MICHAEL BARNARD survived a gutsy fightback and six missed match darts by Jose De Sousa as the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour winner moved into the second round of the William Hill World Darts Championship on Friday.
The first three legs went with the throw before De Sousa missed three darts to break. He went on to miss another set dart in the deciding leg and was punished by Barnard, who took out 71 to steal the set.
Barnard took out 82 to take the first leg before De Sousa fired in seven perfect darts but missed treble 19 when attempting a nine-darter.
The Portuguese player won that leg and took out 121 to force another set decider but missed two darts to win it, allowing Barnard to move two sets clear.
Barnard looked likely to close out the win when he led the third set 2-1 but De Sousa hit back, winning the next two legs to take the set.
The South-West European qualifier broke Barnard's throw to win a third consecutive leg before doubling his lead in set four. Barnard took out 96 to stop the rot - only to see his opponent land double four to level up the match.
A 116 checkout helped Barnard force a deciding leg in the final set and capitalised on six missed match darts by De Sousa to progress to round two.
Barnard - 88.08
De Sousa - 87.83
Barnard - 1
De Sousa - 5
Barnard - 116
De Sousa - 121
Barnard - 1
De Sousa - 1
Barnard - 12/22
De Sousa - 12/46