Gary Anderson produces world-class display in the final to beat Michael van Gerwen and retain Dubai Darts Masters crown

By Alex Moss
25 MAY 2017 • 10:31PM

Gary Anderson retained his Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters title with a stunning 11-7 comeback win over Michael van Gerwen in the final tonight.

In a repeat of last year’s final, and January’s World Championship and Masters deciders, Anderson again mastered the desert heat and outdoor conditions at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium to win the title for a second successive year.

The Scot defeated Peter Wright 11-8 in a nervy semi-final, but returned to the stage and produced an outstanding display to deny van Gerwen his fourth Dubai title.

Anderson averaged an astonishing 110.88, the highest ever average recorded in the tournament’s five-year history, and hit 12 maximums and finished 50 per cent of his chances at doubles, coming from 3-1 and 5-3 down to lead 9-6 with a run of six legs in seven, before closing out victory.

Van Gerwen, who earlier in the day had cruised past World Series debutant Gerwyn Price 11-3 to reach his fifth Dubai final in as many years, hit six 180s and also averaged over 110 in the final against Anderson, but fell to defeat in the decider for a second year in a row.

“It’s a brilliant win for me,” Anderson said. “The scoring was great and it just shows what an old boy can still do!

“A few years ago against a player like Michael I would have just packed in and given up (when I was behind). Now I believe I can catch them and get on a roll.

“When I retire I can look back at playing the likes of van Gerwen and Taylor and say that I played them and beat them.”

The final, between the top two players in the world, began with the pair hitting seven 180s between them in the opening five legs, which saw van Gerwen establish an early 3-2 lead.

Anderson eventually restored parity in the 10th leg with an 11 darter to break the van Gerwen throw, before back-to-back 12-dart legs moved the Scot into a 9-6 advantage.

Van Gerwen hit back with an 11 darter and then set up a possible nine darter in the next leg with scores of 177 and 144, but after the Dutchman’s chance of a perfect leg went wayward, Anderson checked out in 11 darts to lead 10-7, before double four sealed the win in the 18th leg.

The next World Series event will be the Shanghai Darts Masters at the Pullman Hotel Shanghai South on July 6-7.

2017 Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters
Thursday May 25
Michael van Gerwen 11-3 Gerwyn Price
Gary Anderson 11-8 Peter Wright

Gary Anderson 11-7 Michael van Gerwen

Gary Anderson begins defence of Dubai Darts Masters title with impressive 10-3 win over Phil Taylor

By Alex Moss
25 MAY 2017 • 4:09PM

Gary Anderson kicked off the defence of his Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters title in style by beating Phil Taylor 10-3 in the quarter-finals yesterday.

Three-time Dubai champion Michael van Gerwen, world number three Peter Wright and World Series debutant Gerwyn Price were the other winners on day one of the two-day tournament, which concludes with the semi-finals and final later today.

The first event of this year’s World Series began at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium yesterday, with defending champion Anderson producing arguably the performance of the round.

The two-time world champion reeled off six legs in a row as he opened up a 7-1 lead against Taylor, before a 120 checkout put the Scot within two legs of victory.

Anderson, who will face Wright in an all-Scottish clash in the semi-finals, hit eight 180s on his way to a 10-3 win which ended 16-time world champion Taylor’s hopes of a first title in Dubai in what could be his last appearance in the desert.

“We all want to win, we’re all after the title and you just have to beat everyone,” Anderson said. “it’s always nice to get past the first round and Peter will be tough to beat.

“I’ll do my best and try and win here again but it’s never easy these days, let’s see what happens.”

Anderson’s World Cup partner Wright had booked his place in the last four earlier in the night with an impressive 10-5 victory over Dave Chisnall.

The UK Open champion broke the Chisnall throw twice in the opening five legs to cruise into a 4-1 lead.

Chisnall produced an 11-dart leg to hold throw in the ninth leg, but he never looked like getting back into the contest as Wright averaged 101.57 in moving through to the semi-finals.

“I believe I’ve just beaten the best player in terms of form in the tournament but I know I still need more,” Wright said.

“I just want to hit loads of 180s and play better. I was ok today but tomorrow I will be better.”

Newly crowned Premier League champion van Gerwen started his bid to claim a fourth title in Dubai with a 10-5 win over fellow Dutchman, Raymond van Barneveld.

The world number one, who has only tasted defeat once Dubai in the four previous years of the event, went into the first break with a commanding 4-1 lead.

Van Barneveld then produced a moment of magic in the sixth leg, checking out 170 to close the gap to two.

But the telling moment of the encounter came in the 10th leg, as van Barneveld missed double five for a 130 finish to break the throw, and van Gerwen responded with a crucial 150 checkout to re-establish a four-leg cushion.

Van Gerwen averaged 104.87 as he completed a 10-5 win and will face Price in the semi-finals.

“I’m not playing perfectly but I am getting closer, I want to win this tournament,” van Gerwen said.

“Gerwyn made the final of the UK Open this year and deserves to be here. My experience will make a difference but he is a good player and I will have to play well.”

World Series debutant Price produced a great comeback from 9-7 down to beat James Wade 10-9 in a last-leg decider, in a match which saw the latter miss double 12 for a nine-dart finish.

Wade made a good start as he broke in the opening leg before going on to miss the final dart for a perfect leg in the fourth leg, which would have been the first nine darter thrown in the unique outdoor setting in Dubai.

The match then went with throw until the 10th leg where Price broke on double 12 with a 14-darter to level the score at 5-5.

The Welshman then moved into the lead for the first time in the next leg by taking out 56 on tops, before Wade gained control again and moved into a 9-7 lead.

Price levelled again to take the match into a deciding leg, which he won on double six to condemn Wade to a fourth consecutive quarter-final defeat in Dubai.

“I think I’ve worked hard this year and have earned my place,” Price said. “I was over-thinking things at the start of the match so had to keep my cool and realise it was just one break.

“I knew I had the game in me to win and I’ve proved that again tonight.”

The Dubai Darts Masters concludes today with the semi-finals and final, as the first winner of this year’s World Series is crowned.

2017 Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters
Wednesday May 24
Gerwyn Price 10-9 James Wade
Peter Wright 10-5 Dave Chisnall
Gary Anderson 10-3 Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen 10-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Best of 19 legs

Thursday May 25 (8pm)
Michael van Gerwen v Gerwyn Price
Gary Anderson v Peter Wright
Best of 21 legs

Van Gerwen/Price v Anderson/Wright
Best of 21 legs

Picture: Martin Leak 

Danny Graham wins maiden BDO ranking title after triumph in Sunshine State Classic in Australia

By Alex Moss
21 MAY 2017 • 8:29PM

Danny Graham captured the first BDO ranking title of his career after winning the Sunshine State Classic in Australia this weekend.

The Australian’s previous best run on the WDF circuit had been to the quarter-finals of the Pacific Masters in July last year.

Graham ended his wait for a maiden ranking title this weekend, though, as he defeated Andrew Townes 6-3 in the final of the Sunshine State Classic.

A win over former BDO and PDC World Championship participant Mark McGrath in the quarter-finals helped Graham progress to his first semi-final, where he beat New Zealand’s Mark Cleaver to advance to the decider.

A 6-3 win over Townes, who was appearing in his first ranking event final since 2012, secured the title for Graham and will push him into the top 200 of the BDO rolling rankings next week.

Elsewhere, Jade Whitworth edged past this year’s BDO Women’s World Championship finalist Corrine Hammond 5-4 in the final of the ladies’ event.

Picture: Darts Queensland Facebook

James Hurrell fights back from 3-0 down in the final to retain Polish Masters title

By Alex Moss
21 MAY 2017 • 8:04PM

James Hurell produced a brilliant comeback to successfully retain the Polish Masters, coming from 3-0 down to beat Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 in the final this evening.

The Englishman defeated Dutch ace Jeffrey Sparidaans 6-2 to win the tournament last year, and returned to the Hotel Dobosz, in Police, Poland, this weekend looking to try and defend the title.

But Hurrell’s hopes of back-to-back Masters triumphs appeared to be over as he slipped 3-0 behind against home favourite Ratajski in the final.

Poland’s Ratajski, who was bidding to complete a weekend double in his home country, having won the Polish Open yesterday, started the final with three consecutive 17-darters to open up a commanding lead, before a pair of 20-dart legs helped Hurrell to respond and reduce the deficit to just one.

Ratajski then landed a 124 checkout to complete a 12-darter and regain the ascendancy, but Hurrell fought back again with legs of 20 and 13 darts seeing him level the final up at 4-4.

It was Ratajski’s turn to ramp up the pressure on the defending champion in the next leg, as the Polish thrower checked out 81 for an 11-darter to move 5-4 up and one leg away from the title.

However, Ratajski would then spurn match darts over the next two legs, which allowed Hurrell to clinch the title, with the 32-year-old sealing a 6-5 victory with 21 and 19-dart legs.

The win in Poland was Hurrell’s third BDO ranking title success, with his previous victories coming in the Finnish Classic in 2015 and the Polish Masters in 2016.

Rob Cross clinches second PDC Pro Tour title in debut year with victory in Players Championship 12

By Alex Moss
21 MAY 2017 • 6:32PM

Rob Cross continued his impressive debut season on the main PDC tour as he beat Ian White 6-5 in the final of Players Championship 12 in Milton Keynes today.

The Sussex-based thrower, who finished top of the PDC Challenge Tour Order of Merit last year to earn a two-year tour card onto the senior tour, won his second Pro Tour title after edging past White in a deciding leg.

White, the world number 13, was bidding for his eighth PDC title, and first of the season, but missed five match darts across the final’s last two legs.

Cross, who won his maiden Pro Tour title back in March with victory in Players Championship 3, had enjoyed a fine run to the semi-finals of Players Championship 11 yesterday, with the day’s eventual winner Peter Wright averaging in excess of 120 to knock him out 6-3.

But Cross was not to be denied today, as wins against Max Hopp (6-4), Tony Newell (6-1), James Wade (6-2), Mensur Suljovic (6-4), Darren Webster (6-1) and Kim Huybrechts (6-1) saw him reach his second-ever Pro Tour final.

White’s route to the decider in Milton Keynes had seen him get the better of Stephen Burton (6-5), Ross Twell (6-1), Ronny Huybrechts (6-1), Richard North (6-5), yesterday’s winner Wright (6-3) and James Wilson (6-3).

It was White who looked on course to win the title as he edged in front 5-4 in the best of 11 legs decider, but a missed match dart at the bullseye in the next leg handed Cross the chance to force an 11th leg.

Cross landed double 18 with his final dart to force the decider, which saw his opponent take control with scores of 83, 140, 100 and 100 setting him up on 78 after 12 darts.

However, after missing tops to finish off 78 in his next visit and then spurning three more darts at doubles, White was punished as Cross hit double 18 to win the title and scoop the £10,000 first prize.

Michael van Gerwen survives six match darts from Peter Wright to retain Premier League title

By Alex Moss
19 MAY 2017 • 10:48AM

Michael van Gerwen survived six missed match darts from Peter Wright to retain the Betway Premier League title at The O2 in London last night.

World number three Wright was on the brink of winning the title in his first appearance in the Premier League play-offs, as he followed up a thrilling 10-9 win over Phil Taylor in the semi-finals to lead van Gerwen 10-9 in the final.

But the Scot spurned six match darts at double 16 and eight in the next leg, which allowed his rival to level and force a decider.

Van Gerwen began the final leg with a ninth 180 of the final and checked out 88 on double four for a 12-dart winning leg to clinch the title.

The comeback victory earned van Gerwen a tournament record £250,000 first prize, as well as a £25,000 league leader’s bonus after topping the regular season’s league table for a fifth straight year, and saw him win a third Premier League title.

The Dutchman had begun the night with a 10-7 win against Gary Anderson in the semi-finals, while Wright ended Taylor’s hopes of winning a seventh Premier League title in his final appearance in the event.

Wright carried that momentum into the final as he took leads of 3-0 and 5-1, before firing in legs of 11 and 14 darts to open up a commanding 7-2 advantage.

Van Gerwen fought back with an 11-darter helping him to eventually level the match up at 8-8.


Wright took the 17th leg with an 84 checkout, before a 96 finish moved him 10-9 up and within touching distance of the title.

The UK Open champion then kicked off the 20th leg with scores of 140, 180 and 149 to leave 32 after just nine darts, but crucially missed a dart at double 16 and five darts at double eight for glory.

Van Gerwen landed double 10 to force an unlikely deciding leg, which he started with a 180 and then took out 88 for a 12-darter to complete a thrilling comeback.

“It’s a fantastic moment for me,” van Gerwen said. “I think that was a great final and I’m really glad I can walk away with this trophy again.

“I missed a few chances and Peter finished well, he did what he had to do but after the break I played really well and I had a great comeback.

“Peter started playing well again and I don’t know how he missed six darts for the match. A player of his quality normally hits the double, but for some reason he missed them. This was a really crazy game.

“Peter was really close today but I kept myself relaxed and stepped in at the right moment. It’s been great, absolutely fantastic.”

Wright took home £120,000 as the runner-up, having fallen agonisingly short of winning his second televised title, following March’s success in the UK Open.

