Canada’s Jeff Smith among qualifiers for the BDO World Trophy later this month

By Alex Moss
12 MAY 2017 • 2:56PM 

Canada’s Jeff Smith was among three players to come through the BDO World Trophy Qualifiers at Pontins Prestatyn this afternoon.

The 2016 BDO World Championship runner-up won three deciders on his way to qualifying for the event, beating both Lee Shewan and Lee Richards 4-3 in the earlier rounds, before edging past Rhys Hayden 5-4 in the final round.

English duo Martin Atkins and Carl Dennel were the other two to qualify and both will make their World Trophy debuts later this month.

2017 BDO World Trophy Qualifiers
Men’s Draw
Fourth Round
Wayne Warren 4-0 Matthew Padgett
Lee Richards 3-4 Jeff Smith
Lloyd Browning 0-4 Rhys Hayden
Mitchell Butler 4-1 Thomas Lovely
Carl Dennel 4-2 Glen Mcgrandle
Stephen Carrett 2-4 John O’Shea
Tom Gregory 4-2 Richie Edwards
Neil Duff 2-4 Steve Robertson
Ross Gilder 1-4 Daniel Day
Gary Stafford 4-2 Micky Stocks
Nathan Girvan 1-4 Dave Parletti
David Airey 3-4 Martin C Atkins

Fifth Round
Wayne Warren 1-4 Jeff Smith
Rhys Hayden 4-2 Mitchell Butler
Carl Dennel 4-3 John O’Shea
Tom Gregory 3-4 Steve Robertson
Daniel Day 4-3 Gary Stafford
Dave Parletti 3-4 Martin C Atkins

Final Round
Jeff Smith 5-4 Rhys Hayden
Carl Dennel 5-4 Steve Robertson
Daniel Day 0-5 Martin C Atkins

Dyson Parody books return to Gibraltar Darts Trophy after coming through Host Nation Qualifiers

By Alex Moss
12 MAY 2017 • 8:12AM

Dyson Parody was one of five players to qualify for this weekend’s Gibraltar Darts Trophy through the Host Nation Qualifiers last night.

The charismatic Gibraltarian enjoyed a stunning run to the quarter-finals of the tournament last year, before losing out to eventual winner Michael van Gerwen 6-5 in the last eight.

Parody won through yesterday’s qualifier to secure his spot in the £135,000 tournament, which starts today, and will face Sweden’s Magnus Caris in the first round.

Parody’s partner in next month’s Betway World Cup of Darts, Dylan Duo, also qualified and will now take on James Wilson in his third appearance in a European Tour event.

Elsewhere, Anthony Lopez qualified for a fourth consecutive year and will go up against Belgium’s Dimitri van den Bergh, while Manuel Vilerio competes in the tournament for the fourth time as he faces Darren Johnson.

Justin Broton was the night’s other qualifier and he will make his debut on the European Tour when he takes on Matt Clark today.

Michael van Gerwen finishes top of the Premier League table as Phil Taylor clinches last play-off spot in final year

By Alex Moss
12 MAY 2017 • 7:58AM

Michael van Gerwen defeated Gary Anderson 7-4 to finish top of the Betway Premier League table, while Phil Taylor took the last play-off spot in the final league night of the season in Aberdeen yesterday.

Peter Wright’s 7-1 thrashing over Raymond van Barneveld earlier on in the night at the GE Oil & Gas Arena had left van Gerwen needing to beat Anderson to regain top spot and claim the £25,000 league winner’s bonus.

The world number one took an early command of the game by moving into a 3-1 lead, before holding off the Scot’s fightback, which included a 145 checkout.

Taylor had earlier come from 5-3 down to beat Adrian Lewis, as he secured third place in the league table ahead of Dave Chisnall, whose play-off hopes were ended after drawing 6-6 with James Wade in the opening game of the night.

The semi-final line-up at The O2 Arena next Thursday will see van Gerwen and Anderson clash again, while Wright takes on Taylor in the other tie in the last four.

Van Gerwen heads into the play-offs next week as the favourite to win the title, with the Dutchman having finished top of the league table for a fifth year in a row.

“It was really tough this year,” he said. “Peter was in my shadow all the way through and fair play to him but I came here for two points and got them, so I’m really glad.

“I think my scoring was good but I still missed too many chance in my opinion – but I did the job I needed to tonight.

“It was really important for me and I’m happy with this win so I can look forward to next week at The O2.

“It’s the top four darts players in the world and I can’t wait. It’s always a good game against Gary and I feel good.”

Wright produced another clinical display as he prepared for his first appearance in the play-offs next week with a 7-1 defeat of van Barneveld.

The world number three, who whitewashed van Gerwen 6-0 in the final of the HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix on Sunday, hit two 180s and a 14-darter to storm into a 3-0 lead.

Van Barneveld got off the mark with double 10, but Wright fired in another 180 as he regained his three-leg advantage.

Another 14-darter put the Scot 6-1 up, before he sealed the win with a 116 finish.

“I’ve qualified for the top four for the first time and I’m happy with that,” Wright said.

