Big Names Tumble In Blackpool As Peter Wright Hits Top Form

Big Names Tumble In Blackpool As Peter Wright Hits Top Form

Peter Fryers World Matchplay

Peter Wright looks very much the man to beat as we approach tonight’s Darts World Matchplay Quarter Finals. Full of confidence following 20 straight wins, Snakebite has seen the draw open up for him – and others – after Tuesday night saw the duel eliminations of the top two seeds, Mighty Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson. While in the betting, those results leave Rob Cross and Snakebite as Betway’s new joint 11/4 tournament favourites, Wright is the player showing the best form right now and looking in his best condition for perhaps the past three years.

The Scotsman’s current good form has seen him collect three titles in succession having picked up the German Darts Masters and two Players Championship events last week. Having cruised through Monday’s round one game against Vincent van der Voort, Snakebite moved on to last night’s match against Aussie Simon Whitlock whom he calmly dismissed 11-2, while averaging over 100 for the 11th time during his recent good run of form. Note, his average of 103.01 is the best of all the remaining players in this year’s tournament.

A look at previous action

Last night’s match against the Wizard peaked with a stunning 170 checkout that allowed Wright to complete a 12-darter in the fourth leg, a score he almost bettered in the final leg when he fell just short of banking a nine-darter. The Australian, on the other hand, banked a measly average of 87.42 while reaching only five darts at doubles.

Also last night, Rob Cross saw off Polish chucker Krzysztof Ratajski 11-5 to book his spot in the Quarter Finals. Voltage joins Wright at the top of the betting and showed why as he coolly shot down the Polish Eagle. Ratajski briefly offered some kind of resistance, taking out the first two legs to take advantage of Cross’ notorious slow starts, which included a 160 checkout as part of a 12-darter. That, however, would be the last leg he would win until falling 9-2 behind.

Cross, 11/4 against the field with Betway, averaged 98.47 compared to Ratajski’s 94.54, hitting three more maximums. Unfortunately, as the one side of the draw thins out, the other side – the one that features both Snakebite and Voltage – looks likely to be the side from which the winner will come, although the two favourites can’t meet until the semis on Saturday.

Wednesday night also saw Stephen ‘Bullet’ Bunting force a comeback on Ian ‘Diamond’ White, as Diamond’s long history of televised capitulations continued. White, looking to reach the Matchplay Quarter Finals for the first time since 2015, was leading 9-4 in a race to 11 legs before the nerves set in. Beginning to wobble, White failed to make it down to a finish as Bunting took down four legs on the spin while falling just short in the next. This allowed White, who has never gone beyond the Quarter Finals of any major televised tournament, to move one away from the win. With three match darts at double 16, Diamond White lost his fizz and Bunting, who was seen packing up, returned to take the game to tie break before securing a 14-12 win.

In the night’s opener, Daryl Gurney beat Keegan Brown to reach his second-ever World Matchplay Quarter Finals. Superchin landed eight 180s compared to the Needle’s six but both were unconvincing on their doubles in a match which finished 11-9 to the Northern Irishman. Gurney, the 2017 World Grand Prix and 2018 Players Championship Finals winner, will need to improve on this display against Peter Wright on Friday night if he’s to reach the Semi-Finals, a feat he last achieved back in 2017.

Events on Tuesday night blew the tourney wide open as current BDO world champion and three-time winner Glen Durrant beat current PDC world champion and three-time winner Michael van Gerwen in an epic match that ended 13-11. Duzza only joined the PDC in January after banking his third world title in the other code, a feat that equaled Eric Bristow’s record of three successive BDO world titles.

He showed no fear up against MVG here, leading 8-5 at one point prior to the Dutchman staging a comeback to move 10-9 up, just the one leg from victory. Duzza fought back though, hitting a 112 checkout to take the contest to a tie break. Both players would waste numerous chances to put the game to bed before Durrant pinned tops to score a famous victory.

MVG wasn’t the only big name to tumble on Tuesday as the defending champion Gary Anderson was unable to get the better of the unseeded Mervyn King. Finding himself down by 8-7, King won four legs on the trot to claim a famous upset. On the same night, Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith came through against Max Hopp to reach the Matchplay Quarter Finals for the first time, while James ‘The Machine’ Wade needed all of his famed battling skills to make it past Mensur Suljovic 13-11 in a tie-break.

As we reach the last eight, Betway has priced the remainders as follows: Peter Wright and Rob Cross, who cannot meet in the final, are both priced at 11/4, up from Glen Durrant’s 9/2, a decent price for what would be his first PDC title proper. Not to be forgotten, Michael Smith has an 11/2 price on his head, just in from James Wade’s 7/1. Daryl Gurney is 10’s, Mervyn King is 25’s and Stephen Bunting is 28/1.

THURSDAY JULY 25

Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • Glen Durrant v James Wade
  • Michael Smith v Mervyn King

FRIDAY JULY 26

Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • Rob Cross v Stephen Bunting
  • Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney

SATURDAY, JULY 27

Semi-Finals (best of 33 legs)

  • Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 2
  • Winner QF 3 v Winner QF 4

SUNDAY JULY 28

Final (best of 35 legs)

QUICK GLANCE AT THE WORLD MATCHPLAY DARTS QUARTER FINALS

Venue: Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Dates: Thursday 25.07.2019
Format: Best of 31 legs, SF best of 33 legs, final best of 35 legs
Current Champion: Gary Anderson
Where To Watch: Sky Sports
When To Watch: (1900 GMT)

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Peter Wright Wins The German Darts Masters

Peter Wright Wins The German Darts Masters

German Darts Masters Peter Wright

In Cologne last Sunday, Peter Wright defeated Gabriel ‘The German Giant‘ Clemens 8-6 to win his first lone PDC title of the season. It’s been nothing short of a disastrous year for Snakebite so far, so this title will go along way towards repairing the damage. Not bad timing either given that the Darts World Matchplay gets started this coming weekend.

For Wright, this was his first individual PDC title of the season following the World Cup of Darts which he won alongside Gary Anderson last month and his first solo title since he took down the Melbourne Darts Masters almost one year ago. This, the fourth televised title of his career, is also the second time in three years he has won this particular title, having tasted victory in at the Castello Arena in Düsseldorf in 2017.

Clemens, ranked 56 in the world, put in a superb effort overall in front of 8,000 home fans at the Lanxess Arena where he saw off the challenges of Raymond van Barneveld, Rob Cross and Mensur Suljovic before qualifying for his third final of the season.

In truth, once at the final, both players underproduced but Snakebite did manage an average of 93.27 which was slightly better than Clemens’ 92.69. The Scotsman also banked three more 180s than The Giant with five, while he also pinned 23 of his double attempts with his opponent missing 15 from 21.

It was Clemens who seized the initiative, however, as he raced into a 3-1 lead before Wright pulled it back to 4-4 prior to moving ahead with an 11-darter, after which The German Giant was unable to catch up despite enjoying overwhelming home support. One round earlier Peter Wright had overcome James Wade, who dumped out Daryl Gurney in the quarters, while Gary Anderson didn’t make it past the opening match after losing to 22-year-old Nico Kurz.

World Matchplay Darts 2019 Betting Tips

The 26th World Matchplay Darts will get underway on Saturday, July 20 at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens. Opening night comes complete with four matches, all of which play to the best of 19 legs. Thereafter, there will be four first-round matches every afternoon plus four in the evening session before the second round begins on Tuesday and runs until Wednesday.

The Quarterfinals play over two nights — Thursday and Friday — before Saturday hosts the best of 31 semi-finals after which the final (best of 33) on Sunday. Oh, and each match has to be won by 2 clear legs, and if this still isn’t the case after six extra legs, the players will play a sudden death tie break. That and the top sixteen seeds are all kept apart in the first round.

Gary Anderson

The defending champion is Gary Anderson, who won the Phil Taylor Trophy last year by beating Mensur Suljovic in the final. If The Flying Scotsman can reproduce that kind of form he is going to be difficult to stop. However, he has been plagued by a back problem since the 2019 World Championship, forcing him to sit out this season’s Darts Premier League. Anderson can be backed at a pretty generous 9/1 but remember, just one week ago he lost in Cologne to Nico Kurz, currently ranked 172 in the world.

Michael van Gerwen

It goes without saying that Betway’s favourite for the 2019 World Matchplay is 11/10 shot Michael van Gerwen. MVG won it back to back in 2015 and 2016 but hasn’t reached the final here since then, even crashing out in the first round last time so all hope is not lost. However, you cannot underestimate the threat of Mighty Mike who is almost unplayable on his day. In what has been a supposedly off-form season for the Dutchman, he has already racked up the PDC World Championship, The Masters and the Premier League Darts this year.

