Michael van Gerwen continued the defence of his Players Championship Finals title with convincing wins over Steve West and Darren Webster, whilst James Wade returned to form to set up a quarter-final clash with top seed Rob Cross on an action-packed double session in Minehead on Saturday.
Van Gerwen maintained his bid a third consecutive Players Championship Finals crown after claiming convincing wins over Steve West and Darren Webster on Saturday, dropping just seven legs in the process.
MvG, seeded sixth in Minehead, reeled off six consecutive legs from 2-0 down to dismantle West in round-two. The Waltham Abbey ace stormed into an early lead with a stunning 120 average, but ‘Mighty Mike’ replied emphatically; averaging 108.28, piling in two 180’s and boasting a fine 50% checkout success rate to record a 6-2 victory.
This set up a third-round showdown against Darren Webster, in a repeat of last year’s semi-final. ‘The Demolition Man’ stormed into a 6-0 lead on that occasion, but Van Gerwen was in blistering mood; averaging 102.68, crashing in five maximums and dispatching 42% of his double attempts to ease to a 10-5 win.
Top seed Rob Cross continued his fine form to storm into the quarter-finals. ‘Voltage’ produced an imperious display to defeat Irish youngster Steve Lennon in round-two, before fending off a valiant fightback from a resurgent Adrian Lewis to book his spot in the last eight.
In his second-round clash against Lennon, Cross trailed 2-1, before he produced a stunning sequence to close out victory. The former electrician averaged 104.04, crashed in five maximums, converted 86% of his attempts at double and conjured up four ton-plus checkouts to defeat a shell-shocked Lennon, who did very little wrong.
The 27-year-old then maintained his bid for a first TV title with a 10-6 win over two-time world champion Adrian Lewis. Cross stormed into an 8-2 advantage after some profligate finishing from ‘Jackpot’, but Lewis reeled off four consecutive legs to threaten an extraordinary comeback, until Cross regained his composure to close out victory.
Cross took out three ton-plus checkouts to establish a commanding 8-2 cushion, but Lewis responded with finishes of 170 and 113 in consecutive legs to reduce the arrears to just two legs. Nevertheless, ‘Voltage’ completed the win with a remarkable 10-darter to triumph with a 101.19 average, eight maximums and a 40% checkout conversion rate.
Cross will now face James Wade for a place in the semi-finals, after the seven-time major winner defeated Jamie Caven and Ian White to secure a place in his first TV ranking quarter-final since last year’s World Championship. ‘The Machine’ limped to a 6-4 win over Caven with a miserly 79 average, but he upped the ante considerably against White.
‘The Diamond’ had clinched successive last-leg victories over Raymond van Barneveld and John Henderson to book his last 16 spot, but he was unable to overcome an inspired Wade. The Aldershot ace averaged 94.53, landed NINE maximums and dispatched 38% of his double attempts to close out a convincing 10-6 win.
World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney maintained his record of having reached at least the quarter-finals in every ranking major this year. ‘Super-Chin’ battled past Robbie Green in a scrappy affair despite converting just 21% of his attempts at double, but he was in imperious form to defeat Chris Dobey 6-5.
Dobey had claimed the scalps of Kim Huybrechts and Robert Thornton to reach round-three, but he was unable to upset an irrepresible Gurney. The Northern Irishman averaged 102.49, registered four maximums and converted 40% of his attempts at double to set up a quarter-final clash against Justin Pipe.
Pipe secured a place in his first televised quarter-final since the 2013 after coming through two dramatic last-leg deciders on Saturday. ‘The Force’ trailed 4-0 against Meulenkamp in round-two but fought back valiantly; winning six of the remaining seven legs to prevail and set up a second-round showdown against William O’Connor.
O’Connor recorded a shock 6-3 win over seventh seed Dave Chisnall in round-two, but he was unable to seal a place in his maiden televised quarter-final, spurning one match dart at tops as Pipe fought back from 7-4 behind to triumph with a 93.29 average, six maximums and a 26% checkout success rate.
Jonny Clayton continued his fine form to win through to his first TV major quarter-final with thrilling victories over Gerwyn Price and Stephen Bunting. He kicked off the day with a convincing 6-2 win over his fellow countryman Price; averaging 98.37, landing two 180’s and dispatching 50% of his attempts at double.
This set up a last 16 showdown against Stephen Bunting, after the former Lakeside champion dumped out Mensur Suljovic earlier in the day. ‘The Bullet’ piled in six 180’s against Clayton, but the Welshman’s consistency won the day, as he triumphed with a 90.49 average, 140 scores of 140+ and an impressive 56% checkout conversion rate.
Elsewhere, Steve Beaton dumped out the Dutch duo of Jelle Klaasen and Jermaine Wattimena to book his place in just his second major quarter-final since 2010. ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ capitalised on a profligate display of finishing from Klaasen in round-two, before defying a late fightback from Wattimena to prevail in a last-leg decider.
Beaton led 9-5 and appeared on the cusp of a comprehensive win, but the quick-fire Dutchman reeled off three straight legs, before exploiting five missed match darts from ‘The Adonis’ to force a decider. However, the 1996 Lakeside world champion held his nerve; sinking D10 with his ninth match dart to book his spot in Sunday’s last eight.
Finally, Jan Dekker continued his brilliant run in Minehead to set up a last eight clash against his fellow countryman Michael van Gerwen. The Dutchman defeated Michael Smith in the opening round and followed that up with a narrow win against an under-par Simon Whitlock in round-two.
Dekker then faced debutant Peter Jacques in the last 16, after the Huddersfield ace edged out Peter Wright’s conqueror Steve Hine earlier in the day. It was a scrappy affair, but the former Lakeside semi-finalist averaged 88.94 to round-off a 10-5 win and record a spot in his first ever major PDC quarter-final.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals
Saturday November 25
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
William O’Connor 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Robbie Green
Rob Cross 6-2 Steve Lennon
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Mickey Mansell
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Steve West
Peter Jacques 6-5 Steve Hine
Darren Webster 6-3 Mervyn King
Chris Dobey 6-5 Robert Thornton
Jonny Clayton 6-2 Gerwyn Price
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Richard North
Justin Pipe 6-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Steve Beaton 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
James Wade 6-4 Jamie Caven
Jan Dekker 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Ian White 6-5 John Henderson
Evening Session (7pm)
Rob Cross 10-6 Adrian Lewis
Steve Beaton 10-9 Jermaine Wattimena
Michael van Gerwen 10-5 Darren Webster
Jan Dekker 10-5 Peter Jacques
Justin Pipe 10-9 William O’Connor
Jonny Clayton 10-8 Stephen Bunting
James Wade 10-6 Ian White
Daryl Gurney 10-5 Chris Dobey
Sunday 26th November (1pm)
Rob Cross v James Wade
Jonny Clayton v Steve Beaton
Daryl Gurney v Justin Pipe
Michael van Gerwen v Jan Dekker