Quartet seal World Series Finals spots

Joe Cullen, Steve Beaton, Vincent van der Voort & Harry Ward secured their places in the bwin World Series of Darts Finals after prevailing in Friday’s Tour Card Holder Qualifier.

Continue reading “Quartet seal World Series Finals spots”

European Darts Trophy 2018- Day One Report!

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Ricky Evans and Vincent van der Voort fired in ton-topping averages on the opening day of the European Darts Trophy in Gottingen, as Steve Beaton edged out Kim Huybrechts in a dramatic last-leg decider on Friday evening.

Ricky Evans produced the performance of the opening-round at the Lokhalle to dismantle Andrew Gilding 6-1 and set up a meeting with Darren Webster on Saturday evening. ‘Rapid’ averaged 104.73, registered four maximums and converted 60% of his attempts at double to cap off a wonderful display against ‘Goldfinger’.

Vincent van der Voort also produced a vintage display to keep his slender hopes of European Championship qualification alive. The Dutchman averaged 103.96 and posted five maximums to defeat Simon Stevenson 6-3, kicking off the contest with legs of 13, 13 and 11 darts, which he’ll need to replicate in round-two against Michael van Gerwen.

Toni Alcinas defied EIGHT maximums from Danny Noppert to close out a gripping deciding-leg win in the last match of Friday’s marathon double-session. ‘Noppie’ produced a blistering display of scoring but it wasn’t enough to defeat the spirited Spaniard, who averaged 97.51 and converted 41% of his darts at double to prevail.

Steve Beaton fended off an inspired fightback from Kim Huybrechts in a battle of the former European Tour winners. Beaton stormed into a 5-1 lead but the Belgian fought back to force a decider- only to miss one dart at the bull for victory, and ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ held his nerve to complete a clinical 78 kill and triumph with a 93.91 average.

Krzysztof Ratajski also survived one match dart in his first-round tussle against Steve West. ‘The Polish Eagle’ averaged 93.94 and hit 35% of his double attempts, but West missed one dart at D12 in the decider to snatch victory, which enabled Ratajski to convert D8 and set up a second-round meeting with home favourite Max Hopp.

Jeffrey de Zwaan will lock horns with world champion Rob Cross in an intriguing second-round tussle after seeing off host-nation qualifier Stefan Siepmann in his opener. De Zwaan wasn’t at his brilliant best but his combination finishing proved decisive, as he converted finishes of 73, 76, 88 and 120 to stave off any threat of an upset.

Martin Schindler delighted the home crowd with a hard-fought 6-3 win over Luke Woodhouse. ‘The Wall’ spurned ten darts at a double during the contest, but averaged 91.44 and registered four maximums to seal his place in the last 32, where he’ll take on the veteran Mervyn King.

Jelle Klaasen celebrated the birth of his second child this week, and he had more reasons to be cheerful after seeing off Maik Langendorf 6-4. Both players were below-par but Klaasen resisted a late fightback from the host-nation qualifier to prevail with an 88.51 average, two maximums and a 35% checkout conversion rate.

John Henderson came through a last-leg shootout against Mark Wilson to secure his spot in round-two, where he’ll take on Dutch Darts Champion Ian White. ‘The Highlander’ averaged 94.48 to Wilson’s 85.79, but the Scot was forced to conjure up a 14-dart leg in the decider to seal his progression.

2017 Development Tour winner Luke Humphries continued his bid to qualify for this month’s European Championship with a 6-4 win over Keegan Brown in the tournament’s curtain-raiser. Humphries averaged ten points more than the former World-Youth champion; prevailing with a 96.56 average, two 180’s and a 50% conversion rate.

Ryan Joyce maintained his 100% success rate in the first-round of European Tour events in 2018 with a comprehensive 6-1 win over Jermaine Wattimena. ‘Relentless’ wasn’t anywhere his best, but still breezed to victory against the off-colour Dutchman with an 88.37 average and a 46% checkout success rate.

Mickey Mansell set up a second-round clash with former Lakeside champion Stephen Bunting, after recording an emphatic 6-2 win over George Killington. Killington opened up an early 2-1 lead, but then was afforded just one more dart at a double, with Mansell reeling off five consecutive legs to triumph with an 87.76 average.

