Melbourne Darts Masters 2018 Final Peter Wright 11 (97.7) Michael Smith 8 (99.17) Peter Wright finally climbed to the top of a World Series of Darts event for only the second time with an 11-8 victory over Michael Smith in the final of the 2018 Melbourne Darts Masters. It meant that after five World Series of Darts events this year there have been five different winners. Peter Wright opened the match with a 120 visit as Smith hit 140 at the first attempt and then backed it up on his second visit. Wright moved from 186 to 41 with a critical 145 as Smith was unable to check out 130. A double 16 from Wright meant he held throw. The second leg started with another 140 from Smith as a second bounce out from two initial visits cost Wright. On his third visit Smith scored another 140 but was unable to check out 164. Wright put the pressure on the Smith throw but tops with his last dart saw Bully Boy hold throw. The third leg was less spectacular but a 140 from Wright moved him to 210 and a follow up century saw him move to a check out. He missed tops for the leg and then failed at three attempts on his next visit. Smith had to check out 94 for the break but missed the bull and finally Wright hit double five with last dart in hand. Smith then moved a long way ahead on his throw in leg four and a 130 left him requiring 51. He completed that in two darts to draw level at 2-2. Wright started with a 140 (the tenth of the match to that point) but Smith kept up the scoring pressure. A 130 left Wright on 31 as 94 left Smith on 73. Snakebite then missed the check out only for Smith to miss tops for the leg. Double four with his second dart was enough to see Wright lead 3-2, on throw, at the first break. A 180, the first of the final, gave Wright a good lead in the sixth leg but he failed to convert 91 and Smith hit Shanghai to hold throw. A 131 start from Wright in the next leg was followed up by 140 before 100 left Snakebite needing 130. It took him seven darts to do it but Wright finally secured the leg to retake the lead once more. Against the throw Wright scored a maximum mid leg but could not take out the break as he missed three at a check out and Smith came back and scored a 75 check out with two darts. Wright opened the next leg with another 140, then had visits of 100 and 105. 85 left Wright on 71 but again he missed two more darts at the leg before getting double four on his next visit to the oche. A 171 in the next leg left Smith needing 100 and with Wright well behind he set it up before coming back and securing a double ten to draw the match level once more. At the second break the first to eleven affair was all tied up at five apiece. After the break both players scored well and Wright was under some pressure after scoring 45 which left him requiring 130. With Smith standing behind him needing 74 Wright was unable to secure the leg only for Smith to bust his score. Two darts later Snakebite was ahead, on throw, once again. Smith fired back with a 140 start only for Wright to throw up a 180. A 140 later in the leg left him needing 101 as Smith moved 71 with a 134 visit. Wright missed a double 16 for a break as Smith hit 71 in two darts to hold throw again. Snakebite opened the next leg with a century and backed it up with a 101. A 140 visit left Wright requiring 160. He used seven darts to get there but with that seventh dart he took yet another match lead. Smith then hit his first maximum of the match to move to requiring 106 as a 140 left Wright needing 130. Smith had a poor visit and finally his opponent capitalised, hitting two treble 20s and a double 5 for the first break of the match, and an 8-6 lead.
