Defending Champion Dobey Sets Up MvG Clash
Defending champion Chris Dobey was among the winners as the 2024 Cazoo Masters got underway in Milton Keynes on Friday evening.
Dobey Defeats Disappointing Gilding
2023 champion Chris Dobey set up a second round tie with Michael van Gerwen as he defeated UK Open champion Andrew Gilding.
The man from Bedlington started impressively, a 116 checkout claiming the first leg but soon found himself 3-2 down when ‘Goldfinger’ clinched the first break of the contest in 13 darts.
‘Hollywood’ responded immediately, a third maximum setting himself up for a 14 dart break of his own to get back on level terms, a feat he then repeated to go 4-3 in front.
Dobey kicked off leg 8 with another max, breaking in 15 darts to go within a leg of victory and after Gilding has missed three darts at double in the next, Dobey stepped in to finish the job with his fourth leg in succession.
Chizzy Sparkles To Knock Down The Wall
Dave Chisnall was in dazzling form as he threw the highest ever first round average at the Cazoo Masters in defeating Germany’s Martin Schindler.
Both players opened the match with maximums, Chisnall winning the leg with an 11 dart break and a 101 checkout in leg three secured an early double break.
A Chisnall hold made it 4 legs on the spin before Schindler got his name on the scoreboard with a 14 dart hold.
The response from Chisnall was emphatic, six perfect darts setting up a possible ten darter that was taken out in 12, before another perfect six in the following leg resulted in another 12 dart leg and an emphatic 6-1 win, ‘Chizzy’ ending on six maximums and a 109.26 average to Schindler’s four and 103.85 average.
Chisnall goes on to face Danny Noppert on Saturday afternoon.
Bunting Bounces Back To Stun Smudger
Stephen Bunting recovered from 5-2 down to defeat Ross Smith in a last leg decider of a high quality encounter.
Three successive 11 dart legs saw Smith open up an early 2-1 lead and he extended that with three legs on the bounce after Bunting had levelled matters at 2-2.
‘Smudger’ missed the final dart of a 150 checkout for the match in leg 9, Bunting cleaning up to reduce the deficit to one leg and then a double double finish of 96 set up the decider, which the ‘Bullet’ won against the throw in 14 darts, to set up a tie with World Champion Luke Humphries on Saturday evening.
Rest Of The Action
2022 champion Joe Cullen set up a second round tussle with late replacement Daryl Gurney as he saw of Gurney’s World Cup of Darts partner Josh Rock by 6 legs to 4. With the match evenly poised at 4 legs apiece, Cullen fired in a 117 checkout to break the Rock throw before sealing victory in the next leg.
Dirk van Duijvenbode put his recent poor form behind him as he defeated Ryan Searle in a last leg decider, setting up a second round match with Nathan Aspinall on Saturday evening.
Krzysztof Ratajski will fancy his chances of an upset in round two when he faces the out of form Peter Wright, after seeing off the challenge of Jonny Clayton. The steady Pole averaged just over 93 and hit 75% of his attempts at double in his 6-3 win.
Damon Heta will face Rob Cross in round two after he eased past Gabriel Clemens in an impressive performance. Heta dropped just two legs and averaged over 102 with some consistent scoring and 6 out of 8 on the outer ring.
Dimitri van den Bergh saw off an out of sorts James Wade by 6 legs to 1 to set up a round two date with Michael Smith on Saturday evening, Wade hitting just 1 of 16 attempts at double in the contest.
2024 Cazoo Masters
Schedule of Play
Friday February 2
8x First Round
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Ryan Searle
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Martin Schindler
Damon Heta 6-2 Gabriel Clemens
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-1 James Wade
Chris Dobey 6-3 Andrew Gilding
Joe Cullen 6-4 Josh Rock
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Ross Smith