A review of Sunday's action at the Boylesports Grand Slam of Darts, including victories for Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price, Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall.
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Gary Anderson emphatically answered concerns over his fitness in a high-class victory over William O'Connor at the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.
The Flying Scotsman's troubled and injury-hit season reached a low point last week when averaging 71 in a second-round exit at the World Series of Darts Finals but he looked much closer to his old self as he made it two wins out of two in Group D.
Having beaten the BDO's Dave Parletti comfortably on Saturday, Anderson was pushed much harder by one half of the Ireland team that he helped Peter Wright defeat in this summer's World Cup final yet came through 5-3 with an average of 105.08.
The 48-year-old, runner-up to Gerwyn Price 12 months ago, has spoken of his desperation to get his hands on this trophy for the first time in his glittering career and if he can maintain levels such as this then he'll take some stopping.
O'Connor, who averaged 92.21 and managed a checkout of 158, still has a chance of qualification having won his opening game against Darren Webster but must see off Dave Parletti to do so.
Webster is also in with a shout after beating the BDO representative of Group D 5-2 in a match that featured a show-stopping 125 checkout of bull-25-bull.
The Demolition Man faces Anderson in his final match on Tuesday night so he'll be the outsider of the trio to finish in the top two.
Michael van Gerwen booked his place in the last 16 with a game to spare as he won five legs on the trot to defeat his old rival Adrian Lewis 5-2 in Group A.
The world champion has won three of the last four televised events - the World Grand Prix, Champions League of Darts and the World Series of Darts Finals - to take his overall tally for the season to 13 and he's hot favourite to reclaim this trophy for the fourth time.
Jackpot made an explosive start by taking the opening two legs, with checkouts from 80 and 73 completing a pair of 15-darters, but he'd only have two more attempts at doubles in the rest of the contest as MVG came roaring back.
The Dutchman averaged 104.53 compared to Lewis' 96.29 and that would have been even higher had he not missed eight of his doubles.
Lewis now faces a winner takes all clash with the BDO's Jim Williams, who earlier thrashed Ross Smith 5-1 with an average of 92.35 and checkouts of 122 and 118.
Gerwyn Price remained in pole position to qualify for the knockout stages but had to survive a real scare against Robert Thornton.
The defending champion, who claimed a jittery 5-3 victory over Mikuru Suzuki on Saturday, had to hold his nerve on double one in the eighth leg, with his opponent waiting on 40, to finish off a tense 23-darter that forced a decider.
Thornton had the advantage of throw and reached a finish first thanks to successive visits of 100, 180 and 140 but after pinning treble 19 with 81 remaining he missed two match darts from 24.
Price followed up a fine set up shot of 171 with a 94 checkout to complete his match-winning 12-darter, although he's not yet assured of a place in the last 16.
Should he lose to Dimitri van den Bergh in his final group match on Tuesday night then he could be eliminated should Thornton register a big enough victory over Suzuki.
Price told www.pdc.tv: "I can't ask for any more than two wins from two and I just need to concentrate on my own game on Tuesday and try to win.
"I was chasing Robert all the way through the game and he was hitting trebles for fun. I didn't think I was going to get a chance to break him, so I'm happy to get over the line.
"It's tough to get through the groups but I'm feeling confident. I'm trying to play a different game and I don't think it's working yet, but I'm trying to stay composed. I'll go out and try to enjoy myself against Dimitri.
"I want to perform well and hopefully I can pick my game up, improve my scoring and not ride my luck too much because it's going to run out sooner or later."
Van den Bergh had earlier seen off the women's world champion 5-1 as a clinical display of finishing to made up for his below-par scoring while Suzuki's average of 84.65 only helped her earn three attempts at doubles.
James Wade is in a similar position to Price in Group B after a fantastic late surge of quality helped him come from 4-2 down to defeat Ian White.
