In the PDC press room of the Grand Slam one can find quite a lot of young men. Some have to do with the PDC, some with betting companies, some I've still no idea what their function is and then there is Dan Dawson. Dan Dawson is a young award winning journalist who worked a lot for the radio. He just loves sport - football, cricket, badminton, tennis - and above all darts. For and with the PDC he works since the World Championship 2009.
And he's still here and now he doesn't work for the radio but produces for the PDC and together with Rod Harrington and others "On the Wire" which is by the PDC described as show. The first of the "On the Wire" videos were produced this year during the World Matchplay in Blackpool. It's a mixture of serious minded comments and information combined with less serious and not to be taken serious actions. The idea behind is to impart all people involved have with darts to the fans as well.
Dan is very dedicated - one evening when it was finally quiet in the venue, we all were startled by him talking - well - better shouting behind his closed door - no idea what he commented or talked about..When you haven't seen the result some of his activities seem to be a little bit strange: so one evening he wrapped a huge, but empty parcel in Christmas paper - what his idea was behind this you see in the first video - I wonder whether you'll find out? Another time he hauled together with a comrade a rather unwieldy mattress through the press room. Since yesterday we now have a well illuminated ladder standing in the press room and a bar stool beside it. I've no idea what will happen today.
But I can only recommend everybody to have a look on the "On the Wire" videos on you tube; they are a refreshing and funny way to present the sport of darts.
On the Wire...
The third day of the tournament was for some of the players in groups A - D not funny at all but a quite serious affair, they had to fight to stay in the tournament. The PDC had - dramaturgical clever - staged the matches first who were not really important. Means the players involved were already out of the tournament or through to the next round. As it often happens two of the already eliminated players won their matches and Adrian Lewis and Scott Waites were at least able to go home with a win. Robert Thornton lost his third match as well and probably will not treasure the memory of this tournament.
Then the five matches followed which really mattered.
Michael van Gerwen against Jan Dekker was the first of those matches. Michael van Gerwen still needed a few legs to make sure he progressed; he had no problems at all to win them. Jan Dekker looked like he would have very much preferred it to play against somebody else - the match ended with a whitewash for him and van Gerwen was in the next round. The second match of group A followed - Kim Huybrechts as well didn't need a win only to win a few legs. And he had no problems at all as Darren Webster; the "Demolition Man" had only lived up to his nickname in the first of his matches against Michael van Gerwen. So there were no surprises in Group A - the two strongest players progressed under the last 16.
The next match was a repeat of the Youth World Championship final from May and once again it was won by Englishman Keegan Brown. The PDC match reports call the way Brown plays "mature" and it really is unbelievable how seemingly stoic and without emotions Brown appears on stage especially compared to Rowby John Rodriguez.
The match between Vincent van der Voort and Robbie Green in Group D started quite one sided and ended as a thriller with not really expected result. Robbie Green - once again in his "bold" shirt - played him 4:1 in the lead and looked like the sure winner. But his accuracy on the doubles lost him and Van der Voort managed to draw 4:4. In the deciding leg probably most in the crowd hold their breath - the Dutchman stood on a finish and Green had still 170 points. Till then none of the players had hit a 170 finish, but Green had to hit it as otherwise he would be out. All his three darts hit though and the crowd cheered him. Green was still in the tournament together with Raymond van Barneveld he progressed into the next round and Vincent van der Voort was together with Robert Thornton eliminated but to be sure not without a fight.
The last match couldn't keep up with all that drama - it stayed a little bit one-sided, because Ronny Huybrechts didn't manage to really get into it. And Terry Jenkins progressed together with Alan Norris into the next round.
All in all there were some surprises in Groups A - D, starting with BDO player Robbie Green's survival. I wouldn't have predicted that, I thought Vincent van der Voort and Robert Thornton to be the stronger players. The biggest upset of course was that Adrian Lewis didn't survive the group phase. Might be everybody including me had underrated the two young players in the group who both really played great. I myself had hoped for a better performance of Scott Waites though he in contrast to Alan Norris hadn't played convincingly during the World Masters.