Huybrechts: I was completely ignored in the Premier League

Kim Huybrechts is renowned for being one of the most exuberant characters in the game, although the Belgian has candidly admitted that his fiery persona often left him feeling ignored – particularly in his previous Premier League appearances.

Continue reading “Huybrechts: I was completely ignored in the Premier League”

Huybrechts slams ‘disrespectful’ Taylor!

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Kim Huybrechts has continued the war of words with Phil Taylor after labelling the 16-time world champion ‘disrespectful’ in the aftermath of their bad-tempered stalemate in week four of the Premier League at the Brighton Centre on Thursday night.

‘The Hurricane’ was left to rue three missed match darts as Taylor recovered from 6-4 behind to salvage a point and maintain his unbeaten start to this year’s Premier League. It was a real nervy affair for the majority of the contest, but Huybrechts took out a string of fine finishes to seize control.

The Belgian registered checkouts of 87 (x2), 110 and 140 to guarantee himself a point and Taylor was becoming visibly irritated by his opponent’s antics. Nevertheless, ‘The Hurricane’ spurned match darts in each of the final two legs as Taylor escaped with a point to remain joint top of the Premier League table on six points.

However, Huybrechts was clearly riled at the end of the match. After a frosty handshake between the pair, Taylor celebrated the point in vociferous fashion, before performing his tradition of taking down the board to sign and give away to a member of the crowd.

Yet to Kim’s frustration, Taylor didn’t ask Huybrechts to sign the board as he typically does with other opponents. The Belgian admitted: “The way the game ended really annoyed me. The way he reacted at the end was a sign to me and it’s a stupid thing for me not being allowed to sign the board- I think it’s a bit disrespectful.
Continue reading “Huybrechts slams ‘disrespectful’ Taylor!”

2017 Premier League Darts: Week Four Report!

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Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and James Wade remain joint top of the Premier League table after four of the five matches were drawn at the Brighton Centre on Thursday evening, as Jelle Klaasen was the solitary player to secure victory as he moved off the foot of the table.

Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis shared the spoils in one of the most entertaining tussles of the season so far. Van Gerwen averaged 104.67, landed four maximums and converted 38% of his double attempts, whilst Lewis produced his best performance of the year so far; averaging 101.2 to get his campaign back on track.

‘The Green Machine’ kicked off proceedings with a majestic 11-darter, before Lewis assumed control. ‘Jackpot’ levelled on D4 after MvG missed four darts to extend his lead, before following up a fabulous visit of 174 with a 13-dart leg to break.

MvG was plagued by missed doubles once again in the fourth leg, as Lewis followed up a magnificent 177 by pinning D12 for another 13-darter to record his third leg in succession. Van Gerwen stopped the rot with a classy 116 checkout, but Lewis was undeterred and re-established his two-leg cushion after nailing a spectacular 170 checkout on the bull. Continue reading “2017 Premier League Darts: Week Four Report!”

Taylor: “Every time Kim jumps about; he gets beaten!”

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Phil Taylor has fuelled the fire ahead of his Premier League clash with Kim Huybrechts at the Brighton Centre on Thursday evening, by claiming that whenever Huybrechts ‘jumps about’; he loses.

‘The Hurricane’ is well-renowned for his over-zealous celebrations, but ahead of their latest showdown, ‘The Power’ appeared to suggest that Kim’s antics are to the detriment of his game. “Kim’s a feisty player and he’s going to do his jumping around, but I’ve noticed that every time he jumps about, he gets beaten,” Taylor quipped.

The pair have been embroiled in an interesting rivalry since they met in the last 16 of the 2015 World Championship. Ahead of that clash, Taylor warned that there would be ‘trouble’ if the Belgian started jumping around, but the 16-time world champion survived a match dart to prevail 4-3 in a fiery affair.

The pair’s last meeting came in round-three of the 2017 World Championship. Ahead of the contest, Huybrechts insisted that he wasn’t deterred by Taylor’s criticism and reaffirmed that he would continue to show emotion on stage. Continue reading “Taylor: “Every time Kim jumps about; he gets beaten!””

Premier League Darts: Week Three Report!

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Phil Taylor maintained his unbeaten start to his final Premier League campaign with an impressive triumph over his great rival Raymond van Barneveld, as Michael van Gerwen and James Wade kept pace at the top of the table on a cracking night of action at Leeds’ First Direct Arena on Thursday.

Taylor defeated his old adversary Van Barneveld in their 78th and potentially final meeting. ‘The Power’ prevailed 7-4 in an entertaining tussle with a 96.79 average, as Barney suffered his first defeat of the season despite averaging 97.32, landing three maximums and converting 50% of his double attempts.

Taylor kicked off proceedings with a commanding 14-dart hold, before Barney levelled the contest with a two-dart 60 kill. The third leg was an error-strewn affair. The 16-time world champion missed six darts at double but Barney couldn’t capitalise as Taylor eventually sank D1 to hold.

Van Barneveld responded majestically however. The Dutch legend began the leg with six perfect darts and although he was unable to record the perfect leg, he pinned D16 for a stunning 10-dart hold. The Stoke ace regained the lead with a clinical 76 kill, but Barney restored parity at three apiece after hitting D8 for the sixth successive hold of throw. Continue reading “Premier League Darts: Week Three Report!”

2017 Premier League Darts: Week Two Report!

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Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson secured their first wins of the season with victories over Peter Wright and Jelle Klaasen respectively, as Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade maintained their unbeaten starts on a cracking night of action in week two at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.

Van Gerwen registered the first win of his Premier League title defence with victory over Peter Wright. The world number one missed three darts for a whitewash, but eventually wrapped up a 7-3 triumph with an impressive 105.21 average, as Snakebite failed to replicate the form which saw him clinch two UK Open qualifiers last weekend.

Wright kicked off the contest with a maximum, but spurned four darts at double to hold and this proved pivotal. MvG opened his account via D10, before converting a clinical 86 kill for an 11-dart hold. ‘The Green Machine’ posted a 14-darter for a double-break, before following his first maximum with a stunning 170 finish for his fourth consecutive leg.

The Dutchman continued the procession with a 13-darter for his fifth straight leg, before pegging D4 to guarantee himself a point after Snakebite was unable to take out 120. Van Gerwen had the opportunity to complete a whitewash victory, but squandered three match darts as Wright gratefully completed a 64 checkout to avoid the indignity of a whitewash. Continue reading “2017 Premier League Darts: Week Two Report!”

2017 UK Open Order of Merit Update!

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Peter Wright tops the provisional UK Open Order of Merit after winning two of the opening three qualifiers at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan last weekend. Snakebite defeated Adrian Lewis on Friday, before surviving two-missed match darts from Michael Smith to triumph in Sunday’s finale.

The Scot has accrued £21,500 in prize money over the first-triple header and is well placed to be the top seed in Minehead. The final three qualifiers take place next weekend, and a host of big names are under significant pressure to seal their spots in the tournament dubbed ‘The FA Cup of Darts’.

After the conclusion of the six qualification events, the top 96 players on the Order of Merit will qualify for the televised UK Open Finals in March. The top 32 players will enter the competition in the third-round; players ranked 33rd-64th will compete in round-two, whilst players from 65th-96th will begin their campaigns in the opening round.

Simon Whitlock sits in second position after he prevailed in the second UK Open qualifier. ‘The Wizard’ enjoyed a welcome return to form during the latter stages of 2016, and the Aussie defeated Wright en route to winning his third Pro Tour title within four months, at the Robin Park Tennis Centre on Saturday. Continue reading “2017 UK Open Order of Merit Update!”

2017 Premier League Darts: Week One Report!

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Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson shared the spoils on a thrilling opening night of the 2017 Premier League, as Raymond van Barneveld produced an incredible comeback to stun Adrian Lewis. Elsewhere, Phil Taylor, Peter Wright and James Wade also tasted victory at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Thursday night.

