BDO

From The Archive: Around The Circuit.

During the Covid-19 difficulties we are publishing a series of articles, from various Issues, of Darts World Magazine. Often our most popular pieces are regular round ups from certain areas or with a special interest. Around the Circuit is one of those.


Liz Fletcher -Wright from late 2019 (Issue 564):

Masters Mayhem?

What a week it was at the World masters draws redraws seedings fictitious names you name it you could not have made it up, everyone blaming everyone else admitting they put in names in case they missed someone out how ridiculous, being held to ransom by 13/16 of the ladies seeds.

BDO Logo
BDO – Oops?

The draw in my opinion was wrong and should only have had 8 seeds in the ladies, yes people and players are still talking about this issue today it really does leave the doors open to many events regarding putting in false names just to try and seed 16 players, does this really happen I would hope not, however if common-sense had prevailed to allow 16 seeds you would needed to have put in 129 names.

Anyone who has to do a draw at any big major tournament, and the World Masters is one of 3 majors, so it needs to do it correctly, each player and representative who entered into the World masters had to pay £20 to make sure they were registered, the BDO must have had all those names down and with those payment it gave a correct figure of how many players had entered. The correct monies sorted out beforehand to register (that should have been sufficient) the draw to be out within 72 hours of the event, for such a big event as the WM where there has never been such a turmoil in both the ladies and the men’s was really quite embarrassing for some.

I could go on, but I just know that whatever is said and whatever happened it was everyone else’s fault except the organisers of the tournament.

Now apart from that the last 16 men and the last 8 ladies who were on the television it went really well at the Circus Tavern, the darts were awesome, it was not as busy as expected however the support was superb for every player, the commentary was second to none and it made a change to watch some excellent darts from both the men and the ladies.

Congratulations to John O’Shea and Lisa Ashton on securing both World masters Titles, such a shame the Trophies they gave out were abysmal for such a major Tournament, I have given out better for my players player of the year. That’s all for now regarding the World Masters it has finished now but plenty of lessons learnt from this I hope, and someone should be accountable for the errors.

The Grand Slam 2019:

After the World Masters it was the Grand Slam of darts in Wolverhampton where they decided to allow 6 men and 2 ladies from the BDO to enter this tournament, it has always been 8 BDO men and it was refreshing to see this change, the last time the ladies were invited was in 2010 when Tricia Wright and our lovely friend Stacy Bromberg, who is no longer with us, both those ladies played in the very first PDC Women’s World Darts Championship and it has never been played since 2010, these ladies played superb against the men, shame it has taken so long to allow another two very talented ladies into the Grand Slam, let’s hope they will allow the ladies to compete every year in this tournament, as they do in the PDC worlds. Or maybe Barry Hearn will do something for the ladies along the lines as the men do, maybe have their own challenge tours etc, something to think about as I am sure that a lot of ladies would go this time to play in the PDC if a ladies event was announced.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG: LISA ASHTON IN ACTION

However, both Lisa Ashton the BDO World’s Number one and Mikuri Suzuki our BDO Ladies World Champion, those two ladies gave a great account of themselves and thoroughly deserved that chance, they I am sure will have learnt lessons from this great tournament, they both did themselves proud and even though they lost they can hold their heads up high. Onwards and upwards to them both in their next tournament.

I would like to mention our lady commentator of the week at the grand Slam, Laura Turner, what a credit to commentating she is and let’s hope she gets more of this in the future, she was very knowledgeable not just on the ladies playing but the men as well, I am pretty sure that anyone out there who was listening to her would love to have her as their permanent commentating partner, not just in darts but she came over as f she had been doing this for years, well done Laura and congratulations lets hope you will be doing the same at the 02 when you are not playing, we need more lady commentators within the darts and any other sporting events.

County:

Rhian Griffiths in action (pic:BDO)

Surrey travelled away to Gwent for their 3rd game of the season, where we were hoping to gain another win, however Gwent had other ideas, our ladies B lost 4-2 LOM was Marie Barthrop with a 15.49ave our men’s B lost 7-5 MOM was Gary Trodd with a 27.71ave, going in to Sundays A games our ladies were back to winning way Laura Hewitt on her debt A game won, the ladies won 2-4 overall, welcome back to winning ways for our LOM Laura Tuner who had a 23.86 ave. Onto our men’s A who lost 7-5 our MOM was Darryl Pilgrim with a very impressive 32.17, the result ended in a win for Gwent 20-16, I would just like to mention one of the ladies from Gwent, Rhian Griffiths what an awesome talent and so good to see her back o winning ways, her ladies A average beat most of the other players men included who played over the weekend it was an incredible 30.67ave well done Rhian keep it going for the rest of the season.

Surrey lets regroup for our last home game against Kent lets get that win before the Christmas and new year break.


I would at this time like to wish all our readers Darts World and those that help me by giving me things to write about during the year of 2019, thanks to Andy for putting up with me getting my column in just before the deadline thanks for your help and being patient with me.

That’s all for now, Liz


Liz Fletcher-Wright

Price Retains Grand Slam – Welshman Handily Defeats Peter Wright.

Gerwyn Price produced the performance of his life to retain the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts title in incredible fashion by defeating Peter Wright 16-6 in Sunday’s final.

