UK Open Review – Day Two. Quater Final Line Up Decided.

Nine-dart hero Jonny Clayton joined big guns Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price and Rob Cross in the Ladbrokes UK Open quarter-finals following a dramatic day which saw three former champions knocked out in Minehead.


The £450,000 multi-board event continued with the fifth and sixth rounds at Butlin’s Minehead Resort, as the remaining 32 players were whittled down to just eight on Saturday.

It was Welshman Clayton who stole the headlines with a brilliant nine-darter, his first in competition, as he moved into the quarter-finals of the event for the first time.

Clayton had produced a superb display in a 10-4 fifth round win over Joe Cullen, before enjoying his moment of perfection in the 12th leg of his 10-8 defeat of Chris Dobey in the last 16; following two 180s with a 141 finish.

That gave Clayton an 8-4 lead, with Dobey continuing his fightback from 5-0 down with checkouts of 117 and 104 as he pulled back to 9-8 before the Welshman eventually closed out the victory.


“It’s a very special moment for me and I’m chuffed to bits,” said Clayton, who meets Jamie Hughes in the quarter-finals. “It’s my first nine-darter in any tournament, so it’s a good feeling.

“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 – my confidence is high. 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 Van Gerwen achieved the feat in 2016 against Cross.

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 all PDC events 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 sixth round contest.

The world number three – who celebrated his 35th birthday on Saturday – also overcame Ricky Evans in the last 32, and is now aiming to win his third televised title.

“It’s a nice birthday present for me!” said Price, who meets Dimitri Van den Bergh in the quarter-finals.

“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 against Gabriel 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.”

Two-time UK Open champion Van Gerwen overcame a scare against Jason Lowe in the fifth round before returning to top form in the last 16 with a dominant 10-4 win over James Wade, averaging 109 and missing just four attempted doubles.

The world number one had looked set to stroll through his opening encounter on Saturday when he landed finishes of 170 and 116 to move 5-0 up.

Lowe – a builder from the Midlands who won a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School in January – hit back to level and also led 9-8 before the Dutchman took the final two legs for a narrow win before later seeing off two-time winner Wade.

“There’s still a lot of work to do and I need to keep my focus because I want to win this tournament,” said Van Gerwen, who plays Rob Cross in the last eight.

“I made it difficult for myself this afternoon but I’m very happy with my performance tonight.

“I feel good and I want to build from here. They all still want to beat me but so far I’m playing a good tournament and I want to do some more damage from here.”


World Champion Wright, the 2017 UK Open winner, saw his hopes of a second triumph in the event ended by Daryl Gurney in an entertaining sixth round contest as the Northern Irish ace moved into the quarter-finals.

Wright – a 10-6 winner against Ian White in round five – led 3-1 early on against Gurney, who took out 136 and 148 on his way to a 10-6 triumph.

Gurney also had to show his fighting spirit in round five, as he came from 7-1 down to defeat William O’Connor 10-9, surviving three missed match darts in a dramatic deciding leg.


The Northern Irish star now plays Jelle Klaasen, who won through to his first televised quarter-final since the 2016 European Championship with an impressive 10-9 win over 2018 winner Gary Anderson.

Klaasen, who has dropped out of the top 32 since needing a wrist operation in 2017, produced some of his best darts since as he prevailed in a tight contest with Anderson to follow an earlier 10-1 defeat of Steve West.

“It’s been a while since I felt so relaxed on stage, even when I was under pressure,” said Klaasen, a semi-finalist four years ago.

“I had the wrist surgery [in 2017] and it takes a while to get the confidence back, but I’m happy that slowly it’s getting there.

“The belief is back and I know I can perform under pressure, and that showed against Gary. If I score like I can and hit my doubles like I have this weekend, I can beat anyone.”


2019 UK Open finalist Cross battled into the quarter-finals with victories over St Helens duo Michael Smith and Stephen Bunting in a hard-fought Saturday.

Cross survived a missed match dart – at the bull for a 164 finish – from Smith in the deciding leg of their fifth round tie, before coming from 8-7 down to win three straight legs in a 10-8 defeat of Bunting.

“I’ve pulled through a few gritty games and I’m grinding out results, which is what you need to do,” said Cross.

“I’m still not starting as well as I want to, and I can’t do that against Michael, but I’m not a million miles away. I’ve got to take my chances and I’m looking forward to the game because you know what you’re going to get against Michael.”

Hughes booked his place in a first quarter-final at a televised PDC event with a 10-5 defeat of Mensur Suljovic, following up an earlier 10-7 defeat of Martin Atkins.

Two-time World Youth Champion Van den Bergh defeated both Matthew Edgar and Kyle McKinstry on Saturday as he moved into the UK Open quarter-finals for the first time.

McKinstry had defeated Martin Schindler 10-5 in the fifth round to continue his best-ever run in a PDC televised event, having begun the tournament in Friday’s first round with a win over Fallon Sherrock.

Wade had matched Klaasen’s margin of victory in round five with a 10-1 defeat of Kim Huybrechts, while Simon Whitlock, Dirk van Duijvenbode, Simon Stevenson and Andy Boulton also exited in the last 32.

The Ladbrokes UK Open concludes on Sunday, with the afternoon session’s quarter-finals followed in the evening session by the semi-finals and final, with a £100,000 top prize on offer for the eventual champion.

Van Gerwen is the 11/10 favourite with sponsors Ladbrokes, with Price 5/2 as he aims to capture a title which evaded him in the 2017 final.

Gurney is rated 15/2 ahead of Cross (9/1), with Clayton (14/1), Hughes (16/1), Van den Bergh (18/1) and Klaasen (25/1) all seeking to claim their maiden PDC televised ranking titles on Sunday.

2020 Ladbrokes UK Open

Saturday March 7

  • Afternoon Session
  • Fifth Round
  • Chris Dobey 10-5 Simon Whitlock
  • Michael van Gerwen 10-9 Jason Lowe
  • Peter Wright 10-6 Ian White
  • Rob Cross 10-9 Michael Smith
  • Daryl Gurney 10-9 William O’Connor
  • Gerwyn Price 10-3 Ricky Evans
  • James Wade 10-1 Kim Huybrechts
  • Gary Anderson 10-5 Simon Stevenson
  • Jonny Clayton 10-4 Joe Cullen
  • Mensur Suljovic 10-7 Dirk van Duijvenbode
  • Stephen Bunting 10-2 Alan Tabern
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-4 Matthew Edgar
  • Jamie Hughes 10-7 Martin Atkins
  • Jelle Klaasen 10-1 Steve West
  • Kyle McKinstry 10-5 Martin Schindler
  • Gabriel Clemens 10-6 Andy Boulton

Evening Session

Sixth Round

  • Gerwyn Price 10-9 Gabriel Clemens
  • Michael van Gerwen 10-4 James Wade
  • Jelle Klaasen 10-9 Gary Anderson
  • Daryl Gurney 10-6 Peter Wright
  • Jonny Clayton 10-8 Chris Dobey – Jonny Clayton hits nine-darter
  • Jamie Hughes 10-5 Mensur Suljovic
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-8 Kyle McKinstry
  • Rob Cross 10-8 Stephen Bunting

Sunday March 8

Afternoon Session (1245 GMT start)


  • Main Stage
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Gerwyn Price
  • Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
  • Daryl Gurney v Jelle Klaasen
  • Jamie Hughes v Jonny Clayton
  • Evening Session (1900 GMT start)
  • Semi-Finals & Final
  • Main Stage

Ladbrokes UK Open – Tournament Winner Odds

  • 11/10 Michael van Gerwen
  • 5/2 Gerwyn Price
  • 15/2 Daryl Gurney
  • 9/1 Rob Cross
  • 14/1 Jonny Clayton
  • 16/1 Jamie Hughes
  • 18/1 Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • 25/1 Jelle Klaasen

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


Red Dragon Launch 2020

During the mayhem of two recent World Championships, their players won both, Red Dragon darts can be forgiven for having a relatively low key product launch for their updated 2020 range and catalogue. This does not even include the new Peter Wright, World Championship winning, Special Edition!

The Welsh brand has released a tight collection of classic and innovative models that should appeal to most tastes. The Originals pictured above give a clue as too one side of the collection. They are simple classical style of dart somewhat similar to one Alan Evans might have used.

Representing the polar opposite side of the equation are the Koncept Pro. These are a mix between a stilletto and a scallop barrel. They are 90% tungsten and ringed grip at the higher end of the barrel. near the nose they are a very narrow taper. The scallop just before the taper could provide a comfortable propulsion zone.

Perhaps the most distinctive dart, in the new range, are the Clarion (Black). The black and gold colour scheme disguises quite a technical dart. It is a mix between a ‘Phase 5’ bomb shaped barrel with a slight indent through the middle section of the dart. It has features in common with the excellent, and popular, Red Dragon ‘Fusion’ model. The unusual feature is the more razor like grip in the mid section. This could be a very timely update on a classic barrel.

The third arm of the release are additions to the ranges of the big names in the Red Dragon pantheon. The Lunar 50 editions were released toward the end of 2019 and more have been added. Peter Wright, Johnny Clayton, Jamie Hughes all have a Lunar50 edition, these are basically the players original model but in a simple monochrome style. They appear subtly different to the signature darts but also easily recognisable.

Gerwyn Price had a Lunar Edition released, but this has been taken further for 2020. The Iceman has had a black edition released, although these look like a permanent edition, as well as more cases and shirts. The ‘Black Ice’ range are functional, clean and functional whilst being fuss free and stylish. Price now has a solid three edition range, as well as a special edition, a few shirts and the usual flights and stems. There is something for most to like.

Despite the relatively low-key launch Red Dragon may well have a very successful year. Their three world champions should give them huge attention and this range and catalogue may well ensure that the interested customer will stay!

Check out the new ranges in more detail and purchase here:

Who Will World Crown? Darts World Writers Make Their Choices.

With only days to go until the start, of the William Hill PDC World Darts Championship, we asked our writers and contributors to select their favourite for the title, a ‘dark horse’ and an outsider who might cause a shock or two. Here are their thoughts:

Huge Increase Announced For William Hill World Darts Championship
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The Coach:

Fav: MVG , Dark Horse: Ian White, Outsider: Lourance Ilagan

Is this Ian’s time to shine?
Pic – L Lustig/ PDC

It is tough to see past MVG at the moment. He is back in the winning habit and, although not as dominant, still the one to beat. Micheal is scheduled to meet my Dark Horse in the Qtr-finals and has quite a tough route but he should still have enough to claim a fourth title. Ian White has under-performed on TV for at least five years. However things may have turned in his favour at last. He reached the last four at Minehead and was playing very good solid darts. Ian has a few things that have held him back over a two week, long format, event previously. Perhaps its time for our ‘Diamond’ to show how tough he can be? Lourance is superb to watch and is getting more and more experienced in all formats and codes. If he can get a win under his belt he could be a match for anyone.

JR LOTT (The Columnist)

JR spotted both Rob Cross for the Matchplay, and Ian White’s recent form, before most pundits. Yet he has picked neither to win the World Championships.

Fav: Gary Anderson, Dark Horse: Adrian Lewis, Outsider: Krystof Ratajadski

Anderson to play himself back to his best?

I have a hunch that this might be a very unconventional event but with big names coming through at the finish. Thus both my main choices are previous world champions. Both Adrian and Anderson are ranked lower than previous and are trying to get back to former glories. Both may gain from a long event to really wirk their way into it and hit their peak at the right time. If either gets motoring then they may prove unstoppable. Krystof is a superb player who has adapted to the PDC like a duck to water. It is only a matter of time before he has a big impact on a major event. His experience, winning the World Masters, makes him different to most outsiders. When the chips are down this guy can hit the target and take the trophy.

The Wizard (Former World Qtr Finalist)

Fav: Gerwyn Price, Dark Horse: Chris Dobey, Outsider:Gabriel Clemens

On form, and desire, Price is a strong tip for this years event.

Darts World contributor, and Major Finalist, Colin ‘The Wizard’ Osborne has gone with the the players instinct that people on a roll can do well. With Gerwyn’s recent success and finally being able to defeat MVG being important factors. Chris Dobey is a name that is being mentioned, as one who could go a long way, by many. Colin’s outsider is ‘The Giant’ himself Gabriel Clemens. The Wizard reckon’s that Clemens is in mighty fine shape and damage his Qtr of the draw quite severely!

The Manufacturer –

Those involved in the darts business look at a lot of data, and canvass a lot of opinions, its in their interest to do so. Whether its signing a new player, making a new model or entering a new market, they tend to gather many view and not often give them but we managed to get one to commit:

Fav: Gerwyn Price, Dark Horse: Rob Cross, Outsider: Jamie Hughes

BDO Confirm Final BWIN Grand Slam Qualifiers
Unusual selection of outsider here. Hughes can indeed do damage if he is at his best.
Photo; Lawrence Lustig/PDC

A real mixed bag here, our business expert goes for the in form Price, mainly due seeing him as on an upward curve. His second pick is a cop out! Rob Cross as a ‘dark horse’, more like a white charger! But perhaps some bets are being hedged there? His outsider is very interesting. Jamie Hughes is a superb player when he is at the top of his game, Hughes’ victory on the European Tour proves his can win titles, yet he has not seemed at his best since. Could some one know something we don’t?

The Official’s Verdict:

John Fowler is a referee and MC. He has recently made his televised event debut at the World Trophy & World Masters events. He works will players from every code and indeed almost every era.

Fav: Rob Cross, Dark Horse:Glenn Durrant, Outsider: Steve Beaton


John tired to hedge his bets on these questions and provided two for each catagory! We have selected the ones that no one else has picked so far! The selection of Cross for the title is a pretty shrewd one. It is possible that many of the other high ranked and in form players dfeat each other and Cross comes through to claim a second title. Glen Durrant is a great pick for a dark horse. he has made the Qtrs & Semis for the last few majors and knows how to win a long event under the highest pressure. Another first time champ?

