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Judgement Night

Posted: 01.04.14 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

We couldn't let the annual relegation dog fight go by without passing comment!



It’s judgement night! Oh yes, the best night on the Premier League schedule. The Wizard has gone already. He was put out of his Premier League misery last week after a woeful season. So there are three left for the one remaining spot on the trap door.

Robert Thornton, Dave Chisnall and Wes Newton. Bizarrely Wes has experience of being in the firing line on Judgement Night as he was in exactly the same position 12 months ago when he was eliminated along with Gary Anderson.

Does that seem a bit strange to you? Is it punishment enough to be eliminated at this stage or should relegation mean just that, ie, there is no reprieve the following season and you have to sit out the Premier League for 12 months and give someone else a bash at it?

So who will survive? All 3 players are on 6 points. The Thorn has the best leg difference -1 compared to Chizzy -5 and Wez -13!

Thornton’s plight is an interesting one. Unlucky is an overused and inaccurate statement in sport but you can make a case for The Thorn being unlucky this year. He was the player that had to play twice on the night Newton was a no show. He was clearly unhappy about having to play a second game and lost! Also, he has to play The Power on Judgement Night; the Phil Taylor of today not of a few weeks ago when we all fancied our chances against him. If The Thorn had had the “rub of the green” we may be looking at a winner takes all showdown between Newton and Chisnall.

As usual there are numerous potential scenarios of how Judgement Night may pan out. The first scenario is that if Thornton loses then a draw for Newton and Chisnall would send Thornton down. Hmmm, what do you reckon, would they both take that now and rely on Taylor to resume his good form and send Thornton in to the elimination spot? But if they did draw and Thornton also got a point Newton would go.

 A win for Chizzy would send Newton down no matter how Thornton gets on against Taylor. A defeat for Chizzy and his only hope is to lose his game 7:5 and hope Taylor whips Thornton 7:0! Confused yet? Probably best to just tune in and enjoy the spectacle!

The other side of the Judgement Night coin is that  we temporarily forget the majority of the players have no interest in who stays and who goes, the 02 is their focus.

 The fixtures are:

Gary Anderson 6/4 v Peter Wright 11/8  Draw 7/2
Michael van Gerwen2/7 v Simon Whitlock 13/2  Draw 6/1
Adrian Lewis 6/5 v Raymond van Barneveld 13/8  Draw 4/1
Wes Newton 9/5 v Dave Chisnall 5/4  Draw 7/2
Phil Taylor 1/2 v Robert Thornton 4/1  Draw 9/2

Peter Wright contrived to upset the mild mannered MVG last week with a spot of what was perceived by many as gamesmanship. The most interesting part of this was not the build up to a missed attempt at the bull by Wright but his darting squat. Snakebite ducked down to change the angle of attack to the 60 bed for his dart rather than the more conventional route of opting to just go down for the 19’s.

This upset Michael! He saw it as a slur on him that Peter Wright would have the temerity to bring his exhibition game to the stage. I think this is an over-reaction. It wasn’t that long ago that any player going for a double double out shot, despite the sometimes logical evidence that this was the best option were ridiculed for show boating. Double doubles are accepted now.

What is the difference between shuffling up and down the oche (which incidentally Wright does way too much in my opinion) to get a better angle or ducking down or even standing on tiptoes to alter the approach? The only difference is that moving up and down the oche is conventional, it has always happened, Snakebite’s innovative approach hasn’t!

However, just because it is the first time it has happened doesn’t necessarily mean it should be regarded as an insult or gamesmanship.

Image courtesy of olovedog / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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