Players Championship 9 & 10: Entries confirmed!

Barney Cadby

The entries for this weekend’s Players Championship double-header in Wigan have been confirmed, but there are a few notable absentees. Continue reading “Players Championship 9 & 10: Entries confirmed!”

Players Championship 1 & 2 Entries!

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The entries have been confirmed for the year’s first two Players Championship events which will take place at the Barnsley Metrodome on Saturday 25th February and Sunday 26th February.

The 128-player tournaments will see PDC Tour Card Holders and PDPA Associate Members competing across the weekend, featuring 32 top seeds from the Pro Tour Order of Merit. There will be live coverage from two streaming boards across both days, with all games being the best of eleven legs.

The most high-profile absentee from next weekend’s action will be world champion Michael van Gerwen. The world number one suggested earlier this year that he would scale down his Pro Tour commitments due to the forthcoming birth of his first child with his wife Daphne.

Phil Taylor and Terry Jenkins will also not feature at the Barnsley Metrodome, although this is of no surprise. Taylor will no longer compete on the Pro Tour ahead of his planned retirement in January 2018, whilst Jenkins himself has claimed that he is ‘semi-retired’, and will focus solely on major TV tournaments that he has already qualified for. Continue reading “Players Championship 1 & 2 Entries!”

UK Open Qualifiers 4-6: Entries Confirmed!

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The entries have been confirmed for the final three Coral UK Open qualifiers which will take place from February 10th-12th at Wigan’s Robin Park Tennis Centre. The qualification triple-header will see over 230 PDC Tour Card Holders and PDPA Associate Members competing for spots in March’s Coral UK Open TV Finals.

Friday’s fourth UK Open Qualifier will commence at 2pm to accomodate the Premier League stars travelling down from Nottingham after night two on Thursday, with the events on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 12pm.

Following the culmination of this weekend’s triple-header, the top 96 players from the UK Open Order of Merit will qualify for the Coral UK Open TV Finals from March 3rd-5th, with the rest of the field made up of 32 Riley’s amateur qualifiers.

World number three Peter Wright will hope to cement his place at the top of the Order of Merit having won two of the opening qualifiers last week. Wright accrued £21, 500 over the course of the three days, and he’s followed by Saturday’s winner Simon Whitlock, and Sunday’s runner-up Michael Smith, who missed two darts to defeat Snakebite. Continue reading “UK Open Qualifiers 4-6: Entries Confirmed!”

UK Open Qualifiers 1-3: Entries Confirmed!

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Nearly 250 players will begin their challenge to secure a place in March’s Coral UK Open Finals when the first three UK Open Qualifiers take place between February 3rd-5th at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.

This weekend’s triple-header is open to both PDC Tour Card Holders and PDPA Associate Members, with £60,000 worth of prize money on offer each day. After the six qualification events have taken place, the top 96 players on the UK Open Order of Merit will progress to compete at the UK Open Finals, alongside 32 Riley’s amateur qualifiers.

Friday’s opening UK Open Qualifier will commence at 2pm to accomodate the Premier League stars travelling down from Newcastle after Thursday’s opening night, with the events on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 12pm.

Phil Taylor and Terry Jenkins are the two big-name absentees from this weekend’s field. Both men have claimed they will not compete on the PDC Pro Tour in 2017; they will just participate in major TV events that they’ve already qualified for. However, it remains to be seen whether they’ll enter the second set of qualifiers in a bid to reach Minehead. Continue reading “UK Open Qualifiers 1-3: Entries Confirmed!”

Van de Pas and Smith prevail in stunning deciders at the Ally Pally!

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Benito van de Pas and Michael Smith edged out the veteran duo of Terry Jenkins and Mervyn King in pulsating seven-set tiebreaks, as Ian White also eased through to round-three in a stunning session of darts at the Alexandra Palace on Friday afternoon.

Van de Pas survived an inspired comeback from nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins to prevail in an epic seventh-set tiebreak in the match of the tournament thus far. Jenkins landed 28 14o’s and 7 180’s in a brilliant scoring display, but Van de Pas recorded a huge victory with a 95.79 average, seven maximums and 37% on the doubles.

Van-de Pas clinched a hard-fought opening set with a moment of magic. The opening four legs all went with throw, before the Dutchman crashed in a stunning 177 to set up a 12-dart leg to break Jenkins’ throw.

However, Jenkins responded strongly to level up proceedings with a whitewash second set. Jenkins took out a clinical 81 combination for an 11-dart break in the opening leg of the set, before registering six perfect darts en route to a second successive 11-darter. ‘The Raging Bull’ was flowing, and pinned tops at the first time of asking for parity. Continue reading “Van de Pas and Smith prevail in stunning deciders at the Ally Pally!”

2017 PDC World Championship: Day Three Afternoon Report!

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Nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins rolled back the years as he produced four ton-plus checkouts to edge out impressive youngster Josh Payne, as Benito van de Pas and Andrew Gilding also tasted victory on day three at the Alexandra Palace on Saturday afternoon.

