Local hero John Henderson apologised to his home crowd after his Premier League defeat to Nathan Aspinall at P&J Live.
The Highlander, competing in the PDC’s invitational event as a challenger for the second year running, lost 7-3 to the Asp in Aberdeen.
After securing a 6-6 draw with world No1 Michael van Gerwen last year the 7,000-strong crowd were hoping Hendo could give them another memorable performance.
However, after being piped on to the stage the Huntly thrower struggled to get going, averaging just 81.93 and hitting only two 180s, with Aspinall averaging 89.19 on his full Premier League debut.
Henderson, 46, said: “That is the worst I have played in a number of years.
“Maybe the occasion did get to me because I played well last year. I was nervous and I feel as if I’ve let 7,000 people down.
“Gary Anderson won, but I felt I let them down, but hopefully I can qualify for the next televised event (UK Open next month) and put it right because that was awful.
“I’m disappointed for myself, but I’m disappointed for the crowd because I was awful. I’ve not had match practice and I think that’s part of the reason it was so disappointing.
“I couldn’t hit the trebles at all and fair play to Nathan he did, but I didn’t get going.
“I’ve been practising well and I appreciate the opportunity of getting to play in the Premier League, but I was awful.”
Henderson admitted last night didn’t better his first Premier League experience of 12 months ago, despite the backing from north-east darts fans.
He added: “I don’t think it did top last year – don’t get me wrong, it was a great walk-on.
“It was always going to be difficult to top the first time, but Aberdeen and the crowd did themselves proud.
“They gave everyone great support and they were fantastic with me, but I’m just disappointed I didn’t give them a performance to be proud of.
“I’ve loved to be a part of the Premier League, it’s been a fantastic thing for me and last year was magic because I played well, but it didn’t go my way this time.”
Meanwhile, world champion Peter Wright was also disappointed to let the Scottish crowd down after he lost 7-5 to Michael van Gerwen in a re-run of the World Championship final.
In a high-quality match van Gerwen averaged 104.13 to Snakebite’s 97.71, but the Scot’s doubles let him down, hitting only 5 out of 14, 35.71%.
Wright said: “It was brilliant and the venue was amazing. What an atmosphere in there – it was fantastic.
“Thanks to everyone in there that was supporting me. I should have been 5-0 up, but I didn’t hit my doubles and playing the No 1 in the world you can’t do that.
“He didn’t play well, but I didn’t play well either. It was always going to be a tough game and there was nerves from both of us.
“I had nerves because it was a home crowd and a new venue and I didn’t want to let them down – so I’m sorry about that.
“It’s annoying that I lost, but I’ll get him again.”
In the evening’s opening match Glen Durrant marked his full Premier League debut with a win.
The three-time BDO World champion beat Michael Smith 7-3 and said: “I was like wow, 18 months ago I was playing in front of 20 people at the BDO World Trophy and now I’m playing in front of 7,000. It’s a moment that will stay with me forever.”