“All Hair and No Flair” They Said. How Wright Proved Them Wrong!

THEY said he was all hair and no flair. It was just a novelty act, a multi-colored Mohican, style over substance. He was even called a ‘clown’. But boy, has Peter Wright proved everyone wrong.

Wright’s flair has added to a game previously dominated by polo shirts and polyester!

In truth Wright, 50, is a total contradiction of persona v personality. The oche punk look could not be further from his real character. He’s quiet, reserved, and verging on shy, very softly spoken and often emotional. Wright was close to tears when he admitted: “My mum was 16 when she had me and my dad was in jail.“But her sisters didn’t think she was up to bringing me up at one stage and they were apparently talking about taking me off her.

Wright burst on to the elite scene six years ago by reaching the World Championship Final and has since been consistent at the highest level before landing the big one on New Year’s Day.

Ask anyone about darts and where once they’d talk about Eric Bristow or Phil Taylor, now they say: “That bloke with the colourful, spiky hair.”Wrighty admits he grew up watching the likes Ziggy Stardust and Boy George which inspired the hair – and the best is yet to come on the oche.

He added: 

“I know what people have said about me, I know people thought I was just a novelty and a weird haircut.“

When I was young I experimented I did have some sort of Mohican and I used to colour the back of my head with food dye!

“In the charts then were David Bowie, Boy George and all that lot all dressed up as well. “It was my idea of colouring my hair for darts. It was the Blue Square UK Open and I decided to have blue hair for it, I think that was 2009. “But I always believed in my own ability”.

“The hair, the clothes are just my stage persona. That’s what prepares me for matches, my warpaint if you like.”

 “I like to learn from other players, watch the top guys such as Phil, Michael (Van Gerwen), Gary (Anderson) and Adrian Lewis and pick up their best points. “I always go out to keep improving and that’s brought me to where I am now. But there’s a lot more to come.”

The ultimate reward! Snakebite captures the games’ biggest trophy. (pic: Taylor Lanning)

This wonderful down-to-earth guy Wright has shut down all the haters. The “clown” took the biggest crown.


Pix: Taylor Lanning

Wright Claims Title! MVG Outgunned in High Quality Final.

Peter Wright was crowned 2019/20 William Hill World Darts Champion for the first time after an outstanding final victory over Michael van Gerwen at London’s Alexandra Palace on New Year’s Day.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG FINAL MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V PETER WRIGHT PETER WRIGHT WINS

The flamboyant Scotsman finally achieved his darting destiny with a 7-3 success, six years to the day since losing out to Van Gerwen in his previous final appearance. 

Wright won the first two sets of the final and never fell behind, winning three crucial sets in last leg deciders before sealing glory in a high-quality contest on double ten. 

“I can’t quite believe it,” said an emotional Wright, who moves up to second in the PDC Order of Merit. 

“I thought about giving up before I reached the final six years ago but this shows that you should never give up on your dreams. 

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG FINAL MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V PETER WRIGHT PETER WRIGHT WINS

“Michael is an excellent champion and deserves everything he has won but it was my turn and it feels brilliant.

“I’ve worked so hard on finding the right darts, the right throw and the right mentality and it all came together at the right time.

“I am really proud of myself and really grateful for everybody that has helped me become World Champion.” 

Van Gerwen tasted defeat in the sport’s showpiece game for just the second time after failing to claim crucial set-deciding legs throughout the match.

The Dutchman landed 16 180s and averaged 102.88 but Wright’s 55% double success rate proved to be an important factor. 

“Of course it hurts a lot to lose this final but the credit goes to Peter,” said the gracious world number one.

“He played a great tournament and was better than me in the biggest moments and I think he deserved to win in the end.

“I can only blame myself for missing at important moments but I will work hard to come back stronger from this.” 

Wright, who averaged 102.79, took the first set in a decider by landing double top at the first attempt – but only after Van Gerwen had missed a dart at the bullseye for a 170 checkout.

The Scotsman crucially broke his opponent’s throw in the second leg of set two with a 12-darter before doubling his lead on tops. 

Van Gerwen announced his presence in the final with a dominant third set, in which he used just 37 darts to complete a whitewash. 

Wright kicked off the fourth set by producing the game’s highest checkout of 140 – but missed the opportunity to restore a two-set lead when he missed a dart at double top to take out 102, allowing Van Gerwen to land double eight to level up the match. 

The Dutchman was made to pay for six missed darts at double to lead the fifth set, which Wright went on to take 3-1 with the aid of a 10-darter and a set-sealing 96 finish. 

