The Asp Claims Player’s Championship Seven.

Nathan Aspinall claimed the £10,000 top prize at Players Championship 7 in Barnsley on Saturday, beating Brendan Dolan 8-4 in the final to pick up his second title of 2020.

PIC;LAWRENCE Lustig: NATHAN ASPINALL IN ACTION

The Premier League star recovered from 4-2 down to seal the win, ending the final with an average of 94 as he reeled off six successive legs – five of which were between 12 and 14 darts.

The former UK Open champion first saw off Alan Tabern before going on to secure wins over Geert Nentjes, Chris Dobey and Vincent van der Voort.

The last eight is where Aspinall produced his standout victory, beating world number one Michael van Gerwen 6-1 to progress to the semi-finals.

Another Dutchman – Danny Noppert – was Aspinall’s next victim as the US Darts Masters champion brushed his opponent aside in a 7-3 win to move in to the final.

Dolan took the early initiative in the decider, moving in to a 4-2 lead before Aspinall fought back superbly to win the title.

“I played steady at times and not so well at others but I’m really happy,” said Aspinall. “I’m full of confidence and was determined to have a good run this weekend.

“I know what I can produce and I know how good I am and there is no reason why I can’t win more titles.”

Aspinall is currently planning his wedding to partner Kirsty-Louise, and after pocking a second £10,000 cheque of the year added: “The other half is booking our wedding soon so I need the money!”

It was also a good day for finalist Brendan Dolan, who moved through the field with some impressive wins.

The Northern Ireland World Cup star began his day with a 6-4 win over Adrian Gray, before going on to defeat Niels Zonneveld, Ciaran Teehan and Dave Chisnall.

A quarter-final win over Derk Telnekes secured a semi-final clash with multiple title winner James Wade, where Dolan was far too good for his English opponent, coming through with a 7-1 win.

Despite a good start in the final Dolan wasn’t able to overcome Aspinall and secure a third title within a year – but the the 46-year-old will be pleased with his day’s work.

L PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG : JAMES WADE IN ACTION

Wade enjoyed his best run of 2020 so far as he reached the semi-finals alongside Noppert, while Telnekes overcame World Champion Peter Wright as he reached his first quarter-final on the PDC ProTour.

The PDC ProTour weekend in Barnsley concludes on Sunday with Players Championship 8, where 128 players will be hoping to claim the title.

Players Championship Eight
Saturday March 14, Barnsley Metrodome
Last 16

Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Luke Humphries
Danny Noppert 6-0 Daryl Gurney
Ian White 6-1 Kai Fan Leung
James Wade 6-2 Glen Durrant
Derk Telnekes 6-1 Peter Wright
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Dave Chisnall

Quarter-Finals
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Michael van Gerwen
Danny Noppert 6-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
James Wade 6-5 Ian White
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Derk Telnekes

Semi-Finals
Nathan Aspinall 7-3 Danny Noppert
Brendan Dolan 7-1 James Wade

Final
Nathan Aspinall 8-4 Brendan Dolan

9 Dart Double: Van Duivenbode & Aspinall Provide Perfection in Players Championship.

Dutch youngster, Mike van Duivenbode, smashed in the perfect leg during his first PDC match of the 2020 season during his 6-5 win over Chris Dobey at Players Championship 1.

NATHAN ASPINALL IN ACTION
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Nathan Aspinall also rattled in a perfect leg, during Players Championship 2, the following day. ‘9 Darters’ were once a rarity even at the highest level. So much so that a rolling prize fund used to be offered for anyone who hit one during the Pro Tour events. Often these funds would mount up to many thousands of pounds even though they were £500 per event or less!

During the opening ProTour weekend of the year, “The Silencer” Jeff Smith also stamped his return to the PDC ProTour for the first time since 2013 with aplomb, making a run to the Players Championship 1 final.

Smith defeated the likes of Aspinall, Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall along the way with some outstanding performances before finishing runner-up after an 8-4 defeat in the final, at the hands of in-form Gary Anderson.

Jeff Smith – Back with a Bang!

Smith also followed on this form into Sunday’s Players Championship 2 – narrowly losing at the last 16 stage 6-5 against Dirk van Duijvenbode. Smith couldn’t have asked for a much better start to his PDC return, earning £7,500 on to his Order of Merit ranking over the two days.

Nathan Aspinall came out the eventual winner of the tournament, hitting a 9-dart finish along the way during a colossal tussle with World Champion Peter Wright before defeating Gerwyn Price 8-3.