Price added another major to his impressive roll of honour.
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG: FINAL PETER WRIGHT V GERWYN PRICE GERWYN PRICE WINS

The Welshman followed up his brilliant maiden career victory over Michael van Gerwen in Sunday afternoon’s semi-finals with an unstoppable display to lift the Eric Bristow Trophy once again in Wolverhampton.

Price had never previously defeated Van Gerwen in 18 previous career meetings but emerged a 16-12 winner in their last-four clash to keep his title hopes alive at the Aldersley Leisure Village.

He then wrote his name into the record books with a relentless demolition of Wright to claim back-to-back Grand Slam wins, averaging 107.86 and hitting 11 180s during a remarkable display.

“I’m chuffed to bits,” said an emotional Price, who picks up £125,000 as champion plus a £3,500 group winner bonus following a flawless week.

“I knew in the middle of the game that I was playing really well. I was hitting trebles for fun and putting Peter under pressure and he wasn’t playing his best.

PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG: SEMI-FINAL MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V GERWYN PRICE GERWYN PRICE IN ACTION

“I was that I was at the top of my game and I felt comfortable all the way through that game. I’m happy to play the way I did – Peter’s a world-class player and for me to win 16-6 is outstanding.”

Having defeated Gary Anderson in a controversial final 12 months ago, Price has turned jeers to cheers on his way to retaining the Eric Bristow Trophy with his superb form throughout the nine-day tournament.

“This week the crowd has been fantastic for me,” said Price. “To come through that game and have the cheers at the end of it is a much better feeling than last year.

“I’m not used to this but they truly have got behind me and I appreciate it.”

A 100 finish from Price broke throw in the opening leg and he doubled his lead in 13 darts before Wright took out 71 to get off the mark in leg three.

Checkouts of 111, 84 and 88 helped Price to move 7-3 up before Wright – the 2017 runner-up in Wolverhampton – hit back with successive legs to halve the deficit.

An 11-darter from Price stopped that run, while he also took out 130 on the bull and a 12-darter in a run of eight straight legs to open up a 15-5 advantage.

Three missed match darts allowed Wright to keep his faint hopes alive with a sixth leg, but the respite was brief as double five secured Price back-to-back titles.

Following the success, Price moves up to third on the PDC Order of Merit, and he added: “I’m playing well, I’m up to number three and I probably deserve to be three, maybe two.

“I’ve had a good year, 18 months, but it doesn’t happen all the time.

“I’ve been playing well and it breeds confidence, and I’ve been confident in every tournament for the last six months. I’m just thankful to win this again.

“I’m full of confidence and hopefully I can carry that on to next week, it’s the Players Championship and hopefully I can have a good run in that.”

Price’s semi-final win had seen him open up an early 4-1 lead over World Champion Van Gerwen, and though the Dutchman eventually levelled at nine-all, the Markham ace pulled clear to complete a memorable win.

PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
FINAL PETER WRIGHT V GERWYN PRICE

Wright had booked his place in the Wolverhampton final for a second time in three years with a 16-11 win over Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant, who lost out in his third PDC televised semi-final of 2019.

Scottish ace Wright had defeated Price to win his only televised ranking title at the 2017 UK Open but was this time left to admit: “I had no answer.

“Beating Michael and then the way he played there, I thought he was trying for the record [average in a final].

“I was chasing him all the way through, and when he missed I was lucky if I was on 100-and-something! He played fantastic all the way through.”

Wright had switched darts ahead of the event to a style similar to that used by Phil Taylor towards the end of the Stoke legend’s career and was happy with his performances in reaching the final.

“I switched to these darts and I said to myself that I think I can get to the final with them, and I got to the final,” he added. “It’s a stepping stone.”

Van Gerwen had been bidding to win his fourth Grand Slam of Darts title, but has now set his sights on next weekend’s Players Championship Finals after being knocked out by Price.

“Gerwyn deserved to win,” said Van Gerwen. “I made too many mistakes and gave him too many chances. He took advantage and credit to him for that.

“It hurts not to take the trophy home, but tomorrow I start to prepare for the next tournament, where I will put it right.”

BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts

Sunday November 17

Afternoon Session                                                                                  

Semi-Finals

Peter Wright 16-11 Glen Durrant

Gerwyn Price 16-12 Michael van Gerwen

Evening Session

Final

Gerwyn Price 16-6 Peter Wright

ENDS

Grand Slam Day 8. Semi-Final Line Up.

Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price will meet in the semi-finals of the 2019 Grand Slam of Darts on Sunday after winning quarter-final ties against their rivals on Saturday in Wolverhampton.

BOYLE SPORTS GRANDSLAM OF DARTS 2019
PIC: LAWRENCE LUSTIG QUARTER FINAL MICHAEL VAN GERWYN V ADRIAN LEWIS

There was to be no revenge for Gary Anderson as defending champion Price repeated his 2018 final win, this time by a more comfortable 16-9 scoreline, while Van Gerwen inflicted a crushing 16-6 defeat on Adrian Lewis.

Before the Price v Anderson match-up there was speculation of a possible repeat of the drama from the decider a year ago but the Welshman managed to keep his emotions in check and power through to the final day of action.

The opening session proved crucial as Price punished Anderson’s nine missed doubles to race into a 5-0 lead, a gap that Anderson was never able to fully close.

A change of darts for Anderson did little to stem the tide as Price went on to open up an 8-2 lead and take full control of the encounter.

