Joe Cullen clinched his second PDC title of 2021 with an 8-6 victory over world No 1 Gerwyn Price in the final of Players Championship 13 on Monday, as the PDC Pro Tour action resumed with a bang in Milton Keynes.Continue reading “Cullen claims Players Championship 13 to deny Price the perfect return”
Jose De Sousa – the maverick man. Portugal’s Man O’Scores is dubbed ‘The Special One’ and he demonstrated why in Milton Keynes on Thursday night, producing a virtuoso display to dispatch Nathan Aspinall 8-3, in a dress-rehearsal ahead of their semi-final showdown on Finals Night.Continue reading “Record-breaking De Sousa dazzles with astonishing checkout”
Michael van Gerwen returned to the Premier League Darts summit with an 8-4 victory over Gary Anderson on Night 14 in Milton Keynes, and the Dutchman issued a rallying cry after confirming his place at Finals Night with two rounds of fixtures to spare.Continue reading “Van Gerwen: “I’m back where I belong!””
Nathan Aspinall moved top of the Premier League table with an emphatic 8-3 win over Michael van Gerwen on Night 13 in Milton Keynes, to leapfrog the Dutchman on a night which celebrated darts’ return of fans.
Following over five months since a live crowd were able to attend a major PDC tournament, almost 700 fans flocked to the Marshall Arena as the final week of the 2021 Premier League began – the first Premier League Darts night to feature a live audience since March 2020.
Van Gerwen began the night in top spot after registering three consecutive victories during the last batch of fixtures, but it was Aspinall who rose to the occasion in a partisan atmosphere, to claim a precious two points in his bid for a play-off spot.
The former UK Open champion opened up proceedings with a classy 120 checkout, and he repeated the feat in leg five, albeit via a different route, to establish a 4-1 cushion.
Aspinall – last year’s runner-up – then stretched his lead to 5-1 before Van Gerwen responded with back-to-back ton-plus finishes, but the three-time world champion was unable to make further inroads, losing the next three legs as ‘The Asp’ closed out a convincing 8-3 success, averaging 96.9 and converting 57% of his attempts at double.
“It’s a massive two points and it was a great buzz tonight,” reflected Aspinall. “I was really nervous coming into the game because we’ve missed the fans, and win or lose I wanted to enjoy it tonight.
“This is what darts is all about, and I loved every minute of it. I think we were both trying too hard to play well but the crowd were got me through.
“I finished really well and when I get a bit of a lead I felt more comfortable. It wasn’t my best performance, but the two 120 finishes won me the game and it’s a very good two points.”
Jose De Sousa moved up to third with a battling 8-6 win over Dimitri Van den Bergh, to complete the league double over the World Matchplay champion. The Belgian occupied top spot just a few nights ago but now finds himself outside the top four, with just three rounds of fixtures remaining.
‘The Special One’ registered a break of throw in leg four as he opened up a 4-1 lead, and landed a superb 11-darter as he secured at least a point at 7-4. Van den Bergh rallied with legs of 13 and 14 darts to force a decider in which he had the throw, but De Sousa landed a timely third 180 before pinning D10 to extend his unbeaten run to five matches.
“It’s a wonderful feeling,” said De Sousa. “I didn’t feel the pressure and it’s nice to see the crowd behind us again. The fans know the player and the person that I am and I got a lot of respect from them.
“I know this is a big win for me. Every game in the Premier League is very difficult and every point is important. It was a difficult game for both of us because Dimitri is a great player and I think he can maybe be World Champion in the next few years, so I’m very happy to get this win.”
Van den Bergh now trails fourth-placed Jonny Clayton by a solitary point heading into Night 14, after ‘The Ferret’ produced a clinical display to dispatch Gary Anderson 8-1 in the evening’s opener, despite ‘The Flying Scotsman’ averaging 104.48 in a high-quality tussle.
It was a contest decided by fine margins, with Anderson wiring the bullseye for a combination finish on four separate occasions, and he was punished by the Welshman in all of those legs, as the Masters champion closed out the comprehensive win with a 101.24 average, three 180s and 57% on the outer ring.
“It was absolutely brilliant,” said Clayton. “It’s a massive buzz because the crowd makes darts, so it was amazing to get them back and the atmosphere was fantastic.
“I had a few people cheering for me and there were a couple of Welsh flags, in, so it’s a proud moment. I was so nervous before I went on but I relaxed and my darts kept going. I took my chances and I’ve done my job – I’m chasing a dream and I’ll keep turning up over the next three days and working hard.”
