OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM LOVE THE DARTS

Hi all,

As you may have noticed, we have not been active on our website or social media over the last few weeks. Rather than leave you all in the dark as to what has happened, I thought it would be best to let you all know that the Love The Darts magazine has ceased publication.

It was a hard decision to make, but I have recently undertaken a college course and two part-time jobs, meaning any free time I had to maintain the magazine and the website has been severely reduced, and rather than try and carry on and ultimately produce a product/service which is not to the standard I aspire to, I have decided to put it on the shelf… for now!

Since initially launching the magazine as Darts Weekly back in January 2016, it has certainly been an enjoyable experience working in the darts media world and it has left me with too many memories to mention. Firstly, I would like to thank our readers, who without them the magazine would not have been able to run for so long.

I would also like to thank our excellent contributors, most notably, Christopher Kempf, Dave South, Richard Edwards and Dave McNally, for their hard work and dedication to the magazine. I look forward to following their work whether it takes them next.

Thank you also to the many players I have had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing too. It has been a pleasure to speak to some of my sporting idols growing up, and also develop my knowledge of the game from listening to them.

Thank you also to the management teams, PDC media staff and fellow journalists who have also played their part in the magazine over the last couple of years.

Please note, I do intend to continue the Weekly Dartscast podcast as a standalone project now away from the magazine. Make sure you follow the podcast on Twitter @WeeklyDartscast for the latest announcements for when it will be returning!

All the best,

Alex

Editor

 

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Lockup Dave’s betting tips for the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix

We are at the point in the World Grand Prix, where we will discover our semi-final line up for Friday and it could be an absolute cracker.

Tonight’s action will be available to all Sky TV customers on their free sports channel Sky Sports Mix and in addition to this the same channel will screen the final on Saturday also.

Order of play

Robert Thornton vs Daryl Gurney – Players tied on 3-3 (Gurney has won all of the last three inclusive of his last 32 win at the last World Championship)

John Henderson vs Raymond van Barneveld – No previous meetings

Benito van de Pas vs Simon Whitlock – van de Pas leads 3-2 (van de Pas won last three)

Mensur Suljovic vs Peter Wright – Wright leads 6-3

Robert Thornton vs Daryl Gurney

Thornton – 23/10 Boylesports; Gurney – 4/9 Betfair

Despite some jerky darts in his win versus Dave Chisnall, Robert Thornton is capitalising on his free meal ticket in the competition seeing Phil Taylor made way for his inclusion.

Thornton’s game against Chisnall could have gone either way at times. Daryl Gurney played a great spirited game against Joe Cullen in what was a well-paced game which saw Superchin win 3-1 in a deserving battle.

Gurney was superb on his finishing doubles against Cullen ending up with a 75% conversion, which is beyond expectations of any player for this level of accuracy.

Thornton headed a respectable 34.29% on the checkouts and relied on his third dart as his most effective.

The game will be another best of five encounter with the young Irish star odds on to win the game either 3-0 or 3-1. Thornton is evens to win the game by any method and covers a 3-2 loss if this is the bet you are looking for.

There was grave expectations in the Gurney game to see maximums and even discussed this game on my off air darts elite forum chat.

When approached on the subject, we saw just four in the process with the line twice this. Thornton’s game saw the Scot pocket nine, also upsetting many Chisnall 180 backers. With the line set at 8.5 the assumption would be that we need to see more than a straight sets win to consider this and with a fair contribution from both. The pair both play reactively, which is a factor to support the over line on this case.

Thornton can show his disappointment visually when darts go astray and guaranteed the crowd will be PRO Gurney on this game.

John Henderson Vs Raymond van Barneveld

Henderson – 7/2 Sportingbet; Barney – 2/7 Bet365

There is no data to suggest the pair have ever met having both been in the game for several years. Henderson is newer to the PDC code, but has been around for a while and is a credible top 32 player.

Henderson’s fairy tale adventure continues with credibility as expectations of beating van Gerwen in the round took the pressure off him and that was the case for Alan Norris in that he was expected to win the game. The Highlander punished Norris on several occasions

The game between van Barneveld and Beaton was not quite the classic we might have expected as Beaton said himself he had a bad day at the office.