It was Wright’s turn to complete a whitewash set as he produced a brace of 81 checkouts, followed by an 80 finish to regain a two-set cushion. 

An 84 checkout on the bullseye saw Van Gerwen take a 2-1 lead in the seventh set, which he immediately sealed with a ruthless 11-darter.

Wright came from 2-1 behind to win the following set in an edgy deciding leg, in which Van Gerwen missed a dart a tops for parity before the Scot pinned double 16 to increase his lead to 5-3 in sets. 

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG FINAL MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V PETER WRIGHT PETER WRIGHT IN ACTION

The Dutchman missed two darts to close the gap in the pivotal fifth leg in the ninth set and Wright punished by taking out 70 to move three sets ahead.

Depsite a missed attempt at double 12 for a nine-darter by Van Gerwen, the tenth set proved to be the last one as Wright sunk double ten to win it 3-1 and seal the ultimate glory in darts.

Wright and Van Gerwen will now look ahead to the 2020 Unibet Premier League after being included in the nine-player field.

Wednesday January 1 (1900 GMT)
Final
Best of 13 sets
Peter Wright 7-3 Michael van Gerwen

ENDS

What’s Luck Got to Do with It? Darius Does Lithuania Proud.

Darius Labanauskas is 43, Lithuaniun and known as ‘Lucky D’, but luck had very little to so with his superb run at this years PDC World Championship. MVG seemed to be a little dismissive of Lucky D after their Qtr final. Not everyone shared his view.

Darius Labanauskas in his BDO days.
Photo: BDO

Shortly before the championships I was asked to contribute a few words, on various players, for an eMag (Ultimate Guide to the World Championships https://appsolutely.dev/darts/). There were limited spaces for an extended commentary and each group of qualifiers had to be represented.

One of our selections for the Global/Event Qualifiers section was Darius. Here is what we had to say about him:

Lucky D will provide Lithuania with a superb opportunity of having a darting hero. A former WDF Number 1, and winner of many European Opens, he made his attempt at the PDC system this year. Heaving gained a Pro Tour Card he has progressed well ever since. The experienced, and smart, 43 year old played both the Pro Tour events and on the Scandinavian (affiliated) Tour. This ensured regular income and constant game time. The highlight of the year, from a PDC point of view, would be his run to the final of Players Championship 15. En-Route Darius defeated a wide range of players including the on form Gabriel Clemens and the legendary Steve Beaton. He also qualified for The Players Championships Finals and get some useful PDC stage experience under his belt. Eastern European players have made great strides in recent years Darius has already made a groundbreaking contribution, can he go further?

Darius has stepped up to reach finals on the Pro Tour and Performed well in the Scandinavian Tour.
Pic: PDC

As you can see I was positively disposed to the Lithuanian and noted his previous victory of Steve Beaton. There were two main reasons for thinking he may do well, and selecting him as a worth additional comment, firstly I had met him a couple of times and he seemed a very focused, determined and switched on guy who understood more than he let on. Secondly, his tactics of playing both the main PDC and Scandinavian tour, fitted with something I have observed about those who are able to spread their efforts.

The fact that income, game time, experience and confidence can be gained, at the same time as moving into the elite, is very important and often results in good world championship performances.

In 2010/11 Mensur surprised many, with his early victory over James Wade, but not those familiar with the Open Event Circuit. The Austrian had been playing superbly for the previous couple of months and had mopped up plenty of income and confidence from events in the Midlands and North. A look at Larry Butler’s global form a few years back showed why his return to the top should not have been a surprise.

Jan Dekker has also benefitted from playing different tours at different times and has again played the system this year to qualify for the worlds, and pocket £15k, in order to retain his ranking and tour card?

In short there is a space for players who are perhaps not quite elite, top 16 level, but are very good and professional in their attitude. Think of them like the journey men in golf. They can earn very good livings and finish high up in tier two events, or rankings, while rarely hitting the absolute peak of their sport.

It is not easy to tell whether Darius will move up a gear and join the elite ranks or whether this will have been just another step on a ground breaking hybrid style career.

World Championship Day 14 – MVG Moves Toward Title.

Michael van Gerwen took another step towards a fourth William Hill World Championship title as he moved into the semi-finals along with Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and Nathan Aspinall on Sunday at Alexandra Palace.

PIC; LAWRENCE LUSTIG
QUARTER FINAL MICHAEL VAN GERWEN IN ACTION

Van Gerwen continued his title defence with a 5-2 victory over Darius Labanauskas, who missed a huge opportunity to run the world number one much closer.

