Darts World asks our lead photographer, Taylor Lanning, for a striking image. This weeks’ features Ryan Searle, a.k.a Heavy Metal.
Rob Cross came out on top of Group Five of the Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs on Saturday night to reach the semi-finals.
Cross began the night with back-to-back victories over Sweden’s Daniel Larsson and Players Championship event winner Ryan Searle to take a commanding position at the top of the group.
Despite suffering defeat to Luke Woodhouse in the final game of the night, Cross won enough legs to ensure he ended the night on top.
Cross will return to Home Tour action on Thursday night for the second night of semi-final action, where he will be joined by the three group winners of the next three groups.
The Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs continue on Sunday night with Group Six, which will feature Joe Cullen, Chris Dobey, Jeff Smith and Martijn Kleermaker.
Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs
Group Five – Saturday May 30
Rob Cross 6-3 Daniel Larsson
Ryan Searle 6-4 Luke Woodhouse
Daniel Larsson 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Rob Cross 6-4 Ryan Searle
Ryan Searle 6-4 Daniel Larsson
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Rob Cross
Ryan Searle won Group Six of the Unibet Home Tour, as the innovative new tournament continued on Wednesday night.
Searle, a recent Players Championship event winner, produced one of the finest displays seen on the Home Tour so far as he produced back-to-back ton-plus averages in his final two games.
A 5-1 defeat of Andy Boulton got Searle off to an ideal start, before he averaged 100.6 in a 5-3 win over top ranked player James Wade and then sealed the group win with a 103.3 average in a 5-2 victory over Adrian Gray.
Night Seven will feature Gabriel Clemens and Jelle Klaasen as well as lesser-known, but dangerous, Gavin Carlin and Ryan Meikle. (DW Editorial)
Unibet Home Tour
Group Six – Wednesday April 22 (1930 BST)
James Wade 5-2 Adrian Gray
Ryan Searle 5-1 Andy Boulton
Andy Boulton 5-2 Adrian Gray
Ryan Searle 5-3 James Wade
Ryan Searle 5-2 Adrian Gray
Andy Boulton 5-0 James Wade
Group Seven – Thursday April 23 (1930 BST)
Gabriel Clemens v Ryan Meikle
Jelle Klaasen v Gavin Carlin
Ryan Meikle v Gavin Carlin
Gabriel Clemens v Jelle Klaasen
Jelle Klaasen v Ryan Meikle
Gavin Carlin v Gabriel Clemens
Featured Pic: L Lustig / PDC
Ryan Searle won his first senior PDC title at Players Championship 3 in Wigan on Saturday, defeating Michael van Gerwen 8-6 in the final.
It was a first ever victory over Van Gerwen for Searle, whose rise from Challenge Tour to ProTour has seen him win five matches on the Alexandra Palace stage across the last two stagings of the World Championship.
Searle, who worked as a window cleaner until winning his Tour Card in January 2017, pockets the £10,000 top prize, which will be a major boost to his hopes of securing a debut in July’s World Matchplay, having narrowly missed out in 2019.
A tough start to the day saw for Searle saw him overcome two-time Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price, before wins over Michael Smith and Glen Durrant on his way to the semi-finals.
Searle then defeated rising Dutch star Jeffrey de Zwaan 7-3 to set up a meeting with Van Gerwen, who got the better of Peter Wright by the same scoreline in their a repeat of New Year’s Day’s World Championship final.
The final saw Searle race into a 3-0 lead, before world number one Van Gerwen piled in three 180s across the next four legs to take a 4-3 lead.
Undeterred, Searle took out 78 to stop the rot and, after the next two legs were shared, the Devon man produced a 13-dart leg to go 6-5 up.
Van Gerwen was unable to find another break of throw as Searle sealed victory in style with another 13-darter to cap off one of the most significant days in his career to date.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Searle. “It’s extra special to beat Michael in the final, it’s a dream.
“I’ve been practicing a lot in my little man cave back home and playing out scenarios in my head – playing Michael in a final was one of them.
“When you get these chances you just have to take the opportunity and thankfully I did today.
“I think I let myself down a bit at the World Championship when I lost to Gary Anderson.
“I still don’t think I’ve played my best, but I know what I can do.
