Glen Durrant and Simon Whitlock crash out of PDC world darts championship

The three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant fell at the first hurdle at the PDC world championship on Wednesday, the No 24 seed slipping to a 3-0 defeat against Ireland’s William O’Connor.

Durrant, who won the BDO title in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and was the 2020 Premier League champion, has been struggling with his action – “Like a golfer having the yips,” he told the Guardian in an interview this week – and came into the match on the back of 27 defeats in his last 28 matches stretching back to March.

But there was to be no miracle turnaround in form at Alexandra Palace, Durrant winning just one leg and averaging 80.45 in a second-round defeat. O’Connor advances to the third round, where he will face the No 9 seed Michael Smith.

Elsewhere in the afternoon session, the No 13 seed Joe Cullen produced a rousing comeback from 2-1 down to beat the dangerous Jim Williams 3-2.

“To have the crowd behind me is great. I’m just happy to win to be honest. Jim played well to get in front and I did well to come back,” said Cullen, who won in front of fans at the Ally Pally for the first time since 2017.

“My record here is terrible so to play that well and to win in front of that brilliant crowd means everything to me. If I’m honest I think I might have lost that game a few years ago but I’m a little more experienced now and that’s why I came back to win.”

There were 3-0 whitewash wins for the No 15 seed Ryan Searle against William Borland, who had produced a nine-dart finish to win his first-round match, and Luke Humphries against Rowby-John Rodriguez of Austria.

The evening session opens with the No 10 seed Nathan Aspinall taking on Joe Murnan, before the Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode plays Russia’s Boris Koltsov. Steve Beaton takes on Kim Huybrechts before Australia’s Simon Whitlock faces Martijn Kleermaker in the final game of the day.