PDC World Championship: Jason Heaver beats Gordon Mathers on Alexandra Palace debut to reach second round
Newbury’s Jason Heaver is through to round two of the World Darts Championship after beating Gordon Mathers 3-1 at Alexandra Palace this afternoon (Sunday).
The 47-year-old was making his first appearance in the competition and he averaged 83.86 to book his place in the second round.
Heaver took the opening set as he came from 1-0 down to win 3-1, averaging 89.27 in the process.
Mathers started the stronger, but the Newbury man grew into the contest with three legs on the spin which included two 80 plus checkouts.
Things got even better for the 47-year-old as he took the second set after hitting back-to-back 140s in the final leg to win 3-2.
The third leg went all the way and it was the Australian who had the final say as he reduced the deficit in the contest.
Heaver raced into a 2-0 lead in the fourth and eventually went on to see out the game.
As a result, he’ll now face world number 18 Danny Noppert on Thursday evening with a place in the third round up for grabs.
"It was very scary up there," said Heaver after his win. "I was so worried about the crowd, but they were okay and it felt really good.
"It was better than what I thought it was going to be up there [on stage] and I didn't play as well as I know I can, but that was due to nerves and next time it will be easier."
The 47-year-old also thanked the Newbury support leading up to his first round tie.
"It is brilliant and I walk down the street now and people are starting to recognise me - it is absolutely brilliant.
"I will be back on the practice board to keep throwing because it's all I can do and hopefully I can show people what I can do.
"I have exceeded my goals [this year] because I never expected to play here and it's been really good and I will keep pushing myself."