Semi Final 1 Michael Smith 11 (100.4) Gary Anderson 5 (95.75) Michael Smith defeated good friend Gary Anderson 11-5 to progress to the final of the 2018 Melbourne Darts Masters. A 12 darter from Michael Smith opened the match before both players ended up on 40 in the second leg. Smith had first shot at the check out and consolidated the break he had taken in the first leg. In the third leg Smith opened with a 180 and a 100 later in the leg moved him to 126. 140 from Anderson left him on 90 and Smith failed to check out on his next visit. Having been given a shot Anderson missed the double 16 for the leg and with last dart in hand Smith secured a 3-0 lead at his next visit to the oche. With two breaks now under his belt Smith opened with visits of 140, 125 and 180 in the fourth leg. Smith missed tops for the leg and watched as Anderson moved from 176 to 40. Smith then missed three and so did Anderson on his next visit. Smith then took out the leg with his next dart. On throw Anderson opened with 134 and moved through to 178 only to watch Smith move from 280 to 100 in one visit. The Scotsman then moved to 86 as Smith left 40. More chances came and went as Anderson missed the double 7 for the leg and then Smith missed all three for the leg at his next visit. This time it was Anderson who punished that error with his next dart giving him his first leg of the match. A 180 in the next leg moved Smith to requiring 50 which he got in three darts to take a 5-1 lead in the match. On throw Anderson then opened up with 100 before a 143 put him ahead. Another 140 put the Scotsman on 138. He then watched as another maximum from his opponent put him on a 111 check out. Neither player converted on their next visit but Anderson then stepped up and took the leg before the break. After the break Anderson got his first break as a 171 visit saw him requiring just 94. Although he did not get that Smith could not convert 100 and Anderson hit the required double with last dart in hand. He then consolidated the break by winning his own throw despite 130 and 123 visits early from Smith. Anderson missed the bull for the leg but with one dart on his next visit he scored double 17. Smith needed to slow the momentum and in the tenth leg he held throw with a 13 dart effort. He then hit 140, 180 and 141 to leave 40 for the leg. It took him four darts to do it, and in between them Anderson missed a double 12 for the leg. With two breaks back under his belt Smith consolidated his lead by holding his throw although Anderson missed two darts for the leg. Leg 13 opened strongly with visits of 125, 100, 134 and 140. Anderson had first shot at a checkout and with his last dart in hand hit tops to gain his fifth leg. Maximums for both players late in the next leg was most helpful for Smith who then converted 24 for a four leg lead. Against the throw Smith had the first check out attempt in leg 15 and despite missing out on a 164 check out was far enough in front to secure the leg on his next visit. It left him one leg away from the final. Anderson seemed to still have something to say about the match as he hit three consecutive 140s but four missed doubles for a check out were punished by Smith who hit a double five with last dart in hand to take the match out 11 – 5.
Semi Final 2 Peter Wright 11 (104.42) Michael van Gerwen 7 (103.47) Peter Wright stunned Michael van Gerwen as he defeated the Dutchman 11-7 in the first semi final of the 2018 Melbourne Darts Masters. MvG was unable to pull off an epic comeback for a second night in a row as Wright made the final in Melbourne for the very second year in succession. The first leg set Wright on his way as he checked out a 119 to break the van Gerwen throw straight up. MvG had his chance to hit straight back but missed two darts at the leg before Wright checked out 96 with a cheeky 20, tops and double 18. Van Gerwen then held onto his throw, even though he missed another two check out darts along the way. It was critical that Wright hold on to his next throw but after he missed tops for the leg it looked as if he had failed to do so. MvG stepped up but missed with all three of his darts and Wright finally held throw with his last dart in hand. Van Gerwen then comfortably held throw despite Wright opening the leg with a maximum. Wright then also held throw before missing a chance to take a second break of throw. He missed two chances at check out before van Gerwen hit a double six to move back within a leg of Wright at the first interval. It seemed van Gerwen had come off the break in a more confident mood with big scores on most of his visits in leg eight but a 110 check out from Wright snuffed out the momentum. Van Gerwen then managed to miss two darts for a check out in leg nine as Wright secured a 61 check out with two darts in the leg instead. Snakebite then followed this up with a 117 check out to go 7-3 up. Van Gerwen tried to challenge thoughts of the night before and with a double nine managed to hold throw in the next leg. He then missed bull in attempting to break the Wright throw for the first time in this match. Chasing 81 Wright then missed tops for an 8-4 lead and van Gerwen got the required 25 with last dart in hand to move within two legs of his opponent. He then opened up with a maximum and thoughts of a repeat of the night before came to the forefront of many of the crowd. However Wright is made of stern stuff and visits of 131, 100, 125 and 125 put pressure on the van Gerwen throw. The Dutchman still had a chance, he missed the double nine, for a check out but watched as a double ten saw Wright break van Gerwen straight back. Van Gerwen then missed tops on the Wright throw in the next leg and Wright scored 76 with his last dart in hand to go back to a four leg lead at 9-5. MvG held throw in the next leg. It was unique for Wright who scored two 180s to chase a nine darter and yet lost the leg, and indeed never even got a shot at a check out for that leg. He did not let it impact him for long as he secured 70 in two darts to take a 10-6 lead in the match. With Wright standing behind him on 55 van Gerwen was able to score 76 with his last dart in hand to move the scoreboard to 10-7 in his opponent’s favour. Wright opened the 18th leg with a 140 and followed it up with 100 and then a maximum to leave just 81. With van Gerwen so far behind he set the match up by leaving 32. MvG then put on a party trick as he hit three bullseyes with his three darts to score 150, and leave 56. He would not have a throw at that target, though, as Wright secured the leg and the match with a double 16 using his first dart on his next visit to the oche. For Wright he had secured a position in his second Melbourne Darts Masters Final in two years.
