Lowe6 Home Tour: Clayton Complete Semi-Final Line Up.

Jonny Clayton completed the semi-finals line-up of the Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs by winning Group Eight on Tuesday night.

Clayton has made calm progress into the the semi final groups. ( Pic: Taylor Lanning)

World number 15 Clayton maintained his unbeaten record on the Home Tour, claiming a hat-trick of victories to book his place in Thursday’s second night of semi-finals action.

The Welshman kicked off with a 6-3 win over two-time Lakeside champion Scott Waites, before seeing off Germany’s number one Max Hopp by the same scoreline.

Back-to-back emphatic wins for Waites put him back in the hunt to top the group, but a 6-2 success for Clayton against Carl Wilkinson in the final game of the night ensured his place at the top of the standings.

The Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs continue with the first night of semi-finals action on Wednesday night, featuring Gary Anderson, Dave Chisnall, Jelle Klaasen and Mike De Decker

Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs
Group Eight – Tuesday June 2
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Scott Waites
Max Hopp 6-3 Carl Wilkinson
Scott Waites 6-0 Carl Wilkinson
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Max Hopp
Scott Waites 6-1 Max Hopp
Jonny Clayton 6-2 Carl Wilkinson

Featured Pic: L Lustig / PDC

Ando’s Not Top of The Pops!

GARY ANDERSON believes a stage lollipop man won’t catch on when darts returns to the big stage. Helpers with Stop-and-Go signs have been trialed in darts events in Germany to ensure players know when to throw and keep a safe distance.

Anderson likes to throw & go. Will the new measures affect this?

The PDC is set to announce their schedule for future tournaments, and it’s likely the World Matchplay in Blackpool will take place without fans. There will be strict social-distancing measures in place to comply with government rules – and a stage lollipop man. But Ando, who plays his PDC Home Tour semi-final tonight (Weds), isn’t keen, admitting:

“I can’t see that catching on. You have to throw your darts, take them out of the board and get off the oche at your own tempo without waiting to be told. I don’t think it’s for me.”

“In darts, as much as any other sport, the fans are part and parcel of the whole occasion.“We’re up on stage doing our jobs, but they generate the atmosphere by enjoying themselves and wearing their gear.

“I watched some of the snooker the other night and that seemed to have the same kind of atmosphere behind closed doors as it has in front of a crowd – it’s a quiet sport by nature. “I can’t deny I’ve loved the peace and quiet of being at home for two months, but it’s a bit weird playing online against somebody who could be thousands of miles away.“

“Even in Pro Tour events on the floor, there is usually a bit of noise in the background, and I’m still getting used to competing when there’s just silence all around me. “I like to think I play the right way: I throw my darts, get out of the way as quick as possible and let the other guy have a go – but it’s weird when the other guy isn’t there, it’s not easy to get into a rhythm.”

waiting around between throws is all part and parcel of the Home Tour and after initial doubts Gary has adapted well.

Ando, 49, takes on Jelle Klaasen, Dave Chisnall, and Mike De Decker in the online streaming event semi-final and is yet to lose a leg over the past two groups. But he’s also not keen for life to get back to normal just yet, adding: “It will be strange if we bring darts back on stage behind closed doors, but the country’s in a mess.“I’m one of those folk who thinks we should stick at it (lockdown) until the virus is wiped out completely unless we want to go back to square one again.

“We’re being told to send our kids back to school, but if MPs are not willing to go back to the House of Commons yet, why is it safer for teachers and their kids”?

“You try telling a five-year-old kid he’s going back to school but he’s not allowed to play with his pals in the playground. It’s not going to happen.”

Anderson originally could not get strong enough WiFi for the Home Tour and it would be typical if he now went on to win the event. Gary also admits he’s enjoying time at home and away from the tour. He said:

“To be honest, I’m quite happy with my own company – everyone knows I’m at my happiest when I’m back home, so I’ve quite enjoyed the last couple of months.”

