Darts’ big guns battle it out in the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, the second and final event on this year’s truncated European Tour.
Michael van Gerwen’s tears have dried up, and the Dutch darting demigod will be clearly focused on making it a quick one-two in the Gibraltar Darts Trophy at the Europa Sports Complex.
The Green Machine was an emotional wreck in Copenhagen on Sunday night when he beat Fallon Sherrock 11-7 in the final of the Nordic Masters, his first tournament win for 293 long and troubling days.
With the self-doubts over and the monkey off his back, MvG will have his backers on The Rock in the 48-man Gibraltar Darts Trophy, the second and final qualifier for next month’s European Championship in Salzburg.
Price Looks Right to Challenge
Van Gerwen’s win in Copenhagen and the performances of Sherrock in getting to the final made it a weekend to remember for any number of reasons – but the elephant in the room was Gerwyn Price.
Gezzy pulled out of the tournament with an elbow injury, so missing out on the chance to play Sherrock in the last eight. Had Price been fit, would he have gone on to reach the final? Would the world champ and world No.1 have been too strong for Van Gerwen?
Who knows, though what is for sure is that Price has had an injection in his elbow, has played in an exhibition this week and is apparently fit and firing on all cylinders.
The Welshman is seeded in the top 16, so like Van Gerwen, top seed Joe Cullen and the other elite aces won’t come into the competition until round two.
Classy Clayton A Massive Danger
Van Gerwen got the breaks in Copenhagen, but the best numbers in the tournament were posted by Premier League winner Jonny Clayton, who still looks a massive threat to MvG, Price, Peter Wright and the other big stars.
After whitewashing Ivan Poulsen in round one, Clayton produced the performance of the competition averaging 103 in a 10-3 demolition of Snakebite. He repeated those stats against Van Gerwen in the semis, but one or two crucial missed doubles cost him, dear.
What’s for sure is that Clayton, who has enjoyed a breathtaking 12 months or so, remains a massive threat despite not having won a tournament since his Premier League success over Jose de Sousa in May.
Suljovic Sensing Success After World Cup Run
Krzysztof Ratajski, the Polish ace, is the defending champion – it was last played two years ago – but probably isn’t playing as consistently now as he was then.
The same, however, cannot be said of Mensur Suljovic, who has been through a real lull for any number of reasons but demonstrated there is plenty of life left in him by helping Austria to reach the World Cup final, where they lost to Scotland.
He and Rowby-John Rodriguez were unseeded going into the tournament in Jena, but the former Matchplay finalist won singles games against the likes of Kim Huybrechts, James Wade and John Henderson before being touched off by Wright in what proved the decisive match in the final.