Jenkins produced a vintage display to book his spot in the second-round after a hard-fought victory over 2016 Pro Tour winner Josh Payne. ‘The Raging Bull’ averaged 93.66, landed four maximums and converted 38% of his double attempts to prevail, despite Payne firing in seven maximums.

Missed doubles plagued the nine-time major finalist in a hard-fought first set. Jenkins opened his account with a fine 13-darter but Payne drew level with a 75 finish, before Jenkins defied a second maximum from the youngster to hold throw with a fine 106 outshot.

Payne stayed alive in the set by pinning D9, but Jenkins had the advantage of throw in the set decider.’The Raging Bull’ seemed destined to clinch the set but spurned six darts at double as the 22-year-old pounced on tops to secure the lead.

However, the former Ally Pally semi-finalist bounced back in set two. Jenkins pinned tops to break after the interval, before hitting the same target to extend his lead after Payne wired the bull for an 81 kill. Payne nailed D10 to heap the pressure on Jenkins, but the Ledbury ace defied a fourth maximum from the Gravesend ace to level on D10.

The pair traded maximums in the first-leg of set three, but Jenkins clinically converted a 100 outshot to hold. The 53-year-old then hit D10 to break, before clinching the third set without reply on D6, with Payne struggling to match Terry’s consistent scoring power.

Payne stopped the rot on D16 after Jenkins spurned three darts at D18 and D9 respectively to win his fifth consecutive leg, before a dramatic second leg ensued. ‘The Maximum’ posted successive maximums to set up a potential 9-darter, but after leaving 90 after 9 darts he wasn’t afforded a shot as Jenkins converted a majestic 140 finish to hold.

Jenkins’ magnificent finishing continued as he produced a brilliant 121 checkout (T20, T15, D8) to record his fourth ton-plus checkout to move within a leg of victory, but Payne broke back to keep his hopes alive. However, ‘The Maximum’ then spurned two darts at D8 to force a fifth and deciding set, which allowed Jenkins to finally close out victory on D16.

Jenkins was understandably thrilled with both the performance and result.“I was nice and relaxed; I felt comfortable. I haven’t put a lot of practice in just lately because every time I step up to the board I keep hitting 180’s, so I think why do you need to put the practice in, just leave them alone and that’s what I’ve done.

“I used to practice a lot when I was a youngster, but I think 90% of it is in your head and down to experience. ” Jenkins will face fifteenth seed Benito van de Pas in round-two, but Terry is relishing the prospect. Benito’s playing well, he’s another youngster that’s on form at the moment, but he’s got to play well to beat me.”

Van de Pas overcome dogged qualifier Tengku Shah to scramble through to round-two. The Dutchman averaged 91.18 as he prevailed 3-1, but his finishing was the decisive factor; Benito converted 61% of his double attempts compared to Shah’s 22% ratio, but the Malaysian acquitted himself extremely well, averaging 87.86 and landing four maximums.

Shah overcame Japanese star Masumi Chino in Saturday’s preliminary qualifier to book a showdown with ‘Big Ben’. The Malaysian won a nerve-jangling first set dominated by missed doubles, but Chino drew level with 117 and 106 finishes. Despite this, Shah held his nerve and won the final set without reply to progress to round-one with an 83.44 average.

However, the soft-tip ace was unable to dump out the Dutch star. Van de Pas performed an act of darting burglary in the opening set, winning it despite Shah being first to the double in all five legs. The Malaysian converted just two of his thirteen double attempts and the world number fifteen capitalised with clinical finishes of 72 and 78.

The pair exchanged breaks in the early stages of set two, before Van de Pas seized command with a stylish 125 finish (25, T20, D20). Shah then missed three darts to force a set decider and Van de Pas continued his clinical run of finishing to extend his lead.

Shah kicked off the third set with an exhibition 99 finish (S19, D20, D20). However Van de Pas fired back impressively, moving to the cusp of victory after reeling off successive legs in 14 and 12 darts respectively. Nevertheless, Shah fought valiantly and broke back on D10, before clinching the third set with a 13-darter to spark jubilant celebrations.

Any hopes of an incredible turnaround were quickly extinguished however. Van de Pas kicked off set four with a solid 16-dart hold, before hitting his second maximum and firing in a 13-dart leg to move to within a leg of round-two. This time ‘Big Ben’ made no mistake, sealing his progression with a classy 108 kill culminating on D18.

In his post-match press conference, Van de Pas admitted he was simply relieved to have secured the win, admitting: “The draw came out two weeks ago and from then I was so nervous because everybody expects you to win this game. I didn’t have a lot of confidence today; I was practicing really bad, but the win is there.

“I’m taking it game by game; the next one is Terry Jenkins, he is a good player. I played Terry at the World Grand Prix and it was a really nice game, and hopefully we have another nice game. I’m looking forward to it,” the 23-year-old added.

Finally, Andrew Gilding produced an inspired comeback from 2-0 down to edge out John Henderson in a pulsating sudden-death battle. ‘Big John’ appeared in cruise control but Gilding fought back superbly, averaging 90.94 and registering eight maximums to set up a second-round meeting with world champion Gary Anderson.

Gilding fired in three maximums in the opening set, but Henderson claimed the spoils in a hard-fought affair. The Scotsman squandered two set darts in the fourth leg but was afforded another opportunity moments later, which he duly took by pinning D16.

Gilding emerged from the interval with a 14-darter, but Henderson delivered an instant riposte with 121 finish on the bull. ‘Big John’ then seized command with an impressive 14-dart to break throw, before clinching the second set with a 15-dart hold on tops after Gilding had wired the bull for a 164 finish in the preceding visit.

Henderson won his fourth straight leg with a regulation 54 checkout, but out of nowhere ‘The Highlander’ lost his focus and Gilding pounced, winning three successive legs and reducing the arrears to 2-1 in sets by eventually pinning D1.

The momentum had shifted completely as Gilding registered his fourth straight leg via D19. Henderson arrested his slump by hitting his second maximum followed by a 98 finish for a 12-darter, but Gilding regained control of the set with a 15-dart hold, before converting a clean 80 kill to force a fifth and deciding set.

Henderson secured first blood in the decider with a quality two-dart 85 finish, but ‘Goldfinger’ fired straight back on D10. The Scot then regained the lead on tops with his last dart in hand after Gilding wired bull for a 94 finish and a break, but the Englishman forced a tiebreak after converting a clinical 101 kill on D12.

‘Goldfinger’ then hit his seventh maximum and nailed a spectacular 143 checkout to complete a 12-darter to break and lead for the first time since the opening leg. However, the former UK Open semi-finalist endured a torrid leg at the most inopportune moment by leaving 104 after 18 darts, as Henderson capitalised to hit D16 and stay afloat.

‘Big John’ made it back-to-back legs by pinning D20 at the first attempt, but the Scot missed one match dart at the bull before Gilding posted D2 to prolong the drama. The next two legs were shared as the contest went to a sudden-death leg and Gilding prevailed after winning the bullseye and converting a nerveless 75 finish on tops.

Gilding admitted to Josh’s Dartistry: “At 2-0, if John had hit a couple of 12-darters which he’s capable of, there would have been nothing I could do. But I just kept plugging away. There’s been little bits in my technique I’ve been working on. Maybe I slacked a little bit and relaxed after that UK Open success and took things for granted. But I’m really working on my technique now.”

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

William Hill World Darts Championship
Saturday December 17
Afternoon Session (1pm)

Tengku Shah 2-1 Masumi Chino (P)
Terry Jenkins (18) 3-1 Josh Payne
John Henderson (31) 2-3 Andrew Gilding
Benito van de Pas (15) 3-1 Tengku Shah

Terry Jenkins confirms PDC retirement plans!

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Nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins has confirmed that he will essentially enter semi-retirement from the PDC circuit after this year’s World Championships. The 53-year-old from Ledbury, Herefordshire, has struggled for form throughout the year, reaching just one final on the Pro Tour in 2016.

Jenkins is currently 16th on the PDC Order of Merit, although his top 16 status is under imminent threat as he’s defending £25,000 in Hasselt next week, having reached the European Championship final two years ago. As a result, ‘The Bull’ is under pressure to produce a good run in Belgium.

Since joining the PDC in 2003, Jenkins has appeared in nine-major finals, although he has lost out on each occasion- once to Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis and Michael van Gerwen, twice to James Wade, and four times to Phil Taylor. Nevertheless, ‘The Bull’ has won 13 ranking titles and displayed immense consistency throughout this period.

In an exclusive interview with Paul Starr on Tungsten Tales, Jenkins revealed: “I’m going to wind it right down after the World Championships. I’ll probably knock the tours on the head; particularly the European Tours, and just play what I’m in through the rankings really. Continue reading “Terry Jenkins confirms PDC retirement plans!”

German Darts Championship: Day Two Report & Results!

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Peter Wright produced one of the finest European Tour performances in recent memory, averaging almost 114 on day-two at the German Darts Championship, as Michael van Gerwen overcame a battling Robbie Green in Hildesheim on Saturday evening.

Van Gerwen began his assault for a seventh European Tour title of the year with a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Robbie Green. The world number one averaged 99.83 and hit 46% of his double attempts to overcome ‘Kong’, who narrowly misses out on a qualification spot for the European Championships in Hasselt.

However, it was Peter Wright who produced the performance of the tournament thus far, averaging 113.77 as he recorded a comprehensive 6-1 victory over St Helens’ Eddie Dootson. Snakebite registered four maximums and hit six of his ten attempts at double, as Dootson claimed just the solitary leg, despite averaging a respectable 94.74.

International Darts Open winner Mensur Suljovic delivered a stunning performance as he swept aside Darren Johnson in round-two. The Austrian averaged a mightily impressive 106.22 and converted 55% of his attempts at double to set up a third-round clash with David Pallett.

Third seed Dave Chisnall breezed into the last 16 with a whitewash victory over ‘The Rock’ Peter Hudson. Chisnall averaged 102.48, landed three maximums and hit 43% of his doubles, as Hudson was afforded just the solitary dart at double in the entire contest. Continue reading “German Darts Championship: Day Two Report & Results!”

