Flashy start for Dudbridge
Mark Dudbridge came from behind to beat Alex Roy at Alexandra Palace, where Gary Anderson also made an impressive start.
Last Updated: 19/12/10 12:38pm
Mark Dudbridge produced some great darts to come from behind and beat Alex Roy at the World Darts Championship and record his first win on television for a year.
The brave darts fans that made it through the snow to Alexandra Palace were treated to some great darts from Dudbridge, a solid win from Simon Whitlock and the birth of a new crowd favourite in Japanese qualifier Morihiro Hashimoto.
'The Flash' Dudbridge beat Roy 3-1 to make the second round, while last year's beaten finalist Whitlock saw off Welshman Steve Evans 3-0 - the same scoreline that Andy Hamilton recorded against Dennis Smith.
Despite Englishman Matt Padgett playing at home in his preliminary match, it was 'The Ogre' Hashimoto who the crowd took to in a huge way - and they backed him to a 4-2 win and a date later on against Gary Anderson.
Hashimoto received a rousing reception from the crowd as he returned last on stage to face Flying Scotsman Anderson, but he rose to the challenge of the hostile crowd with a devastating display of darts.
Anderson quietened the crowd straight away with a 107 average in a first set he clinched with a brilliant 122 checkout, before waltzing through the second set with his average now up to over 110.
Anderson could be a real contender for the title if he can put his game together, and he took the focus off Hashimoto and on his own title credentials as his performance sent out a clear message of intent as he sealed a 3-0 whitewash win.
Dudbridge survived a breathtaking start from Roy to end a dreadful run in the majors, with the win his first on television since the World Championship last year.
Roy stuck in two 180s in the first leg, and three in the first set he took with an average of 98, but the Ace of Herts could not keep up that sort of pace and Dudbridge proved far more consistent.
The 2005 World Championship runner-up averaged 92 overall and hit six 180s as he finally found some form to book a huge second round clash with Adrian Lewis in the second round.
"It's not just the winning, it's how I felt up there that's the most pleasing thing," Dudbridge told Sky Sports "I felt relaxed, I felt good and I felt in control.
"I didn't expect that start, well maybe I should have done because Alex is a great player, but that start probably made it the game it was. That first set he just blew me away and I thought 'here we go again'.
"It's only the first round, but it feels like I've won it, things have been going that bad for me!"
Australian star Whitlock is fancied to go a long way after making last year's final, and although he was not at his best he showed his clinical finishing is always with him as he easily defeated Evans 3-0.
The Wizard only lost two legs to the Welshman, who was making his second appearance at Alexandra Palace, as he moved into the second round without any problems.
Saturday night did not start too well for those brave fans who made it to Alexandra palace despite the blizzard, with Andy Hamilton winning a low-quality affair against Dennis Smith 3-0.
Both averaged just around the 80 mark, with just one 180 maximum between them, with Smith woefully hitting just three of 23 doubles as Hamilton sealed his win with the best checkout of the match of 106.