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Antrim’s Josh Rock whitewashes Callan Rydz at World Darts Championship

Josh Rock whitewashes Callan Rydz.

Josh Rock continued his journey at his first World Darts Championship by beating Callan Rydz 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon.

Rock began the day as sixth-favourite with the bookmakers to win the World Darts Championship, after a remarkable breakout year.

Josh Rock’s breakout year.

The Antrim native came into this first World Championship as PDC World Youth Champion, and with a Players Championship Title and five Development Tour event wins under his belt in 2022, and began his maiden Ally Pally campaign with a 3-1 win over Jose Justicia on Saturday afternoon.

Such form has made him one of the most-talked about young stars in the sport, and it showed as he received a rapturous reception on his way to the oche on Wednesday.

Rock still had to face strong opposition in Newcastle native Callan Rydz, who reached the quarter-final in the previous edition of the World Darts Championship.

Rock v Rydz.

It was Rydz who won the first leg of the match, and when he hit a 180 in the second, it looked like the first set was swaying in his favour.

However, Rock rallied to close out leg 2 on a double 10, before they each won one more leg to set up a set-decider in the fifth.

Eventually, the first set went the way of Rock, before he fell behind once again in the second. The 21-year-old then showed why he is so highly-rated, hitting a crucial 140 on the way to winning leg 2, before beginning leg 3 with a 180.

Antrim native secures victory.

Rydz answered this with a maximum of his own, but Rock had all the answers on the way to winning the second and third legs of set 2.

Now just one set away from victory, Rock raced into a 2-0 lead in the final set, before seeing his lead halved by his rival, but at this stage the result seemed a formality.

Eventually, a double-five confirmed the whitewash for the youngster, who can now look forward the a third round tie against Nathan Aspinall after Christmas.

Josh Rock looks ahead to Nathan Aspinall battle.

“I’m happy enough now to have gotten through to after Christmas,” said Rock, when asked by Pundit Arena how if he would settle for a quarter or semi-final appearance.

“I can’t say I’m going to settle for anything because you don’t know what’s going to happen. I want to be in that final, I want that trophy, but it depends on which Josh Rock turns up.

“I’ll be spending a lot of time with my family over Christmas. Me and my fiancée go home tomorrow and she’ll be back to work, I’ll try to do my best around the house. I’m looking forward to Christmas.”

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