Betway Premier League - Night Eight Round-Up

Thornton Swaps Domestic Duties for Home Tour Arrows!

ROBERT THORNTON admits he can give up the gardening to stay sharp on the oche for his PDC Home Tour online debut.

Thorn Gives Up Gardening To Stay Sharp
The Thorn – Rob will be away from the roses!

The Ayrshire ace will have to overcome his gadget phobias to take on Keegan Brown, Reece Robinson and Jose De Sousa in the streaming event tonight (Monday).

The Thorn, 52, has been strictly staying at home to protect his vulnerable wife while his daughter Jodie is also a care worker during the Covid-19 crisis.

He revealed: “We have missed an awful lot of events in the time the game has been in shutdown.

“There would have been events every single week over the eight weeks there has been since this all started and it’s been a lot of competitions missed.

“What can you do about it? There’s plenty of other things going on and the people I take my hat off to are the ones who are going into the heart of this crisis and work in it.

“The health workers, the nurses. Our Jodie is a care worker and she’ll not let anyone go without. She has been offered to take some time as holidays, but she won’t take any.

“These are the ones who are having the most to deal with along with those who have contracted the virus and their families.

“Yes I want to get back to playing darts, but it’s not really that important just now when you compare it with other things. That’s the perspective. 

“We all feel like we’re hard done by at times, but there are people out there risking their lives.”

Thornton, a former UK Open and Grand Prix major winner, is delighted to be back on the oche to get him away from gardening!

He added: “I wasn’t really that aware of the Home Tour when it all started. It was only really decided a week or so ago that I was going to be playing in it.

“The idea of keeping people’s arms working and also helping with practice which is a good thing.

“Also, it’s nice for the people at home to have something to watch and I’ve got it all worked out how I’m going to do it. 

“It’s a case of me getting my phone onto the tripod and switching it on.

“I tried to get it to work on the laptop and it was no good. I’m not great with these things. I’m technically-challenged! But I go to the PDC website and flick it on. That’s it.

“It’s better than having nothing to do and, as I said, it keeps me sharp.

“It’s not much fun staying in all of the time and you can be climbing the walls at times.

“I suppose it gives you some time to get into some other things like you wouldn’t normally be doing.

“I’ve got into some decorating and doing a little bit in the garden.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly a gardener, but you do what you can to keep busy. Cutting hedges and that kind of thing.”

Picture by Taylor Lanning


Article originally published by Red Dragon Darts

Featured pic: L Lustig/ PDC

Freemium Day 9: Keegan Tickled Pink.

Current front line hero, NHS worker, Keegan Brown claimed his first cover position back in 2015. Brown had recently claimed his maiden PDC Pro Tour Title:

With a recent change in ownership, Darts World is embarking on a new era in its history and exciting times lie ahead, including some innovative developments that are coming this summer. Make sure you keep up to date at dartsworld.com

In the meantime, enjoy our gift of free content to you by clicking here and signing up: FREEMIUM

Unibet Home Tour: Hopp Takes Group Twelve.

Max Hopp won Group 12 of the Unibet Home Tour on Tuesday night as technical issues for Keegan Brown forced a reshuffle of the fixtures.

Max Hopp quiz.
Max Hopp claimed the disrupted group 12. (Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The unique home-broadcast tournament usually sees four-player groups in action, but Group 12 saw Brown unable to continue after playing one of his three scheduled matches due to technical problems.

As a result, Hopp and rivals Conan Whitehead and Mike De Decker faced each other twice in the group, with the German ace eventually coming out on top with three wins.

Hopp had lost out 5-3 to De Decker in the night’s opening fixture, but reversed that result later in the evening as well as defeating Whitehead 5-3 and 5-2.

Whitehead had claimed a 5-2 win over De Decker in their first meeting, but a 5-1 reverse in their repeat fixture saw the Belgian ace claim second spot in the final table.

The Unibet Home Tour continues on Wednesday from 1930 BST with Group 13, which sees Steve Beaton, Matthew Edgar, Carl Wilkinson and Callan Rydz face off.

The Unibet Home Tour can be watched live and free through PDCTV for registered users (new users can sign up for FREE here), as well as through bookmakers’ websites and international broadcasters.

PDC Home Tour

Registered PDCTV members can also watch for FREE through the official PDC App.

Unibet Home Tour 
Group 12 – Tuesday April 28
Max Hopp 3-5 Mike De Decker
Keegan Brown 3-5 Conan Whitehead – result void
Mike De Decker 2-5 Conan Whitehead
Max Hopp v Keegan Brown – match not played
Keegan Brown v Mike De Decker – match not played

Conan Whitehead 3-5 Max Hopp
Mike De Decker 3-5 Max Hopp
Max Hopp 5-2 Conan Whitehead
Conan Whitehead 1-5 Mike De Decker


Featrured Pic: Kelly Dekkers

Unibet Home Tour. Hopp and Brown Head Group 12.

The Unibet Home Tour continues on Tuesday with Group 12 – watch live & free from 1930 BST.

Taking it all in. (Photo: Kelly Deckers)

Former World Youth Champions Max Hopp and Keegan Brown are joined by Conan Whitehead and Mike De Decker.

The Unibet Home Tour can be watched live and free through PDCTV for registered users (new users can sign up for FREE here), as well as through bookmakers’ websites and international broadcasters.

PDC Home Tour

Registered PDCTV members can also watch for FREE through the official PDC App.

Unibet Home Tour 
Group 12 – Tuesday April 28 (1930 BST)
Max Hopp v Mike De Decker
Keegan Brown v Conan Whitehead
Mike De Decker v Conan Whitehead
Max Hopp v Keegan Brown
Keegan Brown v Mike De Decker
Conan Whitehead v Max Hopp

PDC Home Tour

Fans in the UK & Ireland can watch through the Sky Sports App.

As well as being shown through a series of bookmakers’ websites, the Unibet Home Tour will also be broadcast live by a number of the PDC’s international broadcast partners listed below.


Featured Pic: Max Hopp by Steve Walsh

Keegan to Swap Needles For Darts. NHS Worker Brown To Play Home Tour!

Keegan Brown will swap his white lab coat for his trademark pink darts shirt as he returns to PDC action by competing in the Unibet Home Tour on Tuesday night.
 
Brown has been part of the NHS workforce over the past month during the global Coronavirus pandemic, expanding his part-time role in a testing laboratory on the Isle of Wight for full-time shifts at the hospital.
 
The former World Youth Champion will be using one of his days off to compete alongside Max Hopp, Conan Whitehead and Mike De Decker in Group 12 of the Home Tour.
 
“We stopped playing tournaments in mid-March, so it’s probably the longest break I’ve had from playing since I was 13,” admitted Brown.
 
“I’ve tried to do some practice in my spare time at home to keep my arm in, but it’s not been that much. The last week or so I’ve tried to make two or three hours a day to make sure that I’m not playing from memory.
 
“We’ve planned me being on the Home Tour on the second of two days off so that I’ve been able to do some more practice to prepare.”

Brown (Right) Has previously juggled a successful darts career with his NHS role. (Pic PDC)

Brown has previously juggled part-time midweek hours in the blood sciences department with his playing career, but has put his skills to good use as a key worker in recent weeks.
 
“It’s more or less the same role, but the shifts are longer and different hours,” he said. “As we’re support workers, it’s a 24/7 rota so I’m still on call – even on Tuesday when I’m playing in the Home Tour!
 
“There are procedures in place for us to stay safe and we’re following the guidelines that are there to keep us safe and well.
 
“I’ve had a lot of supportive messages from other players and it’s been overwhelming. It’s a nice feeling and it shows that people appreciate what people are doing in these tough times.
 
“I take my hats off to all of the key workers who are working at the moment – it’s not just me. My life has not changed as much as others.
 
“I’ve found out about another PDC player, Aaron Beeney, who is working full-time still as a prison officer, and so many people are doing such amazing things.”
 
Brown is one of two former World Youth Champions in action on Tuesday, alongside Germany’s Hopp – the 2015 winner who succeeded the Isle of Wight ace in lifting the trophy – while Belgian youngster De Decker is a four-time winner on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour.
 
Whitehead, meanwhile, is a five-time UK Open Qualifier who is in his second stint as a Tour Card Holder on the PDC circuit.


Phil Taylor Trophy Introduced For BetVictor World Matchplay

Six Of The Best – Standing Up To The Power.

JR Lott looked at who really could ‘Fight The Power‘. His ‘Six of the Best’ contains players from different generations with many differing styles. While some are relatively predictable. Others are less so:

Betway Premier League - Week Ten Preview
Who really fought ‘The Power’? Very few won even 1/3 of their clashes with the Stoke thrower. (pic: PDC/L Lustig)

Darts World’s ‘Six of the Best’ is not usually my type of writing. But, while researching a different article, I happened upon a review Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor’s career. It was interesting to note that only Rob Cross has a majority of competitive wins against Phil and even that was in their one and only encounter.

So who else performed best against the player many regard as the GOAT? Our friends at dartsdatabase.com offered some clues.

Six: Chizzy (Win rate 28%).

Dave Chisnall has a very solid record vs Phil. Although twenty eight percent may not seem very high, it’s close to one win in three, and includes some superb moments. Chizzy defeated ‘The Power’ in their initial encounters, both on the Pro Tour and TV.

The St. Helens man’s victory at the 2012 World Championship was quite the shock to watching audiences, although those closer to the game, thought it ‘on the cards’.

It is to be noted that Chizzy is a huge 180 hitter and can produce devastating scoring spells. (32 Matches).

Five: Gary Anderson (Win rate 20%).

The Flying Scotsman‘s record against ‘ The Power’ stretches back to 2007 when he won their debut encounter in the World Darts Trophy. Phil reversed this a few weeks later, at the Grand Slam of Darts, and held the upper hand for the next four years.

Between 2011 and 2017 Gary inched closer and won a higher and higher percentage of their matches. His 2015 World Championship victory, in the final, over The Power was, perhaps, the high-point.

Anderson too is a huge scorer. (57 Matches).

Mutual Respect? Both Peter & Phil have expressed a great deal of mutual admiration Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Four: Peter Wright (Win rate 33%)

Snakebite is the first in our list to claim wins more than a third of his encounters with the Stoke-on-Trent legend. Wright lost nine-out-of-ten of their early encounters, the tenth was a draw! Wrighty finally claimed victory in the, non ranked, Dubai Masters. Weeks later Peter gained an important win, the Qtr final of the UK Open of 2015.

The tide had turned, the Scottish thrower gained in successes until he too was winning around half of his tussles with Taylor. These wins partially offset the early defeats and enabled a fine record to be built. (33 Matches).

Peter also features heavily on 180 hitting tables.

Three: Micheal Van Gerwyn (43.33%)

MVG‘s rumbles with The Power cover more than a decade while also charting Micheal’s rise, slump and triumphant return. Early on the young Dutchman did well, claiming two, from three, of their early encounters. Phil, again, learnt adapted and defeated Micheal on the next fifteen occasions that they met. In 2012 a reversal of fortune began.

Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen
From early days to later years. Over a decade of battles between The Power & MVG.

MVG began to get the upper hand and steadily improved his record against the player with whom he will always be compared. Michael racked up more than twenty wins between 2012 and 2017.

Even with this superb spell of form he could not totally conquer ‘The Power’.

Phil used his experience, professionalism and matchplay skills to limit the damage and score major wins during this time. Most memorable were Taylor’s 2013 World Championship (final) win, known to the the Darts World coach as ‘darting rope-a-dope’, and the demolition of Micheal in the 2016 Matchplay.

‘Mighty Mike’ clocks over 40% and solely in the modern PDC era! (60 matches).

Two: Rod Harrington (43.75%)

Harrington is a very unusual player in this list. The former World Master dominated Taylor during their early rivalries. Indeed, Rod claimed six out of eight initial skirmishes. Also unusually he claimed most of those wins in finals and semi finals.

Taylor then reversed the tables and completed a series of heavier and heavier defeats upon Harrington. During their last eight encounter it was Phil who clocked up a seven-one run. Again, most of these encounters were finals or later stage matches.

Their rivalry may not include as many matches others in the games history, but Taylor vs Harrington was conducted during a tough time for the sport and mainly at the highest level. To get even close, to a 50% record, is a remarkable effort and shared by only one other. (16 Matches).

One: Peter Evison: (Win rate 50%)

The Fenn Tiger sits alone in our table of those who fought ‘The Power’. Over a thirteen year time-span the two clashed in the Winmau World Masters, the early PDC (WDC) Lada Masters, The World Matchplay and The World Grand Prix.

Across all formats, both BDO and PDC events, and during different stages of their careers. Peter Evison comes out even.

Each player handed the other a terrible beating, or two, with Evison’s 8-1 demolition of Taylor, at his ‘home’ venue in Blackpool, at the World Matchplay being his high-point.

Later, Taylor (once more!) turned the tide and inflicted heavy defeats of his own. But, despite his best efforts, ‘The Power’ was unable to was unable to best ‘The Tiger’ overall. (8 Matches).


To illustrate how difficult it was to get even a single win, vs The Power, here are the six who suffered most his hands.

Nigel Heydon80100.00%
Shayne Burgess110100.00%
Kevin McDine110100.00%
Dennis Smith140100.00%
Alan Tabern160100.00%
Roland Scholten
See Roland’s full record & get more info at dartsdatabase.

Aspinall Triumphs in Players Championship 2.

Nathan Aspinall produced an astonishing display to land his fourth senior PDC title at Players Championship 2 in Barnsley on Sunday.

The Asp had another remarkable day during Players Championship 2 (2020) including a moment of perfection.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG NATHAN ASPINALL

World number eight Aspinall, who was in inspired form throughout the day, hit a nine-dart finish and a 117.5 average in his 6-4 quarter-final win over Peter Wright.

An incredible contest between Aspinall and Wright produced a combined average of 115.59, the highest combined match average recorded in PDC history.

Aspinall, who recovered from 5-3 down to defeat Keegan Brown 6-5 in the last 32, followed up his quarter-final triumph with his third ton-plus average of the day in whitewashing Gabriel Clemens 7-0 in the semi-final.

UK Open and US Masters champion Aspinall continued his scintillating form into an all-Premier League final with Gerwyn Price where he ran out an 8-3 winner against the Welshman to claim his second ProTour title.

“I’ve never thrown darts like that, the last two hours of play I just felt like I wasn’t going to miss,” said a delighted Aspinall.

“To throw such a big average against the World Champions makes it even more special.

“This weekend I’ve felt brilliant and I’ve beaten some quality players, I’m very happy to win my second ProTour title.

“I’m still on cloud nine to be in the Premier League. I’m still new to this game, I’m still learning.

“I know what I can do and I want to show it more consistently.”

The second of 30 Players Championship events in 2020 also saw nine-dart finishes hit by Keegan Brown and Scott Baker, making it five perfect legs in the opening weekend of the new season.

Canada’s Jeff Smith, who reached the final of Saturday’s Players Championship 1, continued his impressive return to the ProTour after a seven-year absence by reaching the last 16.

Two-time BDO Champion Scott Waites also made it to the last 16 stage, along with newcomer Jason Lowe.

The 2020 PDC ProTour continues with Players Championship Events 3 and 4 in Wigan from February 15-16, with live streaming on PDCTV.

See full Players Championship 2 results in the Match Centre.

Players Championship Two
Sunday February 9
Last 16
Jamie Hughes 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 James Wade
Peter Wright 6-2 Jose De Sousa
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Jason Lowe
Ross Smith 6-1 Scott Waites
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Jeff Smith
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Michael Smith
Mickey Mansell 6-2 Kirk Shepherd

Quarter-Finals
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Jamie Hughes
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Peter Wright
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Ross Smith
Gerwyn Price 6-0 Mickey Mansell

Semi-Finals
Nathan Aspinall 7-0 Gabriel Clemens
Gerwyn Price 7-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode

Final
Nathan Aspinall 8-3 Gerwyn Price

ENDS

World Matchplay – Night Three Round-Up.

PETER WRIGHT and Daryl Gurney were among the four players to make it through to the second round of the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay in Blackpool on Monday.

BETFRED WORLD MATCHPLAY 2019 WINTER GARDENS, BLACKPOOL PIC; LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND I DARYL GURNEY.

Night Three of the summer’s biggest darts event saw the final four first-round matches take place, with 2017 runner-up Wright safely navigating his way into the last 16 thanks to a 10-5 victory over Vincent van der Voort.

World Cup winner Wright came into the tournament in sensational form, and after going 2-0 down the Scot produced a roof-raising 164 checkout to get his first leg on the board.

From there Wright warmed to his task and soon found himself 4-2 ahead, but a dogged Van der Voort stuck with the number six seed to trail 6-5.

That was as good as it got for the Dutch stalwart as Wright put his foot to the floor to reel off the final four legs, ending the tie with a 102 average, to set up a meeting with Simon Whitlock.

“I had to play really well because Vincent was fantastic,” said Wright, who posted the highest winning average of round one.

“It’s about time I come into this tournament feeling good, I normally come into it feeling tired and its felt like hard work. This time I’m feeling nice and fresh.

“Whoever I play in this tournament will have to play well, otherwise they’re going home.”

Earlier in the night, two-time World Matchplay semi-finalist Whitlock defied a six-point deficit in the averages to battle his way to a 10-8 success over John Henderson, with the Australian number one now having the chance to avenge his crushing quarter-final defeat to Wright in 2018.

A 112 checkout from Whitlock put him into a 5-3 lead, only for Henderson to burst into life and rattle off the next three legs to go in front for the first time at 6-5.

The pendulum then swung back in Whitlock’s favour as he won four successive legs, the last of which was won with a 124 checkout, to go within a leg of the match.

Henderson rallied with finishes of 97 and 81, but after the Scottish crowd favourite missed four darts to take the match to a tie-break, Whitlock found double eight with his last dart in hand to seal his path through to round two.

“That was a fantastic game,” said Whitlock. “Hendo is the nicest guy on tour but, jeez, can that guy play darts!

“I felt so good in practice and I’ve been pretty good in Blackpool. I feel comfortable on this stage.”

Whitlock has been struggling with tendinitis around his elbow,, but said: “I’m good now. It’s really affected me in the last few weeks and I’ve been a bit restricted.”

Former semi-finalist Gurney landed nine 180s on his way to a 10-7 victory over debutant Ricky Evans.

Missed doubles from the number three seed allowed Evans to keep in touch at 4-3, before Gurney found his range on the outer ring to stretch his advantage to 7-3.

Evans then began to settle onto the famous stage, winning four of the next five legs to go within a leg of the Northern Irishman at 8-7.

With Evans waiting on 24 to level and take the game to a grandstand finale, Gurney showed composure to find double six with his last dart in hand, before sealing the win in the following leg with another third-dart checkout, this time on double two.

“If I had gone off the boil and he was getting six darts at double per leg then I would’ve been panicking, but as it was I always felt quite calm and confident of winning,” said Gurney, who will now face Keegan Brown.

“I’m happy with the win. You’ve got to be in it to win it, and I’m still in it. I’ve got another couple of gears to go through and I’ll need to unlock those if I’m going to win the tournament.

“I know I’m in for a tough game against Keegan, I saw him on the practice board earlier and he was hitting everything, but hopefully I can come out on top and progress to the quarter-final.”

Brown landed four ton-plus checkouts to edge out 14th seed Jonny Clayton 10-8 in a nip and tuck contest.

There was never more than a leg between the pair in the opening 11 legs, before leg 12 saw Clayton fire in a 14-darter to break throw.

However, the Welshman failed to press home the advantage and Brown punished him with a third successful visit to double 16 followed by a magnificent 127 finish on the bullseye, adding to his earlier checkouts of 148 and 134.

At 8-8 Brown struck a pivotal 109 checkout to break throw and go 9-8 in front, before the former World Youth Champion found double top to book his place in the last 16 for the second time in Blackpool.

The second round begins on Tuesday, as two-time World Matchplay winner Michael van Gerwen faces Glen Durrant, while reigning champion Gary Anderson continues his quest for back-to-back titles against Mervyn King.

2018 finalist Mensur Suljovic takes on 2007 champion James Wade, while World Championship finalist Michael Smith opens up against Germany’s Max Hopp.

2019 Betfred World Matchplay

Monday July 22

First Round

Keegan Brown 10-8 Jonny Clayton

Simon Whitlock 10-8 John Henderson

Daryl Gurney 10-7 Ricky Evans

Peter Wright 10-5 Vincent van der Voort

Tuesday July 23 (1900 BST)

Second Round

Michael Smith v Max Hopp

James Wade v Mensur Suljovic

Gary Anderson v Mervyn King

Michael van Gerwen v Glen Durrant

Wednesday July 24 (1900 BST)

Second Round

Daryl Gurney v Keegan Brown

Stephen Bunting v Ian White

Rob Cross v Krzysztof Ratajski

Peter Wright v Simon Whitlock

ENDS

Written by Josh Phillips