Dolan is making understated progress!
Pic: PDC

Brendan Dolan also showed glimpses of his superb floor form from the end of 2019 as he made a run to Players Championship 1 semi-finals, losing out to Jeff Smith. It appears that Brendan has solidified his performances and will be worth keeping an eye on in coming months.

Full Players Championships results available from DartConnect here.

————————-

A version of this article was originally published at http://winmau.com

Anderson Eases Through – Day Four Round – Up.

Gary Anderson enjoyed a perfect start to his 2019/20 William Hill World Darts Championship campaign with a convincing 3-0 victory over Brendan Dolan on Monday at London’s Alexandra Palace.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG
ROUND2 GARY ANDERSON V BRENDAN DOLAN GARY ANDERSON IN ACTION

Day Four of darts’ biggest event saw two-time World Champion Anderson get off to a slow start as he averaged under 80 in the opening set.

However, the Scot improved as the contest went on, piling in seven 180s and hitting a 144 checkout on his way to a straight-forward win.

“I’ve been playing really well on the practice board but I went up there tonight and I was nowhere near it in the first set because of nerves,” Anderson admitted.

“But there were some good signs there, the 180s and 140s are coming back and there were a few moments when I felt in full flow up there.

“I’ve not had a lot of stage time this year so I’m a bit out of practice and because of that I felt so nervous walking on stage.

“I’ve had four days solid on the practice board and I’ve been really happy with the way they’re going so hopefully we will see that come out in the rest of the tournament.”

Earlier in the night Keane Barry became the third youngest player to compete in the World Championship, but he was whitewashed 3-0 by Vincent van der Voort.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND1 VINCENT VAN DER VOORT V KEANE BARRY KEANE BARRY IN ACTION

Both the first two sets went to a deciding leg, with Dutchman Van der Voort showing his experience to hit crucial doubles at key moments to keep Barry at bay.

The young Irishman averaged 91.72 on his big stage debut, hitting three 180s but he was powerless to stop the Van der Voort assault, and he will now face tenth seed Dave Chisnall.

“It definitely wasn’t a comfortable game to play in, I’m so happy to win,” said Van der Voort.

“Keane is a quality young player with so much potential, the way he hits the treble 20 is frightening.

“But at the key moments he didn’t deliver and thankfully I managed to hit the big shots at the right moments.

“I’m known as a quick player but at one point I thought ‘I need to slow down’ because he’s playing too fast for me!

“Dave is a great player, he’s in the top ten in the world so I will be giving everything I have to win that one.”

Callan Rydz enjoyed a debut to remember as he came through a dramatic sudden-death leg with Steve Lennon.

Irish World Cup runner-up Lennon got off to the best possible start, winning the opening set 3-0, only for 21-year-old Rydz to win the next two sets without dropping a leg.

The fourth set was also won to nil by Lennon to take the tie to a fifth and final set, and after Rydz took the first two legs of the decider, Lennon produced back-to-back 15-dart legs to take the match all the way to a last-leg shoot-out.

Rydz was first to a finish but the Northumbrian wired the bullseye for a 161 finish, meaning Lennon had a chance to take out 87.

The Irishman missed two match darts at double 18, allowing Rydz a shot at 25 for the match which he took with a last dart double two.

There was better fortune for Lennon’s World Cup partner William O’Connor, who breezed past experienced Fin Marko Kantele 3-0.

Despite not being at his best, O’Connor managed to land six 180s and never allowed Kantele a way into the contest, and he will now await world number three Gerwyn Price in the second round.

The William Hill World Championship continues on Tuesday with two sessions of first and second round play, as rising Dutch star takes on Darin Young who ended Raymond van Barneveld’s career on Saturday.

Day Five will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Darts channel and through NOW TV in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.

Monday December 16 (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Steve Lennon 2-3 Callan Rydz (First Round)
William O’Connor 3-0 Marko Kantele (First Round)
Vincent van der Voort 3-0 Keane Barry (First Round) 
Gary Anderson 3-0 Brendan Dolan (Second Round)

Tuesday December 17
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ryan Searle v Robbie King (First Round)
Cristo Reyes v Lourence Ilagan (First Round) 
Rowby-John Rodriguez v Noel Malicdem (First Round) 
Krzysztof Ratajski v Zoran Lerchbacher (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ritchie Edhouse v Boris Koltsov (First Round) 
Jose De Sousa v Damon Heta (First Round)
Ted Evetts v Fallon Sherrock (First Round) 
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Darin Young (Second Round)

ENDS

Harrington Joins Big Names in Last 16 – Grand Slam.

Rob Cross and Peter Wright were among the five players to reach the last 16 of the 2019 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts on Monday at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton, alongside qualifier Ryan Harrington. 