Night 2 Quarter Final 1 Michael Smith 10 (100.33) Rob Cross 9 (96.57) Michael Smith produced a stunning comeback to tip World Champion Rob Cross out of the Melbourne Darts Masters on Saturday night. At 9-6 down things looked bleak but three ton plus finishes, along with a 99, gave him four legs straight and a 10-9 overall victory. Cross opened the match with visits of 140 and 135 before another ton finish left him needing 127. He may not have checked that out but a double 16 on his next visit soon had him one leg up in the match. Three ton plus visits in the next leg, this time for Michael Smith, was enough to set himself up for the leg and a double eight tied the match back up. Cross then moved back into the lead, taking two darts to check out 82, the bull and a double 16. The next leg looked critical as two missed darts for the leg from Smith was punished by Cross, who hit a 16 and double 16 for the break of throw. Cross then finished the next leg with a 150 check out to go three legs clear. On his next throw Smith stopped the rot with a 177 start and a 132 finish, thanks to a 25, triple 19, and bull finish. He then followed up with visits of 134, 97, 100 and 134 to set up 36, which he secured with his last dart in hand to get his break of throw back. Thus at the break the score was four legs to three in favour of Cross. After the break Smith immediately lost the break back as a 180 start and 2 dart completion of an 87 check out looked to give Cross all the momentum in the match. However it was not to be as another four legs in a row, six in total when the legs before and after the break, saw the throw broken. IT was not until the 12th leg that either player held throw. Even on this leg Smith missed a chance at double 14 until Cross threw and held his throw to take a 8-5 lead. Smith then also held his throw to move the match scoreline to 8-6. Smith then missed three checkouts and let Cross back to the oche where he got the required 50 with last dart in hand. The scoreline read 9-6 to Cross. The 16th leg saw Smith hit Shanghai to move to within two legs of his opponent. A 131 check out had been too much for Cross to take in that leg and in the next one he could not convert 150. Smith, on the other hand, grabbed the match momentum with a 107 finish. Smith then secured an 88 check out in the next leg to draw the match back to even terms at nine legs each. Into the final leg and Cross still had the throw. A 121 start and 100 follow up seemed enough to set him up, especially as he collected a 140 later in the leg. However his opponent had steadily progressed through the leg and after watching Cross miss the bull for the match Smith was able to check out a 122 finish to take the match ten legs to nine.
Quarter Final 2 Peter Wright 10 (101.91) Raymond van Barneveld 4 (97.16) The second quarter final of the night saw favourite Peter Wright defeat Raymond van Barneveld in the most comprehensive dis play of the night by ten games to four. Wright started with a 100 but Barney’s first visit upped the stakes with a 180. A 140 visit from Wright then saw each player secure 100 visits. Needing 114 Wright missed tops for the leg before van Barneveld missed a double 14 to secure a 108 check out. It took two more darts but finally Wright held throw and took the match lead. Three 140 visits in succession from Wright gave him a comfortable lead in leg two and an 81 check out in two darts handed Snakebite an all important break of throw. Like the champion he is Barney responded well and handed the chance by Wright, after he missed tops for a 154 check out, Barney took one dart to check out double 17 and get the break straight back. Over the next two legs neither player could hold their throw as first Wright hit a double 19 for leg four and then Barney secured 64 with three darts (16, 16 and double 16) for the match score to read 3-2 in Wright’s favour. Barney then tied things up in the sixth leg thanks to a 119 check out. Wright then held throw after some big scores from both players (180 from Wright 177 from van Barneveld) before tops gave the leg to Wright. At the break the score was 4-3 on throw to Wright. After the interval it was Wright who got back into the flow of things quicker. He started with visits of 140, 135 and 180 against the van Barneveld throw and despite not checking out 46 at the first attempt, came back to the oche to hit double eight with his next dart. He then consolidated the lead by holding throw although Barney had his chance, missing the bull when looking to check out 122. Chasing 90 Wright hit the bull himself to take a 6-3 lead in the match, although it was only one break of throw. An opening of 135 and two 140 visits form the Dutch master a formidable lead in the tenth leg and despite being unable to check out 86 he secured the leg on his next visit to the oche with one dart at double 16. A maximum on his third visit in the next leg gave Wright a shot at 161 but it took him six darts in total to make that score and move the match out to 7-4. Despite a 140 start in the next leg, Barney’s throw was put under pressure by his opponent. He responded with a 140 of his own later in the leg but it would be Wright he had first shot at the leg. A 132 finish was a bridge to far for the Scotsman so van Barneveld stepped up only to miss a double 16 for the leg. Wright then missed two at double 16 before Barney missed all three at the same target. Wright then hit double eight with his next dart to give himself a second break of throw barrier. It was a critical leg as four legs was a large gap and looked even bigger as Wright soon held throw in the 13th leg. The 14th leg saw Wright start with a 180 against the throw and he followed it up with visits of 134 and 140. He needed all three darts but Snakebite took a third break of throw and the match by securing a 47 check out. The final score reading ten legs to four to Wright.
