THE card tonight is interesting, with a real tough call between Dean Winstanley and Ronny Huybrechts. Can Ronny do what his brother Kim could not and make the second round tonight?
Dean Winstanley will be looking to hold on to his top thirty-two ranking in the order of merit, as Ronny, will be looking to enter the fray. This game may not be inundated with maximums, but you never know. Deano leads the head to head three-one and could inspire memories of the three years ago when he pocketed a nine dart finish, back on December 23rd 2012. I was at the event that day and to experience the atmosphere in person for a perfect leg was electric. I did think the decibel level hit the roof.
The hope in this game is whether the pricing determines whether the game will go a distance with a 13/8 price saying it will go all five sets. This game could be determined on who can break whose throw, and this could take some undoing to achieve this.
Both will be motivated to win this, but will one let the other get too far ahead? The answer to this is no, and however both have performed this year could be deemed as irrelevant as their biggest payday of the year awaits the winner.
I do think the play in this is to take the total legs on board. Betfred offer 11/10 which is the leading price. Sponsors Hills go 4/6 on over but have the line chalked a leg fewer. To win this, both will have to win a set and to see a combination of sets going the distance to see a winner here.
Alternatively I do think the under on the maximums is another play with Paddy Power at 4/6 for fewer than nine in the game.
We were a little surprised when the initial pricing was released that Wes Newton was underdog to Cristo Reyes. The former UK Open finalist Newton has pretty much fallen off the radar, having appeared in the Premier League only in the 2013 and 2014 campaigns. We think Newton’s poor run has been pretty merciless to the extent that Reyes, who has caused upsets in the past, is the odds on favourite.
Reyes does have the slight edge on Newton having played a year ago to be separated by a single leg you can see that perhaps the bookies are edging the Spaniard further. Reyes is ahead on the head to head leading 2-0 over the Warrior and took a sudden death leg to see the Fleetwood thrower off. Reyes had a good run going to the third round and has amplified his successes on the pro-tour this year with two nine-dart finishes on the pro-tour.
The compilers find this difficult to chalk up on maximums where Coral edges Newton at 4/5 without the tie, with Reyes at 10/11. Personally the way Newton throws makes maximums trickier, although a very talented player, Reyes is more fluent in this aspect and gets the nod from us.
Chisnall takes on the youth superstar Rowby-John Rodriguez, who has showed signs of brilliant class this year. Chisnall leads the head to head and have only played once. Chisnall had some excellent form coming into this but those that have followed for a while will know I will rarely look at Chisnall matches as he does not always bring his A game and probably will not need to in this. However, I will enjoy watching this as an armchair viewer.
Similarly to say the final match between Jenkins and America’s Darin Young should have some fight, although this will depend on whether Jenkins is all business as he toes the oche. Jenkins could be in line for a Premier League spot if he has a long campaign and should not bare this in mind. The only time the pair have met was six years ago, where the Bull dazzled the American ace 4-0. Young has not always been that bad at this event, but his first appearance for two years, Jenkins will not be looking to stick around any longer than usual!