Hankey v Barden: Out for the Count
Many will be tuning in on Sunday evening for the return to our television screens of the ever-entertaining Ted Hankey and most will be expecting him to progress against the largely unfancied World Championships debutant Clive Barden.
The Count has had a fairly disappointing time at Lakeside since winning the tournament for the second time back in 2009 and has only won two games over the last two years; progressing to the quarter-finals in 2010, but going out at the first time of asking last year to Scott Waites.
The two-time World Champ has had a decent 2011 since then though, winning the Isle of Man Open and reaching the final of the England Open, losing out to Gary Robson. His biggest earner though was his run to the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton which saw him pick up impressive wins over Dutchmen Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen.
Barden is at the other end of the darting spectrum to Hankey, with career earnings of less than 2% of the Count’s.
This is not to say he isn’t a threat though; he has the 2010 Danish Open title to his name and was a finalist in the Scottish Open just this year.
His experience in Majors, however, is next to nil and will surely struggle against the wily old campaigner that is Ted Hankey who will not be afraid to use every trick in the book to gain the upper hand.
Unsurprisingly the 2009 Champion is a heavy odds-on favourite at best price 2/9 and I would go as far as to expect a whitewash which you can back at a tempting 7/4 with Ladbrokes.
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