Anderson kicks off world title bid with a victory

Gary Anderson kicked off his bid for a hat-trick of World Darts Championship crowns by seeing off Northern Ireland's Kevin Burness in four sets to reach the third round at Alexandra Palace last Friday.

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 12:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 12:36 pm

The Flying Scotsman, who started out playing in the Berwick League, will now return to the oche for his next match on Saturday afternoon.

But he the 47 year-old has hinted this is likely to one of his last appearances in the competition as he is considering retirement.

Prior to the start of his bid to win a third world title he revealed: “I think I’ll be done before 50. Maybe this world championship and maybe the next one, but that’s it.

“I wouldn’t say I’ll retire 100 per cent – I’ll keep playing now and then, but not very often. “If I qualify for something, I’ll play in it, but I won’t be chasing ranking points across Europe. It won’t be happening.

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“I’d rather be out fishing. I first did fishing 30 years ago and I’d forgotten how much fun it was. I can’t remember my biggest catch, probably between 10-15lbs, about a foot-and-a-half, but I don’t weight them. I just catch them, reel them in and let them go.

“I’ve no interest in weighing them – it’s about sitting there, having a day to myself. Some days it shows, sometimes my darts just fall into place.

“A few years back, I would have said my two biggest catches were my two world titles, but not any more. I’d rather go fishing – less stress!”

Anderson has enjoyed a successful 2018 securing maiden titles at the UK Open, World Matchplay and the Champions League of Darts, with his Blackpool triumph seeing him complete the much-coveted ‘triple crown’.

But three-times finalist Anderson, who was beaten in the quarter-finals by Phil Taylor in 2018, was made to work hard against an inspired Burness to make it through. Burness had earlier ended Paul Nicholson’s hopes of a winning return to the World Championship by winning their first round encounter.

Anderson, who was seeded into the second round, won a tight opening set with a 13-darter. But despite a 130 checkout from the Borders thrower it was Burness who surprisingly levelled up the match with a 16-dart break in the fourth leg of the next.

Despite failing to hit the heights, Anderson reeled off the next six legs, hitting seven 180s to complete his victory. He will next meet either Michael Barnard or Jermaine Wattimena.