Walsh v Hankey: Count on the experienced player
Two days might not seem like enough of a break for either of these two men after the epic contests they both endured in their second round matches. The pair were made to fight till the bitter end for their places in the quarter-finals as both matches went the full 19 legs, with Mark Walsh edging out Dean Winstanley and Ted Hankey squeezing past Michael van Gerwen.
Walsh’s contest was probably the higher quality of the two as he fired in a 98 average and produced a very impressive finishing ratio of 53%. Hankey’s stats were not quite as good, but still very competitive (91 average and 45% checkout rate), and one area he could dominate is in hitting maximums. The Count produced six to Walsh’s three on Thursday night; this was more than double the amount he had hit in the group stages, showing he really improves over the longer format.
These two have never met before in competitive action so there is little history to draw on to help us predict what will happen. Especially when considering that this is the furthest stage either man has ever reached in this tournament, things become even more difficult.
As good a player is Special Brew is, he does seem to come unstuck at this stage of major competitions; it is a rare occurrence indeed to see Mark Walsh in the semi-final of a big tournament. However, Ted Hankey doesn’t have the same problem, winning the Lakeside World Champioship as recently as 2009.
This is probably the reason that most bookmakers have The Count as favourite for the match, and I would agree with them, although there are some that can’t separate the two. Hankey seems to have something about him this week, and an even stronger determination than normal to do well, and the Evens Bet365 are offering for him to win with looks good to me.
• Taylor v Anderson: Play the obvious 180s markets
• Anderson v Walsh: End of the line for Special Brew
• Taylor v Lewis: Which Lewis will turn up?
• Taylor v Nicholson: Yet another grudge match
• Webster v Lewis: Spider to cast his web
• Anderson v Jenkins: Scotsman to continue flying
• Lewis v Part: Merciless Maple to punish any lapses
• Taylor v Newton: Phil to Power in the 180s
• Nicholson v Beaton: The Asset has the advantage
• Jenkins v Jones: The Bull is back
• Van Gerwen v Hankey: Clash of the egos
• Wade v Anderson: Back the consistent Machine
• Newton v Bates: More pain for Champagne
• Stompe v Phillips: Decider to go all the way
• Grand Slam Betting: Hankey v White
• Grand Slam Betting: OShea v Van Gerwen
• Grand Slam Betting: Pipe v Chisnall
• Grand Slam Betting: Taylor v Beaton
• Grand Slam Betting: Van der Voort v Phillips
• Grand Slam Betting: Webster v Part
• Grand Slam Betting: Newton v Nicholson
• Grand Slam Betting: Anderson v Dolan
• Grand Slam Betting: Wade v Pipe
• Grand Slam Betting: Chisnall v Jenkins
• Grand Slam Betting: King v Beaton
• Grand Slam Betting: Battle of the Dutch
• Grand Slam Betting: Wade v Chisnall
• Grand Slam Betting: Anderson v Heydon
• Grand Slam Betting: Waites v Van Gerwen
• Grand Slam Betting: Taylor v Hubbard
• Grand Slam Betting: Jenkins v Pipe
• Grand Slam Betting: Waites has Scott what it takes
• Grand Slam of Darts group stage betting
• Whitlock out of Grand Slam
• Caris & Heydon complete GSOD line-up