ANDERSON AND WADE TO COLLIDE IN SEMI SHOWDOWN
Gary Anderson prevailed an epic encounter with Raymond van Barneveld, whilst James Wade won against Chris Dobey, in what was an epic conclusion to the quarter-final stage of the Grand Slam of Darts.
In the headline match of the evening, Anderson took the lead from the off, landing double 8 for a 64 checkout to break Barney’s throw. The Scot then doubled his lead by pinning double top to go 2-0 up.
The Dutchman though, chalked his first leg on the board when he teed up double 16 with a 174 and 136, and hit the outer segment first dart to get into the game. The next leg, was another hold as Anderson found tops, before he broke the van Barneveld through with RvB missing two at double 16. It was a 4-1 advantage for the Scot after the first session.
After the break though, Barney landed his second and the fourth 180 of the match, and despite missing a dart at double 16, he was allowed to return following Anderson squandering three darts at double, to make it 4-2. Soon after, it was 4-3 as Barney took out 50 with 18, double 16.
This was followed by a further resurgence from the great Dutchman. Barney missed two darts to break attempting a 100 out, and Anderson hit tops, but the next two legs went van Barneveld’s way. First, Barney landed double ten last dart in hand after a superb 180 to tee up tops prior to that, before he broke the Scotsman’s throw with a 41 out. Anderson missed three darts in the leg, and it meant that Barney won the session 4-1, and it was now all tied up.
After the interval, the standard significantly picked up. Barney sparked the life into life as he took out a magnificent 164 finish, but Anderson hit back with a 121 out on double 18. The finishing good finishing continued, as Barney took out 68 in two darts to hold again.
The five-time World Champion then wired the bullseye to break with a 122 out, but Anderson cleaned up with tops to level again. Then, the break of throw did come. Barney punished for a missing double 16 for a 106, as the Flying Scotsman hit double 12, to edge in front before the third advert break.
Barney broke back straight after the break though as he kicked off the leg with a maximum before concluding it on tops, and he then went 9-8 up with a hold of throw on double 8. Again, Anderson levelled with double 10, and then he followed it up with a break on double 4. It was an 11-dart leg, of which the first six darts were back-to-back 180’s.
Although, Barney broke straight back as these two Premier League players hit each other blow for blow on the big stage at Wolverhampton. RvB landed a magnificent 126 on the bullseye with Anderson sat on 64 to go two legs clear. Instead, it was the Dutchman who now had the throw in six of the potential 11 legs left.
After the break, Barney took out 78 on tops, and after dropping his last dart, he composed excellently to pin the tops. Anderson held his own leg next though, and it was tied at 11 apiece. The match was getting more edgy as the legs past, but Barney again went ahead with a crucial double five after going inside on the double ten, with Anderson waiting on a two-dart combination. Anderson again though, came back to level, by hitting double 10 for a 46 out.
A huge hold of throw came in the next leg for Barney though. Anderson appeared to be creating a break opportunity with back to back 180’s to leave 41, but he then missed ended up missing the one, hitting 18. He hit 19 to leave double 2, but he split missed it, and Barney, took out a crucial 62 out on double 16 last dart in hand.
Anderson was flying though, as he went through his best scoring phase of the match; he the next leg to make it 13 all. Then, a 96 checkout on double 18 to break and go 14-13 up, before a 100 checkout saw him hold and go a leg away from victory.
Anderson then won the match 16-13, despite Barney hitting six perfect darts to leave a nine-dart opportunity. Anderson rattled in a brace of 180’s himself though to leave 41 after nine, and when RvB missed bullseye for an 84 checkout, Anderson sealed the win on tops.
It was an epic encounter, and the two players hit 22 180’s between them, Anderson with 13 and Barney 9. Anderson averaged 103.81 thanks to his late rally, whilst Barney averaged a quality 98.24 himself. Both the player’s checkout ratios were in the mid-forties, so the standard in this match was quality- however it was the nip-and-tuck nature that particularly made it such an enthralling encounter.
Anderson’s semi-final opponent was the winner of the first match of the evening, which was won by the world number 6, James Wade. He completed a confident 16-5 victory against the impressive Chris Dobey.
The match was decided by a couple of crucial factors. Firstly, that was James Wade lethal nature on double top (which was hit ten times in the match) and double 10, an old friend of Wade. The Machine made the most of any opportunities to capitalise. And that was the other key feature in this match—Dobey’s set up play letting him down after outscoring Wade in the first half of most legs.
The match began with Wade pinning double 4 last dart in hand to thwart any hope of a break straight away for Dobey. However, Dobey bounced back with a hold, before then threatening a break next leg- only to miss double 16, and allowing Wade to move ahead again. Then, Wade won the next two legs to go 4-1 ahead at the interval.
The next session again saw Wade dominate as he took a 7-3 lead, before the Machine went 12-3 up with a 112 checkout, in what was a clinical session where Dobey seemed the likely winner of many legs- but Wade’s set up play and finishing was class. And despite Dobey claiming back-to-back legs, including a superb 152 checkout to make it 13-5, Wade was always in control.
The Machine landed tops to seal the 16-5 victory, and he averaged 92.18 in the win, and hit a brace of 180’s aswell as averaging 42% on his checkouts. It was typical Wade performance, and now he’s through to the final day of action at the Wolverhampton Civic.
It must be said how well Chris Dobey played throughout the Grand Slam though, his victories against World Champions Adrian Lewis and Scott Mitchell shows what a class act he is; most definitely one for the future.
So, tomorrow, MvG meets Wright and Wade will play Anderson, both games seeing these stars compete for a place in the evening’s final. What a tournament it’s been so far.
Saturday 19th November 2016
Grand Slam of Darts- Quarter-Finals
James Wade 16-5 Chris Dobey
Gary Anderson 16-13 Raymond van Barneveld