“When I practice at home, I’ve normally got a couple of mates who come round, and obviously that’s not been happening lately so I haven’t had a lot of practice. “In that regard, I’ve been quite pleased with the way it’s gone on the Home Tour – I was pleased with how I played against Luke Humphries the other night, and at times I’ve felt like I’ve been getting my throwback to what it was.”

Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs: Group One Details Confirmed.

The fixtures for Group One of the Low6 Home Tour Semi-Finals have been confirmed ahead of Wednesday’s event.

Gary Anderson and Peter Wright will lead Wednesdays action.

The innovative home-broadcast event reaches its conclusion this week, with the Last 32’s challenge to take the title culminating in the Championship Group on Friday.

The players who won through from Groups One-Four in the Last 32 will compete in Group One of the Semi-Finals, with two-time World Champion Gary Anderson headlining Wednesday’s action.

Dave Chisnall, the winner of 15 PDC ranked events, is joined by former Lakeside Champion Jelle Klaasen and Belgian prospect Mike De Decker, a four-time PDC Unicorn Development Tour event winner, in bidding to claim the two places in Friday’s Championship Group.

The round-robin action remains the best of 11 legs for the semi-finals, with Anderson’s tie with De Decker opening proceedings from 1930 BST ahead of the meeting between Chisnall and Klaasen.

All Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs action will be broadcast live on PDCTV for FREE to ALLregistered PDCTV users, regardless of membership type.

Registered PDCTV members can also watch for FREE through the official PDC App.

Fans in Great Britain and Ireland can also watch the action through the Sky Sports app.

As well as being shown through a series of bookmakers’ websites, the Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs will be broadcast live by a number of the PDC’s international broadcast partners.

Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs
Last Eight Group One
Wednesday June 3 (1930 BST)

Gary Anderson v Mike De Decker
Dave Chisnall v Jelle Klaasen
Mike De Decker v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall
Dave Chisnall v Mike De Decker
Jelle Klaasen v Gary Anderson
* Top two players qualify for Championship Group

The fixtures for Group Two of the Low6 Home Tour Semi-Finals will be confirmed following Tuesday’s Last 32 Group Eight.

Pic: Taylor Lanning.

Clayton Is Key. Welshman Helps Out In Covid Crisis.

JONNY CLAYTON reckons he’s ready for the new normal on the oche of playing with a stage ‘lollipop social distancing’ man. The World No.16 Welshman has become a key worker for Carmarthenshire council making sure the self-isolating get their shopping during the coronavirus crisis.

The Ferret was gaining moment in 2020. Covid-19 has arrested that for now!

Clayton, 45, resumes his lucrative hobby of darts to bid for a semi-final place in the Low6 Home Tour online streaming event tonight (Tues) against Scott Waites, Max Hopp and Carl Wilkinson. In a recent German tournament, it was played with a ‘stop and go’ stage referee to tell the players when to step forward to the oche.

He said: “If the Matchplay goes ahead then, as far as I know I’m in it. If there is a stage lollipop man, it’ll be funny and different!“It’s just something that we are going to have to do. It will be strange but it’s important for the sport to get going again if it’s safe.

“Without a crowd, it’s always going to be strange, you get fired-up with the fans and the banter. The fans do play a big part but we need to get used to it if we have to.

“I played in the UK Open a couple of years ago behind closed doors because of the Beast From The East cold weather.”

“I remember it being quite odd, but I remember more being freezing cold playing in Minehead, that’s what bothered me the most, not there being any fans. “But it’s important to get back playing. It’s been boring not being so busy with the darts”.

“I’ve been delivering food to the vulnerable every Wednesday and also doing emergency work for the council like water leakages or ceilings have come down”.

“I’m always busy me. I don’t sit still for long. I’ve bought a second home and that will be where we live and sell this one. So I’ve been doing lots there as well. The only problem is that I’ve not been able to get any building materials, so it’s been frustrating.

