European Championship Day Three Report!

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Home favourite Max Hopp created history by becoming the first German player to reach the quarter-finals of a PDC televised major on a dramatic night of darts in Dortmund, as James Wade, Gerwyn Price and Darren Webster also secured their places in Sunday’s quarter-finals. Continue reading “European Championship Day Three Report!”

2017 PDC World Championship: Day Eight Report!

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Dave Chisnall survived a major scare as he edged out Rowby-John Rodriguez in a five-set thriller; Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts progressed through to round-two convincingly, whilst former World-Youth champion Max Hopp dumped out Vincent van der Voort on day eight at the Alexandra Palace on Thursday evening.

Chisnall was made to sweat as he overcame tenacious Austrian Rowby-John Rodriguez in a five-set epic in round-one. Rodriguez produced one of the best televised performances of his career, but the world number seven landed nine maximums and averaged 98.72 to prevail and set up a second-round showdown with rising star Chris Dobey.

The pair exchanged breaks of throw in the opening two legs, before Chisnall secured the lead with a regulation hold on D19. Rowby-John then left tops after nine darts as he eventually levelled up on D2, before capitalising on one missed dart from ‘Chizzy’ to clinch the set with an impressive 13-dart break.

Chisnall drew first-blood in the second set by breaking throw in an error strewn leg. The St Helen’s ace extended his cushion with with a 13-dart hold, but the Austrian responded in kind to prolong the set. Rodriguez then spurned a golden opportunity to break back, as Chisnall took out a crucial 120 finish to restore parity at one-set apiece. Continue reading “2017 PDC World Championship: Day Eight Report!”

Grand Slam of Darts Day Four Report!

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Raymond van Barneveld continued his magnificent form at the Grand Slam of Darts as the BDO trio of Jamie Hughes, Danny Noppert and Jeff Smith all booked their spots in the last 16 at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Tuesday night. This takes the tally of BDO representatives in the last 16 to five – the highest figure since the tournament began.

Former Grand Slam champion Raymond van Barneveld dumped out Mensur Suljovic to set up a tantalising tie against BDO world number one Glen Durrant in the last 16 of the Grand Slam of Darts. Van Barneveld registered his third successive ton-plus average to defeat Suljovic 5-3 and maintain his 100% record in Group F.

Van Barneveld averaged 100.29, landed four maximums and converted 55% of his doubles to win his third straight group game, which condemned the Austrian to a surprise group-stage exit. The seventh seed averaged 94.58, hit two maximums and converted 60% of his double attempts, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the five-time world champion.

Van Barneveld’s victory ensured that BDO world number three Danny Noppert also qualified from Group F, after the Dutchman reeled off five successive legs to defeat World Youth finalist Nathan Aspinall 5-2. Noppert’s reward for qualification is a showdown with PDC world champion Gary Anderson in the knockout stages. Continue reading “Grand Slam of Darts Day Four Report!”

Grand Slam of Darts Day One: Barney & Mitchell steal the show in Wolverhampton!

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Raymond van Barneveld and Scott Mitchell stole the show on the opening day of the 2016 Grand Slam of Darts, as Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor & Gary Anderson all kicked off their campaigns with victories at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Saturday evening.

The highlight of the day saw Raymond van Barneveld produce a vintage performance to power past World Youth-finalist Nathan Aspinall 5-1 with a 110.15 average. The five-time world champion, who won the Grand Slam title back in 2012, kicked off the contest with a maximum and that set the tone for a sumptuous performance.

Van Barneveld posted three maximums and converted 63% of his attempts at double to begin his campaign in style. Aspinall acquitted himself extremely well and averaged 97 but he faced an inspired Barney, evidenced in the fifth leg when Aspinall was denied a dart at double despite leaving 36 after nine darts, as RvB fired in a stunning 140 finish.

The Dutch legend was unsurprisingly in bullish mood after his scintillating display. He told PDC media manager Dave Allen: “That 140 was a killer, and I’m really happy and satisfied with the 110 average of course. I’m really focused, I feel good and I’m looking forward to tomorrow afternoon.” Continue reading “Grand Slam of Darts Day One: Barney & Mitchell steal the show in Wolverhampton!”

2016 Grand Slam of Darts Preview: Five Outsiders!

The 2016 Grand Slam of Darts begins in Wolverhampton on Saturday afternoon and the anticipation and excitement surrounding the event is tangible. It’s the only tournament on the darting calendar where the two darting codes, the PDC and BDO, lock horns.

This year arguably sees the strongest line-up of BDO stars in the competition’s history, which will only add to the spectacle. Josh’s Dartistry gives his lowdown on five potential outsiders for this year’s crown.

Glen Durrant – 50/1

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Glen Durrant is not typically considered as an ‘outsider’. ‘Duzza’, world number one in the BDO, has enjoyed tremendous success in 2016, winning eight BDO ranking events. He qualified for the Grand Slam by virtue of winning last year’s World Masters and he’s relishing the prospect of rubbing shoulders with the PDC’s elite.

Durrant has been pitted alongside world champion Gary Anderson, German Darts Champion Alan Norris & PDC qualifier Nathan Derry in Group E. It’s a very tough group and the best of nine format adds to the unpredictability, but Durrant is more than capable of progressing. Continue reading “2016 Grand Slam of Darts Preview: Five Outsiders!”

2016 Grand Slam of Darts Draw confirmed!

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Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his Grand Slam of Darts title against legendary three-time Lakeside world champion Martin Adams, after the draw for this year’s event at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall was made on Monday afternoon.

Van Gerwen, who produced a staggering comeback to defeat Phil Taylor and win his maiden Grand Slam title twelve months ago, will face a stern test against the 60-year-old Adams, who thrived on his debut in Wolverhampton last year.

‘Wolfie’ won all three of his group games against Jelle Klaasen, Ian White & Steve Beaton respectively, before succumbing to Kim Huybrechts in a last-leg shootout in the last 16. MvG and Adams will also be joined in Group A by former World Grand Prix finalist Brendan Dolan, and World-Youth champion Max Hopp.

Six-time Grand Slam winner Phil Taylor has been handed a relatively kind draw. ‘The Power’ has been pitted with his fellow Stokie Ian White, Darren Webster and BDO veteran Darryl Fitton, who qualified for this year’s event by virtue of winning the 2016 World Trophy back in May. Continue reading “2016 Grand Slam of Darts Draw confirmed!”

PDC Order of Merit Update!

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Mensur Suljovic has climbed to a career high of seventh on the PDC Order of Merit after reaching his maiden major TV final at the European Championship, whilst world number one Michael van Gerwen extended his lead at the summit by clinching his third successive European Championship crown in Hasselt.

Suljovic was 11th prior to this weekend’s event in Hasselt but the darts-control ace performed magnificently to reach the final, beating Jermaine Wattimena, Ian White, Phil Taylor and Peter Wright, before succumbing to the brilliance of ‘The Green Machine’ in the final.

Van Gerwen scooped the £100,000 winner’s cheque with a stunning 11-1 victory over Suljovic to take his ranking prize money to an astonishing £1, 371,000; almost £500,000 ahead of world number two and current world champion Gary Anderson.

Peter Wright is closing in on a spot in the world’s top four after his run to the semi-finals in Hasselt. Snakebite would have leapfrogged Phil Taylor on the Order of Merit if he’d have beaten Mensur Suljovic, but his 11-8 defeat to the Austrian leaves him trailing ‘The Power’ by just £4,750.

Continue reading “PDC Order of Merit Update!”

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!”

Grand Slam of Darts 2016- Qualifiers Confirmed!

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Former finalist Robert Thornton was among the eight players to qualify for next month’s Grand Slam of Darts after coming through the PDC qualifier at the Barnsley Metrodome on Sunday afternoon, on a day which saw five players book maiden appearances in Wolverhampton.

Thornton booked his return to the Civic Hall after a string of fine performances on Sunday afternoon. ‘The Thorn’ dropped just five legs in his four matches, kicking off proceedings by beating both Scott Dale and Andy Hamilton 5-1.

The former World Grand Prix champion then defeated Calum Loose 5-2 in round-three to set up a decisive clash with Andrew Gilding. The Scot then prevailed in comprehensive fashion, recording his third 5-1 triumph of the day.

Brendan Dolan came through successive deciding leg shoot-outs to seal his place in Wolverhampton next month. Dolan began his qualification campaign with victories over Ryan Harrington and Jan Dekker, before edging out Nigel Heydon 5-4.

The Northern Irishman then faced a decisive fourth-round battle with Kim Huybrechts who had lost just the solitary leg in his preceeding three matches. However, Dolan squeezed past the Belgian in an attritional deciding-leg to confirm his qualification. Continue reading “Grand Slam of Darts 2016- Qualifiers Confirmed!”

World Grand Prix Day Four: Whitlock hits sixteen perfect darts to reach the last eight!

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Michael van Gerwen remains on course for a third World Grand Prix title after he whitewashed former BDO number one James Wilson, as Simon Whitlock, Dave Chisnall and Daryl Gurney all sealed their spots in the quarter-finals at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday evening.

However, the performance of the night was delivered by world number one Michael van Gerwen, who averaged 97.17, landed three maximums and converted 56% of his finishing doubles to dismantle Wilson, who performed better than the scoreline indicates.

Wilson kicked off the contest in sumptuous style with a roof-raising 156 finish. He missed the bullseye to double his lead moments later, but van Gerwen fired back with a sensational 96 checkout, culminating with D18 and D20. This galvanised the Dutchman, who went to seal the first set with relative ease.

‘The Green Machine’ fired in scores of 180 and 177 in the opening leg of set two, but he almost lost the leg, as ‘Jammie Dodger’ missed tops for a 160 checkout. However, MvG pinned the same target to hold throw, before winning his fifth straight leg with a fine 14-darter.

The third leg was an extremely high-quality affair. Both men kicked of the leg with flawless 160 starts, registering five perfect darts in the process. However, the advantage of throw proved decisive for Van Gerwen, who converted 64 for a stunning 12-darter to establish a commanding two-set cushion. Continue reading “World Grand Prix Day Four: Whitlock hits sixteen perfect darts to reach the last eight!”

World Grand Prix Day Two: Taylor suffers shock first-round exit!

 

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Eleven-time champion Phil Taylor was sensationally dumped out in the opening round of the World Grand Prix by debutant Steve West, as world number one Michael van Gerwen survived a minor scare at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin on Monday evening.

The evening’s proceedings were interrupted early on by a power-failure, however the story of the night was the power-failure suffered by Phil Taylor. The Stoke-on-Trent ace, an 11-time champion in Dublin, lost six of the last nine legs against an inspired Steve West, to suffer his fifth first-round exit in the tournament’s history.

West broke Taylor’s throw in the very first leg after the 56-year-old missed three darts at D12. However, ‘The Power’ responded emphatically, breaking straight back with a clinical 111 checkout. Taylor then secured an easy hold of throw after West took 16 darts to pin a starting double, and the 16-time world champion went on to clinch the set after nailing D6.

West looked like a beaten man after the opening set, but he rallied superbly and restored parity at one apiece after producing a trio of top-class finishes. He won the opening leg of the set with an 86 finish, and sandwiched in between seven perfect darts from Taylor, West took out two clinical 101 finishes to force a third and final set.