“Nathan Aspinall beat me in the final of his first Players Championship win and look what’s happened to him since then. Maybe it will be the same for me.”
The third of 30 Players Championship events in 2020 saw the eighth and ninth nine-dart finishes of 2020 hit by Mensur Suljovic and Danny Noppert in their matches against Jeff Smith and Andy Boulton respectively.
Sunday will see the second day of the ProTour double-header take place, with live streaming on PDCTV.
See full Players Championship Three results in the Match Centre.
Players Championship Three
Saturday February 15
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Chris Dobey 6-2 Stephen Bunting
Peter Wright 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Joe Cullen 6-1 Ted Evetts
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Danny Noppert 6-4 Joe Murnan
Ryan Searle 6-4 Michael Smith
Glen Durrant 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Chris Dobey
Peter Wright 6-3 Joe Cullen
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 Danny Noppert
Ryan Searle 6-5 Glen Durrant
Michael van Gerwen 7-3 Peter Wright
Ryan Searle 7-5 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Ryan Searle 8-6 Michael van Gerwen
Jeffrey de Zwaan produced the highest-quality performance of the 2019/20 William Hill World Darts Championship to defeat Dave Chisnall 4-3 in a gripping contest at London’s Alexandra Palace on Monday, as Gary Anderson and Peter Wright also progressed to the last 16.
Rising Dutch star De Zwaan averaged 106.09, the highest recorded at this year’s event, and hit 53% of his double attempts to reach the last 16 in his third World Championship.
As the pre-Christmas action concluded with six third round ties, De Zwaan’s sparkling display laid down a marker ahead of the three-day break in play.
“It felt amazing to play like that and to beat a great player in Dave Chisnall,” said De Zwaan.
“I wasn’t actually playing that well in practice but the confidence was there on stage and that’s what you must have to beat a player like Dave.
“I know if I play like that all the time I can be World Champion, but I don’t want to think about that yet.
“Darts is all in the moment so you can’t expect to average 106 in every game so we’ll see what happens.”
A match which featured 17 180s saw the opening four sets shared before De Zwaan fired in back-to-back 12-dart legs in the fifth to go 3-2 up.
The pair continued to trade blows as two-time World Championship quarter-finalist Chisnall replied in kind with two 12-dart legs on his way to levelling it back up at 3-3 in sets.
De Zwaan put his foot on the gas in the deciding leg, not allowing Chisnall a dart at double with legs of 14, 10 and 15 darts sealing one of his finest victories.
The 23-year-old will now meet Wright in the last 16 after the former World Championship runner-up saw off Japan’s Seigo Asada 4-2.
Despite winning the opening set, Wright changed his equipment mid-way through the second set but the swap failed to stop Asada levelling the contest.
Wright claimed six of the next nine legs to regain control of the tie, only for Asada to land finishes of 103 and 96 on his way to winning the fifth set to make it 3-2.
Scottish number two Wright found a strong finish to the match with a pair of 15-dart legs, winning it with an 84 checkout.
Wright’s World Cup winning partner Anderson recovered from 3-1 down to defeat Ryan Searle 4-3 and maintain his bid for a hat-trick of World Championship crowns.
Searle, who was looking to reach the last 16 for the second successive year, missed three darts to take the opening set but put that disappointment behind him to take the next three sets for the concession of just three legs.
Following the interval, Anderson was a man on a mission as he won six of the next seven legs to take the match to a deciding set.
With Searle still reeling from the Scotsman’s assault, Anderson took full advantage, winning another three legs without reply to secure his passage into round four.
“When I was 3-1 down I had nothing to lose because Ryan was playing brilliantly so I just went up there and did my thing,” said Anderson, who will meet Nathan Aspinall in the last 16.
“Obviously I’m relieved to win and I can look forward to spending time with family over Christmas and then I can come back ready to go again.
“I wasn’t playing well. Ryan was the better player but I managed to find some form and I’m very happy that I did.”
Fellow two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis made it through to the last 16 for the ninth time in ten World Championships after edging out Darren Webster in one of the most unpredictable games of the tournament.
For the second match in a row, Lewis got off to a slow start and found himself two sets down to a rampant Webster who saved one of his best performances of the year for the big stage.
However, Webster missed three darts at double 12 in the deciding leg of set three, before Lewis followed up a 180 with double 14 to halve the deficit.
