Raymond van Barneveld breezes past Steve Beaton in straight sets to reach last eight in World Grand Prix

Eighth seed Raymond van Barneveld cruised into the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix with a straight sets defeat of Steve Beaton in the second round in Dublin.

The two-time World Grand Prix finalist followed up his 2-0 win over Auckland Darts Masters champion Kyle Anderson on Sunday with another dominant performance as he raced into the last eight having yet to drop a set.

Beaton won the opening leg of the first two sets between the two former world champions, but let the Dutchman back in on both occasions as van Barneveld moved clear, winning the opener 3-1 and the second in a deciding leg after two missed doubles from Beaton to level.

Barney took the third set’s opening two legs, and though he missed three match darts to allow Beaton’s brief respite, an 80 finish sealed the five-time world champion’s last eight spot.

“I was never comfortable but Steve wasn’t at his best tonight and I feel like the luckiest guy on the circuit,” said van Barneveld, who will now play Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror John Henderson in Thursday’s quarter-finals.

“Steve started well but I managed to win the first two sets, which could have easily gone either way. I won and that’s what’s most important.

“I felt a lot of confidence coming into this tournament and Sunday was good against Kyle Anderson. This game wasn’t as good but I won and I’ll be practising hard ahead of the quarter-finals.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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MVG’s conqueror John Henderson reels off three straight sets to beat Alan Norris in World Grand Prix last 16

John Henderson backed up his surprise win over top seed Michael van Gerwen with a comeback 3-1 victory against Alan Norris to reach the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix.

The world number 32 ended his 700+ day drought without a win on TV to knock out the world number one van Gerwen in the first round on Sunday, and is now through to the last eight in Dublin for the second time after reeling off three straight sets to see off Norris in the last 16.

Former World Championship finalist Norris had earlier capitalised on an edgy start from the Scot to claim the opening set 3-1, but Henderson settled his nerves with a 96 checkout and a 13-darter to lead 2-0 in set two before hitting double 16 to level the tie.

Henderson punished two missed doubles from Norris to lead in set three and then took out 124 on the bull to double his advantage, with Norris replying to force a decider, only for double 12 to give the Scot a key 2-1 cushion in sets.

Finishes of 60 and double ten moved Henderson clear in set four, before he landed a 180 and tops to seal his quarter-final place, matching the achievement he enjoyed on his debut in the double-start tournament back in 2011.

“To get through a hard game like that is fantastic,” Henderson said. “After beating Michael there was a lot of pressure on me tonight but I think I played better tonight.

“Alan missed a lot of doubles to start and you’ve got to punish these top players for that and luckily I did.

“I believe I’m a far better player than I was in 2011 but other players will say the same so I’ll have to play outstanding darts in every round.

“I’m playing steady darts and I’m still in the competition so let’s hope I can go all the way. I’m enjoying it – I’ve not been in a quarter-final here since 2011 and hopefully I can take that one step further.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Daryl Gurney sees off Joe Cullen in World Grand Prix to advance to third major quarter-final of the season

Daryl Gurney continued his excellent 2017 by reaching a third major quarter-final of the season, beating Joe Cullen 3-1 to progress to the last eight of the Unibet World Grand Prix.

The Northern Ireland number one, who has enjoyed runs to the semi-finals of both the UK Open and World Matchplay this year, made it through to the quarter-finals in Dublin for a second successive year after seeing off Cullen in four sets at the Citywest Hotel.

The world number 12 took out 76, a 13-darter and 88 for an 11-darter as he took the opening set 3-1, before finishing 107 and 74 to claim set two in a deciding leg, despite a 116 checkout from Cullen.

Cullen swept through set three without reply and took the lead in set four to keep his hopes of getting to a second-ever major quarter-final alive, but his missed finishing doubles in leg two proved costly as Gurney took out a stunning 127 on the bull, 72 and tops for victory.

“It feels unbelievable,” said Gurney, who will face 2015 World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

“Joe’s got a great record against me and he came back well in the third set, but the 127 was a big shot.

“I’m in the quarter-finals again but the way I look at it its that it’s just the same as round one and I’ve got to try and get to three sets before the other person.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Robert Thornton survives five match darts against Dave Chisnall to progress to World Grand Prix quarter-finals

Robert Thornton became the first player to reach the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix after surviving five match darts to beat Dave Chisnall 3-2 in the second round in Dublin.

The Scot’s bid to win a second World Grand Prix title in three years looked set to end when Chisnall came from a set down to lead 2-1 in the match and then take the lead in the deciding set.

Thornton had earlier produced a superb opening set, hitting successive 14-darters before sealing the set with a 98 finish, with Chisnall taking the second set 3-1 with the aid of a 100 checkout on two double tops to level.

Thornton then opened set three with a 123 checkout and also took out 90 on the bull to force a decider in leg four, only for world number seven Chisnall to claim the decider with a brilliant 130 finish to move 2-1 up in sets.

But the 2015 World Grand Prix champion replied by winning the fourth set 3-1 to send the last 16 clash all the way to a decider, only for Chisnall to then move 2-1 up in the final set.

