Friday, 11 September 2020

Some quick World Series thoughts

These things often throw up an unexpected qualifier, but I don't think there was anyone hugely expected, apart from possibly Harry Ward, but you can't really call someone who's won a Pro Tour event in the last couple of years truly unexpected. Maybe beating Chris Dobey in the final round was, but there you go. Beaton, Cullen and van der Voort also made it through, with Clemens, Noguera and Razma the other finalists, fairly strong field.

I'll have a quick look at the runs of those that made it through to see what was going on - Beaton first won one against van Duijvenbode because Dirk forgot how to score, was slightly better against Hamilton, was unimpressive against Lennon then had probably his best game against Clemens in the final, although Clemens missed three clear for a break in the seventh, Beaton could easily have broken back if things stayed the same, but who knows.

Cullen looked really good against Ryan Meikle, not so much against Barrie Bates which could easily have been gameflow with both the first two legs going over six visits, reverted to solid against Callan Rydz (who also looked generally good), one comedy leg aside, then was more or less par for the course against Noguera, who really should have gone 4-3 up but missed doubles.

Ward was the real surprise. He didn't play very well in any of his games - his game against Dekker in the opening round was probably his best - winning five straight from two down with three in a row in five visits, but he only managed this once against O'Connor (two of his winning legs being last dart in hand in the seventh visit), twice against Bunse coming from a 3-0 hole which wasn't too bad, only managed one fifteen darter against Murnan but was at least pressuring well, then neither him or Dobey managed a leg in five visits in a pretty poor game. Here's where averages can be misleading - Dobey's 76 looks piss poor, but if Ward had have cleared up the comedy leg by finishing 24, Dobey's average goes up 7 points.

This leaves van der Voort - very good against Payne, Josh also playing well, neither doing much wrong with a combined average of effectively a ton, similarly high standard against Kantele, although maybe he was a bit lucky as Marko looks to have had at least one dart for the match, possibly two. Final two games against Waites and Razma weren't great, but it wasn't exactly a horrible standard.

Anything else of note? Maybe Ron Meulenkamp's one to watch - hitting 101 against Webster (who averaged 72?), 97 in claiming a decider against de Sousa and then 104 in defeat to Dobey isn't bad, he does have course and distance in these for a semi and he's 225/1 who offer four places each way, so that might be worth a punt dependent on where he lands in the draw. Jason Lowe doesn't seem to have missed a beat, only losing a decider to Clayton, Clemens continues to look strong, and Razma seemed a bit more consistent with his best game, which is nice to see.

May chuck up some each way punts tomorrow morning. We'll see.

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