Having taken the opening set, the plucky Lithuanian missed six darts to cut Van Gerwen’s lead to 4-3 in the seventh, allowing the Dutchman to take another leap towards a fourth World Championship crown.

“I got the job done but I need to play much better,” said the 2014, 2017 & 2019 winner, who will take on Aspinall in the last four.

“I lost my concentration at times and I shouldn’t do that but I also had some good moments.

“I will put everything right for the next match. Nathan is having a great year and I think we can have a fantastic game but if I play to my top level I will have too much for him.”

Labanauskas took the first set with a clinical 80 clincher in a deciding leg after the world number one had taken out 158 in leg four.

Van Gerwen edged set two 3-2, punishing the Lithuanian for a missed attempt at the bullseye that would have seen Labanauskas double his lead.

The Dutchman then ran riot in a bizarre third set, winning all three legs despite a pause in play while his opponent’s cut finger – caused by catching his own dart – was treated by match referee George Noble.

Finishes of 137, 84 and 72 saw Van Gerwen move two sets clear but that lead was reduced when Labanauskas pegged double ten to win the fifth set 3-1.

Van Gerwen won the next three legs, including one in which his opponent had kicked off with back-to-back 180s.

Labanauskas then forced a fifth leg in the seventh set but missed six darts to win it before the defending champion finally finished the job on double four.

Price dominated his clash with Glen Durrant from start to finish, dropping only the third set in a convincing 5-1 success to end the Ally Pally debutant’s challenge.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Price averaged just under 100 and fired in eight maximums as he booked his place in the World Championship semi-finals for the first time.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG QUARTER FINAL GERWYN PRICE V GLEN DURRANT GLEN DURRANT IN ACTION

“I made him chase the match and I felt in control,” said Price, who will face Wright on Monday. “Glen was a bit patchy at times but I think the way I was checking out disheartened him.

“I’m happy to win that game 5-1 and I think Peter will be more worried about me than I will be about him.

“I’m really confident about the semi-final – he’ll be lucky to win a set!”

Price defied checkouts of 105 and 126 to edge the first set 3-2 before winning the second 3-1 against the throw.

Durrant won the third set 3-1 with the aid of a 136 checkout but that was to be as good as it got for the three-time Lakeside Champion as Price took the next three sets 3-1.

Wright and Aspinall both fended off mini fight-backs to progress to the last four in an entertaining afternoon session.

2014 finalist Wright produced a top quality display to defeat Luke Humphries 5-3, while Aspinall reached matched last year’s debut run to the last four by defeating Dimitri Van den Bergh by the same margin.

Former runner-up Wright averaged almost 106 and produced party-piece checkouts of 170 and 161 to keep a tenacious Humphries at bay.

“I wanted to go out and stay on top of him and I did that,” said the number seven seed, who raced into a 4-1 lead.

“Luke is an awesome player and he showed that at times but I was much more focused than in my previous games.

“I played well but I need to be much more consistent to go all the way but I feel really good and when I feel this good I can win anything.”

Wright dominated the early exchanges, landing the tournament’s eighth 170 finish and a 124 checkout to take the opening set 3-1, before racing through the next three legs to double his lead.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG QUARTER FINAL PETER WRIGHT V LUKE HUMPHRIES Peter WRIGHT IN ACTION

The Scotsman missed double 12 for a 144 out and Humphries made sure of the opportunity to get a set on the board by pinning double eight.

Wright shrugged it off with another strong set, landing a stunning 161 finish as he claimed the fourth set 3-1 with winning legs of 12, 12 and 11 darts.

He further extended his lead by taking set five in four legs but Humphries replied in kind before a whitewash seventh set saw him reduce Wright’s advantage to 4-3.

The former UK Open winner finally brought an end to a match of exceptional quality by landing double two to clinch the eighth set 3-1.

Aspinall, meanwhile, moved into the semi-finals for the second successive year after seeing off a spirited fightback from Van den Bergh.

The number 12 seed also raced into a 4-1 lead before eventually winning the match in eight sets.

“He let me off in the end,” admitted Aspinall, who reached the last four on his debut 12 months ago.

“I don’t know why I felt so nervous. It is something I need to address. The occasion got to me and I didn’t play very well so I’m happy to get through.

“I showed some fighting spirit at the end and took my chances. I love being here and I want to put on a show for the fans, which is what I will aim to do tomorrow.”

Aspinall missed darts at doubles in each of the first three legs, allowing Van den Bergh to win the opening set 3-0.

The UK Open champion hit back, though, taking the following two sets 3-1 before punishing the Belgian for missing four darts to win set four as he opened up a two-set lead.

The 2019 US Darts Masters winner also edged the fifth set 3-2 but failed to close out the match in the sixth, which Van den Bergh clinched in a deciding leg.

Consecutive finishes of 80 and 70 saw the two-time World Youth Champion take the seventh set 3-1 but Aspinall avoided a decider by coming back from being two legs behind in the eighth with three 13-darters.

Going into Monday’s semi-finals, Van Gerwen remains the odds-on favourite and is 1/2 to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy on New Year’s Day.

Price is the 7/2 second-favourite, while Wright is priced at 7/1 and Aspinall is the 14/1 outsider with title sponsors William Hill.

The semi-finals 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 Championship

Sunday December 29

Afternoon Session

Quarter-Finals

Nathan Aspinall 5-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh

Peter Wright 5-3 Luke Humphries

Evening Session

Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Darius Labanauskas

Gerwyn Price 5-1 Glen Durrant

Monday December 30 (1900 GMT)

Semi-Finals

Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price

Michael van Gerwen v Nathan Aspinall

Best of 11 sets

ENDS

World Championship Review – Day 11

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.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND 3 DAVE CHISNALL V JEFFREY DE ZWAAN JEFFREY DE ZWAAN IN ACTION

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.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND 3 GARY ANDERSON V RYAN SEARLE GARY ANDERSON IN ACTION

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.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND 3 ADRIAN LEWIS V DARREN WEBSTER ADRIAN LEWIS IN ACTION

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

ENDS

World Championships Review – Day Seven.

Gerwyn Price survived a huge scare against William O’Connor on Day Seven of the 2019/20 William Hill World Darts Championship on Thursday at London’s Alexandra Palace.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND 2 GERWEN PRICE V WILLIAM O’CONNOR GERWEN PRICE IN ACTION

World number three Price was twice a leg away from crashing out of the tournament, but Republic of Ireland’s O’Connor was unable to deliver the fatal blow.

With the deciding set tied at 2-2 in legs, O’Connor approached the oche needing four points but threw at double one, allowing Price to take out 75 to break throw before winning it with a 13-dart leg.

With Rob Cross and Michael Smith among the seeded players to fall at the first hurdle, Price showed determination to avoid joining them but admitted he never felt at ease on the big stage. 

“That’s the most uncomfortable I’ve ever felt in a darts match, I couldn’t handle the heat up there,” admitted Price, who will meet John Henderson in round three.

“From the moment I walked out I never felt at ease and I ended up chasing Willie throughout; he was probably the better player.

“He put me under pressure and I knew I don’t have the best of records here but a win’s a win.

“I had a bit of luck with Willie going for the wrong double at the end but I’m not going to tap him on the shoulder and tell him that!

“I’ve won tournaments before where I should’ve gone out in my first game so maybe this could be another one of those.”

After edging the opening set 3-2, Price lost both the next two 3-1 to go within a set of a shock early exit.

Set four went to a deciding leg, putting the Welsh number one on the brink for the first time in the contest but Price found a last dart double six for a 15-dart leg when he needed it most.

With O’Connor 2-1 up in the deciding set, another 15-dart leg from Price took the match to a tie-break, before O’Connor’s counting error allowed Price to go ahead for the first time since set one.

Price produced a timely 180 in the next leg, followed by a 134 setup shot to leave double 18 which he pinned with his first dart to relieve fears of a first hurdle exit.​

Day Seven of darts’ biggest event also saw Chris Dobey reach the third round in dramatic fashion, as he survived two match darts to overcome Ron Meulenkamp in a thrilling tie-break.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND 2 CHRIS DOBEY V RON MEULENKAMP CHRIS DOBEY IN ACTION

Having squandered a two-set lead, Dobey found himself 2-0 down in the deciding set but after the Dutchman missed two darts at double eight to end the contest, Dobey made no mistake on double 14 to level at 2-2.

A 14-dart leg earned Dobey a crucial break of throw, before the next leg saw the Northumbrian seal the win on double eight to reach round three where he will meet Mensur Suljovic or history-maker Fallon Sherrock.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win on that stage, it would’ve been really disappointing to lose here after a good year,” said Dobey.

“When I hit double 14 to level in the last set I said ‘I’m still here’ and I always say it’s never over until it’s over.