“I’m pinching myself thinking that I’m in the top four alongside Phil, Gary and Michael – it’s crazy. My form’s coming and I’ve got another week to get it right for The O2.

“It’s always hard to beat Barney. He’s a tough customer and isn’t a five-time world champion for nothing, but to have that amazing support behind you in Aberdeen makes you want to play.

“The fans were fantastic. It makes you tingle when you’re on stage.”

Taylor secured his place in the play-offs in his final Premier League season with a 7-5 win over Lewis.

Lewis missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish earlier in the game but led the contest 4-2 with the aid of a 122 checkout.

Taylor replied by winning five of the next six legs, despite a 114 finish from his Stoke rival, to claim the victory.

“I’m over the moon to get to The O2,” Taylor said. “It’s an extra bonus for me, I didn’t expect to get there to be honest, so it’s massive.

“There’s no pressure on me but I’m going to be trying to win it and I’ve done it six times before.

“I’ll have a massive smile on my face because I’ve been dedicated for 30 years and it’s time for me to move on, but I’m in it to win it next week and I’m looking forward to it.

“If I can go out there and win my seventh Premier League title it will be brilliant.”

Earlier in the night, Chisnall’s draw with Wade ended the 2015 semi-finalist’s bid to snatch a top-four finish, despite finishing the season with a seven game unbeaten run.

Chizzy had to secure a big win to put the pressure on Taylor, but saw Wade punish his missed doubles to move 3-1 up.

Wade then hit his fourth 180 as he went 6-2 up to guarantee himself a point, before Chisnall checked out 129 and had legs of 13 and 11 darts to snatch a share of the spoils.

Chisnall ended the game with seven 180s, but admitted that a slow start against Wade had cost him.

“I couldn’t hit a double in the early stages and didn’t really play in the first six or seven legs,” he said.

“At 6-2 down I had nothing to lose and managed to fight back and get the draw.

“The season has been good in the end. I’ve been playing well for eight weeks and wish I’d started like that, but it give me great encouragement for the remainder of the season.”

Betway Premier League
Night 15
Thursday May 11, GE Oil & Gas Arena, Aberdeen
Dave Chisnall 6-6 James Wade
Phil Taylor 7-5 Adrian Lewis
Peter Wright 7-1 Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen 7-4 Gary Anderson

Play-Offs
Thursday May 18, The O2, London
Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson
Peter Wright v Phil Taylor
Best of 19 legs

Final
Van Gerwen/Anderson v Wright/Taylor
Best of 21 legs

Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or via http://www.axs.com

League Table P W D L +/- Pts
Michael van Gerwen (Q) 16 10 4 2 +32 24
Peter Wright (Q) 16 10 3 3 +30 23
Phil Taylor (Q) 16 8 3 5 +7 19
Gary Anderson (Q) 16 7 4 5 +12 18
Dave Chisnall 16 6 4 6 -5 16
Raymond van Barneveld 16 6 2 8 -10 14
James Wade 16 5 3 8 -13 13
Adrian Lewis 16 6 1 9 -14 13
Jelle Klaasen (E) 9 1 1 7 -16 3
Kim Huybrechts (E) 9 0 3 6 -23 3

Michael van Gerwen kicks off bid to retain HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix with 6-2 win over Keegan Brown

By Alex Moss
7 MAY 2017 • 8:43AM

Michael van Gerwen eased past Keegan Brown 6-2 as he made a fine start in his bid to retain his HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix title in Sindelfingen yesterday.

Although the world number one averaged a lowly 97 by his high standards, van Gerwen was rarely troubled as he quickly brushed aside Brown.

Having landed two breaks of throw, van Gerwen checked out 100 on his way to a 5-0 lead, before former world youth champion Brown hit back with a 120 checkout to avoid the whitewash.

Brown then hit double 10 to win his second leg in a row, but it was too late as van Gerwen cruised over the finishing line in the eighth leg.

World number three Peter Wright also booked his place in the third round with a 6-2 win over James Richardson.

Last year’s beaten finalist surged into a 4-1 lead, with a 116 checkout then helping Wright, who has already won two European Tour titles this year, complete a 6-2 win.

World number five James Wade was the first seed to crash out in the evening session, after he lost 6-5 in a heated affair with Mark Webster.

Wade had opened up a 4-2 lead and looked destined to progress to the last 16, before Webster fought back with consecutive legs to level at 4-4.

The former BDO world champion then went in front for the first time in the match as he clinched his third leg in a row, but after Wade forced the decider it was Webster who hit double 10 to seal a 6-5 win.

Michael Smith was the second seeded player to be knocked out in the evening session as he lost in a deciding leg to Steve West.

The former world youth champion was staring another defeat in the face as West moved 5-3 ahead, before a late flurry from the 26-year-old sent the match into a decider, which West won by hitting double 12.

Ian White was also sent packing last night as he lost out 6-4 to unseeded Adrian Lewis in the final game of the second round.

White took out 126 as the pair shared the opening eight legs, before Lewis then broke at the crucial time to take the lead and held throw in the 10th leg to complete a 6-4 win.

