Barney rumbled at the Palace
Raymond van Barneveld was beaten in straight sets by James Richardson in the first round of the PDC World Championship.
Last Updated: 19/12/11 11:32pm
James Richardson caused one of the biggest upsets in the history of the PDC World Championship with a 3-0 victory over Raymond van Barneveld.
The Dutchman - a five-time world champion - was well below par in the contest as he fell at the opening hurdle for the very first time in the tournament.
A shock never appeared on the cards when Barney - using replicas of the arrows that were in his hands when he defeated Phil Taylor in an epic 2007 final - won the opening leg in just 12 darts, taking out 130.
He also took the next to go 2-0 up before Richardson reeled off the next five legs in a row, including landing a 145 finish on his way to taking the first set.
A 120 checkout doubled his advantage in sets, though van Barneveld suggested a comeback could be on the cards when he came out from the break with an 11-darter.
Double 10 put him on the brink of taking the third set but from then on his accuracy disappeared, leaving him a forlorn figure on stage.
Richardson, in contrast, held his nerve when it mattered - he landed a 145 checkout for a second time and then, after seeing his opponent fail twice on double eight, took out 41 in two darts to complete the mother of all shocks.
"Speechless...just speechless," he told Sky Sports afterwards. "I don't know what to say. I believed.
"It's an absolute dream. The people behind me have given me so much confidence."
A bricklayer by trade, Richardson - who planned to celebrate his success on Sunday night with a vindaloo and a pint of Guinness in the capital - admitted he might now be delayed in returning to his day job.
"I said Tuesday," he replied when asked when he was due back at work. "They can stuff that now, I'm not going back until the New Year!"
Next up for 'Ruthless' will be Kim Huybrechts, the Belgian having caused a bit of an upset himself with a 3-0 win over Brendan Dolan.
Huybrechts won the opening six legs of the match on his way to a superb straight-sets triumph over this year's Grand Prix runner-up.
Meanwhile, Dave Chisnall set up a second round clash with Phil Taylor thanks to a routine 3-0 result against Mark Dudbridge.
The match proved to be extremely one-sided, Dudbridge winning a mere three legs against a player making his debut at Alexandra Palace.
Chisnall finished with a three-dart average of 98.52 and hit a best finish of 90 to complete a comfortable win over an opponent who was a finalist in the event back in 2005.
The final match on Sunday night saw Mark Walsh come from a set down to see off Warren French 3-1.
After losing the first set Walsh took nine of the next 11 legs to seal his place in the next round where he will play the winner of the clash between Kevin Painter and Arron Monk.
New Zealander French had beaten Connie Finnan in a qualifier earlier on and looked capable of making it two from two when he hit double 12 to go 1-0 ahead.
That, though, sparked fightback from Walsh, who won six legs against the throw, the last of them sealing victory as he landed double tops.