Raymond van Barneveld continued his magnificent form at the Grand Slam of Darts as the BDO trio of Jamie Hughes, Danny Noppert and Jeff Smith all booked their spots in the last 16 at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Tuesday night. This takes the tally of BDO representatives in the last 16 to five – the highest figure since the tournament began.
Former Grand Slam champion Raymond van Barneveld dumped out Mensur Suljovic to set up a tantalising tie against BDO world number one Glen Durrant in the last 16 of the Grand Slam of Darts. Van Barneveld registered his third successive ton-plus average to defeat Suljovic 5-3 and maintain his 100% record in Group F.
Van Barneveld averaged 100.29, landed four maximums and converted 55% of his doubles to win his third straight group game, which condemned the Austrian to a surprise group-stage exit. The seventh seed averaged 94.58, hit two maximums and converted 60% of his double attempts, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the five-time world champion.
Van Barneveld’s victory ensured that BDO world number three Danny Noppert also qualified from Group F, after the Dutchman reeled off five successive legs to defeat World Youth finalist Nathan Aspinall 5-2. Noppert’s reward for qualification is a showdown with PDC world champion Gary Anderson in the knockout stages.
Aspinall made a strong start, taking the lead with a clinical 96 checkout, before pinning tops to double his advantage. However, the Stockport ace then suffered a sudden dip in form and Noppert capitalised, taking out successive finishes of 121 and 120 en route to reeling off five successive legs which secured victory.
Jamie Hughes produced a stunning comeback from 4-1 down to defeat James Wilson and finish top of Group G. Hughes and Wilson both needed to win in order to secure qualification for the last 16, but ‘The Jammie Dodger’ stormed into a 4-1 lead and appeared a certainty to progress.
Nevertheless, Hughes demonstrated stunning resolve to reel off four successive legs to clinch victory, converting a nerveless 108 checkout in the decider with Wilson poised on a two-dart finish. Both men averaged 91 but the finishing proved decisive, with Hughes converting 41% of his doubles, compared to Wilson’s miserly 26% success ratio.
Also in Group G, Dave Chisnall restored some pride by defeating James Wade 5-3 in the opening match of the night. Chisnall was already eliminated having suffered defeat to James Wilson and Jamie Hughes over the weekend, but he produced his best performance of the tournament against the eight-time major winner.
‘Chizzy’ averaged 98.92, landed two maximums and converted 50% of his attempts at double, taking out finishes of 104, 107 and 88 to round off his tournament in style. Wade averaged 100.58 but was punished for uncharacteristic profligacy on the doubles, which sees him finish second in the group and sets up a last 16 tie with Benito van de Pas.
Jeff Smith produced a series of stunning finishes to defeat Simon Whitlock in a winner-takes-all showdown in Group C. Whitlock averaged 101.74 and posted three maximums, but Smith finished superbly to prevail in a thrilling affair.
The Canadian kicked off proceedings with an incredible 170 outshot, but Whitlock respondeed by wiring the bull for a 161 finish of his own. The match went to a ninth and deciding leg and with Whitlock sat on tops for victory, Smith took out 82 on the bullseye to triumph, setting up a last 16 tie against six-time Grand Slam winner Phil Taylor.
Elsewhere, Peter Wright maintained his 100% record in the group phase to top Group C. Snakebite defeated PDC qualifier Ted Evetts 5-3 in a high-quality contest which saw both players average exactly 100.39.
Evetts was already eliminated prior to his showdown with the Scot, but the 19-year-old from Southam performed superbly, landing three maximums and converting 50% of his double attempts. ‘Super-Ted’ missed D11 for a 142 finish which would have forced a decider, but Wright prevailed with an impressive 71% checkout ratio.
Gerwyn Price topped Group B in controversial circumstances with a 5-3 victory against Robert Thornton in a topsy-turvy tussle. Thornton posted the higher average, but Price produced at the right moments, averaging 91.73, landing three maximums and converting 63% of his double attempts.
However, the match culminated controversially. Russ Bray made a costly miscount, with Price requiring 95 for victory. Bray claimed Price scored 54 rather than 64, therefore whilst Price actually left 31, he was mistakenly left to take out 41, which he subsequently converted to book his place in the knockout phases.
As a consequence, Robert Thornton and Dimitri van den Bergh were left to fight it out in a dramatic nine-dart shootout. Earlier in the evening, Van den Bergh came from behind to edge out reigning Lakeside world champion Scott Waites. Waites led 3-1 but Dimitri fought back admirably, winning four of the final five legs to prevail.
Van den Bergh averaged 91.6 compared to Waites’ 93.13, but the Belgian hotshot hit 50% of his shots at double and produced the goods at key moments to prevail, condemning the 2010 Grand Slam winner to his third successive group-stage defeat.
Despite this, Van den Bergh fell agonisingly short in the nine-dart shootout. The Belgian threw first and scored 340 in his nine darts, but Thornton kicked off with successive 140’s, before scoring 65 in his final visit to secure victory by a meagre five points. Thornton’s reward is a tough last 16 tie against defending champion Michael van Gerwen.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts
Tuesday November 15
Groups B-C-F-G Final Games
James Wade 3-5 Dave Chisnall (G)
Peter Wright 5-3 Ted Evetts (C)
Dimitri Van den Bergh 5-4 Scott Waites (B)
Nathan Aspinall 2-5 Danny Noppert (F)
Robert Thornton 3-5 Gerwyn Price (B)
James Wilson 4-5 Jamie Hughes (G)
Mensur Suljovic 3-5 Raymond van Barneveld (F)
Simon Whitlock 4-5 Jeff Smith (C)
|Gerwyn Price (Q)||3||2||1||+4||4|
|Robert Thornton (Q)||3||2||1||+1||4|
|Dimitri Van den Bergh (E)||3||2||1||+1||4|
|Scott Waites (E)||3||0||3||-6||0|
* Robert Thornton wins Nine-Dart Shoot-Out with Dimitri Van den Bergh
|Peter Wright (Q)||3||3||0||+11||6|
|Jeff Smith (Q)||3||2||1||-2||4|
|Simon Whitlock (E)||3||1||2||-2||2|
|Ted Evetts (E)||3||0||3||-7||0|
|Raymond van Barneveld (Q)||3||3||0||+9||6|
|Danny Noppert (Q)||3||2||1||+2||4|
|Mensur Suljovic (E)||3||1||2||-2||2|
|Nathan Aspinall (E)||3||0||3||-9||0|
|Jamie Hughes (Q)||3||2||1||+3||4|
|James Wade (Q)||3||2||1||+2||4|
|James Wilson (E)||3||1||2||0||2|
|Dave Chisnall (E)||3||1||2||-5||2|