World Matchplay round 1 Sunday first session: Bunting in action
The famous World Matchplay darts event is underway, and Coral writers preview the first half of Sunday’s top tungsten action which features the likes of Stephen Bunting, Mervyn King and rising stars Jamie Lewis and Michael Smith in the afternoon.
Mervyn King v Andrew Gilding
This East Anglian duo kick off the day, and it will perhaps be the closest battle of the session as favourite King (8/11) lost to Gilding (11/10) most recently back in May at the Players Championship in Crawley.
The King, a semi-finalist here in 2009, and Goldfinger have only met four times before and only ever at this stage in tournaments (last 32), with the former winning three of them, so back him to triumph 10-7 at 7/1.
Ian White v Stephen Bunting
Bunting is the main attraction of the afternoon, and the odds-on favourite at 8/13 to beat Stoke’s number three White (13/10), despite being unseeded due to his relatively recent crossover to the PDC.
BDO world champion in 2014 The Bullet boasts a winning 5-2 record against Diamond, however has lost both battles this year against him. Bunting, though, got the highest checkout of the tournament last year, so you can back him at 10/3 to be king of the oche in this match (highest checkout, most 180s and match victor).
Justin Pipe v Jamie Lewis
On his day, Pipe (8/15) can be one of the most difficult players to face, with his excruciatingly slow style between throws. Welsh youngster Lewis (6/4) has certainly found it hard in his four meetings with The Force, having lost three of them and the last two, getting smashed in both.
Two-time quarter-finalist here Pipe is a more tempting 33/1 chance to win 10-2.
Michael Smith v Gerwyn Price
Another Welshman features on the day in The Iceman Price, who is a former rugby union and league player. He is a decent 9/4 chance to cross the line and reach the second round, as he won the last meeting with Bully Boy (1/3).
This duo have always had close encounters from their three head-to-heads, so back Price to triumph 10-8 at 11/1.