Chizzy Rascal to continue PDC rise

Darts is undoubtedly a hugely popular sport these days, but it failed to penetrate the circles I was mixing in on Tuesday, December 28.

Alexandra Palace action resumed at lunchtime on that Bank Holiday, just as I was getting stuck into the first of two social gatherings in Sky-less homes where, to be honest, the residents probably thought Kevin Painter was a local decorator.

By the time I arrived home after 11pm, and having to be up for work first thing the next morning, I decided a decent night’s kip was the main priority and the ‘arrers’ results could wait.

Fortunately, over breakfast, I caught the end of the Kim Huybrechts-James Richardson match, in which the former did his bit with an impressive victory to confirm he is now the second famous Belgian in darts after Erik Clarys, an entertaining figure from the first half of the 2000s.

Next up was the Phil Taylor-Dave Chisnall clash, which was due to begin on the highlights programme just as I was about to start the drive to Betfred HQ.

Great, I thought, I can watch it in the office. But the problem was that, on my arrival, Sky Sports 4 was not one of the selected channels available to watch. And just as I had resigned myself to finding the result on Sky Sports News or the PDC website, I was greeted with the words “what about the Power cut, eh?”

That could mean only one thing and thus I learned of Taylor’s stunning 4-1 second-round defeat, his earliest ever exit in the PDC World Championship.

So how big a shock was it that the 15-time former world champion lost to a player competing in only his second match at Ally Pally?

Well, for starters, Chizzy is a class act. He reached a BDO World Championship final and has quickly shown his ability in the PDC ranks since he came through the qualifying school early this year.

The man from St Helens definitely had the talent to trouble Taylor and it all came down to whether he could produce the goods on the night, hitting his doubles as well as the treble 20s which are a mainstay of his game.

Ultimately, it appeared Taylor had a bad time with his finishing, became frustrated and Chisnall had the belief to take advantage. Plus he did not have the mental scars from lots of previous beatings by the game’s greatest ever player.

What next for the yellow-shirted 31-year-old? Maybe a proper nickname would be good for a start. Surely it’s time he became known as ‘The Rascal’, after Dizzee, which rhymes with Chizzy. His walk-on music is now ‘Holiday’ by the award-winning rapper after James Wade snaffled ‘Bonkers’!

But of more importance to Chisnall is beating Andy Hamilton for a place in the quarter-finals of the sport’s most prestigious event, which I think he will.
Some players experience a big comedown after taking Taylor’s scalp, but I think Chisnall will only build upon the finest moment of his career to date.

And do not be surprised if he is in the final on January 2. He may even become a household name.

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