BOYLE SPORTS GRANDSLAMOF DARTS 2019 ALDERSLEY LEISURE VILLAGE, WOLVERHAMPTON.
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG GROUP STAGE 3 RYAN HARRINGTON V WAYNE WARREN RYAN HARRINGTON IN ACTION

Day Three of the cross-code saw the final eight group matches take place in Groups E-H, with Cross surviving a scare from Jamie Hughes in the game of the night.

World Matchplay champion Cross led 4-1 and seemed to be coasting through to the knockout phase, but seven missed match darts across two legs allowed Hughes to take the Group E game to a last-leg decider.

Hughes kicked off the decider with a 180 but failed to hit a treble with his next 12 darts, and Cross took full advantage to win 5-4 and set up a mouth-watering last 16 clash with Peter Wright.

“I’ve not been sharp all through the group stage,” conceded Cross, the number two seed.

“I got away with it again today, which is a blessing, but I know I’ve got to be much better than that. I can’t keep switching off against capable players.

“Nothing has gone to plan this week, I’ll be glad to see the back of that group stage and now I’ve got to improve on Wednesday or I’m going to lose.”

Wright, who knew he needed a win against World Series Finals runner-up Danny Noppert to secure qualification, claimed a convincing 5-2 victory which saw him qualify and top Group F, meaning Ryan Harrington had to beat Wayne Warren to progress.

Harrington’s dream debut continued with a 5-1 demolition of the Welsh BDO representative and the qualifier shared an emotional moment with his father and two-time World Matchplay champion Rod on stage after the biggest win of his career.

“That’s got to be one of the hardest games I’ve ever played in my life,” admitted the 29-year-old.

“It was so scary tonight, I felt really nervous but it was fantastic playing in front of this amazing crowd again, I’m thankful for their support.

“I wouldn’t be up here trying to be a professional if I didn’t think I could achieve what my dad has on stage. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I could beat the best.”

Meanwhile, proud father Rod revealed the stresses of watching from the sidelines.

“There was a little tear in my eye, I must admit,” said the former world number one. “I’ve never been so nervous, much more so than when I was playing because then it’s in your own hands.

“Now I know what my wife and family went through all these years! Whatever Ryan achieves in this sport will mean more to me than anything I ever did.”

Harrington will now meet Dave Chisnall, who topped made it three wins from three with a comfortable 5-1 triumph over Lisa Ashton to top Group F.

Daryl Gurney hit finishes of 161 and 101 in a 5-2 success over Northern Irish World Cup partner Brendan Dolan to take victory in their Group G shoot-out.

“It was a bit of a struggle when I’m playing Brendan I find it hard to be aggressive which is my natural game,” Gurney admitted.

“A bit of patience got me through the game, my tons eventually turned into 140s and I hit some big shots at crucial moments.

“I’m just relieved to get over the line and now I can look ahead to the rest of the tournament.”

Gurney will now meet Michael Smith in the last 16 after the World Championship runner-up came back from 3-0 down to beat already-eliminated German Martin Schindler to top Group H.

The final game of the night saw a Group H shoot-out between Glen Durrant and Nathan Aspinall, with Durrant whitewashing the UK Open champion 5-0 in a scrappy affair to progress alongside Smith.

“I’m standing here disappointed with a 5-0 win over one of the best players in the world,” said Durrant.

“An 86 average is nowhere near where I want to be, it’s nowhere near the level I’m practising at and I know I’m much better than that.

“For a lot of the game I was thinking ‘maybe I should be out of the tournament already’ but I’ve somehow made it through and now I’ve got to take my chance.”

Durrant will now take on in-form German Gabriel Clemens, who averaged 110.27 in an outstanding 5-2 demolition of already-eliminated Dutchman Richard Veenstra to top Group G.

Monday night’s winners will return to the stage on Wednesday to play in their last 16 ties.

Tuesday will see the final group games in Groups A-D take place, with Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price and Gary Anderson among the players in action, while Adrian Lewis and Jim Williams face a winner-takes-all shoot-out in Group A.

Day Four will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.

