Morecambe-based darts star Dave Chisnall endured another frustrating night in the Betway Premier League.
Chisnall twice blew a three leg lead to draw 6-6 with Simon Whitlock at the First Direct Arena in Leeds and is still searching for his first win since opening night of the season.
It was a case of what might have been for ‘Chizzy’ as he shot out of the blocks with a 180 and 14-dart first leg, then nailed a 108 finish to cruise into a 3-0 lead against the struggling Aussie.
But then the St Helens-born ace’s fragility on the doubles came back to haunt him as he missed 12 finishing darts over the next three legs. In front of 11,000 fans, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ capitalised to narrow the gap to 2-3, then Chisnall missed seven darts at a double in the next leg too.
But Whitlock also failed to check out, allowing Dave to squeeze in a double four to lead 4-2, before stretching it to 5-2.
Whitlock claimed the eighth leg and then came a crucial leg nine. Chisnall missed the bull allowing his pony-tailed foe to check out on 100.
Still, ‘Chizzy’ had the darts and checked out to lead 6-4 to ensure at least a point.
The Morecambe man had his chances in leg 11 but missed a 79 checkout, enabling Whitlock to bring it down to the deciding leg.
And then with the Aussie unable to take out 100, Chisnall had his supporters groaning as he bust a match-winning opportunity on 80. ‘The Wizard’ gratefully seized the chance to pin double top and claim an unlikely draw.
Chisnall’s frustration was clear on his Facebook afterwards as he wrote: “Giving games away.”
‘Chizzy’s performance was typical of his first season in the Premier League where he has mixed patches of brilliant darts with failing to press home chances to win matches.
In other results, Phil Taylor walloped Wes Newton 7-1, Michael van Gerwen edged Gary Anderson 7-5, Peter Wright drew 6-6 with Raymond van Barneveld, and Adrian Lewis and Robert Thornton also shared the spoils 6-6.
Van Gerwen leads the Premier League table. Chisnall lies eighth out of 10, on five points (a win and three draws from seven games). The season rolls on to the O2 in Dublin next Thursday, as always live on Sky Sports.