Column #CM25 Winmau World Masters – Day 2
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Winmau World Masters – Day 2
Since the second day of the Winmau World Masters didn’t start until 2:00 pm I used the time (and the sunshine) to take a look around…
Bridlington still today has an active harbour and is well known for its catch of shell fish. Bridlington is a very old settlement. It could be that at one time a Roman town existed here and that the origins of the harbour date back to the Romans as well. But erosion is a big problem here at the coast and one might never be able to prove it. Proof though does exist that the Normans had some influence here, especially the family de Gant which in 1133 founded an Augustine priory of which parts still can be seen. Bridlington originally was two different settlements – one was down around the harbour and the other was developed around the priory – the old town. Most tourists can be found near the harbour and the beaches. Today the railway from Hull to Scarborough divides the town again into two parts. The second day of the Winmau World Masters began with the two youth finals. First on were the girls and the 13-year-old Beau Greaves dominated the match. She played so good she probably would have been able to eliminate some of the women who played later in the ladies’ quarterfinals.. Of course, I was especially looking forward to the boy’s final and it really was a high-class and thrilling match. Nico Blum didn’t play bad but I felt the one year younger Irishman Keanne Barry played better most of the time. Blum’s strongest leg was the last one of the match. The young German showed no nerves at all and won the leg and the title as well. After a very short break the women’s quarterfinals followed. First on was a lackluster match between Deta Hedman and Sarah Roberts in which it was Roberts who was responsible for the few darting highlights and won in the end. Sometimes one just can’t understand why a player like Deta who has so much experience and is the number 1 player of the ladies still struggles to find her “A” game on stage. Not really much better was the second quarterfinal but at least Japan’s Suzuki put on a good performance. But she was not able to keep her nerve and couldn’t find the winning double. So Corrine Hammond was a very lucky winner indeed.
The third quarterfinal was by far the best one. Both Anastasia Dobromyslova and Lorraine Winstanley scored and closed well. Winstanley is the player in form, Dobromyslova the player slowly getting there again after the birth of her son. Nevertheless it was a well deserved winn for Winstanley. The last quarterfinal was not a highlight of women’s darts either – it was not bad but both players – Trina Gulliver and Tricia Wright – are fast players and so it slightly slugged. Wright won it and as she played better then Gulliver she deserved the win. An hour’s break and the men’s matches started, televised by Eurosport. And the men got a real walk-on with the walk-on girls!
Eurosport had scheduled eight matches in four hours – and straight away the first match between Mark McGeeney and Neil Duff went into overtime. It was an epic match which started slow but got better and better. The crowd supported the underdog but Duff missed too many doubles near the end and McGeeney progressed into the quarterfinals with a 3-2 win.
The second match was a fast one. Martin Phillips and Toon Greebe are both fast throwers but Greebe had no chance at all against Phillips and the Welshman won 3-0.
The reason why match three was a fast one as well was totally different. Ross Montgomery had big problems with his throwing arm and just couldn’t produce. So underdog James Hurrell got an easy 3-0 win. What a pity both for Montgomery and for Hurrell as Hurrell was more or less the only player on stage.
The next last top16 match saw Gabriel Clemens, another German player, on stage against Dutchman Chris Landman. Landman was very nervous. Yesterday, he had defeated Scott Waites in the last 32. To be sure, he had played better but against Clemens he faced and opponent who solid while Landman seemed to settle on scores around 60. But he didn’t stop trying to hit the 20 segment and never changed to other segments on the board. So he had no chance against Clemens who didn’t let himself get worked up despite his antsy opponent. Next was legend Tony O’Shea against Welshman James Williams. Williams was the favourite and first it looked like he really was the better player. But suddenly O’Shea seemed to spark – he would not give up without a fight. We had a real battle on. In the end, despite having some match darts, O’Shea missed his opportunities and Williams progressed into the quarterfinals.
After the next walk-on I finally learned who was Cameron Menzies. And I even know now while he entered the event as a seeded player. With a 3-1 win against Australian Mark McGrath, who never gave in, he stayed in the tournament.
In the penultimate match of the evening – it really was a long evening – Krzysztof Ratajski played against Scotsman Alan Soutar. Both were unseeded players who had on the first day eliminated seeds – Richard Veenstra and Wesley Harm. Ratajski played as did on the first day of the tournament and as he plays on the European Tour. Soutar couldn’t keep up. Ratajski’s scores were just better and he rarely had to pay for his difficulty closing. Ratajski won 3-0 but it was far from a triumph. The last match of the evening was between Glen Durrant and another unseeded player, young Dutchman Yoeri Duijster. Durrant to be sure played the best match of the evening and steam rolled his opponent.
By the time I was back at my accommodation it was almost 11:00 pm. I had watched a lot of darts during the day but most of the matches had been quite average. For me, most impressive were the boy’s final and the performances of Martin Phillips and Glen Durrant.
To win the men’s event I have no doubt it will be Glen Durrant who must be overcome. Who will win the women’s event is more open, although given her performance Lorraine Winstanley has to be the favourite to win.
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