Fabulous value at 500/1? The legendary Steve Beaton
Pic – PDC

Lastly, John has both an eye for value and is a romantic at heart. His selection of Steve Beaton, as an outside to do damage, has an element of both. Despite not having a good Ally Pally record he is playing very well and might benefit from being disregarded. The 500/1 price tag is almost disrespectful.

So who will look smug in January or who will look the mug? We’ll be sure to update you after this year’s event.

Towe The Line – December Preview

BDO Inter County Championships Premier Division:

Cornwall v Warwickshire

Not since the 2012-2013 season has Warwickshire County Darts Organisation lost the opening two fixtures in the Premier Division of the BDO Inter County Championships and in that season they actually lost the first three to Yorkshire, Oxfordshire and Cheshire, they then went on to finish sixth in the table with three wins from their final six games.

After the opening day defeat to Yorkshire, Warwickshire’s next encounter saw them take a trip down to St Austell where they took on the local county, Cornwall. The Ladies ‘B’ side got off to a great start as Chloe McKivett gave them a 3-2 win in the first game against Hayley Kellow and taking the score to 2-0 was Kat Spanswick who won 3-1 against Pauline Mead.

Cornwall got their first win in the third when Becky Curnow beat Helen Rigg 3-1 but a 3-2 win from Nina Bolt guaranteed Warwickshire at the worst a share of the points. Nina after going 1-0 up then trailed 2-1 to Tyrian Jesse but went on to seal her win with wins in the fourth and fifth legs.

The home side’s award winner Catherine Rashleigh was their second winner as in the penultimate game she won 3-2 against Marian Conway after Conway had gone 1-0 and 2-1 up.

The outcome now rested on the final game between Courtney Hancock and Melanie Jones which went the full five legs distance. Despite leads of 1-0 and 2-1 Jones was pegged back to level terms on both occasions, however with her opponent still requiring 77 she checked out on 80 to clinch her 3-2 win and give her teammates their first win of the season, 4-2.

The men’s ‘B’ were hoping to put the 11-1 crushing defeat by Yorkshire behind them but it was not to be as for the second fixture they lost 11-1, yet again with more than a sprinkling of missed doubles.

The home side had a clean sweep in the first half all begun by Kev Thompson who came from 1-0 and 2-1 down to Wayne Mynard to win 4-2. Rich Slater made it 2-0 with his 4-3 win over Mark Carter, Slater going 3-0 up then being pegged back to three each before winning the deciding leg. Two 4-0 win in a row from Neil Dudbridge and Jonny Westren over respective opponents Tom McGlone and James Hykin took Cornwall’s lead to 4-0 before another seven legs affair in which Richard Craddock (Cornwall) went 2-0 up against Tom Ryan then Ryan reduced the arrears in the third before Craddock made it 3-1 in the fourth. Ryan then won the following two legs to square the game at 3-3 but it was those finishing doubles that saw Craddock win the seventh and final leg for a very close 4-3 victory.

It was 6-0 at the midway point with Shaun Burden adding his 4-1 win over Tom Martin.

Gareth Braham looked to be on his way to securing Warwickshire’s first win as he opened up a 2-0 lead over Carl Jeffery but despite having attempts at doubles in the next four legs he went down 4-2. Jack Wareing (Warwickshire) began well taking a 1-0 lead with a 114 game shot against Martin Smith and although Smith levelled in the second it was Wareing with another fine 121 finish who went 2-1 up. Smith won the next two legs and with a win for Wareing in the sixth it was another one leg decider which once again went to the Cornwall player.

Man of the match against Yorkshire Karl Reynolds was on at number nine, he won the first leg against David Mills in 18 darts. Mills then reversed the lead with wins in the following two legs only to see Reynolds level in the fourth. The fifth leg could have gone to either player as they both struggled on their doubles but it was Cornwall’s Mills that won it and with a win in the sixth he secured his 4-2 win.

Chris Eustice (Cornwall) won the opening leg against Carl Green only to see Green then go 2-1 up. Winning legs of 17 and 18 darts restored the lead for Eustice and although Green took him to a decider it was the home player that got the 4-3 verdict.

Dave Hill was on for Warwickshire in the penultimate game playing against Andy Dunstan. Hill won the first in 21 darts and Dunstan the second in 25. Hill then romped to a 4-1 victory with winning legs of 20,22 and 20 darts to give him the team’s match award for his average of 23.11.

The final 11-1 result was rounded off with a 4-2 win for Joshua Symons as he beat Warwickshire’s Mark Strong 4-2, Strong winning the second and fifth legs.

Natalie Gilbert (Warwickshire) followed up her opening day lady of the match performance with a 3-1 win over Tracey Hancock in the opening game of the of the ladies ‘A’ match, however the visitors lead didn’t last long as Sarah Gill beat, Donna Pinch 3-0 and Teresa Brookshaw won 3-1 against Caroline Pike.

Parity was restored in the fourth when Sue Gulliver, not only won 3-1 against Sue Shepherd but in the process took the match award for her average of 20.96 in which she had winning legs of 18,26 and 30 darts.

The hosts went ahead again in the fifth when Nikki Furse won 3-1 against Wendy Adams and with a final 3-0 win for Jacqui Champion over Angela Jones Cornwall sealed a 4-2 win.

There was a cracking start for Warwickshire’s men’s ‘A’ side as Jamie Hughes kicked off with a man of the match performance against Dennis Bryant, although Jamie didn’t have it all his own way as he lost the first leg then went 2-1 up in 18 and 16 darts. He lost the fourth in 15 darts but then levelled with a superb 12 darts leg hitting 99,177,140 and finishing on 85 to go 3-2 up. The sixth leg went to Bryant in 16 darts but it was Hughes with a 15 darts deciding leg in which he checked out on 100 leaving his opponent way back on 173 that won the game 4-3. Jamie’s average a tremendous 30.33.

Kevin Dowling despite going 1-0 and 2-1 down to Gareth Griffiths went on to win the tie 4-2 with a 116 game shot in the second giving the away team a 2-0 lead.

Neil Meneer reduced the arrears for the home team as he beat Charlie Symons 4-2 and with a similar 4-2 win for Mike Jones over Antony Allen the score was level at two each.

Noel Grant was pegged back to level terms twice after leading 2-0 and 3-2 against Kevin Bray and although both players had throws at a finishing double in the decider it was Grant who got the all-important double for a 4-3 win.

As the game went into the break the running score was squared at 3-3 with Kevin Dunstan adding his 4-1 win over Dave Atkins to Cornwall’s tally.

As did the first the second half began well for Warwickshire and it was another Jamie who began the half, this time Jamie Atkins who handed out a straight 4-0 defeat to Mike Beard, then with a second in a row 4-0 result Steve Giddings accounted for Greg Hambly to give Warwickshire a 5-3 lead.

Simon Knowles (Cornwall) saw Steve Hine peg him back twice to level terms before he went on to win 4-2 and with a 4-1 win for Jez Campe over Colin Laffar the home side had levelled the game at 5-5.

Rob Comben looked all set to put the win beyond Cornwall’s reach when he opened up a 2-0 lead over Matt Knowles but he then had to win the fourth leg to get back on level terms and despite having chances in the last two legs it was Knowles who won the tie 4-3 to leave the result hinging on the final game of the weekend.

Anchorman for Warwickshire was Dean Stewart and for Cornwall Steven Thomas. Nerves got the better of both players in the first leg but it was Stewart who won it in 23 darts. Thomas won the second in 19 darts only to see Dean Stewart go ahead again in the third when he checked out in 18 darts. For a second time, Thomas drew level, this time in 16 darts but he was unable to reach a double in the next two legs as Dean Stewart wrapped up a 4-2 win in 15 and 20 darts to put the final score at 6-6.

The men’s draw took the overall result to 23-13 to Cornwall, Warwickshire’s second successive such defeat.


Warwickshire v Devon

Following their two 23-13 defeats to Yorkshire and Cornwall, Warwickshire’s third fixture was a home tie against newly promoted Devon. Saturday’s ladies ‘B’ game began with a win for the home team’s Courtney Hine as she won 3-1 against Sarah Brown. The lead didn’t last long as Hayley Brant and Tracy Ware, in turn, won 3-0 against Denise Keyte and Nina Bolt to give Devon a 2-1 lead.

The away team’s advantage was taken to 3-1 when Cat Callard beat Kat Spanswick 3-1, their win confirmed in the fifth when Michelle Andrews defeated Melanie Jones 3-0 the third such win for the visitors.

For the home team, it was a case of keeping the best till last as Chloe McKivett went 1-0 up against Anna Johnson then trailed 2-1, she then went on to win 3-2 and in the process earn the match award for her 18.04 average. The final score 4-2 to Devon

The men’s ‘B’ were hoping to put behind them their previous two 11-1 defeats and first on for them was Tom Martin. Martin lost the first leg to Neil White and then in 15 and 25 darts went 2-1 up. White came back with winning legs of 19 and 21 darts and although Martin levelled the game in the sixth in 17 darts it was Neil White who put Devon one up with a deciding 15 darts leg.

Carl Green (Warwickshire) was made to fight all the way for his 4-3 victory as he opened up a 2-0 lead over Anthony Moss, was then pegged back to 2-2, went 3-2 up, 3-3 and won the final leg in 18 darts to square the game.

Mark Carter lost his opener to Adrian Watts but won the next four legs to put Warwickshire in front for the first time in the game. Carter’s leveller in the second was a 17 darts leg, he then won the next three in 18,20 and 16 darts giving him an award-winning average of 28.94. Rob Comben trailed 1-0 and 2-1 to Daniel Belsten but went on to win 4-3 sealing his win with a tremendous 161 game shot in a 15 darts decider to extend the home team’s lead.

Matty Washbrooke handed out a straight 4-0 defeat to Dean Angel before James Hykin took the hosts to lead to 5-1 at the break when he came from two down to beat David Matthews 4-2.

As the second half got underway Dave Hill took the home team’s lead to 6-1, assuring them of at least a draw when he handed out a 4-0 whitewash to Danny Bull.

Devon got their second winner in the eighth game when Steve Colbourne came from 1-0 down against Karl Reynolds to win 4-1, but then it was back to winning ways for the home side as Mark Strong after losing the first and fourth legs to Phillip Ward won the tie 4-2 and guaranteed a first win for his team, then with a similar result to Strong, Wayne Mynard had a 4-2 win over Fred Goldsmith to make it 8-2.

Tommy Ryan lost the first leg to Kieran Burns but then went 3-1 up in 19,15 and 21 darts, unfortunately, he then went down 4-3 after missing out on his finishing doubles.

The final score was taken to 9-3 for Warwickshire as anchorman Gareth Braham accounted for Scott Hutchinson with a straight 4-0 result.

There was somewhat of a surprise in the opening game of the ladies ‘A’ as opener Natalie Gilbert after going 2-0 up against Maria O’Brien lost 3-2, a rare defeat for Natalie especially after such a commanding lead.

Caroline Pike had her lead reversed as she went one up then trailed 2-1 to Kelly-Marie Gabriel. Nevertheless, Caroline with a superb 138 outshot squared the game and then went on to win it 3-2.

Warwickshire went ahead for the first time after game number three as Angela Jones won 3-1 against Chrissie Kinnaird and with a similar result for Sue Gulliver over Karen Matthews the hosts were 3-1 up, Sue for the second consecutive fixture named the lady of the match with a 21.47 average.

The win was achieved in the penultimate encounter when Wendy Adams beat Jodie Hawton 3-1 and the final score was taken to 4-2 when Lisa Hughes won the final game for Devon as she beat Donna Pinch 3-0.

In the opening two fixtures Warwickshire’s men’s ‘A’ have been the most consistent with one win and one draw, they got their game against Devon off to a fine start as Jamie Atkins and Antony Allen in turn both won 4-1 against John Burton and Lewis Dare.

Glyn Wells was Devon’s first winner when he won 4-1 against Dean Stewart but with Nigel Heydon coming from 1-0 down against Mark Shears to win 4-1 Warwickshire’s two games advantage was restored.

By the halfway point of the match a 4-2 success for Ian Shaw over Lee Hellings and a 4-3 win for Tom Aldridge over Mark Turner gave the home side a somewhat comfortable 5-1 lead.

Mark Vellacott (Devon) had his lead cancelled out no fewer than three times by Ian McFarlane who with two superb finishing legs of 14 and 12 darts won the tie 4-3. McFarlane rounded off his fantastic win with scores of 140,140 and 122 and then wrapped up the leg and the game with a 99 checkout.

With the score standing at 6-1 to the home team the win was put up in style as Prakash Jiwa despite having his lead wiped out three times by John Mann went on to not only win the tie 4-3, put the result at 7-1 and beyond Devon’s reach but also won the man of the match award for his 29.78 average.

The score moved nicely along to 8-1 with a 4-0 win from Noel Grant over Mike Pearce and although Steve Giddings had his 3-0 lead wiped out by Thom Humphrey he won the tie 4-3.

In the penultimate game, Steve Hine made it 10-1 when he beat Ben Chamberlain 4-2, then in the last game of the day and weekend, Kevin Dowling came from 1-0 down against Paul Milford to lead 3-1 and then lost 4-3to give a final score of 10-2 to Warwickshire.

The overall score for the weekend was a 25-11 win for Warwickshire which saw them move off the foot of the table into a more relaxing sixth place in the table.

Alan Towe contributes to Darts World Magazine, and at Red Dragon Darts.

SnapShot Review: Red Dragon Dragonfly 3. A Deceptive Gem.

  • Product – Darts (Steel Tip)
  • Brand – Red Dragon
  • Model – Dragonfly 3
  • Edition/Variation – 24g
  • RRP – £25.90+
  • Marks – 8.5 /10

First Impressions:

Dragonfly 3 is a very deceptive dart. They look almost delicate at first glance but are very effective and no-nonsense in reality. The 95% tungsten, and clean-cut grip, produce a very efficient and impressive dart. At 50.8mm x 6.35 (24g) they are a very conventional dart and should a wide cross-section of player.

