Anderson has "wiped off this year"
By Phil Lanning 28/11/2020
By Phil Lanning
GARY ANDERSON admits that he “wiped off this year” a long time ago after another injury struggle in the Players Championship.
It was limping rather than Flying Scotsman as he delivered an unlikely comeback from 4-1 down to beat Keegan Brown 6-4 in Coventry last night.
But with the World Championship just 17 days away, Anderson looks in so much discomfort his hopes of a third title look remote.
He revealed: “I kind of wiped this year off a long time ago. I just want next year to start. Start from scratch, start from the bottom again and hopefully give it a good push. I’ll get myself sorted out and give it a good push next year.
“This year I’m defending quite a bit but the next two years I’ve got next to nothing to defend. You never know I might do all the Europeans if I qualify for them.
“I’ve got a few weeks to go before the Ally Pally. I’m plodding along I don’t want to try anything now before especially the Worlds. At least now I kind of know how to have my leg when I’m walking. It’s a bit better than it was last week.
“We’ll struggle through. There’s a lot of people in worse case scenarios than my sore knee. That can wait until after the year.”
Anderson looked ready for the drive home at the first break, 4-1 down and grimacing with almost every throw.
But somehow he clawed his way back to dump plucky Brown. He added: “I just thought I’d try to nick a leg or two and make it look better. Keegan is quite a fast player like myself, but I can’t move fast and speed the game up as I’d like to.
“Worst case scenario I’m going home. It’s kind of like that the now. I just stuck in, just thought I’d try to pinch a couple of legs and make it look a bit more interesting. At 4-4 I thought I’ve got a wee chance here.
“The pain is making me sweat. I don’t sweat for nothing, but it's making me sweat. But we’ll get it sorted. It’s a busy five weeks in front of us, so we’ll bite the bullet and get this year over and done with.
“Doubles started to go in after first five legs. They were atrocious at one point.
“I need to get this knee taped up and move quicker for Michael [Smith] because he’s quick, but I’m looking forward to it.”
By Phil Lanning
ROB CROSS has revealed there’s “no hard feelings” with England World Cup team-mate Michael Smith after a bizarre fist pump bust-up.
The 2018 World Champion, who beat Jason Lowe 6-3 in the Players Championship, was knocked out of the Grand Slam last week by Smith in a thrilling deciding leg.
But it ended with words being exchanged on stage after Smith went to fist pump Cross when he hit a good checkout to make it 9-8.
Usually players only fist pump when it goes to a deciding leg and the Hastings player admitted that it confused him.
He said: “It was a really strange one. I didn’t know what was going on, I suddenly thought it was 9-9 instead of 9-8 and I didn’t know why he’d done it.
“There’s no hard feelings whatsoever. He was actually just being a good sportsman, but in the heat of the moment it made me lose my focus. That’s not an excuse, just an explanation of why I was so confused at the end!
“Michael is a brilliant guy. We’ve had two brilliant World Cups as team-mates and spent a lot of time together in Australia. We spoke about it today and there’s no problem. It was just one of those weird moments that caught me out.”
By Paul Woodage
THERE was barely had enough time to digest the excitement of the Grand Slam before the Players Championship Finals kicked off. The action got under way from Coventry and, as always, the opening session served up the usual selection of shocks and surprises.
Ryan Searle further compounded Dimitri Van den Bergh’s misery in this tournament by producing an excellent display to send the World Matchplay champion packing. It’s now three consecutive first round exits for the the Belgian in this event as Searle ran out 6-2 victor.
On his tournament debut, young Geordie Callan Rydz sensationally knocked out former champion, Daryl Gurney. Superchin has been struggling of late and didn’t get out of the blocks again today. However, nothing can be taken away from Rydz who got the job the done and will fancy his chances against Searle in round two.
Despite a fantastic year, Devon Petersen will have to wait until 2021 if he is going to claim that maiden PDC television major. Luke Humphries and the big South African served up a darting feast but it was Cool Hand who prevailed 6-3.
