Will Barney rumble on?
Raymond van Barneveld faces Darin Young in the Grand Slam of Darts second round tonight.
The odds suggest this is the most predictable of tonight's matches with Barney at 1/9 to win. But he should be wary of his opponent. "Big Daddy" may have a tournament throw average ten points lower than the Dutchman but he's thrown more ton-plus scores including two maximums per match.
It's not his scoring that's impressed so much - it's his demeanour. Three-nil down to Terry Jenkins in his opening game on the big stage he won five out of six legs showing great resolve to take the match 5-4. He is very relaxed on stage and scores consistently. He's 5/1 to win tonight.
On the other hand, Barney looked visibly rattled on Tuesday night. Having taken a 3-0 lead against Young's compatriot, Gary Mawson, he took his foot off the gas and let the American claw his way back to almost take the match to a deciding leg. Realising he was under pressure van Barneveld couldn't get going again and his throwing was shakey.
The remaining second round games are much harder to call. James Wade can play better than he has this week but came close to his best against Adrian Lewis. His price to win the match has been cut to 8/13 from 4/6. This means Gary Anderson is now a bigger price at 6/5 and could cause an upset.
Denis Ovens whitewashed Niels de Ruiter in his last group game and will be confident going up against the 8/15 favourite for the match, Darryl Fitton, who has played the better darts this week only losing one match, to his pal Gary Anderson, once he'd done enough to qualify.
Terry Jenkins is a big 6/5 to beat Robert Thornton. Jenkins's form is erratic to say the least compared to "The Thorn's" steady performances but he showed his class in his 5-0 demolition of Wes Newton, averaging nearly 99 a visit. Thornton is too short at 8/13.
|Darryl Fitton||8/15||-v-||11/8||Denis Ovens|
|Terry Jenkins||6/5||-v-||8/13||Robert Thornton|
|James Wade||8/13||-v-||6/5||Gary Anderson|
|Raymond van Barneveld||1/9||-v-||5/1||Darin Young|