Hello everyone, and welcome to my debut post for my new darts-exclusive blog, To The Point!
Tonight I will be covering Day 2 of the Japan Darts Masters. Last night we saw all 8 of the Japanese representatives bow out to the dominant European players, so tonight we will be seeing 8 of the best players in the world go head to head to take out the title of Japan Darts Champion!
Tonight's quarter-final matches:
Michael van Gerwen vs. Stephen Bunting
Peter Wright vs. Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor vs Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade vs. Gary Anderson
FIRST QUARTER FINAL MATCH: Michael van Gerwen vs. Stephen Bunting
Stephen Bunting wins the bull and will throw first.
0-1: A 171 from van Gerwen to leave 94 isn't enough, as Bunting throws 2 180's and a double 8 to finish a 10 dart leg.
1-1: van Gerwen finishes 49 on double 16 to hold his throw.
2-1: Bunting barely misses finishing 123 on bull, but Michael walks up and finishes 36 for a 13 dart leg.
3-1: van Gerwen misses 5 darts at double before finally putting it away.
3-2: Bunting scores well to get to a finish first, and finishes 41 to break the drought.
4-2: Bunting throws a 180, but Michael scores consistently better to take the 6th leg.
4-3: MVG narrowly misses a 144 peg, and Bunting steps up to finish 40.
4-4: Bunting throws 2 180's in a leg for the second time, and finishes 12 for the 8th leg.
5-4: Bunting throws his 6th 180, but Michael remains calm to take the 9th.
6-4: MVG finishes 36 to take a 2 leg buffer.
6-5: Bunting takes out 44 to close the gap on Michael.
7-5: MVG finishes 124 on the bull's eye to go within one leg of the semi-finals.
8-5: van Gerwen throws 6 perfect darts to start the leg, but it ends up being a 14 dart leg to clinch the match.
Winner: Michael van Gerwen
SECOND QUARTER FINAL MATCH: Peter Wright vs. Adrian Lewis
Adrian Lewis will throw first.
1-0: Both players makes a mess of the doubles, Wright takes out 20.
2-0: Lewis throws a 180 but makes mistakes setting up the double. Wright takes out 25.
2-1: Lewis throws 7 perfect darts, but takes a further 7 to hit a double.
2-2: Lewis recovers after a poor first dart to take out 76.
3-2: Lewis has a few bounce-outs, Wright steps up and finishes 121 on the bull.
4-2: Wright finishes 40 with Lewis not on a finish.
5-2: Wright finishes 121 on bull again, while Lewis was waiting on 44.
5-3: Adrian has to dance around the oche to hit the shanghai, but does it well to close the gap.
6-3: Lewis misses tops to make it one leg the difference, Wright calmly walks up and puts away 36.
7-3: Lewis misses darts at 58, Wright doesn't make the same mistake and finishes 60.
7-4: Lewis hits tops to hold his throw, but you have to think that it's too little, too late.
8-4: Wright throws 6 perfect darts, but has to settle for a 12 darter, finishing 86 on the bull, to head to the semi-finals.
Winner: Peter Wright
THIRD QUARTER FINAL MATCH: Phil Taylor vs. Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor will throw first.
1-0: Slow leg after the speed we've seen in the previous two matches, Taylor takes out 32.
2-0: Sloppy on doubles from both men, Phil finishes 4 after 21 darts.
3-0: Taylor takes out 41, with Barney all the way back on 195.
4-0: Taylor punishes some unlucky darts from Barney to take a commanding lead.
5-0: Taylor takes yet another leg, and Barney will now just be hoping to avoid the whitewash.
5-1: Raymond takes out 52 in 2 darts to get his first leg on the board.
5-2: Barney breaks the Taylor throw to close the gap. A nice 116 peg.
5-3: Both men having double trouble again, Barney finishing 8 to take 3 on the trot.
6-3: Taylor takes out 68 to move one leg closer to the semi-finals.
7-3: Phil finishes 98 after Barney misses multiple darts at double.
8-3: Taylor narrowly misses a 167 peg, but comes back and takes out 25 to advance to the semis.
Winner: Phil Taylor
A new tweet from Adrian Lewis:
FOURTH QUARTER FINAL MATCH: James Wade vs. Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson will throw first.
0-1: Anderson holds his throw to take the first leg.
0-2: Wade misses a dart at the bull, Gary steps up and takes out "Madhouse" double 1.
0-3: Gary Anderson takes out 25 to get some breathing space to start this match.
0-4: Anderson takes out 32, and it hasn't even looked like Wade has made it out of the hotel today.
0-5: Anderson looks like running away with this, taking out 50 to make it 5 on the trot.
0-6: Wade has a dart at a double, but can't hit it. Anderson comes back and finishes 25.
0-7: Wade looks to be in a world of trouble as Gary moves within one leg of the semis.
1-7: Wade has to take out a 113 just to get a leg on the board. Composed finish on tops.
1-8: Anderson polishes off 50 to glide through to the semi finals against Phil Taylor.
FIRST SEMI FINAL MATCH: Michael van Gerwen vs. Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen will throw first.
0-1: 96 peg to Wright to break MVG's throw.
0-2: van Gerwen throws a 180, but Wright pegs 16 to hold throw.