Van Gerwen and Anderson were forced to settle for a point in the match of the night in the North East. MvG led for the majority of the contest, but Anderson launched a valiant fightback to claim a point with a 103.19 average, as the Dutchman dropped points on the opening night for the second straight year, despite averaging an ominous 107.94.

‘Mighty Mike’ made a blistering start to the contest, following up a brilliant 177 set up shot with an 84 kill on the bullseye for a 12-dart break. He then extended his advantage moments later with his first maximum and a 13-darter culminating on D7, before Anderson completed a fine 78 finish to open his account.

Van Gerwen continued his blistering start with a magnificent 11-darter, but Anderson reduced the arrears to the solitary leg by pinning tops for a 13-darter. The Dutch ace was unperturbed however, and regained his two-leg lead with a crucial 15-dart hold. Continue reading “2017 Premier League Darts: Week One Report!”

2017 Premier League Darts: Week One Preview!

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The 2017 Premier League kicks off at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on Thursday night, as Michael van Gerwen begins the defence of his title against two-time winner Gary Anderson, in a repeat of last month’s thrilling World Championship Final. Josh’s Dartistry talks you through the opening set of fixtures and provides his predictions…

Kim Huybrechts v James Wade

The 2017 Premier League kicks off with a clash between Kim Huybrechts and James Wade, in what promises to be a very evenly matched contest. Huybrechts suffered elimination on his Premier League debut back in 2015, however the Belgian performed far better than his results and league position may have suggested.

Huybrechts’ inclusion was slightly controversial this year, but he’ll be hoping to silence the critics with an opening night victory. Wade is one of the most consistent players in world darts, but he hasn’t reached the play-offs since 2013, therefore he’ll have to find extra gears within his game to challenge for this year’s title.

Both players come into this match on the back of opening-round defeats at the Masters. Wade was edged out by Robert Thornton, whilst Huybrechts was beaten by an impressive Adrian Lewis. They will each be keen to return to winning ways, which makes the opening few legs even more pivotal. Continue reading “2017 Premier League Darts: Week One Preview!”

2017 Unibet Masters: Day Two Report!

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Newly crowned world champion Michael van Gerwen began the defence of his Unibet Masters title with a convincing win against Simon Whitlock, as Robert Thornton dumped out fifth seed James Wade in a deciding-leg thriller at the Arena MK in Milton Keynes on Saturday evening.

Michael van Gerwen began the defence of his Masters title with an impressive 10-6 victory against two-time world finalist Simon Whitlock. It was a real high-quality affair with both players landing ten maximums, but ‘Mighty Mike’ prevailed with a 105.42 average and a 32% checkout success rate, with Whitlock’s brave resistance ultimately ending in vain.

‘The Wizard’ made a rip-roaring start to the contest, firing in back-to-back maximums as he broke MvG’s throw in 11 darts. Nevertheless, the Dutchman’s response was typically emphatic. He levelled inside 12 darts after the pair traded maximums, before pegging D3 to complete the first hold of throw.

Both players again traded maximums as Van Gerwen dispatched D8 for his second straight leg before the world champion followed up his fourth maximum with an effortless 13-darter on tops for his fourth leg in succession.  Continue reading “2017 Unibet Masters: Day Two Report!”

2017 Unibet Masters: Draw & Schedule!

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Newly crowned world champion Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his Unibet Masters title against two-time world finalist Simon Whitlock, when the first major TV event on the 2017 PDC calendar gets underway at the Arena MK in Milton Keynes on Friday evening.

The fifth staging of the Unibet Masters will see the world’s top 16 players face off, with all the action being broadcast exclusively on ITV4 from January 27th- 29th. The prize money for this event totals £200,000, with £60,000 on offer to the winner.

Phil Taylor, who won the inaugural staging of this event back in 2013, will feature on the opening night of action in an enthralling tie against eleventh seed Michael Smith. Meanwhile, two-time world champion Gary Anderson takes on Benito van de Pas in a repeat of their pulsating last 16 clash at the recent William Hill World Championship.

