One of the hazards of being in this line of work is being wrong. In terms of predicting the outcome of events, in this instance. Then again, punditry is mostly guess work with a bit of background information for optics.
Doing so for GAA matches or horse racing is one thing, venturing into other sporting arenas quite another. From time to time, yours truly has had a punt on golf or snooker or darts, but would never actually put them up as a tip.
Until this year. After writing a piece about the Grand Slam in Coventry at the beginning of the month I mentioned that wagers had been had on Gary Anderson and Rob Cross. What happens? Anderson has to self-isolate over Covid before the tournament and, last night, Cross came crashing down at the first hurdle after his clash with the rapidly improving Dirk Van Duijvenbode.
The latter is the latest in what seems like an absolute freight train of Dutch darting dynamos. Having ran another rapidly rising star in the ranks, Dimitri Van den Bergh very close in a final not all that long ago, the imposing figure was an unfortunately easy winner over Ireland’s Willie O’Connor in his opening outing.
That was noteworthy enough in itself as ‘The Magpie’ has been making significant progress of his own in recent times, but, in defenestrating the 2018 victor, my man Cross. If one wanted to talk about a player finding noteworthy betterment for themselves, look no further than Van den Bergh. The Belgian claimed his first TV title not so long ago, it will be no surprise if he gathers up a second one in under two weeks time.