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Brendan Dolan dumps Michael van Gerwen out of World Matchplay

Dolan dumps Van Gerwen out of World Matchplay
© Reuters
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen is out of the World Matchplay after losing to Brendan Dolan in his first-round match on Sunday night.

Brendan Dolan has caused one of the biggest upsets in World Matchplay history by defeating Michael van Gerwen by a 10-7 scoreline in the first round.

Throughout the history of the competition, only one defending champion had succumbed at the first hurdle, but that has now become two after the Dutchman was well beaten by an inspired Dolan.

Van Gerwen never really recovered from going 3-0 and 4-1 down during the early stages, battling back to 5-5 but seeing Dolan look the more composed during the latter part of the game.

The Northern Irishman hit back-to-back 62 checkouts to move one away from victory and although Van Gerwen impressively responded with an 11-darter, Dolan hit double three with his final dart in the following leg secured one of the most notable triumphs of his career.

World number one Michael Smith got his campaign off to a far more routine start as he coasted past Steve Beaton, posting a 10-2 triumph which included a 161 checkout.

Nathan Aspinall and Luke Humphries also both recorded impressive wins over Krzysztof Ratajski and Jose De Sousa by 10-7 and 10-2 scorelines respectively.

In the afternoon session, Chris Dobey finally broke his duck at the Winter Gardens with a 10-8 win over former champion James Wade, while Damon Heta came through against 10-5 against debutant Josh Rock.

Dirk van Duijvenbode prevailed from a thriller with Kim Huybrechts, with both players missing match darts before the Dutchman recorded a 12-10 success.

Danny Noppert emerged victorious from the opening fixture of the day as he saw off the challenge of Martin Schindler with a 10-8 win.

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Michael van Gerwen in action in March 2016
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