Elsewhere, 2016 finalist Dave Chisnall locks horns with 2015 finalist and five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld in the opening match of the tournament, whilst the night concludes with a clash between third seed Peter Wright and Stoke star Ian White. Continue reading “2017 Unibet Masters: Draw & Schedule!”

Premier League Darts 2017- Fixtures Confirmed!

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Newly crowned world champion Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his Betway Premier League title against two-time world champion Gary Anderson, a rematch of their recent World Championship final, when the competition gets underway at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Thursday February 2nd.

The opening nine weeks see the players meet once in the league phase, before the bottom two players are eliminated following Judgement Night in Cardiff.

The remaining eight players then face each other again in the remaining six league nights in April and May, before the top four players progress to compete in the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday May 18.

Van Gerwen defeated Anderson 7-3 to win his second world title a fortnight ago, halting Anderson’s incredible seventeen match winning streak at the Alexandra Palace. However, the Scotsman will have his opportunity to secure instant retribution when the tournament gets underway in Newcastle. Continue reading “Premier League Darts 2017- Fixtures Confirmed!”

Premier League Darts 2017 line-up confirmed!

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Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld are among the wildcard selections for the 2017 Premier League, whilst Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts will make their returns to the competition when the action gets underway at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on February 2nd.

The line-up for the 2017 Premier League was announced by PDC Chairman Barry Hearn in the immediate aftermath of Michael van Gerwen’s World Championship triumph. This will be the biggest season in the competition’s history, with the overall prize money totalling £825,000.

The top four players on the PDC Order of Merit are automatic entries, therefore newly crowned world champion Michael van Gerwen, two-time winner Gary Anderson, world number three Peter Wright & two-time world champion Adrian Lewis did not have to rely on a wildcard selection.

Sky’s two wildcards were the legendary duo of Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld. Taylor is a six-time Premier League winner and reached last year’s final, where was he comprehensively beaten by Michael van Gerwen. Yet this is the first year in the competition’s history that he’s had to rely on a wildcard selection. Continue reading “Premier League Darts 2017 line-up confirmed!”

2017 PDC World Championship: Day Twelve Report!

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World number one Michael van Gerwen remains on course to win his second World Championship crown after seeing off a dogged Darren Webster, whilst Phil Taylor set up a quarter-final clash with his old rival Raymond van Barneveld on another dramatic night of action at the Alexandra Palace on Thursday evening.

Van Gerwen booked his place in Friday’s quarter-finals with an emphatic 4-1 victory over tournament giant-killer Darren Webster. ‘The Demolition Man’ had already defeated Stephen Bunting and Simon Whitlock to reach this stage, but MvG proved an obstacle too far, with the Dutchman averaging 104.40 and landing eight maximums.

‘The Green Machine’ clinched a hard-fought opening set in which Webster was left to rue missed doubles. The Norwich ace missed darts to break in the third leg, before spurning two set darts moments later. This ignited ‘The Green Machine’, who won six of the next seven legs to establish total control of the contest.

Webster fought back valiantly and opened his account in an entertaining fourth set. MvG followed up a maximum with a sublime 170 outshot, but Webster took out 96 to level, before taking out 81 after hitting his fifth 180 in the preceding visit. MvG converted a 68 finish to level, but Webster prolonged the contest with help via a sixth maximum. Continue reading “2017 PDC World Championship: Day Twelve Report!”

2017 PDC World Championship: Day Eleven Report!

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Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld edged out Adrian Lewis in a seven-set thriller, whilst defending champion Gary Anderson defeated an inspired Benito van de Pas to book his place in the World Championship quarter-finals on a dramatic night of action at the Alexandra Palace on Wednesday evening.

Van Barneveld came from 3-2 down to defeat two-time world champion Adrian Lewis in a topsy-turvy clash to reach the last eight at Ally Pally once again. Neither player were at their vintage best, but Van Barneveld prevailed with a 95 average, three maximums and a 38% conversion rate on the doubles.