Chisnall, a runner-up in the double-start tournament back in 2013, then crucially missed five match darts in leg four, which allowed the Scot to scramble home on double ten to keep his hopes alive.

Thornton punished four missed opening doubles from Chisnall in the sudden-death leg with tops to seal his place in a first TV ranking quarter-final since the 2015 Grand Slam of Darts.

“I’m over the moon,” Thornton said. “I thought I threw it away after a great first set but I dug deep and fought back.

“This format is brilliant and for the last couple of weeks I’ve been practising my doubles and they’re the important thing in this event.

“I’m not in as good form as I was two years ago when I won it but it seems to be getting better.

“My first game was scrappy and went to a deciding leg too but the bookies write me off all the time and I’ve proved I can hold my bottle up there.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Lockup Dave’s betting tips for day four of the World Grand Prix

The quarter-finals will be finalised as the bottom half of the draw takes shape and Peter Wright remains the hot favourite to win the title!

Order of play

Gerwyn Price vs Benito van de Pas (Players tied 3-3)

Mensur Suljovic vs Steve West (Mensur leads 2-1)

Richard North vs Simon Whitlock (Richard leads 2-0)

Peter Wright vs Mervyn King (Peter leads 11-5)

Gerwyn Price vs Benito van de Pas

Two of the younger stars will get a chance to make the quarter final, and with Price having made the UK Open final back in March should have enough to see off Big Ben in this last 16 clash!

Layers edge Price by the narrowest of margins. Coming into the game Price certainly made some impact over the summer reaching a semi final at the World Series event, as well as the World Cup final back in June.

Benito in comparison bar a European Tour semi final last month had experienced flat form having exited early on in events dating back to early May.

The bet I really like here is a little unorthodox but William Hill are offering a special #yourodds bet on NO 180 in the first two legs on the basis that double in on a particular leg in my view does lean more so to the no outcome rather than a regular leg of 501.

On their last game, Benito did not register a maximum until after leg two, and despite Gerwyn hitting one in his opening we did not see another in the set from the Welshman.

At 21/20 this has a fair chance of landing, especially if both players struggle to get going.

Mensur Suljovic vs Steve West

Suljovic survived an early set deficit to overcome Ian White in his opener. Mensur was fairly effective throughout his match and has Steve West, an ideal opponent for his pace in the second round. Steve West was well backed to beat Wade and did not disappoint.

The pair have met only three times, with Suljovic on the slight edge. Odds compilers are giving nothing away with their general 1/3 odds on the Austrian with West out at 14/5 with Bwin.

There is no bet for this game and will enjoy this as this could be closer than the odds suggest!

Richard North vs Simon Whitlock

Richard North is going places in Darts and overcame a patchy Mark Webster in their opener. Whitlock survived match darts against Christian Kist resiliently to take 108 out with double 16.

North comes into this game as the likely underdog at 5/2 with Whitlock a solid 2/5.

The Aussie has the experience on the TV stage, which will give him the edge. In addition, Whitlock’s checkout ability has assisted in his elevation to the top four just a short while ago.

North has enjoyed a sound year including a recent pro-tour final back in August, but expect Whitlock to reign supremacy, without conceding more than one set.

Peter Wright vs Mervyn King

The two good friends square off in what could be an epic game. Both players know each others game inside out, although Wright in the last four years has had the better of King 8-2 on the head to head including winning the last six. Wright is chalked up short at just 2/7 with Bet365 with King at 7/2 with Boylesports.

King made relative work of his game versus Ronny Huybrechts 2-0 with Peter Wright getting through by the skin of his teeth with Bunting missing two match darts on double 16.

Wright should win the maximum count on the night, having pocketed four in his win over Bunting. King took just one, and is not the maximum hitter we have known him to be. At 8/11 with Sunbets is a fairly strong bet to take with Betfred chalking the maximum handicap at -1.5 at just 6/5.

The expectation for Wright to come out on top to make the last eight by many. King has plenty in the tank to bag a set or two. From 2/7 for Wright to win by any method, you can get Wright to win but concede a set or more at 11/10, which is a shade of value on their correct score combined percentage which should be around evens winning 3-1 or 3-2.

Recommendations

NO 180 in legs 1 and 2 (Price/Pas) 21/20 William Hill (#yourodds) 1.5 pts)
Wright/King – Wright to win but both to win a set – 11/10 Betfred 1.5pts
Whitlock -1.5 sets to beat North – 11/10 Unibet and 888sport 2pts
Wright – most 180’s Vs King – 8/11 Sunbets 1pt

Lockup Dave’s betting tips for day three of the World Grand Prix

There was a major upset on night one of the World Grand Prix opening the top half of the draw right up with Michael van Gerwen’s elimination thanks to John Henderson.

The opening round of 16 begins with four matches as the third major of the year unfolds.

Order of play

Dave Chisnall vs Robert Thornton – Chisnall leads 14-10
Daryl Gurney vs Joe Cullen – Cullen leads 5-1
John Henderson vs Alan Norris – Norris leads 4-3
Raymond van Barneveld vs Steve Beaton – van Barneveld leads 9-2

Short price backers will be able to back the four fold of Chisnall/Gurney/Norris and Barney at a shade under 3/1 with Hills.

