Grand Slam of Darts: Michael van Gerwen into second round after win over Adrian Lewis
Written by News on 11/11/2019
Michael van Gerwen booked his place in the second round of the Grand Slam of Darts with a win over Adrian Lewis, while Gary Anderson served up a return of his very best.
After Dave Chisnall, Gabriel Clemens and Michael Smith booked their place in the knockout stages in the afternoon session, the world No 1 and three-time champion was the only man to secure his place from the evening’s action.
Van Gerwen had to dig deep after Lewis broke in the opening leg and moved 2-0 in front with a clinical 73 finish and a rocketing average, but it seemed to stir the beast in MvG, who reeled off an 11-dart leg to get on the board.
The Dutchman then levelled the contest before switching on the afterburners to turn a two-leg deficit into a two-leg advantage and then sealed his victory courtesy of double five.
He faces Ross Smith in the last group game while Lewis will meet Jim Williams for the other spot to advance from Group A. Williams raced into a 4-0 lead against Ross Smith without missing a dart at double, taking out finishes of 122 and 118 on the way before Smith stopped the rot.
A frenetic sixth leg swung in both directions – Williams missing darts to win it only to see Smith hand the opportunity straight back. Williams took his missed match darts tally to six but Smith still couldn’t take advantage and it was the Welshman who prevailed at the seventh time of asking for a 5-1 win.
Anderson claimed a second victory of the weekend – a trademark sprint to the finishing line saw him account for Ireland’s William O’Connor with a 5-3 victory that leaves him on the brink of the last 16.
The Flying Scotsman, runner-up last year and in 2011, averaged more than 105, hit 50 per cent of his darts at double and added two maximums for good measure in a masterful display.
O’Connor more than held his own, a 158 finish had levelled the match with an early break but he will now head to the final round of group matches in need of a win over Dave Parletti to make sure of his second-round spot.
The other match in Group D saw Darren Webster and Parletti trade big finishes before Webster prevailed with a 5-2 win; reviving his hopes of advancing after defeat to O’Connor on day one. However, he is likely to have to beat Anderson to do so.
In Group C, all, four players remain the hunt for a place in the knockout stages after Sunday evening’s results. Gerwyn Price is in the driving seat after claiming a second victory of the tournament, beating Robert Thornton 5-4 in a thrilling contest.
The Iceman tops the group after coming from 4-3 down and surviving two missed match darts from The Thorn, who was left to rue missed opportunities but still has a chance of a place in the knockout stages.
Thornton will play Mikuru Suzuki on Tuesday night, the women’s world champion was well below her best in a 5-1 defeat to Dimitri Van den Bergh, who bounced back from his own opening defeat to claim victory.
Earlier in the day, Lisa Ashton was knocked out but Suzuki’s hopes remain alive, although she will need to beat Thornton convincingly and hope Price does the same to Van den Bergh.
Group B is also up in the air after James Wade produced a stirring comeback from 4-2 down to beat Ian White and claim a second victory of the group stage.
Diamond White has been knocked out in the group stages on all four previous occasions he has played in the tournament, but he looked set to head through with a game to spare before The Machine’s trademark comeback.
It leaves Wade top of the group ahead of his match against Steve Lennon who had battled back from a 3-0 deficit himself to chalk up a 5-4 win over the BDO’s No 1 Wesley Harms.
The Dutchman looked to be cruising having reeled off the opening three legs but he lost his way as Lennon found the greater consistency to move 4-3 in front.
Harms levelled but Lennon produced the finish of the tournament so far, a picture-book 167, wrapped up with the bullseye, sealed his win to set up the showdown with Wade where a win could see the Irishman through.
Moment of the Night
Darren Webster was full of conversation in the press room afterwards and spoke to Sky Sports’ Mikki Austin on the drama of ‘Watergate’ on Saturday.
His match against William O’Connor was the talk of social media after O’Connor revealed water had been spilt all over his equipment, but Webster was adamant that it was an accident – and was quick to tell Austin in his own inimitable fashion.
Follow the conclusion of the group stages on Monday, with the final matches in Groups E-H – coverage is underway on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 7pm and via our live blogs at www,skysports.com/darts