Column #HR362 ALL HAIL Queen Sherrock and King van Gerwen!

Monday, July 25, 2022
Column HR362
ALL HAIL Queen Sherrock and King van Gerwen!

The sun rose at 5:28 AM Sunday morning in Blackpool, setting at 9:23 PM.  The weather?  72 and sunny outside.  Inside the Winter Garden it was hotter and beery…

Ten dart players, all battle tested, would determine what the “weather” would be for them the next day regardless of any real weather prediction.  For one of them, it was going to be bright blue sky with birds singing as Unicorn’s dance – for remaining nine it would be a pounding Tequila hangover with grey skies and some kid kicking their seat on an endless flight.

WELCOME the ladies! 

#1 Lisa Ashton 4-nil over #8 Chloe O’Brien.  Both players were as nervous as cats in a room full of rocking chairs.  Ashton: 67 average. 

#4 Aileen de Graaf 4-1 over #5 Laura Turner.  de Graaf: 83 average.  Not crazy about de Graaf using the walk on to play extended tonsil hockey with a blond-like a teenager in the backseat of a ‘47 Ford.  How classy. 

#2 Fallon Sherrock 4-2 over #7 Katie Sheldon.  Sherrock overcame horrid finishing (4/17).  The 18-yearold Irish lass Shelton went up 2-1 up as Sherrock missed 6.  Sherrock checked T13 check for 3-2.  Sheldon was 2-missed doubles from a win. 

#3 Lorraine Winstanley 4-3 over #6 Rhian Griffiths.  Winstanley up 3-0 when Griffiths leveled thanks to Winstanley butchering a possible 24 finish (5-3-8). 

Semi-finals  

#4 Aileen de Graaf 5-4 over #1 Lisa Ashton.  It was level at 3 and 4. Ashton had the first dart in the decider.  de Graaf had the last when she took 32 for the W. 

#2 Sherrock 5-2 over #4 Winstanley.  Sherrock at 4-nil missed match darts letting Winstanley get 2 legs.  The first T80 in 7th leg gave Sherrock breathing room to use 3 to lose.  Sherrock with 5/19 on double doesn’t bode well for the final – but her 81 average may help.  

Surprise Final

#2 Sherrock 6-3 over #4 Aileen De Graaf.  Sherrock now Queen of Winter Gardens.  The ODC picks the winner!  

Sherrock missed 6 from 3-1, falling behind 3-2, then leveled at 3 in 15 darts with T42 – and then a run of three for the win.  Sherrock had the only three T80’s for the day – two in this match. 

THE MEN’S FINAL (best of 35 or first to 18)

#2 Gerwyn Price 18-14 0ver #3 Michael van Gerwen 

Gerwyn Price was favored by those “in the know” – possibly due to how he’s played all week.  Irrelevant.  van Gerwen records his 3rd Matchplay win to break a tie of two wins with Rod Harrington.  

First 5

Price goes up 4-1 including a T01 check.  MvG misses 8 of 9 doubles, flirts with a 9-darter, missing d12.  Averages – 102 to 92.  

Next 6-10

MvG wins 2 in 11 and 13 darts with a T60 finish – misses a total of 17 doubles.  Price, up 6-3, is out-scored 102 to 94. “MvG playing well – doubles a problem.”  Really?  Check the scoreboard – 7 T80’s for van Gerwen. 

11-15

Price 9-6 with 96% of doubles.  MvG has 10 T80’s to Price’s 4.  Who leads?  GP.

16-20

Price’s lead shrinks to 2 at 11-9.  MvG has legs of 10, 11, 4 of 12, a 13 and a 14 – and 14 T80’s.  He’s averaging 105. 

20-25

MvG draws level at 12 when Price approached 76 but hit 5-3-20.  Price regained the lead at 13-12 when MvG missed 2 at d12 from 84.  MvG only 12 from 29 on doubles. 

25-29   From 13-12 down MvG draws level at 13 when he uses 15 darts with a 90 finish.  Price regains the lead (14-13) after MvG misses 1 at 20 from76.  Double 20 draws MvG back to level at 14.  Price loses a dart from 99, leaving 60.  When given the chance at 130 (against the throw) van Gerwen takes it (T20, T20, d5) for his first lead at 15-14.  (In van Gerwen’s semi-final match with Dimitri Van den Bergh his took his first lead in the 29th leg.) 

Leg 30

With the darts van Gerwen wanted 84 after 9 (T40, T37, T40) with Price at 265.  van Gerwen needed the breathing room as he needed 4 from 24 to widen his lead to 16-14. 

Leg 31

Gerwyn Price missed one dart at tops from 100 which gave van Gerwen the opportunity to take out T14.  He did in style, moving within one leg of his third Matchplay title. 

Leg 32

Gerwyn Price had first chance at a double when from 88 he had a shot at the bull, which missed.  Michael van Gerwen wanted 121 which he took with gusto 20, T17, Red Bull.  GAME OVER.

Michael van Gerwen, coming back from “Car Pool” surgery, battled dodgy doubles for the win. He scored for show (101.19) and this overcame his subpar doubling, hitting but 18 from 52.  During semi-final play John Part observed, “If Michael gets the lead, he won’t give it up.”  He didn’t.

Just saying: look for Corrine Hammond to share commentator duties more in the future.  She’s knowledgeable and brings humor.  If you can trade verbal jabs with Wayne Mardle, you’re good.

A big “great catch” to the Sky TV director who during the women’s match noticed, as did the ODC, that Aileen de Graaf laid a “lip lock” on a female person during her first walk on.  On the next two de Graaf entrances the TV camera cut away before she played “tongue tag” with the blond bombshell.

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.