A look at other World Match Darts centenders

Daryl Gurney

Given that he has been given a favourable draw, Daryl Gurney looks an attractive proposition in the outright betting. Betway are 22/1 on the Northern Irish player who opens up against qualifier Ricky Evans with 14th seed Jonny Clayton likely to follow and, in all likelihood, either Simon Whitlock or Peter Wright next and Rob Cross thereafter. These are all players that Gurney will not fear so an each way bet looks to be a very cool idea.

Peter Wright

Wright, though, is finally back on the up. Snakebite takes on Vincent van der Voort in his first match at the Matchplay on Monday evening, fresh off the back of winning in Germany and claiming the Players Championship 19 title on Tuesday. Such form has seen his price dip at Betway to 12/1. It’s been a dodgy 2019 so far for the Scotsman, who finished eighth in the Premier League. He remains a talent, and when he is on his game, is a thoroughly popular member of the tour. Wright reached the semi-finals here 12 months ago and the final the year before so he is known to go deep at Blackpool and is one to watch out for.

Nathan Aspinall

Another player in form is Nathan Aspinall. Despite never having qualified for this competition before, Aspinall finds himself in the draw as a top-16 seeded player. A semi-finalist in the 2019 World Championship, the 27-year-old went on to take the UK Open in March and the US Darts Masters a fortnight ago. The Asp opens up against Mervyn King and really shouldn’t be struggling given his current form. To win outright at The Winter Gardens, The Asp is worth 25/1, also at Betway.

James Wade

For another pick, we suggest James Wade, who plays Jeffrey de Zwaan on Sunday night. Over the last 18 months, they have played together four times with The Machine undefeated, making this look like an easy win for Wade, who is a former winner and six-time finalist in this competition. In fact, Wade, who could potentially meet Michael van Gerwen in the semi-finals, is the only other player other than Taylor, Van Gerwen and Anderson to win the World Matchplay in the last 13 years. Wade dismissed both MVG and Daryl ‘Superchin’ Gurney in the Premier League this season, plus reached the final of the 2018 World Series and the 2019 Masters, so must be feeling that he is due something big soon. The Machine is certainly capable of winning this event, especially if he maintains his Premier League form. However, he has been drawn in the same section as Michael van Gerwen, so that is going to be a tricky quarter-final to navigate, which is why Betway have stretched his price to 20/1.

Rob Cross has played the World Matchplay twice before, crashing out in the second round on both occasions but, due to a decent if not spectacular showing in 2019 so far, he has been installed as the 15/2 second favourite. The 2018 World Champion has yet to win a second title but is second in the PDC Rankings and no one saw his inaugural title win coming so you never know with Voltage.

Gerwyn Price

Last year’s Grand Slam of Darts winner Gerwyn Price has little Blackpool pedigree to speak of, having reached the quarter-finals in his first attempt and not making it past the second round since. But he showed good form in both the UK Open and the Premier League Of Darts so there is no doubting that the Welsh former Rugby layer is now a serious player on the circuit. After a quiet few weeks, expect The Iceman to resurrect his pantomime villain persona and the notorious Winter Gardens crowd to respond in kind. Price though absolutely loves it and the atmosphere won’t buckle him whatsoever. He has landed in the kinder side of the draw too, avoiding MVG and, if he makes it that far, potentially meets Rob Cross in the semis, all of which makes The Iceman a very decent outside punt at 16/1 and one that I won’t be turning down.

Michael Smith

For those thinking that Michael Smith can be expected to put in a decent showing at the Winter Gardens, Betway have priced him at 25/1 to be the outright winner. While his Premier League campaign wasn’t to be his finest hour, Bully Boy, who came runner up in last year’s World Championships, has still produced some of the best darts of his career in 2019. A deep run at this event is a distinct possibility.

Other outside mentions go to PDC new boy Glen Durrant who is a 40/1 shot and the always dangerous Mensur Suljovic at 33/1.

Saturday July 20

First Round (best of 19 legs)

  • Nathan Aspinall v Mervyn King
  • Gerwyn Price v Stephen Bunting
  • Gary Anderson v Danny Noppert
  • Rob Cross v Chris Dobey

Sunday July 21

First Round (best of 19 legs)

  • Darren Webster v Krzysztof Ratajski
  • Dave Chisnall v Max Hopp
  • Ian White v Joe Cullen
  • Michael Smith v Jamie Hughes
  • James Wade v Jeffrey de Zwaan
  • Mensur Suljovic v Jermaine Wattimena
  • Michael van Gerwen v Steve Beaton
  • Adrian Lewis v Glen Durrant

Monday July 22

First Round (best of 19 legs)

