Night three of the PDC Unibet Home Tour will feature former World finalist Dave Chisnall alongside double World Champion Scott Waites. Dutchman Jan Dekker and Jonathan Worsley complete the four player group.
Waites will not quite be having the experience he expected when crossing to the PDC, in a much anticipated switch, in January. Chisnall meanwhile has enjoyed a good spell since moving dart sponsors in 2019 and will enjoy the opportunity to showcase his skills in a relaxed atmosphere. Expect plenty of 180’s from Chizzy!
Dekker has proven a highly adaptable player over the last decade, reaching the later stages of the Lakeside as well as playing on most of the PDC’s biggest stages. The Dutchman represent an example of the modern ‘Hybrid’ professional dart player.
Worlsey, known as the Womble, has previously enjoyed great success on the Challenge Tour and will be looking to use the Home Tour to raise his profile and, perhaps, provide a stepping stone to success at the Pro Tour level.
The Unibet Home Tour has already provided plenty of shocks, Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price both handily defeated, and the highlight of Luke Woodhouse’s 9-Dart moment.
What does night three hold in store?
Group Three – Sunday April 19 Dave Chisnall v Scott Waites Jan Dekker v Jonathan Worsley Scott Waites v Jonathan Worsley Dave Chisnall v Jan Dekker Jan Dekker v Scott Waites Jonathan Worsley v Dave Chisnall
Unibet Home Tour Group Two – Saturday April 18 Gerwyn Price 5-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez Luke Woodhouse 5-2 Ted Evetts Ted Evetts 5-3 Rowby-John Rodriguez Luke Woodhouse 5-0 Gerwyn Price Luke Woodhouse 5-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez Gerwyn Price 5-2 Ted Evetts
Darius Labanauskas is 43, Lithuaniun and known as ‘Lucky D’, but luck had very little to so with his superb run at this years PDC World Championship. MVG seemed to be a little dismissive of Lucky D after their Qtr final. Not everyone shared his view.
Shortly before the championships I was asked to contribute a few words, on various players, for an eMag (Ultimate Guide to the World Championships https://appsolutely.dev/darts/). There were limited spaces for an extended commentary and each group of qualifiers had to be represented.
One of our selections for the Global/Event Qualifiers section was Darius. Here is what we had to say about him:
Lucky D will provide Lithuania with a superb opportunity of having a darting hero. A former WDF Number 1, and winner of many European Opens, he made his attempt at the PDC system this year. Heaving gained a Pro Tour Card he has progressed well ever since. The experienced, and smart, 43 year old played both the Pro Tour events and on the Scandinavian (affiliated) Tour. This ensured regular income and constant game time. The highlight of the year, from a PDC point of view, would be his run to the final of Players Championship 15. En-Route Darius defeated a wide range of players including the on form Gabriel Clemens and the legendary Steve Beaton. He also qualified for The Players Championships Finals and get some useful PDC stage experience under his belt. Eastern European players have made great strides in recent years Darius has already made a groundbreaking contribution, can he go further?
As you can see I was positively disposed to the Lithuanian and noted his previous victory of Steve Beaton. There were two main reasons for thinking he may do well, and selecting him as a worth additional comment, firstly I had met him a couple of times and he seemed a very focused, determined and switched on guy who understood more than he let on. Secondly, his tactics of playing both the main PDC and Scandinavian tour, fitted with something I have observed about those who are able to spread their efforts.
The fact that income, game time, experience and confidence can be gained, at the same time as moving into the elite, is very important and often results in good world championship performances.
In 2010/11 Mensur surprised many, with his early victory over James Wade, but not those familiar with the Open Event Circuit. The Austrian had been playing superbly for the previous couple of months and had mopped up plenty of income and confidence from events in the Midlands and North. A look at Larry Butler’s global form a few years back showed why his return to the top should not have been a surprise.
Jan Dekker has also benefitted from playing different tours at different times and has again played the system this year to qualify for the worlds, and pocket £15k, in order to retain his ranking and tour card?
In short there is a space for players who are perhaps not quite elite, top 16 level, but are very good and professional in their attitude. Think of them like the journey men in golf. They can earn very good livings and finish high up in tier two events, or rankings, while rarely hitting the absolute peak of their sport.
It is not easy to tell whether Darius will move up a gear and join the elite ranks or whether this will have been just another step on a ground breaking hybrid style career.
Gerwyn Price survived a huge scare against William O’Connor on Day Seven of the 2019/20 William Hill World Darts Championship on Thursday at London’s Alexandra Palace.