The Machine was in big trouble when Diamond hit his second 11-darter of the match to move one leg away from a victory that would have sealed his place in the knockout stages for the first time in his five Wolverhampton appearances.
White missed a match dart in the next leg and was made to pay by Wade, who then checked out from 121 on the bullseye to force a decider.
The Aldershot man, who averaged one point more than White with 99.84, took control with visits of 140, 180 and 127 before completing a 14-darter as White waited on 76.
Earlier in the same group, Steve Lennon kept his hopes alive in dramatic fashion as he not only came from 3-0 down but completed his comeback against Wesley Harms with a 167 checkout in the deciding leg.
It means he has two points after losing his opener 5-2 against White on Saturday, so victory over Wade on Tuesday night could cause a three-way tie should Harms suffer a third defeat out of three.
Michael Smith roared into the knockout stages of the Boylesports Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton with a game to spare as he emphatically thrashed Nathan Aspinall 5-1 with an imperious performance.
Bully Boy, who beat Glen Durrant yesterday, made it two wins out of two in the 'Group H of death' thanks to a sparkling average of 113.62 that would have beaten anyone.
It was the third highest in the competition's history but could have been even better had he not missed six darts at doubles.
The St Helens man will now be even more confident that usual of ending his wait for a televised major while this year's the UK Open and US Darts Masters champion Aspinall, who averaged 104.65 himself but only managed four double attempts, faces a winner takes all showdown with Duzza on Monday night.
Smith told www.pdc.tv: "It was a massive match and I knew I had to win, so I'm pleased to play so well. Nathan said I was phenomenal and I felt I owed him one for when he beat me in Las Vegas.
"It was a big game and I'm glad I did myself proud and got the win, and I'm safe. As long as I won the match that was the most important thing for me - the record average would have been nice but records don't win you tournaments.
"This event is a target for me because I'm desperate to win a TV title. That's been my aim this year."
Durrant ensured he remained in contention to qualify after coming from 4-2 down against group outsider Martin Schindler to prevail in a deciding leg.
The German missed two match darts at tops and was made to pay by the three-time Lakeside champion, who is representing the BDO in this tournament.
Dave Chisnall also sealed his qualification from Group E after beating Rob Cross for the sixth successive time this year.
The St Helens man edged out the World Matchplay and European champion 5-3 but neither player were at their best, averaging in the mid-90s and missing 16 doubles between them, with Chizzy being the worst offender with nine spurned.
The recent World Grand Prix runner-up, who is still without a televised title, said: "I'm over the moon to win and be through. When you play the world number two you know you've got to battle and I did, it wasn't pretty but I got the job done. I'm here to get as far as I can and it would be lovely to go one better than in Dublin."
Earlier Jamie Hughes was far too strong for Lisa Ashton as he won 5-1 to set up a shoot-out with Cross on Monday night for a place in the last 16.
The Tipton thrower, playing in front of his home Wolverhampton crowd, posted an average of 94.42 to ensure there would be no upset defeat to the Lancashire Rose, who managed just four darts at doubles in the contest.
There was a mini upset in Group G, where Gabriel Clemens advanced into the knockout stages on his tournament debut thanks to a 5-4 victory over Daryl Gurney.
The German held throw with a 12-darter in the deciding leg of a high-class encounter in which he averaged three points lower than his opponent's mark of 100.8.
He said: "I have no words. Daryl us a fantastic player and to beat him on this stage is crazy."
Gurney will now take on his World Cup team-mate Brendan Dolan in a crunch showdown on Monday night after the 2011 World Grand Prix runner-up ran out a 5-1 victory over a poor Richard Veenstra.
Dolan, who has been in great form in recent months with two titles won, bounced back from losing by the same scoreline 24 hours earlier although his life was made easy by Veenstra's average of 80.
Danny Noppert was another player to keep himself alive in the tournament after an opening defeat as the World Series of Darts Finals runner-up beat the now-eliminated Wayne Warren 5-1 with an average of 97.5.
