Nathan Aspinall became the latest player to reach the semi-finals of the Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs as he won all three of his matches on Monday night.
Premier League star Aspinall kicked off the night with a 6-4 defeat of Spain’s Jesús Noguera, before seeing off 2019 Czech Open winner Jamie Hughes 6-2.
Meanwhile, Jose De Sousa also picked up two wins from his first two matches as the Portuguese number one continued the impressive form he showed in the first phase of the tournament.
The final game of the night saw Aspinall run out a 6-4 victor over De Sousa in a winner takes all match, with Aspinall joining Rob Cross and Joe Cullen in Thursday’s semi-final line-up.
The Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs continue on Tuesday night with the final semi-final spot up for grabs in Group Eight, which will feature Jonny Clayton, Max Hopp, Scott Waites and Carl Wilkinson.
Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs Group Seven – Monday June 1 Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Jesús Noguera Jose De Sousa 6-1 Jamie Hughes Jose De Sousa 6-4 Jesús Noguera Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Jamie Hughes Jamie Hughes 6-4 Jesús Noguera Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Jose De Sousa
JOSE DE SOUSA is already known as The Special One but hopes he can become bigger than Ronaldo on the oche.
The Portuguese star has produced the outstanding display of the PDC Home Tour, dropping just one leg in his opening group. But the World No.59 is aiming high as the new cult hero of the sport before his last 32 group clashes tonight (Monday). He said: “My phone never stops after I win a game, it’s on fire. When I win I become very popular.
“I would like to think I can be the biggest sportsman in Portugal. Maybe I can have a better body than Ronaldo!”
“I like football so much especially from the time of Figo, Ronaldo and other great players. I never go to the stadium because there are too much people together. But I watch on TV so much.
“It is amazing to be mentioned in social media messages by people saying that I’m the Ronaldo of darts. Maybe even I can be The Special One like Jose Mourinho!”
“I think it is possible one day that Ronaldo will come and watch me play at the Alexandra Palace, I speak with him and he can cheer me on.“When he has quit in a few years then maybe Portugal sport will be all about Jose De Sousa, I hope so anyway.”
In the opening group, the Portuguese-born player beat Robert Thornton and Keegan Brown without dropping a leg, averaging 109 against The Thorn. De Sousa completed a 5-1 win against Robinson to complete his unstoppable form from his home in Madrid.Now he faces Nathan Aspinall, Jamie Hughes and Jesús Noguera in yet another tricky Home Tour group.
But it is fast-becoming the tournament of the underdog with Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Glen Durrant, and Stephen Bunting all having crashed out. Gary Anderson and Rob Cross are so far the highest seeds who have qualified for the semi-finals. De Sousa fancies his chances of going further.
He added: “I think the Home Tour was one of the best performances yet for me in the PDC. I played fantastic. I was surprised a little bit, the previous two weeks I practiced so much with friends and small tournaments for fun.
“If I play always the same then maybe I can be the lockdown World Champion”.
“Last year was my first in the PDC and in the middle of the season one of my sponsors make me a new arrow for me and gave me a big push up, my game is much better now.” That’s because of the new barrels.“
This year I think I’m a bit stronger, I always try to produce a solid game because that’s way you have more opportunities to win legs.
“This is another very tough group for me. But I know if I can play the same again like I did before, I can beat anyone.”
Five players enjoyed a qualifying double last Friday in Barnsley, as Tour Card Holder Qualifiers took place for the European Tour Events 3-4.
Friday’s Tour Card Holder Qualifier for the year’s third and fourth European Tour events saw 24 spots up for grabs in the European Darts Open (ET3) and German Darts Grand Prix (ET4).
Jason Lowe, who came within a leg of defeating Michael van Gerwen at the UK Open last weekend, qualified for both events alongside fellow-new Tour Card Holder Martijn Kleermaker of the Netherlands.
Another Dutchman, Maik Kuivenhoven also enjoyed a double success, along with Portugal’s Jose De Sousa and Latvia’s Madars Razma.
Both the European Darts Open (ET3) and German Darts Grand Prix (ET4) have been postponed due to current restrictions, and will be rearranged for later in 2020.
The PDC ProTour weekend in Barnsley continues on Saturday and Sunday with Players Championship event 7-8 from 1200 GMT.
ET3 Tour Card Holder Qualifiers: Devon Petersen, Steve Lennon, Adam Hunt, Mervyn King, Jason Lowe, Steffen Siepmann, Jonathan Worsley, Darius Labanauskas, Jose De Sousa, William O’Connor, Derk Telnekes, John Henderson, Maik Kuivenhoven, Martijn Kleermaker, Harry Ward, Madars Razma, Scott Waites, Ryan Joyce, Damon Heta, Darren Webster, Vincent van der Voort, Luke Woodhouse, Chris Dobey, Kim Huybrechts
ET4 Tour Card Holder Qualifiers: Kai Fan Leung, Kyle Anderson, Jamie Lewis, Andy Hamilton, Jason Lowe, Jesus Noguera, Madars Razma, Jelle Klaasen, Jose De Sousa, Martin Schindler, Stephen Bunting, Maik Kuivenhoven, Dirk van Duijvenbode, Ron Meulenkamp, Danny Noppert, Ross Smith, Brendan Dolan, Ryan Murray, Niels Zonneveld, Benito van de Pas, Martijn Kleermaker, Steve West, Toni Alcinas, Scott Baker
Jose De Sousa claimed a second PDC title inside a month at Players Championship 28 in Dublin on Saturday, beating Glen Durrant 8-6 in the final De Sousa, who won a PDC Tour Card for the first time in January, produced a string of impressive displays to reach his third ProTour final of the year and claim the £10,000 top prize.
The final was a close encounter but a crucial break of throw in the penultimate leg gave the Portuguese the chance to throw for the match, a chance he took to down his English opponent.
“The final was not my best game, it was a complicated game. This final was a moment of magic for me, a great moment,” said a delighted De Sousa.
“If I play my best game I can beat almost anyone. I practice so hard, every day and I want to make a big future for myself.
“I didn’t think this was possible, I could not imagine this.”
The 45-year-old, who had only won his PDC Tour Card in January at Q-School won the crown on another definitive day for Portuguese darts.
“This is my first year in the PDC, all I wanted was experience but this has been amazing. I will continue my work and in the future, we will see what happens.”
A 98 average in a 6-2 win against Mark Dudbridge opened the day for De Sousa, before a remarkable 6-1 triumph, with an average of almost 108 saw the winner of Player Championship 23 move safely into the last 32.
A hard-fought 6-4 victory against Mark Webster and then a 6-2 win over Spaniard Jesus Noguera saw De Sousa move into the Quarter-Finals.
Another ton-plus average followed this time in a 6-3 win over a resurgent Kim Huybrechts as the Portuguese progressed into the last four.
De Sousa then faced Mensur Suljovic, who earlier in the day had produced the perfect nine-dart leg in his victory over Adam Hunt.
Suljovic could not compete with his opponent in the semi-finals though as De Sousa powered through to the final.
The decider swung both ways with neither player able to gain complete control of the encounter.
The pair traded breaks of throw in the middle of the match before Durrant eventually levelled at 6-6.
With the game looking set to go all the way to a deciding leg, De Sousa produced the all-important break of throw to go within a leg of the match before eventually pinning double ten for the title.
Durrant, who was playing in his fourth PDC final since his move over from the BDO had another successful day with notable wins against Ian White and a semi-final victory against Friday’s champion Gerwyn Price.
The final two Players Championship events of 2019 will take place on October 14-15 where the field for the Players Championship finals will be confirmed.
Televised darts returns on Sunday as the BoyleSports World Grand Prix is broadcast live around the world from the Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin.