Monday November 11
Groups E-H Final Matches
Gabriel Clemens 5-2 Richard Veenstra (G) 
Michael Smith 5-4 Martin Schindler (H) 
Dave Chisnall 5-1 Lisa Ashton (E)
Daryl Gurney 5-2 Brendan Dolan (G) 
Peter Wright 5-2 Danny Noppert (F) 
Ryan Harrington 5-1 Wayne Warren (F) 
Rob Cross 5-4 Jamie Hughes (E)
Glen Durrant 5-0 Nathan Aspinall (H)

Tuesday November 12 (1900 GMT)
Groups A-D Final Matches
Ian White v Wesley Harms (B) 
James Wade v Steve Lennon (B) 
Michael van Gerwen v Ross Smith (A) 
Robert Thornton v Mikuru Suzuki (C) 
Gerwyn Price v Dimitri Van den Bergh (C) 
William O’Connor v Dave Parletti (D) 
Gary Anderson v Darren Webster (D) 
Adrian Lewis v Jim Williams (A)

Wednesday November 13 (1900 GMT)
Second Round x4
Dave Chisnall v Ryan Harrington
Gabriel Clemens v Glen Durrant 
Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney
Peter Wright v Rob Cross

Thursday November 14 (1900 GMT)
Second Round x4
Groups A-D Qualifiers

Friday November 15 (1900 GMT)
Quarter-Finals x2

Saturday November 16 (2000 GMT)
Quarter-Finals x2

Sunday November 17
Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)
Semi-Finals

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Final

Final Group Tables (Groups E-H)

Group E

NamePWL+/-Pts
Dave Chisnall (Q)330+86
Rob Cross (Q)321+24
Jamie Hughes (E)312+12
Lisa Ashton (E)303-110

Group F

NamePWL+/-Pts
Peter Wright (Q)330+96
Ryan Harrington (Q)321+24
Danny Noppert (E)31202
Wayne Warren (E)303-110

Group G

NamePWL+/-Pts
Gabriel Clemens (Q)330+86
Daryl Gurney (Q)321+74
Brendan Dolan (E)312-32
Richard Veenstra (E)303-120

Group H

NamePWL+/-Pts
Michael Smith (Q)330+76
Glen Durrant (Q)321+44
Nathan Aspinall (E)312-42
Martin Schindler (E)303-70

ENDS

Written by Josh Phillips

Grand Slam – Webster, Lewis & Clemens Amongst Final Qualifiers.

Former finalist Robert Thornton, two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis and local star Jamie Hughes headlined the eight qualifiers for the 2019 Grand Slam of Darts on Monday night.

Jamie Hughes added another chapter to an impressive 2019. Hughes claimed a qualifier spot at the Grand Slam.
PIC: LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND JAMIE HUGHES IN ACTION

Thornton was the 2013 runner-up to Phil Taylor in Wolverhampton, and will make his first appearance in the cross-code tournament since 2016 after a superb showing to qualify.

The Scot averaged 106 to defeat Max Hopp in his opening game, before then defeating Spain’s Cristo Reyes and Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena to secure his place in next week’s event.

Stoke star Lewis, a big-stage winner in the UK Open, European Championship and World Cup alongside his double Alexandra Palace triumph, will make his first Grand Slam appearance for three years after winning through the qualifier.

After picking up wins over Madars Razma and Terry Temple, Lewis averaged 100 as he overcame Steve West 5-3 in their decider.

Brendan Dolan will also play in his first Grand Slam of Darts since 2016 as he continued his return to form by following up two Players Championship wins this year by qualifying.

Dolan continues a fine run of recent results.
PIC; LAWRENCE LUSTIG BRENDAN DOLAN IN ACTION

The Northern Irish ace saw off Dirk van Duijvenbode, Devon Petersen and Joe Cullen before averaging a huge 112 in a 5-1 win over Arron Monk in their decider.

Tipton’s Jamie Hughes will follow up his 2016 and 2017 appearances in the event with a third tilt at glory in front of his home fans at the Aldersley Leisure Village.

Hughes saw off Vincent van der Meer, Benito van de Pas, Alan Tabern and Darius Labanauskas to qualify, losing just six legs across his four matches.

Ross Smith – who recently defeated Michael van Gerwen in the European Championship – averaged over 100 in wins over Stephen Bunting and Niels Zonneveld as he secured a first Grand Slam appearance since 2013.

German Darts Masters finalist Gabriel Clemens will make his Wolverhampton debut after also averaging over 100 on two occasions, against Harry Ward and Jonny Clayton, before seeing off Ricky Evans 5-3 in their decider.

Darren Webster overcame Justin Pipe and Matt Clark in deciding legs as he qualified for the first time in two years in an encouraging return to form after dropping out of the world’s top 16 during an injury-hit year.

Ryan Harrington will make his Grand Slam of Darts debut after a 12-darter in the deciding leg of his tie with James Wilson earned him a spot in Wolverhampton.

The son of former World Matchplay champion Rod, the 29-year-old is a four-time UK Open qualifier who made two European Tour appearances during 2019.

