Nicholson Blasts “Sick” Social Media.

PAUL NICHOLSON has lashed out at social media trolls as “sick” who continually abuse top darts players. The former Players Champion was dubbed a cheat last week after losing out to Martin Adams 4-0 in the Modus online darts league.

Nicholson expressed his opinn of the “Sick” abuse suffered by players inclusing himself and Kyle Anderson.

It comes after a spate of abuse including Kyle Anderson, playing just a week after recovering from Covid-19, being called a “f*****g d***head” and Michael Smith told “cheers ya fat ugly b*****d walking heart attack”.

Former world champ Rob Cross received death threats a year ago and Nicholson is concerned about the increase of attacks.

He told Sporting Life: “It makes me sick that most players within the Modus league and the PDC Home Tour have had this social backlash after things have not gone the fan’s way.

“It worries me that there’s nothing we can do about this kind of social media activity. We feel helpless about it. It’s hurtful.

“Just to paint a picture, I’d heard about Kyle’s (Anderson)  stuff on social media by actually reading his feed.

“I don’t understand how anybody can cast aspersions that someone who’s been through Covid-19 personally, who has been away from his family and still put his hand up and say I want to play on the PDC Home Tour, given his best and is then insulted. Just because somebody lost a few quid.

“They made the wrong choice on who to bet on. These people just don’t look in the mirror, they think that we should take the blame for their shortcomings.”

Nicholson was shocked at the levels of abuse he received but doesn’t believe it will stop until social media accounts are monitored with the contact details of the writers.

He added: “When it came to my situation about my last game last week. I was having a much-improved day, I’d won a few games, ultimately losing to Dave Evans and that stopped my chances of winning the day.

“At that point I thought I wonder if I can steal second spot but like the rest of the weeks, I hadn’t looked at social media. And the reason for that was because of the messages I’d received previously.

“I thought I will write my schedule on a piece of paper, I will put a nice tweet out on who i will be playing that day and then I’m not going to look at it until everything is finished.

“So when Martin Adams beat me 4-0 I was devastated because I wondered whether I’d ever been beaten 4-0 or 5-0 over the past few weeks? That really hurt. Not just to lose the match but to lose to a nil was very rare for me.

“And then I decided to put my feet up for five minutes, relax and put my darts away. Then I flicked my social media back on and I was greeted by a couple of really really nasty messages and one on Instagram as well which insinuated that I was cheating.

“I thought, ‘What have I been cheating for?’ I can’t believe that someone would have the audacity to send me a message to say that and call me the worst thing you can call any sportsperson.

“Because if you call someone a cheat, that would send any sportsperson angry. It made me very angry.

“I was spinning for the rest of the day. I chose not to tweet or interact with anyone because I felt that was the smart thing to do.

“A lot of us have been subject to this kind of behaviour. It’s horrible to receive it but unfortunately it’s pretty much part and parcel until the day that every account on social media is verified which I don’t see happening.”


By Phil Lanning

Article originally published at Red Dragon Darts

Line-ups & fixtures revealed for Unibet Home Tour Groups 21-24

Former World Champion Rob Cross is among the next group of players who will star in the Unibet Home Tour, with the line-ups and fixtures now confirmed for Groups 21-24.

The Polish Eagle will join Voltage and more top flight players in upcoming Home Tour groups
(PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG) KRZYSZTOF RATAJSKI IN ACTION

World number four Cross will headline Thursday’s Group 21, while Ian White, Kyle Anderson and Krzysztof Ratajski are also set to feature this week as the home-staged event continues from May 7-10.
 
Thursday will see the 21st of 32 consecutive nights of live darts take place, as Cross is joined in Group 21 by two-time World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, Scotland’s William Borland and Dutch PDC newcomer Derk Telnekes.

World number ten White will be the top ranked played in Friday’s Group 22, which will also feature PDC ranking event winner Danny Noppert, 2018 World Grand Prix quarter-finalist James Wilson and Spain’s Jesus Noguera, a two-time winner on the 2019 Challenge Tour.

Former Auckland Darts Masters champion Anderson, who recently received the all-clear after spending a month in isolation with coronavirus, will make a welcome return to action on Saturday.

Queensland-based Anderson’s Group 23 will see four players join the live broadcast from around the world, as he is joined by German World Cup star Martin Schindler, Dutch internet sensation Dirk van Duijvenbode and Sweden’s Daniel Larsson.

