Domestic Honour Seals Burness' William Hill World Darts Championship Debut

Domestic Honour Seals Burness’ William Hill World Darts Championship Debut

Domestic Honour Seals Burness' William Hill World Darts Championship Debut
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

KEVIN BURNESS defeated Mick McGowan 6-3 to win the 2018 Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final on Saturday, securing his William Hill World Darts Championship debut in the process.

Northern Irishman Burness was making his PDC big stage debut and was broken in the opening leg by Ireland’s McGowan, who was looking to lift the title for a record-breaking third time.

Burness then found his groove and broke straight back to start a run of five successive legs and go within a leg of a first Alexandra Palace appearance.

McGowan survived a match dart and won the next two legs, but the comeback was short-lived as Burness sealed the biggest victory of his career.

“It means everything to me to win this trophy,” said Burness, a 53-year-old based in Newtownards.

“I lost in the semi-finals [in 2012] and I really wanted to bounce back and win it this year. I was nervous at the start but I settled down and enjoyed the experience after that.

“When I won my Tour Card at the start of the year my dream was to appear at Alexandra Palace and now I will fulfil that dream.”

Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay Final
Kevin Burness 6-3 Mick McGowan

Rob Cross Brisbane 2018

Rob Cross Claims Inaugural Brisbane Crown

Rob Cross Brisbane 2018
Photo: PDC/Richard Walker

ROB CROSS became the sixth winner in as many World Series events in 2018 as he defeated Michael van Gerwen 11-6 in the final of the Brisbane Darts Masters.

The World Champion faced the world number one in a repeat of their epic World Championship semi-final and once again the pair didn’t disappoint in the final event of the PDC’s tour Down Under.

It was Cross’ first televised title since his victory at Alexandra Palace in January and his first ever World Series Crown.

The decider began with Cross missing two darts to hold throw in the opening leg allowing Van Gerwen to step in and break.

A 114 finish from the Dutchman in the next leg extended the world number one’s lead to two.

Cross then put together a run of four consecutive legs including a superb 130 finish to gain the initiative.

Van Gerwen then stopped the rot in style taking out 170 for a 12 dart break before going on to lead 6-4 with a 130 finish of his own.

This string of poor legs seemed to spark the Englishman who hit six maximums after that point to regain control.

Seven legs on the spin highlighted an impressive performance from the World Champion who dominated Van Gerwen from the mid-point of the match to win the title at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Cross finished with an average of 106, one of his highest ever televised scores and rounded off the three week trip with his first World Series victory.

“It’s been fantastic this week, I started a bit slow but I knew what I had to do and that was take my chances,” said Cross.

“Everything will fall in place and I am a big believer in that but I am still learning I am still progressing and to get another win tonight is massive.

“To win anything these days is special because the field’s so strong,” added the world number three.

“This is a kickstart for the rest of the year and we will look to September and promising things there.”

Cross also spoke of his respect for his opponent after their clash.

“He’s the best player in the world, we all chase him. I still believe I’m a beginner, so he will be the one I am chasing anyway.”

Michael van Gerwen who is the most successful player in the history of the World Series was aiming to win his second crown on the world tour this year after his success in Auckland but came unstuck in the decider and spoke of his disappointment after the match.

“I can only blame myself tonight, I had chances to get further in front and didn’t take them.

“You can’t do that against players like Rob and I’m disappointed tonight but it’s been another amazing trip and I thank everyone who supported me.”

Earlier in the night Van Gerwen had defeated fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld 11-9 to reach the final.

The world number one looked in control through the initial phases of the match, taking a 6-4 lead before a stunning 170 finish brought Van Barneveld back in to the contest.

Despite that moment of magic from the Dutchman it was Van Gerwen who went on to seal the victory and move in to the final.

Cross secured his spot in the final with a 11-8 win over Peter Wright.

The pair of aces were facing off 12th time with Cross leading the head-to-head stats, and continued his success against the Scot hitting 73% of his attempts at doubles including seven out of eight at double 16 to secure the win.

The final was another classic battle between Cross and Van Gerwen with both averaging over 100 but this time it was 27-year-old Englishman’s night in Brisbane.

