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DARTS: Aspinall plays through the pain to win at Alexandra Palace

DARTS: Aspinall plays through the pain to win at Alexandra Palace

PA Zac Goodwin


Nathan Aspinall vowed to carry on playing through the pain barrier after surviving a match dart to reach the third round of the PDC Darts World Championship.

Fellow Englishman Joe Murnan had a shot at double top to take out Aspinall 3-1 at Alexandra Palace.

But Murnan missed his and Aspinall – who has been suffering from golfer’s elbow and tendinitis and was wearing strapping on the oche to protect his injured throwing right arm – stepped in to turn the match on its head.

“I’ve been advised to have three months off but it’s not happening,” Aspinall told Sky Sports after hitting eight 180s in his 3-2 recovery victory.

“I had an injection last week. It’s uncomfortable but I can still play and I’ve been practising really well.

“It’s not nice but I can still win everything. I dug deep and never gave in.

“I can have two days off now with my family, enjoy Christmas, and then it’s all forward for Gezzy’s (Gerwyn Price) title.”

Tenth seed Aspinall, a World Championship semi-finalist in 2019 and 2020, will play Brendan Dolan or Callan Rydz in the last 32.

Former BDO world champion Steve Beaton had eliminated Fallon Sherrock in the first round but bowed out with a 3-1 defeat to Kim Huybrechts.

The Belgian, who will meet world champion and world number one Price in the last 32, said: “Honestly that was one of the worst games I’ve ever played at Ally Pally.

“I was so nervous and I was struggling up there. I was very lucky to win, it was a horrible game.”

Former World Championship runner-up Simon Whitlock crashed out 3-1 to Martijn Kleermaker, while Dirk Van Duijvenbode shaded Boris Koltsov 3-2 in a see-saw contest.

William O’Connor claimed the first 170 checkout of the tournament against Glen Durrant.

The Irishman achieved the feat in the opening leg as he set the tone for his 3-0 victory over former Premier League champion Durrant.

“Glen didn’t show up and I suppose I found it very deflating,” O’Connor said after setting up a third-round meeting with ninth seed Michael Smith.

Ryan Searle ended the run of nine-dart hero William Borland with a convincing 3-0 win.

Borland had dramatically won the deciding leg of his first-round match against Bradley Brooks in the quickest way possible – the first player in a televised PDC event to do so.

But the Scottish debutant could not derail Searle as the world number 15 secured victory with a 116 checkout.

Joe Cullen recovered from 2-1 down to overcome Jim Williams in a five-set thriller, hitting eight 180s and averaged 107 and 103 in the final two sets.

UK Open finalist Luke Humphries, the 19th seed, beat Austrian Rowby-John Rodriguez 3-0 and faces Dave Chisnall next.

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