World number three Price was twice a leg away from crashing out of the tournament, but Republic of Ireland’s O’Connor was unable to deliver the fatal blow.
With the deciding set tied at 2-2 in legs, O’Connor approached the oche needing four points but threw at double one, allowing Price to take out 75 to break throw before winning it with a 13-dart leg.
With Rob Cross and Michael Smith among the seeded players to fall at the first hurdle, Price showed determination to avoid joining them but admitted he never felt at ease on the big stage.
“That’s the most uncomfortable I’ve ever felt in a darts match, I couldn’t handle the heat up there,” admitted Price, who will meet John Henderson in round three.
“From the moment I walked out I never felt at ease and I ended up chasing Willie throughout; he was probably the better player.
“He put me under pressure and I knew I don’t have the best of records here but a win’s a win.
“I had a bit of luck with Willie going for the wrong double at the end but I’m not going to tap him on the shoulder and tell him that!
“I’ve won tournaments before where I should’ve gone out in my first game so maybe this could be another one of those.”
After edging the opening set 3-2, Price lost both the next two 3-1 to go within a set of a shock early exit.
Set four went to a deciding leg, putting the Welsh number one on the brink for the first time in the contest but Price found a last dart double six for a 15-dart leg when he needed it most.
With O’Connor 2-1 up in the deciding set, another 15-dart leg from Price took the match to a tie-break, before O’Connor’s counting error allowed Price to go ahead for the first time since set one.
Price produced a timely 180 in the next leg, followed by a 134 setup shot to leave double 18 which he pinned with his first dart to relieve fears of a first hurdle exit.
Day Seven of darts’ biggest event also saw Chris Dobey reach the third round in dramatic fashion, as he survived two match darts to overcome Ron Meulenkamp in a thrilling tie-break.
Having squandered a two-set lead, Dobey found himself 2-0 down in the deciding set but after the Dutchman missed two darts at double eight to end the contest, Dobey made no mistake on double 14 to level at 2-2.
A 14-dart leg earned Dobey a crucial break of throw, before the next leg saw the Northumbrian seal the win on double eight to reach round three where he will meet Mensur Suljovic or history-maker Fallon Sherrock.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win on that stage, it would’ve been really disappointing to lose here after a good year,” said Dobey.
“When I hit double 14 to level in the last set I said ‘I’m still here’ and I always say it’s never over until it’s over.
“I don’t mind who I play next but I thought Fallon was absolutely outstanding the other night, I was out there watching and the atmosphere was fantastic.”
Two-time World Championship quarter-finalist Dave Chisnall safely secured his passage through to the third round with a 3-1 win over Vincent van der Voort.
Although Chisnall struggled to produce his trademark high-scoring on a consistent basis, his accuracy on the outer ring saw him miss just five darts at double to keep Van der Voort at bay.
Chisnall, who has enjoyed a return to form in 2019, will face another Dutchman, Jeffrey de Zwaan in round three.
“I’m really happy with the win, Vincent is a top player so I’m relieved to get a difficult first game out of the way,” said Chisnall.
“I’ve changed darts but it’s not just that, I feel relaxed playing and I probably want it more now than ever before.
“I’ve never practiced like this for a World Championship and hopefully this year we’re going to see the best version of myself.
“If I play my best game all the way through, who knows what could happen?”
Steve Beaton began his 19th PDC World Championship with a 3-1 victory over Australian number two Kyle Anderson.
With Beaton leading 2-1 in sets, Anderson missed three darts to take the contest to a deciding set before Beaton clinically took out 50 in two darts to advance to round three.
Beaton now has the chance to reach last 16 for first time since the 2003/04 event against eighth seed James Wade.
Popular Scot Henderson breezed into the last 32 for the third year in a row with a 3-0 whitewash of James Richardson.
Richardson, who came through a last-leg shoot-out with Mikuru Suzuki in round one, registered just three legs in the contest as Henderson dominated throughout.
There was a less simple passage into the last 32 for Danny Noppert, who came from behind to beat Callan Rydz 3-2.
Debutant Rydz landed a 160 checkout on his way to a 2-1 lead in sets, before World Series of Darts Finals runner-up Noppert won six of the last seven legs to book his place in round three against Kim Huybrechts.
There was heart-break for last year’s quarter-finalist Ryan Joyce as he missed four match darts against Jan Dekker.
From 2-0 down in sets, Joyce fought hard to take the match to a deciding but Dutchman Dekker made the most of his chance to reach round two for a second successive year where he will take on Welsh number two Jonny Clayton.
