World test for St Helens darts aces

Michael Smith
Michael Smith

Srephen Bunting could not have hand picked a tougher first round opponent in the first round of the World Darts Championship which gets under way at the Alexandra Palace, London, on December 15.

The St Helens-based player has been paired with the dangerous Darren Webster who gave world no. 1 Michael van Gerwen and almighty scare in the semi-final of the Cash Converters Players’ Championship recently - storming into a 6-0 lead before finally succumbing to the dynamic Dutchman 11-8.

Stablemate Dave Chisnall, who was beaten 11-3 by van Gerwen in the final of the Players’ Championship, has been drawn against Austria outsider Rowby-John Rodriguez, while St Helens former world youth champion Michael Smith comes face-to-face with quick-fire Ricky Evans from Kettering.

The 72-strong competition, which carried prize money of £1.6m, runs until January 2, 2017.