It was only the second meeting between the pair since their contentious clash in 2018 and Anderson wasn’t about to throw in the towel as he won the next session 4-1 to close the gap and trail 9-6.

Just when it looked as if Anderson was working his way back into the match, he missed three darts at double to close Price’s advantage to two and was duly punished by the Welshman.

The celebrations from Price began to become more prominent and his performance seemed to improve as he kept Anderson at arm’s length for the remainder of the match before eventually sealing the win.

“I tried to keep my cool for as long as I could because I knew I had to focus but I’ve got a lot of energy in me and just had to let a little out at the end,” said Price.

“Gary is a great player and a two-time World Champion so I completely understand why the crowd were on his side but they were great today and I have to say thank you for that.

“Gary was edgy at the start and so was I, to be honest I was overwhelmed to be 5-0 up. At 8-2 up I felt more under pressure and I said to myself ‘right I need to win this now.

BOYLE SPORTS GRANDSLAMOF DARTS 2019 ALDERSLEY LEISURE VILLAGE,WOLVERHAMPTON PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG QUARTER FINAL GARY ANDERSON V GERWYN PRICE GERWYN PRICE IN ACTION

“It wasn’t the best of games, I didn’t play my best but I’m happy I won. I didn’t even think about last year’s final, that was nothing to do with how I played.”

In the second quarter-final of the evening, Van Gerwen raced out the blocks and took a 4-1 lead into the first interval and increased his dominance by moving 8-2 clear, including a showcase 132 finish before the players left the stage for a second time.

A brief period of resistance followed from two-time World Champion Lewis but an average of 86.28 was nowhere near enough to compete with the 103.05 from the Dutchman.

Following his comprehensive success, Van Gerwen was quick to turn his attention to tomorrow’s semi-final with Price, who is yet to claim a win over the world number one in 19 matches.

“He [Gerwyn Price] has been getting closer to me in some games but close isn’t good enough it’s as simple as that,” Van Gerwen declared.

“I’ve got more in the tank for the match with Gerwyn and I’m going to throw everything at him tomorrow.

“I know of all the players left I have the most talent by a mile, so if I play well and don’t make any mistakes then I will be the champion, simple.”

The 2019 Boylesports Grand Slam of Darts will conclude on Sunday as the two semi-finals take place during the afternoon session before a winner will be crowned in the evening.

The ninth and final day of action 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.

Saturday November 16
Quarter-Finals x2
Gerwyn Price 16-9 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 16-6 Adrian Lewis

Sunday November 17
Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)
Semi-Finals
Peter Wright v Glen Durrant
Michael van Gerwen v Gerwyn Price

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Final
Van Gerwen/Price v Wright/Durrant

ENDS

Adrian Lewis produced a stunning comeback to defeat James Wade and reach the quarter-finals of the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton on Thursday.

BOYLE SPORTS GRANDSLAMOF DARTS 2019 Adrian Lewis into the Qtr Finals.
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Lewis looked down and out with Wade 9-6 up, only for Lewis to find his best form when he needed it most to claim a dramatic victory. 

Lewis was visibly delighted with the win over long-standing rival Wade, with the prospect of a first ranking TV quarter-final since 2017 now on the horizon.

“I’m so happy to win that match, James and I have got a lot of respect for each other and to be back in a quarter-final is great,” said Lewis.

“I didn’t mean to turn the bull down, I thought he was on 181 not 161, I can be a bit dopey sometimes, thankfully it didn’t come back to bite me in the end.”

The match began with both players trading holds of throw before Wade stole an advantage in leg ten with a break.

The former Premier League champion then extended his lead moving 9-6 clear and within a leg of the last eight before Lewis began his fightback.

Two-time World Champion Lewis broke back in leg 17, taking out 85 to put the pressure on Wade.

With the score at 9-8 and Lewis throwing to level, he declined a shot at the bullseye with Wade sat on 161 for the match. Wade then hit the requisite trebles before narrowly missing the bull for the match, allowing Lewis to take out 32 and take the game to a decider.

A stunning 110 checkout sealed the win for Lewis, who hit four 180s in the last four legs and nine in total in an exciting display.

The Englishman will now face world number one Michael van Gerwen in the next round after the World Champion survived a slight scare against Ian White before progressing with a 10-7 win.

Van Gerwen began the brighter of the pair, breaking early and moving in to a 3-1 lead, before a stunning 143 checkout from White brought the match back on throw.

Another ton-plus finish, this time 110, saw White break again and take a 4-3 lead, eventually extending to 6-4.

This seemed to anger Van Gerwen, who cut a frustrated figure on stage, but the Dutchman then won six of the next seven legs to seal his passage to the quarter-finals.

“I didn’t play too well at the start and can only blame myself but I have to give some respect to Ian who did well at the start,” said Van Gerwen, who averaged 101.41.

“I know Ian will always give me a chance, he is a phenomenal player but it is hard to play so well in a long format so I just had to be calm and not make any mistakes.

“My belief is always there, even when I am in a little bit of trouble. This is an important win for me.”

Gary Anderson set up a mouth-watering repeat of the 2018 Grand Slam final with Gerwyn Price after he beat fellow-Scot Robert Thornton 10-8.

A scrappy encounter saw both players struggle to show their best game, with Anderson missing 23 darts at doubles during the match.

