Andy Fordham’s Grand-Slam fairy-tale continued, as he beat local-favourite Wayne Jones to keep his hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages alive, whilst Dave Chisnall hit a perfect 9-darter in his incredible victory against Peter Wright!
Fordham, who averaged 99 in losing 5-2 to Adrian Lewis on Saturday evening, didn’t produce the same level of performance against Jones, but he held his nerve in crucial moments to secure an extremely poignant 5-3 victory.
Jones missed 6 darts at double in an error-strewn opening leg of the contest, allowing Fordham to capitalise, by hitting D10 with his last-dart to break throw. ‘The Viking’ then extended his lead on the same target in the following leg.
Wayne Jones continued to show fragility on the doubles and although Andy missed chances for a possible 13-darter, he eventually cleaned up the leg courtesy of D5. In the fourth leg, Fordham converted a ‘Houdini’ like D16 with his final dart, to put him on the cusp of a famous victory.
However, to Jones’ credit, he continued to battle valiantly, taking out 64 to secure his opening leg, before retrieving one break of throw, again via D16. Suddenly, ‘The Wanderer’ had the momentum and he produced a fantastic 12-darter to reduce the arrears to 4-3.
Fordham had the throw in the eighth leg and the initiative was firmly with the Viking to wrap up proceedings. Given that he hasn’t been in a winning position on the big stage for a considerable period, he showed admirable composure, clinching the win with a sublime 106 checkout for a 15-darter.
Andy was clearly emotional after such a victory and whilst he acknowledged that his performance wasn’t what he’s capable of, the result is all-important. Despite playing the home-favourite, Fordham had the lion share of the support, which just speaks volumes for his popularity and the respect he commands.
Elsewhere, Dave Chisnall hit his first televised 9-darter, as he defeated Peter Wright 5-2 in a pulsating contest in the final match of Sunday’s evening session.
Chisnall won the opening leg with a terrific 136 checkout for a 12-darter to break Wright’s throw, before doubling his lead via D20. In the third leg, Chizzy then made history, hitting a magical 9-darter to provoke jubilant scenes from the brilliant Wolverhampton crowd.
Chisnall continued his incredible form, taking out 101, his third ton-plus checkout of the match, for a 4-0 advantage, as his average topped 118.
Wright continued to battle, winning two successive legs to prolong the contest, but the St Helen’s star closed out a memorable victory on D6, as Chisnall finished with a sublime 110 average. This victory also confirms Dave’s spot in the knockout stages! What a night for Chizzy!
Martin Adams’ brilliant Grand-Slam continued, as he edged past Jelle Klaasen in an enthralling last-leg decider. Klaasen averaged 11 points more than Wolfie; however the 59-year-old was tenacious and clinical when given the opportunity.
Klaasen missed 3 darts for a 2-1 lead, before missing a further 5 darts in the fifth leg, which saw Adams clinch the leg on D1. However, ‘The Cobra’ then fired in a 14-darter to level up proceedings at 3-3.
Adams showed all his experience with a terrific 69 checkout to edge 4-3 ahead, but Jelle once again responded, hitting D18 for an impressive 13-darter to force a deciding leg.
Klaasen began strongly with consecutive 140’s, but a 140 from Adams proved decisive as the Dutchman faltered. The 3-Time World Champion wired the bull for a roof-raising 161 checkout, but he was unperturbed, returning to take out 25 and seal his second win of the competition.
Adams is still not guaranteed a last 16 spot, but victory over his old adversary Steve Beaton on Tuesday night will seal top-spot for Wolfie, which could set up a tantalising last 16 clash against Kim Huybrechts.
Elsewhere, World Number 8 Ian White is on the verge of a premature exit in Wolverhampton, after he suffered another 5-2 defeat in Group B, losing to ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ Steve Beaton. White led 2-0 after converting a classy 108 checkout and he appeared in cruise control.
