The next leg in the first PDC World Darts Championship weekend of the 2019 edition is Sunday’s afternoon session. The last time William O’Connor was on the big stage, it didn’t go so well. But this time the Irishman isn’t playing Max Hopp in front of a sea of German fans. He takes on the Dutchman, Yordi Meeuwisse, in the first round. The Western Europe qualifier has precious little major experience to fall back on, which may just about play into the Magpie’s hands.
Afternoon session schedule
James Wilson v William O’Connor
Simon Whitlock v Ryan Joyce
Michael Smith v Ron Meulenkamp
James Wade v Seigo Asada
Another Irish talent takes to the oche after that, this time from north of the border. Brendan Dolan, the History Maker, has not enjoyed the same form at the World Championship as at his beloved Grand Prix. In fact, he has never navigated his way past the second round. To give him a shot at doing so against Joe Cullen, he must overcome Yuanjun Liu. When Wenge Xie stole hearts at the 2016 World Cup of Darts, Liu was his partner. He retained that place a year later, and this year’s Chinese Qualifier win cements his spot as one of his nation’s best talents. But Chinese players are yet to make a mark at PDC majors. Could this be their moment?
Dave Chisnall is the big draw for the afternoon session. Last year, a wobbly Chisnall suffered a first round humiliation at the hands of Vincent van der Voort. He limped through the early stages of the year but enjoyed an upturn in form, culminating in a magnificent 118 average on the European Tour. He’s once again in a good place. But that doesn’t mean that he’s safe from another early exit, especially when Josh Payne has the talent to send the St Helens man home.