Sunday, 17 June 2018

Players Championship 14 - Double Cross? Yeah Wright

Pretty successful weekend for Cross, although he was to be denied a double win as the two highest ranked players in the FRH rankings that showed up met in the final, Peter Wright coming out on top in a 6-4 match, Wright storming into a 5-1 lead before Cross pegged it back to 5-4, Wright managing to finish the game off when Cross seemingly made a huge mess of some sort of finish, hard to tell off of the raw dartconnect scoring but to go from needing 132 and then leaving 15 before ending on 3, that's not pretty.

Michael Smith was a semi finalist with a decent run, the other was Jermaine Wattimena again, as he's made himself incredibly safe for the majors and is actually high up enough on the Pro Tour now that he's in danger of being seeded for ET 11 onwards. It's a bit of a double edged sword in that if you just sneak in you get no ranking money if you lose and the #1 seed if you win... seems like a silly system to me really. Wattimena had scored nicely enough to leave himself on 80 after twelve in the deciding leg, only for Wright to go out with 161. Not bad.

Lower down, Dimitri van den Bergh really should have seen off Wright at an earlier stage, racing to a 4-0 lead with the darts before forgetting how to double and losing 6-4, Noppert picked up a board win to keep himself within touching distance of the Matchplay but it's really reliant on making Hamburg and having a run at this stage, van Duijvenbode won his board again, don't know what's clicked there but he didn't seem to be having double troubles when I was watching on the stream board, while Adam Hunt made a quarter final from nowhere, which aside from a deciding leg win over Steve West was mostly a fortunate draw thing.

Overall in the weekend, Alan Norris only picked up a grand, but as his Matchplay chances are reliant on Adrian Lewis doing something and he only picked up 500 quid (Deller's bokking extending to this weekend as well it seems) it's probably a bit too much for Lewis to overhaul him, given he only has the one shot in Europe. It's also need Kim Huybrechts and Darren Webster to edge past him, they're not far behind but Huybrechts at least isn't showing any inclination to be able to do so. Sven Groen's now 0-14, how far will this run go?

Everything's in the master computer, interesting to see who has the best points per turn over the weekend - if we say a minimum of 25 legs played (just to troll Paul Nicholson and exclude him), the top 10 are, from the bottom to the top, Gabriel Clemens, Ian White, Peter Wright, Dave Chisnall, Mensur Suljovic, Jason Lowe, Martin Schindler, Ron Meulenkamp, Rob Cross and Jermaine Wattimena. Probably some names you expected up there, also some that regular readers might expect but casuals wouldn't, but the order's got to surprise you?

New FRH rankings:

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

Not a huge deal of change. White edges over Chisnall by less than a grand after finalling on Saturday, Chisnall's quarter not quite being enough to get him back over Ian. Cullen only needed to match what Huybrechts did to gain the spot, getting the extra grand over the weekend is just a bonus, but he's very close to van Barneveld for the top 16 and should get above him before the Matchplay guaranteed unless Barney shows up for something. There is only three grand separating Jamie Lewis, King, Henderson, Klaasen and Bunting in the 21-25 bracket, Wattimena's runs have taken him to number 31 on the rankings and very close to Justin Pipe, van Duijvenbode's weekend has placed him just outside the top 80 by only 100 points or so.

I'm tempted to do some in depth Matchplay qualification scenarios, but as they mostly write themselves and the World Cup is on I probably won't bother with it. Be back later in the week for Copenhagen previews.

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