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Mark Walsh wins first round match in Ladbrokes World Darts Championship
10:31am Friday 21st December 2012 in Sport
Mark Walsh claimed a place in the second round of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship after defeating Darren Webster by a 3-1 margin on last night.
The Abbots Langley thrower, who was edged out by Kevin Painter in the second round 12 months ago, won six of the opening seven legs to stamp his authority on the contest.
Webster hit back to take the third set before Walsh, making his tenth appearance in the World Championship, won the fourth to secure victory.
Walsh won the first leg on double 16 before securing a break of throw in the next, after Webster let five chances to level go begging.
The third leg saw Walsh miss six darts at double top, but Webster was in no position to capitalise and the number 22 seed returned to hit double ten and move a set up in comfortable fashion.
Walsh missed a dart at the bullseye to win a fourth leg in a row at the start of set two, and Webster took the chance to get a leg on the board as he hit double top at the first time of asking.
Webster, who reached the quarter-finals of this tournament back in 2007, hit a maximum at start of the second leg, but let five opportunities to break throw slip away as Walsh hit tops to level.
Webster hit a 180 in the next only for Walsh to reply with one of his own, and the former UK Open finalist won the leg against the throw with a 14-darter.
The fourth leg saw Webster hit a third maximum in as many legs, but Walsh took out 76 to establish a two-set advantage.
Webster, who returned the PDC circuit in January, started the third set well with a 76 finish before Walsh took out 85 in the second to level.
Webster broke throw in the third leg by hitting tops, and the man from Norwich took out 36 in the next to win the set.
Webster hit his fifth 180 at the beginning of the fourth set, but Walsh took out a clinical two-dart 84 finish to break throw.
Walsh won the second leg, with the aid of a maximum, to move a leg away from triumph before Webster took out 72 to keep the match alive.
Walsh, though, ended Webster's challenge in the next leg as he posted double ten to set-up a second round clash against Justin Pipe on Sunday afternoon.
"I'm pretty pleased with my performance tonight, considering it's the first round of the biggest tournament in the game," said a delighted Walsh. "My finishing was pretty good and I was happy with my scoring in the first two sets.
"I dipped off in the third set and let him back into the game a bit, so I'm glad I closed it off at the end and I'm happy with how it went.
"Justin will be tough opponent in the next round. He's been very impressive over the last couple years, so I know that I'm in for a hard game."
Webster admitted: "It was my first time up there for five years and I struggled to get my first dart pitched right. I loved it and I'll look forward to next year, because this has been a learning curve for me.
"I want to try and get into the top 32 over the next 12 months and this is good experience for me."