0-3: Wright breaks van Gerwen again with a 40 finish.
1-3: van Gerwen throws a 180 followed by a 140, and finishes the 12 darter on 120.
1-4: Wright finishes 8 to break van Gerwen for a third time.
2-4: 3 180's in this leg, and van Gerwen finishes 44 to close the gap before the break.
3-4: Michael finishes off 66 on double 18 to close within one leg of Wright.
4-4: MVG finishes 124 on the bull after some good darts from both men.
5-4: van Gerwen starts the leg with a 180, and finishes 92 while Wright was waiting on a 2-dart finish.
6-4: Wright misses a dart at tops, van Gerwen finishes 40 on his last dart, and MVG has taken 5 legs on the spin.
6-5: Michael misses darts at a 56 finish, and Wright steps up to take out 76.
6-6: Both men hit 180's as Wright finishes 64 with two darts.
7-6: Wright barely misses the bull after a 180 to leave 81, van Gerwen slots home the double 18.
7-7: Wright throws a 180 and finishes 66 to take it to a deciding leg!
7-8: Peter Wright takes out 141 after a shaky leg from both men to knock out the world number one!!! That's the first time he's ever beaten MVG on TV, and the tears on his face tell how much it means to him. Fantastic match, fantastic finish. Match of the night so far.
Winner: Peter Wright
SECOND SEMI FINAL MATCH: Phil Taylor vs. Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson will throw first.
0-1: Anderson throws a 180 on the way to holding his throw.
1-1: Both men have now thrown 13 dart legs, Taylor finishing on 32.
1-2: Anderson finishes 104 on tops, and all legs have gone on throw so far.
1-3: Anderson capitalises on Taylor's missed darts at double, finishing 26.
2-3: Taylor finishes 40 to break Anderson's throw.
3-3: Anderson hits a 180, then miscounts when trying to peg-out! Had 83, hit 51, then 36! Thought he had the leg won! Taylor walks up and finishes 108 to punish the mistake.
4-3: Taylor hits a 180, and finishes 125 with bull, 25, and bull. Only one man can do that, and that's the 16 time champion of the world.
4-4: Anything you can do, I can do better!!! Gary finishes 140 with triple twenty, tops-tops!!! A massive smile on both player's faces.
4-5: Gary finishes 80 with 2 darts to regain the lead.
5-5: Taylor finishes 36 using all three darts to deny Anderson the opportunity to pounce.
6-5: Gary misses darts at double for the first time in the match, to allow Taylor to take the lead from a break of throw.
6-6: Both players miss darts at bull to finish the leg, Anderson comes back to finish off the 25 to break straight back.
6-7: Anderson misses a few more darts at double, Taylor can't put pressure on from 167, and Gary finishes on double 5.
7-7: Taylor capitalises on another Anderson mistake, this time hitting the big 5 to not leave a finish. We're onto another last leg decider!
8-7: Another tight call, as Anderson hits the triple 20 going for 164, but misses the triple 18. Taylor steps up with 14 left, and puts it away with one dart. Both semi finals went to the last leg, and both times, the winner had to break the throw. We're in for a cracker of a final.
Winner: Phil Taylor
JAPAN DARTS MASTERS FINAL: Peter Wright vs. Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor will throw first, and this game will be the best of 15 legs.
0-1: Taylor takes the opening leg on throw, finishing 54.
0-2: Wright can't finish 121 like he did against Lewis, and Taylor comes back to finish 16.
1-2: Wright battles his way to a finish, and pegs 12 to get on the board. Maybe the nerves will settle now.
2-2: 2 180's and an 11 dart leg helps pull Wright back level with Taylor.
2-3: Taylor misses his first dart at double 12, but Wright isn't on a finish, so Taylor mops it up next time of calling.
2-4: Taylor finishes 84 in two darts, throwing an 11 darter, to take the lead going into the break.
2-5: Taylor takes out 120 to move 3 in the clear.
2-6: Taylor finishes 86 on the bull to win his fourth leg on the trot.
2-7: Taylor ignores the bull finish, instead set up 32 and hits it on the first dart upon his return.
3-7: Out of nowhere, Peter Wright pegs 108 to keep himself alive in this final.
4-7: Wright pulls another 121 finish out of his back pocket, just like he did against MVG. Game is still on!
5-7: Third consecutive ton plus finish!!! This time, it's a 129, with a double-double finish! Peter Wright is not done yet!
6-7: Wright missed another ton plus finish, but Taylor can't polish off 90, and this game is still going!
7-7: IT'S ANOTHER LAST LEG DECIDER!!! Wright takes out 56 to take it to the very last dart of the night!!! Remember, both semi finals went to the last leg, and the person that had the darts, lost. Taylor has the darts in this leg, but that's no guarantee.
7-8: TAYLOR WINS!!! He had plenty of match darts throughout, but it came to the final leg, one dart at double 10, and he buries it in there with authority. A fantastic night for darts, and a fantastic night for the Japanese fans.
5 hours later, this coverage is DONE. We saw some cracker matches, some edge of the seat stuff, and a fantastic fight back from Wright in the final, but in the end, the experience and talent of Taylor shone through.
Have a good night folks, and I'll see you next time!