“I don’t mind who I play next but I thought Fallon was absolutely outstanding the other night, I was out there watching and the atmosphere was fantastic.”

Two-time World Championship quarter-finalist Dave Chisnall safely secured his passage through to the third round with a 3-1 win over Vincent van der Voort.

Although Chisnall struggled to produce his trademark high-scoring on a consistent basis, his accuracy on the outer ring saw him miss just five darts at double to keep Van der Voort at bay.

Chisnall, who has enjoyed a return to form in 2019, will face another Dutchman, Jeffrey de Zwaan in round three.

“I’m really happy with the win, Vincent is a top player so I’m relieved to get a difficult first game out of the way,” said Chisnall.

“I’ve changed darts but it’s not just that, I feel relaxed playing and I probably want it more now than ever before.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND 2 DAVE CHISNALL V VINCENT VAN DER VOORT DAVE CHISNALL IN ACTION

“I’ve never practiced like this for a World Championship and hopefully this year we’re going to see the best version of myself.

“If I play my best game all the way through, who knows what could happen?”

Steve Beaton began his 19th PDC World Championship with a 3-1 victory over Australian number two Kyle Anderson.

With Beaton leading 2-1 in sets, Anderson missed three darts to take the contest to a deciding set before Beaton clinically took out 50 in two darts to advance to round three.

Beaton now has the chance to reach last 16 for first time since the 2003/04 event against eighth seed James Wade.

Popular Scot Henderson breezed into the last 32 for the third year in a row with a 3-0 whitewash of James Richardson.

Richardson, who came through a last-leg shoot-out with Mikuru Suzuki in round one, registered just three legs in the contest as Henderson dominated throughout.

There was a less simple passage into the last 32 for Danny Noppert, who came from behind to beat Callan Rydz 3-2.

Debutant Rydz landed a 160 checkout on his way to a 2-1 lead in sets, before World Series of Darts Finals runner-up Noppert won six of the last seven legs to book his place in round three against Kim Huybrechts.

There was heart-break for last year’s quarter-finalist Ryan Joyce as he missed four match darts against Jan Dekker.

From 2-0 down in sets, Joyce fought hard to take the match to a deciding but Dutchman Dekker made the most of his chance to reach round two for a second successive year where he will take on Welsh number two Jonny Clayton.

A day of drama also saw Justin Pipe survive three match darts as he fought back from 2-1 down to defeat Slovenian debutant Benjamin Pratnemer.

Pratnemer missed a trio of darts at double ten and double five to win 3-1, before Pipe found a vital last dart double eight to level.

Pipe then went on to win the deciding set 3-1 to enjoy a winning return to darts’ biggest stage after a two-year absence, with world number six Daryl Gurney awaiting him in round two.

The William Hill World Championship continues on Friday with two sessions of second round action, as Peter Wright begins his quest for the Sid Waddell Trophy against Noel Malicdem of the Philippines.

Day Eight will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Darts channel and through NOW TV in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.

Thursday December 19
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
2x First Round, 2x Second Round
Justin Pipe 3-2 Benjamin Pratnemer (First Round)
Jan Dekker 3-2 Ryan Joyce (First Round) 
John Henderson 3-0 James Richardson (Second Round)
Steve Beaton 3-1 Kyle Anderson (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round
Chris Dobey 3-2 Ron Meulenkamp (Second Round)
Danny Noppert 3-2 Callan Rydz (Second Round)
Dave Chisnall 3-1 Vincent van der Voort (Second Round)
Gerwyn Price 3-2 William O’Connor (Second Round)

Friday December 20
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
4x Second Round
Darren Webster v Yuki Yamada (Second Round)
Mervyn King v Ciaran Teehan (Second Round)
Jonny Clayton v Joyce/Dekker (Second Round)
Ricky Evans v Mark McGeeney (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round
Nathan Aspinall v Danny Baggish (Second Round)
Joe Cullen v Nico Kurz (Second Round)
Max Hopp v Benito van de Pas (Second Round)
Peter Wright v Noel Malicdem (Second Round)

ENDS

HISTORY MAKER SHERROCK HEADING TO NEW YORK

DARTS sensation Fallon Sherrock is set to take America by storm after being selected to compete in the 2020 U.S. Darts Masters, which will be held on June 5-6 in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE, LONDON Round 1 TED EVETTS v FALLON SHERROCK Pic: Christopher Dean / Scantech Media 07930 364436 chris@scantechmedia.com www.scantechmedia.com

Sherrock, a 25-year-old from England, created history as the first female player to win a match at the Professional Darts Corporation’s World Championship on Tuesday, defeating Ted Evetts 3-2 in the first round of the event.

