Cool Hand KO’s Grand Slam Favourite

Luke Humphries reached his first Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts Semi-Final on Saturday night, beating reigning World Matchplay and Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen 16-10. Cool Hand will face Nathan Aspinall in Sunday’s Semi Final line-up, after the ASP defeated debutant Alan Soutar 16-12 in the first match of the night.

The Red Dragon star included eight maximums in his win over the Dutchman, entering the interval at 3-2 ahead having broken the throw in the third leg. The Englishman then turned up the style in finishing the second-highest checkout in the sport, hitting the bullseye to complete a 167 finish, break and lead 6-3.

The third mini session commenced, and van Gerwen went just two legs away from Cool Hand after cleaning up a 100 checkout having found tops to earn his seventh leg of the contest. The World Number 8 responded with a ton plus checkout of his own, finishing 132 in the seventeenth leg to go 10-7 up.

The Winmau man found his highest checkout of the tungsten tussle in the fifteenth leg, hitting 104 to reach double figures in legs however still trailing 15-10 to the four-time Euro Tour champion.

Humphries impressed in his first two group matches of this year’s Grand Slam, starting with wins over Scott Williams and Ryan Searle in his opening two Group H contests at Aldersley Leisure Village.

The former World Championship Quarter Finalist, wrapped up victory in the 26th leg, hitting double tops with his last dart to secure a 16-10 victory dealing van Gerwen a defeat in a Sky broadcast competition, for the first time since last year’s Grand Slam where he lost to Michael Smith.

Bully Boy meets Raymond van Barneveld in the first Semi Final on Sunday after the Englishman beat Premier League runner up Joe Cullen 16-15 in the Quarter Finals, whilst the great Dutchman secured a memorable 16-13 win over World Number 1 Gerwyn Price having retired from the sport at one stage.

Nathan Aspinall having impressed at the recent Grand Prix in Leicester last month, came out the gates quickly against Soots leading 4-1 at the first break. The Scotsman who also works as a firefighter when not on the oche, levelled in the fourteenth leg at 7-7 having broke with a 25 finish in the leg prior.

The Stockport man found his highest checkout of 142 in the sixteenth leg to lead 9-7, before putting daylight between himself and the Scotsman leading 12-8 at the fourth interval in Wolverhampton.

The Asp remains on course for his first Grand Slam win, breaking in the 28th leg to win 16-12 including seven maximums and a percentage of 45.71% on his doubles.
Raymond van Barneveld is the only player now left in this years Grand Slam to have won the event before, having beat Michael van Gerwen 16-14 in the Final of the 2012 competition. Will we have a new winner in 2022?

2022 Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts Results:

Quarter Finals:

Nathan Aspinall 16-12 Alan Soutar
Luke Humphries (6) 16-10 Michael van Gerwen (3)

Sunday Order of Play:

Semi Finals:

Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith (4)
Nathan Aspinall v Luke Humphries (6)


Images: Taylor Lanning


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