  • Jonny Clayton v Keegan Brown

Tuesday July 23

Second Round (best of 21 legs)

  • Smith/Hughes v Chisnall/Hopp
  • Wade/De Zwaan v Suljovic/Wattimena
  • Anderson/Noppert v Aspinall/King
  • Van Gerwen/Beaton v Lewis/Durrant

Wednesday July 24

Second Round (best of 21 legs)

  • Gurney/Evans v Clayton/Brown
  • Price/Bunting v White/Cullen
  • Cross/Dobey v Webster/Ratajski
  • Wright/Van der Voort v Whitlock/Henderson

Thursday July 25

Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • Two matches

Friday July 26

Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • Two matches

Saturday, July 27

Semi-Finals (best of 33 legs)

  • Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 2
  • Winner QF 3 v Winner QF 4

Sunday July 28

Final (best of 35 legs)

QUICK GLANCE AT THE WORLD MATCHPLAY DARTS

Venue: Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Dates: Thursday 20.07.2019
Format: R1 best of 19 legs, R2 best of 21 legs, QF best of 31 legs, SF best of 33 legs, final best of 35 legs
Current Champion: Gary Anderson
Where To Watch: Sky Sports
When To Watch: (1300 GMT & 1900 GMT)

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Peter Wright Beats Michael Smith To Win The Melbourne Darts Masters

Peter Wright Beats Michael Smith To Win The Melbourne Darts Masters

Melbourne Darts Masters

Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright returned to his winning ways last weekend as he beat Michael Smith in Sunday’s final to take down the Melbourne Darts Masters title at the Hisense Arena, one round after beating Mighty Michael van Gerwen in the semis one round earlier.

Wright now becomes the fifth World Series winner after five events in 2018 after Michael van Gerwen won in Auckland a week ago, the first of three Antipodean-hosted World Series events, the next of which takes place this coming weekend in Brisbane. Your other 2018 winners are Gary Anderson, who won Las Vegas; Mensur Suljovic, who won the German Darts Masters back in May; and this week’s losing finalist, Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith, who claimed the Shanghai Darts Masters in July.

Wright, who won the 2017 German Darts Masters, now scoops his second World Series title after overcoming Michael Smith 11-8 to end his run of bad form in which he hadn’t won a televised final in 2018. Even more perversely, in 2017 he become only the fourth man ever to win 10 during a calendar year, demonstrating just how far he’d fallen this season.

The path to taking Melbourne

His return to form came in earnest when he overcame last week’s Auckland Darts Masters champion Van Gerwen 11-5 in the last four, a win aided by a sloppy MVG firing three successive darts into the bullseye as his usual poise deserted him. In the evening’s other semi, Smith defeated the third seed, Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson 11-5 to make the final.

During said final, Wright averaged around two points less than his rival as he banked 97 under 99. For the rest of the match they were almost inseparable, matching each other almost dart for dart and throw for throw, scoring five 180s and two ton-plus finishes each.

The deadlock continued for thirteen sets before Wright finally made a breakthrough and landed a 130 checkout to break throw and take the 14th leg to lead 8-6. Once ahead, Wright found his rhythm to score a third break in a row with a 131 as part of a 12-darter. This was followed by a 15-darter to hold his throw and take down a 10-7 margin. By the time he returned to the oche, all he had to do was close out the 11-8 win.

The players now head to Queensland to compete for the inaugural Brisbane Darts Masters from August 17-19 at the BCEC.

2018 World Series of Darts winners so far

  • Mensur Suljovic – German Darts Masters (May)
  • Gary Anderson – US Darts Masters (July)
  • Michael Smith – Shanghai Darts Masters (July)
  • Michael van Gerwen – Auckland Darts Masters (August)
  • Peter Wright – Melbourne Darts Masters (August)

Brisbane Darts Masters betting tips

For those that fancy Peter Wright to pick up where he left off, you’ll be pleased to know that Betway have placed an 8/1 price on his head to win outright in Brisbane. Remember, though: we have had five different winners from five events.

If you’re looking for a new name this time around then your best bet would seemingly be Rob ‘Voltage’ Cross, available at 11/2. The 8/11 favourite is, understandably, Michael van Gerwen, just ahead of Gary Anderson’s 11/2. It’s the Scotsman who gets our money this week. Michael Smith — winner in Shanghai — is at 14’s, while the Aussie pair of Corey Cadby (22/1) and Simon Whitlock (33/1) are considered outside chances, as is Raymond van Barneveld at 28/1.

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