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World Darts Championship: Josh Rock ‘verifiable contender’ after win over Nathan Aspinall, says John Part | Darts News

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Josh Rock beat Nathan Aspinall 4-3 in nail-biting match to reach last 16 of the World Darts Championship; 21-year-old will now play Jonny Clayton – watch every dart from Alexandra Palace live on Sky Sports all the way through to the final on January 3

Last Updated: 27/12/22 6:36pm

Josh Rock said ‘there is more to come’ after he knocked out Nathan Aspinall at Alexandra Palace

Josh Rock is a “verifiable contender” at the PDC World Darts Championship after reaching the last 16 with a thrilling victory over Nathan Aspinall, says John Part.

Rising star Rock, 21, is making his first appearance at the tournament and is among the favourites to win the title after bursting onto the scene in the last 12 months.

Rock made a fast start to his match against Aspinall, taking the first set with a 141 checkout

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Rock made a fast start to his match against Aspinall, taking the first set with a 141 checkout

Rock made a fast start to his match against Aspinall, taking the first set with a 141 checkout

Rock, the 2022 PDC world youth champion, has been a revelation since claiming his Tour Card at the start of 2022, winning five Development Tour titles as well as his first senior PDC title at Players Championship 28 in Barnsley.

The Northern Irishman’s 4-3 victory over 10th seed Aspinall means he will now play world No 7 Jonny Clayton in the fourth round at Alexandra Palace.

Rock took out 99 with a superb double-double

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Rock took out 99 with a superb double-double

Rock took out 99 with a superb double-double

Part: Rock does not seem daunted

Two-time world champion Part told Sky Sports Darts: “Rock got the job done and he is shaping himself into a verifiable contender now. He has just taken out a top, top player.

“What’s going to stop him? It’s a gauntlet he is running and it is not going to get any easier but he doesn’t seem daunted by that.

“It’s not about averages with Josh anymore. It’s about his ability to endure pressure and make big shots against a player the calibre of Aspinall who was delivering back at him.

Mark Webster expected Aspinall to take out 16 but he folded under the pressure before Rock clinched victory

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Mark Webster expected Aspinall to take out 16 but he folded under the pressure before Rock clinched victory

Mark Webster expected Aspinall to take out 16 but he folded under the pressure before Rock clinched victory

“The hype is about his averages being in the hundreds at the end of matches. That hasn’t materialised but what has materialised is his ability to win matches.

“He endured a barrage from Nathan. Nathan gave pretty much his A-game and Josh got through it. Yes, Nathan missed doubles but you miss doubles when you have pressure back on you.

“Josh created his opportunities and when he had them, for the most part he took them. I think he is having so much fun with the experience. It’s all new and fun and means a lot to him.”

Dan Dawson analyses Rock's dramatic rise in 2022 and whether he's a serious contender for the World Darts Championship title

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Dan Dawson analyses Rock’s dramatic rise in 2022 and whether he’s a serious contender for the World Darts Championship title

Dan Dawson analyses Rock’s dramatic rise in 2022 and whether he’s a serious contender for the World Darts Championship title

Rock: There is more to come

Rock said afterwards: “I was under a lot of pressure, but I dealt with it well, and I am happy. I was just trying my best to win, it was a very tight game. Luckily, I handled the pressure and got it.

“I am a youth champion. I am not a world champion yet, but I am going to bust my bum off to become world champion.

“There is a hell of a lot more to come.”

Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship – live on Sky Sports Darts – all the way through to the final on January 3.

 

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