Thornton was also left to rue missed opportunities, having taken a 4-1 lead in to the first break only for Anderson to win five on the spin to take the advantage.

The crucial break of throw came in the 17th leg, with the scores tied at 8-8, as Anderson pinned tops to give him the chance to throw for the match.

The former World Matchplay Champion missed five match-darts in a leg that also saw Thornton miss the bullseye to level but it was Anderson who progressed to set up the quarter-final clash with Price.

“I felt good again in patches today but every time I play well in practice it’s completely different on the board.

“The way I’m going at the moment I have no idea what’s going to come out but I can guarantee you that I will be doing my absolute best on Saturday night,” said Anderson, who takes on Price for only the second time since they clashed in Wolverhampton last year.

“We’ll see how we go but hopefully he brings the best out of me. I’ll be giving everything so let’s see what happens.”
 
Defending champion Price cruised past Darren Webster to take his place in the quarter-finals in Wolverhampton, securing a 10-1 win with an average of almost 100.

The Welshman only allowed his opponent three shots at doubles throughout the match and controlled the game from start to finish.

“Darren was a bit flat tonight but I still had a job to do and I’m really glad I played well,” said Price.

“He told me I was ruthless and I take that as a massive compliment because he is a class player.

“I’m really happy to get the job done and be in the quarter-finals.”

Day Seven 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.

Thursday November 14
Second Round x4
Adrian Lewis 10-9 James Wade
Gerwyn Price 10-1 Darren Webster
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Ian White
Gary Anderson 10-8 Robert Thornton

Friday November 15 (1900 GMT)
Quarter-Finals x2
Dave Chisnall v Peter Wright
Glen Durrant v Michael Smith

Saturday November 16 (2000 GMT)
Quarter-Finals x2
Gerwyn Price v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis

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

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Final

ENDS

Wrighty Changes Gear, Again!

Peter Wright has gone in to the Grand Slam with yet another set of new darts, but the Black Strike 26 gram darts’ evolution has a very interesting tale of development.

Back in 2014 when Snakebite took the World by storm at the PDC World Championships, with his sublime run all the way to the final, Peter was using a set of 26 gram Snakebite 3 darts with a funky flight set-up.

At that time Peter was always insistent that it was this shape of a barrel, a torpedo style, which was the key to unlocking levels of his game that only the practice board has ever seen.

Ironically, Peter has won most, if not all, of his PDC titles and other notable successes with a Euro 11 Element parallel style dart in 22 gram, with an intermediate Crossfire carbon fibre shaft and Hardcore Snakebite flights.

Like longing for a long lost love, Peter re-visited the idea of the perfect torpedo dart back in 2018 when he took to the Winter Gardens stage for the World Matchplay. Designed in conjunction with Red Dragon’s technical team, the Black Strike is as stunning and complex in its mechanical grip functionality as any other barrel Peter has ever tried.

The birth of the Black Strike dart heralded in Peter’s own words what was to be the dart that he would go on to capture the coveted and obsessed about World No.1 rank. However, as well as the Black Strike went in practice, they always left Peter feeling he had not completed the perfect set-up around what he believed to be his perfect dart barrels at last.

The Peter Wright Throw.

After trying hundreds of combinations, Peter allowed the Black Strike a few months grace before a brain wave hit him less than two weeks ago in adding a fixed flight and shaft set-up that he has customised himself.

Peter said “I was working on the practice board as I always do and the thought hit me that all I needed with the Black Strike darts was a flight and shaft set-up that was as rigid as the Stealth fixed flight system but with way less flight surface area. This makes them quicker and more direct to the board, and the reduction in flight surface area let me place them in the board exactly how I want them.”

“My first few tests were still not perfect, but I managed to think back and feel exactly what it was that makes me love this torpedo style barrel, and it was the need for more speed.”

Peter has opened up the Grand Slam with three straight victories, topping Group F but he still craves more and said that the Black Strike with custom Stealth set-up has way more to offer.

Peter can progress deep into the Grand Slam, where he takes on Rob Cross in the last 16, providing us with immense entertainment through his already proven power scoring. Scoring that if matched by his trademark clinical finishing, could see him lift the amazing Grand Slam of Darts dual-code trophy.


Words: Red Dragon

Pic: PDC

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

Suzuki and Ashton Impress at Grand Slam.

Gerwyn Price overcame a strong challenge from Mikuru Suzuki to open his title defence at the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts in winning style as the 32-player event began in Wolverhampton on Saturday.

BOYLE SPORTS GRANDSLAMOF DARTS 2019 ALDERSLEY LEISURE VILLAGE,WOLVERHAMPTON PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG GROUP STAGE1 Gerwyn Price V MIKURU SUZUKI GERWYN PRICE IN ACTION

Welshman Price claimed his maiden TV title at the Aldersley Leisure Village 12 months ago, and took a 5-3 win, over Lakeside Women’s Champion Suzuki in one of 16 group matches held on the opening day, this time around.

Japanese star Suzuki caused Price some nervous moments by sharing the opening six legs, and responded to a 142 checkout from the reigning champion with a 116 finish of her own before the number five seed claimed victory.

“It was difficult and I didn’t perform as well as I can but I’m glad to win and that’s the main thing,” said Price. “I missed a couple of opportunities but there’s more pressure playing against a woman.