Taylor had the throw in the deciding set, but he relinquished the initiative after missing one dart at double and West pounced, breaking throw on D10. The underdog then moved to the cusp of a shock victory after holding his nerve to complete a 62 checkout, but Taylor preserved his hopes by hitting D16 to hold throw. Continue reading “World Grand Prix Day Two: Taylor suffers shock first-round exit!”

2016 World Grand Prix Draw!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

World number one Michael van Gerwen will face the legendary Steve Beaton in the first-round of the World Grand-Prix, whilst reigning champion Robert Thornton will begin the defence of his title against Stephen Bunting at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin, next week.

The draw for the 2016 World Grand-Prix, which begins on Sunday October 2nd, was made live on the PDC’s official Facebook page, ahead of the final day of Champions League of Darts action.

Van Gerwen will take on 1996 Lakeside world champion Steve Beaton in round-one. Beaton has enjoyed a mini-resurgence this year, reaching the quarter-finals of the recent World Matchplay. However, ‘The Green Machine’ will be hoping to clinch a third World Grand-Prix title.

Robert Thornton, who defeated Van Gerwen in a thrilling final last year, takes on another former Lakeside champion Stephen Bunting. ‘The Thorn’ has endured a slump in form since winning his second major title last year, but he’ll be hoping that a return to Irish soil will have a galvanising effect on his fortunes.

Phil Taylor will go in search of an unprecedented twelfth World Grand-Prix crown against debutant Steve West. West secured his spot for this event by virtue of reaching the final of Players Championship 16 in Barnsley last week, which saw Vincent van der Voort miss out on qualification. Continue reading “2016 World Grand Prix Draw!”

Players Championship Order of Merit Update!

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Below is the Players Championship Order of Merit, following this week’s triple-header at the Barnsley Metrodome. World number one Michael van Gerwen stormed to an unprecedented hat-trick of titles, trousering £30,000 of prize money in the process.

The race is on to qualify for the Players Championship Finals in Minehead in November, with just four events left to secure qualification. The tournament field has been extended to 64 players this year, therefore the Top 64 on the Players Championship Order of Merit will qualify.

James Wilson has climbed up to 10th following his run to the final on Wednesday, whilst Thursday’s finalist Steve West is up to 18th, after the pair accrued £6,000 for finishing as runners-up.

Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld made a successful return to the Pro Tour. Van Barneveld made his first Players Championship appearance since March in Barnsley and won £4,750 in prize money, having reached the last 16, the quarter-finals and the last 32 across the three days.

Barney was 118th on the Players Championship Order of Merit prior to this week, but he has now risen to 61st, and the legendary Dutchman will be competing in next week’s double-header in Dublin, therefore he has the opportunity to guarantee his spot if he matches this week’s performances. Continue reading “Players Championship Order of Merit Update!”

Nine-dart Van Gerwen triumphs over Wilson in Barnsley!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen continued his irrepressible vein of form by claiming his second successive Players Championship title after a hard-fought 6-3 victory over James Wilson at the Barnsley Metrodome on Wednesday afternoon.

‘The Green Machine’ was in rampant mood throughout the afternoon, firing in a 9-darter in the last 16, en route to scooping the £10,000 winner’s cheque and securing his 18th PDC title of the year. Wilson performed superbly, but was denied victory in his first ever PDC final.

The Dutchman began the final strongly, holding throw in 15-darts by virtue of a clinical 90 finish culminating on the bullseye. MvG threatened a break of throw in the following leg by leaving 130 after 9 darts, but an untimely bounce-out denied him the opportunity at bull, and Wilson levelled up with an excellent 14-darter.

However, ‘Mighty Mike’ responded emphatically; pinning D8 for a 14-dart hold, having wired the bull for a maximum 170 checkout in the preceding visit. Wilson remained unfazed however; posting successive scores of 140 before nailing D7 for another 14-dart leg to fire back.

Van Gerwen secured the fifth successive hold of throw in the final by converting D18 for a 13-darter, before a tense sixth leg ensued. The 27-year-old Boxtel ace had an opportunity to break throw, but he wired a dart at bull for a 124 kill, and Wilson hit D10 to restore parity once more at three-apiece. Continue reading “Nine-dart Van Gerwen triumphs over Wilson in Barnsley!”

European Darts Grand Prix: Day Two Report!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Raymond van Barneveld produced a magnificent 141 finish to edge past Simon Whitlock in a thrilling deciding-leg at the HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix, but Mensur Suljovic produced the performance of the second-round at the Glaspalast in Sindelfingen on Saturday.

Van Barneveld made a sluggish start to his contest, as Whitlock eased into a 2-0 advantage. The Australian missed three darts for a precious double-break in the third leg, allowing the Dutchman to open his account with a 60 checkout.

However in the fourth leg, ‘The Wizard’ capitalised on missed doubles from Van Barneveld, who missed two darts at tops to break back, allowing Whitlock to regain his two-leg cushion. Yet, the five-time world champion responded impressively, firing in his first maximum and taking out 111 to reduce the arrears to 3-2.

Whitlock delivered an instant riposte with a top-class 130 checkout, before the next two legs were shared, with the Australian leading 5-3. Barney remained in contention by pinning D16, before benefitting from a missed match dart from the Aussie in the tenth leg.

The Den Haag ace left 24 after 12 darts having posted successive visits of 180 and 137, and after Whitlock missed one dart at D7 for an 86 kill, Barney forced a decider with a 13-darter. Continue reading “European Darts Grand Prix: Day Two Report!”

European Darts Grand Prix: Day One Report!

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Van Barneveld returned to European Tour action with a bang! (Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Raymond van Barneveld made a winning return to the European Tour after producing the performance of the night, as Max Hopp, Brendan Dolan and James Wilson all tasted victory on Friday at the Glaspalast Arena in Sindelfingen.

Van Barneveld marked his return to European Tour action with a high-quality win over debutant Scott Dale, who put in an impressive performance himself. Van Barneveld averaged 99.73 and landed four maximums, to record a fine 6-3 win in his first European Tour appearance since last October.

Barney and Dale both opened their account with 12 darters, before the Dutchman took out 74 in 15-darts to move 2-1 ahead.The 49-year-old then left himself on 36 after just 9 darts as he attempted to break, but he spurned darts at D18 and D9, as Dale levelled up on D6.

The youngster had an opportunity to break the Dutchman in the fifth leg. He missed the bullseye for a 130 kill but still seemed in control, until Van Barneveld fired in a magnificent 160 checkout for a precious hold.

Dale again restored parity at three apiece on D5, before the five-time world champion regained the initiative with a cool 60 checkout. However, the decisive blow was struck in the eighth leg, as Van Barneveld pinned D16 for a 15-darter and a precious break, to move within a leg of the second-round. Continue reading “European Darts Grand Prix: Day One Report!”

Van Gerwen edges out Eidams, as Anderson turns on the style!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen maintained his hopes of retaining his German Darts Masters title with victory over home favourite Reine Eidams, whilst Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis, Peter Wright and Michael Smith also progressed to round-three at the Ballhausforum, Dolce Hotel, Munich, on Sunday evening.

Van Gerwen and Eidams met in a repeat of their classic first-round clash at the World Championships four months ago, and the Dutchman was pushed by the German, before eventually prevailing 6-3 with a 97 average, which is slightly underwhelming by The Green Machine’s exceptionally high standards.

It was a topsy-turvy start to the encounter, with four successive breaks of throw. Eidams spurned the chance to secure a fifth successive break with one dart at D16, but this proved to be an expensive miss, as van Gerwen reeled off three straight legs; going 5-2 up with a classy 138 finish.

Eidams remained in contention by posting D10 and very nearly reduced the arrears to 5-4 by wiring the bullseye for a spectacular 164 finish. Nevertheless, Van Gerwen clinched victory in sumptuous style with an eye-catching 132 checkout, with successive bulls, followed by D16, to sink the impressive German.

Continue reading “Van Gerwen edges out Eidams, as Anderson turns on the style!”

German Darts Masters- Day 1 Report & Results!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Kevin Painter, Stephen Bunting, Daryl Gurney, James Wilson and home-favourite Reine Eidams were among the players to reach the second-round of the German Darts Masters, as Alan Norris and Andrew Gilding suffered surprise exits at the Ballhausforum, Dolce Hotel, Munich, on Saturday.

However, the performance of the day was produced by former world finalist Kevin Painter, who eased into the last 32 with a stunning 6-1 victory against Stuart Kellett. ‘The Artist’averaged 101.7 and boasted an impressive 55% on the doubles, although ‘KO’ almost stole the headlines, missing D12 for a 9-darter in leg four.

Stephen Bunting prevailed 6-4 against Steve Beaton in a battle of the world champions in the penultimate game of Saturday’s double-session. Beaton delivered an inspired 161 checkout to go 4-3 up, but ‘The Bullet’ fired back superbly, and clinched victory with an excellent 110 finish, to set up a tasty second-round tie against Peter Wright.

World Championship quarter-finalist Alan Norris suffered a surprise exit at the hands of Jermaine Wattimena in a topsy-turvy contest. There were five successive breaks in the opening stages, before Wattimena missed 11 match darts. Yet, the quick-fire Dutchman wasn’t to be denied, and managed to close out a morale-boosting 6-4 victory.

Continue reading “German Darts Masters- Day 1 Report & Results!”

Evans and Boulton seal Ally Pally Spots, as big names miss out!

Ricky Evans and Andy Boulton sealed the final two places at this year’s World Championships at the Alexandra Palace, after progressing through the PDPA qualifier at the Ricoh Arena, in Coventry.

Evans beat Boulton 5-4 in today’s final, sealing victory on D20, which means that the Kettering ace will now meet Simon Whitlock in the first-round of this year’s tournament.

Boulton will have to progress through his preliminary clash against Per Laursen, with a first-round meeting against reigning World Champion Gary Anderson lying in wait for the victor.

Continue reading “Evans and Boulton seal Ally Pally Spots, as big names miss out!”

My 10 Darting Predictions for 2015

1. Phil Taylor will drop out of the World’s Top 2

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This would be unprecedented in PDC folk law! Since the current ranking system was implemented, Taylor has never been ranked lower than 2nd. However, I cannot envisage Taylor retaining his number two spot, with Gary Anderson trailing him by just a meagre £12,000. Now I am certainly not forecasting a Taylor decline; he is still performing at the peak of his powers, illustrated by his 116 average against Raymond van Barneveld, albeit in defeat, last week.

Yet unfortunately for Taylor, there are so many top players performing to their maximum, and with the Power having to defend the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix titles, along with a Players Championship final appearance on the rolling two-year order of merit, he will have to enjoy a dominant year to stave off the threat of a resurgent Anderson, who is defending very little after having a particularly ordinary 2013. I think Taylor will win at least one major title this year, although it’s unlikely to be sufficient to preserve his current ranking.

Continue reading “My 10 Darting Predictions for 2015”

6 Potential UK Open Darkhorses

One of the most anticipated tournaments on the PDC calendar, the UK Open Finals, gets underway at Minehead this Friday. I love almost every aspect of the event; the random draw, amateur players getting the chance to face the world’s best, and the intense atmosphere created across eight stages of simultaneous darting drama. Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and defending Champion Adrian Lewis are the obvious favourites, but the unpredictability caused by the open draw often caters for surprises, with the likes of Mark Walsh, Barrie Bates and Gary Mawson all recent finalists. Which ‘outsiders’ are best placed for an excellent run in Minehead? These are my 6 dark-horses to claim the crown…

Continue reading “6 Potential UK Open Darkhorses”

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