World Grand Prix Day Three: Brilliant Barney whitewashes Lewis!

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Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld produced the performance of the tournament thus far as he whitewashed Adrian Lewis in round-two of the World Grand Prix, as world champion Gary Anderson safely progressed to the last eight at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin, on Tuesday evening.

However, the story of the night was Raymond van Barneveld, who reached his first Grand Prix quarter-final since 2010 after dismantling two-time world champion Adrian Lewis in straight sets. Van Barneveld was superb, hitting D16 with unrelenting precision, averaging 97.21 and converting 53% of his attempts at double.

The opening set was a topsy-turvy affair which went to a fifth and deciding leg after the pair traded breaks. Lewis had the advantage of throw but he squandered five set darts at D18 and D9 respectively, and Van Barneveld pinned D4 with his last dart in hand to steal the set, which sparked a passionate roar from the legendary Dutchman.

Barney then whitewashed Lewis in the opening leg of set two after Lewis failed to pin a starting double within 12 darts. Jackpot was badly affected by his missed doubles in the opening set and the 49-year-old Den Haag ace was in uncompromising mood, extending his lead to 2-0, winning the set without reply.

Lewis fired in a maximum in the opening leg of set three but Barney was unperturbed, converting 72 on tops for a precious break of throw. The Stoke ace landed his fifth maximum in the following leg but then spurned three darts at D18,and Van Barneveld pinned D10 to win his sixth straight leg and move within a leg of victory. Continue reading “World Grand Prix Day Three: Brilliant Barney whitewashes Lewis!”

World Grand Prix- Day One Report!

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Reigning champion Robert Thornton and former winner James Wade were both dumped out on the opening night of the World Grand Prix, as Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld all progressed to round-two at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin on Sunday evening.

Thornton’s hopes of defending his title were quashed by former world champion Stephen Bunting, who held his nerve to prevail in an exciting affair. ‘The Bullet’ won the opening leg, but Thornton rallied and clinched the opening set with successive finishes of 125, 62 and 67.

However Bunting responded strongly, breaking Thornton early in set two with a clinical 105 kill. The St Helen’s star doubled his lead moments later, and whilst the Scot fired back with a 12-darter, Bunting levelled up proceedings at one set apiece with a 12-darter of his own.

‘The Bullet’ hit tops to take the lead early in set three, but Thornton replied by pinning D10. Bunting then moved to within a leg of victory, following up his fourth maximum by hitting D8. Thornton kicked off the fourth leg with five perfect darts, but missed a multitude of darts at double to force a decider, as Bunting secured the win via D4.

World champion Gary Anderson kicked off his campaign with an emphatic 2-0 victory over Jamie Caven. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ breezed to the first set without reply as ‘Jabba’ struggled for consistency. The second set was a much more competitive affair, but finishes of 112, 124 and 86 sealed victory for the world number two. Continue reading “World Grand Prix- Day One Report!”

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!”

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 Trophy: Day Two Report!

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Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts stole the show in round-two of the HappyBet European Darts Trophy, whilst Michael van Gerwen returned to European Tour action with a bang, on Saturday evening at the RWE Arena in Muelheim.

Klaasen produced a breath-taking display as he dismantled his compatriot Vincent van der Voort 6-1. Klaasen was in sensational form, averaging 111.23 to secure victory in just over 10 minutes. Van der Voort’s solitary leg came via an excellent 101 checkout, but he was unable to live with the rampant ‘Cobra’.

Kim Huybrechts bounced back from his heartbreak in Riesa with a magnificent whitewash win against stablemate Kyle Anderson. Huybrechts was in unforgiving mood, averaging 106.09 to set up a third-round meeting with Terry Jenkins.

Michael van Gerwen marked his return to European Tour action with a convincing 6-2 victory over former World-Youth champion Keegan Brown. MvG stormed into a 3-0 lead, but Brown took out a fabulous 139 finish before breaking on D8 in 15-darts to reduce the arrears to 3-2.

However, the Isle of Wight star spurned three darts to restore parity at three apiece and Van Gerwen took full advantage of his opponent’s profligacy, reeling off three straight legs to seal a fine victory, with an average of 99.9.

Continue reading “European Darts Trophy: Day Two Report!”

Anderson & White triumph in Barnsley!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Gary Anderson and Ian White were the men to claim glory in this weekend’s Players Championship double-header at the Barnsley Metrodome. World champion Anderson edged out Terry Jenkins in a deciding-leg to prevail on Saturday, whilst White claimed his third Players Championship victory of 2016 by beating Benito van de Pas.

Anderson clinched his second Pro Tour title of the year, his sixth title in total, with a hard-fought 6-5 win against ‘The Raging Bull’ in the final of Players Championship 12. The Scot fired in four maximums in the final to edge out Jenkins who produced his best darts of the year in Barnsley.

