Michael van Gerwen began the defence of his William Hill World Darts Championship title with a stunning victory over his fellow countryman Christian Kist, whilst Gerwyn Price, Steve Beaton and James Wilson also prevailed on a high-quality opening night at the Alexandra Palace on Thursday evening. Continue reading “PDC World Championship 2018: Day One Report!”→
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’.
Raymond van Barneveld recorded a comprehensive 9-3 victory over defending UK Open Champion Adrian Lewis on day one in Minehead, whilst World Champion Gary Anderson, Michael Smith, Terry Jenkins and Simon Whitlock were also early casualties.
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…