The World Series will conclude in Vienna in November with the Finals taking place over three days where Michael van Gerwen will be hoping to claim his fourth consecutive victory.

Sunday August 19
Semi-Finals
Peter Wright 8-11 Rob Cross
Michael van Gerwen 11-9 Raymond van Barneveld
Best of 21 legs

Final
Rob Cross 11-6 Michael van Gerwen
Best of 21 legs

2018 Unibet Premier League - Night Seven Glasgow Preview

2018 Unibet Premier League – Night Seven Glasgow Preview

2018 Unibet Premier League - Night Seven Glasgow Preview
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

TABLE-TOPPERS Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith clash as the Unibet Premier League visits Glasgow on Thursday, where Gary Anderson and Peter Wright hope to boost their battles against elimination on home soil.

The Premier League’s top two players, Van Gerwen and Smith, will clash at The SSE Hydro in a bid to move two points clear at the head of the table following seven matches.

The pair’s only previous Premier League meeting had seen Van Gerwen set a world record average of 123.40 in Aberdeen in 2016, and the Dutchman is aiming to assert his dominance over the early-season pace-setter.

“I always have good games against Michael,” said Van Gerwen, who moved top on leg difference last week following a fourth straight win. “It’s going to be a tough one also for him because he did well up to now.

“I’m going to stop him and he knows I want to. He’s a good player and it’s about time it comes out because he’s a phenomenal talent.

“I know I can raise my game a lot more but I’m winning and that’s the most important thing. It’s a tough schedule ahead but I’m top of the table and I only want to be at the top.”

Smith won his opening four matches and bounced back to winning ways with a 7-1 demolition of Wright last week – but insists that facing the world number one will be a true test of his form.

“This game and the game against Gary Anderson were the two I was looking forward to when I got back in the Premier League,” said Smith. “I love playing Michael.

“He’s one of the nice lads, we have a laugh but when we’re playing he gets on with the game. He believes in his ability, the way I do, and hopefully there will be some fireworks this week.

“It could go six-all and be over in ten minutes with how quick it is, but I’m really looking forward to that game.

“I know I’m playing okay, and you want to play the best players in the world to see what else you need to improve on. I’ll know that if I lose what I need to work on.”

Scottish superstar Anderson has drawn his last three matches and is aiming to defeat fourth-placed Simon Whitlock to avoid being drawn into the battle against elimination on Judgement Night.

“It’s good to be back in Scotland,” said Anderson. “We only do it twice a year and the reception from the fans in Glasgow is always fantastic.

“Simon’s played really well so far this season so I’ve got to be good. I’ve been nicking points here and there recently but it’s got to come good at some point and hopefully that will be this week.”

2012 Premier League finalist Whitlock had won his first three matches this season on his return to the tournament, and is relishing the chance to face the UK Open champion.

“I’ve got a poor record against him – I beat him a couple of times last year, one in a final, but he’s a fine player,” said Whitlock. “I’m trying to play really well and to try and get some points every week.

“A lot of people pay good money to watch the Premier League and I don’t want to be there to make the numbers up – I want to be there and perform and do my best to try and make the Play-Offs.

“I’ve had a bad couple of weeks but I’m enjoying the Premier League and it’s looking okay at the moment.”

World number two Wright is also hoping that a return to Scotland can boost his season, with the 2017 runner-up having been dragged into the elimination scrap with successive 7-1 defeats.

Wright is hoping to shake off a shoulder problem in time for his game with Raymond van Barneveld, and said: ““I love playing at The Hydro.

“The atmosphere is just out of this world, the Scots always give me such a loud welcome, it’s just fantastic and I just want to win for them.

“The fans in Glasgow love Raymond so our game will be really special to play in. He’s a class act and has looked good the last couple of weeks so I think it will be a great match.”

The night in Glasgow also sees two players locked on four points, Daryl Gurney and Mensur Suljovic, meet in a key clash, while bottom player Gerwyn Price searches for his first win of the season against Rob Cross.

World Champion Cross, though, is in confident mood after claiming four successive victories to move into third place in the table.