The underdogs will reap a tasty 88/1 with BetVictor seeing the longshot prices all storm home.

Looking at the line up you cannot be overly confident all four favourites will win, although support the reasoning perhaps over one or two of the above.

With the format best of five, the competitors will have a little more time to settle in.

Chisnall squares off against Thornton, where Chisnall is short at just 4/11 to make the quarter final. Thornton is BIG at 14/5 but to win this must be strong at starting off.

Chisnall is a firm favourite on tops and considered double 18 as his reserve option in polishing off Jelle Klaasen in just eight legs.

Thornton had an edgy but confidence boosting win over Kim Huybrechts and the look on his face when he won could determine how relived he really was.

There were classic Thornton signs during the game which the Thorn will need to shake off quickly.

Chisnall hit six maximums in eight legs against Klaasen and is a solid 4/9 with firms to outhit the Scotsman.

Betfred punt just 8/13 Chisnall wins by two or more maximums, which is too short for us, but the 4/9 is good double material with another maximum bet, which enhances to 8/5 with a 6/4 minimum price acceptable, which you will find at the end of this feature.

Gurney and Cullen is a great pairing, where the Irishman will be heavily cheered by the Irish fans, with Cullen potentially having to be the crowd heel especially on the doubles, which could be Gurney’s 12th man in football terminology.

Gurney is no bigger than 4/7 for a place in the last eight, with the former postman at 13/8 lengthening from his initial 6/4 quoted price.

Cullen endured a very close encounter with fellow in-form Darren Webster, which saw a great three set game where the final two sets went the distance.

In a nutshell, there will be punters looking at a Gurney 3-1 win, which is best 3/1, with a clean sweep chalked at 4/1 with Bwin, representing a 20% chance.

One bet that does appeal is for there to be no maximum in the first leg. For even money on a maximum, I would want Chisnall or MVG to be one of the two men in the game and this percentage is not on par with both players featuring.

They did not achieve this in their opening game, and again with double start there is one fewer opportunity to hit a maximum in any given leg.

The third game has John Henderson facing off versus Alan Norris. Norris probably expected to be facing Mighty Mike in the last 16, but both players will have an opportunity to make some further headway in this competition.

Henderson averaged a mid to high 70 average in his victory and relied on MVG’s double in misses, which went punished.

Norris will be well fancied for this and is a short 4/9 shot to beat the Highlander at 21/10.

Norris did appear to be pretty rusty in his opener, and a repeat performance will see Henderson take advantage of this.

Henderson in any game in 2017 has not hit more than three maximums over any distance. Norris has exceeded this in six games in the same period, but has played a small handful more games than Hendo.

Both did not hit a single maximum in their opener, but Norris once in the groove can reach consistency. My worry with the Highlander is his rocking movement on the throw, which works for him, but does suffer in the maximum scoring department.

I am willing to take on Norris over an extended format to get settled in and beat the Scotsman by one or more maximums. It is 4/5 with Sunbets but doubled up with Chisnall pays 8/5 with Blacktype, with Winner, Sunbets and Marathonbet all offering better than 6/4, the minimum price acceptable for this double.

In the final match we see two veterans face off, where Barney at the time of writing became the second favourite for the competition. Barney plays Beaton, where the pair bar one meeting have not faced off in the best part of five years.

Both players outclassed their opposition to reach this stage and Barney is installed as the 3/10 favourite with Beaton at 5/2.

I had taken the price at 4/5 for the game to see fewer than seven maximums, but has subsequently shortened to 8/11, which is below my minimum price acceptable.

Elsewhere in the match, I considered a high checkout for Barney but is set high at 117 which is 5/6, but wanted nearer even money to take on. I will sit back and watch this to see the best man win!

Recommendations

Most 180 double – Chisnall/Norris – 8/5 Blacktype (6/4+ acceptable at Marathonbet/Winner and Sunbets) 1pt

First leg 180 NO – Cullen/Gurney 8/11 Paddy Power 1.5 pts

Dave Chisnall averages 101 and is 6/6 on finishing doubles in 2-0 win against Jelle Klaasen in World Grand Prix first round

Dave Chisnall produced the most impressive performance of the opening night of the Unibet World Grand Prix, averaging 101 and hitting six finishing doubles from as many attempts to beat Jelle Klaasen 2-0 in the first round.

The world number seven, a finalist in the double-start tournament in Dublin back in 2013, kicked off his latest bid for a maiden major with an eye-catching display on Sunday night.

Trailing 2-1 in the opening set, Chisnall fought back with finishes of 101 and 80, punishing Klaasen for failing to close out the deciding leg, before taking set two without reply with the aid of two 12-darters.

“I’m really happy, it’s great to play so well,” said Chisnall, who also hit six 180s in his first-round win.

“I missed a couple of doubles to start but my finishing was really good.

“I had to play well to beat Jelle and I did. I’m glad to win tonight and I can come back on Tuesday for the second round now, I love it here.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC