Trouble at the Tavern for Askew

"Diamond" Dave Askew failed to sparkle as he lost his first-round match 3-0 to Canada’s Gerry Convery in the Ladbrokes.com World Championship at Purfleet’s Circus Tavern today.

"Diamond" Dave Askew failed to sparkle as he lost his first-round match 3-0 to Canada’s Gerry Convery in the Ladbrokes.com World Championship at Purfleet’s Circus Tavern today.

Despite starting the match with a maximum score of 180, the 19th seed was always second best against his 50-year-old opponent, who reached the last 16 of last year’s event before bowing out to compatriot John Part.

“I don’t know what happened to Dave but I felt confident up there,” said world number 98 Convery, who will now try to book a flight to Northern Ireland, from where he emigrated, to spend Christmas with his family for the first time in 28 years.

Andy ‘Pie Man’ Smith produced a classy performance to crush Colin Monk and secure a meeting with America’s Ray Carver, surprise conqueror last night of Ronnie ‘Rocket’ Baxter.

The 38-year-old Warwickshire lumberjack, who missed out an automatic place among the 64-man field by just one ranking position, showed his calibre with a convincing 3-0 victory.

Forced to qualify for the £500,000 (€732,120) event, Smith has shone in the UK Open regional tournaments this year and is very much a player on the upgrade. He always held the upper hand against Monk, a veteran of 11 BDO World Championships but who was making his bow in the PDC showpiece.

Smith revealed his nickname was purely down to his ample build rather than any more subtle reason and said: “It came from Bobby George. He has given most darts players their nickname, including Eric Bristow and John Lowe.

“It comes from the line ‘who ate all the pies?’. I can think of better nicknames but this one seems to have stuck.”

The only Scottish player in the competition, Jamie Harvey, had his hopes of a lengthy run swiftly ended with a 3-0 defeat against Germany’s Tomas Seyler.

‘Bravedart’, never the most consistent thrower, could not get into any sort of rhythm and Seyler completed his triumph with a 112 checkout.

Barbados telephone engineer Winston Cadogan battled bravely but was ultimately outclassed by 27th seed Erik Clarys.

In a bizarre spectacle, the Belgian appeared unsettled by Cadogan’s deliberate throwing style in which he frequently took several seconds to compose himself before advancing to the oche.

Clarys used some of his unique ways of finishing, losing one leg after inexplicably going the treble 17-single 17-double 16 route when he needed 100, but the ‘Sheriff’ eventually went through 3-0 to book a clash with Wayne ‘Hawaii 501’ Mardle.

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