“I like keeping darts as a hobby. If I gave up my job, I don’t know what I’d do all day. Playing darts to earn a living is extra pressure and I don’t need that!”

Clayton kicked off 2020 in epic fashion, beating Michael van Gerwen in his first TV match of the year at the Ladbrokes Masters in Milton Keynes – before hitting a nine-darter at the UK Open in early March.It has been suggested that the Matchplay could be run at the Marshalls Arena where he beat MVG, the same venue as where the snooker is being played this week.

But he admits that the pandemic has flushed his momentum down the pan, adding: “I started off the year pretty well. Don’t get me wrong, my floor tournaments weren’t the best. But my TV performances were really good. I beat Michael (Van Gerwen) and got a nine-darter, I felt I was going in the right direction for a big year.

“You build confidence obviously and this has put a stop to it. How dare coronavirus do that to me!“

Seriously though, sport is sport. Nothing is guaranteed. I personally think I’m more than capable of beating anyone with a bit of luck and consistency.

“If everything sits in place, I know I can get results in any tournament. But nothing in sport is set in stone so you need to keep going and battling.

“Maybe I should live up to my nickname The Ferret in darts. I got it from my rugby days, because I was quiet and small in the scrum.“ In darts I’d be happy to win trophies when I’m not expected to. Just the quiet one who sneaks up to win majors.”

Clayton, who has racked up over £250,000 in prize money in two years as an oche part-timer, faces an interesting last 32 Home Tour group against Waites, Hopp and Wilkinson. But thus far the online tournament has been all about the underdogs.

He said: “I just play in my spare room, that’s where my dartboard is. So I’ve no had anything special to do to get set up for playing live at home.“I’m not a massive practice player, I’ve not got any routines. So basically I don’t know how to take this Home Tour event but it was good to win my group. It’s a weird feeling to be doing this live in my spare room.“I just find darts a weird sport.

If you are on form you can beat anybody but if you’re not you could be the worst player ever. It just depends if you turn up on the night.”

Exclusive – The Special One Talks To Darts World!

JOSE DE SOUSA is already known as The Special One but hopes he can become bigger than Ronaldo on the oche.

The Special One? Jose De Sousa Hopes to be the darting Mourinho or perhaps Ronaldo?

The Portuguese star has produced the outstanding display of the PDC Home Tour, dropping just one leg in his opening group. But the World No.59 is aiming high as the new cult hero of the sport before his last 32 group clashes tonight (Monday). He said: “My phone never stops after I win a game, it’s on fire. When I win I become very popular.

 “I would like to think I can be the biggest sportsman in Portugal. Maybe I can have a better body than Ronaldo!”

“I like football so much especially from the time of Figo, Ronaldo and other great players. I never go to the stadium because there are too much people together. But I watch on TV so much.

“It is amazing to be mentioned in social media messages by people saying that I’m the Ronaldo of darts. Maybe even I can be The Special One like Jose Mourinho!”

“I think it is possible one day that Ronaldo will come and watch me play at the Alexandra Palace, I speak with him and he can cheer me on.“When he has quit in a few years then maybe Portugal sport will be all about Jose De Sousa, I hope so anyway.”

In the opening group, the Portuguese-born player beat Robert Thornton and Keegan Brown without dropping a leg, averaging 109 against The Thorn. De Sousa completed a 5-1 win against Robinson to complete his unstoppable form from his home in Madrid.Now he faces Nathan Aspinall, Jamie Hughes and Jesús Noguera in yet another tricky Home Tour group.

Can De Sousa take advantage in the Home Tour? It is fast becoming t”he tournament of the underdog”.

But it is fast-becoming the tournament of the underdog with Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Glen Durrant, and Stephen Bunting all having crashed out. Gary Anderson and Rob Cross are so far the highest seeds who have qualified for the semi-finals. De Sousa fancies his chances of going further.

