Dartoids World

Column #HR415 HIT THE DOOR, van Gerwen!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Column HR415 
HIT THE DOOR, van Gerwen!

Dart players by nature are a gullible lot.  Given enough aiming fluid and group tighter darters will believe anything.  Phil Taylor was actually able to go “over the moon,” Gary Anderson did not drop SAD’s (silent and deadly) bomb’s on the oche and a new set of John Lowe World Champion Phase 3 Golden 90% Tungsten will make a player unbeatable.

That all might be true.  Brendan Dolan defeating Michael van Gerwen in the first round of the World Matchplay?  NO WAY JOSE!  True fact: 10-7.

The PDC flack wrote: “van Gerwen, becomes only the third defending champion in the 30-year history of the World Matchplay to lose in the opening round.”  The other two were Colin Lloyd (2-6) and Rob Cross (2019).  van Gerwen was the heavy favorite although he never played like that despite the fact that he had the higher average (98.98 to 95.5).

The glaring difference was in the “true” checkout rate.  Dolan was 10 of 27 while MvG closed 7/18.  That’s misleading as Dolan missed 8 darts in one leg with only 2 legs lost due to missed doubles.  It was a match well played all around.  Northern Ireland’s Brendon Dolan had only 3 winning legs over 15 darts and those were 16, 17 and a final leg of 18.

Dolan broke it early, leading 5-2.  van Gerwen would level at 5 using a T37 to conclude the comeback.  They leveled again at 6 when both tossed 15-darters.  Dolan loved those 15-darters, so he tossed 3 more getting to 9-7.

In that final leg, after 12 darts, Dolan trailed 161-52.  With three, Dolan marked T37 leaving 24.  MvG nailed the fat 20 then missed a pair at d16.  Dolan took the recommended check on 24 with 12, 6 d3 so “Take a hike Mike”.

Dolan had never won a PDC Premier event.  His one time in the spotlight was a 9-darter in the double start 2011 World Grand Prix where he lost the final to Phil Taylor.

Oh yes, and MvG missed four doubles that cost him 3 legs.

While the Old Dart Coach, and others, picked van Gerwen to win it all, the PDC cautioned that painful dental and jaw surgery could play a part – but MvG blew that theory out after his impressive win in Poland.  van Gerwen refused to use the surgery as an excuse.  “’You can blame everything, but that wouldn’t be fair to Brendan Dolan.  I think he just delivered a good match”.

Dolan became Taylor-esque saying, “To beat Michael van Gerwen on a big stage, I’m over the moon.”  Dolan will face Damon Heta on Wednesday as the Cinderfella saga continues.

The ODC and his “Swedish Sweetheart” (who the ODC suspects has a Toy Boy on the side) both claim Damon Heta as their favorite Aussie darter.  His appearance at Blackpool was the best ever – up there with Peter Wright’s dancing.

The English take the game of “bat and ball” Cricket very seriously – no accounting for taste.  Currently, England and Australia are engaged in the bi-yearly contest in England called The Ashes.  Australia leads 2-1.

Aussie Heta entered wearing a cricket hat (like a proper baseball hat but flattened) and carrying a plastic cricket bat.  On stage he swung the bat as if trying to connect with a “googly” bringing a cascade of boos from the crowd.  The boos increased when he held up 2 fingers on one hand and 1 on the other.  Heta then beat Josh Rock 10-5.  He’s a “beauty”.

Another “beauty” is come-backing Gary Anderson who turned back the clock taking a 10-6 win over Dave Chisnall.  Anderson built a 7-3 lead when a pair of Chizzy’s 14-darters grabbed 2 back. Anderson halted Chinsall’s rush with a T15 check.  Anderson closed the deal after Chizzy missed 2 at 36.  Anderson gets Rob Cross next.

Dirk van Duijvenbode and Kim Huybrechts engaged in humdinger that went back and forth.  van Duijvenbode would see his 5-3 lead tuned into a 5-6 deficit due to a pair of 13-darters by Huybrechts.  van Duijvenbode would level at 6, 7 and 8.  He would retake the lead 9-8 in 15 darts which should have been 13.  When van Duijvenbode missed for an 10th leg Huybrechts didn’t for 10-9.  The Belgium would miss 2 from 32 for an 11th leg and the match as van Duijvenbode capitalized for level 10.  The Dutchman’s 11-darter moved him 1 leg from victory.  It took just 13 darts for the 12-10 win thanks to going inside with 2 from 32 to extend.

James Wade was unable to run back the clock despite clawing back from 7-4 and 9-6 down to 8-9 – when his attempt to level from T10 went sideways as a single 1 messed up the works after T20 and 10 left him with tops.  Chris Dobey took 80 for the 10-8 win.

Another that was unable to turn the clock back was Raymond van Barneveld who lost to Ryan Searle 10-4.  The score would lead to the assumption that Barney played badly.  Not so – Searle played great with legs of 11 and 12 and 6 legs of 13.  WOW.

Peter Wright got the job done 10-4 over Andrew Gilding even though he only checked at 33%.  Wright will have to play better against Ryan Searle in round 2 to advance.

Jonny Clayton was strolling along the boardwalk leading Gabriel Clemens 9-5 when the German Giant tossed a pair of 15-darters and one of 11 to close to 9-8.  It then took just 11 dart for to send Clemens home.

Other first round scores:

  • Danny Noppert 10-8 over Martin Schindler
  • Nathan Aspinall 10-7 over Krzysztof Ratajski
  • Luke Humphries 10-2 over Jose de Sousa
  • Michael Smith 10-2 over Steve Beaton
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-8 overRoss Smith

Finally, from Rodney Dangerfield: “When I was born, the doctor came out to the waiting room and said to my father, ‘I’m very sorry.  We did everything we could, but he pulled through.’”

Stay thirsty my friends.



  • Howie Reed

    Astute, often controversial, and always humorous, the Old Dart Coach, Howie Reed (a former rodeo cowboy and advertising executive), is heralded as the Dean of Darts Chroniclers - the most prolific and widely followed writer ever about our sport. He goes back decades with the legends and knows where the skeletons are buried (just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers!). Here are four well-known facts about the Old Dart Coach: 1) he is a Republican, 2) he loves the ladies, 3) he can drink most anybody under the table, and 4) he throws darts as bad as Dartoid.