The fourth set also went to a deciding leg and once again Webster missed set darts, this time two at double top and double ten as Lewis took out 46 in two darts to level.
Webster regained his composure to win the next set and take a 3-2 lead, before a high-quality set six saw Webster miss a dart at double 12 for a nine-dart finish, only for Lewis to edge it 3-2 to take the tie to a seventh set decider.
With nothing to separate the pair after four legs, the match went to a tie-break, and after Lewis broke throw with a 13-dart leg, he finished the job with a clinical 78 checkout in the next to finally end the epic contest.
“I just did exactly the same as I did in the first round, I got off to a slow start which is what I was trying to avoid,” said Lewis.
“I think the slow starts are just down to the pressure of playing in this environment, it’s the biggest stage in the sport.
“Every time I started to play well he followed me, and when I dropped off he did the same.
“Full credit to Darren, I thought he was awesome. That was one of the best games I’ve ever been involved in.
“I’m fighting as best I can do and we’ll see where it takes me.”
Lewis will now face Belgium’s number one Dimitri Van den Bergh, who moved one win away from a second quarter-final appearance in three years after battling his way to a 4-2 win over Luke Woodhouse.
Two-time World Youth Champion Van den Bergh started quickest as he landed a 128 checkout, the first of six ton-plus finishes in the match, on his way to a 2-0 lead in sets.
An under-the-weather Woodhouse fought back, winning two of the next three sets to make it 3-2, but after taking a 2-0 lead in the next set he missed two set darts at double 16, allowing Van den Bergh to land an 86 finish to win it.
Reigning World Youth Champion Luke Humphries continued his bid for back-to-back quarter-final appearances with a hard-fought victory over emerging German talent Nico Kurz.
The first four sets were shared before Humphries pinned double one to clinch the pivotal fifth set after surprise package Kurz had missed a dart at tops to take it.
Kurz, the last German player in the tournament, landed a 131 checkout to stay alive after losing the first two legs in set six, but his hopes were short-lived as Humphries fired in a 13-darter to set up a fifth round meeting with Kim Huybrechts.
The William Hill World Championship continues on Friday December 27 following a three-day Christmas break, with two sessions of third and fourth round action, as Fallon Sherrock looks to continue her fairytale run against Chris Dobey in the afternoon session, before Michael van Gerwen and Anderson feature in the evening.
Day 12 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.
William Hill World Darts Championship
Monday December 23
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round
Luke Humphries 4-2 Nico Kurz
Adrian Lewis 4-3 Darren Webster
Dimitri Van den Bergh 4-2 Luke Woodhouse
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Third Round
Jeffrey de Zwaan 4-3 Dave Chisnall
Gary Anderson 4-3 Ryan Searle
Peter Wright 4-2 Seigo Asada
Friday December 27
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round
Simon Whitlock v Mervyn King
Daryl Gurney v Glen Durrant
Fallon Sherrock v Chris Dobey
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
1x Third Round
Gerwyn Price v John Henderson
2x Fourth Round
Gary Anderson v Nathan Aspinall
Michael van Gerwen v Stephen Bunting
Jim Williams (Wales) became the latest player to win the coverted Champion of Champions event in Cardiff last night. The Worthingtons sponsored event is growing into a much-anticipated event on the grassroots darts calendar.
Williams, who defeated Bradley Brooks in the final, joins an exclusive list of trophy holders. It was a tough day at a busy St Davids Hall in Cardiff. The 256 strong fields included a last-minute qualification from Gerwyn Price, who won through a rearranged qualifier after a late withdrawal. 1995 World Champion Richie Burnett went on a fine run as did Jon Worsley, known as Womble, who knocked out Price early on.
But it was Brooks and Williams who won through, the difficult best of 3 format, to contest the final. Williams closed out the youngster 2-0 to add the title to the other he has picked up this year.
Williams seems to like Red Dragon sponsored events which take place in his home nation. Earlier this year he collected a trophy at the Welsh Open weekend in Prestatyn.
Gerwyn Price, Johnny Clayton and Paul Hogan are amongst the famous names to have held the trophy aloft in its short history. Victory in the CoC leads to a surge in success for many of the winners it will be interesting to see what it brings for Williams.