There has been so much sporting activity ongoing across various codes in the last few days that there are a few days worth of action at the World Darts Championship to be caught up with. Now read on…
First out of the traps on Saturday was Carlow’s Steve Lennon. The man from Barrowside recorded a 3-1 victory over Daniel Larsson, while also in the afternoon session there were wins for Kim Huybrechts, Mervyn King and Scott Waites. The latter belatedly moved across from the since defunct BDO and was involved in what, up to that point, was the game of the championships. Coming from 2-0 to edge past Matt Campbell.
Saturday night was all about the veterans. Firstly, the admirable Andy Hamilton showed some glimpses of the form of old which saw him recently regain his tour card before eventually running out of steam against the promising German Nico Kurz.
It was then the turn of Andy Boulton – a new name to this darts fan – who eventually saw off the challenge of the bubbly and very capable Deta Hedman. Her presence – at 61 years of age – and those of King and Hamilton – proves that age is no barroer to success on the oche.
In the evening’s other fixtures, the portly American Danny Baggish came through a brilliant joust with Damon Heta by the narrowest of margins before proceedings were rounded off by the first appearance at the empty Palace of Michael Van Gerwen.
Now, this writer has been long of the opinion that MVG – while still an astonishly dart player – has certainly lost the veneer of the untouchable has certainly loosened. Conversly however, you sense that he knows himself he’s not on top form, and, with him being a demonstrably expressive character at the best of times, it appears that when he gets angry his play improves. Somebody give him a tip for a horse that doesn’t win!
In my view, the highlight of Sunday’s double shift at the Ally Pally was the continued progression of Ryan Searle into the business end of tournament. Closely followed, it must be said, by a fine showing from the erratic Geordie Keegan Browne.
Gerwyn Price – even mention of his name makes ears prick and is likely to cause a debate. Beyond question, though, is the Welsh man’s ability at a dartboard. Though he needed every bit of it last night overcome his rejuvenated compatriot Jamie Lewis.
Speaking of rejuvenation, you’d go a long way to encounter a better instance of it than that of the feisty Belgian Kim Huybrechts. I honestly didn’t realise he’d fallen so far down the rankings that he’d lost his tour card and had to return to Q-School – the tungsten equivalent of a seasoned footballer having to go back to trials.
I’d have nothing but admiration for somebody with the hunger, mental strength and ability to overcome adversity to get what they want out of life. Sounds a bit familiar to me really. The Belgian’s rumbustious mannerism is not to everyone’s liking but, often, it’s whatever works for a person that matters most. Expect the Hurricane to rattle a few more cages before January 3rd.