Hempel and Ilagan win Thrillers

An emotional Lourence Ilagan edged out a spirited Rowby-John Rodriguez in a dramatic deciding-leg tussle to secure his first victory on the Alexandra Palace stage since 2013.

Ilagan made a terrific start to proceedings, converting clinical 88, 64, 66 and 116 combination finishes to establish a two-set lead and move to the brink of a place in round two for the first time in his career.

Rodriguez came roaring back, reeling off seven consecutive legs to seize the initiative, but he paid the price for spurning four darts for a 2-0 lead in set five, as Ilagan regained his poise in the latter stages to progress.

Florian Hempel also produced a fine comeback to defeat former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown in the second deciding-leg encounter of the evening to create a meeting with fifth seed Luke Humphries.

Hempel – who defeated Dimitri Van den Bergh en route to reaching round three on debut 12 months ago – landed seven 180s as he recovered from 2-1 adrift to send Brown to Qualifying School in 2023.

The Cazoo World Darts Championship is being broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK & Ireland, through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV (excluding UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria & Switzerland based subscribers).

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Friday December 16
Afternoon Session
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Alan Soutar 3-0 Mal Cuming (3-0, 3-1, 3-1) (R1)
Boris Krcmar 3-0 Toru Suzuki (3-1, 3-0, 3-2) (R1)
Adrian Lewis 3-0 Daniel Larsson (3-1, 3-1, 3-1) (R1)
Kim Huybrechts 3-0 Grant Sampson (3-1, 3-0, 3-0) (R2)

Evening Session
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Lourence Ilagan 3-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez (3-1, 3-1, 1-3, 0-3, 3-2) ( (R1)
William O‘Connor 3-0 Beau Greaves (3-2, 3-2, 3-0) (R1)
Florian Hempel 3-2 Keegan Brown (3-2, 2-3, 2-3, 3-1, 3-2) (R1)
Michael Smith 3-0 Nathan Rafferty (3-0, 3-0, 3-0) (R2)


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