Thursday, 12 April 2018

Mansell's run

Let's look at Mickey Mansell's run, something ochepedia has already done a bit of, indicating that he managed 39/42 legs in 18 darts or less, which is always going to help and somewhat of a good pace, but that's not up to 93%, a figure reached by much of the top 16 - although it is better than Mansell's 88.4% which he's been averaging since the Players Championship Finals (thought I'd chuck that one in given he beat Gary Anderson there which'll surely help his stats).

What of the quick legs? Since that major, Mansell's won 173 legs, of which 6.4% are in four visits, and 48% are in five visits or better, resulting in a winning average a fraction below 90. Not exactly world beating stuff, tack on that he barely breaks 85 when losing to make an overall average just over 88, he's going to need to have played a lot better than that to win a PDC tour event.

Except he didn't. Of the 42 legs he won, he got three in twelve darts or better for 7.1%, and 22 legs in fifteen darts or better, for 52.4%. Opponents let him win 20 legs in more than fifteen darts, which is a hell of a lot. Compare to Adrian Lewis who won 40 legs - he managed 5 legs in twelve darts or better, and 29 legs in fifteen darts or better. Looking at the players who made the third round or better, Mansell had the fifteenth best points per turn - smack bang in the middle of the table at 91.09. Sure, that's three points better than his overall average over the larger sample, but in comparison to the field it's nothing special.

So is it a case of the opponents letting him win? Let's look round by round:

6-0 vs Huybrechts - broke in 5 visits with Kim on 148, held in 6 with Kim on 38, broke in 5 with Kim on 20, held in 6 with Kim on 120, broke in 6 with Kim on 56, then held in 9 (!) with Kim on 16. That's junk from Huybrechts, 15 Dart Bot whitewashes Mansell here, only in two legs did Huybrechts leave himself on a double after 15. Free win.

6-0 vs Eastwood - held in 6 with Gary on 66, broke in 5 with Gary on 141, held in 6 with Gary on 104, broke in 5 with Eastwood on 175, held in 5 with Gary on 155, then broke in 5 with Eastwood on 78. Here, 15 Dart Bot would be leading 5-1, Eastwood having fifteen darts in five of the legs and the closest he got to leaving a double were the easy two darters in legs 1 and 6. Pretty doubtful that Eastwood kills the 155 he'd left after 12 really. Another free win.

6-1 vs Norris - held in 5 with Alan on 116, broke in 5 with Alan on 96, held in 6 with Alan on 160, Norris then holds in 5 with Mickey on 156, then a hold in 5 with Alan on 170, a break in 6 with Alan on 76 and a hold in 7 with Alan on 44. 15 Dart Bot would be 5-2 up at this stage, but you've got to think that he was gifted the last two legs, and could easily have used an extra visit in legs 1, 3 and 5 if needed. It's a bit of a better standard, but it didn't need to be.

6-0 vs Thornton - held in 5 with Robert on 40, broke in 5 with Robert on 99, held in 6 with Robert on 86, broke in 6 with Robert on 67, held in 5 with Robert on 66 and then broke in 5 with Robert on 20. 15 Dart Bot would be 4-2 up here, but Thornton only got one dart at double the whole match in the last leg.

6-3 vs Price - held in 5 with Gerwyn on 103, Price holds in 5 with Mickey on 139, held in 6 with Gerwyn on 20, Gerwyn then holds in 6 with Mickey on 10, Gerwyn then breaks in 5 with Mansell on 115, Mansell then breaks back in 6 with Gerwyn on 132, holds in 4 with Gerwyn on 229, breaks in 6 with Gerwyn on 40 before holding in 6 with Gerwyn on 40. Now there's some good legs here, namely 1 and 7, but 15 Dart Bot would have taken every other leg to win 7-2. Price could have taken the third having left 71 after 4 but not killing, made a comical effort in the sixth only leaving 132 after eighteen darts, and similarly did poorly in the eighth, getting down to 173 after nine darts, but when given another nine darts he can only get one dart (maximum) at a double. He takes his chances, he wins.

6-3 vs Payne - held in 6 with Josh on 32, broke in 6 with Josh on 30, Josh then breaks back in 5 with Mansell on 16, Josh holds in 7 with Mansell on 20, holds are traded with Mickey holding in 4 with Josh on 220 before Josh holds in 5 with Mickey on 151. Mansell then holds in 7 with Josh on 60, breaks in 4 with Josh on 49, before holding in 6 with Josh on 62. Another 7-2 win for 15 Dart Bot, but there were some good spots - the hold in leg 5 was clinical and the break in leg 8 was good, but even there Payne had thrown six perfect darts and then can't get better than a dart at bull with the other six darts he was allowed. Grab that chance and finish the legs where you were offered six visits in as he has done 89% of the time this season when he's won a leg and it's 6-3 the other way.

6-4 vs Lewis - will summarise this differently - he held his five legs in 5 visits. This is good, but the first three legs Lewis wasn't even on a finish after 12 darts, and 100 and 71 in the next two aren't guarantees. On the Lewis throw, Lewis held the first in 4 visits with Mansell back on 275, then holds in 6, 5 and 6 - Mansell was nowhere near a finish in the first of these on 100, but got a dart at the bull for a twelve in the middle leg and one at tops in the last one. Lewis then got broken in six visits for Mansell to claim the title. Now this was a good performance - 15 Dart Bot would be 5-5, not being able to touch the Mansell throw, but Mansell couldn't touch the Lewis throw, apart from in the last leg.

So, in conclusion, he had a great game against Lewis and showed some spurts of genius in places, but in more or less every game he was gifted chances. An awful lot of chances, and not half chance 25 yard screamers required, we're talking two yard tap ins. He took them and credit to him, but to get six straight opponents letting him win as easily as he did is a miraculous bit of luck.

Draw is out for Saarbrücken - some interesting games I like the look of include a possible Beaton/Tabern second round game if Tabern beats a probable opponent of Horvat, the return of Jenkins against Menzies, Wade/Kanik with the winner facing King looks excellent, Lennon/Thornton could be close, Aspinall has a great shot at Sunday facing Nicholson and then Benito, while the Webster/Edgar/West section could literally go any way. Projecting the qualifiers, but North/Noppert has potential, Humphries against Ronny Huybrechts or Jerry Hendriks is intriguing, Brown/Wattimena should be rapid, while either van den Bergh or van Duijvenbode against O'Connor could be a highlight. Look later for projections once the quali is done but don't expect bets unless the bookies are on their game.

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