What’s in Pack, Jack?

The Dragonfly series has been around for a fair while and the DF 3 seems the best all-rounder and most popular. The three tungsten barrels are supplied, boxed and presented, with Black Nitro Stems and Black/Grey Hardcore flights. Available in 20,22 & 24g weights.

Barrel Style & Grip

The Dragonfly 3 is a parallel dart. It has much in common with the ‘Bristow Barrel’, 13 grooves below the blank and 3 above it. However, the grooves are cut in a double pattern instead of evenly distributed. This seems to give a nice grip that is easier to feel the traditional style. It’s not aggressive but is about 3/5 on a smooth to very aggressive scale.

There is a slight nose cone on the as the point area is reached, most throwers of this type of dart are happy with this and with the rear blank location.

Player/Throw Style: testers suggest that these throw very nicely with a rhythmic and steady throw. If you have a complex throw like akin to Eric Bristow or a pendulum-like action in the mould of Ian White or Jamie Hughes, these could suit you very well.


It seems that the specific grip pattern may not suit very quick players. If grabbed quickly they may feel inconsistent between each dart. Our test set was unpainted so this may have been exaggerated. In addition, a minority of players don’t seem to like 95% tungsten. They claim it to fly to direct and feel too hard. This may be simply psychological.

Marks: 8.5/10

One of our testers was very keen indeed on these and gave them a 9 or 9.5 out of ten but the consensus was of an 8/10 solid, no-nonsense dart.

SnapShot: The Dragonfly 3 is a high-quality dart for a low-midrange price. Excellent value. If you take to them you may well become a devotee!

BoyleSports World Grand Prix Begins – MVG Through After Scare.

Michael van Gerwen has stated his intent to retain the BoyleSports World Grand Prix title after avoiding a scare against Jamie Hughes as the double-start tournament began on Sunday night in Dublin.


World Champion Van Gerwen had to come from a set down against debutant Hughes before progressing to the second round of the £450,000 event with a 2-1 triumph.

A dramatic deciding set saw Hughes lead 1-0, only to miss two darts in leg two as Van Gerwen levelled – and a key third leg saw the Tipton thrower open with 160 and 180 before adding a seventh perfect dart.

However, he was unable to close out a perfect leg, and could only watch on after a missed double as Van Gerwen powered home a pivotal 135 checkout on the bull.

It proved a decisive blow as Van Gerwen moved 2-1 up, and the four-time champion landed a 180 and double 18 to avoid a second first round exit in three years at the Citywest Convention Centre.

“I feel really good,” said Van Gerwen, the winner in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. “I didn’t really perform but I did some phenomenal things in patches and that made me win this game – the 135 hurt him so much.

“Jamie played well, especially for his first time in this event. I was struggling at times and I can do a lot better than this, but it’s a short format so it’s difficult.

“I will win back-to-back this year – simple.”

Tournament favourite Van Gerwen now faces a second round tie on Tuesday against Dutch prospect Jeffrey de Zwaan, who dropped only one leg as he swept aside Steve Beaton in straight sets to race into the last 16 for a second successive year.

Beaton shared the opening two legs of the contest, but De Zwaan followed double 11 with a 14-darter to wrap up the first set before winning the second without reply to progress.

“I thought I played really well and I felt good, but Steve didn’t play his game,” said De Zwaan. “I saw Steve struggling a little bit, but it’s always been a tough game against him in the past.

“I can look forward to the next game now because you just want to get through. I like this format but it’s also tough and anything can happen.”

Two-time World Grand Prix champion James Wade won his first game in the event for five years with a 2-1 defeat of John Henderson.


The 2007 and 2010 winner showed glimpses of his best form by finishing 8/13 doubles, including a superb 142 checkout to secure the opening set 3-1.

Henderson finished 100 with two double tops as he moved 2-0 up in the second set, with Wade levelling only for a timely 180 to help the Scot secure the deciding leg on double six.

Wade, though, raced through the third set without reply as he moved through to face Mervyn King in Tuesday’s second round.

“John played far better than I thought he would but I did enough at the right times,” said Wade. “I finished well and it’s a relief.

“I’ve had no result for the last four years so tonight was a massive thing for me.”

2012 finalist King hit back from the brink of defeat to overcome Dimitri Van den Bergh in a sudden-death leg at the end of their see-saw tie.

Van den Bergh came from 2-1 down to claim the opening set, following an earlier 112 finish with a superb 105 checkout in the decider as King paid for missing four set darts.

King then came from a leg down to take set two by a 3-1 scoreline, inspired by a 112 finish, only to find himself 2-0 down in set three.


However, a timely 180 set up tops as he kept his hopes alive in leg three, a superb 133 checkout levelled and forced a deciding leg which the 53-year-old won on double 16.

“I made hard work of it but it was nice to come back and get over the line,” said King.

“The first set should have been mine but I let it go and it was very frustrating. I shouldn’t have been behind but my form appeared at the right time and hopefully, that will continue.

“It would have only taken a couple of different darts from Dimitri and I would have been on my way home but I got through it and you feel like you’re in the competition now.”

Michael Smith won past the first round for only the second time in seven World Grand Prix appearances, despite staring defeat in the face in a three-set thriller against Simon Whitlock.

2017 finalist Whitlock came from a leg down to win the opening set 3-1 and moved 2-1 up in the second with the aid of 120 checkout, only to see Smith produce a huge 128 finish to save the set before double top levelled the match.

Smith then took out a huge 155 checkout – with the Australian waiting on a double – to open the third set, and the St Helens man also led 2-0 before Whitlock hit back to force a deciding leg, punishing two missed match darts from the World Championship finalist.

However, Whitlock missed six starting doubles in the final leg, with Smith pulling clear before pinning double 16 at the first time of asking to grab a hard-fought victory.


“My scoring wasn’t quite there but I got the win and I’m happy,” said Smith. “The 128 was a big shot and it saved the match, and I knew that hurt him and then the 155 killed him.”

Ian White produced a superb comeback from a set and two legs down against Joe Cullen to book his last 16 spot with a 2-1 victory over the Bradford ace.

Cullen raced through the first set without reply and also moved two legs up in the second after restricting White to a solitary dart at the bullseye.

However, back-to-back 82 checkouts ignited the Stoke star’s challenge, with double 16 securing set two to level the tie before he claimed the decider without reply to progress.

“I’m so relieved but I dug in and got there in the end,” said White. “I’ve got mixed emotions because I’ve been on the end of that before and missed doubles.

“I had to play my own game in the end because I think I was playing too fast at the start. It just wasn’t going for me in the first set but I started finding double top and I persevered with it.

“I had nothing to lose and I could have been out of the tournament, but now I’ve got a chance.”

2016 finalist Gary Anderson raced to a straight-sets victory over Keegan Brown, dropping just two legs as he moved through to the last 16.


The Scot sped through the opening set without reply, with Brown sharing the first four legs of the second only for a clinical 13-darter to book Anderson’s passage to a second-round tie with Chris Dobey on Tuesday.

