Sunday 19 May 2019

Some brief thoughts on Saturday's action

Before I get into Players Championship 15, they're hosting a series of the associate qualifiers in Hildesheim this weekend for the three events that are coming up that aren't in Germany - this seems an understandable if interesting way to do it, it's naturally going to favour the Germans in that they don't need to travel that much for it, and it also has the effect of having a hugely increased turnout compared to some of those where they hold it the day before the event. Got to give props to Mike de Decker for getting through both of them, taking out Diogo Portela twice (sucks for him to prioritise this when he could probably have got into the Pro Tour this weekend), we also saw Cody Harris make one as well as Florian Hempel, who'll make his debut - we saw him in a lot of qualifiers the last couple of years but never got through one, but having made the German Open semi final last month (the one Leighton Bennett made the semi of), only being stopped by the in form Martijn Kleermaker, and getting through this as well, maybe he's hitting a bit of a purple patch. Averages weren't great for Florian outside of a 103 against Erik Tautfest, over 11 legs as well, looking back at the stats they were both helping each other by finishing pretty cleanly with the opponent regularly down on a two darter, nice game lads.

So to Barnsley, and Glen Durrant won his second event - notably in this one, van Gerwen was present and he beat van Gerwen along the way, a 7-2 win in the semi final. He dropped just 15 legs in the event, two whitewashes to start, then three tight 6-4 victories before the van Gerwen game, and then finished off with an 8-1 rout of Darius Labanauskas, looking at his averages it's possible he'd just ran his race by getting over Ron Meulenkamp in the semi final, although the final average is clearly affected by one leg where it took 26 darts to finish it (oddly, this was the one Darius won).

Quite a few surprising runs all round - Ryan Meikle continues his development with a quarter final run, notably taking Peter Wright out early, Pete Hudson, Vincent van der Meer and Nathan Rafferty all won boards (Hudson taking out both Aspinall and de Zwaan, VvdM was able to get a win over Clayton, Rafferty eliminated both Bunting and Barney). In bad days at the office, Joe Cullen, Adrian Lewis, Mervyn King, Jamie Hughes and Corey Cadby all fell at the first hurdle - Lewis drew an in form Justin Pipe and it went 11 legs, Hughes lost to Barney by the same score, while Cadby's got to consider himself really unlucky - sure, his game against Darren Webster saw a really mediocre performance, but after the first leg against Devon Petersen in the second round, Webster injured himself and eventually withdrew while in a 5-0 hole. Devon was playing alright, but Cadby's got to look at a run of Devon, Dave Pallett then Ron Meulenkamp and think that was a great chance to put points onto the board.

PC16 draw is just out - some standout ties include Ratajski against Monk, Chizzy against Barney, a wild Darren Johnson appearing, which I assumed was a replacement for Webster but he's there against Bradley Brooks, Hopp/McGeeney could be decent, potential second straight White/Dimitri round two tie (if Ian can get past Rafferty), Hughes has Meikle on the same board as Cullen/Razma, West/Woodhouse might be a sleeper decent game, Ross Smith against Darius Labanauskas isn't bad, while Durrant is on Bunting's board, Glen has Tytus Kanik. Other possible second round ties that might be tasty are Dobey/Cadby, Wattimena/Pipe, Searle against either of the Challenge Tour heroes in Edhouse/Gilding, the Darius game winner faces either Wayne Jones or Steve Lennon. Should be a decent event, let's see who pushes on as the Matchplay race gets down to the wire.

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