Wow. How lush was that seeing Dimitri van den Bergh win the Matchplay. And that little hip wiggle of joy!
To suddenly grow up in four months during lockdown to becomea major winner is just what makes darts such a special sport.Over the past few years players like Rob Cross, Nathan Aspinall, Gerwyn Price and now Dimitri have really shown that it’s possible for anyone to dedicate themselves and very quickly win big titles.
The top players nowadays say it all the time; this new generation just have no fear whatsoever. It makes it incredible to watch because anything can happen. It has to be said that the Matchplay was pretty special but so odd at the same time. To watch Dimitri hold up that amazing trophy to actually no one in the arena was a bizarre moment.
But the PDC and Sky Sports did an incredible job not only to get the tournament on but I thought the arena looked awesome and the crowd noise also helped. It’s just so damn good to have it back on TV. Pizza, chips, get the darts on and don’t leave the couch all night. Very lush.
While that is great I can’t wait to get back to the Unibet Premier League at some stage. Nothing quite like being actually at the arenas. Of course that’s all back in August also at the Marshall Arena. I guess the big question now is how the big boys will play in the Premier League. None of them seemed to perform that well without any fans. So it will be interesting to see how Michael Van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Gerwyn get going again in Milton Keynes.
It could be another huge chance for another name like Glen Durrant to kick on and win the Premier League. I find it fascinating to see how the different atmosphere affects different players. There’s no doubt that Wrighty and Gerwyn
love the crowds, they love the showmanship, they respond to the crowd whether it’s good or bad and it fires them up.
Maybe it will suit the players who are able to zone out what is all around them, that might just suit Glen or even Rob Cross.
Hopefully soon fans will be back. I miss the random costumes and spontaneous singing and chanting. And obviously the 40-pint trays being carried precariously around the venues!
I have to make a special mention for Sky Sports and Nigel Pearson for a very solid shift over the Matchplay week. Dave Clark is a legend and always will be. But Nige did a seriously good job in difficult circumstances.
The problem now is no darts to watch until the Premier League later this month.
Roll on August 25!
You can hear Polly James on Radio X, FM, online, digital radio and on the Radio X app.
Polly is also a socialmedia host for Unibet Premier League.
Read Polly’s column first in Darts World magazine.