He added: “I think the Home Tour was one of the best performances yet for me in the PDC. I played fantastic. I was surprised a little bit, the previous two weeks I practiced so much with friends and small tournaments for fun.

“If I play always the same then maybe I can be the lockdown World Champion”. 

“Last year was my first in the PDC and in the middle of the season one of my sponsors make me a new arrow for me and gave me a big push up, my game is much better now.” That’s because of the new barrels.“

This year I think I’m a bit stronger, I always try to produce a solid game because that’s way you have more opportunities to win legs.

“This is another very tough group for me. But I know if I can play the same again like I did before, I can beat anyone.”

Home Tour Play Offs: Cullen Blitz Sees Him Through.

Joe Cullen qualified for the semi-finals of the Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs by winning Group Six on Sunday night.

Cullen, who averaged 106 or more in all three of his matches as he won Group 31 of the first phase, picked up where he left off with a convincing 6-3 success over Dutchman Martijn Kleermaker in his opener.

A narrow 6-5 triumph over birthday boy Chris Dobey followed, meanwhile Canadian number one Jeff Smith also won his first two games to set up a last match showdown for the group win.

Cullen continued his solid form as he ran out a 6-4 winner, with the World number 16 joining Rob Cross in Thursday’s second semi-final night.

The Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs continue on Monday night with Group Seven, which will feature Premier League star Nathan Aspinall.

Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs
Group Six – Sunday May 31
Joe Cullen 6-3 Martijn Kleermaker
Jeff Smith 6-1 Chris Dobey
Jeff Smith 6-5 Martijn Kleermaker
Joe Cullen 6-5 Chris Dobey
Chris Dobey 6-3 Martijn Kleermaker
Joe Cullen 6-4 Jeff Smith

Pics: T Lanning

Home Tour: Cross Progresses With No Fuss Win.

Rob Cross came out on top of Group Five of the Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs on Saturday night to reach the semi-finals.

Cross began the night with back-to-back victories over Sweden’s Daniel Larsson and Players Championship event winner Ryan Searle to take a commanding position at the top of the group.

Despite suffering defeat to Luke Woodhouse in the final game of the night, Cross won enough legs to ensure he ended the night on top.

Cross will return to Home Tour action on Thursday night for the second night of semi-final action, where he will be joined by the three group winners of the next three groups.

The Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs continue on Sunday night with Group Six, which will feature Joe Cullen, Chris Dobey, Jeff Smith and Martijn Kleermaker.

Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs
Group Five – Saturday May 30
Rob Cross 6-3 Daniel Larsson
Ryan Searle 6-4 Luke Woodhouse
Daniel Larsson 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Rob Cross 6-4 Ryan Searle
Ryan Searle 6-4 Daniel Larsson
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Rob Cross

Home Tour: Chizzy Through In Style.

Dave Chisnall reached the semi-finals of the Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs, winning Group Four on Friday evening.

Look no glasses!

A keenly contested Group Four saw the opening three matches all go to deciding legs, as Chisnall lost out to Heta, allowing Dutch youngster Geert Nentjes to storm to the top of the table with back-to-back wins.

World number 11 Chisnall clawed his way back into contention with a convincing 6-2 defeat of Darren Webster to set up a straight shoot-out to win the group in the final game of the night between Chisnall and Nentjes.

Missed doubles from Nentjes proved costly, as Chisnall took full advantage to end the night on top of the group, sealing his place in next Wednesday’s first semi-final night.

The Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs continue on Saturday night with Group Five, which will feature World Matchplay champion Rob Cross, 2020 Players Championship event winner Ryan Searle, Home Tour nine-dart hitter Luke Woodhouse and Sweden’s Daniel Larsson.

Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs
Group Four – Friday May 29
Damon Heta 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Geert Nentjes 6-5 Darren Webster
Geert Nentjes 6-5 Damon Heta
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Darren Webster
Darren Webster 6-2 Damon Heta
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Geert Nentjes

Pics: Taylor Lanning

Anderson Delighted With Progress, Despite ‘Pete Tong’ Counting.

