Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld pull off Grand Slam comebacks
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 13/11/17 8:06am
Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld all came from 4-2 down to win 5-4 in a spellbinding evening of Grand Slam darting action in Wolverhampton.
With his victory over Rob Cross, Van Gerwen confirmed his place in the last 16, though Taylor and van Barneveld are not yet guaranteed a place in the next stage.
In a match of stunning quality, Van Gerwen finished with a 108 average while Cross finished with a 104, but Voltage will know he let a big opportunity slip against the world No 1.
Right from the opening leg, the match was at a breathtaking pace as MVG looked set to earn an early break before Cross took out a wonderful 114 checkout.
In the very next leg, Cross missed three darts to break Van Gerwen for a 2-0 lead before the Dutchman made him pay, first by holding throw and then by checking out 136 to break Cross and go 2-1 in front.
Then came what looked to be the vital moment as Van Gerwen inexplicably missed three darts at doubles for a 3-1 lead - to the amazement of everybody, including Cross - allowing the Englishman to level things at 2-2 and then hold throw for a 3-2 lead.
The sixth leg saw Cross break Van Gerwen again by taking out a superlative 170 checkout on the bull for a 4-2 lead and the darts to clinch the victory.
Van Gerwen broke Voltage in the next leg to reduce the deficit before Cross missed two darts at tops for the match in the following leg, allowing MVG to take out D18 and then break Cross again in the decider in an unbelievable show of steel and skill.
Sunday Evening Results
|Michael van Gerwen||5-4||Rob Cross|
|Joe Murnan||3-5||Ross Montgomery|
|Raymond van Barneveld||5-4||Gerwyn Price|
|Steve Lennon||5-0||Jamie Hughes|
|Phil Taylor||5-4||Robbie Green|
|James Wade||5-1||Peter Machin|
|Daryl Gurney||5-3||Mark Webster|
|Darren Webster||5-2||Danny Noppert|
Earlier in the night, Taylor had produced his own heroics against a seemingly inspired Robbie Green.
Having rushed into a 2-0 lead against the Power, Kong maintained his lead at 3-1 and 4-2, before Taylor landed doubles on D16 for three consecutive legs to somehow claim victory.
At 4-3 ahead, Green missed four darts for the match before Taylor stepped up and took out 105 and then ruthlessly confirmed victory in the decider.
Van Barneveld too pulled off a stunning win at the death against an in-form Gerwyn Price in the final match of the evening.
Having broken Barney in the opening leg, Price, like Green before him, held his throw to go 4-2 ahead before collapsing.
Indeed Price had actually missed a dart at D9 to go 4-0 in front, but the critical seventh leg saw RVB calmly checkout 104 with Price waiting on 40 to throw for the match at tops.
From there the Welshman never recovered as Barney broke Price to level things at 4-4, before holding throw to confirm a 5-4 win and leave himself well placed in Group B.
The other match from Group B saw 23-year-old Irishman Steve Lennon whitewash home favourite Jamie Hughes 5-0 in perhaps the most impressive display of the evening.
James Wade put a shocking opening leg behind him to secure a badly-needed 5-1 victory over Australian Peter Machin.
Machin missed five darts to break Wade in the opening leg, all the way down to D1, in a scrappy affair that Wade will be delighted to have won.
In Group D, Darren Webster kept his Grand Slam hopes alive after a 5-2 victory over Dutchman Danny Noppert, while World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney registered his second win with an entertaining 5-3 success over Mark Webster.
The opening match of the evening saw Scot Rory Montgomery keep his Grand Slam campaign alive after a clinical 5-3 victory over Joe Murnan.
Sunday evening's results mean Murnan, Hughes and Machin are all eliminated with one round of matches still to come, while Taylor, van Barneveld and Gurney are all on the verge of qualification.
Cross will face Montgomery in the final match of Group A to decide who goes through with van Gerwen.
In Group B, Barney faces Lennon and Price plays the already eliminated Hughes, with two from three still able to progress.
Taylor needs a minimum of three legs off Wade to secure progression from Group C, while Robbie Green will know victory over Machin should see him through.
Gurney looks almost certain to progress from Group D, while whichever of Mark and Darren Webster achieves the better result in terms of victory or perhaps legs difference will also progress.
Grand Slam of Darts Standings (Groups A-D)
|Group A||Pts||+/-||Group B||Pts||+/-|
|(1) Michael van Gerwen (Q)||4||+5||(1) Raymond van Barneveld||4||+5|
|(2) Rob Cross||2||+3||(2) Steve Lennon||2||+3|
|(3) Rory Montgomery||2||-2||(3) Gerwyn Price||2||+1|
|(4) Joe Murnan (E)||0||-6||(4) Jamie Hughes (E)||0||-9|
|Group C||Pts||+/-||Group D||Pts||+/-|
|(1) Phil Taylor||4||+5||(1) Daryl Gurney||4||+6|
|(2) Robbie Green||2||+3||(2) Darren Webster||2||+1|
|(3) James Wade||2||0||(3) Mark Webster||2||0|
|(4) Peter Machin (E)||0||-8||(4) Danny Noppert||0||-7|
The Grand Slam of Darts continues on Sky Sports throughout the week with coverage underway on Monday on Sky Sports Action from 7pm as the best of the PDC compete against the best of the BDO
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