It was a week full of positives for our man, Dave Chisnall, as he took to the stage at the Citywest, Dublin.
Having reached the final six years ago, Chizzy was keen to go one better and he was confident that he could do so this year.
A first round draw against Gerwyn Price is always going to be tough and it turned out to be the tightest game of the week for Chizzy. At 1-1 in sets and 2-2 in the final set, the match went to a tense deciding leg. A fifth 180 on the night for Dave and, with Gerwyn struggling to get his double in, he was able to wrap up the tie with a clinical 99 checkout.
In Round 2, Dave came up against his good friend Stephen Bunting. After falling two legs behind in the opening set, Chizzy dug deep and fought back to win the following three legs and claim the opening set. This shifted the momentum and Dave capitalised by winning 6 of the following 7 legs to run out a 3-0 winner on the night in a convincing performance.
The Quarter Finals saw Chizzy up against Nathan Aspinall. It’s been a great year for Nathan, so Dave knew he was going to have to put in a top performance if he was to progress. A tense opening set went the distance with Dave holding his nerve in the deciding leg to take it 3-2. Dave looked settled in the second set and posted a remarkable 106.15 set average and 60% on checkouts to claim the second set and move 2-0 up. The third set also went the whole way, this time with Nathan showing his nerve as he clinched the 5th leg with Dave waiting on 10. However, Chizzy bounced back to win the 4th set and claim the match 3-1.
A real spectacle awaited in the semi-final, as Dave faced Glen Durrant. It was a perfect start for Chizzy as he won the opening set 3-0, which was matched by Glen in the second as he won by the same margin leaving the tie nicely poised at 1 set apiece. The match was tense but with 7 x 180s and a sublime 170 checkout, the following 3 sets all went Chizzy’s way and he ran out a 4-1 winner on the night.
Having only dropped 3 sets all week, Dave was in fine form. As always, his power scoring was there but perhaps, more importantly, he was looking really comfortable on his doubles.
One more to go and he was up against his rival in the final, MvG. Michael got off to a quick start as he took the opening set, however Dave turned it on in set two and won the 5th leg to make it 1-1. Sets 3 and 4 went the way of the Dutchman by the finest of margins, both 3-2 and he followed this by claiming the 5th set also. At 4-1 down, Chizzy kept fighting and this paid off for him as he took the 6th set to make it 4-2. Unfortunately for Dave, MvG edged another set 3-2, as he pinned double 6 to seal the match and claim the title.
Despite the result, there are some real positives to take from this for Chizzy. A 93 average was his fourth 90+ average of the tournament, which in a double start format is very impressive. Also, he notched up 12 x 180s in the final, taking his weekly tally to 28, so the power scoring was definitely turned on!
Score lines can sometimes be misleading and it would be fair to think that at 5-2 it was an easy win for MvG. However, 5 of the 7 sets went the full distance of 5 legs and, if you look at legs won, it would have been 19-13 in Michael’s favour. That said, you can take nothing away from MvG’s performance, he stepped up in some really important moments and showed some of his best play to win the match. Congratulations to him!
Having reached the final of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy and hitting a 9 darter along the way, Chizzy has now backed that up with another fantastic tournament. It’s a busy end to the year with a lot of tournaments coming up and Dave’s game seems to be in a great place.
All in all it was a terrific week for Chizzy and one he should be very proud of – well done from everyone at Harrows!
Photos: Lawrence Lustig – PDC