The draw for the 2019 Grand Slam of Darts will be made on Tuesday lunchtime, with the 32 players being drawn into eight groups of four for the round-robin phase.


The Grand Slam of Darts will be held from November 9-17 at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton. For tickets, please see ticketmaster.co.uk and pdc.seetickets.com.

2019 Grand Slam of Darts

PDC Tour Card Holder’s Qualifier

Final Matches

Gabriel Clemens 5-3 Ricky Evans

Ryan Harrington 5-4 James Wilson

Robert Thornton 5-3 Jermaine Wattimena

Brendan Dolan 5-1 Arron Monk

Jamie Hughes 5-3 Darius Labanauskas

Darren Webster 5-4 Matt Clark

Ross Smith 5-0 Niels Zonneveld

Adrian Lewis 5-3 Steve West

Full results can be seen in the Match Centre at https://www.pdc.tv/tournament/2019-grand-slam-darts-qualifier


ENDS

Dolan’s Delight. Victory in PC 29 for Irishman.

Brendan Dolan continued his resurgence by winning Players Championship 29 in Barnsley on Monday, while Peter Wright set a new record for the highest ever recorded average in a live broadcast match.

PIC; LAWRENCE LUSTIG
BRENDAN DOLAN IN ACTION

Having ended his five-year wait for a PDC title at Players Championship 22 in August, Dolan made it two in just over months with a hard-fought 8-6 win over Ian White in the final.

The Northern Irishman fired in averages of 104.9 and 104.8 in victories over Mark Webster and Gerwyn Price respectively on his way to the semi-finals, before overcoming record-breaker Wright in a last-leg decider to reach the final.

“I can still do it, I played quality darts today at the right times and I think I deserved any luck I got,” said Dolan, who now has six PDC titles to his name.

“The one in Hildesheim was more of a relief, whereas today I came into it with more belief that I could win having done it recently.

“When you’ve not been winning for five years your confidence is not so high and winning in Hildesheim has drastically changed that.

“In my head today I was determined to add money to my ranking to give me shot of qualifying for the 2020 World Matchplay and World Grand Prix.

“I’ve missed those two events for the last three years and it’s killed me not being there, so hopefully next year I will be.”

Dolan added event 29 to his earlier victory in PC 22 of 2019.

Former World Grand Prix runner-up Dolan produced checkouts of 136 and 161 to hold throw in two of the opening four legs of the final, before finding his way through to double three for the first break of the match in leg seven to take a 4-3 lead.

Another ton-plus finish, this time a 108, opened up a two-leg cushion for Dolan, an advantage which he soon doubled by taking the next two legs.

White then began a spirited comeback, and after Dolan squandered three match darts in leg 12, White found himself within a leg of Dolan at 6-7.

However, Dolan held firm and a strong leg on throw saw ended with him hitting the match-winning double at the fifth attempt.

Earlier in the day, Wright averaged 123.5 in his 6-0 quarter-final win against Krzysztof Ratajski, the highest ever recorded in a live broadcast darts match.

The previous record broadcast average was 123.4, set by Michael van Gerwen in a 7-1 defeat of Michael Smith in the 2016 Premier League.

Elsewhere, the day was also a significant one for Ron Meulenkamp who reached his sixth ProTour semi-final, but the Dutchman was unable to break his duck of never making it to a final.

Tuesday’s Players Championship 30 will be the final PDC ProTour event of 2019, after which the top 32 players on the one-year rolling ProTour Order of Merit will provisionally qualify for the 2019/2020 William Hill World Darts Championship, excluding players who will qualify as one of the top 32 players on the main PDC Order of Merit.

Places at November’s Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals will also be on the line, as the top 64 players on the Players Championship Order of Merit at the conclusion of Players Championship 30 will qualify for the Minehead event.

All the action from Players Championship 30 will be streamed live on video.pdc.tv.

See full Players Championship 29 results in the Match Centre.

Players Championship 29
Monday October 14
Last 16

Ian White 6-5 Jose De Sousa
Joe Cullen 6-4 Joe Murnan
Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Devon Petersen
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Callan Rydz
Peter Wright 6-2 Jonny Clayton
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Michael Smith

Quarter-Finals
Ian White 6-1 Joe Cullen
Ron Meulenkamp 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 6-0 Krzysztof Ratajski

Semi-Finals
Ian White 7-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Brendan Dolan 7-6 Peter Wright

Final
Brendan Dolan 8-6 Ian White

ENDS

Smith and Lauby Head Final Las Vegas Qualifiers

This Week – Moments of Darting History.

What have the numbers 1, 5 and 40 got in common? No, they are not the writers most recent three darts! They are the years we go back in time to look at this week in darts history.

