Just one more day of darts before Christmas and Jaymes Monte has picked out his best bet from an action-packed schedule...
The first round at Ally Pally was entertaining, and there was plenty to get excited about, but Friday was when the tournament really kicked into life. A lot of the first week is just about players doing what they need to do to get through to round two and thereafter is when we start to see the real action.
Sometimes expectations can be set too high, and sport fails to deliver on its promise. Not this time. Friday afternoon produced an epic between Gary Anderson and John Bowles, with the Scot hitting just as many 180s as finishing doubles (19), then later in the evening Robert Thornton and Paul Nicholson battled for over two hours and needed a sudden death decider to separate them.
Amidst all the fireworks Terry Jenkins produced one of the most accomplished performances that we have seen over the opening ten days. The Bull looked completely at ease with his game and made three-time World Champion John Part look decidedly average, something that few men have managed to do on the world stage.
His reward is a third round match against Andy Hamilton, who was also a 4-1 winner, but in not quite so comfortable fashion against an inconsistent Richie Burnett. Although The Hammer averaged 97.27 he gave the Prince of Wales chances in every set bar the last, and a player in better form would have undoubtedly punished him.
The Jenkins-Part match was predicted to be a titanic tussle between two renowned battlers, and no doubt this one will receive the same billing. But there was nothing workmanlike about Jenkins's second round win and if he reproduces that form here then he beats Hamilton.
Consistency may not have been The Bull's best trait in the past year or so, but at odds of 2.546/4 I believe there is plenty of value in taking a chance that he does replicate his form from Friday night.