The achievement has received incredible worldwide recognition as Sherrock enjoyed a hugely memorable, and deserved, win at Alexandra Palace in London.

The 25-year-old will now join the likes of current World Champion Michael van Gerwen in competing in the U.S. Darts Masters, when the World Series of Darts visits New York for the first time next June.

Eight north American qualifiers will also compete in the two-day tournament on June 5-6, with Sherrock set to make history again when she becomes the first female competitor on the World Series stage next year.

“We live in a big world and Fallon’s victory has become mainstream news, rather than sports news,” said Hearn. “It’s astonished me.

“The first woman to do something is always news because it’s a breakthrough moment for the sport. You couldn’t write that type of drama. I think it is a game-changing moment.

“Fallon will get the dream ticket in terms of an invitation to the World Series of Darts in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York.

“That’s going to be massive news around the world, particularly in America, and the message is clear to other women; if you’re good enough, opportunities exist or will be created.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND1 FALLON SHARROCK PRESS CONFERENCE

“She’s going to have dream scenario there and who knows where it builds from there.”

Hearn added: “The aim of the World Series is to grow professional darts worldwide and Fallon’s inclusion will be another massive step for the sport on the global stage.

“Darts is hugely popular across America and we’ve already seen incredible interest in our first visit to New York, and to have Fallon on stage at Madison Square will be a huge opportunity for her to show her undoubted talent to a new audience.”

Speaking following her inclusion in the tournament, Sherrock said: “I can’t believe it – this is amazing news for me. It’s been a crazy couple of days and I’m not sure everything has sunk in yet.

“It’s all really exciting and to get to play in the World Series in New York will be a fantastic experience for me. This shows that if me and other women show what we can do and win matches, we’ll be rewarded with more opportunities like this. I can’t wait.”

Tickets for the 2020 U.S. Darts Masters are available now and can be purchased from Ticketmaster viahttps://www.ticketmaster.com/artist/2256468.

ENDS

World Championship – Day 5 Review.

Fallon Sherrock became the first woman to win a William Hill World Championship match on a historic night at London’s Alexandra Palace on Tuesday. 

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE, LONDON Round 1 TED EVETTS v FALLON SHERROCK Pic: Christopher Dean / Scantech Media 07930 364436 chris@scantechmedia.com www.scantechmedia.com

The former Lakeside Championship Women’s finalist produced a stunning performance to defeat Ted Evetts 3-2 and move into the second round. 

25-year-old talent Sherrock landed six 180s and converted 41 percent of double attempts in a remarkable display to see off 2019 PDC Unicorn Development Tour winner Evetts.

“I can’t believe that I’ve made history,” said Sherrock, who had watched on as Mikuri Suzuki came close to winning her match against James Richardson on Sunday. 

“I was inspired by Mikuru and I don’t think I would have believed in myself as much if she hadn’t performed so well. 

“I’m absolutely over the moon – I have always dreamt of playing on that stage and winning on it is something I have dreamt of too but I never thought it would happen.

“I can’t remember much of the match but the atmosphere was amazing. I didn’t want it to end but I’m glad it ended the way it did with me making history.”

Sherrock sent he first warning signal by checking out 106 in the second leg of the match but went on to lose the first set 3-1.

A flurry of 180s – including two to kick-off one leg – helped her win the second set, but Evetts regained control by taking out 68 after she had missed four darts to take set three.

Sherrock clinched the fourth set 3-2 with a brilliant 13-darter under pressure before going on to seal glory by winning the deciding set 3-1.

The moment was greeted with enormous cheers and applause from a vocal Ally Pally crowd, with the historic sporting moment being shared widely around the world. ​

Jeffrey de Zwaan came from behind to deny Darin Young a second giant-killing of the tournament. 

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE, LONDON Round 2 JEFFREY DE ZWAAN v DARIN YOUNG Pic: Christopher Dean / Scantech Media 07930 364436 chris@scantechmedia.com www.scantechmedia.com

American ace Young, who had beaten Raymond van Barneveld in round one, led the tie by two sets to one before the 23-year-old Dutchman rallied back to snatch victory.

“I feel relieved more than anything after that,” admitted De Zwaan, who will face either Dave Chisnall or Vincent van der Voort in the third round. 