“I’ve been working hard recently and I’m feeling good,” said Cross. “My doubles went great last week but my scoring wasn’t as relentless so it’s not all come out yet but it was an improvement.

“I feel great at the minute and I’m a lot more comfortable in the Premier League now. As long as I’m focused and I know I’m playing well, I’ll get the results.”

A small number of tickets are still available for Thursday’s Unibet Premier League at The SSE Hydro, and can be purchased through www.thessehydro.com and 0844 395 4000.

The Unibet Premier League will be broadcast live on Sky Sports from 7pm on Thursday nights and shown worldwide through the PDC’s international broadcast partners.

In addition, the Unibet Premier League will feature radio commentary throughout the season on talkSPORT and talkSPORT2. For further details of coverage, please visit www.talksport.co.uk.

Unibet Premier League
Night Seven – March 22
The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Daryl Gurney v Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith
Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
Rob Cross v Gerwyn Price
Tickets via www.thessehydro.com and 0844 395 4000

Unibet Match Odds – Night Seven, Glasgow
33/20 Daryl Gurney
16/5 Draw
6/5 Mensur Suljovic

33/100 Michael van Gerwen
5/1 Draw
6/1 Michael Smith

11/25 Gary Anderson
4/1 Draw
5/1 Simon Whitlock

17/10 Peter Wright
16/5 Draw
6/5 Raymond van Barneveld

2/5 Rob Cross
4/1 Draw
11/2 Gerwyn Price

Odds courtesy www.unibet.co.uk and correct at time of writing. Subject to fluctuation.

Unibet Premier League - Night Two Preview

Unibet Premier League – Night Two Preview

Unibet Premier League - Night Two Preview
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Gerwyn Price will enjoy a Unibet Premier League homecoming in Wales on Thursday night as he meets Gary Anderson in the tournament’s visit to Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.

Premier League newcomer Price will be competing on the TV stage in Wales for the first time when he steps out in front of a 4,000 crowd in Cardiff for the second league night of the event.

Markham’s Price drew with Peter Wright on his Premier League debut last week in Dublin, and faces another Scot in two-time champion Anderson, who is continuing to battle against a back problem.

“It’s going to be amazing this week,” said Price. “I’ve played rugby in front of decent crowds but to play darts in my own country is going to be brilliant.

“The darts have got to come good for me, and if I play well I’ll win. That’s what I want to do.

“It means the world to me to be in the Premier League. I’m a rugby player who came into this game four years ago, and I couldn’t have imagined being where I am now and playing in the Premier League.”

Reigning Champion Michael van Gerwen takes on world number two Peter Wright in a repeat of the 2017 Premier League final, which the Dutchman edged in a deciding leg.

Van Gerwen began his title defence with an impressive win over Rob Cross last week, and then won two of the weekend’s three UK Open Qualifiers to continue his superb start to 2018.

“It’s been a good start for me and I can build on this,” said Van Gerwen. “I’m feeling confident and playing well so I have to focus on playing Peter and make sure I prepare properly.

“This is a new week and I want to play better than I did in Dublin, but the most important thing is getting the two points.”

World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney comes up against Michael Smith in a tie which promises to feature a high number of 180s between two of the sport’s heaviest scorers.

“Michael’s more of a natural player than I am,” said Gurney. “I do a bit of forcing the dart but he looks like an Adrian Lewis or Gary Anderson, there’s no real effort behind it.

“I’m looking forward to the game and the atmosphere in Cardiff, and I want to see how I fare.”

Gurney drew with Raymond van Barneveld in Dublin last week, and added: “I’m learning all the time when I’m playing against these top players. I played well last week but it was a missed opportunity.

“Hopefully I won’t miss doubles like I did last week and I can get a win or a draw. You’ve got to take all the points you can get and I want to beat everyone.”

World Champion Cross comes up against Simon Whitlock, who was the most impressive performer on night one with a brilliant display to defeat Mensur Suljovic, hitting seven doubles from eight attempts and a 106 average.

“I couldn’t have done any better last week,” said Whitlock, who refused to get carried away with talk of challenging for the £250,000 title. “Of course I could win it but there’s a long way to go.

“You have to get through the first stages, don’t get eliminated. My first goal is not to get eliminated and then to make the Play-Offs.”