“She’s a great player and she had a couple of good shots at the right time that kept her in the game. I knew I was going to be in for a tough game but I knew that if I concentrated and hit my doubles that I could win.”

Price now plays Robert Thornton in Sunday’s Group C second matches, after the former Grand Slam finalist took out a 160 finish before defeating World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh in a deciding leg.

Like Price, world number two Rob Cross also had to overcome a stern challenge from one of the sport’s top female players, eventually claiming a 5-2 win over Lisa Ashton.

PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
GROUP STAGE1 ROB CROSS V LISA ASHTON ROB CROSS IN ACTION

“I’m happy to get the win,” said Cross, the World Matchplay and European Championship winner in 2019. “It was probably the most nervous I’ve been; Lisa’s a great player and I think she’ll relax now and play the best darts she can.

“The crowd got behind her and it was nice, but it was good just to win. I want this title and I want to have a great week.”

The high-profile Group E also saw Dave Chisnall take a 5-3 win over Tipton’s Jamie Hughes, who responded to his opponent’s early 124 finish with a 121 checkout on his way to a 3-2 advantage.

The sixth leg proved key, though, as Hughes missed his chance to lead by two legs and Chisnall stepped-in to level before claiming the next two legs to take a key win.

Three-time Grand Slam of Darts winner Michael van Gerwen defied a bout of ‘flu to claim a 5-2 win over BDO World Trophy champion Jim Williams, sealing victory with a 145 checkout.

Van Gerwen now meets Adrian Lewis after the two-time World Champion overcame Ross Smith 5-2 in their opener.

PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
GROUP STAGE1 GARY ANDERSON V DAVE PARLETTI GARY ANDERSON IN ACTION

Two-time Grand Slam of Darts finalist Gary Anderson saw off debutant Dave Parletti 5-1 in Group D, with the Scot now meeting Irish ace William O’Connor after the World Cup finalist came from 3-2 down to win 5-3 with a 99 average.

James Wade, another player to have reached the final twice in Wolverhampton previously, sealed his 5-2 win over Wesley Harms with a 140 checkout, with Ian White defeating Ireland’s Steve Lennon by the same scoreline in the other Group C contest.

Michael Smith and Nathan Aspinall opened the so-called “Group of Death” with impressive victories over Glen Durrant and Martin Schindler respectively at the Aldersley Leisure Village.

Third seed Smith began his challenge in the tough Group H with a 5-3 win over three-time Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant, with the St Helens ace missing double 15 for a nine-dart finish during the contest.

“It’s nice to win,” said Smith, who averaged almost 100. “I should have won it easier but missed a few doubles, but I stuck in there and dug deep so I’m quite happy.”

Aspinall, meanwhile, made an outstanding start by whitewashing Martin Schindler 5-0 in their Group H opener with an average of almost 99 after a 142 checkout in the opening leg set the tone for a dominant performance from the UK Open champion.

Qualifier Ryan Harrington shocked Danny Noppert with a 5-4 victory over the World Series of Darts Finals runner-up on his Grand Slam debut, as the Essex ace made an ideal start in Group F.

“It was very nerve-wracking but I’m ecstatic to beat a player of Danny’s quality and get the win,” said the 29-year-old. “I think I pressured Danny at the right times and took my opportunity.

“I didn’t think I’d hold my nerve but I gave myself the best chance and I’m over the moon. I’ve got nothing to lose so I can go up there with confidence and I’m just going to focus on my next opponent.”

Harrington now plays Peter Wright after the 2017 finalist kicked off his 2019 Grand Slam challenge with a 5-2 win over Welsh debutant Wayne Warren, despite some dodgy doubling whilst using a new set of darts.

Ruthless Daryl Gurney whitewashed Dutchman Richard Veenstra 5-0 to make an ideal start in Group G, restricting the Grand Slam debutant to just one dart at a double.

Gurney’s opponent in Sunday’s second matches will be Gabriel Clemens after the German Darts Masters finalist notched the day’s highest average of 99.40 in a 5-1 defeat of Brendan Dolan, landing two 12-darters and sealing victory with a 121 bull finish.

2019 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts

Saturday November 9

Afternoon Session

Groups E-H First Matches

Nathan Aspinall 5-0 Martin Schindler (H)

Ryan Harrington 5-4 Danny Noppert (F)

Gabriel Clemens 5-1 Brendan Dolan (G)

Dave Chisnall 5-3 Jamie Hughes (E)

Daryl Gurney 5-0 Richard Veenstra (G)

Peter Wright 5-2 Wayne Warren (F)

Rob Cross 5-2 Lisa Ashton (E)

Michael Smith 5-3 Glen Durrant (H)

Evening Session

Groups A-D First Matches

William O’Connor 5-3 Darren Webster (D)

Gerwyn Price 5-3 Mikuru Suzuki (C)

Ian White 5-2 Steve Lennon (B)

Gary Anderson 5-1 Dave Parletti (D)

James Wade 5-2 Wesley Harms (B)

Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Jim Williams (A)

Adrian Lewis 5-2 Ross Smith (A)

Robert Thornton 5-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh (C)

Sunday November 10

Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)

Groups E-H Second Matches

Brendan Dolan v Richard Veenstra (G)

Danny Noppert v Wayne Warren (F)

Jamie Hughes v Lisa Ashton (E)

Martin Schindler v Glen Durrant (H)

Daryl Gurney v Gabriel Clemens (G)

Peter Wright v Ryan Harrington (F)

Michael Smith v Nathan Aspinall (H)

Rob Cross v Dave Chisnall (E)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)

Groups A-D Second Matches

Steve Lennon v Wesley Harms (B)

Darren Webster v Dave Parletti (D)

Ross Smith v Jim Williams (A)

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Mikuru Suzuki (C)

Gerwyn Price v Robert Thornton (C)

James Wade v Ian White (B)

Gary Anderson v William O’Connor (D)

Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis (A)

Best of nine legs


ENDS

BoyleSports Grand Slam Gets Underway.