Anderson began his campaign with a whitewash victory over Paul Milford before seeing off the challenges of Devon Petersen and Jason Wilson. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ came through a deciding leg against Mensur Suljovic to reach the last eight before progressing through to the last four with a comfortable win over Daryl Gurney.

In the semi-finals, Anderson whitewashed Welshman Jonny Clayton before defeating Jenkins to scoop the £10,000 winner’s cheque.

However, Jenkins performed extremely well to reach his first PDC final since winning in Barnsley 12 months ago. He overcome Mick MacGowan in round-one before surviving a deciding leg shoot-out against Simon Preston.

Jenkins defeated recent Players Championship winner Josh Payne to reach the last 16 before claiming the scalps of John Henderson and Steve Beaton, both by a 6-3 scoreline. He faced former BDO world number one James Wilson in the last four, and Jenkins once again prevailed by a 6-3 scoreline before falling at the last hurdle against Anderson.

However, in Players Championship 13 on Sunday, White won his third crown of the year with a 6-4 victory against Benito van de Pas who has also tasted success twice on the Pro Tour in 2016.

Barnsley is proving to be a happy hunting ground for ‘The Diamond’, with all of his three titles this year coming at the Barnsley Metrodome. The Stoke-on-Trent star breezed through to the last eight, dropping just six legs in overcoming  Mark Barilli, Joey Palfreyman, Wayne Jones and Jeffrey de Graaf.

For the second day in succession, Mensur Suljovic suffered a deciding-leg defeat to the eventual winner, with White squeezing through to the last four with a 6-5 win. White then edged out the in-form Joe Cullen 6-4 to reach the final before beating Van de Pas by the same scoreline in Sunday’s curtain-raiser.

However, ‘Big Ben’ continued his tremendous Pro Tour form with another fine run in Barnsley. He thrashed Nigel Daniels 6-1 in the first-round, before defeating his compatriots Jeffrey de Zwaan and Dirk van Duijvenbode.

The Dutchman eased past Paul Nicholson 6-1 in the last 16, but ‘The Asset’ enjoyed a welcome return to form, with victories over Nathan Aspinall, and his Australian colleagues Kyle Anderson and Simon Whitlock.

In the last eight, Van de Pas came through a nerve-jangling deciding leg against Alan Norris before he faced James Wilson in the semis. Wilson enjoyed the best weekend of his PDC career by reaching consecutive Pro Tour semi-finals, but he was beaten 6-3 by the talented Dutchman.

It was a day of shocks on Sunday however. Number one seed Peter Wright was beaten in the opening round by Steve McNally, whilst Anderson was unable to replicate Saturday’s triumph as he was beaten by his young protege Chris Dobey at the same stage.

World Matchplay- Day Five Report!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson produced impressive performances to ease through to the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay, whilst Steve Beaton and Mervyn King rolled back the years at the Winter Gardens on Wednesday evening.

Taylor’s quest for an unprecedented 16th Matchplay crown continued with a comprehensive 11-5 victory over Mensur Suljovic. After a shaky opening-round win against Robbie Green, ‘The Power’ was much improved against the Austrian, averaging 101 and converting 48% of his attempts at double.

Taylor raced into a 3-0 advantage, but Suljovic responded impressively and cut the deficit to 3-2 at the next interval. ‘The Power’ then won four of the next five legs, to establish a commanding 7-3 cushion.

Suljovic continued to display great tenacity, converting finishes of 103 and 104 to remain in contention, but the 55-year-old Stoke star was unperturbed, firing in his fourth maximum and taking out 68 to seal victory, and book a place in the last eight on Friday.

Continue reading “World Matchplay- Day Five Report!”

2016 World Matchplay- Day Two Report!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

World champion Gary Anderson began his bid for a maiden World Matchplay crown with a comprehensive win over Alan Norris, whilst Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright also eased through to round-two. However, former winner James Wade suffered a surprise first-round exit at the Winter Gardens on Sunday.

Wade was beaten by an inspired Mervyn King in the opening match of Sunday’s evening session. ‘The King’ averaged 99.45, hit three maximums and converted an impressive 67% of his attempts at double, to dethrone ‘The Machine’ by a 10-5 scoreline.

Wade was uncharacteristically profligate on the doubles, as King stormed into a commanding 6-1 advantage. The left-hander missed three darts at double in the opening leg, and King capitalised on his opponent’s wastefulness, taking out finishes of 82, 100 and 120 to put one foot into the last 16.

Wade scored strongly in the latter stages of the contest, but it was to no avail. King missed D8 for a match-winning 136 outshot, and he was almost punished as Wade wired the bullseye for a 161 finish. However, King, a semi-finalist at the Winter Gardens in 2009, returned to post D4 and seal his second-round spot.

Continue reading “2016 World Matchplay- Day Two Report!”

World Matchplay Draw!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his World Matchplay title against Jamie Caven, whilst world champion Gary Anderson takes on former Lakeside world finalist Alan Norris, after the draw was made live on Sky Sports News on Thursday morning.

The prestigious 32-player event, televised by Sky Sports, will be held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens from July 16-24. Van Gerwen, who defeated James Wade in last year’s final, is faced with a tough assignment against Caven, a winner of seven Pro Tour titles.

