World Darts Championship: Kiwi Craig Ross avoids whitewash defeat in 'Ally Pally' debut

Kiwi Craig Ross has suffered a crushing 3-0 defeat in his first round clash against Spaniard Toni Alcinas at the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) World Championship on Sunday (NZ time).

Ross, who was making his televised darts debut at the Alexandra Palace in London, only won one leg in the match against Alcinas, who is ranked 54th in the world.

The 48-year-old from Ashburton received a late call-up to compete at the event, selected to replace Tahuna Irwin after finishing runner-up in the Dart Players New Zealand (DPNZ) qualifier in Invercargill in July. Irwin, who was forced to withdraw from the world event due to immigration complications, beat Ross 7-2 in the final.

Alcinas averaged 86.03 in the contest compares to Ross' 71.47.

Toni Alcinas.
Toni Alcinas. Photo credit: PDC

Spain's number two Alcinas won the opening two sets 3-0 and was set for a whitewash win as it took six legs for Ross to get a dart at the double. The Kiwi missed two darts at tops for his first leg, and Alcinas pounced with a 102 finish on double 16 to lead 2-0 in sets.

Alcinas won the opening leg in the third set before Ross eventually go on the board when he banged his last dart in double 10 for his first leg. Alcinas missed three match darts before eventually checking out five to advance to the second round where he'll face world number three, Peter Wright.

Earlier in the day, German number one Max Hopp qualified for the third round when he beat Dutchman Danny Noppert 3-0.

England duo Josh Payne and Richard North won their matches 3-2 against Jeff Smith and Richard North respectively, while Canada's Jim Long beat Ireland's Mickey Mansell 3-1.  All three winners advance to the second round.