“The first round is very hard and a it’s the only time we play double start, so it’s very hard to get into,” said Anderson. “I’m playing with some new darts and they’re going well, so there are some good signs.

“My game isn’t 100 percent but it’s getting there and I’m happy with the way the lighter darts are going. I’m struggling to get the hunger back but when I get up there I want to play, so we’ll see what happens.”

Dobey enjoyed a winning debut at the World Grand Prix, dropping just two legs as he overcame Ricky Evans in straight sets, proving too clinical on his starting doubles with 8/12 attempts to his rival’s 8/28.

Dobey came from a leg down to take the opener 3-1, finishing 90, then double eight to break and double 16 to secure the set.

Evans levelled in set two with a 13-darter, but Dobey restored his advantage with a 14-darter after the pair traded maximums, before tops moved the youngster into round two.

“I’m delighted to get the win,” said Dobey. “For my debut, I think a 90 average is decent and my doubles went in well.

“This is a competition I’ve watched on TV and everyone wants to play in it to test themselves. I even went back to my local leagues to practice, and it’s paid off.”

The first round concludes on Monday with the remaining eight matches, headlined by the clash between World Matchplay champion Rob Cross and three-time Dublin semi-finalist Mensur Suljovic.

2019 BoyleSports World Grand Prix

Sunday October 6

First Round x8

Chris Dobey 2-0 Ricky Evans (3-1, 3-1)

Mervyn King 2-1 Dimitri Van den Bergh (2-3, 3-1, 3-2)

Ian White 2-1 Joe Cullen (0-3, 3-2, 3-0)

Jeffrey de Zwaan 2-0 Steve Beaton (3-1, 3-0)

James Wade 2-1 John Henderson (3-1, 2-3, 3-0)

Michael Smith 2-1 Simon Whitlock (1-3, 3-2, 3-2)

Michael van Gerwen 2-1 Jamie Hughes (2-3, 3-1, 3-1)

Gary Anderson 2-0 Keegan Brown (3-0, 3-2)

Monday October 7 (1900)

First Round x8

Stephen Bunting v Jonny Clayton

Vincent van der Voort v Nathan Aspinall

Adrian Lewis v Jermaine Wattimena

Glen Durrant v Krzysztof Ratajski

Daryl Gurney v Danny Noppert

Gerwyn Price v Dave Chisnall

Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic

Peter Wright v Max Hopp



Michael van Gerwen will open his bid for a fifth title at the BoyleSports World Grand Prix against Jamie Hughes on Sunday, October 16, with the draw for the Dublin event also pitting Rob Cross against Mensur Suljovic.


World number one Van Gerwen picked up his fourth World Grand Prix win in 2018, having also been victorious at the Citywest Convention Centre in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

The World Champion and 13/8 pre-tournament favourite with sponsors BoyleSports has picked up a tough opener in this year’s 32-player event, drawing Jamie Hughes.

Tipton ace Hughes will be making his World Grand Prix debut when this year’s tournament is held from October 6-12, having impressed by winning the Czech Darts Open in June.

Two-time World Grand Prix champion James Wade – 22/1 chance to secure a hat-trick of titles – will face John Henderson, who was a semi-finalist two years ago after opening the event with a defeat of Van Gerwen.

MVG will start as the 13/8 favourite.

Number two seed and 10/1 chance Rob Cross, the 2019 World Matchplay winner, has drawn world number nine Mensur Suljovic in another tasty first-round tie, while 2017 World Grand Prix winner Daryl Gurney plays Dutchman Danny Noppert.

Third favourite Gary Anderson, who is 9/1 with BoyleSports, plays former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown, while world number five Michael Smith has drawn Simon Whitlock, the 2017 Dublin runner-up.

Reigning Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price, the sixth seed, plays Dave Chisnall, while seventh seed Peter Wright – the 8/1 second-favourite – will take on another former World Youth Champion, Germany’s Max Hopp.

Glen Durrant’s debut in the double-start event will see him come up against Polish number one Krzysztof Ratajski, while reigning World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh drew 2012 World Grand Prix finalist Mervyn King.

Steve Beaton – a semi-finalist in Dublin 15 years ago – will meet Dutch youngster Jeffrey de Zwaan, while two 2019 European Tour event winners, Ian White and Joe Cullen, also face off.


2010 Dublin finalist Adrian Lewis plays Jermaine Wattimena, UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall opens up against Vincent van der Voort, Stephen Bunting plays Wales’ Jonny Clayton and Ricky Evans meets Chris Dobey.

The players in the top half of the draw will play their first-round ties on Sunday, with the bottom half of the draw in action on Monday evening at the Citywest Convention Centre.

Sunday’s winners will compete in Tuesday’s second-round ties, with Monday’s winners returning to the stage on Wednesday.

The quarter-finals will then be held on Thursday night, with the semi-finals on Friday ahead of Saturday’s final, which will be preceded by the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final between Keane Barry and Liam Gallagher.

The double-start tournament will return to the Citywest Convention Centre from October 6-12, with tickets still available through

2019 BoyleSports World Grand Prix

Draw Bracket

(1) Michael van Gerwen v Jamie Hughes

Jeffrey de Zwaan v Steve Beaton

(8) James Wade v John Henderson

Mervyn King v Dimitri Van den Bergh

(5) Michael Smith v Simon Whitlock

Joe Cullen v Ian White

(4) Gary Anderson v Keegan Brown

Ricky Evans v Chris Dobey

(2) Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic

Glen Durrant v Krzysztof Ratajski

(7) Peter Wright v Max Hopp

Adrian Lewis v Jermaine Wattimena

(6) Gerwyn Price v Dave Chisnall

Stephen Bunting v Jonny Clayton

(3) Daryl Gurney v Danny Noppert

Vincent van der Voort v Nathan Aspinall

Schedule of Play

Sunday October 6 (1900)

First Round x8

Ricky Evans v Chris Dobey

Mervyn King v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Joe Cullen v Ian White

Jeffrey de Zwaan v Steve Beaton

James Wade v John Henderson

Michael Smith v Simon Whitlock

Michael van Gerwen v Jamie Hughes

Gary Anderson v Keegan Brown

Monday October 7 (1900)

First Round x8

Stephen Bunting v Jonny Clayton

Vincent van der Voort v Nathan Aspinall

Adrian Lewis v Jermaine Wattimena

Glen Durrant v Krzysztof Ratajski

Daryl Gurney v Danny Noppert

Gerwyn Price v Dave Chisnall

Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic

Peter Wright v Max Hopp

Tuesday October 8 (1900)

Second Round x4

Wade/Henderson v King/Van den Bergh

Smith/Whitlock v Cullen/White

Van Gerwen/Hughes v De Zwaan/Beaton

Anderson/Brown v Evans/Dobey

Wednesday October 9 (1900)

Second Round x4

Gurney/Noppert v Van der Voort/Aspinall

Price/Chisnall v Bunting/Clayton

Cross/Suljovic v Durrant/Ratajski

Wright/Hopp v Lewis/Wattimena

Thursday October 10 (1900)


Friday October 11 (1900)