Arguably the tie of the round sees world champion Gary Anderson take on Alan Norris. Norris has been in tremendous form over the last twelve months, which saw him reach the quarter-finals of the PDC World Championship on debut. Anderson has never gone beyond the last four in Blackpool, and this promises to be a quick-fire contest.

Phil Taylor will begin his bid for an unprecedented 16th World Matchplay title against Robbie Green, who just managed to secure his spot on the final day of qualifying.’Kong’ is making his first Matchplay appearance since 2004, but Taylor will be hoping to win his eighth Blackpool title in just nine years.

Continue reading “World Matchplay Draw!”

Taylor edges out Smith to win Austrian Darts Open!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor enjoyed a dream return to European Tour action by defeating Michael Smith 6-4 to win the 2016 Austrian Darts Open at the Multiversum in Vienna on Sunday evening. ‘The Power’ averaged 97.34 and hit seven maximums to seal the fourth European Tour title of his illustrious career.

Smith, a three-time European Tour winner himself, battled valiantly but was unable to produce his best darts, averaging 92.82 in Sunday’s curtain-raiser. Despite this, ‘Bully-Boy’ started the final strongly, with a commanding 13-dart hold.

Smith hit his first maximum in the second leg, but was unable to register a dart at double for an 80 outshot, allowing Taylor to post D16 for 1-1. Taylor opened up the third leg with a maximum of his own, before missing three darts at double. Nevertheless, this error wasn’t punished, and Taylor eventually broke after Smith failed to convert a 75 checkout.

However, Smith responded fantastically in the fourth leg to secure an immediate break back. The former World-Youth champion registered successive 140’s, before nailing D12 to break throw inside 13-darts.

The pair traded maximums in the fifth leg and both missed one dart at double for 84 and 74 checkouts respectively, but it was Taylor who converted D4 for a third consecutive break of throw to wrestle back the initiative.

Continue reading “Taylor edges out Smith to win Austrian Darts Open!”

Austrian Darts Open- Last 16 Report & Results!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen kept alive his hopes of winning a fourth consecutive European Tour title of the year, whilst Phil Taylor, Peter Wright, Michael Smith and Kyle Anderson all booked their places in the quarter-finals of the Austrian Darts Open in Vienna on Sunday afternoon.

Van Gerwen opened up Sunday’s marathon session with a comprehensive 6-1 win against ‘The Adonis’ Steve Beaton. Van Gerwen was on course for a 10-darter in the opening leg, before eventually winning it with his seventh attempt at double.

Beaton missed opportunities for an instant break back in leg two, before MvG posted successive 12-darters to coast into a 4-0 lead. Beaton landed an 80 finish to open his account, but Van Gerwen’s dominance continued, as the Dutchman won the remaining two legs to finish with an average in excess of 101.

Van Gerwen will face Kyle Anderson in the last eight tonight, after the Australian edged out Jelle Klaasen in a pulsating contest which featured twelve maximums. Anderson averaged 103.61 and hit four 180’s to complete a wonderful performance and seal his quarter-final spot in Vienna.

Continue reading “Austrian Darts Open- Last 16 Report & Results!”

Shocks galore at the German Darts Masters!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

It was an afternoon of shocks at the German Darts Masters, as James Wade, Robert Thornton, Kim Huybrechts and Terry Jenkins were all dumped out in round-two at the Ballhausforum, Dolce Hotel, Munich. Only two seeds from eight made it through, as the under-dogs prospered on Sunday afternoon.

Joe Cullen continued his fine run of form as he edged out eight-time major winner James Wade in a topsy-turvy contest. Cullen dominated the scoring stakes but only registered 27% on the doubles. ‘The Machine’ delivered a fine 141 finish to draw level at 4-4, but ‘The Rockstar’ won the final two legs to reach the third-round.

Chris Dobey produced the performance of the afternoon to defeat Robert Thornton 6-4 and reach the last 16. Dobey, mentored by world champion Gary Anderson, averaged 100.64 and fired in five maximums to dump out the World Grand-Prix champion. The youngster also registered 50% on the doubles to complete the upset.

Kim Huybrechts was another seed to tumble in round-two, as he was dismantled 6-1 by William O’Connor, who will be looking to replicate his run to the quarters here 12 months ago. The Belgian averaged a miserly 85 and hit just 16% on the doubles, and whilst the Irishman wasn’t at his best, he did enough to blow away ‘The Hurricane’.

Continue reading “Shocks galore at the German Darts Masters!”

Anderson dispatches Wade to win UK Open qualifier 4!

Anderson Wade
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

World champion Gary Anderson sealed qualification to the UK Open in Minehead next month, as he defeated eight-time major winner James Wade 6-1 to win the fourth UK Open qualifier at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.

Anderson, who was ruled out of the opening three qualifiers a fortnight ago through illness, performed superbly throughout the day, to secure his first ranking victory since winning his second World Championship title over a month ago.