Elsewhere, Peter Wright dealt a huge blow to James Wade’s play-off aspirations with a convincing 8-4 success over ‘The Machine’ in the evening’s finale. Wright’s top four hopes are also hanging by a thread, yet he produced an impressive performance to secure his first victory since Night Eight.
Wade stormed into an early 2-0 advantage, courtesy of an 11-dart hold in the opening leg. However, Wright reeled off two 11-darters of his own en route to establishing a 4-2 cushion, before converting a clinical 103 kill in leg ten en route to victory, with Wade poised on a two-darter to level at five apiece.
Both Wright and Wade sit five points adrift of the top four with just three league games remaining – but the former finalist was elated after being cheered to victory for the first time since December by a live audience.
“The crowd make such a difference, it was amazing,” admitted Wright. “They inspired me and I feel so alive – it was so nice being nervous backstage!
“All the crowd played their part because I’ve missed them. Last year I won my last four games to make the Play-Offs so if I’m playing well then everyone else has got to watch out.”
Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2021 Unibet Premier League
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
Night 13, Monday May 24
Jonny Clayton 8-1 Gary Anderson
Jose de Sousa 8-6 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Nathan Aspinall 8-3 Michael van Gerwen
James Wade 4-8 Peter Wright
Night 14 – Tuesday May 25 (1900 BST)
James Wade v Nathan Aspinall
Jonny Clayton v Jose de Sousa
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Best of 14 legs
The tenth episode of ‘The Bounce Out’ features an exclusive interview with Premier League debutant and current Masters champion Jonny Clayton, as regular co-hosts Josh Gorton and Jon Dean round up the latest darting action.Continue reading “Josh’s Dartistry Darts Podcast – The Bounce Out Episode 10!”
Dimitri Van den Bergh secured his maiden Pro Tour title with a dramatic 8-7 victory over Dirk van Duijvenbode on Tuesday, as PDC Super Series 3 drew to a close in Niedernhausen.Continue reading “Van den Bergh ‘riding the wave’ after maiden Pro Tour title”
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Michael Smith revealed his frustration at being omitted from this year’s Premier League, after landing his first title of 2021 with an 8-5 victory over Ross Smith in Sunday’s Players Championship 10, as PDC Super Series 3 continued in Niedernhausen.Continue reading “Smith reveals Premier League frustration following PC10 triumph”
Jose de Sousa produced an astonishing display to prevail on the opening day of PDC Super Series 3 in Niedernhausen, recording an 8-1 victory over Luke Humphries in Saturday’s Players Championship 9 final.Continue reading “Majestic De Sousa storms to Players Championship 9 title”
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Jonny Clayton continued his blistering start to this year’s Premier League by landing a spectacular nine-darter in his 7-3 victory over fellow debutant Jose De Sousa on Night Three in Milton Keynes on Wednesday.Continue reading “Nine-dart Clayton continues dream Premier League start”
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Jonny Clayton produced a star-studded display on his Premier League debut to salvage a share of the spoils against Peter Wright on Monday evening, and in the absence of his compatriot Gerwyn Price, ‘The Ferret’ is flying the Welsh flag alone in this year’s tournament.Continue reading “Clayton: The Premier League will miss Price”
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World number one Gerwyn Price has been ruled out of the Unibet Premier League after testing positive for Covid-19, and will be replaced in the field by James Wade.Continue reading “Price replaced by Wade for 2021 Premier League”
Phil Taylor is set to make a sensational return to competitive darts at the age of 61, as ‘The Power’ prepares to headline the inaugural World Seniors Darts Championship in 2022.Continue reading “Taylor set for sensational return at inaugural World Seniors Darts Championship”
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Jonny Clayton continued his blistering start to 2021 by claiming a second Players Championship title of the year on Thursday, defeating UK Open champion James Wade 8-5 in the final on day three of PDC Super Series 2.Continue reading “Clinical Clayton clinches his third title of 2021”
Gerwyn Price clinched his first title as World Champion by defeating Luke Humphries 8-5 in Wednesday’s Players Championship Six final in Milton Keynes.Continue reading “Irrepressible Price clinches first title as world champion”
Brendan Dolan produced a series of scintillating performances to secure his eighth PDC ranking title at Players Championship Five, defeating Michael Smith 8-6 in Tuesday’s final as PDC Super Series 2 began in Milton Keynes.Continue reading “Dominant Dolan denies Bully Boy to claim his eighth ranking title”
The 2021 Premier League season will begin on Monday April 5th with a rematch of the World Championship final between Gerwyn Price and Gary Anderson, while Glen Durrant and Nathan Aspinall will collide in a repeat of last year’s Premier League showpiece.Continue reading “Premier League Darts 2021: Fixtures confirmed for opening nine nights”
James Wade clinched his third UK Open title with an 11-5 victory over Luke Humphries on a thrilling Finals Day in Milton Keynes on Sunday.