A day of drama also saw Justin Pipe survive three match darts as he fought back from 2-1 down to defeat Slovenian debutant Benjamin Pratnemer.
Pratnemer missed a trio of darts at double ten and double five to win 3-1, before Pipe found a vital last dart double eight to level.
Pipe then went on to win the deciding set 3-1 to enjoy a winning return to darts’ biggest stage after a two-year absence, with world number six Daryl Gurney awaiting him in round two.
The William Hill World Championship continues on Friday with two sessions of second round action, as Peter Wright begins his quest for the Sid Waddell Trophy against Noel Malicdem of the Philippines.
Day Eight will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Darts channel and through NOW TV in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.
Thursday December 19 Afternoon Session (1230 GMT) 2x First Round, 2x Second Round Justin Pipe 3-2 Benjamin Pratnemer (First Round) Jan Dekker 3-2 Ryan Joyce (First Round) John Henderson 3-0 James Richardson (Second Round) Steve Beaton 3-1 Kyle Anderson (Second Round)
Evening Session (1900 GMT) 4x Second Round Chris Dobey 3-2 Ron Meulenkamp (Second Round) Danny Noppert 3-2 Callan Rydz (Second Round) Dave Chisnall 3-1 Vincent van der Voort (Second Round) Gerwyn Price 3-2 William O’Connor (Second Round)
Friday December 20 Afternoon Session (1230 GMT) 4x Second Round Darren Webster v Yuki Yamada (Second Round) Mervyn King v Ciaran Teehan (Second Round) Jonny Clayton v Joyce/Dekker (Second Round) Ricky Evans v Mark McGeeney (Second Round)
Evening Session (1900 GMT) 4x Second Round Nathan Aspinall v Danny Baggish (Second Round) Joe Cullen v Nico Kurz (Second Round) Max Hopp v Benito van de Pas (Second Round) Peter Wright v Noel Malicdem (Second Round)
PETER WRIGHT completed a hat-trick of PDC titles in less than a week at Players Championship 20 in Barnsley on Wednesday.
After becoming the 2019 German Darts Master in Cologne on Sunday, Peter Wright continued his impressive form in the mid-week Players Championship double-header, with six consecutive ton-plus averages in Wednesday’s event.
The conclusion to Players Championship 20 saw Wright dominate Joe Cullen in the final, averaging 105.3 and winning 8-1 against a Cullen who had been impressive all day, defeating the likes of Gerwyn Price and Adrian Lewis on his route to the final.
“I wanted to up my 101 average from yesterday and I know Joe is warming up for the Matchplay so I had to be at my best.” said Wright, who has now added a 25th PDC title to his collection.“The change in my darts is making things a lot easier. If the first dart goes in the treble 20 and I don’t follow it with the other two, I’m disappointed.
“Winning three titles in five days is definitely a confidence boost going into the World Matchplay and it should be a great tournament.”
The final saw Wright reel off five consecutive legs before Cullen finally got on the board with a hold of throw in the sixth leg. From there, Wright wasn’t letting Cullen back into the match, continuing his incredible prolificness on doubles with a huge 146 checkout to make it 7-1.
It was then the routine procedure for Peter Wright, who had barely missed a dart at tops all day, to take out double 20 in the winning leg to swoop his third PDC title in five days and seal the £10,000 top prize. Despite being on the receiving end of a dominant Peter Wright display, it was still a promising day for Joe Cullen leading into the World Matchplay, after he reached his first Pro Tour final in just over two years. Elsewhere, Adrian Gray reached his first Pro Tour Semi-Final since 2012 but was beaten by eventual winner Wright 7-2. Players Championship 20 was the last event before the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay gets underway on Saturday at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
See full Players Championship 20 results in the Match Centre.
Players Championship 20 Wednesday July 17 The Barnsley Metrodome
Last 16 Steve Beaton 6-3 Adrian Gray 6-4 Nathan Aspinall Peter Wright 6-1 Jeffrey De Zwaan Devon Petersen 6-5 Jelle Klaasen Joe Cullen 6-2 Gerwyn Price Rob Cross 6-0 Krzysztof Ratajski Adrian Lewis 6-5 Dimitri van den Bergh Jan Dekker 6-3 Christian Kist
Quarter-Finals Adrian Gray 6-4 Steve Beaton Peter Wright 6-0 Devon Petersen Joe Cullen 6-4 Rob Cross Adrian Lewis 6-2 Jan Dekker
Semi-Finals Peter Wright 7-2 Adrian Gray Joe Cullen 7-2 Adrian Lewis
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