William O’Connor advanced to the second round of the Players Championship Finals, following a dramatic 6-5 victory over Chris Dobey on Friday evening.
The Cappamore Arrowsmith had to break the Englishman’s throw and duly obliged, landing a 64 checkout to set up a tie with Polish number one, Krzysztof Ratajski on Saturday afternoon.
Dobey hit 10 180’s compared to just two from the Limerick man. The Northumberland native averaged over 103 but O’Connor was much sharper on his checkouts. The Magpie landed six from just eight efforts at the outer ring and was able to convert the 64 checkout, after Dobey had missed the same number.
He is now guarenteed £5,000 in prizemoney as he looks to climb back up the rankings.
Elsewhere, O’Connor’s Ireland pairs partner, Steve Lennon fell 6-2 to Australian Damon Heta, averaging just 87.
Meath’s Keane Barry faced 2020 PDC World Champion Peter Wright. Despite breaking the world number two to level the contest at 4-4, Barry missed doubles in the last two legs and was beaten 6-4.
2020 runner-up Mervyn King exited at the first hurdle, while there were victories for Raymond Van Barneveld, Gerywn Price and Michael Van Gerwen. Dave Chisnall, Mensur Suljovic and Dirk Van Dujivenbode were three of the surprise casualties on the opening day.
The round of 32 commences on Saturday afternoon and is live on ITV 4, with O’Connor set for his clash around 3.45pm.
Last 64 – Round One Results:
Friday 26th November
Jose de Sousa 6-4 Devon Petersen
Darius Labanauskas 6-4 Mervyn King
Chris Dobey 5-6 William O’Connor
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-1 Ron Meulenkamp
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Jason Lowe
Martin Schindler 6-3 Ian White
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Chas Barstow
Dave Chisnall 4-6 Ritchie Edhouse
Michael Smith 6-3 William Borland
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Alan Soutar
Callan Rydz 6-1 Mensur Suljovic
James Wade 6-1 Ricky Evans
Ryan Searle 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Ryan Joyce 6-4 Luke Woodhouse
Rob Cross 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Jeff Smith
Peter Wright 6-4 Keane Barry
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Kim Huybrechts
Damon Heta 6-2 Steve Lennon
Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Steve Beaton
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Kevin Doets
Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 Maik Kuivenhoven
Dirk van Duijvenbode 5-6 Ryan Meikle
Stephen Bunting 5-6 Gary Anderson
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Alan Tabern
Scott Mitchell 6-5 Martijn Kleermaker
Ross Smith 6-2 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Luke Humphries 6-4 Jason Heaver
Andy Boulton 6-5 Joe Cullen
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Madars Razma
Danny Noppert 6-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez