Elusive Exclusive: Superchin Rested & Ready!

You could be forgiven for thinking that Daryl Gurney had vanished into thin air over recent weeks. Unlike many darts stars, Superchin has been barely visible recently. After poor facilities meant he missed the Home Tour and has hardly appeared in the media. Darts World’s reader contributor Elias Wilhelm was keen to track down the elusive two-time major winner:

DARYL GURNEY was a whisker away from the final of the World Matchplay last year, but he lost out after an incredible chase by Rob Cross. It was one of his most painful defeats. He wants to do better this year.


In a short conversation Elias the World Grand Prix Champion admits that he enjoyed the time-out a lot. He was able to “spend more time with his son after the three and a half years of non-stop playing”.


The Northern Irishman added that he hadn’t had a dart in his hand for a long time. It is only very recently that he started his preparations for the continuation of the Pro Tour, which begins with the Summer Series on July 8.


“To be honest, I enjoyed the time not playing. […] I didn’t
touch a dart for 12 weeks. I’ve just started playing again.”


Daryl did not participate in the Home Tour due to his bad internet. In addition, his set-up has been temporarily hanging on his father’s bathroom door. Laughing, he said that there would be problems if someone needed the bathroom.


In addition to the Summer Series, the World Matchplay will also take place in mid July. Whether spectators are admitted will only be announced at short notice. In this respect, ‘Superchin’ agrees completely with the decisions taken by the PDC.

He has no doubt about what Barry Hearn and Matthew Porter determine:


“I think, Barry [Hearn] and Matthew [Porter] know what They are doing.

I trust them.”


Although it will be hard for the Players Championship winner to “get used to strict conditions”, he said that he has no other choice if he wants to play again.

Above all, Daryl is looking forward to the World Matchplay, which will start on July 18. Last he lost to Rob Cross in the semifinals despite an interim 7-leg lead. Now he is more hungry than ever for the Phil Taylor-Trophy.

“Yes, I’m very hungry. Especially after what happened last
year.”

Despite this, he yearns most for winning the World Championships. He never made it there further than the quarterfinals. He often lost in the first rounds of the tournament. He’d give anything to call himself a world champion:

“I would swap everything I’ve won to be called World Champion. I yearn for it more than any other title.”


Daryl will try to return to ‘fitness’ upcoming in the Summer Series. Afterward, it will be very exciting to see if the Winmau thrower can do better at the World Matchplay than last year if he can count himself among the glorious winners of the Phil Taylor Trophy.


Pix: Taylor Lanning.

Revisited: 2019 Premier League Play-Off Night!

Twelve months ago MVG reasserted his dominance, over the Darting World, with another Premier League triumph. Our reader James Smith gives us his revisionist view:

Today, Thursday 21st May, would have been the day of the 2020 Premier League Darts Play-Offs at the O2 Arena, London, following a rigorous 17 nights of darts which began on 6th February in Aberdeen.

Would MVG have retain his Premier League Title, would Peter Wright have added another to his growing collection or would Glen Durrant have carried through his superb start? Sadly we will never know.

Sadly, the unfortunate and tragic situation we find ourselves in, means there will be no darts tonight. To fill the void, here is a look back at the 2019 Play-Offs.

12 months ago, Michael van Gerwen, Daryl Gurney, Rob Cross, and James Wade made the trip to London for the final night of action. Gurney was the only member of the quartet to have never made it to Play-Offs night previously and was the underdog. Cross had made the semi-finals at the first attempt the year before, losing 10-6 to van Gerwen in the semi-final.

James Wade had also made the Play-Offs night on his first attempt. Way back in 2008 he lost in the final 16-8 to Phil Taylor. He went one better the year later with a 13-8 victory over Mervyn King to lift the prestigious title.

Van Gerwen’s Premier League pedigree cannot be understated. Since he first appeared in the competition in 2013, he has made the final every year. After winning at the first attempt in 2013, van Gerwen lost back-to-back finals to Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld. His subsequent three consecutive titles meant that in 2019 he was a strong favourite and brimming with confidence. Quite rightly too, as his performances in each final, even when he lost, were sublime. His lowest three-dart average in any Premier League final came in 2014 where he recorded an excellent 102.98; whereas in 2018 he had brushed aside Michael Smith with a staggering 112.37.

This did not quite translate in his 2019 semi-final performance, where an inconsistent and patchy performance led to a 96.48 average, which was only just enough to sneak past Gurney 10-7 in a below-par match.

The MACHINE HAD SURPRISED MANY BY GETTING THIS FAR. (PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG) JAMES WADE IN ACTION.

Cross looked much more assured in a comprehensive 10-5 victory over Wade, where the 2018 World Champion recorded an average of 100.31.

Going in to the final, one would have been forgiven for considering van Gerwen the clear favourite. The head-to-head of the two players was very much in the Dutchman’s favour, having lost only three times to Cross in 18 previous meetings. That being said, one of those three defeats was in a World Championship semi-final, so there was little doubt that Cross could produce high-quality darts against van Gerwen on the big stage.

In the Premier League, however, Cross had enjoyed no such luck. The Englishman’s first-ever game in the competition came in 2018 and resulted in a 7-2 loss to van Gerwen in Dublin, followed by a 7-2 loss in Birmingham and then the aforementioned 10-6 loss in the semi-final. En route to Play-Offs night in 2019, Cross and van Gerwen had alternated between first and second place in the league table from week six onwards, but the results between the two players had been similarly one-sided; van Gerwen enjoying another 7-2 victory in Dublin, and an emphatic 8-2 victory in Cardiff. Despite those results, with the dominance of the two players throughout the tournament so clear for all to see, this was the final that the majority of darts fans wanted and expected.

CROSS IMPRESSED IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THE FINAL. (PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG ) ROB CROSS IN ACTION.

The final, however, went along with the form book. Van Gerwen started the final with a fifteen-dart break of throw, before moving in to a 5-1 lead; a run of six legs in which Cross only had three darts at a double. It wasn’t until leg seven where Voltage got his game together, hitting his first maximum and taking the leg on his favourite double eighteen. Cross then won the next two legs as both players pushed their average over 102.

Perhaps the turning point of the match came in the tenth leg where Cross uncharacteristically missed three darts at double eighteen to level the match, allowing van Gerwen to swoop with a crucial checkout of 74 to take a 6-4 lead at the break.

Cross never recovered and was to take only one more leg in the match, ultimately going down 11-5. Mighty Mike raced to his fifth Premier League crown in quick time, hitting a 130 checkout on double eight to guarantee the £250,000 winner’s cheque.

Despite another defeat at the hands of the world number one, Cross could be proud of his performance. Whilst he missed some key doubles and failed to pressurise van Gerwen’s throw at times, he did manage an average of 100.98. Moreover, at 5-1 down, when he looked almost out of the match at a very early stage, he managed to turn his game around and all but level. Needless to say, he showed all the class that has pushed him in to the top five of the PDC Order of Merit, but, like every other player in the world, he’ll need to show more to topple the dominant Dutchman.


Thanks to James for another excellent read.

Additional editing – James Lincoln

Practice Time – Just Can’t Get Enough? When Should You Stop?

A while back, in our ‘Coaching Corner’ we highlighted a piece from Mikko Laiho and Winmau in which they highlight the ideal time to be spent practising and some of the reasoning behind it. To help those will too much time of their hands (due to Covid-19) they have re packaged the information in a more accessible style:

Although our resident coach does not agree with every word (how many coaches does it take to change a light bulb?…….) he certainly thinks it valuable and a great starting point.


You can see the original article at winmau.com

Superchin Stays Up To Speed!

DARYL GURNEY is staying in top gear during lockdown by tinkering with his huge classic car collection! The Northern Irishman is back at home with his family as the darts world has been shut down because of the Covid-19.

https://www.reddragondarts.com

Superchin has had some unexpected extra hours in his favourite place, at home with his collection of old classic cars.

He has an incredible array of 30 motors including Minis, Vauxhalls and Subaru’s to keep himself busy, adding: “All Gurneys are all petrolheads. I like welding and bodywork in the workshop. If you own a Vauxhall, you need a good welder!

“I just love driving around in the old cars. It’s nice to have something else to think about apart from darts. It certainly keeps my mind busy and there’s always something to do.”

Gurney, 34, is also urging people to stay safe and listen to Government guidance of social distancing so that life can get back to normal as soon as possible.

He said: “These are obviously weird times for everyone. But people need to listen to the advice and stay at home.

“I really hope they do because the sooner we stick to advice, the sooner life will get back to normal. No one has been through this sort of situation before.

“I think people will learn to appreciate how life has been after this. To have freedom and be able to work is actually a privilege and I think we are all learning the hard way.

“It’s also really bizarre not to have any sport to watch either. Life is really boring without sport so we need it back as soon as possible!”

Daryl’s dart is available in multiple versions, including the recent black edition

In a curious way the shutdown came at the right time for Gurney after a luckless start to his Premier League campaign.

The double major winner has been left stranded at the bottom of the league with two draws from six matches and no wins thus far.

If things had not gone his way, there’s a good chance that the popular Derry star could have been eliminated in Rotterdam this week.

But he vowed: “I don’t think like that at all. In my mind I was playing pretty decent but not getting the breaks.

“I’ve had two nine-darters against me this year already, how’s that for luck!

“I felt the results would come. I had a very decent UK Open but ran into Michael van Gerwen when he was on fire in the semi-finals.

“I thought I could get results in Newcastle and Rotterdam to avoid getting eliminated but we’ll never know now.

“At some stage the Premier League will return I hope and I can have a fresh start. That might help me a bit, it might not. So much can happen within a week in darts, let alone months.

“I’ve got time now to practice solidly and have a clean slate when we return, hopefully that will be soon but the health of people comes first before darts or sport in general.”


Pix by Taylor Lanning

Original and Daryl Gurney product range here.

Winmau Stars Offer Top Tips For Staying Sharp!

Stay Sharp at Home – Top Tips from The Worlds Very Best:

23 March, 2020
Endurance at the top of darts is often talked about as a physical phenomenon; the ability to resist the effects of fatigue for a prolonged period of pressure. The arm dropping lower. The increase in heart rate. All things that dart players practice to prevent. But what about mental endurance? Is that even a thing? And can we practice it?

Who better to ask than the World No.1 Michael Van Gerwen, World No.7 Daryl Gurney, The World’s Top Technical coach Steve Feeney and GoDartsPro practice expert Anders Östman. They all know a thing or two about major event endurance. And there’s no doubt in any of their minds that the mental aspect of the game can make all the difference between winning and losing.

Michael said “My practice sessions need to be with a calm mind where possible, but having a tired mind isn’t a reason to skip practice, as the chances are you will have to play many games feeling tired”.

Daryl added “For me one obvious way is practicing longer and harder when I don’t really want too. Especially if you’re training for a TV Major as you need to be able to learn to relax and recover at different times in the event and these longer sessions can help that”.

What both agreed was that the mental fortitude to believe you can overcome anything is immensely important, no matter what setbacks are thrown your way, as you can guarantee in darts they will keep coming.

Your 6 Key Takeaways for Mental Strength

The Winning Mindset

  1. Practice hard, play easy

Steve Feeney’s mantra for all his players is to practice for the mental challenges you will face on game day. If that’s a short format league singles or 701 doubles, prepare your mind for the game ahead.

Steve said “Make sure you play at your pace to find comfort when the discomfort of pressure comes on. And practice long to get used to the endurance that you’ll need to reach your peak”.

  1. Get on the board all the time

Basically, if you can’t practice like it, you can’t play well like it says Michael. So whether your tired, or a bit ill or just feeling stiff, hit the board in all conditions. That way, when how you feel changes, you know you can endure whatever is thrown at you on with an MvG style calm mind

  1. Find your reason

Anders’ research has found that darts gets really under our skin and we all have totally different reasons for playing.

He said “No matter if it’s to qualify for an event, win an event, hit a winning double, to show ourselves what we can achieve, to be part of a team, that’s all powerful ammo in the fight for mental strength. Use it. Feel what you love most and let it push you forward”.

  1. Know when to relax

Michael is probably the best in the world at knowing when to relax and what it means a key mental strength. MvG said “Taking the whole day off before any big game is the best advice and be cool with it as at this point you can’t get any better and will only drain your mental strength and adrenaline from the next day”.

  1. Keep things simple

While the mind is anything but simple, Daryl’s tip about keeping things simple is a valid one. Simplicity is recommended for calming the mind for maximum performance and it should be as simple as thinking about where the next dart should go and nothing else.

Not winning, not losing, just visualising where to put the next dart.

  1. Focus on the positives and try to smile

If practice is going badly, or your losing a game don’t worry you will be back with renewed motivation as a result. Refer back to Michael’s tip and remind yourself of the great players before you that have all suffered setbacks and defeats and what they went on to do afterwards.

Have fun. Keep working hard. And remember to relax.

Original Article :http://winmau. com

Premier League Table – Durrant Stays Top!

After the latest round, of matches, Glen Durrant retains his position at the top of the Unibet Premier League table. MVG is second, a single point behind, while three other players are another point adrift.

Daryl Gurney continues to struggle. The Irishman is well off the pace with only two points. Superchin is turning round his season, in other arenas, but the Premier League is proving a tough challenge this year.

Thursday March 12
Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena

Michael Smith 4-7 Peter Wright
Daryl Gurney 5-7 Glen Durrant
Gerwyn Price 5-7 Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross 6-6 Stephen Bunting
Gary Anderson 6-6 Nathan Aspinall

Unibet Premier League

Premier League – Bunting Challenges in Home City. Night Six Preview.

The battle to avoid elimination from the Unibet Premier League season continues on Thursday with Night Six at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, where Stephen Bunting also makes a Challenger appearance.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG
STEPHEN BUNTING IN ACTION

With four games remaining before Judgement Night sees the ninth-placed player eliminated from the Premier League, Daryl Gurney faces a crucial clash with table-topper Glen Durrant in Liverpool.

The Northern Irish ace picked up a second draw of the Premier League season last week in Exeter, before enjoying a confidence-boosting run to the semi-finals of the UK Open over the weekend.

“I haven’t given up on the Premier League yet,” said Gurney. “I’m playing well, I’m still getting my confidence back and hopefully in Liverpool I can get two points.

Superchin is not giving up, on the Premier League, just yet!

“Glen’s top of the Premier League and he’s going to be refreshed. He had a bad draw in the UK Open against Peter and lost on Friday but it was a high-quality game.

“He’ll be ready for Thursday but I’ve taken some confidence from the UK Open. In the last few weeks I’ve played really well, even in the Premier League. I’m still trying to look at the positives.”

A win for Gurney would see him draw level on four points with Rob Cross ahead of the 2019 finalist’s clash with Bunting later in the evening in Liverpool.

Cross took victory when the pair met in the UK Open on Saturday, continuing his recent return to form after first-game exits at the World Championship and The Masters.

“In the last two or three months I’ve changed everything, but I feel so much better for it and maybe my results haven’t reflected that yet, but when it does click I believe I’m going to be better than ever,” said Cross.

“It’s getting there now  My practice game is absolutely lovely, I’ve probably just lacked a bit of confidence on stage or on the ProTour, coming out a little bit nervous.”

Cross added: “It’s going to be an amazing night. Stephen’s Liverpool through and through and I’ve got to get on with my job. I believe I’ll be good this week.”

Luke Humphries became the first Challenger to win on the Premier League stage by defeating Gary Anderson in Exeter, and St Helens’ Bunting is hoping to follow suit in front of his home appearance.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Bunting, who previously competed in the Premier League in 2015. “I’m proud to be associated with the Premier League again.

“Playing in Liverpool is a massive achievement in itself, and to be back in the Premier League shows how well my form’s picked up over the last couple of years.

“This last year-and-a-half I’ve really stepped it up again. I’m putting the hours in, I’m loving the game again and I’m reaping the rewards and playing some of the best darts I’ve ever played.”

St Helens’ Michael Smith also gets the chance to star in his local arena this week, opening the event against Peter Wright as he bids to continue his strong recent form.

Smith is having a major impact on this years Unibet Premier League!

Smith hit a nine-darter against Gurney a fortnight ago in Dublin before seeing off Michael van Gerwen in Exeter, and the 2018 finalist has now won three successive games in a fine run.

“It’s the happiest I’ve been playing darts,” he admitted. “There’s no pressure on me – I’m there to do a job and hopefully I can keep winning.

“I want to be competing in the Premier League all season so I want to make sure I get past the cut-off and then focus on the top four.”

Van Gerwen takes on Gerwyn Price in another huge clash in Liverpool, with the pair having met in the final of the UK Open on Sunday in a contest which was edged by the Dutchman.

“When Gerwyn is on his game, he’s a phenomenal player,” said Van Gerwen. “He’s going to win more tournaments in the future – it was my turn on Sunday.

“I had to work hard at the weekend and it gives me great confidence. I’m in good form and I want to continue this now. I feel hungry now and I want to win more.”

The night’s other tie in Liverpool sees two-time Premier League champion Gary Anderson up against US Darts Masters winner Nathan Aspinall.

Tickets for the Unibet Premier League’s visit to the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool are still available through mandsbankarena.com or by calling 0344 8000 400.

2020 Unibet Premier League

Night Six, Thursday March 23

M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool

  • Michael Smith v Peter Wright
  • Daryl Gurney v Glen Durrant
  • Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen
  • Rob Cross v Stephen Bunting
  • Gary Anderson v Nathan Aspinall

Tickets: mandsbankarena.com or 0344 8000 400.


MVG Claims UK Open Crown – World No.1 Edges Out Iceman After 9-Dart Glory.

Michael van Gerwen followed a sensational nine-dart finish with a third Ladbrokes UK Open title in a glorious Sunday at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort as he defeated Gerwyn Price 11-9 in the final.

LADBROKES UK OPEN 2020 BUTLINS RESORT, MINEHEAD, PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG FINAL MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V GERWYN PRICE MICHAEL VAN GERWEN WINS

Van Gerwen had endured three months without a tournament win since claiming November’s Players Championship Finals title in Minehead with a comeback defeat of Price.

He had also landed a nine-darter during that event, and repeated the feat with a perfect leg during his 11-3 semi-final romp against Daryl Gurney.

Van Gerwen had earlier averaged almost 111 in his quarter-final defeat of Rob Cross, and came from 5-1 down against Price in the final to scoop the £100,000 title and complete a UK Open hat-trick.

“It’s an incredible win and it means a lot to me to win this tournament,” said Van Gerwen. “I’ve had a phenomenal tournament and the pressure was on me.

“It was a hard day for me, I had to play three Premier League players and it was not easy but I played really good darts and didn’t do a lot wrong.

“The nine-darter was fantastic but with the way I was playing it was just a matter of time. That’s just one leg though and I had to keep my focus.

“Gerwyn had his chances in the final but I took good advantage and I never missed a chance. That was important, so I only can be happy with this.”

Michael van Gerwen (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)
Pic: PDC/L Lustig

Van Gerwen opened the final with a 180 as a 13-darter gave him the lead, only for Price to clinically storm into a 5-1 lead, with his accuracy on tops including checkouts of 105 and 97 as he moved clear.

Van Gerwen punished missed doubles from the Welshman in three of the next four legs as he pulled back to 6-4, and after a 13-darter from Price the world number one capitalised on four further misses to reduce the gap to 7-6.

A tense 14th leg saw another four misses allow Van Gerwen a let-off as the Dutchman levelled on double two, and when a further two darts at double went astray from the Welshman, he saw his rival edge 8-7 up.

Checkouts of 136 and 97 moved Van Gerwen to the brink of victory at 10-7, and though Price replied with finishes of 94 and 80 the Welshman was unable to keep his hopes alive as a missed bull allowed his rival to take out 66 for glory.

Van Gerwen had gone through the first two months of the year without a tournament win for the first time in nine years, with a change of darts leading to mounting discussion over the world number one’s form.

“This was a really important win for me,” added Van Gerwen. “It’s nothing to do with my darts and everyone knows that.

“If I play my game, no-one will beat me and I showed that today, but I need to do that more regularly. I can say whatever I want, but you have to show it on the dartboard.

“In this tournament I showed I was the best – my strength is keeping players under pressure leg after leg, and I did that today.

“Of course you put extra pressure on yourself. I played four Premier League players in the tournament and I didn’t have the most easy draw, but to do this well and win this title means a lot to me.

“It feels good and I want to win more.”

Gerwyn Price & Michael van Gerwen (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)
Gerwyn Price reached the final,after a strong weekend, but was edged out 9-11 after a dramatic match

The defeat for Price saw him lose out in the UK Open final for a second time in four years, following his 2017 reverse to Peter Wright, as he missed out on a third televised title.

However, the Dutchman’s superb displays in defeating Dimitri Van den Bergh and Jonny Clayton with averages above 102 showed his status as a leading challenger for the sport’s top honours.

“Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but I’ll move onto the next one,” said Price. “I think Michael would agree that I probably lost that game.

“I bombed numerous opportunities – my scoring game was there but in three or four legs I bombed doubles. I could have been 9-6 up, but that’s the way darts goes.

“If I hit my doubles, I think possibly I am the best player in the world – but at the moment Michael’s there.”

Daryl Gurney (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)
Daryl Gurnet fought to regain his elite form after a tough start to 2020.
Pic: L Lustig PDC

Gurney secured his spot in a second UK Open semi-final with a narrow 10-9 win over Jelle Klaasen in a dramatic last eight contest, with the Dutchman leading 6-4 before losing out in the deciding leg.

Clayton also won through a tight quarter-final, surviving eight missed match darts from Jamie Hughes in their contest, despite the Tipton thrower coming back from 5-1 down to take the game all the way.

Hughes was appearing in his first quarter-final at a PDC televised event, while Klaasen had reached the last eight for the first time in a televised event for over three years in an encouraging return to form.

2019 UK Open finalist Cross and Belgium’s Van den Bergh completed the quarter-final line-up, with the latter having enjoyed his best run in the tournament as he reached the last eight.

2020 Ladbrokes UK Open
Sunday March 8
Afternoon Session 

Quarter-Finals
Gerwyn Price 10-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Michael van Gerwen 10-4 Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney 10-9 Jelle Klaasen
Jonny Clayton 10-9 Jamie Hughes

Evening Session 
Semi-Finals
Gerwyn Price 11-4 Jonny Clayton
Michael van Gerwen 11-3 Daryl Gurney – Michael van Gerwen hits nine-darter

Final
Michael van Gerwen 11-9 Gerwyn Price


Pics – L Lustig (PDC)

Uk Open Semi Finals Confirmed. MVG vs Superchin and Price vs Clayton.

The Ladbrokes UK Open concludes on Sunday in Minehead with the quarter-finals, semi-finals & final.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND 2 GERWEN PRICE V WILLIAM O’CONNOR GERWEN PRICE IN ACTION

Following two days of action in the 159-player, multi-board event, the action centres on the Main Stage for the final rounds.

The afternoon session features the quarter-finals, with the semi-finals and final to follow in the evening session.

Quarter-Finals Round-Up
Gerwyn Price reached his third UK Open semi-final in the past four years by continuing his fine form in a 10-5 win over Dimitri Van den Bergh.

The Welshman took out 144 and 130 on his way to a 5-2 lead before Van den Bergh pulled back to 6-4, only for finishes of 109 and 96 to break the Belgian’s resistance as Price pulled away for victory.

Price will now be appearing in his fifth successive televised ranking semi-final in a run which began at the 2019 European Championship and includes the Grand Slam of Darts, Players Championship Finals and World Championship.

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN IN ACTION
PIC;LAWRENCE

Majestic Michael van Gerwen averaged almost 111 with the performance of the tournament so far to book his spot in the semi-finals by defeating Rob Cross 10-4.

Despite an early 127 bull finish from Van Gerwen, Cross took out 100 for a 12-darter to lead 3-2 – only to see the world number one hit top gear with an imperious run of legs.

Van Gerwen won eight of the next nine legs in between 11 and 14 darts in an unplayable spell as he closed out the win in style.

Daryl Gurney continued his battling form as he came from two legs behind to defeat Jelle Klaasen in a deciding leg to secure his second appearance in the UK Open semi-finals.

Klaasen secured an early break in establishing a 3-1 lead, and took out 108 in moving 6-4 up, before a 113 finish from Gurney sparked a run of three legs as he moved in front.

Klaasen levelled with an 11-darter and also took out 90 on the bull as the pair traded legs through to a decider, which Gurney began with scores of 180 and 140 to give himself the breathing space to eventually land double four for victory.

Jonny Clayton survived EIGHT missed match darts from Jamie Hughes in a thrilling ending to their quarter-final as the Welshman completed the last four line-up.

JAMIE HUGHES IN ACTION
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Clayton dominated the early stages, with four successive legs moving him 5-1 up before a 101 checkout for a 12-darter moved him 6-2 to the good.

Hughes pulled back to level after 12 legs and moved 8-7 up with a superb bull finish.

Clayton hit back with a 100 finish and led 9-8 before Hughes forced a decider, but the Tipton ace saw his chance for victory slip away with eight missed doubles as the Welshman clawed his way back into the leg and capitalised with double 16.

2020 Ladbrokes UK Open
Sunday March 8
Afternoon Session 

Quarter-Finals
Gerwyn Price 10-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Michael van Gerwen 10-4 Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney 10-9 Jelle Klaasen
Jonny Clayton 10-9 Jamie Hughes

Evening Session (1900 GMT start)
Semi-Finals
Gerwyn Price v Jonny Clayton
Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney 

Final
Price/Clayton v Van Gerwen/Gurney

Format
Quarter-Finals – Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals & Final – Best of 21 legs

Daryl Gurney – Pressure, Practice and Passion.

Multiple major winner Daryl Gurney recently discussed a wide variety of topics for winmau.tv. Superchin covers a raft of areas:

His Throw:

When questioned, on how he puts together his throw, Gurney stresses the importance of being centred, on the oche, in order to keep equal distance for all areas. Once he locates the centre, Daryl allows instinct to guide his body into position. When discussing his grip the thrty-three year old describes a pencil style hold, with two fingers and a thumb on the dart, as well as how he uses the differing grip area mainly as a guide to where he is holding the dart.

Gurney seems to use the front finger to generate some of the power to allow for his shorter backswing. The key seems to be a balance of the dart on the thumb in order to not over grip the dart.

Unusually, Daryl discusses his routine between throwing and how to vary your approach according to the pace of the opponent. Many players could pay attention to this in order to help with their routine and concentration.

His preference for the longer format is quite clear as he feels that other players can shoot their bolt when asked to compete over first to ten rather than best of eleven used on the Pro Tour. This makes sense for a player not dependent on rhythm and who does not depend upon streaks of exceptional performance.

When discussing how he goes through a process, in different circumstances, Gurney reveals himself to be far more thoughtful and considered than, perhaps, he initially appears. His thoughts on patience and taking an extra breath are ones that should be considered by all players.

Practise:

Daryl’s general practise discussion is good, he does not try to over present it, he uses the round the board in doubles excersize before hitting up to 20 legs of 501 before working on finishes of 121- 135 or so. He adjusts this to include 40 – 120 practise before a big event.

DW Coach: This is a very smart adjustment, every time I have worked with a player, in major event prep, they have been surprised that we focus a great deal on the lower 2 dart finishes. Yet they have always been grateful afterwards!

It’s possible that he over does the practise now. Perhaps he needs to do more smart work instead of hardwork. The practise needed to get to the top is somtimes different to that needed to stay there or win majors?

Successes.

Daryl views his major triumphs have been good for handling his nerves but thinks its less relevant as each game is different and varies from match to match and day to day.

Winning the Grad Prix seems to have passed him by in blur. But his victory over Micheal van Gerwen in the Players Championship seems more satisfying although it is a less prestigeous title.

As an Irishman he loves to play in Dublin and to be back enjoying the atmosphere of the Premier League and hopes to get back to “kicking everyone’s arse” soon.

DW Comment: This interview seems to fall into two parts, the section covering technical and process matters are very interesting and could be very useful to other players. Daryl’s comments on his own play etc seem to be a bit muted and it may be he is not at his confident best.

It would be good to see the Irishman back on the top of his game as he provides passion and variety of style and personality at the top of the game. He is an awkward opponent at his best and ensures that the rhythm kings don’t have it all their own way.


The interview appears on the YouTube Channel winmau.tv