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Aidan was back at the City West to chat to all the winners from Night 2

World Grand Prix Night 2

Posted: 07.10.14 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

Aidan was back at the City West to chat to all the winners from Night 2

 Terry Jenkins 2-0 Kim Huybrechts

A brilliant 170 checkout from Huybrechts in the second leg had the game off to a flier. The treble took a right battering in the opening set with both players averaging 100+ at one point, Jenkins wrapping the opener with a 75 checkout.

The second set continued to enthuse, with Huybrechts battling back with some excellent arrows to put the pressure on the Bull. At 2-2 in the second set, the experience of Jenkins and an exquisite 145 set up to take out D16 gave him his place in the second round.

“I haven’t really prepared properly for it. I haven’t had a good weekend at the Pro Tour, and that gave me a right kick where I need it. I had a good practice this morning, and came to the venue early. And I was whacking everything in the practice room.

“I was hitting 180s for fun in the practice room. If I went up there and played bad tonight, I would have been shocked. I felt very confident in there because of how good they were going in the practice room.”

Peter Wright  2-1 Jamie Caven

A blistering first set from Wright was over in a blink! A 102 average included five 140+ scores in three legs. He opened consecutive legs with 160. You don’t stop that.

Until you cut to an ad break, and the momentum is handed from one to the other. Caven goes and averages 102 himself in the second set, and levels the game in remarkable fashion. At 1-1 in the final set, Caven gives Wright a nine dart head start and hands Wright the incentive at a crucial time.

Stats wise and they were very impressive over all from Wright. 6/7 on the doubles, two maximums and an overall average of 95 means he gets his first win on the Grand Prix stage.

“I used three different sets of darts during the players championships, and this set wasn’t of of them. It’s just trial and error, trying to get my A Game back. I’m Number 4 in the world and I need to start playing like that.

“I’m not just one of the players down lower, no disrespect to them. When I was trying to get to this position, I was playing really good darts but this year has been disappointing. I have a target on my back now. Everyone wants to beat you.

“Jamie turned up in the second set, he battered me 3-0. I had to break him in the final set, and unfortunately he missed six darts to get off in the third leg. I punished him and that’s what you have to do.”

Mervyn King 2-1 Wes Newton

It was a night for new darts in Dublin, as Mervyn King exhibited his new set against Newton and they were good enough to give him the first set. Newton got the fight in the second set, benefiting from King missing three darts at 56 to level the set.

The tension was rising, as the averages plummeted. King had fallen to 78 half way through the final set, and Newton took the initiative with a checkout of 60 to go 2-1 up. King responds with an opening 152 followed by a 140, to take the game to a final leg.

Both players got away in the first visit, although two stray darts in to the five from Newton left him with a mountain to climb. And the mountain was too high, King and his new darts moving through with a doubles record of 7/20.

“I’m through, and there is a lot of room for improvement. It was a struggle right from the very start. I wasn’t hitting the trebles after getting away to get the 100 you would need in a flying start.

“To be fair, I took the first set and had a great change to get through in the second. The doubles will look after themselves; it’s the scoring that needs to improve. I just haven’t been scoring as well as I should be.”

Dean Winstanley 2-1 Michael Smith

Winstanley hit the ground running in Dublin, taking aim on the treble win deathly accuracy. Smith could do little to stop him, although he got the second set off in better style. Having taken the first leg, Smith couldn’t do two in a row, but won the third to show some class.

Photo Courtesy Of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

In such a short format, the pressure was on and a 62 checkout from Winstanley to level the set was crucial. As was the next visit from both, as they shared a 160 start each.  Smith did his best to take it to a deciding set, missing the bull on a 164 check out, before Winstanley missed darts at double 10.

Finishing the remaining 25, and we were in to a deciding set in this thriller. At this point Winstanley was 16 points ahead in the averages. But they count for little, remember that.

Both players exchanged legs as we moved agonisingly close to the finish. A 76 check out set Winstanley up to go 2-1 ahead, before taking out double 10 to break, and take the match 2-0. An impressive 93 average performance included 12 140+ visits, and 42% on his doubles.

“This meant a lot. Two years ago I came here as a newbie. I had two darts to win back then and I blew it. I had to prove a point to myself tonight, and I’m happy.

“To hit the doubles and go in front, I’ll take that. I did what a dart player should do, and that’s hold my nerve. I only missed the off once, and that meant a lot to me.

“I think Michael Smith is one of the best players I have ever seen. He had a child recently and that made a man of him. We’ve seen it with Michael Van Gerwen, and Smith is the next. If he had hit his doubles on the off, he would have done a lot better. This is the hardest format.

“I got married in January, and I got a new set of darts the week before. Lee in Winmau is fantastic and he has me throwing this set of darts. I’m really happy, over the moon with how the darts are going. I’m not going home.”

Stephen Bunting 2-0 Ronnie Baxter

Stephen Bunting got himself off to quite the impressive start against the Rocket, and in no time had the first set all wrapped up. His average may not have been that high, but he had one foot in the next round thanks to some consistent shooting.

The second set as a little more edgy, and both players traded blows to claim momentum. At 1-1 in the second set, a maximum helped Bunting move one leg away, and his three 180’s versus Baxter’s told a story.

Baxter saved his skin with a 25 check out on double four, although Bunting opened the fifth leg with a 160. Despite a 180 from Baxter, the Bullet stepped up to take out 32 and set up an enticing second round game against Peter Wright.