Elsewhere, Mensur Suljovic saw off Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 and Gerwyn Price defeated Dimitri van den Bergh 6-3.

Earlier in the day, Dave Chisnall averaged a staggering 112 as he produced the performance of the afternoon in a 6-3 victory over Matt Clark.

The Premier League star fired in five 180s and hit 50 per cent of his doubles as he quickly booked his place in the third round.

Ulf Ceder continued his brilliant European Tour debut with a 6-3 win against Cristo Reyes.

The Finnish qualifier landed a 114 checkout on his way to taking a 5-1 lead and, after Reyes won back-to-back legs to keep the match alive, Ceder hit double five to progress to the last 16.

Rob Cross kept up his impressive start to life as a PDC tour card holder, knocking out Simon Whitlock 6-3.

The 26-year-old, who has already won a Players Championship title this year, landed 50 per cent of his doubles as he swept aside the Australian.

Jan Dekker’s fine form showed no signs of letting up as he advanced to the third round at the expense of Alan Norris.

The Dutchman reached the semi-finals on the Pro Tour last weekend and was taken all the way to a decider by Norris, but fired in an incredible 160 checkout to clinch a 6-5 victory.

Elsewhere, Joe Cullen made light work of Jonny Clayton in a 6-1 thrashing, hitting 60 per cent of his doubles and also landing a brilliant 156 checkout to seal the win.

Home hopes in the event were dashed as Max Hopp slipped to a 6-3 defeat to Kim Huybrechts, while Benito van de Pas edged out Joe Murnan 6-5 and Jelle Klaasen got the better of Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2.

HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix
May 5-7, Glaspalast, Sindelfingen, Germany
Draw Bracket (Third Round Onwards)
Mensur Suljovic (3) v Joe Cullen (14)
Mark Webster v Jelle Klaasen (11)
Kim Huybrechts (7) v Jan Dekker
Peter Wright (2) v Daryl Gurney (15)
Rob Cross v Steve West
Dave Chisnall (5) v Adrian Lewis
Benito van de Pas (8) v Gerwyn Price (9)
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Ulf Ceder

Schedule of Play
Saturday May 6
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Alan Norris 5-6 Jan Dekker
Cristo Reyes 3-6 Ulf Ceder
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Simon Whitlock 3-6 Rob Cross
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Matt Clark
Joe Cullen 6-1 Jonny Clayton
Benito van de Pas 6-5 Joe Murnan
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Max Hopp

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
James Wade 5-6 Mark Webster
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Dimitri van den Bergh
Michael Smith 5-6 Steve West
Daryl Gurney 6-4 John Henderson
Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Peter Wright 6-2 James Richardson
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Keegan Brown
Ian White 4-6 Adrian Lewis

Sunday May 7
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Third Round

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Quarter-Finals
Semi-Finals
Final

Best of 11 legs. Sunday’s games are played in draw bracket order.

Adrian Lewis wins battle of former world champions on opening day of the HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix

By Alex Moss
6 MAY 2017 • 8:23AM

Adrian Lewis got his bid to win a second PDC European Tour title in Sindelfingen underway with a 6-2 win over Stephen Bunting in the HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix yesterday.

The two-time PDC world champion took on the former BDO world champion Bunting in the pick of the first round ties at the Glaspalast, and the world number four prevailed in style to advance to Saturday’s last 32.

The former world champions shared the first two legs before Lewis hit a 180 on his way to an 11-darter to go 2-1 in front.

Bunting levelled in 14 darts and the Stoke ace then moved back into the lead at 3-2, before Lewis pounced on Bunting’s misses to break throw and lead 4-2.

“Jackpot” hit tops to open up a three-leg cushion and then checked out 102 to complete a 6-2 win.

Lewis now takes on Ian White in the second round, in a repeat of the 2012 final the pair shared in Sindelfingen which remains the former’s only previous European Tour win.

Elsewhere, Steve West produced the day’s best display, finishing with six doubles from seven attempts as he saw off Chris Dobey 6-2, with the aid of checkouts of 130 and 120, to set up a clash with Michael Smith in the last 32.

Jan Dekker continued his good form as he averaged a superb 108 to beat James Wilson 6-3, with a mid-game burst featuring two 11-darters, a 13-darter and a 122 bull finish proving crucial, as the Dutchman progressed to play Alan Norris today.

Dirk van Duijvenbode survived an excellent fightback from Jermaine Wattimena to edge through to a meeting with Jelle Klaasen, taking the first round tie 6-5 in a see-saw encounter between the two Dutchmen.

Van Duijvenbode raced into a 4-0 lead before seeing his fellow countryman hit back to level, and after the pair shared the next two legs it was van Duijvenbode who sealed victory on tops in the decider.

Mark Webster overcame a stern challenge from German favourite Bernd Roith before claiming a 6-4 win to set up a clash with fellow left-hander James Wade in the second round.

The former BDO world champion came from a leg down to lead 3-1 and 4-2, only to see Roith check out 136 and 93 to level, but Webster punished missed doubles from his opponent to take the next two legs to complete the win.

