Sunday 23 July 2017

Matchplay day 1 analysis

Steve West 10-5 Michael Smith

No real words to say here, this was a pretty amazing display from West, slotting in four legs in twelve darts or less, a further three in fifteen, two of them breaks, and a not at all shabby 96 average when Smith won the leg. Smith, however, had his chances - twice West was able to hold when Smith had six visits to the board, in leg 7 when the scores were still level, and in leg 13 when West was two away from victory - in neither situation did Smith get a shot at double, crazily opting to go for bull with two darts in hand at 90 with Smith waiting on tens can't ever be the percentage play in the first instance, the second time he didn't get a good scoring visit until the fifth turn where he left 118 and couldn't hit a treble, just one more treble at any point earlier in the leg should give him a dart. Grab those breaks and it's 7-7, as was he had to make do with the legs he did win being alright, all in fifteen or less, but under 90 on the West winning legs isn't going to cut it.

Darren Webster 13-11 James Wade

Not the highest quality game - in 24 legs they combined for only two twelve darters, but a fair bit of tension in it, with Webster being able to get the scrappy legs - while their number of four and five visit leg wins were identical, Webster won five legs in sixteen darts or more to Wade's three, which was the difference. He was also pressuring a bit better, scoring over 95 on the Wade winning legs, compared to Wade being down at 91, so in those scrappy legs he was likely getting into spots where cleaning up was a bit easier. He'll play West next up in a section of the draw that is wide open.

Gary Anderson 10-7 Christian Kist

Ando did OK here but was made to work by Kist - of his ten won legs, two of them being twelves and six more being fifteens is more or less what you'd expect, and an average of 98 on losing legs is very good. Kist put up a decent showing, with a twelve darter of his own, and only two of his legs won needing more than fifteen darts, with a 96 average on the Anderson winning legs making sure that he was there if Anderson gave him chances, which he did on occasions, he broke Anderson four times and given that he only hit the one twelve darter, Anderson could tighten up his game, and may need to next round.

Peter Wright 10-8 James Wilson

On the numbers this looks like a bit of a confusing clown show - there were five twelve dart legs in the match, but four of them were from Wilson, whose other four legs were all in six or more visits, while Wright could only get four total legs in fifteen darts or less, getting by with four holds of throw in six visits where Wilson couldn't do enough - he wasn't waiting on a double in any of those, and needed over 100 in three of them. It's only really a Wilson collapse towards the end that saved Wright - from 8-6 down, Wilson was given a sixth visit on his own throw to finish a single darter, which he didn't, then somehow is allowed a seventh visit on the Wright throw having not had a dart at a double in the previous six visits, to which he proceeds to miss three more at a single darter, and finally can't finish in fifteen darts, with a visit of 43 and a bounce out meaning that 100 needed to go, and didn't. Couldn't do anything with Wright going out in twelve last leg but the damage was already done.

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