• World Darts Championship

Nicholson scrapes through - but Baxter tumbles out

ESPN staff
December 17, 2011
Jelle Klaasen bounced back to something like his best form © Getty Images

Paul Nicholson struggled to find his best darts against Mensur Suljovic, but still managed to record a 3-1 victory in the first round. Nicholson never gathered any momentum and struggled to find doubles all night, but found a way to force a victory.

He took the first set 3-1 against the darts, before Suljovic hit back by winning the second 3-2. The third went Nicholson's way 3-1, and then he claimed the fourth 3-2, with successive shots regularly veering between terrific and awful. He will need to raise his level if he is to go deep in the competition.

Steve Farmer caused the biggest shock of the World Championship to date when dumping Ronnie Baxter out 3-2 at Alexandra Palace.

Baxter recovered from losing the first five legs to seize control of the match, but Farmer regrouped to force a decider. He worked his way into a 2-1 lead and held his nerve on his own throw, taking out double-top with his third dart to seal a stunning win.

Steve Beaton was made to battle back from two sets down in his victory over Magnus Caris. Beaton won just one leg in those opening two frames, but stormed back in some style, taking the fourth set 3-0.

Jelle Klaasen rolled back the years with a dominant 3-1 win over Peter Wright.

Klaasen, the 2006 BDO world champion, has been in the wilderness for a couple of years but a return to his old darts has seen a revival in fortunes and he was excellent on his doubles - in stark contrast to his opponent who had a host of chances but failed to convert - and he eased into round two.

Robert Thornton set himself up for a second-round clash with defending champion Adrian Lewis after coming through 3-1 against Ian White. The Scot came into the event under a cloud on account of illness but produced a fine effort to dispose of White.

Alan Tabern took out a 122 checkout, treble-18, 18, bull, to claim his place in the second round with a 3-1 win over Christian Perez.

Tabern appeared set to cruise through only to switch off and Perez had darts to force a final set, but missed double-top and double-10 to allow Tabern to close out the match.

Vincent van der Voort beat Mark Hylton 3-2.

The night's final game ended dramatically when Denis Ovens withdrew through injury after one set of his clash with German debutant Kevin Munch. Ovens had suffered a trapped nerve in his back and he quit after losing the opening three legs.

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