Darts
Pieman stumbles at the first hurdle

By Liam Moakes Thursday 20 December 2012 Updated: 02/01 12:56

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Buy photos » Andy Smith, pictured in action in the first round, was unable to get his game into gear against Daryl Gurney. Picture courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC. (s)

ANDY SMITH'S Ladbrokes World Darts Championship campaign was ended at the first round stage by Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney on Saturday afternoon.

Studley's Smith was haunted by 28 missed doubles against his 26-year-old opponent, who took full advantage to eliminate the 21st seed 3-1 at London's Alexandra Palace.

It was a second successive first round exit for the Pieman as Gurney, who had earlier defeated Croatian Robert Marijanovic by four legs to three in the preliminary round, prevailed 3-1, 3-1, 2-3, 3-0.

Two missed doubles from Smith in the opening leg allowed Gurney to secure an early break in what was a sign of things to come and the Northern Irishman produced an excellent 13-darter to wrap up the first set in style.

Consistent scoring gave Smith the first leg of the second set against the darts but two missed darts at doubles in both the second and third legs sent him on his way to losing the second set.

Smith made a winning start to the third set by hitting double nine, but then wasted nine darts at doubles for a break of throw and Gurney managed to level on double one.

Smith regained the lead by hitting double four, but Gurney won the fourth leg with a superb 122 checkout to move a leg away from victory.

A dramatic deciding leg saw Gurney miss a dart for the match as his attempt at the bullseye for a 170 checkout fell just wide and Smith hit double 14 to keep his hopes alive by sealing set three.

However, three missed darts at double top cost Smith the opening leg of the fourth set and there proved to be no way back for the Pieman as Gurney progressed to seal a second round date against Dave Chisnall as the battle for the world title - currently held by Adrian Lewis - continues.

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