Hankey can count out Smith
As we head into the final round of group stage contests at the Grand Slam of Darts the standout clash is not between two of the leading lights of the PDC but a wily old veteran and a cocky youngster in a winner-takes-all battle.
Ted Hankey looked to be somewhere near his best as he defeated Dave Chisnall on Sunday afternoon, but he will have to repeat that performance if he is to oust Michael Smith and move into the last 16 of the competition.
The Count averaged over 95, which is not stellar, but represents a return to form and there was plenty of his trademark showmanship as he fired in a maximum 170 finish in the seventh leg to go 4-3 ahead.
Smith was also very impressive in seeing off Chisnall but much less so in defeat to Scott Waites on Sunday where his finishing was very poor indeed. The pressure will be on against Hankey and the vast experience of the two-time world champion could play a big part. The two have met three times in the past with Smith winning them all, however, all of these were on the floor and the Count is a different prospect on stage. His gamesmanship could make him an excellent price at 11/10 with Bet Victor for the win.
The first match of the evening sees Justin Pipe needing a win, which he will certainly get against a struggling Mark Walsh. Special Brew has had a torrid time of it this season and his form does not looked to have picked up at all here, winning just one leg in two games.
Pipe will have no trouble overcoming the former semi-finalist and can be backed with confidence at 9/10 with Boyle Sports to prosper with a -2.5 handicap.
On the search for value elsewhere, the obvious choice seems to be Scott Waites who has won both his matches thus far but goes in as second favourite against Dave Chisnall who has lost both of his. Chizzy is now out of contention for a place in the last 16 whilst Waites is already through so there is little on the line here and we should really just look at the form book which reads a lot better if you are a Waites fan.
The BDO world champion is EVENS with Ladbrokes and that looks an exceptional price with Chizzy having been struggling severely ever since his battering in the final of the Grand Prix.
Finally, there looks to be good value in Mark Webster sailing past the challenge of the inexperienced Ross Smith in Group G. Webster upset the odds to defeat Wes Newton first up and then did not play too badly against Simon Whitlock but was on the wrong end of a masterclass from the Aussie. He is hot favourite to see-off Smith but looks a great price at 21/20 with Boyle Sports with a -1.5 handicap.
Ted Hankey to win @ 11/10 with Bet Victor
Justin Pipe (-2.5) to win @9/10 with Boyle Sports
Scott Waites to win @ EVENS with Ladbrokes
Mark Webster (-1.5) to win @ 21/20 with Boyle Sports
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