Last night saw one of the most high-profile refereeing mistakes in the PDC, I agree it was a just human error, and that happens but did it have a bigger effect on Group B. Before a dart was thrown Group B had endless permutations. First up Dimitri van den Bergh needed to win his game against Scott Waites, to have any chance of going through which he did winning 5-4. Now the second game in that group saw Robert Thornton play Gerwyn Price. Any Thornton win would see van den Bergh and Thornton go through, a Price win 5-2 or better would have seen Price and van den Bergh go through, a 5-4 Price win would have seen Thornton and Price advance but a 5-3 Price win would see a nine-dart shootout between Thornton and van den Bergh. Yes, Price won 5-3, but that was just the start.
With the score at 4-3 to Gerwyn Price, saw the mistake from referee Russ Bray. Price had 95 left and would score 64 to leave 31. Unfortunately, Bray would call 54 meaning 41 left was chalked up. Now the live scoreboards in the Civic Hall had 31 on them, so when Price he returned and went single one missed tops hit double ten, everyone wondered what was going on. Now this is the part that has split darts, 31 and 41 still gives you two darts a double many would say. Other are saying the 41 is an easier finish than 31 as it takes tops out of the running. The other question was, did Price know what he has scored? Only he would know that, but I would like to think he didn’t as by hitting the wrong treble in the setup shot wouldn’t have given him time to think about that.
The other point if this is that 31 is tougher and to most more missable if Thornton had made it 4-4 then it would have left an entirely different complexion on Group B as 5-4 either way would have meant no nine-dart shootout. Would like to hear what you all think on the matter? Tweet me @phillbarrs