“Darin played really well but I was expecting that and I didn’t start very well – but I’m really happy I turned it around to win.”

Krzysztof Ratajski also reached round three as he defeated Zoran Lerchbacher to win at Alexandra Palace for the first time. 

The Polish ace, who has won six PDC ranking titles, recovered from dropping the first set to claim a 3-1 triumph. 

“I feel free now and I can relax,” said Ratajski, who won the Gibraltar Darts Trophy in September. 

“In the last two years I have come here and lost so I am really happy. 

“I won a title on the stage earlier this year and I think that has helped me a lot – this is a magnificent win for me.” 

Australia’s Damon Heta breezed to a straight sets success on his World Championship debut, defeating Portuguese star Jose De Sousa.

August’s Brisbane Darts Masters Heta made light work of De Sousa, who had picked two PDC ranking titles in 2019.

There was also a comfortable debut victory for Ritchie Edhouse over Russia’s Boris Koltsov.

London born Edhouse took out 106 to win the first set before doubling his lead – but had to fend off a late fightback to win 3-1.

Ryan Searle won a tight affair against Australia’s Robbie King, who missed a match dart in a sudden-death leg.

Devon thrower Searle struggled with his finishing – despite landing the tournament’s second 170 – missing 37 darts at doubles during the tie but pinned the crucial tops to win. 

Spanish star Cristo Reyes completed a great escape to defeat Lourence Ilagan in an entertaining encounter which also went to a fifth set.

PDC Asian Tour winner Ilagan looked to be on course for victory when he won the first two sets but Reyes stormed back, taking the last five legs of the match to set up a second round meeting with Adrian Lewis.

Ilagan’s Philippines World Cup teammate enjoyed success with a straight sets victory over an out-of-sorts Rowby-John Rodriguez. 

Malicdem will face Peter Wright in round two after finishes of 104 and a match-winning 107 saw him win his opener for the second successive year. 

The William Hill World Darts Championship continues on Day Six with six first round ties and two second round matches across two sessions, with James Wade and Stephen Bunting featuring. 

Day Six will 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.

Tuesday December 17
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ryan Searle 3-2 Robbie King (First Round)
Cristo Reyes 3-2 Lourence Ilagan (First Round) 
Noel Malicdem 3-0 Rowby-John Rodriguez (First Round) 
Krzysztof Ratajski 3-1 Zoran Lerchbacher (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ritchie Edhouse 3-1 Boris Koltsov (First Round) 
Damon Heta 3-0 Jose De Sousa (First Round)
Fallon Sherrock 3-2 Jose De Sousa (First Round) 
Jeffrey de Zwaan 3-2 Darin Young (Second Round)

Wednesday December 18
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ron Meulenkamp v Ben Robb (First Round) 
Mickey Mansell v Seigo Asada (First Round)
Harry Ward v Madars Razma (First Round)
Stephen Bunting v Jose Justicia (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
James Wilson v Nico Kurz (First Round)
Josh Payne v Diogo Portela (First Round)
Gabriel Clemens v Benito van de Pas (First Round) 
James Wade v Ritchie Edhouse (Second Round)

ENDS

Sherrock Wins – History Made!

Fallon Sherrock became the first woman to win a William Hill World Championship match on a historic night at London’s Alexandra Palace on Tuesday. 

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE, LONDON Round 1 TED EVETTS v FALLON SHERROCK Pic: Christopher Dean / Scantech Media 07930 364436 chris@scantechmedia.com www.scantechmedia.com

The former Lakeside Championship Women’s finalist produced a stunning performance to defeat Ted Evetts 3-2 and move into the second round. 

25-year-old talent Sherrock landed six 180s and converted 41 percent of double attempts in a remarkable display to see off 2019 PDC Unicorn Development Tour winner Evetts.

“I can’t believe that I’ve made history,” said Sherrock, who had watched on as Mikuri Suzuki came close to winning her match against James Richardson on Sunday. 

“I was inspired by Mikuru and I don’t think I would have believed in myself as much if she hadn’t performed so well. 

“I’m absolutely over the moon – I have always dreamt of playing on that stage and winning on it is something I have dreamt of too but I never thought it would happen.

“I can’t remember much of the match but the atmosphere was amazing. I didn’t want it to end but I’m glad it ended the way it did with me making history.”

Sherrock sent he first warning signal by checking out 106 in the second leg of the match but went on to lose the first set 3-1.

A flurry of 180s – including two to kick-off one leg – helped her win the second set, but Evetts regained control by taking out 68 after she had missed four darts to take set three.

