Payne advances to round two at Alexandra Palace

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Josh Payne (pictured) booked his place in round two of the 2019 William Hill World Darts Championship as he edged out Jeff Smith in a 3-2 victory. Photo: Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Josh Payne booked his place in the second round of the 2019 William Hill World Darts Championship as the two-time PDC ranking title winner completed a closely fought 3-2 victory over Canada’s Jeff Smith. In the opening stages, it was Smith who was the more clinical of the two as he took the opening set, but despite being a set behind, Payne was still playing some superb stuff with a fair amount of the consistency. 

Payne started off brilliantly in the second set as he fired in six perfect darts [177, 180] and, the Kent-based star continued that consistency as he fired in three maximums and a 177 in the second set as he levelled the match up at 1-1. In set three, Payne once again enjoyed large spells of consistency in the scoring stakes, and he produced some pin point finishing as he took the third set 3-0 which was capped off by an impressive 13-dart leg.

As anticipated, the match went to a fifth and deciding set as Smith took out a 52 checkout to take the fourth set 3-2, but Payne was determined to be patient in his play, and his patience was rewarded as he took the deciding set 3-0 by taking his opportunities expertly. Payne will take on Dave Chisnall for a place in round three. 

Payne spoke to Live Darts after the win. 

“Two years ago, I felt like I didn’t do myself justice. Last year was a bad year for me, and to go back and put in all the effort that I have away from the limelight has really got me back up there and into the Worlds.”

Payne also went on to say: “I didn’t play very well up there, but I’m happy with the win, but you’ve got to dig in sometimes and really dig out the wins.”

Ahead of Payne’s meeting with Dave Chisnall the Kent ace went on to say: 

“Me and Dave always have good games, but it’s a lot different up there. I may have an hours practise before tomorrow to work on a few little things.”

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