Sunday’s Group 24 will feature Polish number one Ratajski as the highest ranked player, and he will be up against 2019 Czech Darts Open winner Jamie Hughes, Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas – a World Championship quarter-finalist in December – and Spain’s Toni Alcinas, a former World Cup semi-finalist.

The nightly league format will see all four competitors play each other once in matches played over the best of nine legs, with a winner crowned each night.

With the Unibet Home Tour now past the half-way point, Stephen Bunting, Darren Webster and Damon Heta are among the most recent group winners.

Each night’s action will commence at 1930 BST, with darts commentator Dan Dawson on hand to talk through proceedings, which will also include live score graphics on screen.

All Unibet Home Tour action will be broadcast live on PDCTV for FREE to ALL registered PDCTV users, regardless of whether you have a paid or free membership.

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

Fans in Great Britain and Ireland can also watch the action through the Sky Sports app.

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

Unibet Home Tour
Group 21 Fixtures
Thursday May 7
Rob Cross v William Borland
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Derk Telnekes
William Borland v Derk Telnekes
Rob Cross v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Dimitri Van den Bergh v William Borland
Derk Telnekes v Rob Cross

Group 22 Fixtures
Friday May 8
Ian White v Jesus Noguera
Danny Noppert v James Wilson
Jesus Noguera v James Wilson 
Ian White v Danny Noppert
Danny Noppert v Jesus Noguera
James Wilson v Ian White

Group 23 Fixtures
Saturday May 9
Kyle Anderson v Daniel Larsson
Martin Schindler v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Daniel Larsson v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Kyle Anderson v Martin Schindler
Martin Schindler v Daniel Larsson
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Kyle Anderson

Group 24 Fixtures
Sunday May 10
Krzysztof Ratajski v Toni Alcinas
Jamie Hughes v Darius Labanauskas 
Toni Alcinas v Darius Labanauskas 
Krzysztof Ratajski v Jamie Hughes
Jamie Hughes v Toni Alcinas
Darius Labanauskas  v Krzysztof Ratajski

Tournament Rules
* All matches are the best of nine legs.
* The player listed on the left of the fixture will throw first in odd-numbered legs.
* Two Points awarded for a win.
* Should players finish level on Points, the Leg Difference will be used to decide positions. Should Points and Leg Difference be equal between two players, then the winner of the game between the two players will determine who finishes higher. Should Points and Leg Difference be equal between three players, the Overall Average of each player (across the three games on the night) will be used to determine who finishes higher.

ENDS

Kyle Anderson Recovers and Returns Home!

Kyle Anderson has returned to his family in Australia after over four weeks in isolation.

Kyle Anderson Unicorn
Anderson returns home after over four weeks of corona virus illness. (pic Unicorn)

Anderson had tested positive for coronavirus on March 29, and has spent the period since in isolation on a nearby farm in Mount Morgan, Queensland.

Although the former Auckland Darts Masters champion did not require hospital treatment and did not suffer from serious symptoms, continued positive tests had kept him in isolation.

However, Anderson finally received a negative test result on Thursday, and has returned to be with wife Tara and son Charles.


Darts World wishes Kyle and his family the very best and is delighted to see him recovering. (DW Ed.)

Featured Pic: PDC

Get Well Soon Kyle Anderson – Aussie Original Tests Positive For Covid-19.

Everyone at Darts World and, we are sure, the wider darting community,wishes Australian ace Kyle Anderson a speedy and strong recovery after he tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

Kyle Anderson Unicorn
Unicorn thrower Kyle Anderson on a better day! (Pic: Unicorn)

The PDC have reported ‘The Original‘s diagnosis following a social media post from his management team:

Kyle Anderson has tested positive for Coronaviris and is now in isolation at home in Australia.

The 32-year-old returned to Australia recently, with play in PDC events having been paused during the current global pandemic.

He was tested whilst at home in Queensland with wife Tara and son Charles, and although not requiring hospital treatment is now in isolation close to his family and following the appropriate medical guidance.

“He is in good spirits but is now back in isolation on his own in a farm house in Mount Morgan,” said manager Mark Elkin, in a statement. “Tara and Charles both tested negative and are both back in the family home.

“It goes without saying that we all wish him a speedy recovery, but it also stresses the need to follow the guidelines set out by the Government. We need to beat this disease together as one.”


Featured Pic: PDC

Source article: PDC.tv

Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen

Nine Dart Nuggets: Who’s Missing? Who Stands Out and Who Dominates?

Since the start of the 2020 season there has been much comment on the regularity of 9-Dart Legs. These perfect moments are one of darts unique features and, as such, they are the source of much discussion. While looking into them we came across a few nuggets of 9-dart news that were too good not to share:

Lewis & Barney Head HappyBet German Darts Masters UK Qualifiers
Lewis & Barney – Twenty Perfect legs between them. Pic: L Lustig

Nine: How many times Nine?

Competitive and authenticated 9-dart legs have been struck by 131 different players between today in 1976 and 2020. Only thirty-six players have done it more than once. fifteen three-plus times and The Power, MVG and Jackpot are alone in the ‘double figures club’.

Eight: Oatcakes are the Key.

Stoke-on-Trent is the ‘official’ home of the nine dart hitter! Potteries natives, and adopted sons, have collected over forty perfect legs between them. Phil Taylor (21) Adrian Lewis (11) Ian White (5) and Andy Hamilton (3) lead the line for ‘The Potters’.

Seven: Nowt for the Count.

A glaring ommission?

Missing from the list are a number of legends both past and present. Ted Hankey, for example, has not recorded a ‘niner’. Less surprising are those who rose to fame before John Lowe’s breaking of the bogey. Martin Adams does not seem to have claimed a perfect moment despite multiple world and major titles.

Six: One Shot John?

Old Stoneface may have fired the starting gun, hitting the his TV nine darter in 1984, but did not register another. Despite playing at the highest level for another twenty years, after picking up £100,000 for being the first, John Lowe only features once. Perhaps the drop in prize money was too big!

Duzza holds a special place in the 9-Dart annals. Pic: Christopher Dean

Five: On a Pair.

Glen Durrant has a unique claim. He and Claire Stainsby hit the 9-Dart doubles leg during the British international Open in 2013. Glen also appears, solo, in our list. Thus Duzza, is the only person to have officially recorded perfect legs as part of a pair and whilst standing alone!

Four: The Iceman Not Yet Cometh.

Gerwyn Price is the highest ranked player not to have made his mark on the 9-Dart bedpost. The Welshman famously hit a ‘unofficial 9-darter’ between sessions during a televised match in 2019 but he has yet to hit one in the heat of battle.

Unicorn Darts is voted Best Darts Brand 2016
Perfect Darts? Unicorn seem to dominate the 9-Dart stats.

Three: Chasing Unicorns.

Unicorn darts can easily claim the greatest success rate, and barrel style, even a casual look at the table reveals that the first TV 9-darter, the first live UK 9 darter, the first Ally Pally and many more were completed by Unicorn men. Taylor, Barney, Jackpot, Wade, Anderson and White have hit many with their Unicorn barrels. A rough count gives them over 50 of darts great moments.

Two: Original & Unique.

Kyle Anderson stands out from other players toward the top of the list. The Australian has hit 6 ‘niners’, in his relatively short career, placing him seventh overall . He is yet to win a major trophy or even reach the final. He has claimed only a single Pro Tour level win and has not troubled the elite rankings in terms of the top ten, or even top sixteen,and is currently ranked outside the top forty. It should be remembered that he is only 32 years old, and may well have more to come.

Even with new arrows MVG hits a perfect note

One: Mighty Impressive!

MVG appears set to blow a hole in most of these stats. He is still only thirty, and at the peak of his powers, but has already hit the youngest TV ‘niner’ and the first World Championship one with a varied the route (he went T19 on his 6th dart). Micheal heads most lists, for total 9-darters hit, and has already added a couple more in recent times. The fact he has hit one, or more, with his new weapons should bode well for those wishing to see records broken and new ground struck.


9 Dart Stats, all events from 1976-2020, courtesy of: http://dartsdatabase.com

Home Stars Off to A Flyer at Austrian Open.

Brothers Rowby-John and Rusty-Jake Rodriguez were amongst three home favourites to win through to the second round of the Austrian Darts Championship on a dramatic opening day of the PDC European Tour event in Vienna.

Lukas Charwat/PDC Europe

The £140,000 tournament at the Multiversum Schwechat began with 16 first round ties on Friday, with the Rodriguez brothers holding their nerve alongside Dietmar Burger to join fellow Austrian Mensur Suljovic – one of the 16 seeds – in the last 32.

Rowby-John won a tense battle of former World Youth Championship finalists against Josh Payne 6-5, coming from 4-1 down to lead 5-4 before surviving three missed match darts in the deciding leg.

He pinned double 16, to the delight of his home crowd, to set up a second round tie with Daryl Gurney.

Younger brother Rusty-Jake had earlier defeated Development Tour Order of Merit leader Ted Evetts 6-3, with the 18-year-old former JDC Junior World Champion now playing number two seed Ian White.

Burger earned his clash with Dave Chisnall.
Lukas Charwat/PDC Europe

Burger, meanwhile, landed six doubles from seven attempts in a fine 6-3 win over Norway’s Cor Dekker to set up a clash with Dave Chisnall, this year’s Danish Darts Open winner.

Hannes Schnier came agonisingly close to being a fourth Austrian to win through to the second round before losing out 6-5 to former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown.

Brown led 5-3 before the Host Nation Qualifier took out 120 to save the game and 155 to force a decider, but an 89 finish moved the Isle of Wight ace through to face UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall.

The other two Austrian qualifiers, Alex Steinbauer and Christian Goedl, also suffered defeat as they went down to Kirk Shepherd and Jeffrey de Zwaan respectively.

Shepherd’s 6-4 win over Steinbauer set up a tie with Ricky Evans, while De Zwaan now takes on Darren Webster after pulling clear from two-all to see off Goedl 6-3, missing double 12 for a nine-dart finish in the game’s final leg.

The opening day’s most impressive display came from Czech teenager Adam Gawlas, as the 17-year-old qualifier celebrated his European Tour debut with a 6-5 win over Ross Smith, surviving two missed match darts from the UK Open quarter-finalist.

Gawlas, 17, won through last weekend’s East Europe Qualifier and has only been playing for six months, but impressed with finishes of 88 on the bull, 108 and a 14-darter as he shared the opening six legs.

Smith produced superb legs of 12 and ten darts to move 5-3 up, with Gawlas responding with legs of 14 and 13 darts to force a decider before capitalising on his opponent’s two misses at double 16 to hit the same bed for victory.

Luke Humphries produced an impressive 12-darter in the deciding leg of his tie against June’s Czech Darts Open winner Jamie Hughes, and he now meets Joe Cullen on Saturday.

World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh recorded the day’s highest average of almost 102 as he saw off Mark Webster 6-3, securing a clash with Peter Wright in round two.

Fellow Belgian Mike De Decker edged out Chris Dobey 6-5 and now plays Jonny Clayton, while German youngster Christian Bunse’s reward for a deciding-leg win over Jermaine Wattimena is a tie against two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis.

Lukas Charwat/PDC Europe

Australia’s Kyle Anderson set up a second-round clash with World Champion Michael van Gerwen by seeing off Stephen Bunting 6-4, with the former Lakeside Champion battling back from 2-0 down to level and 5-2 down to threaten to take the tie to a decider.

Vincent van der Voort won the meeting between former Austrian Darts Open winners against Justin Pipe 6-4 to create a second round clash with Simon Whitlock, and James Wilson meets Steve Beaton following a 6-3 win over Derry’s Gavin Carlin.

Cameron Menzies’ reward for a 6-1 defeat of Germany’s Kevin Munch is a tie against World Championship finalist Michael Smith, while Brendan Dolan now takes on Grand Slam of Darts winner Gerwyn Price following a 6-4 defeat of William O’Connor.

Following Saturday’s second round, the tournament concludes on Sunday with the third round in the afternoon session before the decisive quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening session.

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

2019 Austrian Darts Championship

August 30-September 1, Multiversum Schwechat, Vienna

Friday August 30

First Round

Afternoon Session

Brendan Dolan 6-4 William O’Connor

James Wilson 6-2 Gavin Carlin

Adam Gawlas 6-5 Ross Smith

Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-3 Ted Evetts

Cameron Menzies 6-1 Kevin Munch

Dietmar Burger 6-3 Cor Dekker

Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Justin Pipe

Christian Bunse 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena

Evening Session

Kirk Shepherd 6-4 Alex Steinbauer

Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Mark Webster

Luke Humphries 6-5 Jamie Hughes

Keegan Brown 6-5 Hannes Schnier

Mike De Decker 6-5 Chris Dobey

Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-5 Josh Payne

Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Christian Goedl

Kyle Anderson 6-4 Stephen Bunting

Saturday August 31

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Steve Beaton v James Wilson

Simon Whitlock v Vincent van der Voort

Gerwyn Price v Brendan Dolan

Dave Chisnall v Dietmar Burger

Ricky Evans v Kirk Shepherd

Michael Smith v Cameron Menzies

Ian White v Rusty-Jake Rodriguez

Adrian Lewis v Christian Bunse

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)

Nathan Aspinall v Keegan Brown

Daryl Gurney v Rowby-John Rodriguez

Jonny Clayton v Mike De Decker

Peter Wright v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Mensur Suljovic v Adam Gawlas

Joe Cullen v Luke Humphries

Michael van Gerwen v Kyle Anderson

Darren Webster v Jeffrey de Zwaan

All games best of 11 legs

ENDS

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 video.pdc.tv 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)

Quarter-Finals

Semi-Finals

Final

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

ENDS

Drama at New Zealand Masters – Anderson Misses Opportunity.

Michael van Gerwen had to survive a scare and four match-darts against Kyle Anderson on day one of the New Zealand Darts Masters presented by Burger King and TAB, setting up another quarter-final clash with Gary Anderson in the process.

Michael van Gerwen celebrates his win over Kyle Anderson during the Day 1 of the 2019 New Zealand Darts Masters, Claudelands Arena, Hamilton, Friday 23rd August 2019. Copyright Photo: Raghavan Venugopal / © www.Photosport.nz 2019

The PDC’s first trip to the Claudelands Arena in Hamilton also saw New Zealander Ben Robb defeat Simon Whitlock to progress to the last eight.

The story of the night came from the penultimate game of the session though, as Anderson missed four opportunities to defeat world number one van Gerwen.

Anderson, who won the corresponding event in Auckland in 2017, started the better of the two in what was a sloppy beginning to the match but missed darts to go 3-0 up and was punished by Van Gerwen who tied it up at 2-2.

The pair then traded holds of throw, with the Dutchman taking out 164 in the ninth leg to take the game to a decider.

The drama then came in the eleventh with Anderson missing four darts to end a nine-match losing streak to the World Champion who progressed on double ten.

“I’m not proud of anything I did today. I feel sorry for everyone who is watching because I let myself down tonight and I always want to put on a show for everyone in the crowd and watching at home.

“I made so many mistakes tonight but I will be back tomorrow and play much better than this.”

The Premier League champion will now face Gary Anderson in a repeat of their quarter-final encounter a week earlier in Melbourne, which saw Van Gerwen come out the victor.

Anderson booked his spot in the last eight having to battle through toothache to overcome Haupai Puha.

The Scot who had been suffering during the day still managed to see off his New Zealand opponent in a 6-3 win.

Ben Robb became only the second man from New Zealand to win on his home stage on the World Series after beating Simon Whitlock 6-4.

Mark McGrath was the first in 2018, when he defeated Michael Smith in Auckland and Robb repeated the feat a year later.

Whitlock began the stronger of the pair, breaking in the second leg for a 2-0 lead, but a run of four consecutive legs put Robb firmly in control.

Whitlock did manage to draw level again though, courtesy of a 127 finish before the Kiwi took out 16 and 80 to seal the win.

“Two weeks ago I didn’t play my game at all,” Robb said.

“It feels like all that hard work has paid off. All that practice that no one sees, when everyone else is in bed and I am working hard. am just glad to have done it in front of my friends and family.”

Robb will now face Rob Cross in the quarter-finals after the former World Champion averaged 99.84 in his 6-2 victory over Warren Parry.

Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld began his final competitive tournament in New Zealand with a 6-5 victory over home favourite Cody Harris, surviving a match-dart at the bull to progress.

Poor finishing was the story in the first half of the match but two moments of quality took the game all the way to the deciding leg.

First Van Barneveld took out 161 to move 5-4 up and seemingly on his way to the last eight but Harris then produced a moment of magic of his own, checking out 150 to level at 5-5.

The New Zealander began the deciding leg with a 180 but wasn’t able to capitalise as he missed a dart at the bullseye before Van Barneveld pinned double 16 for a dramatic win.

“Wow, that was tough,” said Van Barneveld after the game.

“After going up 3-1 I just kept missing and missing and gave him a chance.

“After the 161 I felt good and thought I had the match but he hit the amazing 150 finish. I am just very happy to get the win and come back tomorrow.

I want to give the crowd a lot more against Daryl on Saturday, they have been amazing to me this year.”

The Dutch ace will now take on Daryl Gurney after the world number three raced in to a 5-0 lead against former World Championship qualifier David Platt before eventually getting over the line in a 6-2 win.