The night’s other game in Cardiff sees 2014 Premier League champion Van Barneveld face Austria’s Suljovic, who won last September’s Champions League of Darts in Cardiff.

The Unibet Premier League will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, while the PDC’s series of worldwide broadcast partners in 2018 includes BBC America, who will show live coverage online ahead of a one-hour show each Thursday night.

In addition, the Unibet Premier League will feature radio commentary throughout the season on talkSPORT and talkSPORT2. For further details of coverage, please visit www.talksport.co.uk.

2018 Unibet Premier League
Night Two – February 8
Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney
Rob Cross v Simon Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price v Gary Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld v Mensur Suljovic
Tickets via www.motorpointarenacardiff.co.uk and 029 2022 4488

Night Two Match Odds
6/4 Michael Smith
33/10 Draw
13/10 Daryl Gurney

11/20 Rob Cross
19/5 Draw
17/5 Simon Whitlock

1/3 Michael van Gerwen
9/2 Draw
13/2 Peter Wright

12/5 Gerwyn Price
7/2 Draw
4/5 Gary Anderson

23/20 Raymond van Barneveld
3/1 Draw
15/8 Mensur Suljovic
Odds courtesy www.unibet.co.uk and correct at time of writing. Subject to fluctuation.

Coral UK Open Qualifier Three Round-Up

Coral UK Open Qualifier Three Round-Up

Coral UK Open Qualifier Three Round-Up
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael Smith whitewashed Zoran Lerchbacher 6-0 to claim the Coral UK Open Qualifier Three title, as he ended nine-dart star Michael van Gerwen’s unbeaten start to 2018.

The St Helens star followed up Friday’s run to the Qualifier One final by going all the way to claim the £10,000 top prize as the weekend’s three events at Wigan’s Robin Park Tennis Centre concluded.

Smith had lost out to Van Gerwen in the final of Friday’s opening event, but gained revenge with an outstanding display to take a 6-1 triumph from their quarter-final.

He had reached the last eight by virtue of 6-0 whitewashes of Mark Wilson and Steve Beaton, while he also overcame Adam Hunt 6-2 and German newcomer Gabriel Clemens 6-3.

Smith’s romp against Van Gerwen was then followed by a 6-4 semi-final defeat of David Pallett, sealing the victory with a 132 bull-bull-double 16 combination.

The 27-year-old remained in clinical mood throughout the final, with Lerchbacher missing double 16 to claim the opening leg only to see Smith finish 78 to break and then take out 66 and 111 to lead 3-0.

Finishes of double 16 and double ten moved the Premier League star five legs clear, and he took out 89 in two darts to complete a brilliant performance and secure his eighth senior ranking title.

“My aim this year was to win four titles,” revealed Smith. “Michael stopped me on Friday and that hurt me because I thought I was playing well, but I got my own back on him today.

“I think the closest game was David Pallett. He took me all the way to four-all but then missed a double and let me in to break, and then I checked the 132 out.

“To get my first title in the first weekend, I’ll take that.

“My ranking is based on my floor events, not on TV – but this is my eighth title now and I can concentrate for the rest of the year now. I’m not chasing a win, I’ve got it in the very first weekend.”

Austria’s Lerchbacher followed up his only previous appearance in a PDC final, at a Players Championship last July, by winning through to the decider as he picked up £5,000 prize money and secured his second successive UK Open appearance.

A three-time World Championship qualifier, Lerchbacher overcame Tony Newell in a deciding leg to open his day before seeing off Dennis Smith, Robbie Green, Matthew Edgar and Paul Nicholson to reach the last 16.

There, he defeated Dave Chisnall 6-3, dropped one leg against James Wilson in the last eight and then battled past John Henderson 6-4 in the semi-finals.

Henderson’s run to the last four was his best ProTour finish since September 2016, as he overcame Martyn Turner, Paul Rowley, Mick McGowan, Dave Prins and Jamie Hughes.

Pallett’s semi-final appearance was his best result since reaching the same stage in a European Tour event in September 2015, with the Shropshire ace defeating Martin Schindler, Bradley Brooks, Peter Hudson, Jamie Lewis, Kim Huybrechts and Joe Cullen.

Wolverhampton’s Hughes followed up a last eight finish on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour last weekend and Saturday’s run to the last 16 with a quarter-final on Sunday.

Cullen and Wilson joined Hughes and Van Gerwen in the last eight, while Qualifier Two quarter-finalist Mervyn King and Qualifier One quarter-finalist Huybrechts were amongst the last 16.

Prins was appearing in the last 16 for the second time over the weekend, and having also reached the last 32 is in line to compete for a third time in four years at the UK Open, having previously qualified twice as an amateur.

Van Gerwen’s nine-dart finish – the third of the weekend in Wigan – came during his last 16 clash with fellow Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena, before the world number one saw his hopes of completing a weekend treble ended by Smith.

The Coral UK Open Qualifiers conclude next weekend with the remaining three events from Friday February 9-Sunday February 11, after which the top 96 players progress to compete in the Coral UK Open in Minehead from March 2-4.

Qualifiers Four-Six will be streamed live through PDCTV-HD at www.pdc.tv, with play in Friday’s event beginning at 2pm and Saturday and Sunday’s events commencing at 12pm.

Coral UK Open Qualifier One
Sunday February 4, Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Last 16
Michael Van Gerwen 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena
Michael Smith 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Joe Cullen 6-4 Mervyn King
David Pallett 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Jamie Hughes 6-1 Michael Rasztovits
John Henderson 6-3 Dave Prins
James Wilson 6-5 Keegan Brown
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-3 Dave Chisnall

Quarter Finals
Michael Smith 6-1 Michael Van Gerwen
David Pallett 6-4 Joe Cullen
John Henderson 6-3 Jamie Hughes
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-1 James Wilson

Semi Finals
Michael Smith 6-4 David Pallett
Zoran Lerchbacher 6-4 John Henderson

Final
Michael Smith 6-0 Zoran Lerchbacher

Coral UK Open Qualifier Two Round-Up

Coral UK Open Qualifier Two Round-Up

Coral UK Open Qualifier Two Round-Up
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen made it 100 career PDC singles titles as he continued his unbeaten start to 2018 with victory in Coral UK Open Qualifier Two at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.

In a day which also saw nine-darters hit by Robbie Green and Ian White, Van Gerwen was once again the dominant force as he scooped the £10,000 top prize for the second day in succession.

Facing Darren Webster in the final, the Norwich-based slinger broke in the opening leg with an 81 checkout, only to see Van Gerwen immediately respond with a 136 checkout to break back.

Three holds of throw followed, before the world number one once again broke throw with an 86 checkout to take a 4-2 lead.

Webster managed to get one more leg on the board, but could do little to resist the Dutchman, who sealed victory with a brilliant 106 checkout.

The 28-year-old’s run to the final started with a 6-1 victory over Ross Twell, before beating World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3, Germany’s Rene Berndt 6-1 and Ricky Evans 6-2.

His toughest tests were next as he edged out Richard North 6-4 in the quarter-finals, followed by victory over world number two Peter Wright by the same scoreline – clinched with a beautiful 160 checkout.

Van Gerwen has now won 19 successive games inside eight days to begin his 2018 campaign in incredible fashion, taking victory in last weekend’s Unibet Masters, Thursday’s Premier League opener with Rob Cross and Friday’s Qualifier One.

Webster, hunting for his second ProTour title inside a year, saw off Adam Smith-Neale, Jan Dekker and Diogo Portela to reach the last 16.

He was then taken all the way to a last-leg decider with Alan Norris, before beating Justin Pipe 6-4 in the quarter-finals and nine-dart hero White in the semis.

White’s moment of perfection came in his 6-5 win over Daryl Gurney in the last 16, sealing the victory in the deciding leg with six darts into the treble-20 bed before a brilliant 141 finish.

He then went on to back-up earlier victories over Carl Hamilton, Terry Jenkins, Steve Beaton and Gurney by beating Poland’s Krzyzstof Ratajski to reach the final four.

Green’s crowning moment came earlier in the day as he beat Lee Harris 6-2 at the last 128 stage to claim his place in the PDC’s Nine-Dart Club as he recorded the year’s first perfect leg.

