Defending champion Michael van Gerwen will face his old rival Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals of the Players Championship Finals on Sunday, as Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and James Wade were dumped out at the Butlins Minehead Resort on Saturday.
Van Gerwen breezed through to the last eight, dropping just three legs over the course of his matches on day two. Van Gerwen faced his best mate Vincent van der Voort in the second-round and ‘The Green Machine’ cruised to a 6-1 win, averaging 102.5 and posting four maximums en route.
MvG faced sixteenth seed Josh Payne in round-three and the 22-year-old from Gravesend started strongly, storming into a 2-0 lead. Nevertheless, Van Gerwen levelled up proceedings after Payne missed two darts at double in both leg three and four and this proved expensive.
Payne acquitted himself impressively, averaging 99.79 and hitting three maximums. Despite this, he converted just two of his ten double attempts and was ruthlessly punished by Van Gerwen. MvG won ten successive legs and finished with an average of 105.69, to set up a last-eight showdown with his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld.
Van Barneveld booked his spot in the quarter-finals with victories over Adrian Lewis and Joe Cullen respectively. Van Barneveld and Lewis contested a high-quality second-round tussle, as the five-time world champion survived a spirited fightback from Jackpot to prevail 6-4.
Van Barneveld stormed into a 5-1 lead after converting finishes of 72, 62, 100 and 121, but Lewis fought back impressively; reeling off three successive legs to reduce the arrears to the solitary leg. However, Van Barneveld survived Lewis’ brave resistance, taking out 72 to secure victory with an impressive 101.96 average.
In the last 16, Barney faced ninth seed Joe Cullen who had dropped just one leg over the course of his first two matches. Cullen had beaten RvB in each of their last four meetings, although ‘The Rockstar’ didn’t enjoy such fortune in a bizarre encounter with the legendary Dutchman.
Both players endured a real struggle in the opening session. All five legs went with throw; with Van Barneveld leading 3-2 despite averaging a miserly 78. However Barney improved considerably after the break, whilst Cullen’s game deteriorated even further, as RvB won eight straight legs to close out a comprehensive 10-2 triumph.
Peter Wright continued his fine form with two comprehensive victories on Saturday. In round-two, Snakebite averaged 104.61 to defeat Grand Slam finalist James Wade 6-2, hitting three maximums and nailing 40% of his double attempts in the process.
Wright faced Ron Meulenkamp in the third-round, after the Dutchman clinched a shock second-round win against world champion Gary Anderson. However, Meulenkamp was unable to replicate his heroics against another Scotsman, as Wright ran out a convincing 10-3 winner after firing in nine maximums and posting a 100.75 average.
Wright will face Kim Huybrechts on Sunday, after the Belgian stormed into the last eight with two very impressive performances against the Northern Irish duo of Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan. Huybrechts averaged 108.1 to record a 6-1 win against Gurney, as ‘Super-Chin’ was left helpless despite averaging 105.85.
‘The Hurricane’ faced Brendan Dolan in the last 16, after Dolan had survived two last-leg deciders to defeat the Dutch duo of Benito van de Pas & Jermaine Wattimena. However, Dolan was well-beaten by Huybrechts, as the Belgian averaged 100.72, registered five maximums and converted 48% of his doubles.
Dave Chisnall secured his place in the quarter-finals after surviving three match darts against Jelle Klaasen in a pulsating last 16 clash. Klaasen eased into the third-round with an emphatic 6-2 triumph over his compatriot Vincent Kamphuis, whilst Chisnall saw off the challenge of young Welshman Jamie Lewis.
However, Chisnall and Klaasen contested a titanic tussle which saw a staggering nineteen maximums hit in as many legs. Chisnall fired in eleven maximums, averaging 94.84. ‘Chizzy’ only boasted a 25% checkout success ratio after missing 30 darts at double, but the St Helen’s star prevailed after Klaasen spurned three match darts in the decider.
Robbie Green secured a place in his first PDC ranking quarter-final with fine victories against Jeffrey de Graaf and Terry Jenkins on stage two. Green was in spectacular form against De Graaf, recording a majestic 6-1 victory with an average of 105.79, despite the Dutchman averaging over 101 himself.
Green faced nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins in the last 16 and ‘Kong’ performed solidly to defeat the Herefordshire ace 10-7. Jenkins was outplayed in all departments, as Green averaged seven points more, hit six maximums to Jenkins’ four and boasted a better checkout success rate.
Darren Webster reached the Players Championship Finals last eight for the very first time after causing upsets on day two. ‘The Demolition Man’ kicked off Saturday’s proceedings with a wonderful 6-3 win over the in-form Simon Whitlock. Webster averaged 95.40, landed four maximums and pinned 50% of his doubles to progress.
Webster faced nine-dart hero Alan Norris on stage two on Saturday evening, although once again the veteran star upset the odds. Norris failed to hit the heights of his previous two performances and Webster capitalised, rounding off a 10-5 win with a 90.08 average, two maximums and a 43% checkout success ratio.
Christian Kist romped into his first major PDC ranking quarter-final with victories over Dimitri van den Bergh and Justin Pipe on Saturday. Kist defeated Van den Bergh 6-2 in the afternoon session; averaging 91.44 and converting 55% of his double attempts as he won four successive legs midway through the contest to dispatch the Belgian.
In the last 16, the former Lakeside champion defeated local star Justin Pipe- a two-time semi-finalist in this event. Kist took out finishes of 144 and 161 in consecutive legs to seize command at 7-3 and the Dutchman closed out a convincing 10-6 victory with a 94.97 average, to set up a Sunday showdown with Darren Webster.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Cash Converters Players Championship Finals
Saturday November 26
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Jamie Lewis
Mick McGowan 3-6 Alan Norris
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Vincent van der Voort
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Adrian Lewis
Peter Wright 6-2 James Wade
Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 Gary Anderson
Dimitri Van den Bergh 2-6 Christian Kist
Vincent Kamphuis 2-6 Jelle Klaasen
Simon Whitlock 3-6 Darren Webster
Jan Dekker 1-6 Justin Pipe
Josh Payne 6-4 Berry van Peer
Joe Cullen 6-0 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Ian White 5-6 Terry Jenkins
Jeffrey de Graaf 1-6 Robbie Green
Dave Chisnall 10-9 Jelle Klaasen
Raymond van Barneveld 10-2 Joe Cullen
Michael van Gerwen 10-2 Josh Payne
Peter Wright 10-3 Ron Meulenkamp
Christian Kist 10-6 Justin Pipe
Darren Webster 10-5 Alan Norris
Brendan Dolan 4-10 Kim Huybrechts
Terry Jenkins 7-10 Robbie Green
Very informative Josh,well written!
Thanks Ivor! Glad you enjoyed it!