BoyleSports Grand Slam Of Darts – Day 1 Review
BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts
Gerwyn Price overcame a strong challenge from Mikuru Suzuki to open his title defence at the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts in winning style as the 32-player event began in Wolverhampton on Saturday.
Welshman Price claimed his maiden TV title at the Aldersley Leisure Village 12 months ago, and took a 5-3 win over Lakeside Women’s Champion Suzuki in one of 16 group matches held on the opening day this time around.
Japanese star Suzuki caused Price some nervous moments by sharing the opening six legs, and responded to a 142 checkout from the reigning champion with a 116 finish of her own before the number five seed claimed victory.
Price now plays Robert Thornton in Sunday’s Group C second matches, after the former Grand Slam finalist took out a 160 finish before defeating World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh in a deciding leg.
Like Price, world number two Rob Cross also had to overcome a stern challenge from one of the sport’s top female players, eventually claiming a 5-2 win over Lisa Ashton.
“I’m happy to get the win,” said Cross, the World Matchplay and European Championship winner in 2019.
It was probably the most nervous I’ve been; Lisa’s a great player and I think she’ll relax now and play the best darts she can.
he high-profile Group E also saw Dave Chisnall take a 5-3 win over Tipton’s Jamie Hughes, who responded to his opponent’s early 124 finish with a 121 checkout on his way to a 3-2 advantage.
The sixth leg proved key, though, as Hughes missed his chance to lead by two legs and Chisnall stepped in to level before claiming the next two legs to take a key win.
Three-time Grand Slam of Darts winner Michael van Gerwen defied a bout of ‘flu to claim a 5-2 win over BDO World Trophy champion Jim Williams, sealing victory with a 145 checkout.
Two-time Grand Slam of Darts finalist Gary Anderson saw off debutant Dave Parletti 5-1 in Group D, with the Scot now meeting Irish ace William O’Connor after the World Cup finalist came from 3-2 down to win 5-3 with a 99 average.
James Wade, another player to have reached the final twice in Wolverhampton previously, sealed his 5-2 win over Wesley Harms with a 140 checkout, with Ian White defeating Ireland’s Steve Lennon by the same scoreline in the other Group C contest.
Michael Smith and Nathan Aspinall opened the so-called “Group of Death” with impressive victories over Glen Durrant and Martin Schindler respectively at the Aldersley Leisure Village.
Qualifier Ryan Harrington shocked Danny Noppert with a 5-4 victory over the World Series of Darts Finals runner-up on his Grand Slam debut, as the Essex ace made an ideal start in Group F.
Ruthless Daryl Gurney whitewashed Dutchman Richard Veenstra 5-0 to make an ideal start in Group G, restricting the Grand Slam debutant to just one dart at a double.
Gurney’s opponent in Sunday’s second matches will be Gabriel Clemens after the German Darts Masters finalist notched the day’s highest average of 99.40 in a 5-1 defeat of Brendan Dolan, landing two 12-darters and sealing victory with a 121 bull finish.
Sunday’s afternoon session sees the players in Groups E-H compete in their second fixtures, with the players from Groups A-D in action in the evening session.