Daryl Gurney reached the final 16 of the Players Championship with a 6-4 win over Robbie Green. The Northern Irishman was as much his own enemy as the inconsistent Green managed to be. ‘Kong’ was allowed to go into the break with a 3-2 lead as Gurney missed a whopping 12 darts at a double early on. But the Grand Prix champion has power-scoring on his side, and five 180s helped him on the way to a comeback. An 88 average from Gurney, thanks to his poor finishing, falls well below his expected standard. The second seed will be looking to improve in the third round against Chris Dobey.
Jonny Clayton built on an impressive first round win over Jeffrey de Graaf with the 6-2 defeat of fellow Welshman Gerwyn Price on board two. Despite not hitting a 180 until the seventh leg, the ‘Ferret’ averaged just over 98 in beating his more fancied opponent. Afterwards, Adrian Lewis continued his comeback with a 6-3 defeat of Richard North. ‘Jackpot’ raced into a 3-0 lead, helped along by a regular supply of 180s and 140s. But North, who thrashed Peter Hudson with a 99 average yesterday, was not to be beaten easily. He responded by holding, then breaking with an 82 checkout, before levelling the scores. Then, with Lewis 4-3 up, North missed two darts at tops and was punished with the two-time world champion taking out 85 on the bull. Lewis made no mistake with double 10 to win the match, and will face Rob Cross this evening.
Cross sealed his place with a 6-2 win over Steve Lennon. Top seed Cross opened with a 126 checkout on the bull to hold throw, but the Irishman confidently landed tops to level. Big 180-hitter Lennon found a maximum in the third leg to pile on the pressure, and the same double gave him a break on his 24th birthday. Cross was only averaging 85, but has proved he can conjure up something special at any time. A 116 finish to break back was just that. A timely 180 and double 16 re-established the lead for ‘Voltage’. Another 180 in the sixth leg was followed by an 81 checkout to make it 4-2, before an excellent 121 out put him within a leg of victory. From a unconvincing start, Cross ended with a 130 checkout to post a formidable 104 average, with six darts out of seven finding the double.
Justin Pipe added his name to the list of final 16 competitors, thanks to a remarkable comeback against Ron Meulenkamp. The Dutchman roared into a 4-0 lead, but Pipe then responded with three of his own before Meulenkamp went to within a leg of the win. Again, ‘The Force’ refused to buckle, landing a Shanghai finish to force a decider. When he missed bull for a 123, Pipe must have thought his chance was gone. But two missed match darts from Meulenkamp meant Pipe could seal a tie with William O’Connor.
Tags: Adrian Lewis | Daryl Gurney | Gerwyn Price | PDC | Players Championship 17 | Rob Cross
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) November 25, 2017
Author: Edward McCosh