Lewis succumbed to a last 16 defeat against Van Barneveld for the second time in three years at Ally Pally despite averaging 98.05, firing in six maximums and converting an impressive 65% of his attempts at double, but ultimately the Dutch legend produced the goods at the crucial moments.

Nevertheless, ‘Jackpot’ made a blistering start to clinch the opening set without reply. The Stoke-on-Trent star landed identical 90 checkouts to round off respective 11-dart legs and also pinned D16 to seal first blood with a 114.55 average. Continue reading “2017 PDC World Championship: Day Eleven 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!”

Players Championship Finals: Day Three Report!

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Michael van Gerwen retained his Players Championship Finals crown with a comprehensive 11-3 victory over Dave Chisnall at the Butlins Minehead Resort on Sunday evening, although the world number one was forced to come from 6-0 down in a dramatic semi-final clash against the unfancied Darren Webster.

Nevertheless, despite surviving a scare in the last four, ‘Mighty Mike’ was in imperious form in Sunday’s curtain-raiser, averaging 108.34, landing six maximums and converting 53% of his double attempts to triumph in convincing fashion. Chisnall averaged 99.24 himself, but he was unable to produce the goods in the key moments.

Despite the best efforts of ‘The Yellow Peril’, MvG’s astonishing dominance in PDC majors continues. Van Gerwen hasn’t suffered defeat in a ranking major since losing to Raymond van Barneveld at last year’s World Championships and Michael’s victory over Chisnall marked his ninth TV crown of 2016; his 25th in total.

Van Gerwen started the final strongly; breaking Chisnall’s throw with a confident 13-darter. Chisnall landed his first maximum in the second leg, but MvG doubled his lead by pinning D16 for a 17-dart hold. However, the St Helen’s star opened his account in leg three with a clinical 121 finish on the bullseye. Continue reading “Players Championship Finals: Day Three Report!”

Players Championship Finals- Day Two Report!

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Defending champion Michael van Gerwen will face his old rival Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals of the Players Championship Finals on Sunday, as Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and James Wade were dumped out at the Butlins Minehead Resort on Saturday.

Van Gerwen breezed through to the last eight, dropping just three legs over the course of his matches on day two. Van Gerwen faced his best mate Vincent van der Voort in the second-round and ‘The Green Machine’ cruised to a 6-1 win, averaging 102.5 and posting four maximums en route.

MvG faced sixteenth seed Josh Payne in round-three and the 22-year-old from Gravesend started strongly, storming into a 2-0 lead. Nevertheless, Van Gerwen levelled up proceedings after Payne missed two darts at double in both leg three and four and this proved expensive.

Payne acquitted himself impressively, averaging 99.79 and hitting three maximums. Despite this, he converted just two of his ten double attempts and was ruthlessly punished by Van Gerwen. MvG won ten successive legs and finished with an average of 105.69, to set up a last-eight showdown with his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld. Continue reading “Players Championship Finals- Day Two Report!”

PDC Order of Merit Update: Wright & Barney on the rise!

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Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld were two of the biggest movers on the PDC Order of Merit following the conclusion of last weekend’s Grand Slam of Darts, as world number one Michael van Gerwen extended his lead over world champion Gary Anderson.

Peter Wright has risen to a career high of third in the world after his run to the last four in Wolverhampton. Snakebite performed superbly throughout the week and produced a majestic display to defeat Phil Taylor 16-10 in the quarter-finals, subsequently leapfrogging ‘The Power’ in the world rankings.

Wright was highly-fancied by many to claim his maiden PDC major title in Wolverhampton, although he eventually suffered semi-final defeat against an imperious Michael van Gerwen. The Scot averaged 102.13 but it wasn’t enough to overcome ‘The Green Machine’ who posted an astonishing 111.17 average to triumph 16-10.

Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld has moved up to 12th in the world following his run to the quarter-finals at the Wolverhampton Civic. Van Barneveld was in magnificent form throughout the week, finishing with a tournament average of over 100. Continue reading “PDC Order of Merit Update: Wright & Barney on the rise!”

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