UK Open - Second Day

Did it already happen to you that you didn't recognize a well-known darts player when you emit him in his street wear or in jump suit? That is at least what happened to me when in my accommodation on the morning of the second day a no longer young, tall and slender man appeared in the breakfast room wearing a dark blue jumpsuit--- I was sure I did knew him...only after some pondering I realised it was Mario Vandenbogaerde whom I had watch on the day before in several matches.

I think a little bit acting is involved at least in the stage matches and the players somehow produce themselves. Some are completely different from their stage character but the stage character is what you will remember as you probably will not meet them personally. Of course counter examples exist - I have spontaneously to think of James Wade or Gary Anderson - very bad actors, their stage character is at least very similar to the real person.

The second day of the UK Open was more relaxed as the matches were longer than in the first three round and it was only played at four boards though still in three different venues. I first went over to Studio 36 where in the first match Kim Huybrechts went to the dogs against Gary Anderson - he had no chance at all while Anderson played another convincing match.

The second match brought a big upset as William O'Connor eliminated reigning champion Danny Noppert from the tournament who in this tournament was a little bit under the radar and only got this single stage match. On boards three and four Richie Burnett and Adam Gawlas celebrated wins.

On to the main stage were already the first match ended with a big upset - Luke Humphries defeated World Championship Michael Smith. The next upset followed soon - Jeffrey de Zwaan sensationally defeated Gerwyn Price.

Rob Cross ended Steve Beaton's run on the second stage while Martin Schindler was in great form and won against Adrian Lewis on Board 3. When I returned to the second stage the venue was jam-packed. It was clear Nathan Aspinall was responsible - who is one of the crowd favourites here - beside Richie Burnett by the way who is cheered as frenetically. On Boards 3 and 4 Jose de Sousa and Luke Woodhouse were eliminated almost unnoticed most of the crowd had already moved on to peter Wright on the main stage who had some problems against Callan Rydz. I returned once more to the second stage where it was quiet and half full again where Dimitri van den Bergh sent Mervyn King packing - a close match in which the Belgian was more convincing then the solid playing King.

After that Boards 3 and 4 were demolished and on the main stage the draw for the sixth round took place which would be played only on two staged and in which only 16 players took place - great that one German player was still in it.

On the start of the evening-session the match between Aspinall and Cullen lured me to the Main Stage. It was more then crowded - Aspinall was on stage. But that was not all - the crowd was in a merry mood ignited by three dinosaurs cruising through the crowd which made everybody laugh and cheering. It was difficult to get the crowd's attention back to the stage - no one looked at the players or the officials - even when Russ Bray tried a fake 180. The players looked very amused as well. But finally the match went on and Aspinall had no problem to win against a Cullen under par. Might be dinosaurs played their part.

As I almost had awaited Dolan and Gilding were still playing on the second stage - both are quite slow players and not so popular with the crowd and so it was not really full over there.

Might be it had been more but on the main stage the match between Peter Wright and Richie Burnett followed who had met years ago in the Lakeside Stage. And Peter Wright had a lot of hair!! Black hair!!! Burnett's walk-on caused goose bumps and the greeting of the two players on stage was the most touching and emotional moment of the tournament. The match that followed was not a high-class match but once again Burnett excelled in finishing. Peter Wright couldn't keep up and Burnett progressed into the quarterfinal.

After that it go somehow hectic for me as I wanted to watch both the Anderson v van Gerwen match on the Main Stage and the Schindler v Clayton match on the second stage. I didn't manage 100 percent - I missed the end of the Schindler match.But as we all know Schindler won, great!!

Now I was really fed up and tired from all the walking and the cold and watched the rather one-sided van Gerwen Humphries match from the warmth of the pressroom where I could sit down. Unluckily in the press room only the match on the main stage was shown so I can't say anything about the de Zwaan v Cross match - you at home probably did see more of it.

After all matches had finished the next draw followed. Only eight players are still in the tournament. Who would have thought Martin Schindler, Richie Burnett and Adam Gawlas were among them!

Contact © Global Darts. All Rights Reserved. Impressum