Last 16 Jermaine Wattimena 6-1Gabriel Clemens Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Peter Wright Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Christian Bunse Jose De Sousa 6-2 Jesus Noguera Gerwyn Price 6-5 Jonny Clayton James Wade 6-5 Jose Justicia Glen Durrant 6-4 Ritchie Edhouse Ian White 6-4 Conan Whitehead Quarter-Finals Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena Jose De Sousa 6-3 Kim Huybrechts Gerwyn Price 6-2James Wade Glen Durrant 6-5 Ian White
Semi-Finals Jose De Sousa 7-3 Mensur Suljovic Glen Durrant 7-6 Gerwyn Price
Danny Noppert moved into a provisional qualifying place for the Unibet European Championship with victory in the opening round of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, while 13 other players also won to keep their qualification hopes alive.
Friday saw the start of the 13th and final European Tour event of 2019, after which the 32-player field will be confirmed for the European Championship, which will take place in Göttingen from October 24-27.
32 qualifiers were in action at the Victoria Stadium on day one, 26 of whom harboured hopes of forcing their way into qualifying positions for the European Championship.
The other six players competing on Friday were already assured of their qualifying places, they were Darren Webster, Steve Beaton, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Chris Dobey, Keegan Brown and Jamie Hughes.
The most significant result of the day saw Dutch number six Noppert survive a match dart from Brown to claim a vital 6-5 and give his qualification hopes a huge boost.
Noppert moves into the 32 spot on tournament count-back ahead of John Henderson, however, he must beat World Championship runner-up Michael Smith, who is currently outside the provisional qualifying places, in Saturday’s second round to continue his quest to Göttingen.
Dimitri Van den Bergh cemented his provisional qualification place by taking out a 135 finish on the bullseye to end the resilient challenge of Scott Taylor, claiming a 6-3 win.
The clash between two former European Tour event winners saw Kim Huybrechts end Justin Pipe’s hopes with a 6-3 victory, while De Zwaan defeated Steve West by the same scoreline.
Two Host Nation Qualifiers will star in day two after Dyson Parody recovered from 5-2 down to beat Norway’s Cor Dekker 6-5 and David Francis claimed a shock 6-4 win over Robert Thornton 6-4 to the delight of the Gibraltar fans.
Ryan Joyce and Jose De Sousa both missed double 12 for nine-dart finishes and posted ton-plus averages in their wins over Matt Clark and Darius Labanauskas.
Danish Darts Open runner-up Dobey edged out William O’Connor 6-4, while 19-year-old Dutchman Wessel Nijman picked up his first win on the European Tour, hitting the winning double at the tenth attempt to beat Webster 6-5 after Webster threatened a comeback from 5-1 down.
There were also wins for Michael Rosenauer, Paul Rowley and Poland’s Krzysztof Kciuk on the opening day of the £140,000 tournament, which will see the winner claim the £25,000 top prize.
Saturday’s second day of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy will be broadcast on video.pdc.tv, and through a series of bookmakers’ websites.
2019 Gibraltar Darts Trophy Friday September 27 First Round Afternoon Session Wessel Nijman 6-5 Darren Webster Krzysztof Kciuk 6-3 Kirk Shepherd Ryan Joyce 6-3 Matt Clark Dyson Parody 6-5 Cor Dekker Paul Rowley 6-5 Ryan Meikle Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Justin Pipe Carl Wilkinson 6-3 Justin Hewitt Steve Beaton 6-5 Tony Newell
Evening Session Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Steve West Chris Dobey 6-4 William O’Connor Danny Noppert 6-5 Keegan Brown Michael Rosenauer 6-4 Antony Lopez Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Scott Taylor Jose De Sousa 6-2 Darius Labanauskas David Francis 6-4 Robert Thornton Ritchie Edhouse 6-3 Jamie Hughes
Saturday September 28 Second Round Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST) Nathan Aspinall v Ryan Joyce James Wade v Paul Rowley Krzysztof Ratajski v Steve Beaton Jonny Clayton v Kim Huybrechts Rob Cross v Krzysztof Kciuk Daryl Gurney v Carl Wilkinson Dave Chisnall v Jeffrey de Zwaan Michael Smith v Danny Noppert
Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST) Ian White v Michael Rosenauer Jermaine Wattimena v Dimitri Van den Bergh Mensur Suljovic v Wessel Nijman Michael van Gerwen v Jose De Sousa Peter Wright v Dyson Parody Joe Cullen v Edhouse/Hughes Glen Durrant v Chris Dobey Gerwyn Price v David Francis
Sunday September 29 Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST) Third Round Van Gerwen/De Sousa v Aspinall/Joyce Wright/Parody v Suljovic/Nijman Wade/Rowley v Clayton/Huybrechts Chisnall/De Zwaan v Wattimena/Van den Bergh White/Rosenauer v Smith/Noppert Ratajski/Beaton v Cullen/Edhouse Gurney/Wilkinson v Durrant/Dobey Price/Francis v Cross/Kciuk
Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST) Quarter-Finals Semi-Finals Final
Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order
Format All games up to and including the quarter-finals are the best of 11 legs, with the semi-finals the best of 13 legs and the final the best of 15 legs.