Unibet World Grand Prix - Semi-Finals Round-Up
Can MVG emulate Taylor and become only the second player to retain the World Grand Prix?
PIC: L Lustig / PDC

Last year – Micheal Van Gerwen wins the World Grand Prix

Dublin provided one of MVG’s most dominant wins in 2018. To lift the trophy he had to defeat; Steve Lennon, Darren Webster, Dave Chisnall, Daryl Gurney and Peter Wright.

Micheal dropped only 4 sets in the entire event with only ‘Snakebite’ taking more than one.

Will we see him retain the title and become only the second player to have done so? Should he be successful, he will be the first to do so in over a decade.

5 Years Ago – Pipe and Dolan Claim Pro Tour Wins. Silencer Smith Qualifies for World Championship

Justin Pipe and Brendon Dolan each claimed one of the two Pro Tour events, staged in Dublin, before World Grand Prix week. Both would go on to suffer a ‘dry spell’ over the next few years. However, both have looked in much better shape in 2019. Dolan has claimed his first title since the one above and Pipe has had several strong runs and high averages.

Smith and Lauby Head Final Las Vegas Qualifiers
Photo: PDC

The Silencer, Canada’s Jeff Smith, made what could be described as his biggest breakthrough, this week in 2014. Smith made it through the qualifiers to reach the Lakeside. A tremendous run would follow. Smith made the Semi-Final that season after a superb run. He proved it was no fluke by returning the following year and going one better.

40 Years Ago – Virachkal Claims World Cup Singles

It is often forgotten that in days prior to those of plenty, the World Cup (Singles) was a highly valued prize. Made-up of the best players from the competing nations, from all over the globe, it was another, unofficial, World Championship, but played every two years. Professional players often gave each other stick if they had not claimed it. Eric Bristow (4-time champ) thoroughly enjoyed reminding Phil Taylor of The Power’s failure to lift the crown.

Nicky Virachkal is a well-recalled name by darts folk of a certain era. Although not in the very top echelon of playing greats, he was a fine player. In addition to claiming the 1979 World Cup (Singles), he was a semi-finalist in the World Masters and claimed a 3rd place in the World Championships.

To give you an idea of his ability it should be recalled that to claim the World Cup Singles Nicky defeated Eric Bristow in the Qtr Finals and the Welsh Legend Ceri Morgan in the final match.

Just a note: The Current World Cup Singles Champion is non-other than the previously mentioned Jeff Smith!

History Maker Repeats Himself, After Five Year Gap.

Emotional Dolan Ends Five-Year Title Drought At PC22

WILLIAM HILL WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 ALEXANDRA PALACE,LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG PRELIMINARY ROUND BRENDAN DOLAN V ALAN LJUBIC BRENDAN DOLAN IN ACTION

Brendan Dolan won his first ranking title for almost five years by defeating Jermaine Wattimena 8-5 in the Players Championship 22 final.

The Northern Irish ace has slipped out of the world’s top 32 in recent years, having previously reached the 2011 World Grand Prix final before winning five ranking events in 2013 and 2014.

A run to the World Championship quarter-finals in December had been a much-needed boost for Dolan, and he came through the 128-player field in Hildesheim to take the £10,000 Players Championship top prize.

He opened his day with a 100 average in edging past Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-5, and after seeing off Alan Norris and Chris Dobey, Dolan then averaged almost 107 to defeat Dave Chisnall 6-5.

Dolan repeated that scoreline in a quarter-final win over Glen Durrant, and averaged over 100 again in a 7-3 semi-final win over Cody Harris.

The opening stages of the final proved tight as Dolan and Wattimena shared the opening four legs, before a 13-darter saw the Northern Irishman break in leg five.

Wattimena finished 86 to break back and level, but a superb 11-darter from Dolan sparked a run of four straight legs as he moved one away from victory at 7-3.

BETFRED WORLD MATCHPLAY 2019 WINTER GARDENS, BLACKPOOL PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND I MENSUR SULJOVIC V JERMAINE WATTIMENA JERMAINE WATTIMENA IN ACTION

Wattimena landed 180s in the next two as legs of 13 and 14 darts saw the Dutchman battle back, but Dolan finished 108 to emotionally secure the title.

A tearful Dolan admitted: “I just can’t believe it. It’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

“I’ve worked so hard and I haven’t got results out of it. Yesterday, the way I played was unbelievably bad and I sent my wife a text. She told me to wise up.

“I used to always say that if I get past the first round then I’m dangerous. I’ve tried really hard this last 18 months and not got the results, but I’ve performed really well.