Stats included 6/16 on the doubles, three 180’s and an 81 average which Bunting may find flaws in, but the important part of tonight was winning. That’s all that counts. Right?

“It was really hard to win that. It’s my debut, and I was really shaky, but I’m really happy to get over that finish line. To be honest, I was putting myself under too much pressure getting off.

“We play this game locally all the time, so I thought it would come a lot easier to me. I was nervous tonight.

“I think I can be a challenger for this title now. I can relax in to the tournament; I have a day off tomorrow. The next round is going to be better than that, I guarantee it. My record is good against Peter Wright, and if I can the doubles in, let’s get boshing!”

Michael van Gerwen 2-0 Vincent van der Voort

It felt like we were watching a different, more subdued Michael van Gerwen in this tie. But of course, that didn’t matter when it came to the score line in the opening set. Van der Voort had chances to go 2-1 up, but in the flash of an eye his roommate had taken the first set and subdued or not, the punishment had begun.

Photo Courtesy Of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

A clinical second set from van Gerwen ensued, with van der Voort struggling with the scoring power to keep up with his mate. It was all quite expected, routine. A 94 average was exactly what MvG would have wanted from this performance, a couple of decent finishes but will look to improve on his 6/13 doubles record.

“I feel really uncomfortable. I never want to beat my friend. It’s just one of those things isn’t it? I knew I had to play well, and luckily I did. He played really well at the beginning of the game.

“We know what we need to do, we had food together today. We practise together. But half an hour before the game, we split our ways. You have to prepare yourself. No one has as good a relationship in darts as me and Vincent. No one knows what we go through.

“I played well here. A 94 average is good. The next round now is normal. I am going to unleash in the next round. I play Dean Winstanley in the next round, I know I am better than him and I know I will be the huge favourite. I just want to do what I am good at and that’s playing darts.”

Dave Chisnall 1-2 Raymond van Barneveld

The last time Dave Chisnall was on this stage, well we know what happened there. He had the Irish crowd a little quiet in the opening set too, taking the opener 3-0 and in the meantime banishing all those bullying demons.

Barney then gets his Irish army going with a slick 129 checkout in the first leg of the second set. But Chizzy found himself comfortably in front in the next however, taking double 10 to level it up. Winning the third leg with the last dart in his hand, Chizzy needed just one more.

Photo Courtesy Of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

But Barney wasn’t happy with that ending. A huge 180 in the fifth leg, and the Army were praying. And when he takes out 26 with the first dart in his hand, off we go to the final set.

And the tension in that final set was more powerful than the darts play in truth. Many have questioned Barney’s fight, his determination, his spirit. But when he took out 25 to set up a second round tie with Mervyn King, coming from behind to beat last year’s finalist, he did his best to quieten those who doubted him.

The only stat I will give for this game. 75% on the doubles from Barney. That will win you most games won’t it?

“Dave was steaming in the first set. He is a fantastic player. You can’t let him score the 140s and 180s or else you’re in trouble.

“It was a weird game. I got beat in the first round of the two Pro Tours but I thought there was nothing wrong with the set up. I was telling myself to stick to this set up.

“I’m happy. I am back in the top 16 and I think I belong there. I want to get back in the top eight very soon, maybe after the World Championship. It’s important. Everyone makes a fool out of you, even to your face. So the rankings are important.

“I was throwing these darts in 21g in Sydney, Singapore and Leipzig. I was playing well but was missing some key doubles. Last week I was in my office, and I took the 25g out and immediately I missed a 9 darter on double 12. From that point, I stuck with these darts, and have belief in them.”

Simon Whitlock 1-2 Richie Burnett

Whitlock didn’t have a shot at a double in the opening set, Burnett cruising to a 3-0 win and in doing so, maintaining a 50% record on his doubles.

The second set was a little different, Whitlock pounding the treble in the first leg. It wasn’t long before Burnett returned the favour. A 100 checkout gave the Australian the lead, before Burnett failed to get away in the fourth.  It wasn’t long before Whitlock had levelled the game, taking 60 out to bring it to a deciding set.

Photo Courtesy Of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Standing at one a piece in the decider, Burnett may be forgiven for thinking he had let it go, hitting a single five going for tops. But he checked out 35 to take a 2-1 lead. But up steps Whitlock, and a 74 checkout to bring this a nail biting decider.

And what a final leg! 380 in nine darts from Burnett, followed by a 121 checkout and who’d believe it? The Welshman is through in emphatic style!

 “He didn’t play well in the first set, but I knew he would come back. He’s a top class player. The second set was really hard.

“There was a bit of bubble in me that I wanted to burst in that last set.

“That last leg, hitting the bull, sweet as a nut! There’s always one idiot who shouts out at the important times. If I had lost....

“The only thing that’s blocking me from being a top 8 player in the world is consistency. I’m working hard on it. I have to get rid of the snatch, but if it’s there it’s there. I’m playing really well. The desire to do it is there. People will enjoy themselves, because I am.”

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The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. The site is arranged as an online coaching manual. There is advice on technique, nerves, psychology, goal setting, practice games, an area to log your statistics and an interactive area where your darting questions are answered by two sports scientists, one with 30 years dart playing experience. You also get an invite to our free but exclusive members only events and acess to our members only darts coaching app! Membership is £25 per year!

Author: Aidan Farrelly ( throwlikeaprodarts@gmail.com )