Congratulations to all twenty-four players who qualified for this years Gibraltar Darts Trophy. The Gibraltarian event is one of the most popular with players, and their families, and seems to have inspired some different names at this week’s qualifiers!
Friday’s events began with the UK Qualifier, with former European Tour event winners Steve Beaton, Robert Thornton, Jamie Hughes and Justin Pipe among the players to make it through. Tony Newell, Carl Wilkinson and Paul Rowley were among the lesser-known names to make it through.
Multiple major Qtr-Finalist, Matt Clark hit the first nine-dart finish of the day in his 6-5 win over Reece Robinson on his way to securing a first European Tour appearance of 2019.
Jose De Sousa then added to his recent achievements and landed the day’s second perfect leg during his match with, former World Champion, Christian Kist in the European Tour Card Holder Qualifier, as the Portuguese number one booked his place in his second European Tour event.
Former European Tour event winner Kim Huybrechts also secured a spot in Gibraltar, via the European Tour Card Holder Qualifier, along with Belgian World Cup teammate Dimitri Van den Bergh and former World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan.
UK Qualifier Final Matches Jamie Hughes 6-4 Adam Hunt Ritchie Edhouse 6-4 Ricky Evans Steve Beaton 6-2 Justin Smith Chris Dobey 6-5 Kyle McKinstry Carl Wilkinson 6-3 Arron Monk Keegan Brown 6-4 Luke Woodhouse Matt Clark 6-5 Reece Robinson Paul Rowley 6-4 Mervyn King Tony Newell 6-5 Simon Whitlock William O’Connor 6-1 Mark Wilson Justin Pipe 6-4 Matthew Edgar Darren Webster 6-2 Adrian Gray Ryan Joyce 6-1 Brendan Dolan Scott Taylor 6-4 Harry Ward Ryan Meikle 6-5 Ross Smith Robert Thornton 6-5 James Wilson Kirk Shepherd 6-5 Mark Webster Steve West 6-3 Mark McGeeney
European Tour Card Holder Qualifier Final Matches Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-1 Ron Meulenkamp Danny Noppert 6-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Max Hopp Darius Labanauskas 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 Geert Nentjes Jose De Sousa 6-5 Gabriel Clemens
Jose De Sousa made history by becoming the first Portuguese winner of a PDC event at Players Championship 23 in Barnsley on Tuesday.
De Sousa, who won a PDC Tour Card for the first time in January, produced a string of impressive displays to reach his second ProTour final in just three months.
There, the Danish Darts Open quarter-finalist outplayed world number seven Gerwyn Price to claim a stunning 8-1 victory on a landmark day for Portuguese darts.
“This is a dream for me, I am so, so happy,” said an emotional De Sousa.
“I have fought for 25 years to come here and at last I can do this. It’s amazing for me to play against the best players in the world and prove I can play just like them.
“This is an incentive for me to continue my work and I think I can beat everybody if I continue to play this way.”
De Sousa’s day began with a 102.5 average in a 6-4 win over Nathan Rafferty, before victories over Steve Beaton, Ryan Meikle and John Henderson followed.
