Steve Lennon’s attempt to make the third-round of the PDC World Darts Championship for the first time have ended in disappointment.
Lennon lost 3-1 to South Africa’s Devon Petersen on Tuesday evening at the Alexandra Palace in a day of shocks in the darting world.
In what was a tight affair throughout, Lennon crucially missed a staggering 39 darts at the double to give his opponent the opportunity to advance to the next round.
The first key moment in the match came in the fifth leg of the first set. With the score at 2-2, Lennon failed to convert any of his eight attempts at the double in the final leg, allowing Petersen to claim the first set and take control of the game.
The second set followed a similar pattern to the opener, with both players tied at 2 legs each and another last leg decider was needed to win the second set. Lennon somehow managed to miss his two darts at the double, once again giving Petersen the chance to steal the set. He duly accepted Lennon’s offer and took out a two-dart combination of 52 to go 2-0 ahead and move to within one set of victory.
It was Peterson’s turn to scupper his chances, missing a remarkable seven match darts to hand Lennon the third set and with it hope that he could begin his comeback attempt from 2-1 down.
However, the third set victory turned out to be a mere consolation for Lennon, with Petersen showing his class and experience to take the last set on a score of 3-0. The South African, famous for his dance moves during his walk-on, took out two triple figure finishes, including an impressive bullseye finish from 121, to claim the set and win the match 3-1.
While Lennon will know that he was nowhere near his best against Petersen, the Carlow man will have proved to himself yet again that if he can improve his finishing and remove silly errors from his game, he will soon be on the right side of these encounters.
Elsewhere, two former world champions were eliminated form this year’s event after shock defeats in their second-round matches. 2018 champion Rob Cross suffered a last leg defeat to the talented Dutch man Dirk van Duijvenbode to lose 3-2, ending Cross’ tournament prematurely. Two-time champion Adrian Lewis is out following a desperately disappointing defeat to American Danny Baggish. The 2011 and 2012 champion struggled throughout the encounter and eventually lost 3-1 to Baggish. The drop in Lewis’ form in recent years is one of the great mysteries of darts and he will have to wait until the new year to mount another challenge at the major championships.
The tournament takes a break after tonight’s proceedings and will return on December 27 when the third round will commence.