Tuesday 18 December 2018

Day 6 roundup

That was good from Gurney. Smith missed a couple of chances but was never really going to generate enough with the way that Daryl was playing. What else did we have today?

Daniel Larsson kicked off with a bit of a surprise over Robert Thornton, don't think anyone doubted he could play but we just didn't know a huge amount at the top level. First set was scrappy, a couple of 180 flashes and a 125 out being the exception rather than the rule, second set was an improvement from both with more maximums from each side and a nice 106 out, Larsson should have cleaned the set up but missed five for it in the decider. Third set was all whoever hit a maximum for the first three legs before Thornton missed one dart to break in the fourth leg and Daniel stepped in, and he took the fourth set from behind as well, Robert missing two set darts in leg four. It's not bad, and he'll certainly be live tomorrow afternoon against Kim Huybrechts.

Rowby-John Rodriguez took out Ricky Evans next, first set being pretty tidy from both with only the one leg going over 15 darts, the Austrian nicking it in a decider, Evans equalised in the second with a fourth leg break after Rowby's scoring deserted him, he got an early break in the third set, second leg was a bit of a clownshow which Rowby took, Ricky had a dart at bull in the third for a 126 but missed and Rowby stepped in, both hitting 180's in the leg, then Rowby stole a poor leg to clinch the set. Third leg of the fourth set was fun, scoring going 180 Evans - 180 Rodriguez - 124 out Evans, but Ricky missed two set darts in the fourth and forgot how to score in the decider and Rodriguez advanced. He'll be back against Reyes on Thursday night and has got to have a chance.

Seigo Asada came from two sets down to beat Krzysztof Ratajski, missed darts getting him in a 2-0 hole in the first, he pulls it back to two each but Ratajski nails a fifteen darter to break with Asada waiting on tops. Solid second set from the Pole, three legs in five visits getting it done, which is what Asada does in the third as he ups his scoring. First three legs of the fourth set are all breaks, Ratajski pinning a 110 for his and Asada punishing missed doubles for his two, a steady fourth leg levelling the match, Ratajski breaks in the decider to open but then can't finish 204 in six darts and it's back on throw, Ratajski should break straight back but missed one at bull and then one at double two and Asada goes a leg away, and Seigo hits his best leg of the match when it counts with three successive two treble visits and then 96 in two darts to win. Great comeback, and if I thought Krzysztof was a slight favourite over Wade on the projections then Seigo has every chance.

We finished on Vincent van der Voort winning eight straight legs against Darren Webster, the second leg of the first set being the only one the Demolition Man won, and that was a 22 darter. Not really much to say about this one, Darren missed nine darts at double but five of them were in that one leg he won, he just really couldn't score heavily enough, and it wouldn't have taken too much as Vincent wasn't a great deal better, both averaging below 88. He'll get the winner of Beaton/Dobey, which should theoretically be an easier game but he'll have to play better.

Steve Lennon easily shrugged off James Bailey, 3-0, the Australian never really doing quite enough in any aspect to create enough chances. He had some half chances in the opener after taking the first leg, but missed big numbers at key points in a couple of checkouts to deny himself a shot, the second set was probably his best chance, missing three clear at 40 in the first, levelling in the second, getting the fourth in a mutual horror leg after Lennon took the third well, but his scoring abandoned him in the decider after a 140-100 opener, only hitting one big treble in the next nine darts to let Lennon hold in six visits. Lennon opened up a 2-0 lead in the third, Bailey stole one back after Steve missed six match darts, but Lennon left 57 after twelve and cleaned up in the next leg. He'll need to tidy up some of these bad legs, something he was doing at times in Minehead as well, but against Norris it may not matter anyway.

