We’re back for more World Matchplay action on Wednesday at the iconic Winter Gardens in Blackpool as the world’s top stars battle it out for the Phil Taylor Trophy, live on Sky Sports Action.
By stuart Hodge, @Hodgeythehack
12:18 AM UK Wednesday 19 July 2023
Gerwyn Price and Michael Smith have become the latest big names to go down in World Matchplay Darts as Joe Cullen and Chris Dobey emerged victorious on a thrilling night in Blackpool.
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen was defeated in the first round by Brendan Dolan and Price and Smith were knocked out of the tournament in a tense Tuesday night of Tungsten action.
In front of a vociferous crowd at Winter Gardens, ‘Rockstar’ Cullen won 13-11 against Price in a backwards thriller, while Dobey capped off a fantastic night of darts with an 11-7 demolition of the world champion.
World Matchplay Round Two: Tuesday, July 18
|daryl camilla||11-4||gary anderson|
|danny noppert||9-11||nathan aspinall|
|Gerwyn Price||11-13||joe cullen|
|michael smith||7-11||chris dobey|
Gerwyn Price was installed as tournament favorite after MVG’s elimination, but fell behind early against joe cullenwho built a 4-1 lead after the first session, scoring a double on all four visits in which he had the opportunity to do so.
World No. 4 Price responded after the intermission, but Cullen finished the second session with a 6-4 lead after the first of two important 112 checks.
Importantly, Cullen hit the doubles when he needed to, achieving a 60 percent payout success rate, while Price struggled all night in that regard, and that proved to be “The Iceman’s” undoing.
“The boxes won the game for me,” Cullen said. “Gezzy and I would push each other and then when one of us played well, the other played well, and it was a really fun game.
“I felt in the game the whole time, even down 10-8, I felt like I could still win because I knew Gezzy wasn’t playing like he normally does, but he’s one of those: focus on your own game and that’s what I did and the finishes definitely won the game for me.”
Price, however, was not about to go down without a fight and Cullen missed multiple chances to finish in the 15th stage, leaving the door open for Price to put the match back on track and, from there, the favorite of the tournament set foot on the ground. to roar ahead 10-8, one leg away from victory.
The Welshman then had a chance to win the match 10-9, but failed to hit his mark to eliminate his opponent and was mercilessly punished by Cullen.
‘Rockstar’ hit the mark to level the match and then found it once more to move on and completed a thrilling victory with a pivotal second payout of 112.
Cullen said: “I felt like I played well the other night and I just didn’t feel comfortable, more or less throughout the game tonight, but then when the time came [at the end] that’s probably the most comfortable I’ve ever been, so 112 was pretty sweet.”
Smith crashes | Dobey: It was hard work.
No one can rest easy in Blackpool this week as the big names continue to be left out of the tournament and michael smiththe defeat of chris dobey it was a case in point.
However, Dobey admitted at the end that he never felt in control of the game, despite picking up an 11-7 win against Smith.
Once again, the difference came in doubling up: Dobey made 11 of 16 payout attempts, a terrific conversion rate, while Smith only made 7 of 20 attempts.
A pivotal moment came when Dobey produced his highest payout of the night, 130, to get the game back on track towards the end of the second session.
“It was hard work,” Dobey admitted. “I don’t know how I got to 5-5. I don’t think I was ever in the early gates of the game, but I worked my way back. And once I got to the front, I think I didn’t want to.” come back So yeah, I’m delighted with that.
“Obviously there were a couple of big shots on the bull. Also with the 130, but I thought my finishing was pretty spectacular compared to what I’m used to. I won, so I’ll take it.”
daryl camilla he was hugely impressive in his win over the 2018 winner gary andersonputting out five unanswered legs, hitting five for five doubles as he smothered the popular Scotsman in the first session.
Anderson never quite recovered and Gurney’s march to the quarterfinals was as quick as it was impressive, as he made 11 of 16 payout attempts in an 11-4 win.
Gurney’s final average of 104.43, while impressive, was perhaps lower than it could have been and belied how well he played in a very convincing performance.
Former UK Open champions danny noppert and nathan aspinall then they got involved in a nervous game in which neither seemed comfortable at all times.
After a period earlier in the match where both players struggled to hold their own shot, then came a period where neither was able to create a break point.
That was until the 16th leg when Noppert managed to make a pair and missed both chances, but in the 18th leg he made amends, hitting double 12 to level proceedings at 9-9.
‘The Asp’ responded with a 14-dart blast to give himself a chance to win the match and, after Noppert nearly nailed a superb finish of 115 to stay in the tournament, Aspinall hit tops to finish and left the stage. relieved man.
World Matchplay Round Two: Wednesday, July 19
|peter wright||against||Ryan Searle|
|Jonny Clayton||against||Dimitri Van den Bergh|
|Brendan Dolan||against||damon heta|
|luke humphries||against||Dirk van Duijvenbode|
Round two continues in Winter Gardens on Wednesday as Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror Brendan Dolan returns to action against Australia’s Damon Heta.
Two former champions are also in action as Dimitri Van den Bergh takes on Jonny Clayton and Peter Wright takes on Ryan Searle, and Dirk van Duijvenbode takes on Luke Humphries in what promises to be another intriguing night of action.
We’re back for more World Matchplay action at the iconic Winter Gardens on Wednesday at 7pm as the world’s top stars battle it out for the Phil Taylor Trophy, live on Sky Sports Action.