Quarter Final 3 Gary Anderson 10 (95.58) Damon Heta 7 (90.91) Gary Anderson had to use all his experience to overcome a defiant Damon Heta in the third quarter final of the night with a 10-7 victory over the West Australian. Things started well for the two time world champion as he secured visits of 140, 180 and 130 at his first three attempts. A 51 finish in three darts gave him a 12 dart first leg. Heta then put together a good run of scores on his own throw with visits of 140, 140, 121 leaving him needing 100 which he took five darts to complete. Anderson then retook the lead on throw although it took him ten darts from 170 and along the way Heta had a shot at 92 although he never got to check out dart on it. The next leg was not great from either player but Heta scrambled a 48 finish to have the match remain on throw. Both players then held throw over the next two legs to have the match tied at six and visits of 137, 140 and 180 from Anderson left him requiring 44 which he got with last dart in hand. That 12 dart leg gave him a 4-3 lead, on throw, at the break. After the interval Anderson pounced as Heta was unable to convert 151, the Scotsman hitting tops at the first attempt for the first break of the match. Despite two century visits from Heta in the next leg Heta was unable to take full advantage as he missed the bull to break straight back and Anderson got the 50 he required with two darts. Anderson then got a maximum on his second visit to the Oche and with Heta unable to secure another big check out, this time 143, Anderson got double five to move to a comprehensive 8-3 lead. The match was not done though as Heta showed his character in the 12th leg. Although he missed tops for a 107 check out he got a second chance as Anderson missed double 16 for the leg. Holding throw was one thing but he needed to do something he had not done all match, break the Anderson throw. An opening visit of 125 and a 180 on his third visit was enough to give Heta a chance, especially after Anderson could only score 87 chasing a 147 check out. 111 was needed and with three clinical darts Heta had his first break against his opponent. After three ton plus finishes from four visits in the next leg Heta was able to secure 67 in two darts to hold his throw and move within two legs of Anderson at 8-6. He was unable to break the Anderson throw again in the next leg, though, as Anderson hit 36 in two darts with Heta on 101 standing behind him. Both players had numerous opportunities in the next leg, Heta battling for survival and Anderson looking to close out the match. Heta eventually held throw to move the match into a 17th leg. That leg saw Anderson open with 134 and Heta match it plus more with a 140 start. A 180 on his third visit gave Anderson the edge he needed and despite Heta scoring 140 to leave 68 Anderson secured a 56 with last dart in hand to hold on and take the match out by ten games to seven.
Quarter Final 4 Michael van Gerwen 10 (100.2) Simon Whitlock 8 (93.96) Michael van Gerwen was the raging favourite in this match but the home crowd was having none of it as they picked Simon Whitlock on their adulation and almost carried him over the line. Along the way he produced some magnificent darts that almost ripped the roof off the Hisense Arena but in the end MvG had to use all of his own powers to stage a remarkable comeback against the odds and win the match by ten legs to eight. Van Gerwen had started the match comfortably enough as visits of 97, 180 and 140 left him requiring 84 which he got in five darts. In the next leg both players had an attempt the big fish, 170, but missed. Van Gerwen cleaned up the 25 he required for a break of throw and 209 lead. Whitlock had a chance to break the van Gerwen throw with a 68 check out in the next leg but seemed to have missed his chance after failing to collect tops. His opponent handed him another chance after not securing 130 and Whitlock got the double ten required with his next dart. He then tied the match up with a 44 finish after van Gerwen missed the bull again trying to catch the big 170 fish once more. Visits of 95, 180 and 140 left van Gerwen needing 86 which he collected with his 12th dart of the next leg to go 3-2 up. Whitlock then held throw as Van Gerwen failed to convert 41 before the Dutchman secured the leg before the break, although not before Whitlock had his second attempt at a 170 finish. At the break the match was on throw with van Gerwen leading 4-3. After the break a double 13 from the Wizard put the match back into parity. After an average start from both players van Gerwen tried to light up the ninth leg with a 180 but despite that it was Whitlock who got to a check out first and with two treble 20s and a double 16 he broke the throw of MvG to take a lead for the first time in the match, a lead of five games to four. For Whitlock this would mark the start of a purple patch in the match. He held throw in the next leg, as van Gerwen spurned two shots at tops after Whitlock had just done the same, before the Wizard hit the 20 required with last dart in hand. Then he secured Shanghai in a unique way, hitting triple 20 then double 20 and then double ten for a second break. To round this period off he scored 140, 100, and 91 visits before securing the 170 that had alluded both players to that point. The finish seemed to raise the roof as the crowd went wild. The scoreline read 8-4 to Whitlock but everyone knew not to count out a champion and so it proved. Leg 13 saw Simon have the first check out score but his big scoring finishes could not collect the 112 required and van Gerwen secured 35 with two darts. That was on throw but the next leg was more critical as the Dutchman got one break back, having checked out 94 with three darts. He then held throw, getting a double 12 with last dart in hand again, demonstrating the coolness that has led him to so many victories. Leg 16 was the most critical of the match as Whitlock had the chance to move just one leg from the win. He opened up with 180 and then backed it up with another. He did not get a seventh perfect dart and instead had to suffice with a check out attempt of 97. He missed tops and double ten as his opponent moved from 180 to 38. The local then missed three at double ten before MvG moved the match back to equilibrium with a double 19. In the next leg MvG missed the bull for a 167 check out. Whitlock then failed to get 100 to a check out dart and the leg looked over only for van Gerwen to miss two leg darts. Whitlock stepped up but missed three darts at 40. If the last leg was critical this leg seemed to seal Whitlock’s fete as had he won he would have been throwing for the match. Instead van Gerwen threw the required double 2 in two darts and it was hard to see Whitlock turning the momentum of the match around, even though the next leg was on his throw and it panned out that way. Both players started slowly but a 171 from van Gerwen mid leg gave him a slight lead. MvG missed two at double tops trying to collect 99 for the match before the Wizard missed a double five to take the leg himself. It took two darts but the double five was kind to van Gerwen and he had won six games straight to pull off a remarkable come from behind victory, ten legs to eight, over Aussie hero Whitlock.
Night 1 Match 1 Raymond van Barneveld 6 (82.84) Raymond O'Donnell 4 (81.86) Raymond van Barneveld took out the first match of the night with a 6-4 win over Broken Hill resident Raymond O’Donnell. Barney started strongly with a 140 and then a couple of 100s and was soon looking at a checkout of 96. After multiple chances missed his opponent roared back into the leg and as van Barneveld missed the double one for the leg O’Donnell stepped up and converted tops with his second dart. The second leg also went against the throw as Barney started with a 140 and 180 and soon checked out for the leg. In the third leg van Barneveld was the first to get to a check out but chasing 72 he missed the second double 18. Both players then missed doubles for the leg on their next visits before O’Donnell hit a double 5 to go two legs to one up. In the next leg O’Donnell moved to 136 and then left tops as Barney sat on 170. With his first dart of his next visit the boy from Broken Hill was 3-1 ahead. A 64 check out on the next leg saw van Barneveld move to within one leg of his opponent. However O’Donnell was soon back to two legs ahead as he checked out 100 with his opponent standing behind him on 112. In the next leg the Dutch master missed three darts at double 12 only for his opponent to hit the bull when needing 25 first. Van Barneveld pounced on his next visit. With more missed chances from both players van Barneveld finally secured a double 2 to move the match back to parity after eight legs. The last two legs went to van Barneveld but O’Donnell had his chances in both legs but in the end a double 17 and a double 5 finishes were enough to give the former multiple World Champion the match, 6 legs to 4.
Match 2 Michael Smith 6 (92.46) Tim Pusey 2 (81.31) Michael Smith was out to redress some of the demons caused by his first round exit in Auckland last weekend and did so against Tim Pusey with a six two victory. Smith took an early lead in the match with a double 18 checking out 76 as his opponent stood behind him needing just 36. The next leg was just as close but Smith took a break of throw as he hit double five to win the leg with Pusey on 52. The third leg from Smith was more comprehensive with big visits seeing Smith move quickly to 125. It took seven darts from there but with Pusey well behind there was no real pressure on the leg and Smith eventually checked out for a 3-0 lead. On throw Pusey had to mount a challenge at this point and in leg four he tried to start a revival. It was steady progress through the leg until the West Australian threw 140 to move to 167. He then missed a double for the leg two visits later but Michael Smith failed to convert 96 and Pusey came back to the oche to win his first leg of the match. Normal service resumed straight after as Smith, despite missing a double for the leg on his previous visit, scored the required check out with his second dart in hand on his next visit. Pusey then also retained his throw as he checked out the required 40 with his last dart in hand, Smith ready to pounce on 54 had he failed. At 4-2 it was critical Pusey now broke the throw of the Englishman. He took an early lead but Pusey’s poor visit of 58, leaving him on 170 was punished as Bully Boy lived up to his nickname to throw a maximum to leave 30. With Pusey unable to reel in the big fish a double 15 moved Smith one leg away from the match. That leg was comprehensive to Smith. Another 180 left him on 24 as Pusey could only move to 111. On his next visit a double 6 was enough to complete the match in Smith’s favour, six legs to two.
Match 3 Rob Cross 6 (92.74) Haupai Puha 2 (91.86) Rob Cross dismissed the challenge of Kiwi Haupai Puha with a 6-2 victory in the third match of the night. After 12 darts of the first leg Cross left himself needing 50. He then let his opponent back into the leg after not taking out the score in two visits. Puha missed three chances of his own (40, 20 and 10) as Cross got the leg with a second dart double eight. In the second leg Cross made more of a statement. As Puha could only move to 70 from 170 Cross visited the oche and hit 74 to take a 2-0 lead. He then checked out 76 with 15 darts to move half way to victory. Haupai Puha had to make a stand and on throw he started well with a 140 before eventually checking out 83 with his opponent well behind to take his first leg. Like the first leg Cross was then able to move quickly to a check out of 93 but took three visits from there to take the leg out. On throw in the next leg Puha started with a maximum and a 140 before leaving 45 after nine darts. He was able to check out more easily than when Cross had been on such strong legs. Four two to Cross soon became five two as Cross held throw with a double five although not before Puha missed a bull that would have given him the chance to throw to equalize the score. In what would be the final leg second visits of 57 (Puha) and 134 (Cross) was critical as it gave Cross the darts and despite visits of 140 and 112 towards the end of the leg Puha did not get a dart at a check out as Cross hit double ten with his 14th dart to take the match six legs to two.
Match 4 Gary Anderson 6 (107.56) James Bailey 2 (87.42) Gary Anderson treated the crowd to a display of world class darts as he sat on an average of 119 in the latter stages of the match before taking it out six legs to two. The first leg was not spectacular but Anderson took an early break. It was the second leg that saw Anderson demonstrate what was to come. After visits of 180 and 140 he then left 16 after nine darts and took a 2-0 lead with his 11th dart. The next leg, against the throw once more, he took only one more dart than the previous leg to move to an average of 115.62 and a three nil lead. In leg four he moved to 359 and then 220 after two visits before going on to check out 86 to take a four nil lead. Two visits of 100 from James Bailey in the fifth leg saw him much more involved in the leg. A 140 visit from Anderson though and the Scotsman left 121. Bailey moved to 118 but then could only watch from behind as Anderson checked out 121. A 177 and 140 from Anderson in the sixth leg and he needed 184 after six darts to take the match out. If he could do it in four darts then his 119.24 average could hold to give him a record high average for the World Series of Darts. Anderson could not maintain that momentum and two visits later he was on 83. Meanwhile the Bull had notched up a 131 visit to leave 130 and with a double five was able to check out that total to win his first leg of the match. Bailey then started with a 140 but Anderson stormed to 96. Bailey was able to move from 201 to 78 to put pressure on Anderson but then left twenty. Anderson threw for double eight to take the match but missed and a double ten gave the Queenslander his second leg in a row. A 134 from Anderson late in the next leg left him needing 174. He then moved to 80 on his next visit. His opponent moved from 200 to 140 when he really needed to put more pressure on the next Anderson throw. As it happened Anderson left twenty but the 140 was a bridge too far as Bailey left tops. He would not get another visit to the oche as the Scotsman’s second dart in hand hit the double ten to secure the match six legs to two.
Match 5 Peter Wright 6 (99.1) Mike Bonser 0 (84.28) His hair might have been dedicated to the late, great, golfer Jarrod Lyle but Peter Wright turned up to play darts in the fifth match of the night and dominated the game to win 6-0 over Mike Bonser. A 140 from Wright first up set the pattern of the match and another 100 moved him to 168 before a 125 left him needing 43. With his opponent unable to apply pressure Wright took out the leg comfortably. In the second leg Bonser moved to requiring 64 on throw but his opponent did put pressure on by leaving 70. Bonser missed tops for the leg in what would be his only checkout opportunity of the match as Wright stepped up and took out the conversion for a break of throw and two nil lead. A maximum from Snakebite in the third leg left him on 121 before a poorer follow up left Wright needing 74. Bonser secured a 140 to move himself to 97 but with two darts at his next visit Wright was half way to victory at three nil. The fourth leg was more comprehensive as Wright left himself 132. He was unable to convert that straight up but on his next visit he scored the 16 required for a four nil lead. The fifth leg proved to be just as comprehensive on the Wright throw and the scoreboard read 5-0. The whitewash did eventuate after a tighter leg through the middle saw Bonser requiring 206 and Wright 201. A 60 visit from Bonser left him on 146 but it was Wright who stormed through the remainder of the match and it was tops (and a 100% check out record at 6/6) that handed Wright the sixth and final leg of the match.
Match 6 Michael Van Gerwen 6 (111.41) Raymond Smith 1 (90.94) Michael van Gerwen put out a statement of intent as he hit a 111 plus average to defeat Raymond Smith 6-1 in the sixth match of night 1. Van Gerwen visited the oche first and soon two 180s left him requiring 26 after 12 darts. After the 13th dart Van Gerwen was 1-0 up. Smith upped his game in the second leg and with two successive visits of 100 he positioned himself well for the leg and was soon able to tie the match back up after two legs. The match continued on throw in the next leg with MvG securing more maximums to lead 2-1. It was the fourth leg that saw MvG go two legs up with a 72 break handing him the first break of throw in the match. To demonstrate how much van Gerwen was at the peak of his powers in leg five Smith hit two 180s and yet he never even got a check out opportunity as van Gerwen hit a double 13 with his tenth dart to move 4-1 ahead. MvG’s sixth 180 of the match moved his score to 221 in the sixth leg and a 140 left him on 81 after nine darts. On throw Smith sat on 124 but had to watch as van Gerwen hit double 12 for the leg. A 140 from Raymond Smith in the next leg demonstrated the class that he is, even under such extreme pressure. A 100 moved MvG to 180 and a follow up 140 saw him requiring tops. Smith, requiring 141, had to stand back and watch as van Gerwen finished the match with his 14th dart of the leg.
Match 7 Simon Whitlock 6 (94.32) Corey Cadby 4 (86.03) The battle of these two Aussies saw Simon Whitlock defeat Corey Cadby 6-4 as the old guard saw off the challenge of the younger generation, at least for now. Whitlock opened the match with some heavy scoring, including a 140 visit, in the opening leg and with his opponent starting more slowly a double eight saw the Wizard secure an early break of throw. He did not hold that lead for long though as he lost the darts after three visits in the second leg. 140 from each player saw Cadby requiring 67. Whitlock needed 160 but left 80 only for Cadby to miss the double 16. Whitlock then missed his own check out as Cadby scored the double eight required with the first dart of his next visit. In the next leg Cadby missed the bull for the leg but the Wizard missed the big check out and Cadby returned to the oche to hit the required 25 for the lead. Whitlock then moved through the next leg comprehensively although a 140 from his opponent put pressure on his 137 as Cadby moved to 127. Whitlock put the leg to bed with a dual tops finish. The fifth leg looked to be going on throw as Cadby chased 77. Leaving 14 gave Whitlock a chance at a 170 finish but he failed to collect it and must have thought the leg was done as Cadby stepped up but his opponent managed to bust that visit. A double 18 gave Whitlock a break and a 3-2 lead but he must have known not to discount the fighting spirit of Corey Cadby. In the next leg though things went to plan for the Aussie number one as visits of 174 and 140 helped him to requiring just 127 after nine darts. He left 79 after his next visit to the oche which he soon collected to move to a two leg lead for the first time in the match. Corey Cadby started the next leg with a 140 visit and after nine darts needed 170. His opponent was not far behind as Cadby moved first to 111 and then to 56. After Whitlock missed the bull for a chance at a third break of the Cadby throw Corey hit the required tops with his last dart in hand to move to within a leg of his opponent. The eighth leg looked to be the critical one as Whitlock missed two darts at tops to hold throw after Cadby had missed one for the break. Cadby returned to the oche to collect the required total and move the match into parity and on throw. The match then hit a new level on Cadby’s throw as a 140 left Cadby on 176 and 82 left Whitlock requiring 178. After scoring 100 the leg was in Cadby’s hands as 58 left Whitlock on 120. Cadby was unable to take out the required 76 and instead left 30. Whitlock then missed tops for Shanghai before Cadby surprisingly decided to split the 30 required rather than have three darts at double 15. His two darts saw him miss double 12 and then double six and granted the opportunity Whitlock took full advantage to get a double ten and move a break of throw in front once more. Whitlock would have wanted to a final leg throw off against Cadby and visits of 100 and 180 demonstrated his desire to win the match on his throw. Two more visits and Whitlock chased 64, just missing the double 16 with his last dart in hand. A 140 left Cadby on 122 but it was too late as the Wizard took the match with a double eight.
Match 8 Damon Heta 6 (83.45) Kyle Anderson 5 (86.42) The final match of the night went to a last leg decider as the former doubles partners squared off against each other on the World Series of Darts stage for the first time. It was Heta who would come out on top, 6-5, with both players having opportunities to win the match in a close run affair. Heta started the match on throw and a second visit of 121 was followed up with a 140, Anderson scoring the same in between. Chasing a 100 check out Heta missed two at tops only for Anderson, requiring 86 to also miss that target with a dart. Heta was able to secure the leg on his next visit. A 180 opening from Anderson was matched in Heta’s second visit for the leg. Heta then had first shot at the leg but missed double six and this time Anderson did not give him another chance, securing the 108 required with a double 16. In leg three there were more missed chances as Heta first missed a double 18 to take out 147 and then Anderson missed a double six to secure 75. With the second dart of his next visit Heta kept the match on throw and took a 2-1 lead. The third leg saw Heta try and secure 146 but leave 92. With Anderson well behind Heta then moved from 54 to ten and had to hope his opponent did not check out 124. Anderson left 32 as Heta hit the double five with his last dart in hand. He secured the first break of the match to lead 3-1. Heta would not have the break for long as Anderson broke straight back thanks to visits of 140 and 180 before securing tops with his first dart. The match was soon back in parity after Anderson secured a double ten with his last dart in hand. It was close though, as Heta had three shots at securing a 40 finish to move back out to a two leg lead. With the match now even again it was the Heta throw that was under pressure but he responded and despite missing a double 18 for a 121 finish his dart at double 9 in his next visit was enough to give him the lead back. Anderson then threw 140, 180 and 95 as he upped the pressure on his opponent and despite missing an 86 check out double eight did the job on his next time at the oche. The next two legs also went on throw as Heta hit a double 16 with last dart in hand to move 5-4 in front before being unable to convert a 141 check out to leave Anderson getting his required 33 in two darts. At 5-5 the match came down to the last leg with Heta having the throw. He opened with a 100 before both players missed chances to triple figures until Kyle’s third visit when he hit a century of his own. Heta then matched that feat and scored 134 to leave 49. He missed to darts at double 16 for the match and gave Anderson a chance with a 102 check out. Anderson missed the double 16 for the match and Heta stepped back up to the oche to throw double 16 for the match with his first dart, the final score 6-5 in his favour.