With only one player definitely through and one definitely out, there’s plenty to be decided for Groups E-H of the PDC Grand Slam of Darts.
Those two players meet in Monday evening’s first tie. Rob Cross has his second round spot wrapped up. Ryan Searle’s going home. But at least Cross is playing for top spot, while Searle is only there to play for pride – and perhaps third place. Andrew Gilding is definitely out of the Grand Slam unless he can beat double BDO world champion Glen Durrant. In fact, not just beat him, but thrash him. It’s not looking great for the PDC man.
Simon Whitlock might need a convincing win of his own, should Glen Durrant prevail. If the Teessider does beat Gilding, Gerwyn Price could be a hair’s breadth from both first place and elimination at the same time. Mensur Suljovic’s hopes are very much on a tightrope in Group G. Level on points and leg difference with Scott Mitchell, he just needs to match the 2015 BDO world champion’s result thanks to the head-to-head record. That’s unless both fail badly and Martin Schindler beats the Austrian 5-0 or 5-1. The German’s task is certainly the hardest. Stephen Bunting, four points to the good and facing Mitchell, holds all the cards.
Max Hopp will most likely claim his place in the second round should he beat Jim Williams, who is winless thus far. Josh Payne will need to beat Peter Wright in the next game, and hope that either Hopp loses or that the leg difference swing takes him above one of his PDC peers. In the final game, Dimitri van den Bergh and Mark McGeeney go head-to-head for qualification in a tie that nicely bookends the action, completely opposite to Cross’ meeting with Searle.
Monday schedule (19:00 GMT)
19:15 Rob Cross v Ryan Searle (H)
19:45 Andrew Gilding v Glen Durrant (F)
20:15 Simon Whitlock v Gerwyn Price (F)
20:45 Mensur Suljovic v Martin Schindler (G)
21:15 Stephen Bunting v Scott Mitchell (G)
21:45 Max Hopp v Jim Williams (E)
22:15 Peter Wright v Josh Payne (E)
22:45 Dimitri Van den Bergh v Mark McGeeney (H)
Author: Ed McCosh