Beaton suffered a host of key misses which handed Barney a 3-0. Barney pre-game was 4/5 to win his quarter, and on the basis of his match odds would have gone in no better than 2/5 to beat Alan Norris had he won his game. Barney is 2/7, so punters could cash in marginally here on a trade-off.

There was little activity on the maximums in the Barney game seeing just the one and the Scotsman is BIG at 21/10 with Coral to hit the most 180s in the game which may appeal to some.

Benito van de Pas vs Simon Whitlock

Whitlock – 19/20 Betfair; van de Pas 23/20 Boylesports

Benito and Simon Whitlock meet in what should be a tightly contested game where van de Pas made light work of Gerwyn Price in his second round disposing of the Welshman 3-0.

Whitlock similarly easily beat North in a one sided encounter, with Richard North putting up some resistance, but was not enough to trouble the Aussie.

Both players had impressive checkout percentages with Benito hitting a 64.29% conversion compared to Simon’s 52.94%. Overall Pas has converted 53.33 with Whitlock’s 48.57%.

Punters will be keen to consider the Aussie to hit the most maximums in the tie, knowing the angle of throw Big Ben often throws. Whitlock has eight compared to van de Pas’ three making this market a potential target.

Over the format of best of will emulate the format in the previous round. Whitlock is 4/7 for most 180s which appeals. The -1.5 Handicap also will raise some eyebrows on the basis van de Pas often switches to 19s and at 10/11 is a fair price.

Mensur Suljovic vs Peter Wright

Wright – 7/12 Marathonbet; Suljovic – 15/8 Betfair

The Austrian made light work of Steve West in their encounter taking a straight sets victory. Suljovic took out some excellent scoring including a 140 finish on double top twice. The look on West’s face said it all when this landed and he new it was not his day, but put up a valiant fight despite the scoreline.

Playing Suljovic is no easy task in respect of playing his pace. Suljovic’s opponent Peter Wright will endure a task of dealing with Mensur Mania and the apparent niggle Wright seem to have against King towards his elbow is nothing serious.

This game could go some distance so Paddy Power are 8/11 for over 15.5 legs which I expect to see at least four sets in the game. This is a fair price on the basis the game will last anywhere between 9-25 legs!

Recommendations

Whitlock -1.5 180 Handicap 10/11Coral and Ladbrokes 1.5 Pts

Over 15.5 legs (Wright/Suljovic) 8/11Paddy Power 1pt

1st leg 180 NO – Whitlock and Barney games – 2.07 Betway 2pt double

Peter Wright overcomes elbow injury to reach World Grand Prix quarter-finals for the first time

Peter Wright defied an elbow injury to beat Mervyn King 3-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix for the first time in Dublin.

The third seed came from a set down to get the better of his East Anglian rival, and set up a clash with sixth seed Mensur Suljovic in the last eight.

But the world number three, who is the bookies’ favourite to claim the £100,000 first prize on Saturday night, was clearly struggling with an elbow injury in his throwing arm during his second-round tie with King.

“I was practicing and threw one dart too hard and just felt it go ‘twang’,” Wright said.

“It was really affecting me in the first set but I adjusted my throw and it got a little better and fortunately I’m through.

“I’ll rest tonight and be ready to play Mensur, he’s playing alright at the moment but people aren’t playing well against him.”

King, a finalist in the double-start tournament five years ago, punished a slow start from the third seed, checking out 68 on double 16 to take the first set 3-2.

Wright then started his comeback after the break by winning the second set 3-1, which included a 116 checkout on double 18 in the fourth leg.

The Scot, who is bidding to win his second major title and his 11th overall this season, wrapped up the third set in style with an excellent 141 checkout moving him into a 2-1 lead in sets.

The 47-year-old then claimed all three legs in the fourth set to secure his place in the quarter-finals, finishing with checkouts of 121 and 112 in the last two legs to end the contest having hit four 100+ finishes.

The reigning UK Open champion had won nine out of 11 legs since dropping the first set to King and finished with a 71% success rate on his finishing doubles, which was enough to earn him a spot in the last eight in Dublin for the first time in six appearances at the Citywest Hotel.

