Monday, 25 June 2018

It gets busy from here

Another two 6-5 defeats in the last sixteen, you couldn't make it up really. At least Cullen won to mitigate the damage, but we still drop a couple of units overall. Over the course of the season we're still nicely up, but it's always a bit infuriating when so many games on a single weekend went to last leg deciders.

Mensur grabbed his second European Tour title as he rounds into form ahead of the Matchplay. Simon Whitlock was perhaps a surprise finalist, solely based on what he's been doing this season, which isn't a great deal, but he hit some good darts at key times. Alan Norris must be thanking Adrian Lewis for not pinning the match dart he had against Suljovic, pinning that would have put Adie ahead of him in the main Order of Merit (and as he'd probably have been a favourite against Whitlock, well ahead), leaving him reliant on Kim Huybrechts not scoring a bag and a half more than him these next two days (or just getting one win in Hamburg) to make the Matchplay.

Elsewhere, Brendan Dolan beat Michael van Gerwen, the number one really didn't seem on at all this weekend, Steve West was the last semi finalist and it really wouldn't surprise me if he broke one and took it all the way these next two days. van Gerwen and Suljovic are missing it, so anything's possible. Decent run from Labanauskas as well, while we've known he's a great player for a while now, it's good to see that he's putting points on the board in the PDC, and with qualification for the next two on the board, who's to say he won't make the European Championship or even the worlds?

Key, key couple of days now. Norris really needs to put some money in the bank, although looking at things, his ranking's dropped enough that he'd be on the same board as Cross barring more withdrawals tomorrow, so that may be a bit difficult. Keegan Brown and Jeffrey de Zwaan could do with what they can get, although the former is in Hamburg and the latter could still qualify so they've got that chance as a backup, Steve Lennon and Richard North don't, Lennon being just above the line and North below, so they've got to do something. Klaasen sandwiches the two as the last man in right now, don't know if he'll make Hamburg but just a mincash there would potentially be pivotal. Further down, van der Voort's three grand below Klaasen with a similar situation re: the European Tour, Lewis and Payne are a bit behind but don't have that backup so need a big run, realistically a final, Dobey is just 500 quid behind them but could add money on the European Tour. Noppert and Meulenkamp are the only other realistic players who could force their way in. Cadby's still not back in the UK so he's out.

FRH rankings after Copenhagen are as follows:

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

Yep, Norris is slumping a lot. King's only about a couple of grand away from getting back in and there's plenty of others snapping at his heels.

West didn't gain any spots with his semi final as he was on a bit of an island but is closing in on the top 25, Wattimena's just nipped into the top 30 thanks to Pipe's money degrading faster, Dolan's now safely in the top 50 by nearly ten grand, wile Evans is just outside the top 60, Joyce is now in the top 80, Razma is the last man out of the top 100 and Labanauskas is at #135.

May post something up tomorrow if there's anything really interesting that develops from the Pro Tour, but I'll likely spend a bunch of my time just recording the stats ahead of Hamburg. With another Pro Tour event the day after and then England on the Thursday my time will be limited so I've got to get the scores down when I can.

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