Gerwyn Price suffers elimination from the PDC world darts tournament after being defeated by Brendan Dolan.

Gerwyn Price, the fifth seed and former champion, was eliminated from the world darts championship after a 4-2 loss to Brendan Dolan from Enniskillen.

Dolan remained composed and sealed the match with his first shot at tops after Price had fought back from a two-leg deficit to level the sixth set.

This was a devastating defeat for the Welshman, who had hoped to replicate his victory in the 2021 tournament held behind closed doors. Dolan, who advanced to the second round with a sudden death leg against fellow countryman Mickey Mansell, gave an early warning by winning the opening set with a 144 checkout.

His precise finishing made all the difference as he took the lead again at 2-1 on the bullseye, then scored 64 to resist Price’s efforts and go 3-2 up, one set away from victory. Dolan seemed like he might pay for missing a match dart at bullseye when leading 2-0 in the sixth, as Price fought back to break Dolan’s throw, but the 50-year-old held on in impressive fashion. Dolan told Sky Sports: “I thought we might go to a deciding leg, but thankfully we didn’t because I’m not sure if I would have kept myself composed.”

Luke Humphries, the third seed, narrowly avoided being eliminated from the tournament after coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Ricardo Pietreczko from Germany 4-3. Humphries, who has won three major titles this year, had to play with a spare set of darts after breaking a tip during practice earlier in the day and had a disappointing average of 91.

However, he managed to turn the game around as Pietreczko faltered, winning the last six legs to secure victory. “Mentally and physically, that’s the most challenging game I’ve ever played,” Humphries told Sky Sports. “I had 99% of the crowd against me, and the broken point before the game was on my mind. I was down and out, playing very poorly, but I made a comeback and demonstrated some determination and resilience.”

In other matches, Daryl Gurney concluded a lengthy evening by defeating Ricky Evans 4-2, with a turning point being his 164 checkout to take a 3-2 lead on the bullseye.

Earlier in the day, Chris Dobey overcame a fright from Ross Smith to win 4-2, while Stephen Bunting continued to impress by dismantling Florian Hempel without dropping a set.

A closely contested match with 27 maximums throughout began with Dobey winning the first set with a 116 checkout and continued with his dominant run, winning the second set with an average of 122.

The 17th-ranked player in the world took the first two legs of the third set, but was unable to find the crucial doubles as Smith fought back to make it 2-1. Smith equalized, but another tight set saw Dobey regain the lead, and he hit double 16 to win the match and set up a clash with Michael Smith, the current world champion, in the last 16.

In another competitive encounter, Joe Cullen advanced to the next round with a 4-2 victory over Ryan Searle. Cullen breezed through the first two sets, but Searle found his rhythm and won the third.

During a tight deciding leg in the fourth set, Searle capitalized on Cullen’s missed double and finished with a bullseye check out of 124 to level the match. The following set was tense, but Cullen managed to secure the win by hitting double top.

Bunting delivered a superb performance, defeating Hempel 4-0. An electrifying start saw Bunting hit two 180s in the opening leg, and he continued to win the following one. However, an excellent 164 checkout from Hempel sparked his revival, and he won the next two legs.

With the first set tied at 2-2, “The Bullet” claimed the decider with an average of 115.62, and from that point onward, the momentum was firmly on Bunting’s side as he cruised to a whitewash victory, averaging 101.15 throughout. This win means Bunting will now face Michael van Gerwen in the last 16.

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