Wright will again be happy with his efforts as he reached the semi-finals for the second consecutive day.

The reigning Coral UK Open champion kicked things off with a 6-4 victory over Daniel Ayres, was made to work in a 6-5 win over Jermaine Wattimena before beating Jamie Lewis 6-4.

He then enjoyed a 6-3 win over Jamie Hughes – who had earlier knocked out World Champion Rob Cross – before seeing off Mervyn King 6-2.

The Coral UK Open Qualifiers continue on Sunday with Qualifier Three in the last of three days of action in Wigan, with live streaming throughout the event from two boards simultaneously for PDCTV-HD Subscribers at www.pdc.tv.

The Coral UK Open Qualifiers will then conclude next weekend with three further events from February 9-11 in Wigan, before the top 96 players from the UK Open Order of Merit qualify to compete in the Coral UK Open TV finals in Minehead, alongside 32 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers.

Coral UK Open Qualifier Two
Saturday February 3, Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Last 16
Justin Pipe 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Darren Webster 6-5 Alan Norris
Ian White 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Antonio Alcinas
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Ricky Evans
Richard North 6-2 Jelle Klaasen
Peter Wright 6-3 Jamie Hughes
Mervyn King 6-3 James Wade

Quarter-Finals
Darren Webster 6-4 Justin Pipe
Ian White 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Richard North
Peter Wright 6-2 Mervyn King

Semi-Finals
Darren Webster 6-4 Ian White
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Peter Wright

Final
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Darren Webster

JDC Tour To Expand In 2018

JDC Tour To Expand In 2018

JDC Tour To Expand In 2018
PHOTO: PDC

THE Junior Darts Corporation’s Modus UK Tour will be bigger than ever in 2018, with the first of eight events taking place on February 17 in Dorchester.

Junior players aged from ten-18 will be able to compete in eight one-day events during this year leading up to the WDS Associates Junior World Championship.

The season will begin on Saturday February 17 at the George Albert Hotel in Dorchester, and enjoys events in Worcester, Derby, South Benfleet, Chorlton, Exeter, Solihull and Wolverhampton.

Victory in one of the Modus UK Junior Darts Tour events will guarantee a player a spot in the WDS Associates Junior World Darts Championship field in December.

Further places will also be available to eight players from the JDC Academy Order of Merit, based on the nationwide academies which players compete in during the year.

In addition to securing places in the Junior World Championship, the top three players on the final UK Tour Order of Merit will also win a PDPA Scholarship to compete on the 2019 PDC Unicorn Development Tour.

The JDC circuit has received high-profile support from a number of top stars in recent months, with world number one Michael van Gerwen now a JDC Director and an ambassador alongside the likes of Simon Whitlock, Daryl Gurney, Paul Nicholson, Michael Smith and Dimitri Van den Bergh.

“This year we have increased the opportunities for more young players to have a chance to play in the Junior World Championship finals and make a name for themselves in 2018,” said JDC Chairman Steve Brown.

“With the inclusion of the eight players from our academy Order of Merit, we will have 24 places available in December.

“Including the JDC All-Star programme working with Michael van Gerwen, prize money, Junior World Championship qualification and PDPA Scholarships up for grabs it’s going to be a great tour for our junior players.”

Austrian teenager Rusty-Jake Rodriguez won the 2017 Junior World Championship final against Owen Roelofs on stage at Alexandra Palace in December.

Meanwhile, 2017 UK Tour Order of Merit winner Jarred Cole was a finalist on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour on Saturday and Bradley Brooks will step onto the PDC ProTour this year after winning a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School.

For membership information, please visit www.juniordarts.com, follow @JDCDarts on Twitter or search for “JDC Junior Darts Corporation” on Facebook.

2018 Modus UK Junior Darts Tour
Event One – February 17

The George Albert Hotel, Dorchester

Event Two – March 24
Rileys Worcester

Event Three – April 28
Cueball Club, Derby

Event Four – June 2
Rileys South Benfleet

Event Five – July 14
Rileys Chorlton

Event Six – September 15
Dart Locker, Exeter

Event Seven – October 27
Rileys Solihull

Event Eight – November 10
Rileys Wolverhampton

Grand Finals – December 1-2
TBC
Junior World Championship final to be played on stage at Alexandra Palace during 2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship.