Sherrock clinched the fourth set 3-2 with a brilliant 13-darter under pressure before going on to seal glory by winning the deciding set 3-1.

The moment was greeted with enormous cheers and applause from a vocal Ally Pally crowd, with the historic sporting moment being shared widely around the world. ​

Anderson Eases Through – Day Four Round – Up.

Gary Anderson enjoyed a perfect start to his 2019/20 William Hill World Darts Championship campaign with a convincing 3-0 victory over Brendan Dolan on Monday at London’s Alexandra Palace.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG
ROUND2 GARY ANDERSON V BRENDAN DOLAN GARY ANDERSON IN ACTION

Day Four of darts’ biggest event saw two-time World Champion Anderson get off to a slow start as he averaged under 80 in the opening set.

However, the Scot improved as the contest went on, piling in seven 180s and hitting a 144 checkout on his way to a straight-forward win.

“I’ve been playing really well on the practice board but I went up there tonight and I was nowhere near it in the first set because of nerves,” Anderson admitted.

“But there were some good signs there, the 180s and 140s are coming back and there were a few moments when I felt in full flow up there.

“I’ve not had a lot of stage time this year so I’m a bit out of practice and because of that I felt so nervous walking on stage.

“I’ve had four days solid on the practice board and I’ve been really happy with the way they’re going so hopefully we will see that come out in the rest of the tournament.”

Earlier in the night Keane Barry became the third youngest player to compete in the World Championship, but he was whitewashed 3-0 by Vincent van der Voort.

WILLIAM HILL PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 ALEXANDRA PALACE LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND1 VINCENT VAN DER VOORT V KEANE BARRY KEANE BARRY IN ACTION

Both the first two sets went to a deciding leg, with Dutchman Van der Voort showing his experience to hit crucial doubles at key moments to keep Barry at bay.

The young Irishman averaged 91.72 on his big stage debut, hitting three 180s but he was powerless to stop the Van der Voort assault, and he will now face tenth seed Dave Chisnall.

“It definitely wasn’t a comfortable game to play in, I’m so happy to win,” said Van der Voort.

“Keane is a quality young player with so much potential, the way he hits the treble 20 is frightening.

“But at the key moments he didn’t deliver and thankfully I managed to hit the big shots at the right moments.

“I’m known as a quick player but at one point I thought ‘I need to slow down’ because he’s playing too fast for me!

“Dave is a great player, he’s in the top ten in the world so I will be giving everything I have to win that one.”

Callan Rydz enjoyed a debut to remember as he came through a dramatic sudden-death leg with Steve Lennon.

Irish World Cup runner-up Lennon got off to the best possible start, winning the opening set 3-0, only for 21-year-old Rydz to win the next two sets without dropping a leg.

The fourth set was also won to nil by Lennon to take the tie to a fifth and final set, and after Rydz took the first two legs of the decider, Lennon produced back-to-back 15-dart legs to take the match all the way to a last-leg shoot-out.

Rydz was first to a finish but the Northumbrian wired the bullseye for a 161 finish, meaning Lennon had a chance to take out 87.

The Irishman missed two match darts at double 18, allowing Rydz a shot at 25 for the match which he took with a last dart double two.

There was better fortune for Lennon’s World Cup partner William O’Connor, who breezed past experienced Fin Marko Kantele 3-0.

Despite not being at his best, O’Connor managed to land six 180s and never allowed Kantele a way into the contest, and he will now await world number three Gerwyn Price in the second round.

The William Hill World Championship continues on Tuesday with two sessions of first and second round play, as rising Dutch star takes on Darin Young who ended Raymond van Barneveld’s career on Saturday.

Day Five 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.

Monday December 16 (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Steve Lennon 2-3 Callan Rydz (First Round)
William O’Connor 3-0 Marko Kantele (First Round)
Vincent van der Voort 3-0 Keane Barry (First Round) 
Gary Anderson 3-0 Brendan Dolan (Second Round)

Tuesday December 17
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ryan Searle v Robbie King (First Round)
Cristo Reyes v Lourence Ilagan (First Round) 
Rowby-John Rodriguez v Noel Malicdem (First Round) 
Krzysztof Ratajski v Zoran Lerchbacher (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ritchie Edhouse v Boris Koltsov (First Round) 
Jose De Sousa v Damon Heta (First Round)
Ted Evetts v Fallon Sherrock (First Round) 
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Darin Young (Second Round)

ENDS