Two weeks ago I wrote how the Grand Slam was likely to see the boys from the BDO step under the bright lights of the PDC and show them what they are made of, and I believe they did just that, although it is somewhat up for debate.

On first glance at the fallout of what was a great tournament in Wolverhampton, the plain facts are that only PDC players reached the semi-final stage and Ted Hankey cut a solitary figure as the lone BDO man in the quarters.  Furthermore, one round back and only Dean Winstanley and Martin Phillips were alongside Hankey in the last 16, meaning only three of the six that ventured in front of the Sky Sports cameras for the first time this year got beyond the group stage.

These are indisputable facts, but it is also a pretty harsh way to look at the BDO players’ performances.  First of all, there were only six of them out of a field of 32, and Scott Waites was the only one of them to be seeded, so the odds were hardly in their favour from the off.

Also, although the likes of Waites, Hankey and Tony O’Shea have competed in this competition a few times before, the nature of the PDC tournaments is considerably different to the more serene BDO tournaments, and will take some getting used to for the likes of 21-year-old debutant Jan Dekker.

Although the glory that went with Waites winning the tournament last year wasn’t there for the BDO this time out, their performances and contribution to the Grand Slam will be something that they as an organisation can be extremely proud of.  Hankey, until his exit, was the man that everyone was tuning in for, not just for his antics with the crowd, but because he was playing great darts in exciting matches, leading to talk of a Premier League invite.

Winstanley, although he went out in the second round, was one of only five men to win all three of his group games and in averaging 104.5 in round two, was extremely unlucky to crash out at that stage.

It was not just the performances though that were a treat for the sky viewers, the entertainment the BDO boys provided on the oche was first class, and the relationship with the PDC players also seemed to be incredibly good.

Rarely have I seen as many hugs during and after a match before Winstanley narrowly lost to Mark Walsh, and the respect between Phillips and Mark Webster in their second round tie was plain for all to see.  It just makes you think that darts as a whole would be hugely better off if all these great players could play together more regularly.

Phil Haigh – twitter follow @philhaigh_

Photo – Lawrence Lustig

On demand highlights of this years Grand Slam can be viewed here.

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