Peter Wright’s (7/1 – Outright Winner) bid for a maiden Betfred World Matchplay title got off to the perfect start on Sunday, the Scot breezing into the second round, while Monday’s action sees Michael van Gerwen take to the oche as the first round draws to a conclusion.
Sunday July 18th – Results
Krzysztof Ratajski 10-4 Brendan Dolan
Glen Durrant 6-10 Callan Rydz
Rob Cross 10-8 Ross Smith
James Wade 3-10 Luke Humphries
Joe Cullen 10-8 Chris Dobey
Michael Smith 10-7 Ryan Searle
Peter Wright 10-2 Danny Noppert
Jose de Sousa 10-2 Gabriel Clemens
Monday July 19th – Order of play
Daryl Gurney vs Ian White – 19:00
Nathan Aspinall vs Mervyn King – 20:00
Michael van Gerwen vs Damon Heta – 21:00
Gary Anderson vs Stephen Bunting – 22:00
Scottish star Wright has never lifted the World Matchplay trophy, having come closest when losing in the 2017 final to Phil Taylor, but ‘Snakebite’ put in a commanding performance during his first-round match against Danny Noppert, winning 10-2.
It was a statement from the 51-year-old and he will now take on Englishman Joe Cullen for a place in the quarter-finals after his narrow 10-8 victory over Chris Dobey on Sunday (Wright 1/2, Cullen 8/5 – Match Betting)
2020 Grand Slam of Darts champion Jose de Sousa also racked up a 10-2 win as he sent Gabriel Clemens packing and the Portuguese thrower will now take on ‘Bully Boy’ Michael Smith, who overcame Ryan Searle 10-7.
Twelfth seed Glen Durrant and fourth seed James Wade were the two biggest players to fall at the first hurdle on Sunday, the duo losing to Callan Rydz and Luke Humphries (22/1 – Outright Winner) respectively.
The action comes thick and fast on Monday with the final four first-round matches taking place, starting with the 19:00 clash between 14th seed Daryl Gurney and Ian White.
Nathan Aspinall then takes on Mervyn King in an all-English affair, before Van Gerwen – a two-time winner of this event who is 9/2 to add a third title to his collection – gets his campaign under way against Australian Damon Heta.
Monday’s final match will see Gary Anderson, champion in 2018 and runner-up last year, take on England’s Stephen Bunting, who reached the quarter-final stage on his last appearance at this tournament.
Source: Darts – Betfred