James Wade produced a superb comeback to recover from 5-3 down and beat Craig Caldwell to claim a spot in the quarter-finals in Hamilton.

Caldwell, who was beaten by Wade in the 2015 Sydney Darts Masters, set the early pace and took out 142 in the second leg to delight the Hamilton crowd.

The first break came in the fifth leg with Caldwell punishing Wade for some poor scoring and missing a dart at double.

However, at 5-3 and with the New Zealander sat on 96, Wade took out 116 on double 18 to hold throw.

A break followed in the next leg with the Englishman pinning double ten for a 140 finish to level the match, before going on to find tops to move in to a quarter-final match with Peter Wright who convincingly defeated Brisbane champion Damon Heta 6-1.

“I’ve got to be better tomorrow against Peter but I feel like I’ve been a little unlucky with the qualifiers this trip. They keep hitting big checkouts against me at the right times,” joked Wade after the win.

“Fair play to Damon over the last couple of weeks he deserved to win and today I had to dig deep to get the win. The guys over here are improving every year.”

Wright though, despite the convincing 6-1 scoreline against Heta, was unhappy with his performance.

“I struggled, I wasn’t playing Damon, I was playing myself.

“I was trying a new set of darts out but I felt confident taking a new set of darts up on stage but for some reason the trebles looked really small.

“I probably need to play someone who is hitting lots of 180s and doubles to get the best out of me. I just kept saying to myself why are you playing this bad?”

The final day of the 2019 NZ Darts Masters will take place at the Claudelands Arena in Hamilton on Saturday with a limited number of tickets still available via this link.

The event will be broadcast worldwide through the PDC’s international broadcast partners, as well as via PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers (outside of the UK, Ireland & Netherlands).

UK TV coverage on ITV4 will be from 7pm BST on each day.

2019 NZ Darts Masters, presented by Burger King & TAB
Draw Bracket

(1) Peter Wright v Damon Heta
James Wade v Craig Caldwell
(4) Daryl Gurney v David Platt
Raymond van Barneveld v Cody Harris
(2) Michael van Gerwen v Kyle Anderson
Gary Anderson v Haupai Puha
(3) Rob Cross v Warren Parry
Simon Whitlock v Ben Robb

Schedule of Play
Friday, August 23 (1800 local time)

James Wade 6-5 Craig Caldwell
Ben Robb 6-4 Simon Whitlock 
Daryl Gurney 6-2 David Platt
Rob Cross 6-2 Warren Parry
Gary Anderson 6-3 Haupai Puha
Peter Wright 6-1 Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Kyle Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Cody Harris
Best of 11 legs

Saturday, August 24 (1800 local time)
Quarter-Finals
Peter Wright v James Wade
Daryl Gurney v Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson
Rob Cross v Ben Robb
Semi-FinalsFinal
All best of 15 legs

Kyle Anderson Unicorn

New deal for Kyle Anderson

Kyle Anderson Unicorn

Aussie star Kyle Anderson has been rewarded with a new long-term contract with Team Unicorn.

Kyle has proved to be a huge hit over the last 12 months since taking the gamble to play the PDC tour as a full-time professional.

He is on the brink of breaking into the world’s top 32 and in June he will represent Australia for the first time at the World Cup of Darts.

Anderson has again taken the brave decision to leave his family back home in Perth, after recently getting married to long-term partner Tara, and he will base himself in the UK as he follows his dream to claim a place in the top 10 and win big titles.

“Signing again with Unicorn is really exciting for me,” he said. “My first two years with the company have been brilliant. I love the family atmosphere and they have looked after me so well. Here’s to an exciting future but I am definitely in the right place!”

Anderson has also signed with a new representative – The Sportsman Management Company run by Mac Elkin. They also look after fellow Unicorn stars Kim and Ronny Huybrechts, and young Dimitri van den Bergh.

Unicorn Managing Director Edward Lowy has been very impressed with Anderson. “Hats off to Kyle for sticking on the PDC tour so far from home. We admire his determination immensely.”

He added: “Kyle believes in himself and we believe in him. We are delighted to extend our association and look forward to seeing his undoubted talent drive him up the rankings to further success.”

The 28-year-old has competed in the last four World Championships and memorably hit a 9 darter at the Alexandra Palace in 2013.

And he has already secured his spot at the next TV ‘Major’ – the UK Open Finals in Minehead next month. Kyle reached the quarter-finals of the second UK Open qualifying event earlier this month.

The future certainly looks bright!

Story from STUART PYKE