Wonderful Wright seals fourth major title

Peter Wright produced a vintage display to capture his fourth individual major crown at the European Championship, thrashing James Wade 11-4 to reclaim his world No 2 spot and cap off a wonderful weekend of action in Oberhausen.

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Magical Van Gerwen dispatches Suljovic to seal European Championship hat-trick!

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Michael van Gerwen stormed to his third consecutive European Championship title after demolishing second seed Mensur Suljovic 11-1 with an astonishing performance in the final in Hasselt, Belgium, on Sunday evening.

The world number one averaged an incredible 111.62 and fired in five maximums. However, the finishing element of Van Gerwen’s game was the most impressive aspect of his brutal display, as he converted 10 of his 14 attempts at double, a mightily impressive ratio of 73%

Suljovic ultimately ran out of steam after recording brilliant victories over Phil Taylor and Peter Wright respectively, although ‘The Gentle’ was still thrilled with his efforts, which see him rise to a career high of seventh in the world. However, Van Gerwen was in unstoppable form as he secured his 22nd title of the year.

Van Gerwen made a blistering start to the final by taking out 93 for a brilliant 11-darter. Suljovic fired in his first maximum as he aimed to respond, but MvG doubled his lead with a clinical 14-darter culminating on D16. Continue reading “Magical Van Gerwen dispatches Suljovic to seal European Championship hat-trick!”

Stunning Suljovic dismantles Taylor in Hasselt!

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Mensur Suljovic stormed into the semi-finals of the European Championship with a stunning 10-3 victory over 16-time world champion Phil Taylor in Hasselt, Belgium, on Sunday afternoon, as Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright and James Wade also reached the last four.

Nevertheless, the story of the afternoon was Suljovic’s masterful performance as he demolished ‘The Power’ with a sublime display. ‘The Gentle’ averaged 105.55 and converted 52% of his doubles to complete an emphatic triumph, despite Taylor averaging a very impressive 104.36.

The opening three legs of the contest all went with throw, but Suljovic secured a precious break of throw in the fourth leg. The pair traded maximums, but the Austrian pinned D18 for a magnificent 11-darter to establish a two-leg cushion.

The fifth leg was a nervous affair. Suljovic missed tops for a 111 finish but Taylor failed to convert the same target for a 109 checkout, enabling the darts-control ace to hit D10 and lead 4-1 at the first interval. Continue reading “Stunning Suljovic dismantles Taylor in Hasselt!”

European Championship: Second-Round Report!

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Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright both missed double 12 for nine-darters on a thrilling day of second-round action at the European Championship in Hasselt, Belgium, on Saturday, which also saw Phil Taylor remain on course for a fifth European Championship crown.

However, the performance of the day was delivered by world number one Michael van Gerwen, who landed nine maximums en route to a comprehensive 10-2 victory against Welshman Gerwyn Price.

‘The Green Machine’ averaged 105.50, hit nine maximums and converted 44% of his attempts at double to breeze through to the quarter-finals. Price performed better than the scoreline suggested; averaging almost 97. Nevertheless, ‘The Iceman’ was punished for hitting just two of his eleven attempts at double.

Elsewhere, 16-time world champion Phil Taylor stormed into the last eight with an emphatic 10-3 triumph against Joe Cullen. Taylor was at his clinical best, averaging 103.98, firing in five maximums and boasting an extremely impressive checkout ratio of 67%, as Cullen was denied an appearance in his second major quarter-final. Continue reading “European Championship: Second-Round Report!”

European Championship Day One Report: The world champ is whitewashed in Hasselt!

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Defending champion Michael van Gerwen survived a match dart in a thrilling tie against Simon Whitlock, as world champion Gary Anderson was whitewashed by James Wade in the opening-round of the European Championship in Hasselt, Belgium, on Friday evening.

However, the match of the night saw Michael van Gerwen come back from 5-3 down to edge out the rejuvenated Australian in a barnstormer. Van Gerwen endured a nightmare in the finishing department in the early stages, hitting just two of his 19 double attempts as Whitlock took out a stunning 170 outshot to lead 4-2.

