Flying Scotsman felled by Humphries

Saturday night was a memorable one – thankfully for the right reasons. Gary was back on the Wolverhampton stage on Sunday night, against World Grand Prix champion Luke Humphries, who was looking to build on his opening victory against Steve Lennon.

Gary had the darts to kick proceedings off, but could only muster 55 to start. Humphries opened with a ton, before Gary sparked into life, hitting a 140. Humphries hit another ton, before a Gary 95, courtesy of a drifted last dart. Humphries hit the opening 180 of the match, and with Gary sitting on 115, he opted to launch his first dart at the centre of the board – finding the Bull. A single 15 and a good lie on dart one invited the possibility of something magic, but he couldn’t double up on the double to seal the leg. Humphries missed outside on D16 from 64, before Gary chose Tops from 46, but his first dart at the target was a bit too high to act as a useful marker, drifting under with the last dart in hand, before Humphries returned to hit D16 to break. 0-1.

Humphries opened his first leg on throw with a 140, with Gary replying with a score of 95. It was going tit for tat, as Gary’s rare trebleless visit of 45 was met by a Humphries trebleless visit of 57. Gary subsequently walloped home his maiden maximum of the match, grouping the three darts beautifully in the right hand side of the treble. However, Humphries remained in the leg with a 140, and made no mistake from his remaining 64 this time round, hitting it last in hand to double his advantage. 0-2.

Gary covered well to open the third, hitting a 134 on the T19s after a difficult dart on the 20s. Humphries replied with 60, and Gary pushed forth, hitting a 97, before following up with an eyebrow raising 140 – eyebrow raising because the first two darts found the hallowed treble, but the third dart split them in half en route to the single area of the segment. Gary had 130 left, and hit 80 to leave 50 – from which he set up D16, which he took first in hand to halve the deficit. 1-2.

Humphries opened the Fourth with 85, but it was Gary who really kicked the leg off, landing another 180 to get the crowd on their feet. Humphries responded in kind with another 180 of his own, but Gary couldn’t keep that wagon rolling, hitting just 46. Humphries hit another 180 to leave 56, whilst Gary hit 105 to leave the big fish. Humphries planted his first dart at Tops in the S1 to his bemusement, subsequently setting up D16. Gary found the first dart in the biggest combination – but couldn’t use what looked a good marker to progress any further. Humphries hit D16 to re-establish the two leg advantage. 1-3.

Gary opened the Fifth with a 60, and Humphries 85. Gary again covered well to hit a 134, before a Humphries 140. Gary then threw a blocker on the 20s and a S19, before shuffling to the right of the oche in an attempt to bypass the first dart. It didn’t work and the score was 59. Humphries hit a 140, and after both threw an unremarkable visit, they were in finishing range. Humphries had 95 left, and opted for the aggressive route on the T19, finding it and finding D19 with dart two to break again and go within one. 1-4.

Gary knew he needed to replicate his comeback heroics of Saturday night – but with an extra leg required and against an opponent averaging a fair few points more. Humphries opened with a ton, before a majestic Gary 140 edged him ahead. Gary was scoring consistently well, but a 135 from Humphries left him on 170, with even a stray dart working out for him. With the camera focused on the centre of the board after two T20s, Humphries opted to not go for the showpiece shot with Gary well back, instead setting up D16. The Flying Scotsman was sitting on 154 as Humphries took D8 second in hand to wrap up the win.

The Stats:

Average – 93.51

180s – 2

Checkout Success – 1/4 (25%)

Highest Checkout – 50

The Verdict:

Well…at least it didn’t raise my blood pressure as much as Saturday.

Looking at the stats was a weird one for me – as for large portions of the match, it felt like Gary was playing better than when he averaged 97 on the Saturday – but there were enough stray darts to drag it down to a respectable, but not quite enough on this occasion, 93.5. Humphries, simply put, took opportunities that van Duijvenbode didn’t, and that proved the difference. As for the permutations for Gary to progress, I’ll go into more details in the soon to follow preview – but, simply put, he needs to beat Steve Lennon, and Luke Humphries needs to defeat Dirk van Duijvenbode. Both of those things happen, and Gary Anderson emerges from the group. One or none – he doesn’t. But there’s more time for that in the preview.

He was once again using his Unicorn Phase 6s with two tone shafts and World Champion Flights.

SOURCE-Ryan Segal.

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