There was something for the home crowd to cheer in the final game of the evening, though, as Max Hopp battled back from 3-0 down to beat Zoran Lerchbacher 6-4.

The 20-year-old has been struggling for form recently, but sealed a brilliant comeback with a 121 checkout on the bull in the 10th leg to beat the Austrian.

Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski reached the second round on the European Tour for the second time this year, beating Ireland’s Steve Lennon 6-4 with a 99.52 average to set up a second round tussle with Mensur Suljovic.

Finnish qualifier Ulf Ceder enjoyed a dream debut on the European Tour as he knocked out former Sindelfingen winner Steve Beaton 6-2 in the first game of the day, and will now play Spain’s Cristo Reyes in the last 32.

James Richardson and Matt Clark both hit six doubles from eight attempts as they defeated Paul Rowley and Germany’s Rene Berndt respectively, while Joe Murnan got the better of Host Nation Qualifier Gabriel Clemens 6-3.

Former World Youth champion Keegan Brown will take on world number one Michael van Gerwen after beating another Dutchman, Jeffrey de Graaf, 6-4 in the first round.

Brown took out finishes of 118, 96 and 56 to overturn a 4-3 deficit and book a meeting with the defending champion in the last 32.

In-form Rob Cross continued his fine start to the year with a 6-3 win over European Tour debutant Luke Woodhouse, which set up a clash with Simon Whitlock on Saturday.

Wales’ Jonny Clayton averaged 97 in a 6-2 win over Dutchman Christian Kist, and will now face Joe Cullen in the second round.

Belgian ace Dimitri van den Bergh produced an impressive comeback to defeat former Sindelfingen winner Mervyn King 6-4.

King led 3-1 and then edged 4-3 up as he searched for a second round spot, but van den Bergh hit double five and checkouts of 68 and 76 to win and progress to a second round meeting with Gerwyn Price.

John Henderson survived a deciding leg shootout against Ron Meulenkamp to set up a clash with Daryl Gurney in the last 32.

The Scot raced into leads of 3-0 and 4-1, before Meulenkamp finished 126 to level at 4-4 in the eighth leg.

The pair shared the next two legs, before Henderson held his nerve in the decider to prevail.

HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix
May 5-7, Glaspalast, Sindelfingen, Germany
Draw Bracket (Second Round Onwards)
Mensur Suljovic (3) v Krzysztof Ratajski
Joe Cullen (14) v Jonny Clayton
James Wade (6) v Mark Webster
Jelle Klaasen (11) v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Kim Huybrechts (7) v Max Hopp
Alan Norris (10) v Jan Dekker
Peter Wright (2) v James Richardson
Daryl Gurney (15) v John Henderson
Simon Whitlock (4) v Rob Cross
Michael Smith (13) v Steve West
Dave Chisnall (5) v Matt Clark
Ian White (12) v Adrian Lewis
Benito van de Pas (8) v Joe Murnan
Gerwyn Price (9) v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Keegan Brown
Cristo Reyes (16) v Ulf Ceder

Schedule of Play
Friday May 5
First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Steve Beaton 2-6 Ulf Ceder
Steve Lennon 4-6 Krzysztof Ratajski
James Richardson 6-2 Paul Rowley
Matt Clark 6-4 Rene Berndt
Rob Cross 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
Jeffrey de Graaf 4-6 Keegan Brown
Christian Kist 2-6 Jonny Clayton
Gabriel Clemens 3-6 Joe Murnan

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Jan Dekker 6-3 James Wilson
Steve West 6-2 Chris Dobey
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Mark Webster 6-4 Bernd Roith
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Mervyn King
Ron Meulenkamp 5-6 John Henderson
Stephen Bunting 2-6 Adrian Lewis
Max Hopp 6-4 Zoran Lerchbacher

Saturday May 6
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Alan Norris v Jan Dekker
Cristo Reyes v Ulf Ceder
Jelle Klaasen v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Simon Whitlock v Rob Cross
Dave Chisnall v Matt Clark
Joe Cullen v Jonny Clayton
Benito van de Pas v Joe Murnan
Kim Huybrechts v Max Hopp

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
James Wade v Mark Webster
Gerwyn Price v Dimitri van den Bergh
Michael Smith v Steve West
Daryl Gurney v John Henderson
Mensur Suljovic v Krzysztof Ratajski
Peter Wright v James Richardson
Michael van Gerwen v Keegan Brown
Ian White v Adrian Lewis

Sunday May 7
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Third Round

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Quarter-Finals
Semi-Finals
Final

Best of 11 legs. Sunday’s games are played in draw bracket order.

Phil Taylor on the brink of Betway Premier League play-offs after memorable victory against Michael van Gerwen

By Alex Moss
5 MAY 2017 • 11:27AM

Phil Taylor moved to within touching distance of the Betway Premier League play-offs after recording a memorable 7-3 victory against Michael van Gerwen in Sheffield last night.

On a night which saw Gary Anderson secure his place at The O2 with a 7-3 win over James Wade, Taylor maintained his fourth place in the race for play-off spots by beating the league leader at The Sheffield Arena.

After missing three doubles to win the opening leg, van Gerwen hit back to lead 2-1 only for Taylor to seize the imitative with a superb 96 finish of single 20, double 18 and double top to level.

Taylor then took the next four in a run which included an 11-darter and a 90 finish following three further misses from van Gerwen, who rallied briefly with an 11-dart finish of his own before the 16-time world champion completed the win.

Taylor now sits in fourth place, two points clear of Dave Chisnall going into next week’s final league night in Aberdeen – meaning that he needs just a point from his game with Adrian Lewis to secure qualification for the play-offs in his farewell season.

“Michael’s a tough opponent but it was a strange game,” Taylor said. “A couple of times Michael went for the bull when he should have left a finish with three darts, which I think put him under pressure.

“I think the 90 finish won me the game in the end and it’s another two points. To play Michael and beat him is a massive buzz.

“It’s in my own hands and it will be fantastic if I make it into the play-offs. I went up there to enjoy it tonight because I’ve not got as much pressure on me, and when you’re more relaxed you can enjoy it a bit more.

“I’m not going to take anything for granted and I’ve got to get ready for Aberdeen because Adrian could play out of his skin.”

Although Taylor’s place in the play-offs is not guaranteed yet, two-time Premier League champion Anderson made sure he will join van Gerwen and Peter Wright in the semi-finals at The O2 in a fortnight, after a third win in his last four matches sealed a top-four finish.

Anderson took five of the game’s first six legs, hitting two 180s and a key 90 finish in the process, before holding off a Wade revival to finish 78 and double two for the crucial victory.

“I knew that I just needed one more win and I was really nervous tonight and it was a bit of a struggle, but I got there in the end,” admitted Anderson.

“Getting into the top four is everyone’s aim at the start of the season so that’s the main bit done.

“I’m through now and that takes the pressure off next week when I play Michael in Aberdeen – but we don’t want to lose to each other and it should be special.”

Chisnall’s push for a semi-final spot continued as he extended his unbeaten run to six games by defeating Raymond van Barneveld 7-5, averaging over 109 in the process.

Van Barneveld defied two 180s to win the game’s opening leg, hitting a maximum of his own, and also led 2-1 before Chisnall took three in a row to push himself clear with the burst including a superb 142 checkout.

A pair of double eight finishes pulled van Barneveld level, but Chisnall took the next two to move 6-4 up and secure a point, and though the Dutchman finished 70 to send the match into a decider, a 64 finish continued the St Helens ace’s play-off challenge.

“I’m happy to get the win,” said Chisnall, who eliminated van Barneveld in the process. “Raymond let me off by missing a few bulls but I missed a couple of doubles too.

“I’ve been playing well lately and I could have had 12 points, but I had the three draws that I could have won. I’m in a very good position but I’ve still got to win next week.

“I’m in with a chance and it’s exciting. I’ve been playing well for the last six or seven weeks and I could have had six wins, but that’s darts.

“I know I can do it but I’ve got to win the last game against James and I want to keep playing like I am.”

Wright, meanwhile, sits just a point behind van Gerwen in the battle to claim the £25,000 league winner’s bonus after he ended Lewis’ play-off hopes with a 7-2 victory.

Legs of 13 and 14 darts gave Wright an early 2-0 lead, despite a pair of maximums from Lewis, before the 2011 runner-up hit back to level.

Wright, though, landed a 180 of his own as he took the fifth and pounced on two missed doubles from Lewis to break and take a 4-2 lead, before reeling off the next three legs to complete his ninth win of the season

“The plan was to come and get the win and I’ve done that, and I wanted to keep the pressure on Michael,” Wright said.

“This wasn’t my best performance and I couldn’t settle into the match, but Adrian wasn’t on form like he can be and any player in the Premier League would have punished him.

“It’s great to be going to The O2 but I also want to finish top too.”

The final league night at The GE Oil & Gas Arena in Aberdeen next week will see Chisnall face Wade, before Taylor takes on Lewis in matches which will decide the fourth qualifier for the play-offs.

Wright then takes on van Barneveld, before reigning Premier League champion van Gerwen meets Anderson in a repeat of January’s World Championship final.

Betway Premier League
Night 14 – Thursday May 4
The Sheffield Arena
Peter Wright 7-2 Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld 5-7 Dave Chisnall
James Wade 3-7 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 3-7 Phil Taylor

League Table P W D L +/- LWAT Pts
Michael van Gerwen (Q) 15 9 4 2 +29 34 22
Peter Wright (Q) 15 9 3 3 +24 28 21
Gary Anderson (Q) 15 7 4 4 +15 35 18
Phil Taylor 15 7 3 5 +5 32 17
Dave Chisnall 15 6 3 6 -5 25 15
Raymond van Barneveld 15 6 2 7 -4 26 14
Adrian Lewis 15 6 1 8 -12 25 13
James Wade 15 5 2 8 -13 23 12
Jelle Klaasen (E) 9 1 1 7 -16 15 3
Kim Huybrechts (E) 9 0 3 6 -23 11 3

Six out of six for Krzysztof Ratajski as he qualifies for next three European Tour events

By Alex Moss
1 MAY 2017 • 12:30PM

Krzysztof Ratajski kept up his perfect record in the East Europe Qualifiers by securing a place in the next three European Tour events.

The Polish thrower qualified for the first three European Tour events this year, and made it six out of six after winning through the three qualifying events held in Modlniczka at the weekend.

The 40-year-old defeated his former PDC World Cup of Darts team-mate Krzysztof Kciuk 6-2 in the final of the first qualifier to secure his place in this weekend’s HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix in Sindelfingen.

Ratajski then overcame 2015 World Cup of Darts representative Tytus Kanik 6-2 in the decider of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy qualifier, before seeing off Kanik 6-2 again in the final qualifier for the European Darts Matchplay in Hamburg.

The next lot of East Europe Qualifiers take place on June 22 in Schwechat, Austria, where players will be bidding to qualify for the seventh and eighth European Tour events.

Glen Durrant clinches first BDO ranking title since World Championship win with Denmark Masters triumph

By Alex Moss
30 APRIL 2017 • 9:40PM

Glen Durrant was back to his best this weekend as he successfully defended the Winmau Denmark Masters in Esbjerg.

The BDO world number one beat Yoeri Duijster 6-2 in the final earlier today to win his first ranking title since winning the World Championship in January.

Durrant, who was a guest on this week’s episode of the Weekly Dartscast podcast, posted an excellent 108.07 average as he beat Wayne Warren 5-1 in the semi-finals.

Then in the final, he once again hit a three-figure average, finishing up on 100.39 as he saw off Dutch ace Duijster, who was playing in his first BDO ranking final.

Sharon Prins won the Denmark Masters ladies title after beating Lorraine Winstanley 5-3 in the final.

Prins edged past ladies world number one Deta Hedman in a deciding leg in the semi-finals, while Winstanley knocked out Aileen de Graaf to reach the final.

Winmau Denmark Masters
Sunday April 30, Granly Hockey Arena, Esbjerg
Men’s Semi-Finals
Glen Durrant (108.07) 5-1 Wayne Warren (80.63)
Yoeri Duijster (86.78) 5-4 Ross Montgomery (84.90)

Final
Glen Durrant (100.39) 6-2 Yoeri Duijster (91.63)

Ladies Semi-Finals
Deta Hedman (86.38) 3-4 Sharon Prins (83.83)
Aileen de Graaf (77.42) 2-4 Lorraine Winstanley (78.38)

Final
Sharon Prins (77.88) 5-3 Lorraine Winstanley (73.61)

Gary Anderson claims second Pro Tour title of 2017 with victory in Players Championship 10

By Alex Moss
30 APRIL 2017 • 8:16PM

Gary Anderson won his second Pro Tour title of the year after beating Peter Wright 6-3 in the final of Players Championship 10.

The world number two took home the £10,000 top prize after dropping just 12 legs on his way to the win at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, in Wigan today.

The Scot gained revenge over world number one Michael van Gerwen, who had beaten him the day before in Players Championship 9, with a 6-4 victory in the last 16, as Anderson powered home to his second win on the floor this season.

“It went well today, I played well and am happy with the win,” Anderson said.

“I had an average of about 110 against Michael yesterday so it was really nice to get my revenge today.

“These aren’t easy to win anymore. There are 128 top players so you’ve got to play really well to win one.”

Anderson started the day with comfortable 6-1 and 6-2 wins over Harry Robinson and Mickey Mansell, before whitewashing former Players Championship Finals winner Paul Nicholson 6-0 in the third round.

The two-time world champion then gained revenge on van Gerwen, averaging well over 100 as he dispatched the Dutchman 6-4 in the last 16.

Anderson was at his ruthless best again in the quarter-finals where he whitewashed Wales’ Jonny Clayton to advance to the last four.

A 6-2 win against Steve West put Anderson through to the final, where he got the better of Wright 6-3 to win the title, with the help of 124 and 116 finishes.

It was a memorable day for runner-up Wright, who earlier in the tournament hit a nine-dart finish on the live stream, his first perfect leg in front of the cameras.

Players Championship 10
Sunday April 30, Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
First Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 John Bowles
Kirk Shepherd 6-4 Stuart Kellett
Rob Cross 6-0 Lee Bryant
Mick McGowan 6-4 Martin Schindler
Gary Anderson 6-1 Harry Robinson
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Dennis Smith
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Cristo Reyes
Jamie Bain 6-3 Ricky Williams
Gerwyn Price 6-3 James Richardson
Peter Hudson 6-3 Craig Gilchrist
James Wilson 6-1 Sven Groen
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Jimmy Hendriks
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 David Pallett
Andrew Gilding 6-4 Jamie Caven
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Jan Dekker
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Scott Taylor
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Robert Owen
Chris Dobey 6-5 Terry Temple
Darren Johnson 6-2 Aden Kirk
Alan Norris 6-2 Yordi Meeuwisse
Andy Jenkins 6-1 Ross Twell
Kyle Anderson 6-0 Bryan de Hoog
Ricky Evans 6-3 Ron Meulenkamp
Jonathan Worsley 6-4 Simon Whitlock
Paul Rowley 6-2 Mark Webster
Robbie Green 6-2 Brendan Dolan
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-5 Joe Murnan
Joe Cullen 6-4 Terry Roach
John Michael 6-1 Andy Boulton
Steve West 6-2 Jamie Lewis
John Henderson 6-3 Ryan Meikle
Peter Wright 6-2 Mike de Decker
Jeffrey de Graaf 6-3 Richie Burnett
Ronny Huybrechts 6-5 Andy Hamilton
Wayne Jones 6-4 Max Hopp
Berry van Peer 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Matt Clark 6-5 Richie Corner
Mervyn King 6-5 Paul Harvey
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Devon Petersen
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Scott Darbyshire
Ryan Searle 6-5 Dimitri van den Bergh
Christian Kist 6-2 Madars Razma
Stephen Burton 6-4 Steve Hine
Ted Evetts 6-5 James Wade
Simon Preston 6-5 Tony Newell
Robert Thornton 6-3 Zoran Lerchbacher
Ritchie Edhouse 6-3 William O’Connor
Benito van de Pas 6-5 Keegan Brown
Simon Stevenson 6-1 Ronnie Baxter
Darren Webster 6-5 Mark Walsh
Shaun Griffiths 6-5 Warrick Scheffer
Ian White 6-4 Prakash Jiwa
Peter Jacques 6-1 Mick Todd
Adam Hunt 6-5 Steve Beaton
Kevin Painter 6-4 Ryan Palmer
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Ray Campbell
Vincent Kamphuis 6-4 Alan Tabern
Justin Pipe 6-5 Wes Newton
Steve Lennon 6-2 Matthew Dennant
Michael Smith 6-4 Jim Walker
Richard North 6-0 Jim Brown
Josh Payne 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Chris Quantock 6-5 Mark Barilli

Second Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Kirk Shepherd
Rob Cross 6-4 Mick McGowan
Gary Anderson 6-2 Mickey Mansell
Paul Nicholson 6-1 Jamie Bain
Peter Hudson 6-4 Gerwyn Price
Jonny Clayton 6-2 James Wilson
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Darren Johnson 6-2 Chris Dobey
Alan Norris 6-4 Andy Jenkins
Kyle Anderson 6-5 Ricky Evans
Jonathan Worsley 6-1 Paul Rowley
Robbie Green 6-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez
John Michael 6-2 Joe Cullen
Steve West 6-3 John Henderson
Peter Wright 6-2 Jeffrey de Graaf
Wayne Jones 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Berry van Peer 6-4 Matt Clark
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Mervyn King
Ryan Searle 6-5 Kim Huybrechts
Christian Kist 6-3 Stephen Burton
Simon Preston 6-4 Ted Evetts
Robert Thornton 6-0 Ritchie Edhouse
Benito van de Pas 6-4 Simon Stevenson
Darren Webster 6-3 Shaun Griffiths
Ian White 6-5 Peter Jacques
Adam Hunt 6-2 Kevin Painter
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Vincent Kamphuis
Justin Pipe 6-4 Steve Lennon
Michael Smith 6-4 Richard North
Josh Payne 6-5 Chris Quantock

Third Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Rob Cross
Gary Anderson 6-0 Paul Nicholson
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Peter Hudson
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Darren Johnson 6-1 Dave Chisnall
Alan Norris 6-2 Kyle Anderson
Robbie Green 6-2 Jonathan Worsley
Steve West 6-2 John Michael
Peter Wright 6-3 Wayne Jones
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Berry van Peer
Ryan Searle 6-3 Christain Kist
Simon Preston v Robert Thornton
Benito van de Pas 6-5 Darren Webster
Ian White 6-1 Adam Hunt
Justin Pipe 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Michael Smith 6-2 Josh Payne

Fourth Round
Gary Anderson 6-4 Michael van Gerwen
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Alan Norris 6-5 Darren Johnson
Steve West 6-5 Robbie Green
Peter Wright 6-4 Jermaine Wattimena
Ryan Searle 6-4 Simon Preston
Ian White 6-4 Benito van de Pas
Michael Smith 6-1 Justin Pipe

Quarter-Finals
Gary Anderson 6-0 Jonny Clayton
Steve West 6-3 Alan Norris
Peter Wright 6-5 Ryan Searle
Michael Smith 6-5 Ian White

Semi-Finals
Gary Anderson 6-2 Steve West
Peter Wright 6-3 Michael Smith – Peter Wright hit a nine-dart finish

Final
Gary Anderson 6-3 Peter Wright

Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright secure Betway Premier League play-off spots

By Alex Moss
28 APRIL 2017 • 9:07AM

Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright booked their places in the Betway Premier League play-offs next month, after both picking up wins at The Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham last night.

Reigning Premier League champion van Gerwen followed up a draw against Dave Chisnall with a whitewash over Adrian Lewis to continue his challenge to claim a third title in the event.

The world number one now sits three points clear of Wright at the top of the table, with a win next week guaranteeing him the £25,000 league winner’s bonus.

Van Gerwen’s opening game of his double-header in Birmingham saw him come from 6-3 down to deny Chisnall a third straight victory, as the Englishman paid the price for missing three match darts.

Checkouts of 84 and 87 helped van Gerwen to share the opening four legs, before Chisnall took the next three to pull clear, and then landed double one in leg nine to secure at least a point.

Double eight kept van Gerwen in the game in the next leg, before he capitalised on three misses at double 18 from Chisnall in leg 11 to force a deciding leg, which saw the Dutchman fire in a 180 before hitting double four for a 13-darter to share the spoils.

The world champion returned to the stage later on in the evening to complete only the eighth whitewash in Premier League history, averaging almost 111 in a sensational 7-0 rout of Lewis.

Van Gerwen fired in 180s in each of the first three legs as he pulled clear of Lewis, whose missed doubles in the next two legs allowed the league leader to consolidate his advantage at 5-0.

A pair of 14-darters then completed the whitewash for van Gerwen, who has now secured his place at The O2 next month.

“It’s been a good evening for me,” van Gerwen said. “To go home with three points is good and I think I made a great night of it at the end with the win over Adrian.

“It was a fantastic performance and I played phenomenal against Adrian – I came alive and everything clicked.

“The first step is getting into the play-offs and the biggest step is at The O2, and I want to keep this going now. I’m feeling good and I’m playing well.”

Last night also saw Wright secure a place in the play-offs for the first time in his career, as he defeated Phil Taylor 7-3 in Birmingham.

Taylor, a six-time winner of the Premier League, followed up 180s in the opening two legs with a 93 finish in the third to lead 2-1, but Wright levelled and then took out clinical checkouts of 104, 116 and 96 in successive legs to move 5-2 up.

The next two legs were shared, before Taylor missed the bull to keep the match alive in leg ten and Wright stepped in to take out 78 to seal a precious two points.

“The plan was just to try and win my game tonight, regardless of what happens with qualifying,” Wright said. “I wasn’t great but I didn’t play as well as I wanted to tonight but I got the win.

“My finishing was good but I wasn’t really happy with my scoring, but it’s always hard to beat Phil so I’m pleased with that.

“It’s amazing where I’ve come to, I used to be 5/1 against Phil and I was odds-on today, but it’s down to the hard work I’ve done.

“I want to win my last two games and push for that top spot and challenge Michael and then try and win the final at The O2. I want to push Michael and I’m not happy being second to him, I want to beat him.”

Gary Anderson gained a key victory in his bid to secure a top-four finish and challenge for a third Premier League title as he saw off Raymond van Barneveld 7-4.

After starting with a 13-darter, Anderson moved into leads of 3-0 and 4-1 – the latter aided by a 161 checkout – only to see van Barneveld hit back to level with three in a row of his own.

Three misses from the Dutchman in leg nine, though, allowed Anderson to land double eight to regain the lead, before he won the next two to move into third spot in the table.

“It’s two points and I’m always happy to get the win,” Anderson said. “It could have been a better performance but I hit the important doubles in the end.

“I got well in front against Phil last week and then fell asleep and I nearly did it again, so I need to finish people off when I get ahead like that – but I got the job done in the end.”

James Wade kept alive his feint play-off hopes with a 7-4 win over Lewis in the night’s opening fixture, although the 2009 champion sits three points adrift of the top four with two games to go.

Although Lewis led in the opening leg, Wade hit back with finishes of 70, 66 and 100 as he led 4-3, with the two-time world champion levelling in the eighth but missing doubles in the next two legs as Wade pulled away for the win.

“I played okay and did enough to win, and that’s what I strive to do,” Wade said. “Adrian was below par tonight.

“It’s two more points and it’s a shame I didn’t do this a few weeks ago. I’ve played poorly but I’m still enjoying it. This will be too little, too late, but hopefully I can do myself justice in the next two games.

“In my eyes, it’s not possible for me to qualify – I might have left it too late but I can spoil it for the other players who need the points.”

The Betway Premier League continues next Thursday at The Sheffield Arena, with the four matches including van Gerwen against Taylor, Wright against Lewis, Chisnall taking on van Barneveld and Anderson meeting Wade.

Betway Premier League
Night 13 – Thursday April 27
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
James Wade 7-4 Adrian Lewis
Dave Chisnall 6-6 Michael van Gerwen
Phil Taylor 3-7 Peter Wright
Gary Anderson 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 0-7 Michael van Gerwen

League Table P W D L +/- LWAT Pts
Michael van Gerwen (Q) 14 9 4 1 +33 33 22
Peter Wright (Q) 14 8 3 3 +19 25 19
Gary Anderson 14 6 4 4 +11 32 16
Phil Taylor 14 6 3 5 +1 29 15
Raymond van Barneveld 14 6 2 6 -2 25 14
Adrian Lewis 14 6 1 7 -7 24 13
Dave Chisnall 14 5 3 6 -7 23 13
James Wade 14 5 2 7 -9 22 12
Jelle Klaasen (E) 9 1 1 7 -16 15 3
Kim Huybrechts (E) 9 0 3 6 -23 11 3