The 2019 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts begins on Saturday at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton, as Gerwyn Price begins his title defence against Mikuru Suzuki on the opening day.

PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND 2 ROB CROSS V GLEN DURRANT GLEN DURRANT IN ACTION

The 13th staging of the cross-code event will see stars of the PDC and BDO going head-to-head across nine days of action from November 9-17.

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.

The group stage will take place across the opening four days, as the 32 players compete in a round-robin format.
 
Saturday afternoon’s opening session will feature the players in Groups E-H, who will also compete on Sunday afternoon and Monday evening, with Groups A-D in action on Saturday evening, Sunday evening and Tuesday evening.

A year on from his maiden televised title win, Price has revealed he is considering adopting a different on-stage style having been the target of boos from crowds ever since last year’s controversial final victory over Gary Anderson.

The Welsh number one has been drawn in Group C which features former Grand Slam runner-up Robert Thornton and reigning World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, who hit a nine-dart finish on the Wolverhampton stage 12 months ago.

Price will take on reigning Lakeside Women’s Champion Mikuru Suzuki in an intriguing group opener, and the world number five explained his potential style change ahead of the encounter.

“I’m going to try to alter my game a bit, not for anybody else but for myself to make me play better,” Price told The Darts Show Podcast.

“I’ve learnt to try not to react to the crowd but it can be hard work at times when you’re trying to play within yourself.

“I’m doing really well on the floor events where you can’t really show emotion and be loud, except maybe at the end of games, so I’ve been thinking that if I play like that I will probably be a better player on stage.

“I didn’t think it would last the full 12 months – I thought It would be just a pantomime villain thing, a little bit of fun.

“The problem is it’s hard to keep calm at key stages when the crowd are making things difficult for you and it’s difficult to not let them know when you’ve hit a big shot.

“I’ve only been in the game for a short period of time and I’m still trying to find a way to be the best player I can be.”

Meanwhile, 2011 and 2018 runner-up Anderson has spoken of his desperation to lift the Grand Slam crown before the end of his career and avenge last year’s disappointment.

The two-time World Champion, who is joined only by James Wade in competing in every staging of the event since its inception in 2007, will is hoping 2019 will be the year he lifts the Eric Bristow Trophy and pockets the £125,000 winner’s prize.

“I’m desperate to win the Grand Slam before the end of my career,” explained Anderson, who will meet Dave Parletti in his first match in Group D.

“It’s my favourite tournament and it’s the first one I played in the PDC when I was still with the BDO.

“It’s been my favourite since day one and I’ve been there every single year so I’ve got to stick at it.

“I’ll be giving it a heck of a push to win that either this year or if not then definitely next year.”

Michael van Gerwen, a three-time Grand Slam champion from 2015-2017, has his sights set on regaining the title after winning the World Series of Darts Finals in Amsterdam last weekend.

Fresh from his latest triumph on home soil, the world number one – the 5/4 pre-tournament favourite with sponsors BoyleSports – is confident of taking his televised title tally to nine for 2019.

“As soon as I won in Amsterdam my head was already at the Grand Slam,” said Van Gerwen, who will take on BDO World Trophy champion Jim Williams in his Group A opener.

“I want to win anything I’m competing in, everyone knows what I’m capable of and what I can do. I know there’s more in the tank and I’m capable of doing more.

“I keep trying to do the thing what I’m good at and that’s playing darts. I love what I do and that’s really important as well.

“I feel good at the moment and I don’t think I’m far off my best form but I have to show it next week again to win the title.”

World Matchplay and World Grand Prix semi-finalist Glen Durrant will compete as one of the eight BDO representatives and he insists he holds no fear after being drawn in Group H, which is being dubbed ‘the group of death.’

The reigning, three-time Lakeside Champion will face World Championship runner-up Michael Smith in his opening game, before assignments against UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall and World Youth Championship runner-up Martin Schindler.

`’It’s being dubbed ‘the group of death’ but I’m fine with it,” Durrant declared.

“You’re never going to get an easy draw in the Grand Slam anyway but that opening game against Michael is going to be massive for me.

“It’s a great competition, I’ve loved every minute I’ve played in the Grand Slam and if I experience anything like the high I got at the World Matchplay then it will be an amazing feeling.

“I’m over the moon to be playing at the Grand Slam and I will be proud to represent the BDO as their World Champion for one last time.”

Following the conclusion of the group stage, the top two players from each group move through to the knockout stage of the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts.

The second round will be split across Wednesday and Thursday, with the quarter-finals being held on Friday and Saturday before the tournament concludes on Sunday November 17 with the semi-finals in the afternoon session and the final in the evening session.

2019 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts
Schedule of Play
Saturday November 9
Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)
Groups E-H First Matches
Nathan Aspinall v Martin Schindler (H)
Danny Noppert v Ryan Harrington (F)
Brendan Dolan v Gabriel Clemens (G)
Dave Chisnall v Jamie Hughes (E)
Daryl Gurney v Richard Veenstra (G)
Peter Wright v Wayne Warren (F)
Rob Cross v Lisa Ashton (E)
Michael Smith v Glen Durrant (H)

Evening Session (2000 GMT)
Groups A-D First Matches
Darren Webster v William O’Connor (D)
Gerwyn Price v Mikuru Suzuki (C)
Ian White v Steve Lennon (B)
Gary Anderson v Dave Parletti (D)
James Wade v Wesley Harms (B)
Michael van Gerwen v Jim Williams (A)
Adrian Lewis v Ross Smith (A)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Robert Thornton (C)

Sunday November 10
Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)
Groups E-H Second Matches
Saturday’s winners face each other, and Saturday’s losers face each other.

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Groups A-D Second Matches
Saturday’s winners face each other, and Saturday’s losers face each other.

Monday November 11 (1900 GMT)
Groups E-H Final Matches

Tuesday November 12 (1900 GMT)
Groups A-D Final Matches

Wednesday November 13 (1900 GMT)
Second Round x4

Thursday November 14 (1900 GMT)
Second Round x4

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

Format
Group Stage – Best of nine legs
Second Round – Best of 19 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 31 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 31 legs
Final – Best of 31 legs

Prize fund
Winner – £125,000
Runner-up – £65,000
Semi-finalists – £40,000
Quarter-finalists – £20,000
Third in group – £7,500
Fourth in group – £4,000
Group winner bonus – £3,500

BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts Odds
Outright Winner
6/5 Michael van Gerwen
9/1 Rob Cross
10/1 Peter Wright
11/1 Gerwyn Price
12/1 Gary Anderson
18/1 Daryl Gurney
25/1 Michael Smith, Dave Chisnall, Nathan Aspinall, Glen Durrant
33/1 James Wade, Ian White
50/1 Dimitri Van den Bergh
66/1 Gabriel Clemens, Adrian Lewis
100/1 Jamie Hughes
125/1 Danny Noppert, William O’Connor, Brendan Dolan
150/1 Jim Williams, Darren Webster
200/1 Martin Schindler, Wayne Warren, Wesley Harms, Ross Smith, Richard Veenstra, Steve Lennon, Ryan Harrington
250/1 Robert Thornton
300/1 Dave Parletti
750/1 Mikuru Suzuki
1000/1 Lisa Ashton

Odds courtesy www.boylesports.com and correct at time of writing. Subject to fluctuation.

BOYLESPORTS GRAND SLAM OF DARTS SCHEDULE CONFIRMED

The schedule of play for the opening day of the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts on Saturday, November 9 has been confirmed.

PIC; LAWRENCE LUSTIG
GERWYN PRICE Claimed the Grand Slam (2018) in a Controversial Final.

The group stage of the 32-player event will see players competing in a round-robin format across the opening four days at Wolverhampton’s Aldersley Leisure Village.

Saturday afternoon’s opening session will feature the players in Groups E-H, who will also compete on Sunday afternoon and Monday evening, with Groups A-D in action on Saturday evening, Sunday evening and Tuesday evening.

The opening session will include the Group E opener between Rob Cross and Lisa Ashton, as well as local star Jamie Hughes up against former Grand Slam finalist Dave Chisnall.

Group F’s opening games see Peter Wright play Wayne Warren and Danny Noppert up against Ryan Harrington, while in Group G Daryl Gurney will face Richard Veenstra and Brendan Dolan will take on Gabriel Clemens.

Group H’s first fixtures will see World Championship finalist Michael Smith take on Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant and the tournament’s opening fixture see UK Open Nathan Aspinall play Germany’s Martin Schindler.

Reigning Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price begins his title defence in Saturday’s evening session against Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki, the reigning Lakeside Women’s Champion, with Dimitri Van den Bergh playing Robert Thornton in the other Group A tie.

Three-time champion Michael van Gerwen opens his Group A challenge against Jim Williams, with Adrian Lewis also facing Ross Smith.

Group B sees James Wade play Wesley Harms and Ian White face Steve Lennon, while Group D’s opening matches include two-time finalist Gary Anderson against Dave Parletti and Darren Webster’s meeting with William O’Connor.

Following the conclusion of the group stage, the top two players from each group move through to the knockout stage.

The second round will be split across Wednesday and Thursday, with the quarter-finals being held on Friday and Saturday before the tournament concludes on Sunday November 17 with the semi-finals in the afternoon session and the final in the evening session.

Tickets for the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts are still available from ticketmaster.co.uk and pdc.seetickets.com.

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.

2019 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts

Schedule of Play

Saturday, November 9

Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)

Groups E-H First Matches

Nathan Aspinall v Martin Schindler (H)

Danny Noppert v Ryan Harrington (F)

Brendan Dolan v Gabriel Clemens (G)

Dave Chisnall v Jamie Hughes (E)

Daryl Gurney v Richard Veenstra (G)

Peter Wright v Wayne Warren (F)

Rob Cross v Lisa Ashton (E)

Michael Smith v Glen Durrant (H)

Evening Session (2000 GMT)

Groups A-D First Matches

Darren Webster v William O’Connor (D)

Gerwyn Price v Mikuru Suzuki (C)

Ian White v Steve Lennon (B)

Gary Anderson v Dave Parletti (D)

James Wade v Wesley Harms (B)

Michael van Gerwen v Jim Williams (A)

Adrian Lewis v Ross Smith (A)

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Robert Thornton (C)

Sunday, November 10

Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)

Groups E-H Second Matches

Saturday’s winners face each other, and Saturday’s losers face each other.