“I think I’ve got the luck on the day today and it’s just great to get a win.”

Dolan’s last title came in Dublin in October 2014, and he added: “To be honest, I can’t remember five years ago! I really couldn’t remember how to win and today it was about saving face.

“This game’s all about pressure, mental pressure. I pressurise myself all the time, and my wife told took all the pressure off me and told me just to play darts.”

Wattimena’s run on the day saw him reach a second Players Championship final of the year, but the World Cup representative was again left waiting for his first ranking title.

He overcame fellow countrymen Christian Kist and Jelle Klaasen in his opening two games, before seeing off Ryan Joyce and Gabriel Clemens.

Wattimena then missed double 12 for a nine-darter during his 6-2 quarter-final win over Steve Beaton, before coming from 4-0 down to win his semi-final 7-6 against Mensur Suljovic – claiming a first career victory over the Austrian.

Suljovic had won through to his first Players Championship semi-final for nearly two years, while New Zealand’s Harris was appearing in the last four on the ProTour for the first time.

Harris recently won his second Challenge Tour title, and warmed up for his appearance in the forthcoming NZ Darts Masters, presented by Burger King & TAB, with five wins on Sunday, including a 6-4 quarter-final defeat of Saturday’s winner, Krzysztof Ratajski.

Ratajski, Beaton and Durrant were joined in the quarter-finals by top seed Ian White, while 2019 Players Championship winners Chisnall and Harry Ward reached the last 16 alongside World Matchplay finalist Michael Smith and German Darts Masters runner-up Gabriel Clemens.

With World Series of Darts events taking place over the next three weeks in Australia and New Zealand, the ProTour will now enjoy a summer break.

The Austrian Darts Championship will see the European Tour return from August 30-September 1 in Vienna, with the next Players Championship events taking place on September 10-11 in Barnsley.

Players Championship 22

Sunday August 4, Halle 39, Hildesheim

Last 16

Ian White 6-5 Harry Ward

Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Michael Smith

Steve Beaton 6-1 Joe Cullen

Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Gabriel Clemens

Brendan Dolan 6-5 Dave Chisnall

Glen Durrant 6-2 Ricky Evans

Cody Harris 6-1 Marko Kantele

Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Arron Monk

Quarter-Finals

Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Ian White

Jermaine Wattimena 6-2 Steve Beaton

Brendan Dolan 6-5 Glen Durrant

Cody Harris 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski

Semi-Finals

Jermaine Wattimena 7-6 Mensur Suljovic

Brendan Dolan 7-3 Cody Harris

Final

Brendan Dolan 8-5 Jermaine Wattimena

Dolan Claims Players Championship. History Maker Returns to his Best

Brendan Dolan
Brendan Dolan. Pic: PDC

The History Maker, Brendan Dolan, claimed his first PDC ranking title in over 4 years as he romped to victory at Players Championship 22 this weekend.

Dolan hit three ton-plus averages on his way to glory, including victories over Jeffrey de Zwaan, Dave Chisnall, Glen Durrant and Jermaine Wattimena.

This triumph in Hildesheim is the 6th ranking title for Brendan in his career and he played some of his best darts of this year, hitting the highest average of the weekend of 106.7 in his 6-5 win over Chisnall.

An emotional Dolan stated after the final, “I’ve worked so hard and I haven’t got results out of it. Yesterday, the way I played was unbelievably bad and I sent my wife a text. She told me to wise up.

“I used to always say that if I get past the first round then I’m dangerous. I’ve tried really hard this last 18 months and not got the results, but I’ve performed really well.

“I think I’ve got the luck on the day today and it’s just great to get a win.”

Dolan has now fired himself into contention for World Grand Prix qualification, sitting 35th in the Pro Tour Order of Merit and just £7,000 behind the last two qualification spots.

The 2011 edition of the World Grand Prix was arguably the biggest moment in Dolan’s career, as he hit the first-ever double-start nine-dart finish as he made it to the final.

There’s now a break in the action for Brendan and all those not participating in the World Series, until 30th August for the Austrian Darts Championship.

Original article appeared on Winmau.com

Czech Darts Open – Day One.

The ninth European Tour event of 2019, and the PDC’s first-ever tournament staged in the Czech Republic, saw 32 players in action on the opening day at the PVA Expo.

Pic: PDC

COREY CADBY enjoyed a dream European Tour debut on Day One of the Czech Darts Open in Prague on Friday.

Rising Australian star Cadby, who was starring in a European Tour event for the first time since returning to the PDC ProTour earlier this year, got off to a perfect start on the big stage with a 6-0 demolition of Wessel Nijman.