Entry fee £5 per event for JDC Members, £10 per event for Non-Members.

Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals - Draw and Schedule Confirmed

Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals – Draw and Schedule Confirmed

Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals - Draw and Schedule Confirmed
Photo: PDC

Former champions Michael van Gerwen and Paul Nicholson will clash in the first round of the Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals in Minehead next Friday, where top seed Rob Cross will meet Robert Owen.

World number one Van Gerwen has been victorious at the Butlins Minehead Resort for three of the past four years, claiming a trio of Players Championship Finals titles.

The Dutchman will begin his bid to retain the title in the three-day, £460,000 tournament against 2010 champion Paul Nicholson, who is making his first appearance in a televised event for two years.

Shooting star Rob Cross will be the top seed for the event, with rankings based on prize money won in the 22 Players Championship events held this year which saw the Sussex thrower claim four victories in his debut season as a professional.

Cross will play Wales’ Robert Owen, who qualified in 64th place on the Players Championship Order of Merit, in their first round tie on Friday.

Number two seed Daryl Gurney, October’s World Grand Prix has drawn Dutch youngster Jeffrey de Zwaan, while third seed Peter Wright comes up against Steve Hine.

Fourth seed Gary Anderson, the 2014 champion, will begin his challenge for a second title as he plays Northern Irish left-hander Mickey Mansell and fifth seed Mensur Suljovic is up against Andy Boulton.

Dave Chisnall, last year’s beaten finalist, will take on Joe Murnan, while 2011 winner Kevin Painter comes up against James Wade in a bumper first round tie.

Adrian Lewis, a two-time finalist, will play Belgian youngster Mike De Decker, Auckland Darts Masters winner Kyle Anderson plays Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp and eighth seed Joe Cullen – a double Players Championship winner in 2017 – takes on Jamie Caven.

Former finalists Robert Thornton, Mervyn King, Mark Webster and Kim Huybrechts drew James Richardson, Brendan Dolan, Justin Pipe and Chris Dobey respectively.

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld plays number nine seed Ian White, while Welshman Jonny Clayton – who won his first ranking title in the year’s final Players Championship event – drew Dutchman Jeffrey de Graaf.

Friday’s first round sees play split across two stages at the Butlins Minehead Resort, with the second and third rounds being held on Saturday.

Sunday sees play focused on the main stage, with the quarter-finals in the afternoon session and the semi-finals and final in the evening session, which also features the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship final between Josh Payne and Dimitri Van den Bergh.

The Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals will be broadcast live on ITV4 from November 24-26. A small number of Weekend Break Packages are available through www.bigweekends.com

2017 Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals
First Round Draw & Tournament Bracket
Rob Cross (1) v Robert Owen (64)
Steve Lennon (32) v Zoran Lerchbacher (33)
Richard North (16) v Peter Hudson (49)
Adrian Lewis (17) v Mike De Decker (48)
Joe Cullen (8) v Jamie Caven (57)
James Wade (25) v Kevin Painter (40)
Ian White (9) v Raymond van Barneveld (56)
John Henderson (24) v Darren Johnson (41)
Mensur Suljovic (5) v Andy Boulton (60)
Stephen Bunting (28) v Benito van de Pas (37)
Jonny Clayton (12) v Jeffrey de Graaf (53)
Gerwyn Price (21) v Jimmy Hendriks (44)
Gary Anderson (4) v Mickey Mansell (61)
Jermaine Wattimena (29) v Keegan Brown (36)
Alan Norris (13) v Jelle Klaasen (52)
Steve Beaton (20) v Ronny Huybrechts (45)
Daryl Gurney (2) v Jeffrey de Zwaan (63)
Vincent van der Voort (31) v Robbie Green (34)
Kim Huybrechts (15) v Chris Dobey (50)
Robert Thornton (18) v James Richardson (47)
Dave Chisnall (7) v Joe Murnan (58)
James Wilson (26) v William O’Connor (39)
Kyle Anderson (10) v Ron Meulenkamp (55)
Justin Pipe (23) v Mark Webster (42)
Michael van Gerwen (6) v Paul Nicholson (59)
Steve West (27) v Ryan Searle (38)
Darren Webster (11) v Antonio Alcinas (54)
Mervyn King (22) v Brendan Dolan (43)
Peter Wright (3) v Steve Hine (62)
Peter Jacques (30) v Cristo Reyes (35)
Michael Smith (14) v Jan Dekker (51)
Simon Whitlock (19) v Christian Kist (46)