Evening Session (1900 GMT)

Groups A-D Second Matches

Saturday’s winners face each other, and Saturday’s losers face each other.

Monday, November 11 (1900 GMT)

Groups E-H Final Matches

Tuesday, November 12 (1900 GMT)

Groups A-D Final Matches

Wednesday, November 13 (1900 GMT)

Second Round x4

Thursday, November 14 (1900 GMT)

Second Round x4

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

ENDS

bwin Grand Slam of Darts - Brilliant Van Gerwen's Treble

2019 BOYLESPORTS GRAND SLAM OF DARTS DRAW – PRICE FACES SUZUKI IN OPENER

Gerwyn Price will open his title defence at the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts against Mikuru Suzuki on Saturday, November 9, with the draw for the cross-code tournament producing some intriguing groups.

BWIN GRAND SLAM OF DARTS ALDERSLEY LEISURE VILLAGE, WOLVERHAMPTON
PIC; LAWRENCE LUSTIG GERWYN PRICE IN ACTION

The 32-player tournament sees 24 PDC qualifiers joined by eight BDO representatives to compete at Wolverhampton’s Aldersley Leisure Village from November 9-17.

The group stage will take place across the opening four days, with the 32 players drawn into eight groups of four before the top two from each group move through to the knockout stage from the last 16 onwards.

The Group of Death? Aspinall, Smith & Schindler are joined by the three-time Lakeside Champion.
PIC; LAWRENCE LUSTIG GLEN DURRANT IN ACTION

Reigning champion Price, who claimed his first televised title at last year’s Grand Slam, has been drawn in Group C alongside World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, 2013 finalist Robert Thornton and Japan’s Suzuki, the reigning BDO Women’s Champion.

Saturday’s opening group games will see Price face debutant Suzuki as the Welshman begins his challenge to retain the Eric Bristow Trophy.

Top seed Michael van Gerwen, the 11/10 pre-tournament favourite with sponsors BoyleSports, heads Group A alongside two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis, UK Open quarter-finalist Ross Smith and BDO World Trophy champion Jim Williams.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Van Gerwen opens up against Williams but will also face a rematch with Smith during the group stage, following the Kent qualifier’s recent win over the Dutchman in the European Championship.

World Matchplay and European Championship winner Rob Cross heads up a tasty Group E alongside World Grand Prix finalist Dave Chisnall, local star Jamie Hughes and four-time Women’s World Champion Lisa Ashton.

Another high-profile quartet came out in Group H, where third seed Michael Smith is joined by UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall, World Youth Championship finalist Martin Schindler and three-time Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant.

Two-time Grand Slam runner-up Gary Anderson opens his challenge against BDO debutant Dave Parletti, with Darren Webster and William O’Connor also drawn in Group D.

James Wade, another two-time finalist in the event, heads up Group B alongside Ian White, Steve Lennon and Wesley Harms, while Northern Irish duo Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan are joined in Group G by Germany’s Gabriel Clemens and Dutch debutant Richard Veenstra.

2017 finalist Peter Wright heads Group F, where he is joined by Danny Noppert – who qualified as runner-up from the World Series of Darts Finals last weekend – qualifier Ryan Harrington and Welshman Wayne Warren.

Cross is the 8/1 second favourite, ahead of Wright (9/1), while Price is rated at 11/1 to retain the title, with Anderson a 12/1 chance to finally claim win his favourite event.

“We’re delighted to be the title sponsor of the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts this year and look forward to the start of the tournament on Saturday,” said BoyleSports Head of Communications Leon Blanche.

“The best players from both the PDC and the BDO will take centre stage to try and win the Eric Bristow Trophy, and Michael van Gerwen, victorious in the BoyleSports World Grand Prix in Dublin, is having an incredible few months so it’s no surprise to see him as the clear 11/10 favourite, with Rob Cross his nearest rival in the market at 8/1.”

Tickets for the 2019 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts can be purchased through ticketmaster.co.uk and pdc.seetickets.com.

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.

2019 BoyleSport Grand Slam of Darts

Group A

(1) Michael van Gerwen

Adrian Lewis

Ross Smith

Jim Williams

Group B

(8) James Wade

Ian White

Steve Lennon

Wesley Harms

Group C

(5) Gerwyn Price

Dimitri Van den Bergh

Robert Thornton

Mikuru Suzuki

Group D

(4) Gary Anderson

Darren Webster

William O’Connor

Dave Parletti

Group E

(2) Rob Cross

Dave Chisnall

Jamie Hughes

Lisa Ashton

Group F

(7) Peter Wright

Danny Noppert

Ryan Harrington

Wayne Warren

Group G

(6) Daryl Gurney

Brendan Dolan

Gabriel Clemens

Richard Veenstra

Group H

(3) Michael Smith

Nathan Aspinall

Martin Schindler

Glen Durrant