Nevertheless, the world number one showed his class, landing four maximums, two 177’s and a 171 to instigate the fightback. MvG then spurned two match darts with Whitlock sat on 150 and ‘The Wizard’ found the requisite trebles, before wiring his match dart at D15. MvG returned to pin D8 to avoid a shock first-round exit.

Elsewhere, world champion Gary Anderson endured a horror show in Hasselt, as he was whitewashed 6-0 by James Wade. ‘The Machine’ averaged 94.93 and converted 75% of his doubles to secure his first ranking TV victory for ten months, after the world champion averaged a miserly 77 and had just two shots at double in the entire match.  Continue reading “European Championship Day One Report: The world champ is whitewashed in Hasselt!”

Whitlock “full of confidence” ahead of Van Gerwen showdown!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The rejuvenated Simon Whitlock is relishing the prospect of a first-round showdown with world number one Michael van Gerwen at the European Championship in Hasselt, Belgium on Friday evening.

Van Gerwen will go in search of his third consecutive European Championship crown with a tasty tie against 2012 champion Simon Whitlock, who heads to Belgium off the back of two Players Championship victories within the last month.

‘The Wizard’ had endured a tumultuous two years which saw him plummet from 4th to 20th on the PDC Order of Merit. Nevertheless, Whitlock has enjoyed a stunning revival over recent months, winning his first PDC title for over two years at Players Championship 18 in Dublin, beating Van Gerwen en route to the title.

The Australian then reached just his second TV quarter-final in two years at the World Grand Prix earlier this month, where he was beaten in a thrilling affair. However, he maintained his fine form, by clinching victory at Players Championship 19 in Barnsley last weekend. Continue reading “Whitlock “full of confidence” ahead of Van Gerwen showdown!”

European Tour Order of Merit- FINAL STANDINGS!

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Michael van Gerwen heads the European Tour Order of Merit by exactly £100,000 after the European Tour concluded for 2016 in Hildesheim last weekend. Van Gerwen has accumulated £160,500 in prize money on the European Tour, having won six of the ten events held throughout the year.

The world number one faces Simon Whitlock in the first-round of the European Championship and ‘The Wizard’ sits in 16th position following some consistent performances throughout the events.

Mensur Suljovic is placed second on the European Tour Order of Merit following a series of magnificent displays during the latter stages of the year. Suljovic clinched his maiden PDC title at the International Darts Open in September, before losing out to Michael van Gerwen in the final of the European Darts Trophy just a week later.

The Austrian has also appeared in two semi-finals and three quarter-finals, accruing £60,500 on the European Tour Order of Merit which has seen him to rise to a career high of twelfth in the world.

Peter Wright is ranked third after reaching three finals this year; all of which resulted in defeat to Michael van Gerwen, whilst European Darts Matchplay winner James Wade is the fourth seed on the European Tour Order of Merit. Continue reading “European Tour Order of Merit- FINAL STANDINGS!”

2016 Unibet European Championship Draw!

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Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his Unibet European Championship title against a rejuvenated Simon Whitlock, whilst James Wade will take on world champion Gary Anderson in the pick of the first-round clashes when the tournament begins at the Ethias Arena, Hasselt, on October 28th.

Van Gerwen has won the European Championship title for the last two years, winning last year’s event in a thrilling last-leg decider against Gary Anderson. MvG is the number one seed in this year’s remodelled event in Belgium, where the field is based solely on performances across the ten PDC European Tour events held in 2016.

‘The Green Machine’ is the number one seed for this year’s event having won six of the ten European Tour events hosted this year. However, he faces a tough test in the shape of 2012 European Championship winner Simon Whitlock, who defeated Van Gerwen en route to winning Players Championship 18 in Dublin last month.

Eight-time major winner James Wade has drawn world champion Gary Anderson in an enthralling first-round tie. ‘The Machine’ is seeded fourth for this year’s event having won the European Darts Matchplay in July, but he’s had the misfortune of drawing the Scot- who has participated sporadically on the European Tour this year.

