World Matchplay Darts: Michael van Gerwen muddles past Adrian Lewis as Joe Cullen pulls off astonishing 10-2 victory | Darts News

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Joe Cullen demolished Damon Heta as James Wade struggled past Martin Lukeman; Michael Smith fought back from 8-4 down to beat Andrew Gilding 11-9 while Gary Anderson was knocked out; Watch every session at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 17/07/22 11:44pm


The best of the action from the evening session of the World Matchplay in Blackpool

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The best of the action from the evening session of the World Matchplay in Blackpool

The best of the action from the evening session of the World Matchplay in Blackpool

Michael van Gerwen and James Wade muddled past Adrian Lewis and debutante Martin Lukeman respectively as Joe Cullen put on an astonishing performance at night two of World Matchplay Darts.

The headline match of the evening got off to a flier with Van Gerwen and Lewis both hitting the trebles well, ‘The Green Machine’ checking out on 126 on the opening leg to assert himself earlier on. Lewis, however, fought back to break Van Gerwen and led 3-2 at the first break.

Sunday, July 17 – First Round Results

Evening Session Joe Cullen 10-2 Damon Heta
James Wade 10-4 Martin Lukeman
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Adrian Lewis
Luke Humphries 10-7 Nathan Aspinall

Despite an exciting start, the latter legs were sloppier, Lewis going bust on the 15th leg and providing the opportunity for Van Gerwen to go 9-6 ahead. ‘The Green Machine’ managed to get over the line with a 10-7 victory throwing his lowest average ever at the Matchplay and hitting just shy of 90.

Michael van Gerwen gave an honest assessment of his performance in his hard-fought victory over Adrian Lewis

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Michael van Gerwen gave an honest assessment of his performance in his hard-fought victory over Adrian Lewis

Michael van Gerwen gave an honest assessment of his performance in his hard-fought victory over Adrian Lewis

For the Dutchman, there were “no winners” in his clash with Lewis but he knows how tricky the first stage can be at this competition.

“Yeah of course a win is a win at this stage of the game, first round of the Matchplay,” said Van Gerwen.

“Most important thing is win your first game. It was tough for both of us, we both couldn’t find our gear but I think my doubles were the key and helped me.

“I have to forget this game really quickly because there were no winners in this game to be fair.

“It was tough, it wasn’t easy tonight but I am glad I got this one out of the way.”

Sunday, July 17 – First Round Results

Afternoon Session Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-8 Ryan Searle
Danny Noppert 10-6 Brendan Dolan
Gary Anderson 7-10 Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith 11-9 Andrew Gilding

In the opening match of the evening, Joe Cullen put on an astonishing performance against World Cup winner Damon Heta, winning nine legs in a row to take a 10-2 victory against the Australian.

The stars aligned for Cullen as he set out to prove a point, taking out consecutive ton-plus finishes to put down the marker for his second-round opponent, Van Gerwen.

Joe Cullen extends his lead over Damon Heta with this 120 finish

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Joe Cullen extends his lead over Damon Heta with this 120 finish

Joe Cullen extends his lead over Damon Heta with this 120 finish

In a similar fashion to Van Gerwen, Wade saw out a scrappy encounter with Matchplay debutante Lukeman. Despite averaging below 90, Wade managed to power through and finish the match-up 10-4, Lukeman putting in a valiant display that fell down on his finishing.

The final match of the evening session saw a stellar performance from Nathan Aspinall who blitzed himself to a 5-1 lead, leaving Luke Humphries unable to answer four maximums and four breaks of throw.

Humphries managed to claw it back to 7-5 but Aspinall wouldn’t go away and dismissed one of the three favourites to win 10-5 in a dominant display.

Monday, July 18 – Fixtures

First Round Rob Cross vs Chris Dobey
Jose de Sousa vs Gabriel Clemens
Gerwyn Price vs Martin Schindler
Dave Chisnall vs Kim Huybrechts

Afternoon Session: Smith survives as Anderson is knocked out

The best encounter of the afternoon session came as 2019 runner-up Michael Smith faced off against Andrew Gilding in his first appearance at Winter Gardens since 2015. Gilding got off to a good start against ‘Bullyboy’, breaking him twice in the opening five legs but Smith fought back hard from 8-4 legs down to win 11-9, taking seven of the last eight legs to claim victory.

He was naturally relieved after his performance and knows that, if he can maintain the performance he found for the last eight legs, he has the potential to win the tournament.

Watch as Michael Smith checks out with a massive 161 finishing on the bull

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Watch as Michael Smith checks out with a massive 161 finishing on the bull

Watch as Michael Smith checks out with a massive 161 finishing on the bull

“The third session then I couldn’t afford to lose a leg, especially being 8-4 down and luckily I got my act together and was hitting shorts and managed to scrape over the line,” said Smith.

“I just couldn’t find that first treble and I was looking for that first treble to follow it in and I was just so slow starting but managed to find it in the end and luckily tops was going in perfectly the whole match and managed to pull me out of the mud in the end.

“I have got the kids there and the kids pictures in my case and you have got to dig deep and show them that you can’t give up.

Michael Smith speaks to Stuart Pyke after beating Andrew Gilding in round one of the World Matchplay

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Michael Smith speaks to Stuart Pyke after beating Andrew Gilding in round one of the World Matchplay

Michael Smith speaks to Stuart Pyke after beating Andrew Gilding in round one of the World Matchplay

“I was just hoping it went in and luckily enough it did. When it is your day it is your day.

“Sorry to Andrew but someone has to win and luckily enough it is me.

“There are 32 players and you qualify on merit and you see I have been in finals this year and so I don’t see why not.

“If I turn up and bring my A-game most people in the venue know there is only one winner so I just have to bring my game.”

The afternoon session opened with double Dutch delight as Dirk van Duijvenbode beat Ryan Searle 10-8 in a tense encounter, before Danny Noppert cruised past Brendan Dolan 10-6 after coming back to take six legs in a row for the victory.

Live World Matchplay Darts

July 18, 2022, 7:00pm

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Next up saw Gary Anderson up against Daryl Gurney who, despite three ton-plus finishes for the ‘Flying Scotsman’, managed to grind out a 10-7 victory in a clash that saw six breaks of throw in nine legs. Anderson, who has struggled for form of late, couldn’t find the trebles in the final few legs and succumbed to Gurney.

Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. You can watch the World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool – live on Sky Sports over the next nine days.



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