He next faces Peter Wright, who tops the group on four points after a superb 5-2 victory over Ryan Harrington in which he posted an average of 101.11 that was helped by three 100+ checkouts, including a 153.
Noppert could progress even if he loses but will need Warren of the BDO to do him a favour against Harrington.
Grand Slam of Darts: Sunday results & updated tables
Sunday November 10
Afternoon Session (1pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Group Matches E-H (Best of 9 legs)
- Brendan Dolan 5-1 Richard Veenstra (G)
- Danny Noppert 5-1 Wayne Warren (F)
- Jamie Hughes 5-1 Lisa Ashton (E)
- Martin Schindler 4-5 Glen Durrant (H)
- Daryl Gurney 4-5 Gabriel Clemens (G)
- Peter Wright 5-2 Ryan Harrington (F)
- Michael Smith 5-1 Nathan Aspinall (H)
- Rob Cross 3-5 Dave Chisnall (E)
Evening Session (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Group Matches A-D (Best of 9 legs)
- Steve Lennon 5-4 Wesley Harms (B)
- Darren Webster 5-2 Dave Parletti (D)
- Ross Smith 1-5 Jim Williams (A)
- Dimitri Van den Bergh 5-1 Mikuru Suzuki (C)
- Gerwyn Price 5-4 Robert Thornton (C)
- James Wade 5-4 Ian White (B)
- Gary Anderson 5-3 William O'Connor (D)
- Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Adrian Lewis (A)
- (1) Michael van Gerwen P 2 W 2 L 0 LegDiff +6 Pts 4
- Jim Williams (BDO) P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff +1 Pts 2
- Adrian Lewis P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff 0 Pts 2
- Ross Smith P 2 W 0 L 2 LegDiff -7 Pts 0
- (8) James Wade P 2 W 2 L 0 LegDiff +4 Pts 4
- Ian White P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff +2 Pts 2
- Steve Lennon P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff -2 Pts 2
- Wesley Harms (BDO) P 2 W 0 L 2 LegDiff -4 Pts 0
- (5) Gerwyn Price P 2 W 2 L 0 LegDiff +3 Pts 4
- Dimitri Van den Bergh P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff +3 Pts 2
- Robert Thornton P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff 0 Pts 2
- Mikuru Suzuki (BDO) P 2 W 0 L 2 LegDiff -6 Pts 0
- (4) Gary Anderson P 2 W 2 L 0 LegDiff +6 Pts 4
- William O'Connor P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff 0 Pts 2
- Darren Webster P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff +1 Pts 2
- Dave Parletti (BDO) P 2 W 0 L 2 LegDiff -7 Pts 0
- Dave Chisnall P 2 W 2 L 0 LegDiff +4 Pts 4
- (2) Rob Cross P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff +1 Pts 2
- Jamie Hughes P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff +2 Pts 2
- Lisa Ashton (BDO) P 2 W 0 L 2 LegDiff -7 Pts 0
- (7) Peter Wright P 2 W 2 L 0 LegDiff +6 Pts 4
- Danny Noppert P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff +3 Pts 2
- Ryan Harrington P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff -2 Pts 2
- Wayne Warren (BDO) P 2 W 0 L 2 LegDiff -8 Pts 0
- Gabriel Clemens P 2 W 2 L 0 LegDiff +5 Pts 4
- (6) Daryl Gurney P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff +4 Pts 2
- Brendan Dolan P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff 0 Pts 2
- Richard Veenstra (BDO) P 2 W 0 L 2 LegDiff -10 Pts 0
- (3) Michael Smith P 2 W 2 L 0 LegDiff +6 Pts 4
- Nathan Aspinall P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff +1 Pts 2
- Glen Durrant (BDO) * P 2 W 1 L 1 LegDiff -1 Pts 2
- Martin Schindler P 2 W 0 L 2 LegDiff -6 Pts 0