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Simon Whitlock whitewashes good friend Richard North to set up World Grand Prix quarter-final with Benito van de Pas

Simon Whitlock will face Benito van de Pas in the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix after the Australian beat debutant Richard North 3-0 in the second round.

Whitlock and North play local league darts together in Hampshire and were facing each other for the third time in the PDC, with North having won their two previous encounters on the Pro Tour.

Former major winner Whitlock opened the match by taking the first set 3-1, finding double eight to claim his first leg followed by tops to break in the third before pinning double nine to take a 1-0 lead.

North produced a fightback of sorts in the second set, taking the set to a deciding leg but, as in the opener, Whitlock found double nine to double his advantage.

With the score at 2-0, Whitlock stepped up his level and took out 98 to break throw in the opening leg of the third set.

Finishes of 20 and 45 followed to wrap up a comprehensive victory against a man Whitlock rates highly.

“Richard and I know each other very well from back home and he’s a great player,” he said. “I was a little bit nervous as he’s beaten me the last two times we’ve played.

“I probably practice more than anyone else on the planet so I don’t see why I can’t win this. I’m playing well and I’m feeling good.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Mensur Suljovic keeps up bid for second TV title with 3-0 win against Steve West in World Grand Prix last 16

Mensur Suljovic continued his hopes of winning two televised titles in as many months after beating Steve West 3-0 in the second round of the Unibet World Grand Prix.

The sixth seed started slowly but survived six missed darts from West to break in the opening leg, before eventually going on to take the set 3-2 with a 108 finish on his favourite double 14.

The second set was also close, with each leg resulting in a break of throw as the Austrian claimed the decider to move into a 2-0 lead in the second-round tie.

West broke throw in the opening leg of the third set to restore some hope and after leaving 40 to take a 2-0 lead in the set Suljovic produced a moment of magic.

Needing 140 to break back, the recent Champions League of Darts winner found the treble 20 before going on to pin back-to-back double tops to level the set in style.

As with the previous two sets a deciding leg was needed, where Suljovic began with six perfect darts before eventually hitting double eight to secure his place in the quarter-finals.

“I played ok today but not great,” the world number six said. “The 140 was very nice but I have to do better.

“I need to be ready for my match tomorrow, all the players are so good so I will have to work hard.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Back-to-back World Grand Prix quarter-finals for Benito van de Pas after whitewash win over Gerwyn Price in second round

Benito van de Pas booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix for the second successive year after a convincing 3-0 win over Gerwyn Price.

The Dutchman rushed out of the blocks by winning the opening two sets without reply, hitting a maximum and two 177s on the way to taking a 2-0 lead in sets.

The third set was not quite as convincing for van de Pas, as Price battled back and missed a dart for the set in the final leg of the match before the world number 14 took out 48 on tops to progress.

Van de Pas averaged 95.13 and hit 11 out of 16 attempts at his opening doubles and nine out of 14 attempts at finishing doubles as he comfortably made it through to Thursday’s quarter-finals.

“I’m happy with my performance tonight,” van de Pas said. “I don’t think I had a leg with no score on the starts so that is really important.

“If I carry on finishing like that, this could be a very good week for me but I’m not looking any further ahead than tomorrow’s match.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

PODCAST: The Weekly Dartscast with Lorraine Winstanley, World Masters + Dublin Pro Tour Reviews

The Weekly Dartscast is back this week with special guest Lorraine Winstanley. Here’s a rundown of what’s on the show:

Co-hosts Alex Moss and Burton DeWitt recap Krzysztof Ratajski and Lorraine Winstanley’s maiden major titles at the Winmau World Masters.

The team also discuss Cameron Menzies’s rise in the BDO circuit, as well as concerns for some of the top seeds in the BDO and LDO after early exits from the World Masters.

Over in the PDC, the team talk about another title for Mensur Suljovic, as well as a resurgent Stephen Bunting, before concluding with a talk on Michael van Gerwen’s dip in form.

The team are joined by the newly crowned World Master Lorraine Winstanley, who talks about her breakthrough 2017 campaign.

Subscribe to the Weekly Dartscast on iTunes here. Listen to the show via Libsyn here

Raymond van Barneveld breezes past Steve Beaton in straight sets to reach last eight in World Grand Prix

Eighth seed Raymond van Barneveld cruised into the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix with a straight sets defeat of Steve Beaton in the second round in Dublin.

The two-time World Grand Prix finalist followed up his 2-0 win over Auckland Darts Masters champion Kyle Anderson on Sunday with another dominant performance as he raced into the last eight having yet to drop a set.

Beaton won the opening leg of the first two sets between the two former world champions, but let the Dutchman back in on both occasions as van Barneveld moved clear, winning the opener 3-1 and the second in a deciding leg after two missed doubles from Beaton to level.

Barney took the third set’s opening two legs, and though he missed three match darts to allow Beaton’s brief respite, an 80 finish sealed the five-time world champion’s last eight spot.

“I was never comfortable but Steve wasn’t at his best tonight and I feel like the luckiest guy on the circuit,” said van Barneveld, who will now play Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror John Henderson in Thursday’s quarter-finals.

“Steve started well but I managed to win the first two sets, which could have easily gone either way. I won and that’s what’s most important.

“I felt a lot of confidence coming into this tournament and Sunday was good against Kyle Anderson. This game wasn’t as good but I won and I’ll be practising hard ahead of the quarter-finals.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

MVG’s conqueror John Henderson reels off three straight sets to beat Alan Norris in World Grand Prix last 16

John Henderson backed up his surprise win over top seed Michael van Gerwen with a comeback 3-1 victory against Alan Norris to reach the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix.

The world number 32 ended his 700+ day drought without a win on TV to knock out the world number one van Gerwen in the first round on Sunday, and is now through to the last eight in Dublin for the second time after reeling off three straight sets to see off Norris in the last 16.

Former World Championship finalist Norris had earlier capitalised on an edgy start from the Scot to claim the opening set 3-1, but Henderson settled his nerves with a 96 checkout and a 13-darter to lead 2-0 in set two before hitting double 16 to level the tie.

Henderson punished two missed doubles from Norris to lead in set three and then took out 124 on the bull to double his advantage, with Norris replying to force a decider, only for double 12 to give the Scot a key 2-1 cushion in sets.

Finishes of 60 and double ten moved Henderson clear in set four, before he landed a 180 and tops to seal his quarter-final place, matching the achievement he enjoyed on his debut in the double-start tournament back in 2011.

“To get through a hard game like that is fantastic,” Henderson said. “After beating Michael there was a lot of pressure on me tonight but I think I played better tonight.

“Alan missed a lot of doubles to start and you’ve got to punish these top players for that and luckily I did.

“I believe I’m a far better player than I was in 2011 but other players will say the same so I’ll have to play outstanding darts in every round.

“I’m playing steady darts and I’m still in the competition so let’s hope I can go all the way. I’m enjoying it – I’ve not been in a quarter-final here since 2011 and hopefully I can take that one step further.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Daryl Gurney sees off Joe Cullen in World Grand Prix to advance to third major quarter-final of the season

Daryl Gurney continued his excellent 2017 by reaching a third major quarter-final of the season, beating Joe Cullen 3-1 to progress to the last eight of the Unibet World Grand Prix.

The Northern Ireland number one, who has enjoyed runs to the semi-finals of both the UK Open and World Matchplay this year, made it through to the quarter-finals in Dublin for a second successive year after seeing off Cullen in four sets at the Citywest Hotel.

The world number 12 took out 76, a 13-darter and 88 for an 11-darter as he took the opening set 3-1, before finishing 107 and 74 to claim set two in a deciding leg, despite a 116 checkout from Cullen.

Cullen swept through set three without reply and took the lead in set four to keep his hopes of getting to a second-ever major quarter-final alive, but his missed finishing doubles in leg two proved costly as Gurney took out a stunning 127 on the bull, 72 and tops for victory.

“It feels unbelievable,” said Gurney, who will face 2015 World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

“Joe’s got a great record against me and he came back well in the third set, but the 127 was a big shot.

“I’m in the quarter-finals again but the way I look at it its that it’s just the same as round one and I’ve got to try and get to three sets before the other person.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC