Thursday 27 July 2017

Matchplay quarter finals 1-2

Going to consider them both as one, as they played out fairly similarly - neither player able to get much of an advantage at all until the fourth break, when one player put on the afterburners and got a more or less uninterrupted string of legs to overcome what was an 11-9 deficit. Suljovic played fine, 8/12 legs in under fifteen darts, two of them being twelves, 96.5 on the Gurney winning throw - there were five legs where Suljovic had left himself an easy two darter (i.e. doesn't need a treble) on the Gurney throw after twelve, Gurney just kept cleaning up. Suljovic missed chances - the 24th leg where, on throw to lead 13-11, he only hits three trebles in 18 darts and doesn't leave a double, being the key one, but you'd have hoped he'd hit his favourite double to break in the last leg to break and pull it back to 15-14. Gurney's game wasn't spectacular - just the one twelve, on throw where a fifteen would have worked fine, and being able to get six legs in six visits, five holds and the key 24th leg mentioned earlier. Only 91 on the Suljovic throw - he did let Mensur hold in seven visits after only leaving 100 after six, and allowed a break in six as well despite leaving an out after 9 darts.

In the other game Wright managed four twelve darters, two of them important breaks, but also was allowed to win six legs in six visits, three of those breaks - the gong show of an opening leg, the seventeenth where Webster had four darts at double, and the 21st, which was a mutual doubling meltdown. Webster pinning chances in just two of those would make this a hugely different match, especially if it's the first two - 13-7 is a big deficit to claw back. Webster couldn't generate a single twelve darter, while he got nine of his twelve legs in fifteen darts, he'd like to have been able to convert his 90 average on the Wright throw into legs - considering in those three legs mentioned he missed twelve darts at double alone, that's not too terrible.

Wright/Gurney as a semi final should be one sided - the model has Wright at 80/20, while the odds are around 68/32. I looked at recent form a touch when looking at the Suljovic/Gurney game, and this one is interesting as they both had mediocre openers and have improved since then. Gurney's played one more leg with the overtime against Benito, and the only difference in speed of winning legs is that Wright's hit two more twelves (7-5) to Gurney's three more eighteens (15-12). Plug those figures in alone to the model, and it spits out 72/28 Wright, which is a fair bit closer. In this tournament, when scoring not on throw, there's less than half a point between them on average, Wright just ahead but both on 91. I can't really recommend a bet on this one.

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