Wade saw off Simon Whitlock, Gerwyn Price and Humphries to land his tenth televised title at the Marshall Arena, becoming just the second man in PDC history to secure a major ranking title in three different decades, and the third to reach double figures in terms of individual major honours.Continue reading “Wonderful Wade completes UK Open treble”
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen and world No 1 Gerwyn Price were among the eight players to reach the quarter-finals of the 2021 Ladbrokes UK Open, following a thrilling day of darts in Milton Keynes on Saturday.Continue reading “UK Open: Van Gerwen, Price & Wade reach the last eight”
Five former champions and four of the world’s top ten crashed out on an extraordinary opening day at the 2021 UK Open in Milton Keynes, as two nine-dart finishes were also landed on a fantastic Friday at the Marshall Arena.Continue reading “UK Open: Five former champions crash out on thrilling opening day”
Justin Pipe will miss this weekend’s Ladbrokes UK Open after returning a positive test for Covid-19 ahead of the tournament.Continue reading “Pipe ruled out of UK Open following positive Covid test”
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Joe Cullen claimed the first PDC ranking title of the 2021 campaign with a dramatic 8-7 victory over Masters champion Jonny Clayton at Players Championship One in Bolton on Thursday.Continue reading “Cullen denies Clayton to claim first ranking title of 2021 season”
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BDO chairman Des Jacklin has seized the World Championship trophy from Wayne Warren following a police investigation, before declaring: ‘The BDO is very much alive’.Continue reading “BDO World Championship Trophy seized from Wayne Warren following police investigation”
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Kirk Shepherd and Geert De Vos became the first Tour Card winners of the 2021 PDC Qualifying Schools as the Final Stage began in the UK and Europe on Sunday.Continue reading “PDC Q-Schools 2021: Shepherd & De Vos claim Tour Cards”
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Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Rob Cross crashed out on day two at the Ladbrokes Masters, as defending champion Peter Wright and newly crowned world champion Gerwyn Price kicked off their campaigns with victory.Continue reading “Clayton claims Van Gerwen scalp at The Masters”
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Gary Anderson has dismissed speculation of retirement and has vowed to win another World Championship title, after signing a long-term contract with Unicorn.Continue reading “Anderson banishes retirement rumours & vows: I will win another world title”
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Dave Chisnall produced the performance of his darting life as he whitewashed Michael van Gerwen 5-0 to reach his first PDC World Championship semi-final and end the Dutchman’s hopes of capturing a fourth world title in 2021.Continue reading “Chisnall whitewashes Van Gerwen in extraordinary quarter-final clash”
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Jamie Lewis produced a remarkable comeback from two sets down to defeat Luke Woodhouse and set up a second round showdown against his fellow countryman Gerwyn Price at the World Darts Championship on Thursday evening.Continue reading “Lewis: “People were laughing at me saying I didn’t deserve a Tour Card””
Glen Durrant progressed to the third round of the World Championship with a straight sets victory over Diogo Portela on Wednesday evening, but the three-time BDO world champion offered a scathing assessment of his performance in his post-match press conference.Continue reading “Durrant: I was weak in the mind”
Peter Wright embraced his inner Grinch as he began the defence of his World Championship crown with victory over Steve West on the opening night of the sport’s showpiece event, as an emotional Diogo Portela defeated record-breaker Steve Beaton on Tuesday night at Alexandra Palace.Continue reading “Wright the Grinch clinches opening night win at Ally Pally”
The waiting is finally over. The biggest darting show on earth gets underway at Alexandra Palace tonight, with 96 players battling it out for World Championship glory in the capital.Continue reading “PDC World Darts Championship: MvG’s world No 1 spot under threat”
Jose De Sousa created history at the Grand Slam of Darts, claiming glory on his tournament debut to become the first Portuguese player to lift a major televised PDC title.Continue reading “Grand Slam champ De Sousa reveals Bristow connection”