As far as quality goes, the match between Dirk van Duijvenbode and William O’Connor was a fantastic contest. Both players recorded averages north of 100 as they battled for supremacy up on the oche. Eventually it was World Grand Prix finalist, van Duijvenbode who got the better of his Irish opponent and took the match 6-4.
Michael Smith was pushed all the way by a quite brilliant Boris Krcmar but held his nerve to take the deciding leg. The Croatian played superbly, registering the highest recorded losing average in tournament history, 107.79. But it was Bullyboy who produced checkouts of 142 and 145 when it really mattered to get the victory and stay on course for that elusive television major.
In what looks an incredibly tasty second round match, Joe Cullen will play Rob Cross tomorrow. Rockstar was very impressive in seeing off Adam Hunt 6-3 and Cross looked like he is rediscovering his best form again with a solid win over Jason Lowe by the same scoreline.
Mervyn King prevailed over Dave Chisnall in a clash of two former tournament finalists. Ever present in the event, King played majestically and recorded a huge 105.12 average en route to a mighty impressive 6-3 win.
Jonny Clayton is safely through to the next round after a comprehensive win over Northern Ireland’s, Mickey Mansell. The Welshman, a finalist at this event in 2017, is still riding high after his recent World Cup triumph. How he would dearly love to add this title to his gold he won for his country last month.
Aussie No.1, Simon Whitlock continues his impressive run of form with a 6-4 win over two time World Champion, Adrian Lewis. The Wizard has reached the semi final of both the World Grand Prix and Grand Slam in recent weeks and began assertively in this event. Another deep run in a third consecutive major would certainly throw his hat in the ring when Premier League spots are being discussed.
It was more heartbreak for Stephen Bunting as he went down 6-4 to Ryan Murray. It’s been a disappointing year for The Bullet who unfortunately had to withdraw from the World Matchplay due to a positive COVID-19 test, then failed to qualify for the Grand Slam. The former Lakeside World Champion reached the quarter finals in the past two years but it’s the Scot who booked the place in round two.
Many experts were throwing the name of Krzysztof Ratajski about as a possible good outside shout for this tournament but he fell at the first hurdle to Karel Sedlacek. The Czech, nicknamed Evil Charlie, dug deep and got the win to dump the Pole out and render plenty of betting slips null and void.
Ian White and Gabriel Clemens will meet in round two as they both came through their respective opening matches. Diamond was far from shining bright but had a little too much for young Scot, Willie Borland, taking the contest 6-4. It was a little more nerve-racking for Clemens as his game against Martijn Kleermaker went all the way to a deciding leg. But is was the big German who crossed the line first and stays alive in this event.
Luke Woodhouse and Andy Boulton were both 6-4 winners over Brendan Dolan and Ryan Joyce respectively. They will now face one another tomorrow in what is a wonderful opportunity to progress for both.
Friday November 27
Afternoon Session (1245 GMT)
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 William O'Connor
Michael Smith 6-5 Boris Krcmar
Rob Cross 6-3 Jason Lowe
Joe Cullen 6-3 Adam Hunt
Luke Humphries 6-3 Devon Petersen
Ryan Searle 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Adrian Lewis 4-6 Simon Whitlock
Dave Chisnall 3-6 Mervyn King
Luke Woodhouse 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Andy Boulton 6-4 Ryan Joyce
Ryan Murray 6-4 Stephen Bunting
Karel Sedlacek 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Martijn Kleermaker
Ian White 6-4 William Borland
Jonny Clayton 6-2 Mickey Mansell
Daryl Gurney 2-6 Callan Rydz
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Scott Waites
Gary Anderson 6-4 Keegan Brown
Niels Zonneveld 6-3 James Wade
Peter Wright 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Darius Labanauskas
Gerwyn Price 6-2 John Henderson
Jose De Sousa 6-3 Mike De Decker
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Derk Telnekes
Jamie Hughes 6-2 Ricky Evans
Ross Smith 6-1 Kim Huybrechts
Damon Heta 6-1 Maik Kuivenhoven
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Steve Lennon
Madars Razma 6-3 Chris Dobey
Wayne Jones 6-3 Glen Durrant
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Darren Webster
Danny Noppert 6-1 Steve Beaton
Regional events for boys & girls with a spectacular climax