Rumour has it Mansell is still at the oche - Day 1 World Championship round up

Published on 16 December 2022 at 13:55

Well that was a very interesting start to the World Darts Championship. Not too many surprises however it was a good start to a promising tournament to say the least. So lets delve in to the opener game by game. 


Mickey Mansell 3- 1 Ben Robb 

It was a very slow game to say the least and Robbs face says it all. It was evident that Mansell had a plan to slow the game down and it really did work, Robb's frustration was seen by all throughout the opener. Mansell looked very strong in the first set producing two 140's and and a 64 checkout in his first leg. The proceeded into a downfall for the New Zealander in the first set as he didn't have a look in for the remainder losing all three legs. 

The second set went in very similar fashion but the opposite way round meaning Ben Robb got the equaliser that he needed. Although Mansell won the third set 3-0 it wasn't all it seemed  Robb gave himself multiple occasions to finish including a chance to win on the bull however he narrowly missed hitting 25 to leave Mansell an opportunity to clean up which he did.

The final set saw a mini comeback come into play with Mansell taking the first leg and then Ben Robb winning two back to back legs featuring a 118 finish from the 34 year old. However Mansell thought he would copy Robb's back to back legs meaning the 49 year old got the all important win giving him the chance to face Peter Wright later in the night, 


Mansell vs Robb


92.49  89.13


3       2

Highest Checkout:

81       118


Keane Barry 1 - 3 Grant Sampson

The first real shock of the tournament came from the South African Sampson. Going into the game many pundits and fans expected a clean sweep from Barry however what really happened was far from that. Barry started the first set very confidently, he got himself a 180 and a 2-0 lead. However Grant 'The Samurai' Sampson had something to say about that, the underdog then went to win three straight legs giving himself the first set. 

The second set almost made a repeat of itself but in Barry's favour this time. Sampson took a 2-0 lead and we all expected him to get the final leg however the Irishman tried his hand at a comeback and brought it back to evens. However the youngster couldn't bring it over the line and lost the second set 3-2 meaning Sampson took a 2-0 lead. 

In the third set Sampson got his second 180 of the game however it didn't mean much at all as Barry won the set giving himself a chance to make it through. However Samspon had other ideas giving himself the win whilst hitting another two 180's in the set sending him through to play Kim Huybrechts the following day. 


Barry vs Sampson 


78.35      77.29


3        4

Highest Checkout:

56      125



Nathan Rafferty 3-2 Jermaine Wattimena

Rafferty made his World Darts Championship debut on the opening night and this won't be one he will forget anytime soon. The game was very back and forth and going into the final set Wattimena was favourite but he didn't let that phase him. Rafferty got himself a 180 in the first set and a nail bitingly close 3-2 win for the youngster to take a 1-0 lead. The second set went in similar fashion however it went in the man from Netherlands' favour. 

However in set three and four Rafferty and Wattimena didn't let their opponents have a sniff as they both won a set each with a score of 3-0. The final set went down to the wire - no pun intended! At the beginning of the final set it was starting to look like a repeat of the entire game, a v ery close encounter. After the second leg it went to 1-1 and the bookies felt that Wattiimena was favourite in this position. However young Nathan Rafferty decided that it didn't make a difference and he confidently finished the final set with a 3-1 win. Meaning the debutant faces Michael Smith next which is most likely going to produce a more difficult affair.


Wattimena vs Rafferty


88.46      87.63


2      3

Highest Checkout: 

108      65



Peter Wright 3-0 Mickey Mansell

Mansell's slow build up play may have been successful against Robb however the experienced Peter Wright didn't let that bother him. The Scotsman showed how comfortable it was for him in the final game of the night by only losing one leg out of 10. 

This is a prime example of the gulf in class with some of the players, 'Snakebite' would be the first to admit it wasn't his finest game however he still didn't look in any danger for the entirety of the game. However that won't matter to the World No.2 as he is now through to the next round of the tournament and he will be hoping to claim his third ever World Championship title. 


Wright vs Mansell


88.34     77.5


2       0

Highest Checkout: 

126      40



Written by Harry Lucas @HarryLuc4s

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