Schedule of Play
Friday November 24
First Round
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Main Stage
Darren Webster v Antonio Alcinas
Robert Thornton v James Richardson
Joe Cullen v Jamie Caven
Dave Chisnall v Joe Murnan
Stephen Bunting v Benito van de Pas
Kim Huybrechts v Chris Dobey
Adrian Lewis v Mike De Decker

Stage Two
Steve Lennon v Zoran Lerchbacher
Justin Pipe v Mark Webster
Richard North v Peter Hudson
Mervyn King v Brendan Dolan
Steve Beaton v Ronny Huybrechts
Steve West v Ryan Searle
Jermaine Wattimena v Keegan Brown
Peter Jacques v Cristo Reyes
James Wade v Kevin Painter

Evening Session (7pm)
Main Stage
Ian White v Raymond van Barneveld
Mensur Suljovic v Andy Boulton
Rob Cross v Robert Owen
Daryl Gurney v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Gary Anderson v Mickey Mansell
Michael van Gerwen v Paul Nicholson
Peter Wright v Steve Hine

Stage Two
Simon Whitlock v Christian Kist
Gerwyn Price v Jimmy Hendriks
James Wilson v William O’Connor
John Henderson v Darren Johnson
Vincent van der Voort v Robbie Green
Jonny Clayton v Jeffrey de Graaf
Kyle Anderson v Ron Meulenkamp
Michael Smith v Jan Dekker
Alan Norris v Jelle Klaasen

Saturday November 25
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Second Round
Main Stage
Chisnall/Murnan v Wilson/O’Connor
Suljovic/Boulton v Bunting/Van de Pas
Gurney/De Zwaan v Van der Voort/Green
Cross/Owen v Lennon/Lerchbacher
G Anderson/Mansell v Wattimena/Brown
Van Gerwen/Nicholson v West/Searle
Wright/Hine v Jacques/Reyes

Stage Two
D Webster/Alcinas v King/Dolan
K Huybrechts/Dobey v Thornton/Richardson
Clayton/De Graaf v Price/Hendriks
North/Hudson v Lewis/De Decker
K Anderson/Meulenkamp v Pipe/M Webster
Norris/Klaasen v Beaton/R Huybrechts
Cullen/Caven v Wade/Painter
Smith/Dekker v Whitlock/Kist
White/Van Barneveld v Henderson/Johnson

Evening Session (7pm)
Third Round
Main Stage
Cross/Owen/Lennon/Lerchbacher v North/Hudson/Lewis/De Decker
G Anderson/Mansell/Wattimena/Brown v Norris/Klaasen/Beaton/R Huybrechts
Van Gerwen/Nicholson/West/Searle v D Webster/Alcinas/King/Dolan
Wright/Hine/Jacques/Reyes v Smith/Dekker/Whitlock/Kist

Stage Two
Chisnall/Murnan/Wilson/O’Connor v K Anderson/Meulenkamp/Pipe/M Webster
Suljovic/Boulton/Bunting/Van de Pas v Clayton/De Graaf/Price/Hendriks
Cullen/Caven/Wade/Painter v White/Van Barneveld/Henderson/Johnson
Gurney/De Zwaan/Van der Voort/Green v K Huybrechts/Dobey/Thornton/Richardson

Sunday November 26
Afternoon Session (12pm)
Quarter-Finals

Evening Session (7pm)
Semi-Finals

PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final
Mr Green Sport Players Championship Final

Format
First Round – Best of 11 legs
Second Round – Best of 11 legs
Third Round – Best of 19 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 21 legs
Final – Best of 21 legs
World Youth Championship Final – Best of 11 legs