 107 average.

O'Connor won set three by three legs to two and a 122 finish in the fourth set helped him to draw level at 2-2.

Gurney raced clear in set five to halt O'Connor's comeback and secure victory.

After Gurney lost just one leg in winning the first two sets, O'Connor capitalised on four missed match darts by the Londonderry man to claim the third set.

The Northern Irishman broke his opponent's throw in the first leg of the deciding set and wrapped things up 3-0 in legs to secure a third-round clash with Chris Dobey.

Gurney is seeded 11 for the tournament based on his world ranking as he aims to improve on his previous best performance at the event - a quarter-final appearance in 2017.

The 34-year-old has failed to get beyond the third round in each of the last three years.

"I've been working so hard at home to prepare for this World Championship," said Gurney after his victory.

"I needed to put the work in to get myself up to speed because I feel like the standard in the PDC is moving on and I don't want to get left behind.

"I feel so much more confident and my scoring has come back. I've always been a big scorer and I need to be hitting trebles to feel comfortable up there.

"I have been awful recently by my own standards. I knew it would be a tough game today so I'm pleased to get through it."

Indifferent form this season

A two-time major winner - having won the World Grand Prix in 2017 and the Players Championship Finals in 2018 - Gurney has struggled to find his best from this season, falling at the first round stage of five tournaments.

His best results of an indifferent season to date have been a semi-final appearance at the UK Open and progressing to the last eight stage of the World Series of Darts Finals.

Limerick's O'Connor had booked his place in the second round by beating Dutch debutant Niels Zonneveld 3-0 in the first round on Wednesday.

Another of the Northern Ireland competitors, Dungannon's Mickey Mansell, will take on New Zealand's Haupai Puha on Friday afternoon.

Mansell, 47, is ranked 59 in the world and has yet to make it beyond the first round in two previous attempts in 2019 and 2020.

Ricky Evans awaits the victor in the second round.

Enniskillen native Brendan Dolan will compete in the event for the 13th time when he takes on the winner of the first round tie between Mike De Decker and Edward Foulkes on Tuesday 22 December.

The 47-year-old Fermanagh man was a quarter-finalist at Ally Pally in 2019 and is currently ranked 30 in the world.

Drogheda teenager Keane Barry lost 3-1 to former BDO world finalist Jeff Smith 3-1 in the first round on Tuesday.

Republic of Ireland thrower, Ciaran Teehan, is drawn against Wayne Jones for Friday's round one encounter.

Cork 21-year-old Teehan lost in the second round 12 months ago - if he reaches the same stage this time Joe Cullen will be his opponent on 22 December.