CWMBRAN’S Nick Kenny believes he has proved that he can “live with the big boys” after causing an upset to make it through to the next round of the PDC Home Tour.

Kenny is no novice – he joined the PDC after rising to become one of the leading players in the BDO – but entered Tuesday night’s event as the lowest ranked member of Group Five.

He is ranked out of the top 100 but wins against Luke Humphries 5-3 and Joe Murnan 5-2 ensured he had already won the pool before he triumphed against Devon Petersen 5-3.

“I’m happy, on paper I’m the worst player in the group but it proves I can live with the big boys,” said Kenny after the event, which pits players against each other via video calls on their phones during lockdown.

“Luke is a big boy and has lost in the quarter-finals of the World Championship twice and he is the best player out of all of us so I’m very pleased.”

South Wales Argus: UP TO THE OCHE: Cwmbran’s Nick Kenny makes his BDO World Championship debut today

Humphries, who is 34th in the PDC rankings and claimed his first World Youth Championship title last year, was favourite.

The 25-year-old from Berkshire went on to reach a second World Championship quarter-final at Alexandra Palace and then this year, in Exeter, became the first challenger to win a Premier match when he beat Gary Anderson.

Peterson, known for his flamboyant walk-ons, won the ‘Darts At Home’ test event and is ranked 56th in the world while Murnon, from the north west of England, is number 72.

Humphries finished second after beating Murnan 5-3 in the final game, despite losing connection ahead of his winning double, to leave him third and Petersen bottom.

Humphries added: “It wasn’t my best, I thought I would put in some really good performances and I should have beaten Nick but missed my chances. Hopefully I get another chance if the PDC continue doing another phase.”

Petersen said: “I always enjoy it, well done to Nick, it’s been fantastic and a great effort from the PDC. We want to give our best but sometimes situations like these are quite different. Hopefully I can get back to playing as good as I was.”

Humphries was favourite going into the evening but lost to the world 106 Kenny in the opener when the rookie broke him to go 4-3 up and then saw out the match.

Murnan provided another upset when he beat Petersen 5-1. Petersen hit his first 180 in the fifth leg but could not rescue himself as Murnan responded.

Kenny then moved top of the group with a 5-2 win over Murnan, while Humphries took a 5-4 victory against Petersen to give himself a shot of winning but it wasn’t enough to catch up.

The group success gives a lift to the Wales international, who had made a promising start to life in the PDC before the coronavirus pandemic.

Kenny reached the last 16 and last 64 of Players Championship events at the Barnsley Metrodome then made the last 16 of the leg in Wigan.

“People expected me to do well in the BDO because I was ranked third in the world,” he said to the Argus in February. “I’m an underdog in the PDC and not many people are expecting me to do a lot.”

After the initial 32 nights of league phase action, the 32 group winners advance to the second phase.

Markham’s Gerwyn Price, ranked third in the world, was knocked out in the first round on Saturday.