Saturday October 12 (2000)


Preceded by Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay Final (1900)

Liam Gallagher v Keane Barry

Best of 11 legs

BoyleSports World Grand Prix Odds

Outright Winner

13/8 Michael van Gerwen

8/1 Peter Wright

9/1 Gary Anderson

10/1 Rob Cross

12/1 Gerwyn Price

14/1 Daryl Gurney

20/1 Michael Smith, Nathan Aspinall, Glen Durrant, Mensur Suljovic

22/1 James Wade

28/1 Ian White

40/1 Dave Chisnall

66/1 Adrian Lewis, Jamie Hughes, Dimitri Van den Bergh, Jeffrey de Zwaan

80/1 Krzysztof Ratajski

100/1 Chris Dobey, Joe Cullen, Jonny Clayton

125/1 Simon Whitlock, Stephen Bunting, Max Hopp

150/1 Keegan Brown

175/1 Vincent van der Voort

200/1 Steve Beaton, Danny Noppert, John Henderson, Ricky Evans, Jermaine Wattimena

250/1 Mervyn King

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


William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Six Round-Up

Austrian Open – Latest PDC Europe Preview.

Kyle Anderson and Stephen Bunting will meet on Friday in a mouth-watering first-round tie at the Austrian Darts Championship as the European Tour returns to action in Vienna.

Kyle Anderson Unicorn
The Original – Kyle Anderson

The tenth £140,000 European Tour event of the year will take place from August 30-September 1 at the Multiversum Schwechat in Vienna, as 48 players compete across the weekend.

Friday’s first-round features the 32 qualifiers as they compete across two sessions to secure places in Saturday’s second-round alongside the 16 seeded players.

Australian ace Anderson and former Lakeside Champion Bunting will clash in Friday’s highest-profile contest – with the winner progressing to play World Champion Michael van Gerwen.

Czech Darts Open winner Jamie Hughes opens his bid to win back-to-back European Tour titles against World Championship quarter-finalist Luke Humphries.

Former Austrian Darts Open winners Justin Pipe and Vincent van der Voort clash in another high-profile first round tie, while home favourite Rowby-John Rodriguez plays Josh Payne in a meeting of two World Youth Championship finalists.

Double World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh plays Mark Webster, while two 2019 Players Championship winners – Ireland’s William O’Connor and Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan – also face off.

UK Open quarter-finalist Ross Smith plays Czech debutant Adam Gawlas, Dutch World Cup ace Jermaine Wattimena meets German youngster Christian Bunse and James Wilson will take on Gavin Carlin.

The withdrawal of Australia’s Corey Cadby meant that a fifth place was available in the Host Nation Qualifier on Thursday night.

Youngster Rusty-Jake Rodriguez joined elder brother Rowby-John Rodriguez in qualifying, alongside former World Championship qualifiers Hannes Schnier and Dietmar Burger.

Alex Steinbauer secured his place in a second European Tour event, while Christian Goedl will make his debut at this level.

William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Six Round-Up
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Belgium’s Mike De Decker and German left-hander Kevin Munch were the two players to win through the West & South Europe Qualifier.

The Austrian Darts Championship will be broadcast through PDCTV-HD at for all subscribers worldwide, as well as through a series of bookmakers’ websites.

2019 Austrian Darts Championship (ET10)

Tournament Draw Bracket – Second Round Onwards

(3) Gerwyn Price v William O’Connor/Brendan Dolan

(14) Simon Whitlock v Justin Pipe/Vincent van der Voort

(6) Adrian Lewis v Jermaine Wattimena/Christian Bunse

(11) Michael Smith v Cameron Menzies/Kevin Munch

(7) Mensur Suljovic v Adam Gawlas/Ross Smith

(10) Steve Beaton v James Wilson/Gavin Carlin

(2) Ian White v Ted Evetts/Rusty-Jake Rodriguez

(15) Nathan Aspinall v Hannes Schnier/Keegan Brown

(4) Daryl Gurney v Rowby-John Rodriguez/Josh Payne

(13) Jonny Clayton v Mike De Decker/Chris Dobey

(5) Peter Wright v Mark Webster/Dimitri Van den Bergh

(12) Joe Cullen v Luke Humphries/Jamie Hughes

(8) Dave Chisnall v Dietmar Burger/Cor Dekker

(9) Ricky Evans v Alex Steinbauer/Kirk Shepherd

(1) Michael van Gerwen v Kyle Anderson/Stephen Bunting

(16) Darren Webster v Jeffrey de Zwaan/Christian Goedl

Schedule of Play

Friday August 30

First Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)   

William O’Connor v Brendan Dolan

James Wilson v Gavin Carlin

Adam Gawlas v Ross Smith

Ted Evetts v Rusty-Jake Rodriguez

Cameron Menzies v Kevin Munch

Dietmar Burger v Cor Dekker

Justin Pipe v Vincent van der Voort

Jermaine Wattimena v Christian Bunse

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)

Alex Steinbauer v Kirk Shepherd

Mark Webster v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Luke Humphries v Jamie Hughes

Hannes Schnier v Keegan Brown

Mike De Decker v Chris Dobey

Rowby-John Rodriguez v Josh Payne

Jeffrey de Zwaan v Christian Goedl

Kyle Anderson v Stephen Bunting

Saturday August 31

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Steve Beaton v Wilson/Carlin

Simon Whitlock v Pipe/Van der Voort

Gerwyn Price v O’Connor/Dolan

Dave Chisnall v Burger/Dekker

Ricky Evans v Steinbauer/Shepherd

Michael Smith v Menzies/Munch

Ian White v Evetts/Rodriguez

Adrian Lewis v Wattimena/Bunse

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)

Nathan Aspinall v Schnier/Brown

Daryl Gurney v Rodriguez/Payne

Jonny Clayton v De Decker/Dobey

Peter Wright v M Webster/Van den Bergh

Mensur Suljovic v Gawlas/R Smith

Joe Cullen v Humphries/Hughes

Michael van Gerwen v Anderson/Bunting

Darren Webster v De Zwaan/Goedl

Sunday September 1

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Third Round

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)




Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order

Final Qualifying Results

Thursday August 29

Host Nation Qualifier

Final Matches

Alex Steinbauer 6-5 Patrick Tringler

Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-3 Armin Glanzer

Christian Goedl 6-0 Tobias Fischer

Hannes Schnier 6-3 Stefan Taferner

Dietmar Burger 6-5 Roxy-James Rodriguez

West & South Europe Qualifier

Final Matches

Mike De Decker 6-3 Wilco Vermeulen

Kevin Munch 6-5 Robert Allenstein


Last – Gasp Hughes Amongst Seven Debutants at Matchplay.

West Midlands man makes Winter Gardens field with Czech Open victory.


SEVEN players will make their Betfred World Matchplay debuts next month, with the field for the Blackpool event finalised following a dramatic weekend at the Czech Darts Open.

The 32-player World Matchplay will be held from July 20-28 at the Winter Gardens, as players compete for the Phil Taylor Trophy and a £150,000 top prize from a £700,000 prize fund.

