We were treated to two thrilling games on Thursday as the first semi-final was settled.
For those that do not know the outcomes, Daryl Gurney edged past Mensur Suljovic 16-13 in a game where Suljovic had the lead during the contest but Superchin had that little bit extra in the tank to seal the final three legs 16-13.
In the other quarter-final, Peter Wright similarly had that bit extra in the tank where his opponent Darren Webster was with Wright throughout the contest losing 16-12 in a very credible effort.
The second lot of quarter-finals takes place tonight which sees Alan ‘Chuck’ Norris battle Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis and Phil Taylor battling what could be his final Matchplay appearance if Michael van Gerwen has anything to do with it!
Alan Norris vs. Adrian Lewis – (Lewis leads 3-0)
Both players have seen off formidable opposition to get to this stage. Norris saw off Kim Huybrechts and Dave Chisnall in quality encounters. Lewis saw off Steve Beaton in an entertaining contest in round one followed by a maximum filled 11-8 win versus rising star Rob Cross.
Lewis – 4/9
Norris – 9/4
Although as the event draws to its conclusion the odds compilers sharpen up prices in respect of what has happened making it trickier to exploit any perceived market value.
Both players are capable of packing in the maximums and with Norris stalling out of first gear at times during his game with Huybrechts without a maximum still polished together 15 140s and trousered 14 140s with nine maximums in a fierce battle with Dave Chisnall.
Adrian Lewis although his opener against Steve Beaton clearly suggested some ring rust still managed 17 140s but only the single maximum. Versus Rob Cross, Lewis’s 140s were consistent and polished nine of these attempts into a 180.
In a game that may go some distance both players will be in reactive mode and see this game at 11/10 with the most maximums a fair proposition!
Michael van Gerwen vs. Phil Taylor – (Taylor leads 32-25)
The pair met in the final a year ago where MVG defeated Taylor 18-10 in a classic encounter. In the year that has passed including that final the pair have met seven times with Taylor the victor on four occasions.
It could have been five in Shanghai in a recent World Series event where it looked like Taylor was 6-2 up and MVG stormed back to win 8-7 leaving Taylor fuming from the pictures we saw.
Being in Taylor’s backyard MVG will be looking to make it a second victory in a row on this stage after losing out to Taylor 18-9 in the 2014 final.
MVG – 2/11
Taylor – 23/5
Legs played – 28
180s – 11
Highest out – 160
Legs played – 29
180s – 6
Highest out – 151
The indications on the 180 count would suggest it would be based around the 16 mark and the line has been set at 16.5 at evens over and 5/6 for fewer.
There are two ways of looking at this:
1: We take on board the comments MVG has said this week and expect him to cause some demolition on Taylor.
2: We take on board recent results between the pair and result that Taylor ups the ante and the game is closer than the compilers suggest.
The handicap gives Taylor between a 5-6 leg and ranges from 10/11 for a 5.5 leg head start to 4/6 for a 6.5 leg head start.
MVG is 2/7 to win the maximum count with the handicap set at 3.5 at 11/10 with Paddy Power.
Although the most likely winner is MVG it cannot be discounted in Phil’s game when they particularly play but will expect MVG to have learnt from the last couple of games that once he is in front he commands the next move.
I looked at leader after four and six legs and offers 21/20 MVG leads 3-1 after four to 5/6 to lead after six holds some weight to the argument.
Despite all markets being examined our suggestion goes on the match most 180s and oppose this game as MVG can switch on the maximums although is so fluent he does venture to the cover shots more often than not and think the 4/6 on this game is carrying too much on the shoulders of MVG versus a pair of natural hitters as we have known for years Taylor has a line on the bed he likes to follow for a maximum and will more often or not switch.
Match with most 180s – Lewis/Norris 11/10 William Hill 1pt