Fifteen-year-old Luke Littler became the youngest player to win a match at a senior World Darts Championship on day three of the World Darts Federation (WDF) World Darts Championship at Lakeside Country Club in Surrey, England.
The English teenager defeated compatriot Ben Hazel 3-2 finishing the contest with checkouts of 100 and 126 in the final set on his way to four finishes of 100 or more in the match.
Luke didn’t have things all his way as Hazel won the opening set. However, Littler came back emphatically as he averaged 118 to win the second set and level the score.
The teenager won the next three legs to move 2-1 ahead, but a resilient Hazel forced a decider by winning the fourth set.
Ultimately, the more experienced 30-year-old couldn’t keep pace with his mere 83 average and succumbed to defeat.
Littler, who ended the match averaging 91, moves on to the third round, where he’ll take on Dutchman Richard Veenstra.
Elsewhere in the afternoon session, Scotland’s Jim McEwan won 3-1 against England’s Aaron Turner, while Wales Mike Warburton beat England’s Dave Prins 3-2, in a contest that Warburton took in 15 darts in a deciding leg in the final set.
In the women’s match played in the afternoon, England’s Maria O’Brien, previously a semi-finalist at this venue, beat qualifier Marjolein Noijens of The Netherlands 2-1.
After his victory, the youngster said: “After going one set down, I really couldn’t find anything, and then those two sets must have ended in under 10 minutes. I found everything that I could, and then at 2-2, I had to hold my nerve. I had to produce because Ben left himself 148, and I had a feeling it was going to go because it was a great match.
“At my age, I’ve just got to enjoy everything at the minute until I can try and go pro, but I have got everyone behind me, and I love them so much.”
Earlier in the day, Michael Warburton prevailed in a five-set thriller as he beat Dave Prins 3-2 to progress into the third round.
The Welshman may have averaged 85 – three points less than his opponent – but his on-point finishing allowed him to secure the win.
Warburton took out 96, 117 and 164 in what was an impressive display of checkouts at the Lakeside.
In the evening session, Belgium’s Brian Raman, the top seed, edged past England’s Johnny Haines 3-2 in another contest that went the distance.
The pair shared nine 180s and four finishes of more than 100, with Raman triumphing in a sudden-death leg, which he began with a maximum and finished with a 121 checkout.