Brilliant Richardson reaches the last 16

James Richardson celebrates during his win over Alan Norris yesterday. Picture courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC
James Richardson celebrates during his win over Alan Norris yesterday. Picture courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Rushden’s James Richardson made it into the last 16 of the William Hill World Championship for the first time in his career after a 4-1 victory over an inconsistent Alan Norris.

Both players mixed some great darts with some ordinary finishing, resulting in both averaging 86 with similar checkout percentages, while Richardson hit seven 180s to five from Norris.
Richardson started off much the brighter to take the opening set by hitting three of just six shots at a double, while Norris wasted eight double chances.
Former quarter-finalist Norris levelled by taking the next in the deciding fifth leg, and that was to be the theme as all the remaining sets went the distance.
The next two sets also followed identical patterns as Richardson produced his best stuff early on to go 2-0 in front before letting Norris back in to force deciding legs.
Norris was remarkably unlucky in the third set as two treble 20 darts fell out of the board to help Richardson take it, while a 104 outshot from Richardson saw him take the next under his own steam.
Nerves frayed in the fifth set as Richardson and Norris both missed darts for the fourth leg before Norris
won it to force yet another deciding leg, but this time Richardson made no mistake as, after missing eight darts for the match, he finally pinned double five to seal the victory.
He will be back in action tonight (Thursday) when he will play Jamie Lewis, who stunned number two seed Peter Wright last night.
“I’ve worked all year for that 4-1,” said Richardson.
“That result is fantastic, especially in the second round of the World Championship - I’ve never got this far before so I’m over the moon.”
Richardson once again played in his ‘Darts for Heroes’ shirt.
The charity, which is run locally, holds a tournament every year to help raise funds for the families of wounded soldiers.
The Rushden player again had a picture of Royal Marine corporal Marc Birch, who died in Helmand province in December 2008, around his neck.
And Richardson added: “I am patron of Darts for Heroes and I support it as much as I can.
“We have an annual tournament every year to raise money but not only that, we sell these shirts and other merchandise. We have to support the troops.”