“I’ve been the underdog for a while but I’m thankful to be playing here in front of this amazing crowd,” said Cadby, who will face Michael Smith in Saturday’s second round.

“I can’t wait to get back out here tomorrow against Michael. I’ve beaten him on the two occasions we’ve met previously and I’m ready for a third.”

Friday’s first round of the £140,000 tournament saw 32 qualifiers competing, 11 of whom harboured hopes of forcing their way into qualifying positions for the Betfred World Matchplay ahead of Sunday’s qualification cut-off.

Keegan Brown took a huge step towards a third Winter Gardens appearance with a 6-0 whitewash of Czech Qualifier Ondrej Plsek; a result which ended Kyle Anderson’s hopes of making it to Blackpool.

World Cup finalist William O’Connor must reach the quarter-finals if he is to snatch a World Matchplay place, and he too got off to the best possible start with a 6-0 success over another Host Nation Qualifier Vaclav Shieferdecker.

Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp is tasked with reaching the semi-finals and he also kept his hopes alive with a 6-2 success over Czech debutant Jan Hlavacek.

Jamie Hughes, Ted Evetts and Justin Pipe are all required to land the £25,000 top prize if they are to qualify for the biggest even of the summer and the trio recorded victories over Devon Petersen, Krzysztof Ratajski and Madars Razma respectively.

World Cup star Karel Sedlacek was the sole Czech representative to make it through to round two with a gripping 6-5 success over Brendan Dolan, ending the Northern Irishman’s World Matchplay hopes in the process.

Robert Thornton, Rowby-John Rodriguez and Razma were the other three players to see their feint Blackpool hopes extinguished with defeats at the hands of Stephen Bunting, Andrew Gilding and Pipe respectively.

A winner of two ProTour titles in his debut PDC campaign, Glen Durrant is already assured of his World Matchplay debut and he produced an outstanding 110.12 average in his 6-1 win over Daniel Larsson to set up a meeting with Gerwyn Price.

Elsewhere, Danish Darts Open finalist Chris Dobey got his campaign off to a 6-2 winning start over Poland’s Sebastian Steyer, while Dutch pair Jermaine Wattimena and Danny Noppert were victorious over Kevin Garcia and Stefan Bellmont.

Saturday’s second day of the Czech Darts Open will be broadcast on video.pdc.tv, and through a series of bookmakers’ websites.

2019 Czech Darts Open
Friday June 28
First Round
Afternoon Session

Danny Noppert 6-2 Stefan Bellmont
Justin Pipe 6-4 Madars Razma
Jermaine Wattimena 6-0 Kevin Garcia
Karel Sedlacek 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Corey Cadby 6-0 Wessel Nijman
John Henderson 6-3 William Borland
Keegan Brown 6-0 Ondrej Plsek
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Rowby-John Rodriguez

Evening Session
Glen Durrant 6-1 Daniel Larsson
Mervyn King 6-5 Steve West
William O’Connor 6-0 Vaclav Shieferdecker
Ted Evetts 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Chris Dobey 6-2 Sebastian Steyer
Ron Meulenkamp 6-2 Jan Hlavacek
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Robert Thornton
Jamie Hughes 6-4 Devon Petersen

Saturday June 29
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Jonny Clayton v Jermaine Wattimena
Darren Webster v Danny Noppert
Simon Whitlock v Justin Pipe
Nathan Aspinall v Andrew Gilding
Daryl Gurney v William O’Connor
Ian White v Karel Sedlacek
Steve Beaton v Ron Meulenkampw
James Wade v Mervyn King

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Ricky Evans v Ted Evetts
Joe Cullen v Chris Dobey
Peter Wright v Stephen Bunting
Michael van Gerwen v Keegan Brown
Mensur Suljovic v John Henderson
Gerwyn Price v Glen Durrant
Adrian Lewis v Jamie Hughes
Michael Smith v Corey Cadby

Sunday June 30
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Third Round
Van Gerwen/Brown v Webster/Noppert
Suljovic/Henderson v Evans/Evetts
Wright/Bunting v Cullen/Dobey
Gurney/O’Connor v Clayton/Wattimena
White/Sedlacek v Aspinall/Gilding
Lewis/Hughes v Beaton/Meulenkamp
Wade/King v Smith/Cadby
Price/Durrant v Whitlock/Pipe

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Quarter-Finals
Semi-Finals
Final

Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order

Format
All games up to and including the quarter-finals are the best of 11 legs, with the semi-finals the best of 13 legs and the final the best of 15 legs. 

ENDS

Written by Josh Phillips