The 45-year-old then claimed a deciding leg win over Jermaine Wattimena, which he followed up with a convincing 7-3 triumph over Peter Wright in the semi-finals.
A one-sided final saw De Sousa average 95.7 to Price’s 84.8, as the Welshman struggled to find the form which saw him beat Rob Cross, Adrian Lewis and Glen Durrant earlier in the day.
The £10,000 top prize improves De Sousa’s hopes of a BoyleSports World Grand Prix debut in October, while it was also a significant day for Martin Schindler, as the young German reached his first ProTour quarter-final in 11 months.
Wednesday will see the second day of the Players Championship mid-week action in Barnsley, with action from Players Championship 24 streamed live on video.pdc.tv.
See full Players Championship 24 results in the Match Centre.
Players Championship 23 Tuesday September 10 Last 16 Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Luke Humphries Peter Wright 6-5 Danny Noppert Jose De Sousa 6-4 John Henderson Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Josh Payne Martin Schindler 6-5 Ian White Adrian Lewis 6-1 Vincent van der Voort Glen Durrant 6-5 Max Hopp Gerwyn Price 6-4 Rob Cross
Quarter-Finals Peter Wright 6-5 Michael van Gerwen Jose De Sousa 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena Adrian Lewis 6-2 Martin Schindler Gerwyn Price 6-2 Glen Durrant
Semi-Finals Jose De Sousa 7-3 Peter Wright Gerwyn Price 7-4 Adrian Lewis
JAMES WADE picked up his fourth PDC ranking title of 2019 at Players Championship 18 in Wigan on Sunday, defeating Jose de Sousa 8-5 in the final.
The second day of the ProTour double-header weekend saw Wade follow-up his hat-trick of Players Championship titles in April to equal his best ever tally of ranking titles in a calendar year, having also won four in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The former Premier League champion grew into the tournament, steadily increasing his average in every round, before posting ton-plus averages in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
Wade’s day began with victories over Dutch pair Benito van de Pas and Yordi Meeuwisse, followed by a narrow 6-5 win over Keegan Brown to reach the Last 16 where he overcame Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4.
In the quarter-finals, Wade averaged 101.5 to defeat rising star Callan Rydz 6-3, before edging past Players Championship 17 winner Krzysztof Ratajski 7-5 and then getting the better of De Sousa to secure the £10,000 top prize.
“Yesterday after I lost I looked at a picture of my son on my phone and that inspired me to win today,” said Wade.
“The final wasn’t a great game, in fact, I wouldn’t say I played very well today which is ironic really.
“But maybe today will boost me into a bit of form and I can do some damage at the World Matchplay.”
De Sousa got off to a flying start in his first PDC final, taking out 160 to hold throw in the opening leg, as the first four legs all went with throw.
Wade hit his favourite double ten with his last dart in hand to land the first break of the match, then doubling his lead with a calm 68 checkout after De Sousa piled on the pressure with his 21st 180 of the day.
De Sousa came roaring back with back-to-back legs of his own, including a 12-dart break which ended with an 88 checkout.
Despite averaging over 11 points more than Wade after eight legs, De Sousa was left to rue his missed chance to go ahead, as Wade clinically found double seven with his last darts in hand for an 86 checkout to break throw and make it 5-4.
From there, Wade produced a dominant end to the contest, dropping only one more leg to run out a convincing 8-5 winner.
De Sousa, who won his PDC Tour Card for the first time in January, backed up his run to the quarter-finals of the Danish Darts Open on his European Tour debut in Copenhagen last weekend.
The Portuguese number one defeated Nathan Aspinall, Jeffrey de Zwaan on his way to the semi-finals, where he ran out a 7-5 victory over Dimitri Van den Bergh to reach his first PDC ranking final, ending Van den Bergh’s hopes of qualifying for the Betfred World Matchplay in the process.
A number of players were vying for the 16 ProTour Order of Merit places in the Blackpool event ahead of the cut-off on June 30, with 14 players in contention for three places at the conclusion of Sunday’s event.
