Willie O'Connor will meet Daryl Gurney in the second round of the PDC World Darts Championship after beating Niels Zonneveld at Alexandra Palace.

The Limerick man dropped just three games to his Dutch opponent, who was making his debut at the event.

O’Connor wrapped up the first set 3-1 against the throw, comfortably holding the 22-year-old at bay. 

The Cappamore native claimed the second on the same scoreline but will not have been happy after missing 18 of 24 shots at double for his 2-0 lead.

World number 36 O’Connor also claimed the third set 3-1 and finished with an average of 88.42 that included four 180s and 12 140s.

The win sets up a second-round clash with Derry’s Gurney, currently ranked 11 on the order of merit, tomorrow afternoon.

"I was on edge coming in here," admitted O’Connor on Sky Sports.

"I didn’t feel I was on top form in this game. It’s behind me now and we move on to the next one.

"I know Daryl can play phenomenal darts. I’m expecting the best version of Daryl." 

Chris Dobey mounted a concerted fightback to keep his campaign alive with a second-round win over Jeff Smith, who beat Meath's Keane Barry yesterday

The Canadian took the first two sets with the number 22 seed missing doubles, but the Englishman scrapped his way back into it to level at 2-2 before taking the final set 3-0, hitting four 100-plus checkouts along the way.

Dobey told Sky Sports: "I went in at the break disappointed – I missed so many doubles in the first two sets and fair play to Jeff, he hit everything. I dug in deep, as I always do, and came out the winner."

Lisa Ashton narrowly failed in her bid to emulate Fallon Sherrock after the four-time women's world champion missed three darts to force a deciding leg as she went down 3-2 to Adam Hunt.

Ashton was aiming to follow in the footsteps of Sherrock, who became the first female player to beat a man in the tournament 12 months ago.

She seized the first set on the bull but, after Hunt drew level, Ashton missed two darts for a 2-0 lead in the third set and Hunt nudged in front for the first time.

Ashton pulled back to force a deciding set and had her chances at 2-1 but after missing three darts at double eight, Hunt served up a 120 finish to move into round two.

Earlier, Ryan Joyce had edged past Czech Republic number one Karel Sedlacek into the second round after a final-leg thriller.

Joyce, who will now face Krzysztof Ratajski, bust on 106 at 2-2 in the deciding set, but eventually clinched the match with a double seven after his opponent had passed up four match darts in the leg and six in total.

Ross Smith booked a clash with Jose De Sousa with a 3-0 first-round win over World Championship debutant David Evans.

The second and third sets both went to deciding legs in an encounter which was tighter than the scoreline suggested.