You know Christmas is here because the darts are on. Amid a covid surge, the Ally Pally was its usual boisterous self and unknown Scot from West Lothian named Willie Borland became a household name.
The PDC World Championships got off to a decent start Friday from an Irish perspective with Duleek's Keane Barry holding on to win his first round match and Steve Lennon shocking 'the Polish Eagle' Krzysztof Ratajski .
But the real drama of the day was still to come. Scotland's Willie Borland and England's Bradley Brooks played out an electric Round 1 match that finished in the most remarkable way possible: Willie Borland, the 25-year-old making his world championships debut, threw a 9-darter in the deciding frame to win the match as the partisan crowd chanted 'Scotland Get Battered Everywhere They Go'.
In the aftermath, there were scenes.
Willie Borland 9-darter
🚨 𝗕𝗢𝗥𝗟𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗛𝗜𝗧𝗦 𝗔 𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗘-𝗗𝗔𝗥𝗧𝗘𝗥! 🚨
UNBELIEVABLE SCENES AS WILLIE BORLAND STRIKES PERFECTION TO WIN THE DECIDING LEG AND ALLY PALLY HAS ABSOLUTELY ERUPTED!
SIMPLY SENSATIONAL 🤯 pic.twitter.com/blD182wSXm
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 17, 2021
While the conclusion to the game will long be remembered, Brooks displayed incredible guts to force the deciding leg. He was down 2-0 in the fourth set and battled back for the victory. He was down 2-0 in the fifth set and forced a decider, only to be beaten in the most remarkable way.
For his heroics, Borland was awarded a cheque for £50,000 and advances to the second round of the competition. He noted an interview afterwards that the chants of English fans gave him that extra bit of mojo.
Bradley had a couple of bad legs and I was just thinking to myself, keep going, keep going and we’ll see what happens and then to hit the nine-darter was just unbelievable, I’m loving it.
Everyone was singing ‘Scotland get battered everywhere they go’ and that just kind of got me going. Bradley played a brilliant game, we both struggled at times and I feel I just did the right thing at the right time to get over the line.
There hasn't been a 9-dart finisher at the PDC World Championships since 2016. Willie Borland became an instant hero both inside the Alexandra Palace and on social media for his performance.
Perfect 9 from Big Willie eh #WorldDartsChampionships
— Laura Woods (@laura_woodsy) December 17, 2021
Even as an Englishman, I have to sit back, smile and slow clap at the fact Scottish Willie Borland hit a 9 darter on his debut just as the entire crowd were singing “Scotland get battered”.
The way he cupped his ears to the crowd in his celebration!
Fair fucking play.
— Jaack (@Jaack) December 17, 2021
Remember the name Willie Borland! 9 darter to win the match.. incredible darts.. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🎯🎯🏴🏴
— John Hartson (@JohnHartson10) December 17, 2021
— William Borland (@WBorland9) December 17, 2021
We'd learn after the victory that Willie Borland is a dyed-in-the-wool Rangers supporter, but you still couldn't begrudge him that victory.
— Andy (@AndyT1872) December 17, 2021