Grand Slam of Darts | Day two afternoon round-up

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World Champ vs World Youth Champ: Rob Cross edged out World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh in an enthralling battle on Sunday afternoon.

World Champion Rob Cross put in a nerveless display as he edged out the reigning World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh in a high-intensity battle. Cross prevailed 5-4 in the end, but Van den Bergh really pushed the World Champion all the way, much like their match at Alexandra Palace back in December. Van den Bergh averaged 100.11, but he missed a couple of darts to move 4-3 ahead, and Cross took full advantage picking out D16. Van den Bergh forced a decider as he produced a 15-dart hold of throw, before Cross took out a 48 checkout just moments after the Belgian missed a dart at the bull for the match.

Over in group E, Josh Payne registered his first win at the Grand Slam as the Gravesend star saw off Jim Williams in convincing fashion as he recorded a 5-2 victory over the Welshman. Payne was superb under pressure in the finishing stakes as Williams turned up the heat with some high-power scoring, but for Payne, he’ll need to beat Peter Wright if he’s to make it out of group E, unless Jim Williams can see off Max Hopp.

Peter Wright made it two wins from two as the World no.2 saw off Max Hopp in an impressive 5-2 victory. ‘Snakebite’ averaged 98.46 as he hit 5/9 on the doubles in what was a solid display from last years runner-up. Hopp did enjoy a 121 finish, but Wright was just too strong for the German in the end.

In group F, Simon Whitlock put yesterday’s defeat to the back of his mind as the Aussie managed to see off Andrew Gilding with ease as he breezed to a 5-2 victory. A 116 finish from Whitlock proved to be crucial in the context of the match, as Gilding couldn’t quite find a way back into the match.

Gerwyn Price made it 2/2 in group E as he enjoyed a fantastic 5-4 victory over Glen Durrant, it was most definitely one of the matches of the tournament as both players traded blows leg-on-leg, but Price seemed to step it up a notch or two as he responded to going 4-3 down superbly as he fired in a stunning 11-dart leg in response to Durrant’s 12-darter as he took the match to a ninth and deciding leg. In the decider, Price won the match with a 17-dart hold as he took out a 56 checkout to all but secure his place in the last 16. Price recorded an average of 101.6 compared to 97.02 from the back-to-back BDO World Champ Durrant.

Over in group G, Scott Mitchell produced a superb display as he averaged 104.58 in a fantastic 5-1 victory over Germany’s no.2 Martin Schindler. ‘Scotty Dog’ was excellent from the very first leg as he never really gave Schindler any sort of chance to get into the match. Mitchell secured the win with a fantastic 12-dart leg as he fired in an 84 checkout.

Stephen Bunting arguably produced the best performance of the afternoon as he edged out Mensur Suljovic 5-3 as both players averaged well over 100. Bunting recorded an average of 104.36 as he registered his first win in group G. Bunting did manage to break two legs clear as he moved 4-2 ahead, but Suljovic applied the pressure as he pummelled in a stunning 121 finish on the bull. But, Bunting responded with a 15-darter to see out the match as he threw his name in the hat for a place in the last 16.

In group H, Mark McGeeney made amends for yesterday’s defeat to Rob Cross as the Stockport man completed a 5-3 win over Devon’s Ryan Searle. Searle was in the driving seat early on as he produced a sensational 157 finish which followed a maximum visit, and from that point, you couldn’t really see a way back for McGeeney. But, the BDO star amazingly reeled off four legs on-the-spin to complete a 5-3 win, and his first on a PDC stage.


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