Ron Meulenkamp gave us our second comeback of the day against Diogo Portela, the Brazilian storming to a two set lead, Ron with a combination of some missed doubles and failure to score at key spots, a crucial pairing which did not help at all. He kickstarted things just in time, a 180 and 124 out in the third leg of set three to break, and then a 140-180 start to the next to hold in thirteen darts. Ron started adding a bit more power scoring and Diogo's composure seemed to go a touch, but Meulenkamp still needed to break in the deciding set, and a twelve dart leg in the third leg was the key moment as the Dutchman sealed it out, not before missing seven match darts. Ron's got Michael Smith next, and it's hard to see Michael letting Ron back from a two set deficit.

Dimitri van den Bergh easily shrugged aside Chuck Puleo in straight sets, it was an instantly forgettable game as Dimitri never really got out of second gear, an 85 average being enough, the only real highlight being a 144 out in set three when Chuck was threatening to break the van den Bergh throw. Chuck had occasional moments, a 180 in the first leg would be his only one, but a 102 out and a nice fifteen darter in the third set were good arrows from the American, he just couldn't really get the extra trebles when needed and missed some doubles when it mattered, particularly in the last leg where he missed two set darts at D16. Dimitri's now got Jonny Clayton and will need to up his game very quickly.

Finally we had Daryl Gurney overpowering Ross Smith, Smudger wasn't awful but Daryl hit six maximums, it was only Gurney's doubling that gave Smith some chances, he missed one dart in the second leg which would have seen him take the opening set if the other legs went the same way, the second set basically ended it as Smith botched an 81 out to leg Gurney break straight up then missed a stack of darts to win the second and one to win the third, he was too far behind then and didn't get another dart as Gurney hit a 180 in each of the three legs in set three to clean the set in just 41 darts. It looks ominously good form and he shouldn't have trouble getting as far as Anderson if he plays like this. It's also pushed him above Peter Wright to #4 in the FRH rankings.

Tomorrow we've got Cullen/Dolan, Huybrechts/Larsson, Wilson/O'Connor, Whitlock/Joyce, Smith/Meulenkamp and Wade/Asada to look at. We've not looked at any of these yet but I'll need to be quick. I think Dolan's worth a stab. He didn't play great in beating Liu, although he didn't need to, and the year long stats probably weight Cullen's mediocre floor form too much, but Brendan's above 40% against Cullen for the year, and over more recent games he appears to be playing the better darts, so 0.25u Dolan 11/4, Cullen you sense is the sort that might bin it after a draw opens up for him, which is exactly what has happened here.

Huybrechts/Larsson, I really don't know. Larsson played fine and Kim's not exactly been playing great all year, but we're only getting 2/1, I think there's a possibility he can repeat but it's hard to quantify with how little info we have and the price just isn't right.

James Wilson should come through, but O'Connor is definitely a live dog here. He'll need to improve from what he showed against Meeuwisse, but he has a chance. It's not one I want to bet on though, the market is fairly tight with Wilson at 8/15, and I've got him at 63%, so I can't really see an edge.

Whitlock/Joyce has opened up quite a long way in favour of Whitlock at around the 75/25 range. Season long this is an easy Joyce bet, and while he did a professional job against Dobromyslova, it wasn't that impressive statistically and his more recent form isn't that great, which swings a 65/35 in favour of Whitlock season long to 82/18 since the summer hiatus, so no bets here.

Smith/Meulenkamp is priced as if it should be one sided, and I'm reading the same in a similar way - Smith easily in the eighties in win percent chances, with Ron at 9/2 that looks to be pretty plum. I think the real interest is to see how Smith steps up given how he's also in the half of the draw that always looked a bit weaker and has just lost Peter Wright, in terms of how he looks to try to make a final. He's in the tougher quarter, but he's got to get through this game first.

Wade/Asada? Seigo looked good. Seigo beat someone that I projected to be more or less a flip with James. Seigo is 5/1, and that makes little sense to me. 0.1u Asada 5/1, only that small given that we don't have a huge amount of data on Seigo outside of the Asian Tour, and as I've mentioned a few times I don't think any of them there have been playing that well, but you don't beat Ratajski and then come in at that price. No way.

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