However, Mansell’s compatriot Brendan Dolan fell to a first-round defeat against host-nation qualifier Gabriel Clemens. The German averaged 92.30, crashed in three maximums and took out a fine 118 finish en route to victory over the former World Grand Prix finalist.

Matthew Edgar secured his first European Tour victory for three years with an impressive 6-3 win over Dutchman Jeffrey de Graaf. ‘Prime Time’ averaged 89.62, fired in four maximums and boasted a 50% checkout conversion rate to set up a second-round showdown against Joe Cullen.

Marko Kantele will play Premier League finalist Michael Smith for a place in the last 16, after seeing off qualifier Robert Marijanovic in round-one. The Finland World Cup veteran fired in five maximums in a powerful display of scoring; before rounding-off a 6-3 win with an 88.16 average and a 43% checkout success rate.

Richard North kept his hopes of European Championship qualification alive with a scrappy 6-3 win over host-nation qualifier Christian Bunse. The German outscored North for large periods, but missed 13 darts at double, as North limped to victory with a 79.04 average.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

2018 European Darts Trophy (ET13)
Schedule of Play
Friday October 12

First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)
Luke Humphries 6-4 Keegan Brown
Matthew Edgar 6-3 Jeffrey de Graaf
Mickey Mansell 6-2 George Killington
John Henderson 6-5 Mark Wilson
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Marko Kantele 6-3 Robert Marijanovic
Ryan Joyce 6-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Steve West

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)
Richard North 6-3 Christian Bunse
Ricky Evans 6-1 Andrew Gilding
Martin Schindler 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Simon Stevenson
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Maik Langendorf
Steve Beaton 6-5 Kim Huybrechts
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Steffen Siepmann
Toni Alcinas 6-5 Danny Noppert

Saturday October 13
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)
Joe Cullen v Matthew Edgar
Michael Smith v Marko Kantele
Dave Chisnall v Ryan Joyce
Stephen Bunting v Mickey Mansell
Daryl Gurney v Luke Humphries
Simon Whitlock v Richard North
Ian White v John Henderson
Jonny Clayton v Gabriel Clemens

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)
Mervyn King v Martin Schindler
Gerwyn Price v Steve Beaton
Darren Webster v Ricky Evans
Michael van Gerwen v Vincent van der Voort
Peter Wright v Jelle Klaasen
James Wade v Toni Alcinas
Max Hopp v Krzysztof Ratajski
Rob Cross v Jeffrey de Zwaan

PDC Order of Merit Update: Barney back in world’s top ten; Taylor drops to sixth!

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Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld has returned to the world’s top ten on the PDC Order of Merit following his impressive run to the semi-finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship.

Barney was seeded 12th at the Ally Pally but risked falling to as low as 16th after this event, as he was defending prize money accrued from reaching the semi-finals two years ago. However, the legendary Dutchman produced a vintage showing; reaching his fourth World Championship semi-final within the last five years to climb the rankings once more.

The 49-year-old stormed through to the last 16 with whitewash victories over Robbie Green and Alan Norris, before dumping out the decorated Stoke duo of Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor. Nevertheless, RvB finally succumbed to eventual winner Michael van Gerwen despite averaging 109.34- his highest ever average in a World Championship.

Van Barneveld netted £80,000 by virtue of reaching the last four, which parachutes him above Michael Smith and Robert Thornton on the Order of Merit. Smith and Thornton both competed in last year’s Premier League but their respective toils this year have seen them fall outside the world’s top ten and subsequently miss out on a Premier League wildcard. Continue reading “PDC Order of Merit Update: Barney back in world’s top ten; Taylor drops to sixth!”

NEWS: Vincent van der Voort considering retirement!

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Vincent van der Voort candidly revealed that he’s considering retiring from darts due to his recurring back problems. The world number 20 suffered his first ever opening-round exit at the Ally Pally after losing to former World-Youth champion Max Hopp on Thursday, and he told the PDC’s Dan Dawson that he is contemplating quitting the game.

Van der Voort has endured well-documented back problems over recent years and the issues again resurfaced to plague the former UK Open finalist on Thursday evening at the Alexandra Palace, as Hopp won nine of the remaining eleven legs to seal a convincing 3-1 victory.

Van der Voort admitted:“I’m playing against myself; I’m not playing against my opponent. Everything is a struggle at the moment and it’s hard work when you’re not playing like you used to.”

The Dutchman also revealed the full extent of his injury problems, stating:“I’ve got two hernias in my lower back and everything hurts every time. This is probably my last one {World Championship}. The way I look at it now; I’m ready to give in because it’s just hurting so much and I’ve done everything I can really.

“I’ve been to physiotherapy and so many different therapists and its not getting any better. It hurts so much that at one point you have to think about retiring. I’ve done everything I could, and I don’t know what more I can do,” Van der Voort added.

The Dutch Destroyer admits that it’s a catch 22 situation, because he’s constantly having to play through the pain barrier, although he still possesses the burning passion for the game. “I want to quit, because I’m losing to players I should never lose to; but on the other hand I love the game as well.”

The 41-year-old Dutchman is one of the most popular figures on the circuit and he’s adored by darts fans, partly due to his crowd-pleasing ‘Give it Up’ walk-on song by KC and the Sunshine band.

The quick-fire Dutchman switched from the BDO to the PDC in 2007 alongside his compatriots Jelle Klaasen and best friend Michael van Gerwen. Vincent enjoyed instant success after reaching the UK Open final within months of his switch, where he was beaten by his fellow countryman Raymond van Barneveld.

Van der Voort has also won five PDC ranking titles; with his most notable triumph coming in the 2014 Austrian Darts Open. Vincent had to come through the European qualifiers to simply qualify for this event, but he went on to defeat Christian Kist, Justin Pipe, Brendan Dolan, John Part, Mensur Suljovic and Jamie Caven to clinch the title.

Another highlight of Van der Voort’s career came when he represented the Netherlands at the 2012 World Cup of Darts alongside Van Barneveld, but the duo were beaten in the last four by Australia’s Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson.

The Dutchman has reached the quarter-finals at the Ally Pally on two occasions, whilst his best run in a TV major since his UK Open exploits came at the Players Championship Finals in Minehead back in 2014, where he reached the last four. However, the amiable Dutchman insisted he’s not in the process of reminiscing about his career.

Van der Voort concluded: “I’m not looking back at my career or anything. I will probably be at the UK Open qualifiers in February; plus what else really are you going to do? You have to do something in life, but I’m not going to look back at my career now, I’m just thinking about what’s next in my life really.”

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

NB: To listen to Vincent van der Voort’s full interview with Dan Dawson; please click the following link: https://audioboom.com/posts/5425644-william-hill-world-ch-ship-van-der-voort-round-1

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!”

Lewis & Van Barneveld to miss out on European Championship!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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

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

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

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

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

European Darts Trophy: Day One Report!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Kyle Anderson, Vincent van der Voort, Jamie Caven and Joe Cullen all made it through to the second-round of the European Darts Trophy, whilst Mervyn King, Robbie Green, Max Hopp and Jamie Lewis all suffered early exits at the RWE Arena in Muelheim on Friday.

Kyle Anderson produced one of the performances of the first-round, as he whitewashed Darren Webster to set up a second-round clash with International Darts Open finalist, Kim Huybrechts. ‘The Original’ was in fine form, averaging 95, landing three maximums and hitting 6 of his 11 attempts at a double.

Former European Tour winner Vincent van der Voort breezed into round-two with a convincing 6-1 win over home-favourite Max Hopp. The World-Youth champion was considerably below par; Vincent took full advantage, averaging 95.5 and hitting three 180’s, to set up an enthralling second-round clash with his compatriot Jelle Klaasen.

Jamie Caven and Devon Petersen overcame major scares, as they survived match darts to defeat Kevin Munch and Matthew Dennant respectively. Munch took out a fine 100 finish to force a last-leg decider, but he squandered darts for victory. Caven snatched the win with a brilliant 95 checkout, to set up a meeting with Dave Chisnall on Saturday.

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

World Matchplay 2016- Day One Report!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen began the defence of his World Matchplay title with a thumping whitewash victory over Jamie Caven, whilst Dave Chisnall, Robert Thornton and Kyle Anderson all won through on the opening night at the Winter Gardens.

Van Gerwen was in magnificent form as he despatched Jamie Caven 10-0. Jabba didn’t perform anywhere near to his potential, averaging a miserly 79. He only had four attempts at double in the entire contest; all of which came in the second leg.

However, ‘The Green Machine’ was in merciless form. He averaged 105.85, hitting four maximums and converting 50% of his attempts at double. The world number one will face Kyle Anderson in the last 16, after ‘The Original’ eased past 16th seed Vincent van der Voort 10-4.

It was a relatively scrappy affair, with van der Voort averaging 89.99 compared to Anderson’s 92.34. The encounter was evenly poised at 5-4, as Van der Voort reeled off successive legs to close in on the Australian. However, Anderson won five straight legs to secure his first ever victory at the World Matchplay.

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

2016 World Matchplay Preview!

The 2016 World Matchplay kicks off on Saturday evening, and Josh’s Dartistry casts his eye over the favourites, the contenders, the dark-horses, as well as the seeds under pressure. It promises to be a fantastic tournament at the Winter Gardens!

The Favourites:

Michael van Gerwen

Van Gerwen Shanghai

Michael van Gerwen is the favourite to retain his BetVictor World Matchplay title. He faces seven-time Pro Tour winner Jamie Caven in round-one, but ‘The Green Machine’ will be confident of progressing.

‘Jabba’ has only once gone beyond round-one at the Winter Gardens, and if MvG progresses, he will face either his good friend Vincent van der Voort, or Kyle Anderson in the last 16. Van Gerwen claimed victory in the recent Shanghai Darts Masters, but the world number one wasn’t in vintage form throughout the World Series.

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson

World champion Gary Anderson will enter this tournament with real self-belief. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ has won three of the four World Series titles in 2016, beating Van Gerwen in two of those finals. The Scot is one of the select few who relishes the challenge of facing MvG, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see these two face off in the final.

However, Anderson has been handed a difficult first-round assignment, against former Lakeside world finalist Alan Norris. Norris has been in fine form in the last 6 months and this promises to be a quick-fire contest. Anderson suffered a shock second-round defeat to Mensur Suljovic last year, so he’ll be determined to make amends this time around.

Continue reading “2016 World Matchplay Preview!”

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!”

2016 World Matchplay Field Confirmed!

World Matchplay
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The field for the 2016 World Matchplay was confirmed after the conclusion of the Players Championship double-header in Barnsley.  Robbie Green secured a last-gasp qualification with a fine run to the quarter-finals at the Metrodome on Sunday afternoon.

A 32-player field will compete in the BetVictor World Matchplay from July 16-24 at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, as the top 16 players from the PDC Order of Merit will be joined by 16 qualifiers from the rolling one-year ProTour Order of Merit.

Green will be making his long-awaited Blackpool return, having lost 10-7 to Bob Anderson in round-one of the World Matchplay twelve years ago, back in 2004. Green’s run to the last eight in Players Championship 11 saw him pip Rowby-John Rodriguez for the final qualification spot, which will be a bitter pill to swallow for the Austrian.

There will also be three debutants in this year’s competition. Former World Championship finalist Alan Norris has been rewarded for his remarkable Pro Tour consistency, having finished 4th on the Pro Tour Order of Merit.

Continue reading “2016 World Matchplay Field Confirmed!”

2016 Austrian Darts Open Draw!

Austrian Darts Open draw
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

World number one Michael van Gerwen will begin his quest for a fourth European Tour title of 2016 against either Jonny Clayton or a home-nation qualifier, when the Austrian Darts Open begins in Vienna on Friday.

The £115,000 PDC European Tour event will see 48 players competing from Friday June 10th to Sunday June 12th at the Multiversum in Schwechat, Vienna. Van Gerwen, a two-time champion here, will be hoping to continue his unblemished European Tour record in Austria this weekend.

Phil Taylor will also be making his first European Tour appearance of the year, and he’ll face a tough tie against either Mervyn King or Steve West in round-two. Meanwhile, second seed Peter Wright will meet either quick-fire Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena, or recent World Cup semi-finalist Brendan Dolan.

Three-time European Tour winner, Michael Smith, will lock horns against Mike Zuydwijk or Mark Frost, whilst fourth seed Dave Chisnall  will play Jamie Caven or 2012 Austrian Darts Open winner Justin Pipe.

Continue reading “2016 Austrian Darts Open Draw!”

European Matchplay- Day One Report & Results

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Daryl Gurney, Vincent van der Voort and Alan Norris all won through to round-two of the European Darts Matchplay at the Inselparkhalle on Friday, whilst Max Hopp and Reine Eidams also tasted victory on home soil.

Hopp produced a fine comeback from 5-3 down to stun Joe Murnan and delight the Hamburg crowd. The World-Youth champion posted four maximums and hit a brilliant 158 checkout to reduce the arrears, before completing victory with a fine 14-darter in the decider.

Hopp’s compatriot Reine Eidams also secured a place in round-two with a hard-fought win over Ricky Williams. Eidams converted a spectacular 160 checkout as he established a 4-0 cushion, but Williams won four of the next five legs. Nevertheless, ‘The Cube’ eventually got over the winning line, setting up a clash with Adrian Lewis on Saturday.

Vincent van der Voort eased through to the second round with a comprehensive 6-2 victory against Jamie Robinson. ‘The Dutch Destroyer’ averaged 87 and recorded the solitary maximum, but he will lock horns with Kim Huybrechts in what could prove to be a classic encounter.

Continue reading “European Matchplay- Day One Report & Results”

Josh Payne is the shock Players Championship 6 winner!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Josh Payne won his first senior PDC title at Players Championship six, as he came through an enthralling last-leg decider to edge out eight-time major winner James Wade at the Barnsley Metrodome on Saturday afternoon.

Payne, 22, has won three Development Tour titles, but this is without doubt the finest moment of his career, as he scooped the £10,000 winner’s cheque by beating ‘The Machine’ in an epic curtain-raiser.

Payne saw off the established trio of Gerwyn Price, Ronny Huybrechts and Wes Newton, before he secured his quarter-final berth with a 6-4 victory over former world finalist Kevin Painter. Payne then edged out Mensur Suljovic 6-5 in the last eight, before overcoming Steve Brown 6-3 to reach his maiden Pro Tour final.

It was a fantastic day for Brown however, as he reached his first PDC ranking semi-final for over 5 years, beating the likes of Joe Cullen, James Richardson, Antonio Alcinas, James Wilson and Simon Whitlock.

Payne faced James Wade in the final, as ‘The Machine’ set his sights on his first Pro Tour victory since July 2015. The left-hander dropped just three legs in dispatching Dave Ladley and Dean Winstanley, before coming through a deciding-leg against Devon Petersen to reach the last 16.

Continue reading “Josh Payne is the shock Players Championship 6 winner!”

MvG, Barney and Huybrechts to sponsor Dutch & Belgian youngsters!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld and Kim Huybrechts will be sponsoring a series of young Dutch and Belgian players aiming to earn their spots in the Junior European Championships, in a special qualifying event held in June.

The 2016 Junior Darts Corporation season will feature the £6,000 Junior European Championship, which is being held from September 16-18 at Pontins, Brean Sands. Four places for this competition will be on offer at the special qualifying event at the Evenementenhal in Venray, on Saturday 11th June.

There will be two spots open for Dutch players and two spots available for Belgian players, in addition to a £5,000 prize fund. Two promising Dutch talents, Justin van Tergouw and Maikel Verberk, have both accepted invitations to compete in the Junior European Championships.

Van Tergouw won the World-Youth Masters last year, whilst he also tasted success on home soil, winning the Finder Darts Masters in December. Van Tergouw, who turns 16 today, also tasted victory at last weekend’s German Open, securing victory with a magnificent 147 finish.

Continue reading “MvG, Barney and Huybrechts to sponsor Dutch & Belgian youngsters!”

Anderson dumped out in biggest ever UK Open shock, whilst MvG posts a 9-darter!

Gary Anderson
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Barry Lynn caused arguably the biggest upset in UK Open history, as the Riley’s amateur qualifier dismantled world champion Gary Anderson 9-3 to reach the last 16. Meanwhile, Michael van Gerwen produced an extraordinary 9-darter as he continued his title defence at Butlins, Minehead, in magnificent fashion.

