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|What||Group Five of Last 32 of PDC Home Tour Darts|
|Where||Four players’ homes|
|When||Saturday, 30 May 2020, 2:30 PM EST|
|How to watch||Stream live on bet365 NJ|
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The second stage of the PDC Home Tour brings a slightly longer format with games now played over the best of 11 legs, rather than the first to five in the previous round. That should suit the higher ranked players, giving them a chance to rectify a poor start in matches.
The tournament continues with the fifth day of the Last 32 stage with former world champion Rob Cross up against three surprise first round winners in Ryan Searle, Luke Woodhouse and Daniel Larsson. Is another shock on the cards on Saturday evening?
|Players||To win Group 5||To win Home Event|
Group win odds taken on May 29, from bet365 NJ.
The 2018 PDC world champion Rob Cross pulled on everyone’s heartstrings when he topped his group on Night 21 just three days after attending the funeral for the grandfather. 68-year-old Colin Miles died of coronavirus had been a huge supporter of Cross’s career and the Voltage appeared to use the tragedy to channel his sights on the trebles and doubles as he won all three of his first-round matches.
The world No. 4 beat William Borland 5-2 but then came through two very tight encounters. He was let off the hook by Dimitri Van Den Bergh to win 5-4 as the Belgian missed his doubles. And Cross then came back from four-down to beat Karel Sedláček 5-4 in the comeback of the competition so far. Cross served up a very modest average of 82.08 across the three games and will undoubtedly need more if he is to control Saturday evening’s action.
The 29-year-old will take to his home oche in Hastings as firm favorite to progress to the Last 8 of the tournament. But this event has produced plenty of shocks with the playing from home vibe allowing a few lower ranked participants a chance to shine in the less pressurized environment.
Cross is no doubt one of the top players left in the Home Tour but family tragedy and the birth of his fourth child coming in August would suggest he has plenty on his plate. Yet he is a professional and the darts could easily be an important distraction.
Ryan Searle had to overcome the threat of world No. 8 James Wade as he topped the standings on Night 6. The long-haired 32-year-old, known as ‘Heavy Metal’, rocked an average of 100.23 as he swept aside Andy Boulton 5-1, Wade 5-3 and Adrian Gray 5-2. World ranked 40, Searle is playing from his man cave at the bottom of his Devon garden. Searle reached the third round of the 2020 PDC World Championships and he is not to be dismissed if he can dish up similar form to his first-round exploits.
Then we have the player who made the biggest first-round headlines in Luke Woodhouse. It seems a long time ago that Woodhouse threw the tournament’s first nine-dart finish on Night 2. Ranked 57 in the world, Woody slammed in the perfect leg against world number 3 Gerwyn Price. He averaged 113.86 against the fancied Welshman in a 5-0 drubbing and also picked up 5-2 wins over both Ted Evetts and Rowby-John Rodriguez. The Worcestershire dartsman could not have had a better evening and is backing up his promising performance of the 2020 PDC World Championship where he defeated Michael Smith en route to the Last 32.
The big question will be whether either Searle or Woodhouse can back up their terrific performances. Rob Cross leads Searle 4-0 on the head-to-head encounters and Woodhouse 3-1. It could be a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ for both men. The most intriguing match of the evening could be when Searle and Woodhouse play each other. They have met twice before and share bragging rights.
Making up the Group Five quartet is Sweden’s Daniel Larsson who won all three matches to win on Night 23. The 38-year-old is currently ranked 120 in the PDC Order of Merit and faces a tough task to repeat his earlier successes over Kyle Anderson 5-2, Dirk van Duijvenbode 5-2 and Martin Schindler 5-0. The shaven-headed 38-year-old averaged 87.58 to top a mediocre group and will do well to take another scalp on Saturday evening in what is a very tough group indeed.
It would be a brave man to discount the obvious threat of Cross, but a split stakes nibble on either Searle or Woodhouse to come out on top this weekend could be a fun bet with chances.
Play half stakes on Ryan Searle at +250 and Luke Woodhouse at +320 to upset a distracted Rob Cross and top Group Five.
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