PDC Players Producing The Goods
The BetVictor World Matchplay has now concluded, in its 20th year the event has produced some magical moments, games, records and a few 9 darters thrown in, whats your view on this year’s event
ICEMAN’s VIEW: The players this year have produced some of the best standards ever reached in a single event, some of the averages were incrdible in the heat of Blackpool and the pressure of such a magical tournament. SKY have again ‘As Always’ produced 9 days of Darts which made you salivate in anticipation on a daily basis. Some of the head to head battles certainly from the quarter finals onwards were something to remember for a long time. These four quarter finals, the two semi-finals and of course the final was the best ever darts as a whole I have ever seen.
SKY commentator and personal friend ‘John Gwynne’ has, after 20 years on the microphone with SKY decided to call time on his commentating days with them: It was a nice touch to see the legend of the mic on stage for the final presentation handing out the runners-up trophy to AdrianLewis. His voice is one of clarity, knowledge, humour and deep gritty enthusiasm of a sport he has loved and been a part of for so many years. Apart from supporting ‘Man City’ he is a top bloke and still in my view one of the best, we have had many a good evening at darts exhibitions around the country and the events we have been involved with over the years.
In the first round there wasnt many shocks, with the exception of Ian White’s 10-3 demolition of Robert Thornton. No one saw that comimg, also an impresive debut in defeat for young welshman Jamie Lewis 7-10 to experienced Kevin Painter. Certianly the game of the round was Newton v Caven: Wes not particularly struggling for form but results, was up against a ressurgent Caven whos recent results have been up there with the best. It was spoken about in darts circles as the game of the round, and it turned out to be just that. But as the game unfolded it all looked like a great win for Newton, he pinned an 87 finish to keep his 3 leg cussion at 7-4 and the writing was on the wall. But Caven in the last 6 months has produced some class and it showed with 4 of the last few legs in 14, 15, 14, 13 to get him to the winning post 10-8. Good to Lloyd playing well again.
Baxter & Kellet almost whitewashed. In round 2 Pipes win over Barney by taking the last 6 legs to win 13-9 was the biggest of his career ‘Taylor Next’ who almost fell over the line in a cracker with Terry Jenkins 14-12. Wade looked impressive in his 13-9 win over Gary Anderson taking 8 of the last 9 legs.
The quarter-finals produced 4 of the best games in an event you have probably ever seen. Pipe v Taylor started off with mental scoring and at one point Pipe was behind with a 129 av. At 6-6 it looked like going the distance before Taylor upped the gears and Pipe’s high scoring was not quite there, so the guvenor won 16-10 with a 104.38 following his 102 in round 1. Stablemates Whitlock v Wade produced a see saw encounter with 13 maximums, finishes of 135, 130, 124 & 120 ta boot. Both players ended with just under 100 av with Wade keeping his composure and nicking it 18-16. Lewis v Hamilton was probably the game of the quarters, it had everything high finishing (170-161), high averages, 21 maximums, and tension to turn your feet blue. It was Lewis who went in front at the right time to win a classic 19-17.
Chisnall v MvG was the last quarter but didnt drop in quailty, Chisnall probably played his best TV game for a while, but MvG is a different animal now and he ran out with a 16-11 win to give us the top 4 seeds in the semi-finals for a while.
Semi-Finals Mvg v Lewis was high in expectation and it certainly delivered. Both players averaged over 100 and 13 maximums, but the quality of the finishing was paramount with 6 over the 100 with a 164. MvG wired double 13 for a 146 finish to take it to a tie breaker, to let in Lewis to ended the contest on double 7 to rapturous applause from the whole crowd which was awesome and deserved. Taylor v Wade if you thought that was good, this was incredible with Wade toe to toe with the master and at 13-12 it looked like going all the way until Taylor expoded into life to take the match 17-11 with a 107.61 average his 4th consequetive ton plus average in the event.
The Final Lewis v Taylor Normally most people wouldnt give Aidy a chance here including me, but recently has produced and looked his best and is on the back of his European Darts Championship win in Germany. I tipped Lewis to win 18-15 and it looked on with Lewis taking a 6-4 lead, but from the break Taylor took the next 5 to lead 9-6 at the next break, and despite some brilliant darts from Lewis and 19 maximums just couldnt chase a player averaging 110 throughout. Taylor winning in brilliant style averaging 111.23, Lewis with 105.92 and 28 maximums. Finishes of 136-130-127 and 123 amomngt many were at crucial times. Both players took a bow and deserved the plaudits. This will probably go down as the greatest final ever bar none.