herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Dutch duo destined to progress in Grand Prix

Reigning world champion Michael van Gerwen will look to book his place in the quarter-finals of the partypoker.com World Darts Grand Prix at the Citywest Hotel tonight when he takes on Dean Winstanley.

The 25-year-old eased through his opening round match against Vincent van der Voort when dropping just one leg in the best-of-three-sets format and it would prove a huge surprise if he didn't manage to oblige over Winstanley, who conquered Michael Smith here on Tuesday night.

Van Gerwen is likely to be joined in the last eight of the tournament by his Dutch compatriot Raymond van Barneveld who showed his class to come through a tight battle with Dave Chisnall in the first round.

Van Barneveld faces a tough assignment in Mervyn King in the concluding match of the night, but is expected to oblige.

Proceedings get underway with what could be the tie of the night as the high-flying Peter Wright takes on Lakeside champion Stephen Bunting.

Impressed

Wright came through a three-setter against Jamie Caven on Tuesday, while Bunting impressed by knocking out Ronnie Baxter in straight sets and Bunting was naturally delighted to make a winning debut in Dublin and he is looking forward to taking on Wright shortly after 7pm this evening. "For my debut, I'm really happy with Tuesday night," said Bunting.

"I kept putting too much pressure on myself to get the starting doubles and I was really nervous, but I can relax into the tournament now.

"My record over the last few games against Peter has been good but this is a bit different because it's double-start, and hopefully I can hit my doubles straight away."

Wright said: "I'm number four in the world and I've got to start playing like that.

"When I was trying to get into this position I was playing really good darts, and I haven't been this year which is disappointing."

"I've got a target on my back and everyone wants to beat you."

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