Magnificent Mitchell leaves Jackpot stunned
In our first game of the evening session saw a nervy encounter between Brendan Dolan and Max Hopp with the Irishman coming from 4-3 down to secure a 5-4 victory against the young German.
It was a really hit or miss start from both with Dolan securing the first leg in just 13 darts after Max didn’t hit a treble until his tenth dart on his own throw however Hopp did improve in the second leg hitting double 3 for a 15 finish with hit last dart with Brendan sat waiting on 40. And that was to be the last break of throw until the final leg as the pair shared the next 6 legs and it started as it ended with Dolan finishing in 13 darts on double tops.
The night’s second tie featured Alan Norris and debutant Nathan Derry in what was a quick fire 9 legs of darts with Derry showing he has what it takes to make it in the PDC. Derry was very similar to watching another PDC start, Jelle Klassen with his erratic style of throw and it seemed to be either good or bad without being much of a middle ground scoring wise.
It never looked in the opening few legs that ‘Chuck’ would be beat on the night as he hit an astonishing 14 scores over 140 in just 9 legs but Derry’s 55.56% checkout success rate proved to be the biggest stat of a great game of darts. Early nerves were certainly on display as Derry hit only 1 treble in the first leg which he got to throw 12 darts in as Norris kicked off with a steady 14 dart leg. The Firework then went on to win the next 3 legs after finding his feet a bit against a very inform Norris who was trailing 3-1 with a 107 average. Norris then went on to dominate the next 3 legs to give regain a 4-3 lead but a dreadful 8th leg saw Chuck hit just 1 score over 70 allowing Derry a chance at 152 which he missed on double 16, and Derry come back to hit double 8 to send the match to a last leg decider. And it was Derry who won it capitalising on 3 poor darts at 40 from Norris to hit double tops for a fantastic victory.
Ian White and Darren Webster clashed in the third game of the night as missed doubles proved to be very costly for Webster.
And it was in the very first leg Webster was punished as he missed 3 darts at 12 to allow White to win the first leg and after 4 legs the scores were tied at 2-2 before the game seemed to turn on its head as Darren missed 4 darts at double, Ian whacked in a great 118 finish followed by a 98 finish to lead 4-2. Webster pulled a leg back with a 99 finish of his own in the 7th leg but 2 140’s a 180 and a 41 finish in 2 to clinched victory for White who ended up with 83.33% checkout success rate to Websters 21.43%.
Our 4th game featured Big Ben Benito van de Pas and Hollywood Chris Dobey and it proved to be a classic. Benito started the game on fire winning the first four legs with a 104 average before a 132 finish on the bull from Dobey give him the push he needed and helped him settle his nerves as he reeled off the next 3 legs to draw level at 4-4. It looked like Big Ben had lost his composure and that Hollywood was to complete a great comeback but Dobey missed single 19 to have a shot at the bull and Benito returned to hit double 11 at the 5th time of asking to secure a great win with both players averaging in the mid 90s.
Next up was the 16 time champion of the world, Phil Taylor as he went face to face with Darryl Fitton with Fitton performing well below par against The Power.
An uncharacteristic 19 dart leg opened the match with Phil hitting double 1 for the leg after Darryl missed 132 on tops and Phil rattled off the next 3 legs to lead 4-0 before an 82 finish saw Fitton reduce the deficit to 4-1 but a 13 dart leg saw Phil complete a straightforward win with a 104.30 average.
With 3 games to go it was looking to be a late one after some close games and this next game proved to be one of the best of the tournament so far as PDC world number 2 Gary Anderson faced BDO World number 1 Glen Durrant in a exciting 9 legged encounter which saw the Flying Scotsman prevail.
Every leg went with throw on the night Durrant will look back on the 7th leg and wonder what the story could have been had he not missed a dart at double tops to break throw to be throwing for the match. Gary also had darts to win the match 5-3 but he missed 2 darts to do that before a 16 dart leg and another double top secured a 5-4 victory for the reigning world champion.
Next up was the man they had all been waiting for as MVG faced Martin Adams in a below par encounter with both never really hitting second gear as MVG ran away with it 5-2. It’s not often that you can say Michael looked nervy but stats and performance show he was certainly not himself. Michael first dart score average was just 26.66 in comparison to his 2nd dart average which was 32.14 and 3rd dart 35.06 which shown that he was a bit tight on the 20 however his 19 hitting was immaculate which is the norm for the greatest player in the world. Martin’s health issues have been well documented and I wish him well going forward and his darts may have suffered because of this as he was a shadow of the player who turned up on this very stage last year and he looked like he’d accepted losing before the game had begun in all honesty. A 106 finish and 2 180s was enough to brush Wolfie aside and Adams will need to improve tomorrow if he’s got any chance of going through.
Our final game saw the shock of the day as Scott Mitchell destroyed 2 times champion of the world Adrian Lewis with an excellent display.
It looked like the real Adrian Lewis turned up too kicking off with a 177 and double 5 for a 13 dart leg but Mitchell went from strength to strength after a breathtaking 161 finish to level with a 12 dart leg. Back to back scores of 140, 180 saw Mitchell then break Lewis in the third before holding throw to increase his lead to 3-1. Another bull finish, this time an 86, took him to within a leg of winning the match and a 14 dart leg saw him secure a great victory with a 107.78 average and put Jackpot in a very insecure position in what I believe is the toughest group in the competition.
|Michael van Gerwen||1||1||0||+3||2|
|Dimitri Van den Bergh||1||1||0||+1||2|
|Raymond van Barneveld||1||1||0||+4||2|
|Benito van de Pas||1||1||0||+1||2|