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Our man on the ground Aidan Farrelly scooped some fantastic interviews and insight last night!

World Grand Prix Night 1

Posted: 06.10.14 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

Our man on the ground Aidan Farrelly scooped some fantastic interviews and insight last night!

Darren Webster 0-2 Andrew Gilding

Andrew Gilding may have edged this opening game, but Darren Webster can rue a double’s record of 3/17 as the reason he’s on his way home. After such a brilliant weekend on the Pro Tour in the same venue, Webster just couldn’t get the same type of accuracy going on Monday night.

From a performance analysis point of view, 6/13 (46%) on the doubles for Gilding allows some room for improvement. With the emphasis on the outer edge of the board in Dublin, you would suggest this should be better. No maximums might also concern Goldfinger, but hey he’s won, that’s what counts right?

“The format was no problem. To be fair Darren didn’t put me under pressure. I knew I always had the advantage. After the 10-0 thrashing from Adrian Lewis in the Matchplay, it was important getting back on the stage and winning. Anyone can get a thrashing like that.”

On why he stands so far left of the oche, Gilding’s answer was rather straightforward really…

“I got this idea that because I’m right handed, that if I stand over to the left; then I’m in line with the board. It’s a bit of luck really. I’ve tried every position imaginable at this stage.”

Justin Pipe 2-0 Robert Thornton

Robert Thornton secured his place in the second round thanks to a gritty 2-0 win over Saturday’s Pro-Tour winner, Justin Pipe. It wasn’t the best display from either player, but Thornton just about had enough in his 88 average to win the game.

Thornton mentioned how he hasn’t been thinking about darts at all, and must be commended for playing in the tournament following a recent bereavement in his family.

He did play, and considering the circumstances, he played extremely well. And he wasn’t on the oche five minutes and he had to try stem the blood flow in his mouth!

“The glass was split on the stage. So when I took a drink from the glass, it cut my lip. That didn’t help. It was hard to get the rhythm going, especially against a guy like Justin. He’s probably one of the best double hitters in the game. For him to miss, it was a bit of a godsend.”

Mickey Mansell 2-0 Ian White

Ole Ole Ole!! What a performance from Mickey Mansell!! 6/15 (40%) on his doubles, just over an 80 average – and that tells half the story! On a night where three Irish players took to the stage, Mansell got the ball rolling.

Photo Courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

In truth, Ian White never got going. And Mansell never let him! Having secured the first set, the Tyrone man eased his way through the second; taking out double 12 at the first time of asking to give Irish eyes a reason to smile!

“The first feeling? Relieved! There’s a lot of pressure in front of the Irish crowd. There was serious support there tonight. There only with you if you can give them something to cheer about.

The memory of last years harrowing defeat to Simon Whitlock in the same round has obviously acted as a driver for Mansell, his determination to take his chances this time around paying off.

“Last year has haunted me for 365 days. It was with me every time I threw a dart. On floor tournaments, home tournaments, whatever. Those three darts against Simon Whitlock last year were always in my head.

“It was a brilliant feeling to hit the winning double on the first dart. Feeling comfortable amongst this standard of player is very important. If you’re intimidated, it will intimidate you. It has an effect.”

Kevin Painter 2-1 Andy Hamilton

Not the best game this. Kevin Painter got himself off to a great start, taking the first set with comfort. From nowhere, a momentum shift ploughed Hamilton right back in to the game, capitalising on a poor second set from Painter on his opening doubles.

The first game of the evening to go to a deciding set, Painter had himself 2-0 up in no time. Having secured the two treble 20’s for a 152, The Artist missed the D16. A maximum from Hamilton was to be in vein however, as Painter finished the job in the next visit, and will play Adrian Lewis in the next round.

“I was rubbish in the second set. I gave it to Andy. It was very poor. Sometimes when you’re going for a double start, you think it’s just going to go in. This first round is deadly. Anyone can beat anyone. If you muck around getting off, you’re out! Simple.

“After the first round, the games get longer and its harder to beat these players. I haven’t won a game for a while, my confidence hasn’t been great. The way I played in that second set was poor. It all came good though, so I think a couple of things came together for me and I’m happy to go through.”

James Wade 2-0 Andy Smith

That was good. No. Actually, that was very good. Averages don’t tend to count for much in the World Grand Prix, unless of course you hit a 94+. Incorporating a double start in to each leg, well that is excellent darts.