GARY ANDERSON remains unbeaten in six PDC Home Tour matches despite admitting he can’t count quick enough.The Flying Scotsman won his last 32 online streaming group without defeat in fine style on Thursday night.

Anderson hopes to again be triumphant, despite a few subtraction issues. His ‘Pete Tong’ counting does not seem to have held him back so far!

It means he has won all half dozen matches so far and goes into the semi-finals in a tournament he almost couldn’t play in because of lack of WiFi signal. That SunSport story prompted the broadband issue to be solved and now he’s one of the few top seeds left in the competition.

But, the twice World Champion admitted to a small isuue:

“I started well and then it went Pete Tong. I’m struggling with going for different numbers on the board in case I can’t count up quick enough. You know what my counting is like, it’s absolutely atrocious.“

So I’m scared to go for 19s if I’ve got to add it up. I’ll get the calculator out!”Anderson dropped just six legs in three matches, dumping Nick Kenny 6-2, Luke Humphries 6-1 and Jamie Lewis 6-3.

The Somerset-based star is the top-rated player still left in the Home Tour having seen Peter Wright, Glen Durrant, Stephen Bunting, Gerwyn Price, and Michael Smith all crash out in recent weeks. He added: “It still feels strange, you still wait for the boy to walk in front of you before you throw darts. It takes a bit of getting used to, very weird.“I play darts here but if I’m someone, they are here in person. It’s listening to the phone, can’t see it, watching the score pad. Then try and listen to the third dart hit the board so you can get ready to throw. I’m getting used to it though, I think.”

Gary & reigning World Champion Peter Wright will get to defend their title after all! (L lustig PDC)

Anderson and reigning World Champion Wright will get a chance to defend their World Cup victory in August.

The 2020 BetVictor World Cup of Darts is now set to be held from November 6-8 in Graz as Austria prepares to host the event for the first time. The 32-nation World Cup had been originally planned to take place in Hamburg in June, but was amongst the tournaments postponed recently due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Last year Wright and Anderson claimed the title for the first time by defeating Ireland’s William O’Connor and Steve Lennon in the final. England and the Netherlands have won the World Cup four times apiece since the tournament – which is unique on the PDC circuit for the combination of Doubles and Singles ties – was introduced a decade ago.

Pics: Taylor Lanning (unless otherwise stated)

PDC Home Tour: Anderson Unbeaten & Into Semis.

Gary Anderson maintained his unbeaten run in his own home to reach the semi-finals of the Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs, winning Group Three on Thursday evening.

Two-time World Champion Anderson came into the night on the back of three wins on his way to topping Group 30 of the competition’s first phase and the Scot picked up where he left off with another hat-trick of victories.

Anderson, who improved his internet connection especially to take part in the home-stage event, began the evening with a 6-2 defeat of Welshman Nick Kenny before averaging over 110.1 in a thumping 6-1 win over Luke Humphries.

Heading into his final game of the night against Jamie Lewis, Anderson needed to win just one leg to top the group, which he achieved in the opening leg of the contest to extinguish Humphries’ lingering hopes of progressing.

Anderson went on to wrap up a 6-3 win over Lewis, joining Jelle Klaasen and Mike De Decker in the tournament’s last eight line-up.

The Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs continues on Friday night with Group Four, which will feature multiple TV finalist Dave Chisnall, two-time World Championship quarter-finalist Darren Webster, Dutchman Geert Nentjes and Australia’s Damon Heta.

Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs
Group Three – Thursday May 28
Gary Anderson 6-2 Nick Kenny
Luke Humphries 6-2 Jamie Lewis
Jamie Lewis 6-4 Nick Kenny
Gary Anderson 6-1 Luke Humphries
Luke Humphries 6-1 Nick Kenny
Gary Anderson 6-3 Jamie Lewis

Featured pic : Taylor Lanning.