‘The Flying Scotsman’ kicked off his qualification campaign with comprehensive 6-1 victories over both Darren Webster and Mike De Decker to reach the last 32, where he subsequently overcame Andrew Gilding in a tense last-leg decider.

Anderson defeated former world champion Mark Webster 6-2 in the following round, before sealing a last-four spot courtesy of a 6-3 triumph over Simon Whitlock. Anderson defeated the ever-improving Benito van de Pas 6-4 in the semi-finals, before defeating ‘The Machine’ 6-1 in the curtain raiser.

Continue reading “Anderson dispatches Wade to win UK Open qualifier 4!”

Dutch Darts Masters- Round Two Report & Results

Merv King.jpg
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Mervyn King sent world champion Gary Anderson packing in the second-round of the Dutch Darts Masters, with a fantastic performance on Saturday evening. King was in tremendous form, averaging 100.54 and posting four maximums to Anderson’s three, to set up a last 16 tie against Devon Petersen on Sunday afternoon in Venray.

King led 2-0 in the early stages, but Anderson fought back strongly to level up proceedings. Yet, Mervyn produced a fantastic 11-darter to steal a march, before eventually completing a memorable 6-4 victory over ‘The Flying Scotsman’.

Michael van Gerwen began the defence of his Dutch Darts Masters title with a routine 6-3 victory over John Henderson. Van Gerwen stormed into a 5-0 advantage, but the Scot avoided the dreaded whitewash with a fine 13-darter.

MvG then missed five match darts in the seventh leg, allowing Henderson to double his tally, before ‘Big Hendo’ clinched his third leg in succession with a fine 14-dart hold culminating on D12. However, van Gerwen eventually sealed the triumph in the ninth leg, posting his third maximum and converting an 81 checkout on the bullseye for a 12-darter.

Continue reading “Dutch Darts Masters- Round Two Report & Results”

My 10 Darting Predictions for 2016

With the brief hiatus in the darting calendar, Josh’s Dartistry has made his 10 darting predictions for 2016. Have a read and see if you agree!

1. Phil Taylor to end his major drought with Matchplay glory.

DARTS
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor’s last major TV title came 14 months ago, at the 2014 Grand Slam of Darts. This is Taylor’s longest drought since winning his first World title 21 years ago, and this period without silverware would have been simply unfathomable just a few years ago.

However, Taylor has fallen to fourth in the world following Adrian Lewis’ run to the World Championship final, and ‘The Power’ faces a defining year in 2016, which may ultimately determine whether he still has the tools to compete consistently at the very highest-level.

However, the statistics illustrate that Taylor is still performing at an extremely high-level. He averaged 108 in departing the UK Open quarter-finals to Peter Wright, 103 in losing to James Wade at the World Matchplay semi-finals and 106 in losing to Adrian Lewis in the European Championship quarter-finals.

Continue reading “My 10 Darting Predictions for 2016”

Day Six: Chisnall and Jenkins progress, as Ronny dumps out Winstanley.

Dave Chisnall
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Dave Chisnall, Terry Jenkins and Wes Newton all progressed through to the second-round of the World Championships, but Dean Winstanley became the ninth seed to depart the tournament, losing in a fifth set tiebreak to Ronny Huybrechts, at the Alexandra Palace on Tuesday evening.

Chisnall stole the show, as he produced a fine display to defeat exciting Austrian youngster Rowby-John Rodriguez 3-0 in the first-round of the World Championships at Alexandra Palace on Thursday evening. ‘Chizzy’ averaged 99.37 and posted four maximums to overcome ‘Little John’.

However, Rowby acquitted himself well; all three sets went to a fifth and deciding leg, but Chisnall ultimately delivered the goods in critical junctures of the contest.

Continue reading “Day Six: Chisnall and Jenkins progress, as Ronny dumps out Winstanley.”

Big names tumble in Minehead, as Gurney shows his class!

Gurney.jpg
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

There were a number of big-name casualties in the opening session of the Players Championship finals today, with Kim Huybrechts, Terry Jenkins, Jelle Klaasen, Stephen Bunting and Mervyn King among the seeds to tumble in Minehead.

The performance of the afternoon was undoubtedly delivered by Daryl Gurney, who produced his best ever TV performance in thrashing Kim Huybrechts 6-2.

Gurney averaged 101. 38 and hit 46% on the doubles en route to stunning the Belgian, who was seeded fifth in Minehead. The Northern Irishman has always possessed immense natural ability and perhaps now he will showcase that talent more regularly on the big stage.

Continue reading “Big names tumble in Minehead, as Gurney shows his class!”

Barney produces stirring fightback to stun Wade, as Webster dumps out Anderson!

Barney Grand Slam

Raymond van Barneveld produced a stirring fightback against James Wade in a bad-tempered contest at the Grand Slam of Darts, as Gary Anderson was sensationally dumped out by Mark Webster in the last 16 stage.

Wade led van Barneveld 7-4, before the Dutchman produced an inspired comeback, reeling off six successive legs to seal a spot in the quarter-finals.

However, Wade didn’t shake hands with the Five-Time World Champion, after becoming frustrated at what he perceived to be Barney slowing him down.