Nevertheless, Beaton held throw in the third, before White missed a multitude of doubles in the fourth leg, allowing Beaton to restore parity. This visibly affected the Stokie, as Beaton reeled off five successive legs to claim an emphatic 5-2 triumph.
Remarkably, this was only Beaton’s second win in 18 televised appearances, but he’ll now retain renewed hope of qualifying for the knockout stages, when he faces his old Adams on Tuesday evening.
Two-Time World Champion Adrian Lewis is in a vulnerable position in Group C after Michael Smith produced an impressive comeback victory to stun Jackpot.
Lewis broke Smith in the opening leg, but after threatening the magical 9-darter in the following leg, Lewis missed several doubles, allowing ‘Bully-Boy’ to level up proceedings with a fine 116 checkout.
Adrian delivered an instant riposte in the third leg, as Smith was unable to convert a seemingly regulation 41 finish and Lewis moved 3-1 ahead shortly afterwards.
However, Smith deserves immense credit for producing an excellent fightback. Lewis’ scoring-power disintegrated and the former World Youth Champion took full advantage. He drew level with an accomplished 96 checkout and won his third leg in succession to move 4-3 ahead.
Smith produced a tremendous leg, leaving 88 after just 9 darts, but Lewis conjured up a timely 174 to leave D16 and heighten the pressure on the talented St Helen’s youngster. Nevertheless, Smith was unperturbed, taking out 88 in two-darts to move into a dominant position in Group C.
Mervyn King won his first match of his 2015 Grand-Slam campaign, beating Lakeside Champion Scott Mitchell 5-2 in a high-quality contest. King stormed into an early 2-0 advantage, but Mitchell held comfortably in the third leg, before taking out 25 to restore parity.
However, Mervyn showed his class from this point onwards; taking out 78 for a crucial break, before extending his advantage with a pivotal 83 finish. Mitchell was unable to take out 135 in the seventh leg, allowing King to post D16 for a 13-darter and two-precious points.
Michael van Gerwen produced a sensational performance, averaging 106 as he dismantled Kim Huybrechts to take command of Group A. Huybrechts had one dart at double to win the opening two legs, but he failed to capitalise on these scraps and was duly punished, as MvG strode into a 2-0 lead.
Huybrechts hit D16 to win his first leg, before an astonishing fourth leg ensued. Van Gerwen hit back-to-back maximums to set up a 9-dart opportunity, although he was unable to complete the perfect-leg.
Despite this, Huybrechts produced successive maximums of his own and suddenly the Dutchman was under pressure, needing 76 after 9, with the Belgian nicely poised on 45. However, van Gerwen hit D18 with the solitary dart at double, to win an extraordinary leg containing 4 180’s.
The World Number 1 was riding the crest of a wave, as he secured a double-break courtesy of D20, before sealing a 5-1 win by taking out a breath-taking 130 on the bullseye. Kim played extremely well, also averaging 106, but MvG’s clinical finishing proved decisive.
In the opening encounter in the evening session, Steve West claimed a 5-0 whitewash victory against Mark Oosterhuis, as the Dutchman’s miserable Grand Slam debut continued.
West was consistent throughout; hitting 56% on the doubles, although Oosterhuis couldn’t muster any threat. Incredibly, the BDO Dutch qualifier is yet to have a shot at a double in the entire tournament thus far.
West can still qualify for the knockout-stages, however in all likelihood, the Waltham Abbey star will have to defeat Michael van Gerwen on Tuesday evening to do so.
Evening Session (7.30pm-11.30pm)
Groups A-D Second Games
Steve West 5-0 Mark Oosterhuis
Ian White 2-5 Steve Beaton
Wayne Jones 3-5 Andy Fordham
Mervyn King 5-2 Scott Mitchell
Adrian Lewis 3-5 Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen 5-1 Kim Huybrechts
Jelle Klaasen 4-5 Martin Adams
Peter Wright 2-5 Dave Chisnall