After an intriguing opening day at the Grand Slam, things get serious as the competitors’ tournament hopes become clearer. Saturday’s winners could secure a knockout berth with victory at the Wolves Civic. But losers from the first round of games cannot afford to fail again.
The afternoon session on day two features eight pivotal ties. Among them are a meeting between two surprise losers who many have backed to do well, and the biggest shock winner from the opening day facing an even bigger challenge.
Jeffrey de Zwaan vs Scott Mitchell: Group F looks very open. For one of these two, the window of opportunity is about to close. De Zwaan’s impressive scoring as he launched a near-successful comeback against Stephen Bunting bodes well for this one. Scotty Dog was outclassed in a 5-2 defeat to Dave Chisnall, but has the skills to overcome his less experienced rival.
James Wilson vs Mark McGeeney: James Wilson will need to be #soooooready for this one. Severe double trouble cost him dearly against Michael Smith. BDO world number one McGeeney is a solid finisher, and won’t give the Huddersfield thrower a second chance. If McGeeney can win this Group G clash, he would be a very achievable win over Smith away from reaching the knockout phase.
Peter Wright vs Corey Cadby: Both Wright and Cadby were expected to win their Group E openers. Instead, Wright lost 5-3 against Glen Durrant, and Cadby was beaten in a decider by Alan Norris. Now the two highly-fancied players meet with the loser almost certain to be eliminated. Cadby will have to improve massively to lay a glove on world number two Wright.
Simon Whitlock vs Cameron Menzies: Whitlock was stunned by Berry van Peer, and must now beat Menzies to keep his Group H hopes alive. The crowd-pleasing Scot showed some signs of quality against compatriot Gary Anderson, including an excellent 134 checkout, and could be another banana skin for the Wizard. The faster pace of this one should suit the Australian, though.
Mensur Suljovic vs Michael Smith: The first tie between two players who won on Saturday. Suljovic beat Mark McGeeney comfortably, and the seventh seed will be in pole position to win Group G if he beats Smith. The Austrian’s solid scoring and more lackadaisical pace might throw Smith off his game.
Gary Anderson vs Berry van Peer: World Youth Championship runner-up van Peer was a surprise winner over Simon Whitlock. Even more impressive was the fact he overcame some serious dartitis to do so. Anderson won’t enjoy the delays caused by the young Dutchman, but is unlikely to let his average plummet as Whitlock did. Anderson would almost be assured of Group H victory, should he beat van Peer.
Alan Norris vs Glen Durrant: BDO world champion Durrant will be looking to build on a fantastic performance against Group E favourite Peter Wright. ‘Duzza’ averaged 106 in his 5-2 win, and a repeat showing would probably be enough to beat Norris. ‘Chuck’ did well to keep his cool and hold off Corey Cadby, however, and should not be ruled out.
Dave Chisnall vs Stephen Bunting: The final match of the session sees Group F leader Dave Chisnall take on Stephen Bunting. There should be plenty of big scores in this one, as both love finding the red bit. Chisnall is the favourite, but either could win in this best-of-five clash.
The Grand Slam action resumes at 1pm GMT.
Tags: Grand Slam of Darts 2017
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) November 12, 2017
Author: Ed McCosh