Past champion to make early exit
Mark Walsh was a slightly surprising winner of Championship League Darts Group Four yesterday as he beat Simon Whitlock in the semis then Mervyn King in the final to book a place in the Winners Group.
Whitlock made his fourth consecutive semi-final but once again faltered at the latter stages as Walsh emerged victorious from a tightly contested group having snuck into the semis by virtue of his positive leg difference.
“It was a really hard group so to win through it is a great moment,” said Walsh. “I could have found myself eliminated if one or two results had been different, but fortunately I made the top four and did well from there.”
Kevin Painter, Andy Smith and 2009 Championship League winner Colin Osborne enter the competition today for Championship League Darts Group Five.
Whitlock once again goes into the day as the favourite to win, but I wouldn’t touch him with someone else’s money at odds of 9/4. Mervyn King was in good touch yesterday but flashes of inconsistency cost him in the end. At odds of 9/2 with Sky Bet he once again looks a solid each-way bet.
However, as far as the winners market goes the value bet looks to be on Andy Smith at odds of 8/1. Pieman showed exactly what he is capable of in beating Raymond van Barneveld in Dublin last week, and can carry that form into today’s play.
At the other end of proceedings I’m predicting a tough day at the office for Colin Osborne. Ever since changing his nickname from ‘The Wizard’ to ‘Ozzy’ he seems to have lost some of his magical touch. He hasn’t made it past the last 16 of an event in his last nine attempts and I expect it might be a short visit to Crondon Park for him this week.
Back Andy Smith to win @ 8/1 each-way with Betfred
Back Colin Osborne to be eliminated @ 13/8 with Betfred
• Championship League: Power surge at Crondon
• Championship League: Last chance saloon
• Championship League: John joins the Party
• Championship League: Whitlock wanders on
• Championship League Group Four Betting
• Taylor backed for Championship League glory