Nick Fullwell pips Kevin Edwards in a decider to win Challenge Tour Event 18 in Wigan

Nick Fullwell clinched his first title on this year’s Unicorn Challenge Tour with victory in Event 18 in Wigan this evening.

The Stourbridge ace defeated Essex’s Kevin Edwards 5-4 to scoop the £2,000 top prize a the Robin Park Tennis Centre.

Earlier in the day, Peter Jacques had boosted his chances of winning a two-year tour card onto the PDC circuit by winning Event 17, but the world number 83 was beaten in a last-leg decider by Michael Barnard in the last 64 in the day’s second event.

Fullwell, who had previously won a title on the Challenge Tour last year, had enjoyed a seasons-best run to the semi-finals in Event 12 in May, but went two steps better to take the title today.

Fullwell began the tournament with a whitewash win over Edward Lovely, before defeating Martin Lukeman, Radoslaw Szaganski, Andy Smith, Matthew Edgar and Jay Foreman to reach the final.

Edwards had overcame Sean Ryan, Jack Todd, Adam Huckvale, Mark Frost, Lee Evans and Challenge Tour Order of Merit leader Wayne Jones as he won through to his second final of the season, having previously been denied by Mark Dudbridge in Event 16 back in June.

Tomorrow sees this year’s Challenge Tour reach its conclusion with the final double-header of two £10,000 tournaments being played in Wigan on the day.

Heading into Sunday’s final events, Jones sits £1,850 clear of Dudbridge at the top of the Order of Merit, with Aaron Dyer, Jacques and Luke Humphries all within striking distance of a spot in the top two to earn a tour card for 2018 and 2019.

Unicorn Challenge Tour
Event 18
Jay Foreman 5-3 Francis Carragher
Nick Fullwell 5-3 Matthew Edgar
Wayne Jones 5-2 Mark Dudbridge
Kevin Edwards 5-3 Lee Evans

Nick Fullwell 5-3 Jay Foreman
Kevin Edwards 5-4 Wayne Jones

Nick Fullwell 5-4 Kevin Edwards

Peter Jacques moves up to joint-third on Challenge Tour Order of Merit after winning Event 17 in Wigan

Peter Jacques kept his hopes alive of claiming one of two two-year PDC tour cards up for grabs in this year’s Unicorn Challenge Tour after winning Event 17 in Wigan this afternoon.

The Huddersfield thrower is currently ranked 83rd on the PDC Order of Merit, by virtue of his surprise run to the final of Players Championship 1 in Barnsley back in February, as well as playing in three European Tour events so far this season.

But Jacques will be looking to secure an automatic tour card for 2018 and 2019 by finishing in the top two on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit, with the competition reaching its conclusion this weekend with the final four events of the season.

Jacques has boosted his chances of moving into the top two after winning the first of those tournaments, Event 17, earlier today, beating Order of Merit leader Wayne Jones 5-2 in the final.

It was Jacques’ second Challenge Tour title of the season, following on from his Event 11 triumph in May, and the £2,000 winner’s prize money has moved him level on £5,200 with Aaron Dyer in third spot on the Order of Merit.

Jones still leads the way on £7,750, while former World Championship finalist Mark Dudbridge, in second, was knocked out in the last 64 by Paul Phillips and is on £6,100.

Event 18 is currently underway, while Events 19 and 20 will take place tomorrow before we know the final Order of Merit and the two players who have won two-year tour cards onto the main PDC circuit for 2018 and 2019.

Unicorn Challenge Tour
Event 17
Adam Smith-Neale 5-3 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Peter Jacques 5-1 Arjan Konterman
Wayne Jones 5-4 Paul Phillips
Adam Huckvale 5-1 Ian Withers

Peter Jacques 5-4 Adam Smith-Neale
Wayne Jones 5-2 Adam Huckvale

Peter Jacques 5-2 Wayne Jones

German Grand Prix day one evening round-up: Kyle Anderson hits fourth 100+ average in a row to beat Dirk van Duijvenbode in a thriller

Kyle Anderson started his latest bid for a first European Tour title in style with a thrilling 6-4 win over Dirk van Duijvenbode in the HappyBet German Darts Grand Prix in Mannheim, Germany, this evening.

The Australian world number 28, who recently captured his maiden televised title with victory in the Auckland Darts Masters last month, battled back from 4-3 down to edge out the young Dutchman earlier tonight.

In a high-quality last 48 encounter in the Maimarkhalle, Anderson got off to a quick start as checkouts of 98 and 72 saw him land back-to-back 14 darters to establish a 2-0 lead.

Van Duijvenbode fought back with successive 14-dart legs of his own to level up at 2-2, before the world number 57 levelled up again in leg six with an 87 finish for a 12 darter.

A 50 finish in the next leg put the Dutch ace in front for the first time at 4-3, however Anderson then rallied with some excellent finishing, taking out checkouts of 72, 64 and a match-winning 94 to complete a comeback win.

The recent World Series winner averaged 101.44 to van Duijvenbode’s 100.85 as he finished with a three-dart average of over 100 for the fourth game running, and he will next face eighth seed Kim Huybrechts in the last 32 tomorrow.

Elsewhere this evening, last weekend’s Dutch Darts Masters runner-up Steve Beaton saw his hopes of another strong run on the European Tour ended at the first hurdle.

The world number 23 let a 3-1 lead slip as he lost to Scotland’s Jamie Bain, ranked 93rd in the world, in the opening round in Mannheim.

Beaton had made an impressive start to the contest as, aided by checkouts of 87 and 68, he moved 3-1 up, before Bain reeled off five of the next six legs to advance through to a clash with ninth seed Jelle Klaasen on Saturday.

Vincent van der Voort kept his bid to qualify for next month’s World Grand Prix alive with a comfortable 6-2 victory against Andrew Gilding.

The former major finalist, now 30th in the rankings, needs a run to the semi-finals to stand a chance of making the cut for Dublin, which falls after this weekend’s event in Germany.

Van der Voort will now take on the 15th seed Mervyn King in the second round tomorrow in a battle of former European Tour champions.

Welshman Jamie Lewis came through a hard-fought battle to see off Andy Boulton 6-5 and advance to the last 32 this evening.

The world number 37 celebrated his daughter’s first birthday with a victory, but he was made to work as, after letting a 3-0 lead slip to trail 4-3, he got over the line in a last-leg decider to set up a meeting with fifth seed Michael Smith.

Ireland’s Mick McGowan ended home hopes in the tournament as he knocked out German youngster Martin Schindler 6-3 in the final game of the first round.

Schindler was the last of the Host Nation Qualifiers left standing after his compatriot Michael Hurtz had lost 6-1 to Sweden’s Daniel Larsson earlier in the night.

Schindler had his moments as he started the second leg with six perfect darts, before later checking out 124 on the bullseye in leg six, but McGowan punished missed doubles from his opponent to progress to a second-round tie with third seed Mensur Suljovic.

East European Qualifier Krzysztof Ratajski continued his impressive year on the European Tour with a 6-4 win against Welsh ace Robert Owen.

In one of the games of the night, the Polish number one defied a 103.23 average from his opponent by winning four of the last six legs to set up a meeting with 16th seed Gerwyn Price tomorrow.

Former world youth champion Keegan Brown also booked his place in the last 32 on Saturday after seeing off James Richardson 6-2.

Richardson had earlier punished missed doubles from his opponent to lead 2-1, but Brown then won five legs without reply to go through and he will now face sixth seed Daryl Gurney tomorrow.

BDO world youth champion Justin van Tergouw beats Vincent van der Voort to qualify for Dutch Darts Masters

Justin van Tergouw will make his debut on the European Tour in Maastricht tomorrow, after beating world number 30 Vincent van der Voort in the final round of the Host Nation Qualifier this evening.

The 17-year-old, from Utrecht, won the BDO World Youth Championship at Lakeside in January, and entered the qualifiers for his home tournament, the Dutch Darts Masters, bidding for a spot in the 48-player field.

After edging past Rick Hofstra 6-5 in a last-leg decider, the teenager defeated Willy van de Wiel 6-4 to set up a clash with van der Voort for a spot in the first round on Friday.

Van Tergouw saw off his compatriot 6-2 to secure his debut on the European Tour this weekend, with a meeting with former BDO world champion Christian Kist awaiting him in the last 48 tomorrow.

As well as the Host Nation Qualifier, the European Qualifier has also been held this evening, with Ronny Huybrechts, Max Hopp, Rowby-John Rodriguez, Martin Schindler, John Michael, Rene Berndt, Nico Blum and Mike De Decker all qualifying.

Raymond van Barneveld knocks out Phil Taylor in a deciding leg to reach Perth Darts Masters semi-finals

Raymond van Barneveld ended Phil Taylor’s hopes of victory in his final World Series event in Australia as he edged through to the semi-finals of the TABtouch Perth Darts Masters with a 10-9 win earlier today.

The battle of the multiple time world champions went the way of the Dutchman, but only after seeing his leads of 8-4 and 9-7 wiped away by Taylor to send the quarter-final tie into a 19th and final leg.

Taylor was aiming to extend his impressive record in World Series events held in Australia to eight wins from nine tournaments this weekend, but van Barneveld won the decider to progress to the final day in Perth.

The five-time world champion started the brighter of the two by taking a 2-0 lead, but then missed three darts to move further ahead of his great rival.

An 11-dart hold followed for van Barneveld as he restored his two-leg cushion at 3-1, before Taylor won the next two legs to level after “Barney” missed another three darts to stay ahead.

Van Barneveld then took out 71 on tops to break the throw yet again, with Taylor repaying the favour with a 96 checkout on double nine to make it 4-4.

“Barney” then put together a sequence of four straight legs to open up a strong 8-4 lead on the 16-time world champion, but Taylor stopped the rot by holding throw on double 18 in the 13th leg.

The recent Melbourne winner then recovered one of the breaks of throw with a 41 checkout, and then closed the gap to just one after hitting a maximum and double eight.

Van Barneveld held throw in the 16th leg to move to within one leg of victory, but in the next leg the Dutchman spurned four match darts as Taylor stayed alive to cut the gap again to one.

Taylor then broke his opponent’s throw in leg 18 to send the match into a decider, but the 57-year-old was punished for scores of 60, 60 and 45 in the final leg as “Barney” claimed his spot in the semi-finals.

Van Barneveld will face Daryl Gurney for a place in the final after the Northern Irishman produced another impressive display on the doubles to beat third seed Peter Wright 10-4 in the quarter-finals.

Gurney finished 10/14 on the doubles and had checkouts of 97, 96, 97, 93, 104 and 87 as he avenged his defeat to Wright in the semi-finals in Melbourne last week.

The other semi-final in Perth tomorrow will see Gary Anderson take on James Wade after the seeded pair recorded 10-5 wins over Simon Whitlock and Michael Smith respectively.

Anderson averaged 102 and rattled off six straight legs as he fought back from 5-4 down to defeat the Australian number one, with a match-winning 144 checkout booking his place in the final day of action in Perth.

Wade was the first man through to the semi-finals Down Under after getting the better of Smith in the opening game of the day, with “The Machine” averaging 101, hitting five 180s and taking out 140 on his way to victory.

TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
Saturday August 26 (7pm local time, 12pm BST)
James Wade (4) 10-5 Michael Smith
Gary Anderson (1) 10-5 Simon Whitlock
Raymond van Barneveld 10-9 Phil Taylor (2)
Daryl Gurney 10-4 Peter Wright (3)
Best of 19 legs

Picture: Emma Morley DPA/PDC

Paul Hogan wins Red Dragon Champion of Champions with a title-winning 164 checkout in the final

Paul Hogan hit a sensational title-winning 164 checkout to win the 2017 Red Dragon Champion of Champions in Cardiff this evening.

The 53-year-old came through a field of 256 players to scoop the £5,000 top prize at St. David’s Hall today, beating last year’s winner Jonny Clayton 2-0 in the final.

The best of three legs tournament got underway this afternoon with 256 players, who had all won qualifying tournaments to qualify, battling it out for a share of the £20,000 prize fund up for grabs.

Hogan, who pulled off surprise wins against former world champions Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis in the UK Open earlier this year, defeated Rob Warman, Terry Temple, Craig Gilchrist, Carl Wilkinson, Barry Hawker, Chris Lacy and Rob Owen to reach the final.

After breaking Clayton’s throw in the first leg of the decider, Hogan then took out a brilliant 164 in the next leg to seal a 2-0 win and the title.

PDC tour card holder Clayton was bidding to win the title for a second successive year and came close to retaining his crown, with victories over Jeff Thomas, Brian Flew, James Bevan, AJ Urmston-Toft, Anthony Freeman, Mark Lawrence and Mark Layton putting him through to the final.

Raymond van Barneveld gains revenge on Corey Cadby to set up quarter-final clash with Phil Taylor in Perth

Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld will face off in the quarter-finals of the TABtouch Perth Darts Masters after both overcame tricky first-round hurdles earlier today.

Taylor, who won the inaugural Melbourne Darts Masters last week to extend his impressive record in Australia to seven wins from eight World Series events, came from behind to beat Auckland champion Kyle Anderson 6-4.

Perth-born Anderson punished missed doubles from Taylor to break in the opening leg, but the 16-time world champion broke straight back to level the score.

The home favourite fired in the first of his four maximums on his way to an 11-dart break in leg three, before holding throw in 13 darts to open up a 3-1 lead.

The pair then traded holds of throw in the next two legs to take the Australian in to a 4-2 lead, before Taylor landed tops to close the gap to one.

The turning point in the match came in the eighth leg, as Anderson spurned a dart at tops to hold throw for 5-3 and Taylor pinned double 16 to break and level up at 4-4.

Taylor then took the next two legs to book his place in the quarter-finals and another meeting with his great rival van Barneveld tomorrow.

“Barney” survived a late fightback from Cadby to beat the reigning world youth champion in a deciding leg 6-5 and gain revenge after losing to the young Australian in the first round in Melbourne last week.

Van Barneveld made a fine start as he broke Cadby’s throw with a 13 darter on double 14, before a 100 checkout, after holding throw in the second, saw him establish a commanding 3-0 lead.

Cadby responded with a 96 checkout for an 11 darter to get one of the breaks back, before the 22-year-old landed double 18 to cut the Dutchman’s advantage to one leg.

Van Barneveld hit back by winning the next two legs, the latter of those ending with an 86 finish on double seven, to move within a leg of victory.

But the Auckland runner-up was not finished as he broke van Barneveld’s throw in the next leg and then held to cut the gap to 5-4, with “Barney” having missed a match dart at double 18 in the eighth leg.

Van Barneveld then missed two match darts in the 10th leg and Cadby punished him with a stunning 161 checkout to force a decider.

A crucial 180 in the deciding leg set up van Barneveld for the victory as he took out 15 on double four to squeeze through.

Elsewhere, Daryl Gurney produced the performance of the first round as he hit all his attempts at double and posted a new career-high televised average of 106.09 in a 6-0 win over Koha Kokiri.

The Northern Irishman had checkouts of 96 and 100 in the opening two legs, before a 130 finish on the bull sealed his place in the quarter-finals.

Gurney will now face Melbourne runner-up Peter Wright after the third seed booked his spot in the last eight with a 6-2 win against Rhys Mathewson.

The reigning UK Open champion averaged 100.24 and hit close to 50 per cent of his doubles as he replicated the scoreline he beat Mathewson by in the opening round in Melbourne last week.

Top seed Gary Anderson kicked off his latest bid for a first World Series title in Australia with a comfortable 6-1 win against Rob Szabo.

After a slow start, the two-time world champion finished with an average of 96.47 and hit seven perfect darts in the fourth leg as he progressed through to the second day.

The Scot will now face Australian number one Simon Whitlock after he saw off Justin Thompson 6-2 in the first round.

Whitlock, who averaged over 107 in his first round thrashing of Kyle Anderson in Melbourne last week, posted the lowest winning average of the first round of 83.74, but punished missed doubles from Thompson to advance to the quarter-finals.

Former Perth finalist James Wade also booked his place in the last eight after whitewashing TV debutant Darren Hayes 6-0 today.

A 95.94 average was more than enough for “The Machine” to overcome a nervy Hayes, who did not have a shot at the double on his first appearance in front of the cameras.

Next up for Wade is a clash with former world youth champion Michael Smith tomorrow after “Bully Boy” got the three-day tournament started with a straight-forward 6-2 win against Adam Rowe.

The world number nine was not at his best but hit two maximums and sealed the victory with a 120 checkout as he made it through to his third successive World Series quarter-final.

TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
Friday August 25 (7pm local time, 12pm BST)
First Round
Michael Smith 6-2 Adam Rowe
Peter Wright 6-2 Rhys Mathewson
Daryl Gurney 6-0 Koha Kokiri
James Wade 6-0 Darren Hayes
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Justin Thompson
Phil Taylor 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Gary Anderson 6-1 Rob Szabo
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Corey Cadby
Best of 11 legs

Picture: Emma Morley DPA/PDC

Phil Taylor beats Peter Wright 11-8 to win inaugural Melbourne Darts Masters and eighth World Series of Darts title

Phil Taylor became the first winner of the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters after beating Peter Wright 11-8 in the final at the Hisense Arena earlier today.

The 57-year-old, who won the World Matchplay for a record 16th time in Blackpool last month, continued his recent run of success in Melbourne as he claimed an eighth World Series of Darts title, and a seventh in Australia.

In a repeat of the World Matchplay final, Taylor took on world number three Wright in the decider of the inaugural Melbourne Darts Masters, and at 8-8 the match looked evenly poised.

However, Taylor reeled off three straight legs to seal an 11-8 victory and ensure Wright’s wait for a first World Series title continues.

Earlier in the day Taylor had ended home hopes with an 11-4 thrashing over Australian number one Simon Whitlock in the semi-finals.

The 16-time world champion produced a run that saw him win nine of the last 11 legs, with the victory secured with a 144 finish as Taylor finished with a 57.89 per cent success rate on the doubles.

Wright had earlier booked his place in a fourth World Series final, and a first in Australia, with an 11-4 win over Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney.

The Scot fired in a 101 checkout on his way to establishing a 4-1 lead and, despite not hitting any maximums in the contest, he pinned 55 per cent of his attempts at doubles to book his spot in the final.

Taylor had only ever tasted defeat once in the World Series in Australia and began the final in nervy fashion, missing three darts at doubles in the opening leg to break the Wright throw.

The pair traded holds of throw until the sixth leg, where Taylor missed double 19 for a 158 checkout before Wright took out 81, finishing with double 17 and double 20 for a break.

However, the next three legs saw the reigning UK Open champion spurn a total of 12 darts at doubles, which allowed Taylor back in and to gain control of the final.

Wright then produced another double-double finish in the 11th leg to close the gap to one, this time checking out 81 with the help of two double 18s.

Wright was unable to capitalise though, as Taylor then broke again to open up a three-leg cushion at 8-5, before the comeback came with the Premier League runner-up winning the next three legs to level the score up at 8-8.

But once again though, Wright could not regain the lead as Taylor broke the throw to move 9-8 in front, before a 112 finish and then another break sealed the title for the current world number four.

Picture: Tim Murdoch/PDC

Kyle Anderson defeats fellow Aussie Corey Cadby 11-10 in Auckland Darts Masters final to win first televised title

Kyle Anderson won his first PDC televised title after beating Corey Cadby 11-10 in an all-Australian final of the Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King, in New Zealand earlier today.

The world number 28, who won his maiden PDC title with victory in Players Championship 17 earlier this month, continued his excellent run of form to clinch his first tournament triumph in the World Series of Darts.

Reigning world youth champion Cadby had earlier knocked out newly-crowned World Matchplay champion Phil Taylor 11-8 in the semi-finals, and the youngster raced into a 4-1 lead, courtesy of three maximums in the opening two legs and 4/5 on the doubles.

Anderson fought back after the first break, though, with a crucial 160 checkout in the seventh leg coming after Cadby had missed a dart at tops which cut the deficit to just one.

Aussie delight: Auckland Darts Masters finalists Kyle Anderson and Corey Cadby show off their trophies PICTURE: PHOTOSPORT/PDC

The recent Pro Tour winner then took the lead for the first time in the final by taking out 66 on tops to lead 5-4, before Cadby punished missed doubles from Anderson to break straight back in the next leg.

The Aussie duo exchanged holds of throw until the 15th leg where Anderson hit back-to-back 180s to move ahead once again.

But more missed doubles followed for Anderson as Cadby took out 47 to level up again, but the 22-year-old then squandered five darts at 9-8 up to go 10-8 in front.

Anderson punished Cadby to draw level at 9-9, before two holds of throw saw the final come down to a deciding leg, with Taylor’s conqueror having the advantage of throwing first.

Memorable win: Corey Cadby defeated World Matchplay champion Phil Taylor in the semi-finals PICTURE: PHOTOSPORT/PDC

A pivotal maximum in the deciding leg from Anderson gave him the initiative and he eventually sealed the title, finishing off 68 on double four to scoop the $70,000 top prize.

Anderson, who had knocked out his namesake in top seed Gary Anderson in the first round on Friday, had come through another deciding-leg shootout to beat his World Cup of Darts partner Simon Whitlock in the quarter-finals yesterday.

An 11-4 victory over fourth seed James Wade, which included a tournament-high 164 checkout, sent the Aussie through to his first televised final.

Cadby was also playing in his first senior televised final, having seen off the challenges of second seed Peter Wright, World Series debutant Michael Smith and Taylor to reach the decider.

The World Series heads to Australia next week for the inaugural staging of the Melbourne Darts Masters, which takes place between August 18-20 at the Hisense Arena.

Dave Parletti wins inaugural IDL Champion of Champions in London

Surrey’s Dave Parletti was crowned the inaugural Individual Darts League of London (IDL) Champion of Champions on Sunday.

The former England international came through a field of more than 60 players to scoop the £500 first prize at Rileys Victoria.

Parletti would not have it all his own way though, as he finished second in Group K behind Unicorn Next Generation Star, Connor Scutt, which meant he entered the more difficult side of the draw for the last 32.

However, he would drop just one leg in wins against Mark Hulland and Shane Edwards to advance to the quarter-finals, where he saw off Scotland’s Matt Wilson 6-2 to reach the last four.

Parletti’s best performance came in the semi-finals when he whitewashed Brazil’s number one Diogo Portela 8-0, which set up a rematch from the group stages with his Surrey teammate Scutt in the final.

Parletti prevailed 10-4 in the final to win the title and become the first winner of the IDL Champion of Champions.

The inaugural event, which included Love The Darts magazine and the Weekly Dartscast among its sponsors, now hopes to become a regular fixture on the circuit, with early plans to see its second staging take place in June next year.

Picture: Lamo The Lion