Players Championship 2
I didn't really feel refreshed when I woke up on Sunday morning - probably an effect of the Dublin maritime climate. The sky looked grey and the wind was stronger. The breakfast room seemed to be even farer away then the day before and it was quite full. Not only the Players Championships took place there - a conference was going on as well.
I decided to cancel my morning walk and did the updates on my site till it was time for the tournament.
Tomas Seyler once again was a "lucky guy" as this time he was drawn against Michael van Gerwen. Tomas didn't manage to get into his stride and Mighty Mike only had a real opponent in the very last leg of the one-sided match.
I've no idea in what form van Gerwen will turn up in the World Grand Prix. He somehow managed to smuggle himself into the semi-finals of the day but seemed not really to be focused and most of the time occupied to cough and to pull up his socks.
I just in time arrived at Bernd Roith's match against the to me unknown Chris Skeates. Bernd played a good match and got a clear win but afterwards said that though it was a so called "non-name" player he really had to give all.
As such a lot was going on I first couldn't decide which match to watch but in the end settled at Mark Webster against Michael Barnard. To be sure none of the players played his best. Barnard once was a promising youth player but never really established himself with the seniors. Both players threw a few 140s - most other scores were less than 100 points.
Then it was already time for Jyhan Artut against Reece Robinson. The young player with the nice nickname "Sugar" can be dangerous but is still not very consistent and often has problems to finish a leg. So Artut not really had a problem to prevail.
When the match was over at a board nearby the match between Justin Pipe and John Henderson started. It was an odd match. First it looked like a clear win for Henderson who played a solid match while Pipe plodded along somehow and had a lot of problems hitting Double 16 or Double 8. But suddenly Pipe seemed to wake up, played three great legs and progressed into the next round.
The next match I watched was my "highlight" of the day - Peter Wright against Arron Monk. Wright - in powerful orange while his wife shimmered lilac - showed an outstanding performance. He whitewashed a chanceless Monk and threw seven 180s in six legs.
Mervyn King ended not only Bernd Roith's hopes (in a very close match which was won with the very last dart by King) but those of Mark Dudbridge as well. His "highlight" in the match was a 170 finish. No other players stood as far beside the oche - once he hit his double 16 almost from the zoning of the neighbouring board.
I returned to Jyhan Artut's board to watch him play Adrian Gray. Both players had a run on the day but it soon showed that Artut's run would end against Gray. While Artut in many legs only had a single score over 100 Gray in most of the legs had two and sometimes more.
I had a look at the Michael van Gerwen v Michael King quarterfinal before I took a short break but I returned in time for the semi-finals.
As I already mentioned Peter Wright managed a still coughing Michael van Gerwen. I hope he'll recover for the World Grand Prix but lucky for him he's a day's break.
Than all the people still in the venue moved to board 10 to follow the final between Raymond van Barneveld and Peter Wright. By now most people had snapped a chair - not only my feet and legs were tired. Barneveld's wife was under the spectators as well and talked socially with some of the crowd. So I as well now know that all three children are good dart players as well. The final took place in a rather relaxed atmosphere. Especially Raymond van Barneveld seemed to take it easily which showed in a really convincing performance. Peter Wright couldn't keep up the form of the matches before and van Barneveld won his first Pro Tour tournament of the year.
After the final I felt almost as exhausted as if I had played a tournament and I was glad when I arrived in my room. I didn't have enough energy left to look again for "standing stones".