Wednesday 20 December 2017

Ultra rapid Tuesday/Wednesday recaps

Evenings have been a bit hectic the last two days so I've had little time to look at the Barneveld/Anderson game, which threatens to be a stormer, or the Gurney/Henderson game which is a nice redo from the Grand Prix semi final, those games don't take place until the Saturday evening, and I've got everything apart from the newly decided Smith/Cross and Taylor/Pipe games written up that takes place before the Saturday, so there's a bit of time on my side to get those out. Hopefully I can get off work on Friday early to watch some of the afternoon session, and I might try and knock a couple out tomorrow evening (probably Smith/Cross as that's the first game up I've not written about, and Taylor/Pipe as it's the simplest).

So the last couple of days. Oreshkin seemed a bit disappointing, being the only player to date not to start any leg with a perfect dart, not that we were to know what Münch would go on and do later on at the time, whose prelim performance appeared on the numbers to be just professional. Henderson/Kantele and Barneveld/North went kind of as expected, neither showing a massive amount of resistance, although North did at least score OK, he just missed doubles, and if that comes with a bit more stage experience then he should get improved results. Lewis/Münch is clearly the shock of the tournament so far, and possibly the biggest shock since Barney/Richardson, Lewis didn't seem to be playing that badly on the numbers, he just got outplayed - the Bochum native (VfL represent!) banging in maximums for fun and giving him what was the biggest fantasy score until Michael Smith usurped him tonight. On that form, a game against either Reyes or Alcinas (the dartsdata form guide showing them both at five straight losses) doesn't seem unwinnable.

Tonight, Zong's numbers were clearly better than expected. He still lost, which is good for the bank balance, but he hit a couple of maximums and in the second set was at least able to nick a leg and generate some shots at double, just not quite scoring enough to create more chances at an out. Smith/Lennon was a decent game, both getting more in fifteen darts than otherwise and both rattling in the maximums as if it was going out of fashion. Smith's last set was particularly impressive, kicking off with a maximum against the darts and following up with a four visit break, then starting with two maximums in the next leg, even in the leg he lost he'd left himself on double after twelve. He looks in form and could trouble Cross in a game that's not to be missed. Whitlock seemed poor, very poor, he won eleven legs but needed six or more visits in nine of them, and when Schindler was winning he was averaging under 80 (obviously that clownshow leg where Schindler broke in a tenth visit doesn't help). With Lewis out he clearly has a potential run to the quarters which ought to get him into the Premier League, but if he plays like that Darren Webster will do him over again. Pipe/Smith seemed a bit like a war of attrition, Pipe probably playing slightly better but not by much, and Smith really should have closed out that last set in the fourth leg. He's given you 21 darts to win the match and you only make two match darts for yourself having kicked off 60-140, that's really not good at all.

As stated, hopefully be back tomorrow to give some previews, but in the meantime, wasn't it nice to be reminded of Bristow's ton each way on Lewis at not the best odds available at the time to bink the worlds, and Harrington asking for a quote on Lewis to win 3-0, have the most maximums and the highest checkout? At least Bristow posted a betting slip, but Rodney, apart from the winning 3-0, not having the most maximums and not having the highest checkout, that seemed like a good bet :-)

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