World Matchplay Day 2: Cullen Overcomes The Heat
By Harry Masterson 17/07/2022
Cullen to Hot for The Heat
Joe Cullen rediscovered the form that helped him reach the Premier League Final, brushing aside World Cup winner Damon Heta 10-2 in the First Round of the World Matchplay. Michael van Gerwen returned to action after missing all four Pro Tours in Barnsley, beating Adrian Lewis 10-7 including two maximums to reach the Second Round.
Luke Humphries despite a strong year on the Euro Circuit, fell to an early defeat at the hands of Nathan Aspinall in a 10-5 defeat ending the heated evening session. James Wade included a Shanghai finish in his win over debutant Martin Lukeman, finding a 10-4 victory to set up a Second-Round clash with The Asp.
The Rockstar despite a shaky showing in Barnsley last week, came out the blocks flying against his Australian opponent and found a 160 check out on tops in the sixth leg to lead 5-1. The Englishman certainly received the support of the Blackpool faithful after a spine tingling walk on, coming out to Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis.
The tournament number 13 continued to cause Heta problems on the warm Winter Gardens stage including a 120 finish in the seventh leg to break throw. The Heat despite a missed dart at single 14 recovered to hit double sixteen and finish 54 avoiding his opponent winning ten straight legs.
The Winmau man finished double ten with his first dart to hold and seal a 10-2 victory, including four maximums and an average of 95.72.
The Bradford ace will meet Michael van Gerwen in the Second Round, a repeat of the recent Premier League final that MVG won in a last leg decider 11-10.
Mighty Mike opened with his highest checkout of the match, finishing 126 on the bullseye to take a 1-0 lead against recent Players Championship winner Lewis. Jackpot had his moments in the match hitting four of the six 180s in Blackpool and included a 76 finish in the ninth leg to break the Dutchman’s throw.
The Vlijmen thrower let his quality flow through towards the end of the match breaking with an 80 finish to lead 8-6 and followed up his quality on his two-dart combination finishes in the last leg of the match. Double eight with his last dart in hand finished the job for the two-time Matchplay champion, as he looks to end his six year wait for the Phil Taylor Trophy.
Despite a fantastic showing on the Euro Tour stage, Luke Humphries couldn’t replicate his form in the World Matchplay after falling to a 10-5 defeat by Nathan Aspinall. The Asp was always a tricky draw for the Red Dragon star and caused problems against the darts, breaking early with a 143 out on double sixteen to lead 2-1.
Two more breaks of throw followed as the Stockport ace proceeded to win the next six legs on the spin and entered a 7-1 lead ahead of the second break. Cool Hand showed glimpses in the match just why he’s achieved what he has this year, winning three legs on the spin including checkouts of 78 and 65 to break throw just before a hearing of Chase the Sun for the fantastic crowd.
It was to be the former UK Open champion’s night on the oche, finding a 100 checkout on tops for an 8-4 lead before breaking on double eight in the last leg, as he looks to build together a strong run and reclaim his Premier League place back for 2023.
James Wade showed experience is key in his match with Martin Lukeman, who reached the Final of the German Darts Grand Prix earlier in the year. The Machine broke twice in the opening three legs to lead 3-0 against the man making his first appearance at the Winter Gardens but bust double ten in the fourth leg to allow Smash a break back on double five.
The Watford thrower threw the more 180s of the pair, but we all know the quality of the 2007 Matchplay champion shows towards the end of legs, including a 120 checkout on his beloved tops to go within one of the match.
The Aldershot ace found double two to end the hopes of Lukeman who can see his first outing in Blackpool as a learning curve going on into his darting career. Wade will hope for a major victory after impressing in the recent Premier League, finishing above Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price in the league format to reach Finals Night in Berlin.
The final four First Round matches will conclude tomorrow night with Gerwyn Price entering the Matchplay as he faces Martin Schindler, with the German enjoying his best year so far on the PDC Circuit. Rob Cross the 2019 champion also makes his first appearance opening the session against Chris Dobey on Monday live on Sky Sports.
Betfred World Matchplay 2022: Evening Session Results
Joe Cullen (13) 10-2 Damon Heta
James Wade (5) 10-4 Martin Lukeman
Michael van Gerwen (4) 10-7 Adrian Lewis
Nathan Aspinall 10-5 Luke Humphries (12)
Monday’s Order of Play: Evening Session
Rob Cross (10) v Chris Dobey
Jose de Sousa (7) v Gabriel Clemens
Gerwyn Price (2) v Martin Schindler
Dave Chisnall (15) v Kim Huybrechts
Images: Taylor Lanning/PDC
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