Vincent van der Voort, James Wilson and Kyle Anderson currently occupy the final three spots, but Anderson’s hopes were dealt a blow as he suffered an opening round loss to Ryan Searle.
Keegan Brown and William O’Connor lead the chasing pack of 11 players who will play in the Czech Darts Open across the weekend of June 28-30, with action shown on video.pdc.tv.
Elsewhere, Michael Smith went down to James Richardson in the Last 16, and Mensur Suljovic was defeated by O’Connor at the Last 32 stage.
The next Players Championship events will be held across July 16-17 at The Barnsley Metrodome, with live action shown on video.pdc.tv.
See full Players Championship 18 results in DartConnect.
Players Championship 18Sunday June 23Robin Park Tennis Centre, WiganLast 16 Luke Woodhouse 6-3 Ross Smith Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 Gabriel Clemens Callan Rydz 6-5 Brendan Dolan James Wade 6-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Andy Boulton William O’Connor 6-0 Madars Razma Jose de Sousa 6-4 Conan Whitehead James Richardson 6-4 Michael Smith
Quarter-Finals Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Luke Woodhouse James Wade 6-3 Callan Rydz Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-1 William O’Connor Jose de Sousa 6-2 James Richardson
Semi-Finals James Wade 7-5 Krzysztof Ratajski Jose de Sousa 7-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
This weekends Danish Darts Open, from Copenhagen, proved an entertaining spectacle with plenty of shocks, a popular winner and some insights into the future;
Rise of the Second Rank.
Normally ‘Second Rank’ can be used as an insult to those not quite good enough for the very top. In the PDC however, it is no insult whatsoever. There is a very strong group of players who cannot, yet, be classed as the elite, but who can defeat any other top player on their day. In addition to their single match potential, they are capable of claiming events if those at the very top slip up even slightly.
Dave Chisnall and Ian White perhaps sum this group up. Both have claimed multiple titles on this seasons tour, both are just outside the Premier League (top 8) rankings and both are not yet claiming multiple major titles. Johnny Clayton, Nathan Aspinall and Mensur seem to fit in here as well.
De Sousa Could Go Further.
Jose De Sousa is beginning to look comfortable with playing serious darts at the highest level. His efforts on the Pro Tour have not gone unnoticed and he has a winning pedigree from his soft-tip days. He is beginning to back that up with strong performances on stage. Jose turned those good performances into wins in Denmark and may have crossed a bridge. It is never easy for those based away from the UK but the European Tour has made it more likely that players based elsewhere will prosper.
Wattimena Exploits World Cup Gains.
It cannot have been easy to both partner the world number-one and step into the shoes of a Dutch legend in RVB. Yet, Jermaine did so and played some great stuff during the World Cup of Darts. He seemed to take advantage, of a newfound status and delivered strongly when defeating Ian White. It will be interesting to see whether this boost continues in the longer run.
Shepherd Continues His Quiet Return.
I have been discreetly following the efforts of the 2007 World Championship finalist for quite a while. He seems much more at peace with himself and has been returning to his old self. He has qualified for many of the European Tour evens and has been steadily improving. Defeating Rob Cross in Rd 2 will give him some extra confidence and the financial rewards will be welcome. Kirk is an irrepressible character who would, benefit the game and, provide a great story if he were to reach the higher echelons again. Don’t write off the possibility, he has proven before that he has the game to defeat anyone who takes him lightly.
World Cup Hangovers?
Holding this event within a week of the World Cup of Darts is far from ideal. However, it gives other players a chance to shine. Some high profile names did not take part and others seemed to be weary. None of the semi-finalists had gotten past round one in the World Cup and the two that made it underperformed, for Wales and thus had a point to prove. Could it be that the World Cup should move to a less crowded time on the calendar? Or perhaps it is better to have some up and coming venues and events that allow a variety of names to come through?
All in all the Danish Darts Open was a great success in 2019 and it should go from strength to strength. The Danes have been strong darts fans for quite a while and seem to be getting even more enthused. Perhaps next years event will be rescheduled in its favour?
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