Column #HR356 Title, title – there ain’t no title!

Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Column HR356
Title, title – there ain’t no title!

Round Uno had its moments with competitive matches few and far between.  This is the point, as they say in cattle country, when “bulls are made steers.”  The Bulls move on.

A factor is the heat inside the Winter Gardens.  In his remarkable comeback against “Hollywood” Dobey, Rob Cross (down 2-8) admitted, In the first ten legs my darts were slipping, everything was all over the place.”

Cross is “The Comeback Kid” in Matchplay events.  He came from 7-14 down against Daryl Gurney in 2019 in the race to 17.

How hot is it?  Hottest ever in England.  How are people reacting?  “Sweating like a Priest hearing a whore’s confession” or “Sweating like a nun waiting on a pregnancy test” are two opinions.

The noise is also a factor.  The Millers (no, not the drug smugglers from the movie as played by Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis, but the Millers from Arizona) onsite report: “Sounds like you are in an airplane it is so loud.”  

MATCH OF THE DAY 

WOW, what a match!  A classic!  #1 Peter Wright 13-11 over Krzysztof Ratajski.

Peter Wright led 7-3 where both had T25’s with different approaches.  Wright: red bull, green bull, red bull.  Ratajski: green bull, T20, d20.

As he did in his opening match, Wright hit the snooze button allowing the Eagle to soar winning 6 of 8 to level at 9.  At 10-9, Wright missed 3 for the match allowing Ratajski 3 from 77 to tie at 10.

Then it was Wright 11-10 as Ratajski couldn’t close from 32.  Ratajski leveled at 11 in 16.  Wright got to 12-11 when it took only 11 darts using just 2 from 96.

After missing 3 match darts, Wright capitalized on a Ratajski miss to take 3 from 85 for the win to move on.

Quality as Wright averaged 103.5 checking at 40% with Ratajski.  98.8 and 50%.

#8 Dimitri Van den Bergh 11-6 over Rowby-John Rodriguez.  Don’t believe the score it was a good ‘un.

In the 5th leg Rowdy-John had 2 darts to lead 3-2 but missed.  In the 10th leg Rowdy-John had 1 for 5-5.  Missed again.  VdB a 6-4 advantage.

Two pluses for VdB.  He played deliberately, slowing down RJ, and checked at 61%.  RJ made a lot of fans with his personality and darts. 

Nathan Aspinall 11-9 over James Wade.  They were level 8.  Aspinall broke in 15 with 82 for 9-8.  then held for 10-8 but was denied the immediate “W” as Wade used 13 to move to 9-10.  The Asp, with the darts, started T80 and used 9 more and erased 81 for a place in the semis.  

#1 Peter Wright 13-11 over #16 Krzysztof Ratajski.  WOW!

#4 Michael van Gerwen 11-5 over #13 Joe Cullen.  The ODC said that Cullen’s 10-1 demolition job on Heta in round one was average.  The experts went bananas over Cullen. Not the ODC.

MvG paid Joe back for the Premier League loss.  MvG was 4-1 up in the 5th and each tossed back-to-back-to-back T80’s.  MvG averaged 97%.  Cullen had chances checking 5 from 20.

Thursday: Round of 8 

#1 Peter Wright vs. #8 Dimitri Van den Bergh.  Defending champ has the Mojo and darts going for him.  He says “No one can beat me.” So far, he’s been right.  He’ll be too much for Van den Bergh. 

#4 Michael van Gerwen vs. Nathan Aspinall.  “Chalk-eating Weasel” takes MVG to advance to the semifinals.

This evening’s matchups hold great promise.  The ODC is now 4 for 4.  This round favorites listed first.  

Danny Noppert vs. Daryl Gurney.

#10 Rob Cross vs.  #7 Jose de Sousa.  

#2 Gerwyn Price vs. #15 Dave Chisnall.

#14 Dirk van Duijvenbode vs. #3 Michael Smith.

When a player is just beginning, they’re told, “you play the board not the player.”  That’s bunk.  If this was true, this event would be called the PDC Betfred World Boardplay.  That’s silly.

You can beat the board – there’s no pressure.  You can do that in your living room.  No cheers either.

On stage you beat a man (or women).  Cheers erupt.  Darters love cheers.  Play the opponent.

Stay thirsty my friends.

 

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.
Howie Reed

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