Darren Webster ready to unleash his full arsenal against Michael van Gerwen

Darren Webster in first round action against John Henderson. Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Darren Webster in first round action against John Henderson. Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG - Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Darren Webster insists it's not just Michael van Gerwen who will be looking to deliver an improved performance tomorrow.

The Norwich thrower, 47, reignites his hopes of winning the PDC William Hill world championship when he takes on Van Gerwen, the number one seed. While the Dutchman needed a final-set tie- break to seal his place in the second round, Webster enjoyed a more convincing victory against John Henderson. However, the Norfolk hopeful was still far from impressed with his first Alexandra performance of the 2016 showcase.

Webster said: 'I was really pleased to get through. There are plenty of nerves in the first round as you know one of you is going to have a nice Christmas and the other person isn't.

'I could enjoy my Christmas and start preparing myself for Michael van Gerwen.

'I can't try and get ready to bring my A-game, I've got to bring it to stand a chance. Forget what happened to me or Michael in the first round, it's all about what happens on the day.


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'I wasn't good, compared to how I have been playing, against John so I've got plenty more ammo left for Sunday.'

Webster won 3-1 to set up the evening session showdown against Van Gerwen – who was taken all the way by German qualifier Rene Eidams before triumphing 3-2 in his best of five sets Ally Pally opener.

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'He played well but I should never have put myself in that position,' said Van Gerwen, speaking after he almost blew a two-set lead.

'It seemed like after his first game the nerves were gone, but after the first two sets I shouldn't have let him come back.

'I was always confident that I would win that match and I put in two good legs in the tie-break.

'It was a good lesson for me and I think it will do me good for the rest of the tournament to have been put under pressure.

'I'll be ready after Christmas, don't worry about that.'

Before Webster takes to the oche, Steve Beaton will be in action as he looks to see off Michael Smith during the afternoon session.

Beaton, who lives in North Walsham, is ranked 25th and beat Koha Kokiri 3-0 to ensure his title dreams were not ended before Christmas. He goes into the tie as an underdog of sorts, though, against number eight seed Smith. The Englishman was, however, taken to five sets by his first opponent, Dutchman Jeffrey De Zwaan.

Second-round matches are the best of seven sets. All sets are the best of five legs. A tie-break applies in the final set, where a player must win by two clear legs up unless the scores reach 5-5, in which case the 11th leg would be sudden death.

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