Saturday 23 June 2018

Copenhagen day 2 afternoon session report

Something a bit different this afternoon, I thought I'd see what I could do in terms of an actual match report given the only football that's on is Belgium curbstomping Tunisia, so let's go:

Brendan Dolan 6-4 John Henderson - The first seed of the day fell after losing five straight legs from a 4-1 lead, Brendan punishing poor scoring with a great upturn in doubling in what otherwise was a fairly low quality encounter. Both the first two legs could have gone either way, with Dolan getting two darts in the first leg at D16 and D8 and one at the bull in the second, but Henderson cleaned up both on tops. John missed a dart at a badly obscured bull to finish a 91 checkout for a double break and Dolan narrowed the gap to one leg, but a second 180 and an 80 checkout allowed Henderson to consolidate at 3-1. Henderson would kick off the fifth leg with a third maximum, stealing the darts as Dolan couldn't score and leaving 164 after nine darts. Having a minimum of six darts to kill it, he wired tops for a fifteen darter, but returned to pin it after Dolan couldn't finish a big ask of 160. Desperately needing a break back, Dolan was gifted a chance at 80 after Henderson missed two darts to finish 68, and cleaned it up tidily to get things back to 4-2. Dolan's best leg of the match saw him leave tops after twelve, pinned at the first time of asking to put the pressure back on Henderson, which showed as Henderson started leg 8 badly and Dolan slammed in his first maximum. More poor scoring gave Dolan six darts to finish 132, he oddly went the bull route but was able to eventually pin D16 to level. Henderson's scoring looked like it had completely deserted him, and Dolan was able to clean up the last two legs under no pressure to complete the comeback and set up a probable last sixteen match against Michael van Gerwen.

Joe Cullen 6-3 Madars Razma - The Rockstar solidified a place in the top 16 of the FRH rankings with a great all round display to come from behind and defeat the Latvian, one of yesterday's stand out players. Cullen raced out of the blocks with a twelve darter, finishing 308 in six darts with a maximum and a 128 out. Razma couldn't finish 170 after a second maximum left Cullen on 79, but Cullen's dart at tops to break looked to clip the flight and Razma cleared up 51 to level. Razma then had a very good leg to leave 121 after nine darts, with Cullen out of range he didn't opt to go for the bull finish and set up D16, finishing it first dart to break. The break was consolidated with a bull finish on 83, Cullen waiting on 76 to break back. Good scoring from Cullen saw him hold comfortably, and could easily have been on a nine darter in the next leg, a bounce out and a Robin Hood seeing him start 120-120. A 140 then left him 121 after nine, having six darts to clean it up getting the break back on D16. A fourth maximum saw Cullen leave 90 after nine, but would need the second visit, a second Razma maximum to leave 33 not affecting Cullen as he hit tops for 4-3. Razma, needing to hold, couldn't leave a shot after twelve, allowing Cullen to just set up rather than go for a 167 out, and he did so for a fourth straight 13 dart leg. Razma had a half chance to extend the game, hitting outer bull for a 124, and Cullen finished 80 for a very impressive victory.

Gerwyn Price 6-3 Jelle Klaasen - The Welshman's achilles issue didn't seem to show as we saw some great spells with plenty of attempts at high outs and some great power scoring. Price didn't really start playing until midway through the second leg, a good spell to finish 343 in nine darts with a 107 out after Klaasen easily held in the opener. Price then missed a dart to break after a well timed 180 gave him a shot at 72, but he missed tops and then three more as he returned, Jelle able to finally take D8 to restore the lead for a 21 dart hold. Klaasen had a chance at bull for a 128 out and a break, but could only hit the 25 and Price hit D12 to level once more. Price had a good leg to leave tops after 12 darts, but Klaasen hit a partypiece 167 checkout to hold serve. Klaasen should have finally managed a break, but despite Price offering Jelle eighteen darts to do that, he could only get one dart at tops, which was missed and Price slotted in a 71 out to make it three a piece. The break finally came in leg 7 where Klaasen couldn't get a dart at double in five visits, and Price stepped in with a clinical two dart 89 finish. The scoring then went berzerk, Jelle starting with five perfect and he left 121 after nine, but Price had also hit a maximum and left 140 after the same. Tops-tops didn't work and Klaasen could only hit 25 looking for bull for the twelve darter, so Price was able to hold to 5-3. Price then started 177 looking to finish it there and then, and missed bull for a 170 and a twelve darter, Klaasen then just missed for a 161 of his own, Price then finishing on D12 to clinch a probable meeting with Peter Wright.

Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Johnny Clayton - The Ferret would be the second seed to fall as he was left to rue five missed match darts, as the Lithuanian qualifier came from 5-3 down to seal a last 16 spot and a tricky game against either Ian White or Steve West. Clayton was broken in the opening leg despite leaving tops after twelve, as he missed six darts at double allowing Labanauskas to pounce on D8. Clayton was able to break back with a fifteen dart leg, Darius not being able to hit a big treble in his last nine darts when in an alright spot after his first six. Clayton got the first hold on tops, but not before Labanauskas missed tops for a 120 out to restore his lead. Darius had the best leg of the match so far, firing in a maximum as well as a 126 out on the bull for a twelve darter. Clayton then started with five perfect darts as he went ahead 3-2 with a thirteen darter, and oddly went for the bull on 121 with Labanauskas nowhere in the sixth leg - he couldn't finish either of the two darts he got when he returned under pressure from a Labanauskas maximum, and the Lithuanian took the one dart at D18 he got to equalise. Heavy scoring including a fourth maximum saw Clayton leave a two darter after nine and he got his own four visit kill, and a 177 helped Clayton break in the eighth to nearly seal the game at 5-3 on throw. A good leg from Darius left him a double after 12, some bad Clayton counting meant he'd definitely return and he pinned D18 to get the break back, but despite missing tops for a 120 out, and then three badly shanked efforts the visit after, was allowed back for a D1-1-D1 finish after Clayton missed two for the match. Both players started the decider well, Clayton 100-140-100 but Darius went 140-180, although a 42 handed the initiative back to Clayton who set up D12 - Clayton would miss three more match darts and Labanauskas took out 80 in two darts to steal the victory.

James Wade 6-4 Rusty Jake Rodriguez - The Austrian showed some good play in a grind of a match which Wade just came through, the first eight legs going with throw before the Englishman was able to edge ahead for the first time. A blistering start from Rusty saw him open with a 180 and finish 138 to hold in fifteen darts, the next two also going with throw in low quality legs. Wade improved in the fourth to leave 85 after nine darts, eventually finishing off in five visits to make it 2-2. Wade then missed bull for a 121 to get a break and Rodriguez finished 97 on tops, a great last dart with the first attempt looking like it blocked most of the bed. A couple of six visit holds followed, Wade missing a dart at bull for a break in the seventh, before a poor Wade leg allowed Rodriguez in at 160, just missing tops for the big combination. At 4-4, Rodriguez opened up with a maximum, but couldn't clean up 124 with six darts, and Wade finally got the break with a last dart at tops to finish 80. That seemed to break Rusty, whose scoring disappeared, but he'd have needed something special as Wade finished on his trademark double 10 for a fourteen dart leg to clinch the match and a third round tie against Joe Cullen.

Darren Webster 6-5 Cristo Reyes - An incredible match saw Webster come from 4-2 down to clinch a decider as Reyes had one of the greatest spells this game has ever seen to open up that lead. Reyes started incredibly - seven perfect darts in the first leg, just pushing the eighth into treble seven and eventually finishing in eleven darts, and then got six perfect in the second leg, missing with the seventh but getting the next best in a ten darter on D16. Webster nearly replied with a twelve darter, missing D14 for a 121 out, but did return to get on the board. Reyes hit a fifth maximum in the next leg to leave 47 after nine, and pinned D16 for another eleven darter. Webster held easily as Reyes' scoring went to sleep for a leg and shut the commentators up about record averages but would still need to break Reyes at some point, but it wouldn't be the next leg as Reyes left tops after twelve, pinned easily with the first dart. Webster held and then both players missed a bunch of doubles in leg 8, Webster finally pinning D5 to get an unlikely scoreline of 4-4. Reyes missed one at tops and one at D10 to break but couldn't hit either, allowing Webster to kill 100 via tops-tops and take the lead for the first time. Webster put the pressure on by getting down to 53 after twelve darts, but missed two match darts as Reyes levelled. Another game to a decider and Webster started 180-100-140 and then with Reyes nowhere, just set up tops and finished in fourteen darts for a remarkable victory and a Sunday match up against either Mensur Suljovic or Ryan Joyce.

Simon Whitlock 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena - The former European Champion overcame the in form Dutchman, who the previous weekend had gone 12-1 to knock him out of both Pro Tour events. Whitlock opened up with a twelve dart hold including a maximum and a 103 checkout, but Wattimena equalised in eighteen darts, having no trouble with the Harrington switch to pin D9 last dart. Jermaine hit his first 180 of the game to steal the darts, but not leaving a shot after 221 gave Whitlock six darts to clean up 253, he couldn't do that but he'd get more chances as the leg descended into a doubling comedy show, Whitlock finally getting D10 after they missed eight at double combined. Whitlock grabbed the first break in the fourth as Wattimena couldn't hit shanghai on 20's, the Aussie taking out 76 in two darts. A solid fourteen darter with an 86 out saw Jermaine get things back on serve, but he wouldn't be able to have a good scoring visit as Whitlock nailed D16 to get another break and lead 4-2. A fourth maximum from Simon to leave 81 after nine darts put him in a great spot to get one away, but missed D13 for a twelve darter, and Wattimena, who himself had hit a 174 to open the leg, finished 104 to make it four straight breaks. Jermaine needed 110 to hold after an unfortunate dart on the previous visit hit an earlier dart and ended on the floor, and he couldn't find a treble, allowing Whitlock in for an 86 out to get one leg away from the win, which he got next up, a 180 to set up 64 with Wattimena nowhere, killing that final dart for a fifteen darter on D16. Whitlock moves on to face either Daryl Gurney or Ricky Evans, while Wattimena misses the chance to move into the FRH top 30 ahead of Justin Pipe.

Stephen Bunting 6-3 Peter Jacques - Not one for the record books, but the St Helens native came from 3-1 down to run five straight legs after Peter Jacques couldn't sustain what was a promising start. Jacques opened with a good leg, a couple of 140's and then a 145 setting up 36 after twelve darts, he couldn't get the kill but Bunting, way back on 126 after a poor scoring leg, could only get a dart at the bull, which he missed, allowing Peter to hit D2 and break in six visits. Steady scoring set Jacques up on 70 after twelve darts, he couldn't get there but was allowed to return for 2-0, hitting D10 for another seventeen dart leg. Bunting found some scoring and got on the board in the third, hitting D5 last dart having left himself on tops, but a first maximum of the match from Jacques gave him a huge lead in leg 4, being able to take out D16 for the best leg of the match so far in fourteen darts. Bunting's scoring was poor in leg five allowing Jacques to steal the darts, a 170 attempt from Bunting to stay in it failing on the second dart, but Jacques couldn't take out 84 on the bull. Bunting had a dart at D5 trying to kill 89 but wasn't close, then Jacques missed two darts for a second break and Bunting finally finished on D2 to lower the gap to one leg. Stephen had some OK scoring in leg six to leave 127 after nine darts, which he took out on D8 for a twelve darter and a level game. Stephen grabbed his first maximum in leg seven and followed up with 132 to set up D16 after twelve darts, finished under no real pressure from Jacques, whose scoring seemed to have dropped off, which continued into the eighth leg, not being able to leave a finish after twelve, part of eight straight visits of no more than 100. Bunting polished off 64 last dart to get the break and get to match point, and a 180 kickstarted an otherwise mediocre leg, having enough time to miss one at tops with Jacques well back in the high 200's, but three more misses gave Peter a real longshot at 158. Unsurprisingly it didn't go, and Bunting splits 10 and hits D4 to advance to face the winner of the Smith/Lewis tie where he'll likely need to improve to stay close.

Evening session starts in about two and a half hours, I may do similar for that session, I may not. Will see how things go.

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