Peter Wright survives scare to reach third round at Alexandra Palace
Peter Wright came dressed as an elf and narrowly avoided being left on the shelf after a deciding-set tie-break at the PDC World Championship.
Flamboyant Wright, the world number seven, donned his Christmas finery to battle past Filipino Noel Malicdem in a dramatic late-night finish at Alexandra Palace.
The 49-year-old from Scotland, runner-up in 2014, did not look as sharp as his attire and was on the brink of defeat at two legs down in the deciding set.
He had squandered a match dart in the fourth set, missing double top, and then watched on as Malicdem fluffed a bullseye to win it in the fifth.
Malicdem had four darts at double 13 to go 5-4 up with the throw but could not finish the job, and Wright somehow survived to take the deciding leg and stagger into the third round.
Youngster Nico Kurz caused a minor shock when he beat out-of-sorts 15th seed Joe Cullen 3-1 and a second German, Max Hopp, won all three legs in the deciding set to oust Dutchman Benito Van De Pas.
Stockport’s Nathan Aspinall, a semi-finalist last year, recovered from dropping the opening set to beat America’s Danny Baggish 3-1.
In the afternoon session, Ricky Evans’ 3-1 win over Mark McGeeney, sealed with a 170 checkout, earned him a third-round meeting with top seed Michael Van Gerwen.
Darren Webster breezed through 3-0 against Japan’s Yuki Yamada and Mervyn King surrendered a two-set advantage before coming through a tie-break with Irish debutant Ciaran Teehan, while Jonny Clayton beat Jan Dekker 3-0.
Woman-of-the-moment Fallon Sherrock faces world number 11 Mensur Suljovic in her second-round match on Saturday evening.