HONOURABLE MENTIONS AFTER THE 2015 DARTS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
So the dust has now settled on the darts bonanza over the past month where we the fans have been able to enjoy great action from the PDC & BDO World Championships. It’s been a great month of darts with some highs and lows, some thrilling matches and some not so. I can’t wait to do it all again next year! Although of course there’s still plenty of darts to come throughout the year.
I have decided to give some honourable mentions to five players from each tournament who I think are deserving of an honourable mention!
Firstly the PDC….
Anderson capped what has been a fantastic 12 months on tour by defeating Phil Taylor 7-6 to win his first World Championship. Anderson started his tournament struggling to find his game against Kirchner but hit the top of his form to beat Klaasen in a thriller in the second round and impressed in overcoming the tricky Spanish qualifier Reyes. The quarters and semis saw Anderson defeat last year’s finalists Wright and MVG, significantly avenging his own defeat at the hands of van Gerwen in last year’s tournament. Many had considered Anderson the best current player never to have won a World title due to his undoubted talent and his win in the final has put that argument to rest.
Raymond van Barneveld
Barney came into the Worlds as the 14th seed and many tipped him to fail to come out of a tough quarter including Wade, Lewis and Bunting. Raymond proved he still has plenty to offer at the top level somehow battling through against Adrian Lewis in the Last 16 before defeating Stephen Bunting in the Quarter-final. The match against Taylor in the Semi-final proved a game too far with van Barneveld bowing out by 6 sets to 2.
Vincent van der Voort
Van der Voort had shown good form on tour this season, having suffered from injury in recent years his fitness and confidence had been rising and he continued this by reaching the last 8 where he competed very well in his 5-3 defeat to Phil Taylor. Having recovered from falling 2-0 behind he went on to lead 3-2 and was averaging 103.54 after the 5th set. Although Taylor won the final three sets there were plenty of positives to take from this tournament for Vincent.
Having made the decision to come across to the PDC following his win in the BDO World Championship last January Bunting has made a big impact on the PDC circuit, shooting up the rankings into the top 32. Bunting was given a tough draw in this World Championship facing James Wade in the second round and then the highly talented Michael Smith in the Last 16, and he came through both of these games showing plenty of ability and bottle. Bunting’s attempt to add the PDC title to his BDO win ended in a great battle with van Barneveld in the Quarter-final but Stephen should be pleased with his efforts.
It would be fair to say not many had heard of Spaniard Reyes coming into the tournament but he certainly made an impact defeating former Premier League players Newton and Painter in the 1st and 2nd Rounds before running into to the eventual champion Anderson in the Last 16. Although Reyes was to lose 4-1 to Anderson this score does not show how well Reyes competed, he took the first set averaging 115.62 and was only denied by the quality of Andersons impressive standard with Anderson averaging 104.54 at the end of the match. Reyes finished with a 98.52 average looked comfortable on the big stage and hopefully we will see more of him.
Onto the BDO….
Up to this year Mitchell had only won 2 matches in five years on the Lakeside stage but all that was to change with Scotty Dog coming through the field to capture the title resulting in emotional scenes. Mitchell came into the tournament seeded 4 after a good year on the circuit, certainly showing more belief and composure. His opening game at Lakeside 2015 against Tony O’Shea went all the way to a last leg decider with Mitchell showing great bottle to take the win. After coming through what was expected to be a very tricky encounter against de Vos, the Quarter-finals saw Mitchell in outstanding form on the doubles hitting five ton plus checkouts all of which were at least 126 and above and ending the match with a 61% on his doubling out. Scott came comfortably through the semi against Jeff Smith controlling the game from early on winning through to a dream appearance in the final. Facing Martin Adams in the final Mitchell never looked as though the occasion would get the better of him, and with the game going all the way to the final set a tremendous 158 checkout to break throw in the opening leg of the final set proved pivotal as Mitchell pushed on to win a thrilling final 7-6.
Adams has been an ever present at the BDO World Championships since 1994 winning the event 3 times and has been involved in many ‘Lakeside Classics’. After what had been a difficult couple of years on and off the board Adams must have wondered if he would reach the final again. He was given a tough draw in his first match against two time semi-finalist Jan Dekker who defeated Wolfie in the last 8 last year, Adams was to exact his revenge with a 3-1 win, then defeating Widmayer and Montgomery before facing an in form Glen Durrant in the semis. The match against Durrant was truly an epic and made for thrilling viewing with both players averaging 100 or more for the majority of the game. Although Adams was grateful was Durrant missing some match darts the way he held his nerve to hit crucial doubles in the final sets and legs was impressive especially considering the length of the match and at 58 years of age. Although Adams couldn’t repeat the feat in the final he can emerge with great credit from the 2015 World Championships.
It was a memorable week for Canadian Smith in his first World Championships having had to come through the qualifiers to make the Lakeside. After winning his prelim match he faced a very tough opponent in Wesley Harms who had reached the semis on two occasions at the Lakeside. Smith came from one set down to defeat Harms with some impressive doubling. Next up was another seed in Gary Robson, again Smith looked comfortable on the Lakeside stage and came through a last set decider. Not many would have tipped Smith to defeat tournament favourite Robbie Green in the Quarter-final, but he rose to the occasion winning 5-1 and earning a place in the final 4. The match against Mitchell was not a reflection of how Smith had played all week but overall he more than achieved his targets in the tournament.
In his second BDO World Championship appearance Durrant impressed many in his run to the Semi-finals where he narrowly missed out 6-5 to Martin Adams in a thrilling encounter. Durrant posted some of the highest averages in the tournament as he came through defeating Sedlacek, Hughes and Fitton. In the Semi-final against Adams he averaged over 100 for the majority of the match and had match darts to take him through to the final. Although he failed in his attempts it would be no surprise to see Durrant as a main contender next year in the World Championships.
Although Sedlacek lost in the 1st Round of the tournament he gets an honourable mention for his performance against Glen Durrant. Sedlacek posted an average of over 99 in his defeat, that average was only bettered once in the tournament this was by Durrant himself in the Semi-finals.
There are of course plenty more players who could be mentioned and I have a few in mind but I wanted to keep this brief. Hope you enjoy my thoughts.