Photo Courtesy Of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

In truth, Smith played decent, but he was never going to get the better of the left hander. 67% for Wade on his doubles shows his focus for the week, he mean’s business. Playing it cool following the win, Wade reckons he’s finally made the luck he deserves.

“I didn’t think I played that well to be honest. I’m very happy with that average for the first round. If you’re not nervous in the first round, you’re a liar. And if you’re not nervous, you don’t want to win.

“I’ve won this a few times, and it doesn’t get any easier. I don’t love this tournament. You go in to every tournament to win it. But no format this year is any better or worse for me. The last 6 months, I’ve been playing well; better than some who’ve been winning tournaments.

“Some players say they’re waiting for a bit of luck. If you keep playing well, you make luck, because luck isn’t luck. You create gaps. I’ll keep going as I am.”

Phil Taylor 2-0 Steve Beaton

Phil Taylor got the defence of his crown off to a decent start, although he never truly escaped third gear, of a car that has six gears. Taylor has the innate ability to go with his opponent, one would think if Beaton was throwing well, Taylor would have had plenty more to offer. But he, like them all can be mediocre when that’s what’s in front of him.

Define a professional performance, and that is it right there. Taylor did enough to get by, 40% on his doubles and an 85 average. It was enough. And whilst he may not need a whole lot more to scupper Gilding’s ambitions in Round 2, he certainly will need a little bit extra if he wants to get his hands on the trophy once again.

Gary Anderson 2-0 Brendan Dolan

Gary Anderson completely ignored the script written by Irish fans on the opening night! Brendan Dolan was meant to beat Anderson, so he could take on his roommate in Round Two, in Ireland. He was utterly majestic in this opening round performance. In a game that included nine 140+ scores, and two maximums, Anderson barely gave Dolan a sniff of victory.

Photo Courtesy Of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

55% on the doubles, an often touchy subject with the Flying Scotsman, was good. His second set average was 115. That needs a caps lock. 115 AVERAGE! In a double in competition. That’s quite disgusting. He was focussed, patient, and forgetful in terms of ignoring his Pro-Tour final loss to Dolan a little over 24 hours previous.

“I’m just plodding along. I don’t care, I just go up to play darts. The double-in performance doesn’t change it for me. The hardest part is to remember you’re going for a double at the start. I haven’t changed anything in practice.

“I just put my head down, and threw darts. Brendan plods along. He’s not as quick as a lot of players, and Sunday helped me to see what his pace was. A couple of legs I rushed in, and it wasn’t working for me so I stood back and waited for Brendan to go past me.

“Mickey Mansell is a similar pace. I think I know what I’m doing know. It could be a great game, or a poor game!”

Adrian Lewis 2-1 Daryl Gurney

For those who persevered and stayed up late, this final game was well worth it! It had everything this. Adrian Lewis is renowned for coping perfectly under pressure, and whilst he can thank Daryl Gurney for a couple of unlucky missed doubles, Lewis can take great confidence going in to the next round.

Photo Courtesy Of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Gurney had it all, gave it all and can only take fantastic confidence from that performance. Taking the second set to really get the crowd going, the Irish fans hoped. And having hit the two trebles for the 170 checkout in the final set, those same fans hope died a little.

Lewis was on the ropes, all but buried when Gurney had three match darts from 25. Alas, the double 8 eluded him and Lewis stepped up to take out double 10 in agonising fashion.

27% on the doubles shows why this ran so close, Lewis averaging just 80 in the final set. Alas he lives to fight another day in Dublin, and will soon turn his focus on Kevin Painter.

“That was exciting for everyone else, but me. Fair play to Daryl there, he hit the right shots at the right time. To be honest, I couldn’t get any closer on some of those doubles.

“When I missed the three at double 10, I thought I had blown it away. I don’t think I could score much better; it was just getting off and finishing.

“I’ll take a lot of confidence from that. The first round is always going to be difficult. When you’re playing Daryl who’s doing so well, it’s hard. He kept me under pressure the whole game. Going in to the second set, I was confident. I wired double 8 and he takes out 138! And  all I think is Oh God!!!!”

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Author: Aidan Farrelly ( throwlikeaprodarts@gmail.com )