It’s Day 2 of the Grand Slam of Darts from Wolverhampton, and it’s moving day! The pressure is on as the two losing players from Day 1 in each group take on each other in must win encounters.
Also, the winners on Day 1 from each group take each other on, with a chance to take the pressure off and all but book a place in the knockout stages.
Here’s how the afternoon session unfolded…
Grand Slam of Darts Group A
The opening game of the day came in Group A, as Martin Schindler and Nathan Rafferty both looked to get their first points on the board. It was the Northern Irishman who succeeded, running out a 5-2 winner.
Schindler once again struggled on the outer ring, and when he did, Rafferty made him pay. In the first leg he found a 112 checkout after the German had missed 3 clear darts at a double. Leg 5 saw Rafferty again punish. This time Schindler missed 6 darts at 73, busting it first time before missing two darts at Double 8 second time, allowing Rafferty to take D12. From there he took the final two legs to finish things off and give him a real chance of getting through to the knockout stages.
The surprise of the afternoon came in Group A as, World Champion and World Number One Gerwyn Price, whitewashed Krzysztof Ratajski.
It wasn’t just the victory, but the manner of the victory. A totally dominant display from the Welshman, restricting Ratajski to only one attempt at a double. That dart came in the final leg, with Ratajski falling low on double 20 before Price finished the match on double 2. Price had earlier had a 108 checkout and thoroughly deserved the 5-0 scoreline.
Grand Slam of Darts Group B
Starting off Group B on Day 2, Mervyn King put behind him the disappointment of his poor performance and loss to Bradley Brooks on Day 1, by beating the talented Rusty-Jake Rodriguez, 5-4.
RJR3, who played well against Jonny Clayton yesterday, again impressed after starting slowly, but wasn’t able to get the victory. A 100 checkout in two darts from the Austrian took us to a decider. The King, who had earlier missed two 164 checkouts on the bull, outscored his opponent in the decider before taking out 145 for the match.
The final game of the session brought with the it, the best game of the session. Jonny Clayton was pushed to find his best game to get the better of Bradley Brooks.
After the players shared the first two legs on throw, Brooks hit a 180 in leg three before breaking The Ferret. The pair traded further breaks over the next three legs, both hitting 180s on their way to doing so, with Brooks also finding a 100 checkout including two double tops. The final two legs were a masterclass from Clayton, overcoming a 180 by Brooks in the final leg by hitting one of his own before taking out 121 on the bull for the 5-3 victory.
Grand Slam of Darts Group C
Another player on the end of a shock defeat yesterday, was James Wade. He, like Mervyn King, righted those wrongs on Sunday afternoon. Putting in a typically James Wade-like performance, The Machine got his first points of the tournament with a 5-2 win over Boris Krcmar.
Wade kicked off in style with a 122 checkout in the very first leg, and went on to repeatedly punish the big Croatian’s missed darts at double and cruise to victory. He hit his first 180 of the match in the final leg, forcing more missed doubles from Krcmar, and allowing Wade to take 47 in two darts to win.
Next up, former World Champion Rob Cross took on James Wade’s conqueror from yesterday, the impressive Jim Williams. Cross put himself firmly in pole position in the group with a second win from two matches.
It looked for a time that Cross would pick up back-to-back whitewashes. He raced into a 4-0 lead, and was throwing for the 5-0 win. Williams produced a spirited fight back though, started with a 126 checkout on the bull before breaking again to narrow the deficit to 4-3. Cross though, woke himself up by firing in a 180 before taking out 72 in two darts to get over the line 5-3.
Grand Slam of Darts Group D
The player with the highest average of the day on Saturday, Stephen Bunting, today got the rewards for his efforts, taking two points off late replacement Chris Dobey.
After sharing the first 4 legs on throw in a quality encounter (ignoring the 10 darts missed at double by Dobey before he eventually held in leg 1), it was starting to look like Bunting may never lead in this tournament, having lost 5-4 in a match of all holds yesterday. But, after Dobey missed a dart at double 5, The Bullet took out 61 for a break of throw. This was followed by 2 more breaks of throw, before Bunting found his first 180 to help him on to a hold of throw and a 5-3 win.
In the second game in this group, Ryan Joyce certainly lived up to his nickname. As he produced a Relentless performance to defeat Rowby-John Rodriguez 5-1 and book his place in the knockout stages with a game to spare.
Joyce raced into a 4-0 lead, breaking throw in legs one and three. An unorthodox 65 checkout in leg one seeing him go treble 11 for his preferred double 16. Rowby-John got a leg on the board with a clinical Shanghai checkout in leg 5, but this only served to extend the match a further leg, as Joyce hit a third 180 on his way to wrapping things up.
Full Results and Evening Fixtures
Sunday November 14
8x Group Matches
Nathan Rafferty 5-2 Martin Schindler (A)
Mervyn King 5-4 Rusty Jake Rodriguez (B)
James Wade 5-2 Boris Krcmar (C)
Stephen Bunting 5-3 Chris Dobey (D)
Ryan Joyce 5-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez (D)
Rob Cross 5-3 Jim Williams (C)
Gerwyn Price 5-0 Krzysztof Ratajski (A)
Jonny Clayton 5-3 Bradley Brooks (B)
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
8x Group Matches
Luke Humphries v Matt Campbell (F)
Raymond van Barneveld v Joe Davis (H)
John Henderson v Lisa Ashton (G)
Mike De Decker v Fallon Sherrock (E)
Jose de Sousa v Mensur Suljovic (F)
Gary Anderson v Michael Smith (H)
Peter Wright v Gabriel Clemens (E)
Michael van Gerwen v Joe Cullen (G)