Anderson Upsets Chizzy as Blackpool Campaign Begins

Red Dragon Darts

Gary Anderson held off strong competition in the final match of the opening night of the Betfred World Matchplay, at the iconic Winter Garden in Blackpool, knocking Dave Chisnall out 10-6 at the first hurdle.

The pair’s all-time head-to-head might have been quite strongly in Anderson’s favour, but this match had the feeling of a close one from before the start.

An opening hold of throw, before a Shanghai 120 out to break, helped Anderson into the lead. The Scot was hoping to make it a 13th win in 18 matches with Chizzy.

Chisnall settled in to the match with the following two legs and a flourishing of top scoring. After taking a 3-2 lead, an opportunity arose to double the gap between himself and the Flying Scotsman, but it passed him by.

A feeling of tightness began to set into the match by this point. A 20 dart leg for Anderson put him 4-3 in front, before some bounceouts served to put the man from St Helens two legs adrift.

Chizzy had been quite strongly favoured for this match, at 4-5 with sponsors Betfred, and for the event as a whole, but the affair did not have the feel of a statement performance.

A comfortable 66 put Ando 6-3 up, a fourth leg in a row. An unrelenting Anderson was not about to let Chisnall into the game and got his scoring boots on in ample time, easing in a double 8 to take a 7-3 lead at the break.

Three ton and above scores helped Chisnall settle into the next session and bring the match a bit closer. Previous off-kilter throws were behind Chisnall now, who helped narrow Anderson’s lead to 7-5.But champions find a way, and a 115 checkout from Anderson returned the match to 8-5.

A reprieve in leg 14 for Chisnall came in double 18.Overcrowding near the double segment proved problematic for Anderson trying to clear up on 80, but the next visit saw no such problems.A 96 was not forthcoming for Chisnall, even with a beloved double 18.

The Flying Scotsman was to steam into the last 16. Commenting on his positive record with Chisnall, Anderson was keen to stress that the records don’t matter.

“I’ve got some fantastic records against players and it would be nice going through your life without them beating you, but they’ll get you one day,” he told Darts World.

“I couldn’t beat ‘The Pieman’ Andy Smith for love nor money, but you just have to play the board and hope to get over the winning line.”

Anderson faces Daryl Gurney on Tuesday evening after the Northern Irishman was the first to need extra legs to overcome Rob Cross 12-10.


Images: Taylor Lanning / PDC

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