Rob Cross, Daryl Gurney, Peter Wright, Glen Durrant and Ryan Harrington progressed through to the last 16 at the Grand Slam of Darts after Groups E-H came to a conclusion on a nervy night of action at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton.
Michael Smith, Dave Chisnall and Gabriel Clemens were already assured of their qualification prior to Monday night’s third and final group games, although the remaining five places were still up for grabs.
Wright’s reward for topping Group F is a last 16 showdown against second seed Cross, who edged out Jamie Hughes in a nervy last-leg decider to wrap up second spot in Group E. Wright made it three from three in his group with a convincing 5-2 win over World Series finalist Danny Noppert.
Snakebite averaged 99.77 and spurned just three darts at double against the Dutchman, whilst Cross fended off a valiant fightback from local lad Hughes. ‘Voltage’ led 4-1 before wasting two match darts and Hughes forced a decider, only for Cross to recompose and triumph with a 92.10 average.
Clemens secured top spot in Group G courtesy of a sensational 110.27 average in the evening’s curtain-raiser against Richard Veenstra. Clemens followed up a comprehensive 5-1 win over Dolan by edging out Gurney in a decider, while Veenstra had won the solitary leg in his two previous tussles.
However, ‘The German Giant’ saved his best until last against the Dutchman, crashing in five maximums and posting his highest televised average to dismantle ‘Flyers’. Veenstra started strongly but Clemens’ last three winning legs were registered in 10, 11 and 12 darts respectively.
He will face three-time BDO world champion Durrant as he bids to reach his first major quarter-final on Wednesday, after Durrant whitewashed UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall 5-0 in his crucial Group H shootout.
Aspinall boasted a tournament average of over 101 heading into his clash against ‘Duzza’ but the World Championship semi-finalist endured a horror-show in Wolverhampton. He averaged just 86 and missed all six of his double attempts as Durrant cruised home despite also averaging 86.
Elsewhere, Smith survived four match darts as he fought back from 3-0 and 4-2 down to defeat Martin Schindler and clinch top spot in Group H. Schindler, who surrendered a 4-2 lead against Durrant on Sunday, was again guilty of squandering a handsome advantage against ‘Bully Boy’.
Smith posted a 113.62 average against Aspinall just 24 hours earlier, but he was averaging just 75 as ‘The Wall’ cruised into a 3-0 lead. Nevertheless, the third seed rallied and won five of the final six legs, surviving a match dart in leg seven and three in the decider to maintain his 100% record.
The St Helen’s star will take on fellow Premier League star Gurney for a place in the quarter-finals, after the Northern Irishman reeled off four consecutive legs to defeat fellow countryman Brendan Dolan 5-2 and progress from Group G as runner-up.
The opening four legs went with throw, before Gurney secured a precious break courtesy of a clinical 101 kill in leg five. ‘Super Chin’ cemented his advantage with a majestic 161 checkout moments later, before capitalising on two missed doubles from Dolan to triumph with a 95.03 average.
Chisnall will take on Harrington in the last 16 after defeating stablemate Lisa Ashton to top Group E. Chisnall was already assured of qualification ahead of Monday’s tussle while ‘The Lancashire Rose’ was unable to qualify, but her hopes of signing off in style were quashed by Chizzy.
The four-time women’s world champion had her opportunities but only converted one of her seven attempts at double, as Chisnall closed out an emphatic 5-1 success with a 94.61 average, four maximums and a modest 31% checkout success rate.
2014 finalist Chisnall now meets debutant Harrington for a quarter-final spot, after the son of former World Matchplay champion Rod defeated BDO veteran Wayne Warren 5-1 in a scrappy affair to record his best showing in a televised PDC event.
Harrington claimed a crucial win over Noppert in his Group F opener and despite losing to a clinical Wright on Sunday, the 29-year-old closed out a 5-1 success over an under-par Warren, despite averaging a modest 78.58 and boasting a 36% checkout success rate.
Groups A-D will conclude on Tuesday evening, with Michael van Gerwen the only player assured of his place in the knockout phase. The last 16 then gets underway on Wednesday, as the format increases to best of 19 legs.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Monday November 11
Groups E-H Final Matches
Gabriel Clemens 5-2 Richard Veenstra (G)
Michael Smith 5-4 Martin Schindler (H)
Dave Chisnall 5-1 Lisa Ashton (E)
Daryl Gurney 5-2 Brendan Dolan (G)
Peter Wright 5-2 Danny Noppert (F)
Ryan Harrington 5-1 Wayne Warren (F)
Rob Cross 5-4 Jamie Hughes (E)
Glen Durrant 5-0 Nathan Aspinall (H)
Tuesday November 12 (1900 GMT)
Groups A-D Final Matches
Ian White v Wesley Harms (B)
James Wade v Steve Lennon (B)
Michael van Gerwen v Ross Smith (A)
Robert Thornton v Mikuru Suzuki (C)
Gerwyn Price v Dimitri Van den Bergh (C)
William O’Connor v Dave Parletti (D)
Gary Anderson v Darren Webster (D)
Adrian Lewis v Jim Williams (A)
Wednesday November 13 (1900 GMT)
Second Round x4 (Order of Play TBC)
Dave Chisnall v Ryan Harrington
Peter Wright v Rob Cross
Gabriel Clemens v Glen Durrant
Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney