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Newcastle darts star wins on remarkable day at World Championships
NEWCASTLE'S Kevin McDine made it through to the second round of the PDC World Darts Championships on a remarkable weekend that saw two players hit nine-dart finishes but still exit the tournament.
Terry Jenkins and Kyle Anderson both produced a perfect leg of darts, only for their efforts to prove in vain as they crashed out at Alexandra Palace.
Geordie McDine fared much better though, beating the seeded Wayne Jones 3-2 to book a second-round game that is likely to pit him against number two seed, Michael van Gerwen.
McDine made a fine start, winning the opening set 3-1 before Jones, who was a World Championship semi-finalist in 2006, won six of the next nine legs to move in front at 2-1.
McDine, who had to win back his tour card at qualifying school in January, took the fourth set without losing a leg to force a decider, and swept through the final set without reply.
“It's amazing,” said the North-Easterner. “I've had a couple of years away from the big stage, and it's the best feeling in the world, especially to get the win as well.
“I enjoyed myself, and I'll take the positives from this. I've been practising well and although I can play a bit better, I'm over the moon.
“I said at the start of the year at qualifying school that all I wanted to do was make the World Championship, which I've done, and I've won my first game so I'm delighted with myself. Hopefully, I can push on back towards the top 32 now.”
McDine's victory came during a Saturday afternoon session that was one of the most remarkable spells of darts ever seen at the World Championships.
Jenkins hit only the sixth nine-dart finish in the history of the tournament, but still lost to Per Laursen as the Danish qualifier won the final set 4-2 in a tie break.
“I've always said I need to hit nine-darters to win games, but even that wasn't enough,” joked Jenkins, who also hit a maximum 170 checkout on his way to defeat. “I knew I was practising well, and said to my mate beforehand that I thought I was going to hit a nine-darter.”
An hour after Jenkins' feat, Australian Kyle Anderson matched his achievement by landing two maximums and a 141 checkout in the fourth set of his match with Ian White.
The Australian Grand Prix champion will share the nine-dart bonus of £30,000 with Jenkins, unless another player produces a perfect leg in a tournament that is still in its infancy.
Anderson went on to lose 3-1, but the 26-year-old could barely hide his pride in becoming only the second Australian in history to hit a televised nine-dart finish, behind Simon Whitlock.
“You can't describe the feeling to hit a nine darter,” said Anderson, whose older brother Beau will also be in action tomorrow. “I came here to be part of history and played well.
“The high of the nine darter outweighs the disappointment of losing. I think it will help people to recognise me because I want to raise the profile of darts in Australia.”
There were also first-round wins for Paul Nicholson, Andy Hamilton, Gary Anderson, Robert Thornton and Jarkko Komula.
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