World Champion Michael van Gerwen will be the top seed as he aims to claim a third World Matchplay win, while Gary Anderson will defend the title he secured so brilliantly in 2018 as the number four seed.

However, the weekend’s Czech Darts Open – the final tournament before the qualification cut-off – saw high drama as players challenged to claim the final places in the 32-player field.

Former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown’s run to the semi-finals saw him claim a qualification spot at the expense of Australia’s Kyle Anderson, while former quarter-finalist Vincent van der Voort held on to his spot.

However, Jamie Hughes provided the most remarkable display to earn his World Matchplay debut by going all the way to victory in Prague – the only result which could have won him a Blackpool place!

A Tour Card winner in January, Hughes had to qualify just to claim a place in Prague, and defeated top 16 stars Adrian Lewis, Ron Meulenkamp, Ian White and Simon Whitlock on his way to the final before overcoming Stephen Bunting 8-3 to claim the £25,000 prize, a first full PDC title and his World Matchplay bow.

The other six Blackpool debutants are headlined by 2019 UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall, who makes his maiden World Matchplay appearance as the number 13 seed following his superb rise up the rankings.

Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski and English duo Ricky Evans and Glen Durrant were the three leading ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers as they secured their Blackpool places.

Durrant’s qualification is another fine achievement given that he – like Hughes – began 2019 on £0 in the rankings after moving onto the PDC circuit – but the Lakeside Champion has won two Players Championship titles and reached one other final so far this year.

Chris Dobey and Danny Noppert are the other players set to take to the Winter Gardens stage for the first time in this year’s event as a result of their form on the ProTour in the past 12 months.

Sandwiched between Van Gerwen and Anderson in the top 16, 2018 World Champion Rob Cross is seeded second and 2018 Players Championship Finals winner Daryl Gurney the third seed.

World Championship finalist Michael Smith will be seeded fifth, with 2017 World Matchplay finalist Peter Wright the sixth seed and Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price the number seven seed.

2007 World Matchplay winner James Wade is seeded eighth, while Mensur Suljovic – the 2018 runner-up following an epic final with Anderson – the ninth seed.

Ian White, Simon Whitlock, Dave Chisnall, Jonny Clayton, Darren Webster and 2013 finalist Lewis join Aspinall as the remaining seeded players for the draw.

2018 semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan and quarter-finalist Joe Cullen return to Blackpool as ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers, alongside veteran star Steve Beaton – who will be making his 20th World Matchplay appearance.

Czech Darts Open finalist Bunting will head to Blackpool in confident mood, while the remaining qualifiers included former semi-finalist Mervyn King, Dutch World Cup ace Jermaine Wattimena and 2019 Premier League contenders Max Hopp and John Henderson.

Tickets for the Betfred World Matchplay are still available and can be purchased through SeeTickets, Ticketmaster and the Winter Gardens Box Office.

2019 Betfred World Matchplay Field

PDC Order of Merit Qualifiers

(Seeded for first round draw)

1 Michael van Gerwen

2 Rob Cross

3 Daryl Gurney

4 Gary Anderson

5 Michael Smith

6 Peter Wright

7 Gerwyn Price

8 James Wade

9 Mensur Suljovic

10 Ian White

11 Simon Whitlock

12 Dave Chisnall

13 Nathan Aspinall

14 Jonny Clayton

15 Darren Webster

16 Adrian Lewis

ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers

Krzysztof Ratajski

Ricky Evans

Glen Durrant

Joe Cullen

Steve Beaton

Stephen Bunting

Jermaine Wattimena

Jamie Hughes

Jeffrey de Zwaan

Chris Dobey

Danny Noppert

Max Hopp

Mervyn King

John Henderson

Keegan Brown

Vincent van der Voort


Hughes Claims Czech Darts Open, Bunting in Runner Up Spot.

JAMIE HUGHES won his first senior PDC title at the inaugural Czech Darts Open in Prague on Sunday, securing a Betfred World Matchplay debut in the process.

PDC Europe.

Having won his PDC Tour Card for the first time in January, Hughes took just five months to taste success on the PDC stage, defeating Stephen Bunting 8-3 in the final at the PVA Expo.

The win also secures a maiden appearance at the World Matchplay for a resilient Hughes, who plied his trade on the PDC Challenge Tour in 2018 having failed to win a Tour Card at his first attempt.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win my first title, I’ve worked so hard for this moment,” said Hughes, who defeated Devon Petersen, Adrian Lewis, Ron Meulenkamp, Ian White and Simon Whitlock to reach the final.

“I’ve been playing well for a while now, better than I played this weekend strangely enough, and now I’ve finally got the results to show for it.

“To make the World Matchplay so soon is fantastic for me and now I can’t wait to show the world what I’m about on one of the biggest stages in world darts.”

The final of the ninth European Tour event of 2019 was played out by two European Tour final debutants, and it was Bunting who struck first with a break of throw in the opening leg after nervy missed darts at double from Hughes.

Bunting produced an incredible dart through to a blocked bullseye for a 95 checkout to take a 3-1 lead, but that was as good as it got for the world number 18 as Hughes reeled off the next seven legs without reply.

A clinical 83 checkout saw Hughes take the lead for the first time at 4-3, before the biggest moment of the match came in the following leg with Hughes taking out 120 for a double break of throw.

From there, it was Hughes’ turn to punish Bunting’s missed darts at double as Hughes rattled off the final three legs to become the fifth different winner on the 2019 European Tour and seal the £25,000 top prize.

A winner of two ProTour events in 2014 and 2016, Bunting came close to his first PDC stage title having claimed impressive victories over Peter Wright and Daryl Gurney on his way to the final.

“I am proud of my achievements this weekend, even winning just one game I would’ve taken positives from,” said Bunting.

“It shows progress that I’ve reached my first European Tour final, hopefully it will be the first of many, and I can take my good form into the upcoming TV events.”

The £140,000 event reached its climax on the final day of action, with the Last 16 taking place in the afternoon session, followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening.

Keegan Brown was the other big winner in Prague, as his run to the semi-finals saw him seal a return to the World Matchplay, defeating Michael van Gerwen and Mensur Suljovic along the way.

Corey Cadby’s European Tour debut was ended by Mervyn King in the Last 16, while Saturday’s nine-dart hero Gerwyn Price was knocked out by Whitlock.

The European Tour returns with the Austrian Darts Championship in Vienna across the weekend of August 30-September 1, with all the action shown on PDCTV-HD.

2019 Czech Darts Open
Sunday June 30Afternoon Session
Third Round
Keegan Brown 6-4 Danny Noppert
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Ted Evetts
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Chris Dobey
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Ian White 6-1 Andrew Gilding
Jamie Hughes 6-3 Ron Meulenkamp
Mervyn King 6-4 Corey Cadby
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Gerwyn Price

Evening Session
Keegan Brown 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Jamie Hughes 6-5 Ian White
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Mervyn King 

Stephen Bunting 7-4 Keegan Brown
Jamie Hughes 7-3 Simon Whitlock

Jamie Hughes 8-3 Stephen Bunting


Written by Josh Phillips