MVG and Cool Hand Luke Bid to Maintain Grand Slam Temperature

The 2022 Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts Semi-Finals line-up will be confirmed this evening, with a potential classic on the horizon at Aldersley Leisure Village. Reigning World Matchplay champion Michael van Gerwen faces four-time Euro Tour winner Luke Humphries in the final Quarter Final of this year’s competition. 

The Winmau man finished top of Group G ahead of European Championship winner Ross Smith, Luke Woodhouse, and Development Tour star Nathan Rafferty, winning two of his three group matches. 

The three-time former World Champion was involved in arguably the game of the tournament so far, averaging over 107 in beating youngster Josh Rock 10-8 in the Last 16. The young Northern Irishman despite the defeat, found the first nine-darter since Dimitri van den Bergh in 2018 sending the crowd in Wolverhampton in ecstasy. 

MVG has shown evidence once more in this competition of the magic he can produce in big moments of tungsten tussles, finding a crucial 142 finish on double eleven in what was a huge pressure moment for the Dutchman, taking the lead for the first time on the oche at 8-7. 

Cool Hand who is now number 5 in the live PDC Order of Merit, came through as Group H winner including an average over 107 in beating World Number 17 Ryan Searle 5-1. 

The Red Dragon star continued into the knockout stages and survived a late comeback from Ross Smith, defeating Smudger 10-8 on Thursday night. The Newbury-born darting star survived ten maximums from the recent major champion, but again showed the improvement in his doubling game when it mattered. 

Humphries missed just four darts on the outer ring in his 5-1 won over Heavy Metal and included a 96 average over eighteen legs against Dover born star Smith. 

A potential repeat of the legendary 2012 Final between Mighty Mike and Raymond van Barneveld could well happen 10 years later, with the great Dutchman coming from 8-3 down to beat World Number 1 Gerwyn Price after retiring from the sport at one stage. 

But Englishman Humphries will certainly have something to say about that, having the best year of his darting career and in particular shining on the Euro stage. Cool Hand met Van Gerwen in the Semi-Finals of the German Darts Grand Prix and it certainly was a one-sided affair. 

The Red Dragon man went on to win the tournament but impressed most in his Last 4 tie, averaging over 107 in a 7-0 whitewash win over the World Number 3. 

Before, Nathan Aspinall faces debutant Alan Soutar in the third Quarter Final at the Grand Slam, with the winner to face either MVG or Humphries in the Semis. 

Raymond van Barneveld will face Michael Smith in one Semi-Final after Bully Boy claimed a last leg decider 16-15 victory over Premier League Runner Up Joe Cullen on Friday night. 

Coverage of the remaining Quarter Finals start from 7pm Saturday live on Sky Sports, with former UK Open champion and recent Grand Prix finalist Aspinall up first against the Firefighter from Arbroath. 


Images: PDC

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