WizardofozFan wrote:Despite the absence of Phil The Power Taylor for the first time, and the world number one Michael van Gerwen after the first night, this has been the best darts tournament I can ever remember.
Always been my favourite on the circuit...
First round we saw Lewis-Wilson in a nervy 10-8 opener, MVG get well beaten by Jeffrey De Zwaan in a surprise but not a shock, Steve West score superbly but miss 11 match darts to lose 12-10 to lucky Gurner, Wade outlast Wattimena 12-10 in one of the strangest matches ever, and Huybrechts-Henderson in an all-time classic in a deciding leg - the first time this has happened at the Matchplay.
Last 16 we saw Lewis lose with a 104 average to an inspired Jeffrey, Chisnall come from 7-1 down to win 10/11 legs and beat Smith in an immense contest of scoring, Anderson come from 4-0 down to outlast Barney 11-9 and a 104 average, Wright turn up with a 105.6 average against Huybrechts, Wizard knock Wade out (delightful for me personally), Mensur fight off a White comeback 11-8, and the World Champion beaten despite a good display to the consistent Darren Webster.
1/4 finals we've seen Jeffrey & Chizzy produce fireworks, Anderson hit a 9-darter in the best game of the tournament in beating unlucky Joe Cullen in extra-time 19-17, and Snakebite display the finest finishing ever seen in a long-format darts match.
1/2 finals Jeffrey again played out of his skin but undone by a 106 average from Anderson.
And then this final, the longest ever in Matchplay history, spanning 23 years, as Anderson wins the title for the first time & becomes only the 8th different winner of the event.
Full credit to most of the 32-player field, especially those mentioned above. But especially to Mensur & Gary for a match played at the highest of levels from the first session all the way through with nothing but respect for each other.
Don’t get too carried away, the final as good as it was doesn’t make up for what really was one of the worst matchplay events for a long time. Standard in the first two rounds particularly was poor, littered with 70 and 80 averages, an 80 average from the world number 2 in the semi final no less and the same old players making the later stages in the main.