How oft has it been said that momentum can be the most telling factor in deciding sporting outcomes? In darts at the moment, there are few with greater amounts thereof than Jonny Clayton and Gerwyn Price.
Ironically, it’s quite likely that the former received his greatest infusion of new found confidence from teaming up with ‘Gezzy’ and bringing the darting World Cup back to the Welsh valleys. Thereafter, the 47-year-old won the Masters and, even more significantly, the Premier League.
For his part, Price is, of course, the current holder of the Sid Waddel Trophy and the defending champion in this particular competition as well. Given the level of output the former rugby player has been dispensing for quite some time he will take a bit of dislodging.
Before a dart was pegged tonight, I would have thought that not only might it be be the game of the night between the title holder and Dave Chisnall but that there was actually a possibilty ‘Chizzy’ might have toppled the chart topper.
Very quickly after Russ Bray called ‘Game On’ it was clear that the English player was going to need to be at his absolute best to even keep pace with the best player in the world presently. Instead, it turned in to the perfect storm from a Chisnall perspective – his own frailties running amok on him and the tempestuous Welsh player at the peak of his powers.
Such a scenario was always quite likely to happen but that still wouldn’t explain the level to which the yellow-clad competitor capitulated. Nor, however, would it explain or condone the victor’s grotesque, boorish behavior on stage. There’s only one definitive answer for Price’s ignorant tomfoolery but you wonder is there anyone presently out there capable of delivering it.
One man who surely knows his game inside out and should be better able than anybody to upset his rhythm is his compatriot and World Cup partner. The only problem with that theory is that Jonny Clayton is probably too much of a gentleman to get involved in such extra curricular nonsense.
‘The Ferret’ certainly has the ‘game’ to give ‘Gezzy’ plenty to think about. As amply demonstrated during the course of his epic last eight encounter with Ratajski. The Polish Eagle created plenty of chances for himself but his execution of them simply wasn’t efficient enough as Clayton ended up advancing to a meeting with Danny Noppert with a greater degree of ease than the scoreline would suggest.
The final quarter final brought two of this writer’s favourites together – Stephen Bunting and Ryan Searle. Both admired mostly due to their pace of play even though the latter actually has a fairly languid way of being quick – if that makes sense.
Of the two, Bunting has considerably more big game experience and in the end it was that which made the difference as Searle coughed up several chances to seal the deal before Bunting eventually edged through by pinning a D5 – albeit after a few attempts.
Postscript: It’s my intention to catch up on Friday’s semi final action in thr morning and write a piece thereafter before the final.