DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? Don’t drive but no I wouldn’t.
DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? Definitely not.
STORMS – COOL OR SCARY? Cool.
FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION AND WHY? Tenerife as a family holiday it’s just so nice and it’s hot all year round.
IF YOU COULD MEET YOUR HERO – DEAD OR ALIVE – WHO WOULD IT BE? (Big Al) Alan Shearer.
FAVOURITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? Sloe Gin.
FAVOURITE SOFT DRINK? Cherry Coke.
WHAT IS YOUR STAR SIGN? Gemini.
TATTOOS COOL OR NOT COOL & IF YOU HAVE ONE WHAT’S YOUR BEST? Some are cool.
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB YOU WANTED WHAT WOULD IT BE? I would have loved to be a footballer.
IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOUR WHAT WOULD IT BE? Would never do it!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST LOVE? Football.
FAVOURITE MOVIES? Step Brothers/ Drop Dead Fred/ Happy Gilmour.
WHAT’S UNDER YOUR BED? Trainers.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NUMBER? I always had 10 as a football number so it was that but now I choose 13 as it’s my boy’s birthday.
FAVOURITE SPORT TO WATCH? Football/Darts.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE TO BE AN ANIMAL, WHICH ONE AND WHY? I would choose a dog as they are loved by all.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT DARTS? Oooh, there’s a lot of reasons to love the game but it would have to be the enjoyment of playing the game for me. I’ve not even been playing 10 years yet but I enjoy it a lot and so be where I am now is unbelievable.
CHRIS DOBEY, is delighting in the role of dad, but it has reminded him of the efforts, and sacrifices, made by his own father. The northeast star wants to help his dad become an oche star as a thank you for putting him on the road to glory.
The Bedlington barnstormer is in the Scottish management team of Dunvegan Darts, owned by Tommy Gilmour MBE, and he’s gradually becoming a big hitter on the oche. But his biggest wish is to help dad Gordon – a long-time pal of Gary Anderson – finally get a chance at the big time.
Throughout the 1990s Dobey senior chose to support his young family in Northumberland as a foreman on a building site rather than go for darting success.
Now Chris wants to pay for his dad to enter Q School at the age of 57. He added: “I would love to see my dad give it a crack, even one go at Q School. I still believe that he could get a Tour Card.
“He did so much and didn’t play as much so he could work and give us all a good upbringing.
“If not this January, the one after, and we’ll see what he’s got.”
Dobey, 30, is now up to No.20 in the PDC Order of Merit after a cracking 2019 which included reaching the semi-finals at both the World Grand Prix and Players Championship Finals.
He said: “I was playing good stuff on the back end of last year. I made two major semis and had a decent run at the Worlds again.
“I also had a good run at Minehead for the UK Open and obviously I was setting myself up for playing the Premier League at Newcastle, the same week everything just stopped. It was going to be a north-east derby with Glen Durrant.
But Hollywood’s career was given a huge boost prior to 2020:
“The one good run at the Grand Prix in Dublin when I reached the semi-final and then took that into the Players Championships and I reached another last four,
it’s all about confidence and experience.
“It’s actually going to be hard going back after lockdown. Obviously the virus needs to be cleared up beforehand. But it is nice to spend time with the family. I have been on a couple of long walks just to get a bit of fresh air and try and keep myself fit a little bit.
“To be honest it’s not as bad as what I thought it would be. It’s given me the kick up the backside to practice and that’s all I seem to be doing. That and just spending time with the little one.”
It seems that the Dobey’s enjoy more than just a love of darts. Two dedicated father figures could be about to become a unique double-act on the PDC tour
Simon Whitlock became the latest player to hit an online nine-darter on his way to winning a ‘remote’ knockout tournament featuring other top namesthis weekend.
Former World Championship semi-finalist Whitlock took out his nine-dart finish during a second-round encounter with the in-form Jake Jones. The Australian’s nine-darter and the later final (vs Dobey) were not streamed online due to regulations that come alongside owning a tour card.
Simon had a disappointing time in the newly instituted PDC Home Tour but has acquitted himself well, in remote darts events, since.
‘The Wizard’ came through a field of 128 players in the tournament including Michael Smith and Chris Dobey last Saturday afternoon defeating Chris ‘Hollywood’ Dobey in the final. The event was put together by Australian Danny Kilbane, Dobey had conquered Michael Smith and the dangerous Andy Boulton en route to the final.
Meanwhile, the ‘Aussie Wizard’ removed Joe Murnan, William Borland before clinching victory over Dobey During his earlier encounter, with Englishman Jones, Whitlock hit six 180s in ten legs with two of those coming back-to-back in the final leg, Simon then completed the regulation 141 check-out to become the third big-name player to his a nine-dart finish during the lockdown months.
Unfortunately, neither Whitlock’s nine-darter nor his final against Dobey were allowed to be streamed online due to regulations that come alongside owning a tour card.
World number 20 Chris Dobey lived up to his favourite billing by winning the group on Night 14 of the Unibet Home Tour.
The 29-year-old put himself in a commanding position early on, by beating Ciaran Teehan 5-2 in his opening game, before seeing off Ron Meulenkamp 5-1 in his second.
Going into the penultimate two games, Teehan needed a big win over Meulenkamp to give himself any chance of catching Dobey, but a 5-1 defeat to the Dutchman meant Dobey had sealed the group before his final game.
And in that final match he came up against a resurgent Kai Fan Leung, playing at gone 5am in Hong Kong, who took a narrow 5-4 victory.
The Unibet Home Tour continues on Friday and is FREE to watch on PDCTV for registered users (new users can sign up here), as well as through bookmakers’ websites and international broadcasters.
Registered PDCTV members can also watch for FREE through the official PDC App.
Unibet Home Tour Group 14 – Thursday April 30 (1930 BST) Chris Dobey 5-2 Ciaran Teehan Ron Meulenkamp 5-4 Kai Fan Leung Ciaran Teehan 5-1 Kai Fan Leung Chris Dobey 5-1 Ron Meulenjamp Ron Meulenkamp 5-1 Ciaran Teehan Kai Fan Leung 5-4 Chris Dobey
Experienced Steve Beaton and two-time televised semi-finalist Chris Dobey are amongst the next 16 players set to take part in the Unibet Home Tour, with the line-ups and fixtures confirmed for Groups 13 to 16.
Fans’ favourite Beaton, the former Lakeside Champion who remains inside the world’s top 30 after 36 years in the sport, will headline Wednesday night’s Group 13 action while rising star Dobey will compete in Group 14 on Thursday as the home-broadcast event continues.
Wednesday will see the 13th of 32 consecutive nights of live darts take place, as Beaton faces young prospect Callan Rydz in the opening game of Group 13.
Matthew Edgar, who took part in the recent ‘Darts At Home’ trial events ahead of the Home Tour’s launch, will return to action, along with Yorkshireman Carl Wilkinson.
Thursday’s Group 14 will begin with a match between Dobey and Irish youngster Ciaran Teehan, before Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp and Hong Kong’s Kai Fan Leung enter the live broadcast.
2012 World Championship runner-up Andy Hamilton and former Players Championship Finals semi-finalist Darren Webster will star in Friday’s Group 15, which will also feature Scott Baker and Bradley Brooks.
As the tournament reaches the halfway stage on Saturday, one of the world’s fastest throwers Ricky Evans will headline Group 16.
Dialling in from Canada will be former North American Championship winner Jeff Smith, with German youngster Christian Bunse and Martin Atkins also set to be involved in Group 16 action.
The nightly league format will see all four competitors play each other once in matches played over the best of nine legs, with a winner crowned each night.
The first ten nights of Unibet Home Tour action have seen Nathan Aspinall and Dave Chisnall amongst the group winners, while Luke Woodhouse’s sensational nine-dart leg from his kitchen remains the stand-out moment of the tournament so far.
With each night’s action commencing at 1930 BST, darts commentator Dan Dawson will be on hand to talk through proceedings, which will also include live score graphics on screen.
All Unibet Home Tour action will be broadcast live on PDCTV for FREE to ALLregistered PDCTV users, regardless of whether you have a paid or free membership.
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 Unibet Home Tour is being broadcast live by a number of the PDC’s international broadcast partners.
Unibet Home Tour Group 13 Fixtures Wednesday April 29 Steve Beaton v Callan Rydz Matthew Edgar v Carl Wilkinson Callan Rydz v Carl Wilkinson Steve Beaton v Matthew Edgar Matthew Edgar v Callan Rydz Carl Wilkinson v Steve Beaton
Group 14 Fixtures Thursday April 30 Chris Dobey v Ciaran Teehan Ron Meulenkamp v Kai Fan Leung Ciaran Teehan v Kai Fan Leung Chris Dobey v Ron Meulenjamp Ron Meulenkamp v Ciaran Teehan Kai Fan Leung v Chris Dobey
Group 15 Fixtures Friday May 1 Darren Webster v Bradley Brooks Scott Baker v Andy Hamilton Bradley Brooks v Andy Hamilton Darren Webster v Scott Baker Scott Baker v Bradley Brooks Andy Hamilton v Darren Webster
Group 16 Fixtures Saturday May 2 Ricky Evans v Martin Atkins Christian Bunse v Jeff Smith Martin Atkins v Jeff Smith Ricky Evans v Christian Bunse Christian Bunse v Martin Atkins Jeff Smith v Ricky Evans
As a fan of our ‘Ones to Watch‘ series James Smith got in – touch with his suggestions of the best of 2020, while his ambitions may seem a bit bold, his viewing choice is solid:
As a darts enthusiast, being trapped indoors currently does present one with a great opportunity to work on one’s throw, with the hope of giving Michael van Gerwen a run for his money when we are allowed outside again.
However, there is only so long that you can kid yourself into thinking that you are good enough to become a World Champion. In the meantime, with no new (live) darts being televised, we are left only to look back over what has happened already.
So, to aid this pursuit of entertainment, here is a run down of the six most exciting PDC matches of 2020 so far:
6. Dobey vs Ratajski: UK Open 4th Round.
The early rounds of the UK open of 2020 were graced with some fantastic clashes, especially this contest between top-twenty players Chris Dobey and Krystof Ratajski. Both players are expected to start picking up serious titles this year, and this match showed why.
Both players averaged over 105 across a match that went all the way to the final leg. With Ratajski averaging 56.25% on his doubles, and Dobey 43.48% it is no surprise that this was a close-fought contest.
Ratajski broke throw early in the match to go into a 4 – 2 lead. Dobey responded brilliantly however, breaking throw twice to win four straight legs to go 6 – 4 up. This included a fantastic 121-check on the bullseye in leg nine to break for the second time.
After another break of throw, Ratajski then missed two darts at double sixteen to win 10-8, surprising given then quality of the match. With the pattern of the game continuing however, the Englishman hit the bullseye again, this time for a 92-out, in the final leg of the match, to break Ratajski and go to the next round. Darting drama right from the start.
5. Dave Chisnall vs Daryl Gurney: Masters First Round
Following disappointing World Championship campaigns, both Gurney and Chisnall arrived at the Marshall Arena at the end of January, with a point to prove. However, with the format of the tournament bringing the top sixteen of the PDC Order of Merit, neither player was likely to enjoy an ‘easy’ first round draw.
Both players showed in this first-round clash their undeniable class. Starting well, ‘Chizzy’ raced into a 5 – 2 lead, only for Gurney to bring it back to 5 – 5. The following six legs were then shared to make things 8 – 8, in this first to ten match.
With both players averaging in the low nineties, this wasn’t the highest scoring game ever. But missed doubles throughout the match, including Gurney’s four across the final two legs, meant that this game was full of darting drama from start to finish.
Chizzy emerged a 10 – 8 winner…only to be knocked out in the second round 10 – 0 by title-winner Peter Wright. A great contest as we get stuck into the list:
4. Peter Wright vs Gerwyn Price: PC 5 (Final).
The first of two Players’ Championship events to make this list – the final of PC 5 saw newly-crowned World and Masters Champion Peter Wright, take on Welsh Number One Gerwyn Price.
The final saw the two Major-holders both average over 109 across the fourteen-leg match. This was a fitting end to a day of darts where ninety-one matches saw averages over a hundred – beating the previous world record (set in February 2019) by a staggering twenty-one matches.
Showing the eminent quality of both players, the first thirteen legs of the match went with throw, leaving Wright with a 7-6 lead going into the fourteenth. Then with Price sat on double top, after twelve darts, ‘Snakebite’ hit ‘The Big Fish’ (a 170 Checkout) to seal his first Players Championship title of 2020.
You will struggle to find a final of such consistent quality anywhere else from this season. In fact, Wright’s performance in the final meant that of his seven matches en route to lifting the trophy, he averaged less than one hundred on only one occasion:
3. Nathan Aspinall vs Dirk van Duijvenbode: Belgian Darts Championship Quarter Final
2020 is the first year that the PDC European Tour hosted an event in Belgium. The inaugural venue was the Expo Hasselt, in Hasselt, where forty-eight competitors took to the stage.
The final was won by Gerwyn Price, in an 8-3 victory over Michael Smith. Arguably, however, the game of the tournament came in the Quarter Final between Nathan Aspinall and Dirk van Duijvenbode.
With both players reaching averages of over 102, this match was full of quality, with the Dutchman edging his English opponent 6-5, as the match went right to the final leg. Having hit the twenty-five for a 170-Check, Van Duijvenbode was let off the hook as Aspinall failed to get a dart at a double from ninety-five. The Dutchman cleaned up on double eight to proceed to the semi-fianls.
Despite losing 7-4 to price in the semi’s, he must have been over the moon for his performance that weekend. As well as this being the Dutchman’s first final’s day at a PDC European Tour event, the financial implications are also clear. Van Duijvenbode last season earned £14,500 – after reaching the semi-finals in Belgium, he has already supposed that in 2020.
This is the perfect chance to watch one of the new greats of the game in Aspinall, coming up against a young player of whom much is expected in the years to come:
2. Nathan Aspinall vs Gary Anderson: P.L. (6)
Having not played a Premier League match in almost two years due to injury, Gary Anderson returned to the Thursday-Night tournament continuing to reach his former best. His match against Nathan Aspinall in Liverpool showed that he still has a lot left in the tank.
Gary averaged 94.27 across the match, and flew into a 5-1 lead straight away after Aspinall missed six darts at a double in the first leg. The man from Stockport rallied however, hitting eight maximums to bring the match back level at 5-5.
Aspinall then responded to the Scot’s ninety-five finish to win the final leg to claim a 6-6 draw with an average pushing 108. With both players coming off stage pleased with coming away with a point it isn’t hard to imagine how much quality the two of them were producing:
1. Michael Van Gerwen vs Gerwyn Price: Players’ Championship Six Final
The second match in the list from the Players Championship events from Wigan this year – the final of PC Six saw the MvG lose to the ‘Iceman’ 8-7 in the most thrilling contest of the year.
With over 1,112 180’s thrown over the two days, as well as two nine-dart legs (from MvG and Steve Lennon) the Sunday final had a lot to live up to. It did not disappoint.
Price raced into a 4 – 1 lead, continuing to show the class that has brought him up to number three in the PDC Order of Merit. MvG managed to bring the tie back to 5 – 4, only for the Welshman to win to extend his lead to 7 – 4. As Price struggled to close the game, MvG won legs in eleven, fifteen, and eleven darts again to send the match to a deciding leg for what would have been his first title in 2020.
Price however, took the £10,000 cheque by hitting the bulls eye to complete a 94-checkout with the big Dutchman sat on double eighteen.
Price continues to ooze confidence and class – stating after his victory “I truly believe now that if I hit my double I will win matches against Michael, Peter [Wright] or whoever; my scoring game is up there, if not better than them.”
So there are James’s picks for the best viewing of 2020, so far!
Many thanks to James for his contribution. Perhaps you have a different pick of the 2020 crop? Maybe you have a ‘Six of the Best’ or ‘Ones to Watch’ of your own to offer to those currently stuck within four walls?
Get in touch with your suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org or @Darts_World
Johnny Clayton landed his first nine-darter in a televised tournament as he won through to the Ladbrokes UK Open quarter-finals on Saturday.
The Welshman achieved the feat in leg 12 of his 10-8 win over Chris Dobey in Saturday evening’s sixth round at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort, following two 180s with a 141 checkout.
He went on to win the game – despite Dobey’s brave fightback from 5-0 down to pull back to 9-8 with finishes of 117 and 104 – to move into the last eight for the first time in the UK Open, where he now challenges for the £100,000 title in Sunday’s final stages.
“It’s a very special moment for me and I’m chuffed to bits,” said Clayton, who defeated Joe Cullen 10-4 earlier on Saturday in round four. “There were loads of Welsh fans watching too, which was great.
“I’ve never hit one in a tournament before – I’ve had a few in practice but only my dog was watching, so to do it in front of a crowd has shown that I can do it.”
Clayton is now aiming to claim his maiden televised title on Sunday, and added: “I’m on the big stage tomorrow and I can’t wait. I’ve done well here before and I’d love to go all the way.”
Clayton’s nine-darter was the ninth in the history of the UK Open, and the first since Michael van Gerwen achieved the feat in 2016.
It was also the second in a televised event inside a fortnight, following Michael Smith’s nine-darter in the Premier League in Dublin, as well as being the 13th in a PDC event so far in 2020.
Clayton was joined in winning through to the quarter-finals by fellow Welshman Gerwyn Price, who edged out Germany’s Gabriel Clemens 10-9 by landing an 11-darter in the deciding leg of their contest.
Price, who turned 35 on Saturday, is aiming to win his third televised title by claiming UK Open glory, and said: “It’s a nice birthday present for me!
“I’ve played well in all three games I’ve played so far but in the first two I took my chances. I missed some doubles early on in this game and he got in front of me.
“He was full of confidence and played well but I stuck in there and I’m thankful that I had such a good last leg. I’m through and I can look forward to Sunday now.”
Jamie Hughes booked his place in a first quarter-final at a televised PDC event with a 10-5 defeat of Mensur Suljovic.
Michael van Gerwen and Chris Dobey produced the performances of the day on a thrilling opening to the Ladbrokes UK Open at Butlin’s Minehead Resort on Friday.
The 159-player, multi-board tournament began with a bumper day of darts, with the opening four rounds seeing the field whittled down to 32 competitors who will return on Saturday afternoon to continue the battle for the £100,000 title.
Friday afternoon’s early rounds included first round defeats for female duo Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrock – to Mike De Decker and Kyle McKinstry respectively – as well as Brisbane Darts Masters champion Damon Heta, against Scott Waites.
2012 UK Open champion Robert Thornton was a third round casualty, while former finalists Barrie Bates and Andy Hamilton lost out in round two.
The arrival of the world’s top 32 players in Friday evening’s fourth round saw the drama increase further as reigning champion Nathan Aspinall drew world number one Van Gerwen in a crunch clash.
A high-quality affair saw neither player able to open up more than a two-leg lead throughout, before two-time champion Van Gerwen eventually closed out a 10-8 success with a 105.5 average.
Van Gerwen will now play Jason Lowe in Saturday afternoon’s fifth round, after the Cradley Heath thrower – a Tour Card winner at Qualifying School in January – defeated Cody Harris, Jonathan Worsley and 2014 UK Open champion Adrian Lewis to reach the last 32.
Chris Dobey and Krzysztof Ratajski both averaged over 105 in an outstanding fourth round tie which saw the Bedlington ace come from 9-8 down to win 10-9, taking out a 91 bull finish in the deciding leg of a thriller.
World number three Gerwyn Price was another impressive performer as he averaged 104 in his dominant 10-3 defeat of Danny Noppert, and the Welshman will now play Ricky Evans after the Kettering ace overcame Joe Murnan 10-4.
2017 UK Open champion Peter Wright emerged victorious from another tight contest, averaging over 102 in his 10-8 win over Glen Durrant.
The World Champion now plays Ian White, who averaged almost 100 in a 10-6 win over emerging talent Harry Ward.
2018 UK Open winner Gary Anderson gained revenge for his loss to Steve Beaton in this event 12 months ago with a 10-7 victory as he progressed to a tie with Plymouth’s Simon Stevenson, who saw off both Kevin Doets and Darren Webster in a deciding leg.
Former World Champion Rob Cross, last year’s runner-up to Aspinall in Minehead, hit back from 6-5 down to win 10-7 against Dutch youngster Niels Zonneveld.
Cross will now face Michael Smith in another plum fifth round tie, with the world number five having overcome James Wilson 10-4.
Ireland’s Willie O’Connor fought off a strong fightback from Dave Chisnall to claim a narrow 10-8 win, with the Morecambe ace having begun the game wearing glasses, removed them at 5-0 down before hitting back from a seven-leg deficit to trail 8-7 at one stage.
Stephen Bunting survived three missed match darts from Vincent van der Voort as he progressed to a meeting with St Helens rival Alan Tabern, who won four games on Friday to reach the last 32.
Welsh student Lewis Williams and Essex decorator Rhys Hayden were the best-performing players from the 16 Rileys Amateur Qualifiers, as both won through to the last 64.
Williams saw off Robert Owen, Adrian Gray and Jose De Sousa before losing out 10-9 to Steve West, while Hayden saw off Jamie Clark, James Richardson and Toni Alcinas before his run was ended by Dimitri Van den Bergh.
Northern Ireland’s McKinstry followed up his win over Sherrock with defeats of Jason Heaver, Stephen Burton and Bradley Brooks as he moved through to the last 32.
He now plays Martin Schindler, who averaged over 102 in a superb performance against Justin Pipe in round four as the German moved into Saturday’s second day.
Two-time UK Open champion James Wade saw off Scotland’s John Henderson 10-5, and the left-hander now comes up against Kim Huybrechts after the Belgian ace saw off Robert Thornton and Ryan Searle on Friday.
Daryl Gurney, Jamie Hughes, Dirk van Duijvenbode and Gabriel Clemens were other 10-9 winners in the fourth round, while Jonny Clayton ended the hopes of two-time Lakeside Champion Waites.
Max Hopp withdrew from the event on Friday morning due to glandular fever. As a result, Martin Atkins – who won three games in the afternoon session – received a Bye in the fourth round draw.
Saturday will see the afternoon session’s fifth round followed in the evening session by the sixth round, before Sunday sees the remaining eight players return to compete for the £100,000 title.
So the World Championships are over for another year; one a spectacle, the other, well I’m not so sure…
But of course the one person who hogged all the headlines was Milton Keynes’ Fallon Sherrock and deservedly so. What a performance! You don’t need me to tell you the story. We all know that Fallon became the first female player to beat a top male player in a World Championship and went on to beat another before falling to a third. In all my years of writing about the ladies game I’ve never known anything like it and I guess neither have you.
The media response to Fallon’s breaking through the ‘glass ceiling’ was immense, even warranting column inches in The Economist magazine! Journalist Bo Franklin wrote
Ms Sherrock, a far cry from the beer-bellied blokes who used to typify the game, symbolises how, in recent years, darts has gone from a peculiar British pastime to an entertainment juggernaut with transatlantic ambitions.
This has been great for Fallon who will surely go on to even better things but it’s also so good for women’s darts. Now that women’s darts has attracted the world’s attention what will happen? How can the momentum be maintained? I was hoping that it would start with impressive ladies’ performances in the BDO World Championships which largely, I have to say, disappointed.
Sadly Fallon’s success was, if only temporarily, overshadowed by the BDO having to slash the prize money in its World Championships something that, it appears, warranted Fallon withdrawing from that tournament. Part of me felt disappointed for her and the sport of darts but the other part said “Good on you Fallon. You now have control.”
Fallon will now work with her management and the PDC (probably harder than she has ever worked before) and who knows where it may lead. Of course, other women have preceded her by qualifying for the PDC World Championships. I expect the best of them, including Lisa Ashton, Anastasia Dobromyslova and Mikuru Suzuki, to lead the rest of the pack into this new era of women’s darts. If the opportunities present themselves then I am absolutely sure they will embrace them and that many others will then follow.
Fallon has shown that it can be done. (We all knew it could. We just didn’t know exactly when.) A top woman player can beat top men. Now all we need is for a woman to go one better and become PDC World Champion, I guess not yet awhile, but having said that who thought Fallon could beat Ted Evetts, let alone 11th seed Mensur Suljovic and then give Chris Dobey a run for his money? Come on. Be honest!………….
Patrick goes on to discuss Peter Wright’s victory, the BDO Championship and much more.
Patrick’s column and newsletter is supported by Winmau
Find more of Dr Darts work, and check out his monthly newsletter, at patrickchaplin.com
The nine Challengers who will feature in the opening nine nights of the 2020 Unibet Premier League have been confirmed.
In a return to last year’s popular format, nine players will compete under the re-branded ‘Challengers‘ banner, with John Henderson and Fallon Sherrock already confirmed as guest players for the opening two nights.
Scottish crowd favourite Henderson is set to get the campaign off to a bang at the new P&J Live in Aberdeen, before history-maker Sherrock becomes the first woman to star in the Premier League in Nottingham.
The Premier League roadshow then rolls on to Cardiff and Dublin where Welsh number two Jonny Clayton and Irish World Cup runner-up William O’Connor will make their Premier League debuts respectively.
World Youth Champion Luke Humphries will feature in Exeter, while Merseyside man Stephen Bunting will make his Premier League comeback in Liverpool.
Two-time televised semi-finalist Chris Dobey will hope to enjoy another memorable night in Newcastle, before Dutch duo Jeffrey de Zwaan and Jermaine Wattimena entertain the sea of orange in Rotterdam.
Points won by Challengers will not count towards the league table, however their opponents will retain any points gained from the matches. Challengers will receive financial bonuses for winning or drawing their matches.
Following the opening nine nights of fixtures, the player placed ninth on the Premier League table following Judgement Night in Rotterdam on March 26 will be eliminated from the competition.
The remaining eight players will then battle it out from Nights Ten to 16 in the race to win places in the Play-Offs at The O2 on Thursday May 21, with newly-crowned World Champion Peter Wright and world number one Michael van Gerwen among the regular nine players.
Fans in Belfast and Glasgow will also have the chance to welcome home local heroes in Daryl Gurney, Gary Anderson and Wright, while Gerwyn Price will entertain a passionate Welsh crowd in Cardiff.
Nathan Aspinall and Glen Durrant are the new additions to the Premier League line-up in 2020, while former finalists Rob Cross and Michael Smith are among the returning stars.
The 2020 Unibet Premier League will be played from February 6 – May 21 2020 at venues across Europe.
The tournament 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.
2020 Unibet Premier League field Michael van Gerwen Peter Wright Gerwyn Price Rob Cross Michael Smith Gary Anderson Daryl Gurney Nathan Aspinall Glen Durrant
2020 Unibet Premier League Challengers John Henderson (Aberdeen, Night One) Fallon Sherrock (Nottingham, Night Two) Jonny Clayton (Cardiff, Night Three) William O’Connor (Dublin, Night Four) Luke Humphries (Exeter, Night Five) Stephen Bunting (Liverpool, Night Six) Chris Dobey (Newcastle, Night Seven) Jeffrey de Zwaan (Rotterdam, Night Eight) Jermaine Wattimena (Rotterdam, Night Nine)
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