Lisa Ashton failed to become the first woman to win a PDC World Championship match after Jan Dekker rallied to beat her at Alexandra Palace.
Dekker rallied from losing the opening set without throwing a dart, but was pushed every step of the way by Ashton who acquitted herself superbly on her PDC debut and will look back on missed opportunities at crucial moments that handed her opponent the chance.
Ashton produced a sensational opening set of darts. The four-time BDO women’s champion reeled off all three legs, recording a 107 average in the process and for good measure took out two 100+ check-outs to delight the Ally Pally crowd who had roared her to the stage.
Dekker, twice a BDO World Championship semi-finalist and the world No 40, seized the initiative with a five-leg burst that levelled the match and then moved 2-0 in front in the third set.
Again Ashton rallied and forced Dekker to dig deep and eventually seal his place in the second round and a showdown with 19th seed Mervyn King.
World Championship Day One – as it happened
Ashton rattled off a spectacular 110 to open the match in just 11 darts and pushing her average up beyond 100 took out the second before a sensational 121 finish on the bullseye saw her become the first woman since Gayl King in 2001 to win a set off her male opponent.
Dekker took the opening leg of the second set and antagonised the crowd with a pair of defiant roars as he got on the board.
Ashton missed three darts to level and Dekker, having missed darts of his own, pinned double ten to move within a leg of levelling the contest. He did so with a double eight, but only after Ashton missed a dart at bullseye for 127 and what would have been a third three-figure out-shot.
World Darts Championship: The Draw
World Darts Championship: The Schedule
Dekker pushed on, taking his run of successive legs to five to take a 2-0 lead in the third before Ashton stopped the rot with double 16 after Dekker’s missed dart at 104 for the set.
Ashton punished the Dutchman, double 10 taking the set to a nervy deciding leg where Dekker scrambled over the line, both players missing their chances before tops gave Dekker the lead.
Undaunted Ashton took out the opening leg of the fourth set and there remained nothing in it, Dekker’s 101 levelled the set and he moved with a leg of the match, a 13-dart break of throw putting him on the brink of a place in the second round.
The Dutchman missed a dart for a 136 finish but when Ashton failed to take out her own big check-out, Dekker returned with three darts in hand and at the second time of asking took out double 16 to end Ashton’s dream and breathe a huge sigh of relief himself.
Jeffrey De Zwaan 3-0 Nitin Kumar
Cody Harris 3-2 Martin Schindler
Jan Dekker 3-1 Lisa Ashton
You can follow every dart from every session of the World Darts Championships on Sky Sports Darts, coverage continues on Friday with a live preview show from 6.30pm followed by Day One – check out the full schedule here
Source: Read Full Article