James Wade lands first nine-darter at Ally Pally in five years
Stay home if you love the darts, stay home if you love the darts...
James Wade registered the first nine-dart finish at a World Darts Championship for five years in his game against Stephen Bunting today.
Sadly, what would usually have been met with the loudest, most ecstatic of cheers and the throwing of countless pints into the air, was instead met with an empty Alexandra Palace and piped-in crowd sounds.
Even Wade himself didn't seem that bothered about his achievement, probably because he was struggling to defend his 2-0 lead. Bunting, who stormed back from two sets down, ended up winning the match 4-2.
🚨 𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗘-𝗗𝗔𝗥𝗧𝗘𝗥! 🚨
JAMES WADE PINS THE PERFECT LEG IN THE WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP!
The first nine-darter at Ally Pally for five years!
Incredible scenes 🤩 pic.twitter.com/mnxq7ftUKi
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 29, 2020
Only the first day of the Worlds was attended by fans, which saw about 500 of them spread across socially distanced tables in Ally Pally's cavernous main hall. London went into tier-4 restrictions shortly after, meaning no fans in attendance at all.
A picture tweeted by the Professional Darts Corporation showing the meagre number of kegs stacked up for this year's tournament showed just how much of an impact having fans in the room has.
Of course, the fans' main role is to create the unique atmosphere of the Worlds, but some would argue that a few kegs of beer certainly helps that on its way.
Fans on Twitter noted James Wade's apparent disinterest in racking up a nine-darter.
"Gets a 9 darter and you'd think someone had stolen his lunch money," one fan noted. "I mean he could try and at least be a bit excited about it. Just a little," said another.
However, one fan came to defend Wade. "Don’t understand people giving him crap," they wrote.
"He wasn’t playing as well as he would like and knows the win is more important than a perfect leg. Doesn’t help with the lack of crowd either. Get the match in the bag and then celebrate."