Rushden’s James Richardson returned to the Alexandra Palace stage in emphatic style as he beat Kim Huybrechts 3-0 to move into the second round of the William Hill World Darts Championship.
‘Ruthless’ was back at the ‘Ally Pally’ for the first time in five years and came back with a bang as he avenged a 4-1 defeat which the Belgian inflicted in the 2012 tournament.
A 97.93 average and four 180s was enough for Richardson to be totally dominant in the match, dropping just two legs to an out-of-sorts Huybrechts, who was the 18th seed.
After Richardson opened up with a 13-darter he never let his foot off the gas throughout the contest, hitting timely 180s and pressure checkouts in a complete performance, mirroring his debut win over Raymond van Barneveld six years ago.
“It feels absolutely brilliant,” said Richardson.
“It’s been five years since I’ve been on this stage - it’s been five years of hard graft to get back here and I’ve done it.
“Kim is a fantastic player. I was very focused, I knew what I had to do.
“I’m here to win, Kim’s brilliant but I had to beat him and I did it - it’s 1-1 on the stage with Kim now.”
Richardson will now play Alan Norris in the second round next Wednesday (December 27).
The match is due to be the second on stage in the afternoon session, which starts at 12.30pm.