Sunday 10 June 2018

Guess who's back, back again, Adie's back, tell a friend

It didn't work out for him in the final, but Adrian Lewis is at least back chucking at a decent level, and while he couldn't really get close to van Gerwen, he at least has been able to push up several rankings as a result of this run. Got to start to worry Norris that Lewis has just put a 10k dent in the gap there was between the two given Norris's weak Pro Tour ranking, he's going to desperately need something going forward to grab one of the last seeds.

Steve West and Paul Nicholson certainly will be happy with their weekends, although Paul's got to be thinking what could have been after breaking in the penultimate leg, starting off 140 then not being able to leave a finish after twelve darts, with Adie going out in 14 that was very costly.

I feel like I don't really review individual games too much, so I'll give that a try:

van Gerwen/Clayton - even enough through the first four legs but van Gerwen clearly looked the better player, Clayton then missed one dart at tops to break in the fifth as part of a double-double 100 out combination, it then all went downhill from there - missing double 14 to hold and letting van Gerwen in on 82 to get a break, a regulation 15 dart hold followed to put Michael on the hill, Clayton had the chance to extend the game but his scoring deserted him, allowing van Gerwen to clean up 75 on his sixth visit for the match.

West/Cross - how to average 10 points lower than your opponent and win. West has the darts and both players had one dart to break in each of the first three legs, all of which were scrappy, before Cross's finishing deserted him in the fourth and he misses six darts to equalise, West breaking in six visits. Cross breaks straight back with West unable to consolidate the break with mediocre scoring, and it's then routine holds from there, West getting another four visit deciding leg to ice the game.

Price/Nicholson - slow first couple of legs, Nicholson's able to get some scoring going and leave 121 after nine in the third, he can't finish on the bull but Price isn't able to hit a big 149 out and Nicholson gets the break in five visits. Price breaks straight back in the same as Nicholson's scoring falls apart, but his scoring goes away and he misses a dart for 170 to hold as Paul makes it 3-2. Price has the chance to get on level terms but misses four darts at double as Nicholson makes it 4-2, and breaks again to go one away after Price can't kill 74 to hold. Paul's set up play disappears in leg 8 as Price gets one break back, and his scoring goes away in the ninth as Price holds in six visits. In leg 10, with Nicholson drakking around on 228 after twelve darts, Price hits nine perfect darts - a maximum to leave 103, 103 out, and then kicks off the decider with a maximum, but despite a 140 follow up he can't finish the game - missing six match darts to allow Nicholson to clean up double sixteen in his sixth visit and advance.

Lewis/Wright - pretty routine game through five legs with it going on serve to 3-2 Lewis, he's then able to break in the sixth after Wright misses three clear at 32 which he'd left after twelve. He immediately rectifies matters with a 140-140-140-81 out break back, but proceeds to miss two darts at tops in the next and Lewis pins tops to get his break back, sealing a 6-3 win on double 12 after Wright can only leave 140 after five visits.

van Gerwen/West - couple of routine five dart holds to start, before van Gerwen misses three darts to make it 2-1 and West steps in to break with a 76 out. West holds a scrappy fourth leg, before van Gerwen puts on the afterburners - back to back four visit finishes in legs six and seven get things back on throw, and a fifteen dart break seals the game in leg six with West unable to leave an out after twelve darts. An eleven dart ninth leg puts van Gerwen one leg from victory, and a solid tenth leg from West is just delaying the inevitable as van Gerwen hits tops to move to the final.

Nicholson/Lewis - Lewis got an immediate break, missing bull for a 167 but cleaning up in fourteen, neither player is able to threaten the other's throw until the eighth leg. Nicholson, after a great twelve darter the leg before, slots in a maximum to leave 24 after twelve darts, Lewis can't finish 164 and we're at 4-4. The Asset can't pin tops to hold and Adie finishes last dart in fifteen to break straight back, and leaves himself tops after twelve in the next leg, cleaning it up to lead 6-4. Nicholson finishes 121 on the bull for another twelve dart leg with Jackpot waiting on 100 for the match, and then equalises with a 128 out on the same target after Lewis misses two match darts. The decider is a horror show as Nicholson, after starting with 140, can't find a treble in his next three visits, while a 180 from Lewis is enough to give him time to finish on tops.

van Gerwen/Lewis - one sided really. van Gerwen held in five, broke in four, held in six before Lewis got on the board with a ten dart leg. van Gerwen makes it 4-1 with a five visit kill, before ending the game as a contest with another break, Lewis missing four darts at double to hold. van Gerwen slots in another twelve dart leg to make it 6-1 in the race to eight, Lewis is able to hold and recover to 6-2 as van Gerwen's going through the motions, but it's routine from there, van Gerwen pinning double twelve for the title with an eleven dart leg.

New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Peter Wright
4 Gary Anderson
5 Daryl Gurney (UP 1)
6 Phil Taylor (DOWN 1)
7 Michael Smith
8 Mensur Suljovic
9 Simon Whitlock
10 Gerwyn Price
11 Dave Chisnall
12 Ian White
13 James Wade
14 Darren Webster
15 Jonny Clayton (UP 1)
16 Raymond van Barneveld (DOWN 1)
17 Kim Huybrechts
18 Joe Cullen (UP 1)
19 Alan Norris (DOWN 1)
20 Adrian Lewis (NEW)

As mentioned earlier, Klaasen's gone and down to 23 (and falling). West is up to #26 following his semi final, another player now ahead of Benito van de Pas, Nicholson rises to #66, while Boulton and Barnard crack into the top 90, with Mike de Decker holding on in the top 100.

Evetts got his third title of the year by claiming the last Development Tour event of the weekend. Scary how he's cleaning up, qualified for the worlds, but didn't get a tour card at Q-School. Maybe it's making him stronger? Who knows.

I'll update the Second Division Darts rankings shortly. One thing I might do for next season is add another tier of it, and have a third division, but only eligible to players under 30. Thoughts?

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