Continue reading “Barney produces stirring fightback to stun Wade, as Webster dumps out Anderson!”

Barney battles through to last 16 as De Vos bows out with record-breaking average!

Barney Grand Slam
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Raymond van Barneveld survived a minor scare against veteran Larry Butler, as he progressed through to the knock-out stages of the Grand Slam Darts; setting up a last 16 clash with James Wade on Wednesday night.

van Barneveld needed to beat Butler to secure his last 16 spot, but he was given a stern examination by the 1994 World Matchplay Champion, with Barney winning an enthralling contest 5-3.

The Five-Time World Champion made a perfect start, hitting a maximum with his first three darts and claiming the opening leg in 14 darts. He then doubled his lead moments later courtesy of D3 for a 15-darter and a crucial break.

Continue reading “Barney battles through to last 16 as De Vos bows out with record-breaking average!”

Furious Taylor begins Grand Slam defence in style!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor began his Grand Slam of Darts defence in fine style on Saturday afternoon, whitewashing Martin Phillips 5-0 with a 102 average, but he was furious with comments made by Andy Fordham earlier in the week.

‘The Viking’ had praised Taylor’s ‘unbelievable’ achievements in Darts in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports on Tuesday, although he admitted that he ‘didn’t really like Phil’.

This provoked a strong response from the 16-Time World Champion. “I’m motivated. All these comments have motivated me. Keep commenting, keep running me down. That’s what I like, it’s given me the fuel back that I needed.”

Continue reading “Furious Taylor begins Grand Slam defence in style!”

Double-Delight for Webster, as Jenkins, Dobey and van den Bergh claim World Series Spots!

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Mark Webster completed a phenomenal day’s work in Coventry, as he secured qualification to the World Series of Darts Finals, alongside Terry Jenkins, Chris Dobey and Dimitri van den Bergh.

Webster secured qualification to the Grand Slam of Darts earlier in the day, and dropped just four legs en route to qualifying for the World Series of Darts finals in Braehead, Glasgow.

Continue reading “Double-Delight for Webster, as Jenkins, Dobey and van den Bergh claim World Series Spots!”

World Champion Anderson dumped out in Dublin by an Inspired White!

Anderson knocked out
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

World Champion Gary Anderson was the latest big-name casualty to depart the World Grand Prix in Dublin, as he was dumped out 3-1 by an inspired Ian White in the last 16 stage.

Anderson hit 12 140’s, 11 180’s and averaged 98, the highest of the tournament so far; yet this simply wasn’t enough against a clinically proficient White.

The 45-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent is now the only remaining Englishman in the tournament; after the likes of Phil Taylor, James Wade and Adrian Lewis all suffered early exits. In tomorrow’s quarter-final, he will take on 2-time major winner Robert Thornton, who whitewashed an off-colour Justin Pipe 3-0 in the opening match of the evening.

Continue reading “World Champion Anderson dumped out in Dublin by an Inspired White!”

Taylor and Wade suffer Shock First-Round Exits in Dublin!

Taylor and Wade both humbled in Dublin! Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor and James Wade both suffered sensational first-round exits at the World Grand Prix in a night of shocks at the Citywest in Dublin.

11-time Grand Prix Champion Taylor was beaten at the first-round stage for the fourth time in his career, as Vincent van der Voort produced one of his finest television performances to record a straight-sets victory over ‘The Power’.

In addition, James Wade was sensationally dumped out by Mensur Suljovic. The former Grand Prix Champion was highly fancied to challenge for the title given his affinity with the tournament and his recent excellent form, but he was outplayed by ‘The Gentle’.

However, the headlines will inevitably go to van der Voort, who secured his first ranking victory over Taylor since 2009. Over such a short format, the top players are always vulnerable in the early rounds and the Dutchman was tremendous throughout.

Continue reading “Taylor and Wade suffer Shock First-Round Exits in Dublin!”

MvG continues European Tour Dominance in Venray!

MvG Venray
MvG’s remarkable run continued in his native Holland. (Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen continued his dominance on the European Tour in 2015, whitewashing Justin Pipe 6-0 to win the Dutch Darts Masters in Venray. Roared on by a boisterous home crowd, van Gerwen survived scares against both Mervyn King and Terry Jenkins to secure his fourth European Tour title of the year.

Continue reading “MvG continues European Tour Dominance in Venray!”

5 Potential New PDC Major Winners

The depth of quality within the PDC is as strong as ever, however, an elite group of players still monopolise the major tournaments. The last 15 major ranking events have been shared between four players; Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis. It must be noted that James Wade won the Unibet Masters last November, whilst Raymond van Barneveld has won two non-ranked events;  the Grand Slam of Darts and the Premier League, in the last 2 ½ years. However, the last time that one of the six players mentioned didn’t win a major title was over 2 ½ years ago; when Simon Whitlock beat Wes Newton in the European Championships. With so many emerging players challenging for the top honours, I assess 5 potential new major winners.

Continue reading “5 Potential New PDC Major Winners”

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