Lynn produced the performance of his career, averaging 94.64  hitting a mightily impressive 56% on the doubles to thrash’The Flying Scotsman’. Anderson was admittedly way below par, but take nothing away from the Essex qualifier, who was completely unfazed by the occasion.

Elsewhere, Michael van Gerwen maintained his UK Open title defence with a spectacular victory against another Riley’s qualifier; Rob Cross. ‘The Green Machine’ hit another two stunning 170 checkouts to take his tournament tally to four, but in the tenth leg, he delivered a sensational 9-dart finish.

It was an imperious display from the world number one, who posted 9 maximums and averaged over 107 en route to a 9-5 win. However, Cross also performed majestically, averaging 95 and hitting seven maximums of his own, although it wasn’t enough to overcome MvG.

Continue reading “Anderson dumped out in biggest ever UK Open shock, whilst MvG posts a 9-darter!”

Brilliant Barney beats Bunting in epic battle!

RvB v Bunting

Raymond van Barneveld defied a staggering fifteen maximums from Stephen Bunting to prevail in an epic World Championship second-round contest at the Alexandra Palace on Sunday evening.

Van Barneveld, who became a grandfather to Mason in the early hours of Sunday morning, produced five sensational ton-plus checkouts to defeat Bunting at the Ally Pally for the second year in succession. This victory sets up a tantalising last 16 clash against World Number 1 Michael van Gerwen.

However, the Five-Time World Champion didn’t enjoy an ideal start, as he was plagued by double-trouble in the opening set. Van Barneveld converted just one double from ten attempts, enabling ‘The Bullet’ to clinch the first set.

Continue reading “Brilliant Barney beats Bunting in epic battle!”

‘Rapid’ Ricky stuns Whitlock, as Taylor breezes through!

Ricky Evans
Photo: Lawrence Lustig

Phil Taylor began his pursuit of a 17th World Title with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Japanese qualifier Keita Ono, whilst Ricky Evans produced a miraculous comeback to stun former-World finalist Simon Whitlock on Saturday night at the Alexandra Palace.

Whitlock and Evans contested arguably one of the best first-round matches in the tournament’s history, but a lot of the focus was on Taylor changing his equipment prior to his World Championship campaign. Taylor has altered his darts from 26g to 22g, although he was never seriously tested by Ono, dropping just one leg.

Earlier in the evening, Ono comprehensively defeated Alex Tagarao 2-0 in the preliminary tie, dropping just one leg in the process. The Japanese soft-tip star averaged a very respectable 91.79, hitting a tremendous 75% on his doubles. Unfortunately, Keita wasn’t able to replicate his performance against Phil.

Continue reading “‘Rapid’ Ricky stuns Whitlock, as Taylor breezes through!”

Gurney thrashes Anderson, as Whitlock upsets Wright!

Gurney Anderson
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Daryl Gurney continued his fairytale story at the Players Championship Finals, reeling off six consecutive legs to stun World-Champion Gary Anderson at the last 16 stage in Minehead.

Gurney, who caused one of the shocks of the opening round in dismantling Kim Huybrechts 6-2 on Friday, repeated the feat against the World Number 2, to claim a comprehensive 10-4 victory.

In truth, Anderson didn’t look comfortable from the outset. Gurney headed into the interval with a 3-2 advantage, but he had enjoyed complete domination on his throw; the Scot had failed to even threaten a break.

Continue reading “Gurney thrashes Anderson, as Whitlock upsets Wright!”

MvG Marches On as Suljovic Stuns van der Voort!

van Gerwen Jamie Lewis
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen continued his quest for a third World Grand Prix title in Dublin, whilst Robert Thornton, Mensur Suljovic and Mark Webster all battled through to the semi-finals at the Citywest.

In the opening match of the evening, Gary Anderson’s conqueror Ian White faced Robert Thornton. With just one place separating the pair in the PDC World Rankings, this had all the prospects of being a very evenly-matched contest. This is exactly what transpired.

Continue reading “MvG Marches On as Suljovic Stuns van der Voort!”

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.

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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…

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