Cameron Menzies went from fixing a kitchen sink to throwing his way into the second round of the World Championship, where reigning champion Michael Smith survived an opening-night scare.

Menzies is a plumber by trade and had to do a day’s work on Friday, changing a waste basin, fixing a burst water main and repairing a kitchen sink before facing Austrian Rusty-Jake Rodriguez at the Alexandra Palace.

The colourful Scot won 3-0 to book his place in the second round where he will play Dave Chisnall on Saturday afternoon.

“I never thought this would happen. I was really panicky today,” he said. “I was working but it kind of chilled me out, it made me realise that darts is a hobby and a very lucky one, too.

“I changed the waste in a basin, I couldn’t get the pedestal out because it was concreted in. Then I did an emergency which was a burst water main and I fixed it, then I went to a tenant’s house to fix a bath and she wouldn’t let me in.

“Then I went to another job to fix a kitchen sink, so my job is maintenance-wise. Basically, it is burst pipes and blocked drains, it’s not pretty.

“I was so nervous, I knew that game meant a lot. What happens now is a bonus but winning that game meant the world to me.


“Going to work chilled me out. It made me realise that it is not the be-all and end-all. I am a worker. I would like to be in a situation where I can give up my job and do this full-time, but I have a long way to go.”

Menzies will be able to take bragging rights back to the home he shares with girlfriend Fallon Sherrock, who is in first-round action on Monday night.

The 34-year-old was happy to avoid his girlfriend in the draw because he thinks she would “batter” him.

“You don’t understand how many issues we had,” Menzies said. “She went down for the draw, I was on the computer going, ‘Please’. There’s a handful of players you don’t want to draw and Fallon is up there.

“I play Fallon in the house and I beat her eight times out of 10 but she has a moment when she smashes me, which is fair enough.

“I know for a fact up there on the stage she would batter me. It’s her stage, she would batter me. I was like, ‘Please not Fallon’.

“Everyone was texting me asking if I was playing. Rusty is a very good player but I would take him over Fallon in a heartbeat.”

Smith began the defence of his 2023 title in nervy fashion as he was taken all the way by world number 66 Kevin Doets.

‘Bully Boy’, who beat Michael van Gerwen to win a maiden Ally Pally crown at the start of the year, was facing the prospect of becoming the first defending champion to go out at the first hurdle since 2009 when it went to a final-set decider with the Dutchman having the throw.

But a brilliant 142 checkout in the opening leg of the fifth set settled any nerves and Smith was able to go on and win 3-2, ensuring a happy Christmas as he does not return to action until December 27.

2010 finalist Simon Whitlock won a final-leg decider to see off Paolo Nebrida, claiming a 3-2 win to set up a second-round match with Gary Anderson.