Two weeks ago in Wolverhampton, Martin Schindler had unluckily missed the round of 16 of the Grand Slam of Darts. In the last and decisive group game against Rob Cross he had four match darts at a score of 4:2. The German missed all chances – and then gave away the duel at 4: 5 disillusioned. Well, at the last major tournament before the World Cup starting on December 15th, the promoted team of the season made it into the first round of 16 of his career.

After successes over Vincent van der Voort and Chris Dobey, the 26-year-old reached the round of 16 at the Players Championship Finals. And that’s where the déjà vu awaited: Cross. The chance for quick revenge, but again the world champion of 2018 meant the last stop. And this time the decisive arrows flew past the required double field much earlier.

Schindler, who matched his nickname with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”, got off to a good start, got his throw through, broke Cross to make it 2-0 and then had four chances in a row to make it 3-0. As in Wolverhampton, the Strausberger left the possibilities open. Worse still, the mistakes stole his rhythm. Four missed check darts pulled Schindler the plug.

Going into the first break after five legs, he was 2-3 down and had already thrown 11 darts wide of doubles. Otherwise it could have been 4-1 or even 5-0 for Schindler, as Josh Rock, who, like so many favorites, was eliminated early in Minehead, should have noticed. World Champion Peter Wright decided not to take part due to his wife’s illness. The number one in the world rankings, Gerwyn Price, surprisingly lost at the start, as did the newly crowned Grand Slam champion Michael Smith, his opponent in the final Nathan Aspinall and also Rock.

It took Schindler a long time to get back to the level of his outstanding season. Too long. A 180 in the eighth leg brought him back but couldn’t prevent the 2:6. But he was back in the game now, scored reliably, broke Cross to make it 6:8 and drew hope for at least one leg before Cross checked 108 points for another break and the decisive 9:6.

For Schindler, number 29 in the world rankings at the World Championships, he is seeded for the second round for the first time. This means he is preparing for the highlight of the season, the first two rounds of which will be drawn on Monday evening. If “The Wall” gets off to a good start at Alexandra Palace, Michael Smith would be waiting in the third round.

Round of 16:

Callan Rydz (ENG/33) – Keane Barry (IRL) 10:8

Ryan Joyce (ENG) – Jonny Clayton (WAL/24) 3:10

Dirk van Duijvenbode (ENG/4) – Ryan Searle (ENG/13) 10:9

Rob Cross (ENG/5) – Martin Schindler (D/12) 10:6

Luke Humphries (ENG/2) – Krzysztof Ratajski (POL/15) 10:7

Scott Williams (ENG/26) – Joe Cullen (ENG/10) 7:10

Matt Campbell (CAN/30) – Danny Noppert (NED/14) 9:10

Dimitri Van den Bergh (BEL/27) – Michael van Gerwen (NED/22) 6:10


Callan Rydz (ENG/33) – Jonny Clayton (WAL/24)

Dirk van Duijvenbode (NED/4) – Rob Cross (ENG/5)

Luke Humphries (ENG/2) – Joe Cullen (ENG/10)

Danny Noppert (NED/14) – Michael van Gerwen (NED/22)