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Thornton and Jones set to progress at Alexandra Palace

| 19.12.2010

The first of Sunday’s first round Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship games sees world No.13 Wayne Jones take on Kirk Sheperd at Alexandra Palace.

You will have undoubtedly seen the odds for all of the first round games by now and come to the (correct) conclusion that there aren’t many tight games during the early stages of the competition.

Sadly, this one is no different.

Shepherd may be ranked 42nd in the world, but he should be no match for Jones in this game, with the Wolverhampton man at 1/5. ‘The Wanderer’ has been in brilliant form over the past few months, making it to the semi-final of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts thanks to a brilliant quarter-final victory over Scottish No.1 Gary Anderson.

He eventually fell to James Wade in the semi-final but should have no such trouble against today. Shepherd may have made the final in 2008, but he only qualified for this year’s tournament after Rob Modra failed to get the required visa to play – Jones will be too good.

Elsewhere, world No.20 and Scottish No.2, Robert Thornton, faces England’s Nigel Heydon.

Thornton has enjoyed a very decent couple of months, including a second round berth at the Grand Slam of Darts thanks to three straight wins in the group stage – including a comprehensive 5-2 victory over world No. 4 Simon Whitlock.

With Heydon struggling with form – he hasn’t made it past the last 32 in his previous five events – backing Thornton to win at 2/5 looks well worth taking on.

A £10 bet on Thornton to win 3-0 pays out £28. New customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.