Phil Taylor has been pitted against Alan Norris, who is seeded seventh following his triumph at the German Darts Championship on Sunday. Taylor, a four-time European Champion, claimed victory in his solitary European Tour appearance at the Austrian Darts Open, but will face a tough test against an in-form ‘Chuck’. Continue reading “2016 Unibet European Championship Draw!”

Lewis & Van Barneveld to miss out on European Championship!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld will both be high-profile absentees from next month’s European Championship in Hasselt, Belgium, having missed out on qualification via the European Tour Order of Merit.

The unique qualification criteria for the European Championship is determined purely by the prize money accrued by players across the ten European Tour events throughout the year; therefore world rankings have absolutely no relevance on a player’s ability to qualify.

Adrian Lewis competed in three of the opening four European Tour events of the year; The Dutch Darts Masters, the German Darts Masters and the European Darts Matchplay. Jackpot reached the quarter-finals in Holland, before suffering successive last 16 exits in the following two events.

The two-time world champion earned £7,500 from his three European Tour appearances, but since the European Matchplay in May, Lewis hasn’t competed in any of the remaining events. As a result, Lewis is no longer an automatic seed and must now qualify for any future European Tour events.

The two-time world champion currently sits in 36th position on the European Tour Order of Merit, but as he won’t be competing in the final event in Hildesheim, the former European Championship winner won’t be able to improve upon his ranking, and he’ll subsequently be absent in Hasselt. Continue reading “Lewis & Van Barneveld to miss out on European Championship!”

Van Gerwen Produces Inspired Comeback to Stun Anderson and Retain his European Crown!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen produced an inspired comeback to stun World Champion Gary Anderson and retain his European Championship title in Hasselt.

The Dutchman trailed 10-7 and appeared on the brink of defeat, but he produced spectacular darts to win the last four legs to complete an extraordinary triumph.

It was an astonishing final. There were 17 180’s and 26 140’s hit in twenty-one legs of pulsating action, as Michael averaged a mightily impressive 107.28 to prevail in the greatest final in this competition’s history.

Continue reading “Van Gerwen Produces Inspired Comeback to Stun Anderson and Retain his European Crown!”

Lewis Turns Off The Power in Hasselt!

Adrian Lewis Phil Taylor
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Adrian Lewis produced a sublime display as he dumped 16-Time World Champion Phil Taylor out of the European Championships, courtesy of an enthralling-last leg decider in Hasselt.

Taylor started the match poorly, as Lewis established a 3-0 lead, with Phil’s average languishing in the mid 80’s. Despite this, the 16-time World Champion showed his class in leg four; hitting back-to-back maximums for an 11-darter.

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Taylor and van Gerwen Power On, as Jelle shows his Klaas!

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor’s hopes of winning a fifth European Championship title are still alive as he survived a valiant fightback from Michael Smith in the last 16 of the European Championships in Hasselt.

Taylor was at his imperious best early on, as ‘The Power’ stormed into a 4-0 lead with an astonishing 122 average. Taylor could have gone 5-0 ahead, although ‘Bully-Boy’ got off the mark by taking out 70 to enter the interval with some momentum.

Continue reading “Taylor and van Gerwen Power On, as Jelle shows his Klaas!”

World-Grand Prix Champ Thornton suffers first-round defeat in Hasselt!

Thornton loses in Hasselt
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

World Grand-Prix Champion Robert Thornton was sent packing at the first-round stage of the European Championships in Hasselt, as he was beaten 6-4 by fellow Scot John Henderson.

The Thorn, who secured his second PDC major in Dublin just three weeks ago, struggled for consistency throughout and Henderson took full advantage to progress through to the Last 16.

Continue reading “World-Grand Prix Champ Thornton suffers first-round defeat in Hasselt!”

European Championship Preview- Outsiders and Players under Pressure!

The 2015 European Championship gets underway in Hasselt tomorrow, with World Number 1 Michael van Gerwen looking to defend his title. Van Gerwen thrashed Terry Jenkins 11-4 in last year’s final and will be hoping for a repeat success.

However, there are a number of form-horses who will be confident of claiming the crown. Here, I run the rule over the potential dark horses, as well as the players under pressure to produce a good showing in Belgium.

Continue reading “European Championship Preview- Outsiders and Players under Pressure!”

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