“Well done to the champion, fair play to Michael,” he said. “It’s been a good season, the top two players finished one and two.

“By the end of tonight that’s gone, and Michael will know I’ve let him off.

“I can’t believe I missed so many darts at a double. You can’t have five darts at a double to beat the number one in the world and double world champion, and it’s something I’ve got to learn.

“I’ll go back to the practice board and then get him next time. At the moment I think I should have won, but that’s gone and I’ll start to think about the next tournament.

“You’ve got to learn to lose before you win, and I’m not going to lose any more – the wins are coming.”


Taylor’s semi-final defeat was his last of 207 Premier League appearances since he led the inception of the event in 2005, with his wins in the first four years followed by further titles in 2010 and 2012.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on a final title, Taylor said: “I’m fine – I had my chances and didn’t take them.

“The crowd gave me so much inspiration, and it was just a couple of shots that I missed, that’s all.

“I went in front and then went nervous – I could feel my heart beating – maybe because it’s my last one. Peter was the better player, I can’t fault him, he held his bottle and hit the right shot at the right time.”

Betway Premier League Play-Offs
Thursday May 18, The O2, London
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 10-9 Phil Taylor

Michael van Gerwen 11-10 Peter Wright

Wins for Nathan Aspinall, Robert Rickwood, Peter Jacques and Luke Humphries on the Challenge Tour

By Alex Moss
16 MAY 2017 • 9:56AM

Nathan Aspinall, Robert Rickwood, Peter Jacques and Luke Humphries shared the victories on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour in Milton Keynes at the weekend.

The year’s third weekend on the PDC’s second-tier tour began with two £10,000 tournaments at Arena MK on Saturday, with former World Youth Championship finalist Aspinall enjoying his first Challenge Tour victory in Event 9.

Aspinall defeated Kevin Edwards, Danny Key, Andy Smith, Mark Frost, Bradley Brooks, Wayne Jones and Mark Dudbridge in a tough route to the final.

In the final he overcame Polish-born Radoslaw Szaganski to pick up the £2,000 top prize and his maiden Challenge Tour win, adding to a Development Tour win two years ago.

Burnley’s Rickwood enjoyed his best day in his maiden year on the PDC circuit with victory in Event 10.

The 45-year-old saw off Jason Wilson 5-3 in the final, and had earlier reached the quarter-finals in the day’s opening event.

Rickwood defeated Richard Baillie, Ryan Murray, Scott Dale, Joe Davis, Peter Hudson and Alex Roy on his way to the final, before picking up the £2,000 first prize.

Jacques and Humphries claimed their maiden Challenge Tour titles with victories in Events 11 and 12 on Sunday.

The first event of the day saw Huddersfield ace Jacques, who reached a Players Championship final in February, follow up two previous Challenge Tour quarter-finals by going all the way to the £2,000 top prize in Event 11.

The 44-year-old defeated Scott Rollings, Matthew Edgar, Tony Lincoln and Aspinall to reach the last eight, where he whitewashed Peter Mitchell.

Jacques then saw off former World Youth champion James Hubbard 5-2 in the semi-finals before sealing the title in a dramatic deciding leg against Jones.

After racing into a 4-0 lead, Jacques squandered seven darts to seal a whitewash victory, with Jones hitting back to level only to miss five darts to claim the title in the decider.

Humphries then bagged himself a £2,000 winner’s prize as he defeated Smith 5-4 in the final of Event 12 to conclude the year’s third Challenge Tour weekend.

A winner of two Development Tour titles in 2017, Humphries had been knocked out in the first round of Event 11 before going all the way just a few hours later.

Humphries began the afternoon with victories over Adam Whieldon, Mark Carter and Mark Wilson to secure his place in the last 16, where he defeated Hubbard 5-1.

The quarter-finals saw another 5-1 win for Humphries as he overcame Aaron Dyer, before then securing a spot in the final with yet another 5-1 victory over Joshua Richardson.

The final against Smith was a tense encounter as Humphries needed a deciding leg to seal his first Challenge Tour title and continue his impressive emergence this year.

PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour
Event Nine
Saturday May 13, Arena MK, Milton Keynes
Kevin Dowling 5-4 Justin Smith
Radoslaw Szaganski 5-0 Dan Read
Nathan Aspinall 5-3 Wayne Jones
Mark Dudbridge 5-1 Robert Rickwood

Radoslaw Szaganski 5-3 Kevin Dowling
Nathan Aspinall 5-3 Mark Dudbrige

Nathan Aspinall 5-1 Radoslaw Szaganski

Event 10
Robert Rickwood 5-1 Peter Hudson
Alex Roy 5-3 Craig Gilchrist
Dan Read 5-2 Jack Todd
Jason Wilson 5-1 Nigel Birch

Robert Rickwood 5-4 Alex Roy
Jason Wilson 5-1 Dan Read

Robert Rickwood 5-3 Jason Wilson

Event 11
Sunday May 14
James Hubbard 5-1 Martin Thomas
Peter Jacques 5-0 Peter Mitchell
Ian Jones 5-2 Paul Harvey
Wayne Jones 5-1 Nigel Heydon

Peter Jacques 5-2 James Hubbard
Wayne Jones 5-2 Ian Jones

Peter Jacques 5-4 Wayne Jones

Event 12
Joshua Richardson 5-4 Brett Claydon
Luke Humphries 5-1 Aaron Dyer
Nick Fullwell 5-2 Warrick Scheffer
Andy Smith 5-2 Peter Jacques

Luke Humphries 5-1 Joshua Richardson
Andy Smith 5-1 Nick Fullwell

Luke Humphries 5-4 Andy Smith

Mixed weekend for PDC World Youth champion Corey Cadby on the DPA circuit in Australia

By Alex Moss
15 MAY 2017 • 10:55PM

It was a mixed few days for reigning PDC World Youth champion Corey Cadby on the DPA circuit at the weekend.

The 22-year-old won Friday’s World Series of Darts Qualifier, beating Rhys Mathewson in the final of the seventh event of the series, held at the Mermaid Waters Hotel, in Queensland.

Cadby then suffered an early exit in Saturday’s Harrows Australia Pro Tour Event 13, bowing out at the last 32 stage.

Melbourne-based Clinton Bridge picked up his first DPA win of 2017 by seeing off Gordon Mathers 6-4 in the final of the event.

Bridge – a three-time qualifier for the World Series events in Australasia – also claimed wins over Aaron Petty, Matt Leahy, Glenn Jones and Justin Thompson during the knockout phase of the tournament.

On Sunday, Cadby bounced back from his early exit the previous day to go all the way to the final of Harrows Australia Pro Tour Event 14.

The youngster was beaten 6-4 in the decider by Mathers, who followed up his double win in Perth last month to take home another title and extend his lead at the top of the DPA rankings.

Mathers also defeated Graeme Lowe, Steve Macarthur, Arthur Jones and Steve Duke Snr on his way to winning the title on Sunday.

World Series of Darts Qualifier Seven
Mermaid Waters Hotel, Queensland
Friday May 12
Corey Cadby def Pat Orreal
Justin Thompson def Steve Duke Snr
Steve Macarthur def Andrew Eagers
Rhys Mathewson def Jeremy Fagg

Corey Cadby def Justin Thompson
Rhys Mathewson def Steve Macarthur

Corey Cadby def Rhys Mathewson

Harrows Australia Pro Tour Event 13
Mermaid Waters Hotel, Queensland
Saturday May 13
Clinton Bridge 6-4 Glenn Jones
Justin Thompson 6-4 Robbie King
Gordon Mathers 6-2 John Griffiths
Steve Duke Snr 6-5 Lucas Cameron

Clinton Bridge 6-2 Justin Thompson
Gordon Mathers 6-4 Steve Duke Snr

Clinton Bridge 6-4 Gordon Mathers

Harrows Australia Pro Tour Event 14
Mermaid Waters Hotel, Queensland
Sunday May 14
Gordon Mathers 6-3 Arthur Jones
Steve Duke Snr 6-1 Michael Caesar
Rhys Mathewson 6-5 John Griffiths
Corey Cadby 6-2 Clinton Bridge

Gordon Mathers 6-3 Steve Duke Snr
Corey Cadby 6-2 Rhys Mathewson

Gordon Mathers 6-4 Corey Cadby

Michael Smith ends near two-year title drought with victory in Gibraltar Darts Trophy

By Alex Moss
15 MAY 2017 • 4:58PM

Michael Smith won his first PDC title for almost two years as he defeated Mensur Suljovic 6-4 in the final of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy last night.

The former PDC World Youth champion, who was playing in his first final since the Austrian Darts Open in June last year, claimed the £25,000 top prize as he won his fourth European Tour title, following up previous wins in 2014 and 2015.

The 26-year-old averaged 96.33 and hit 50 per cent of his double attempts to overcome Austria’s Suljovic at the Victoria Stadium.

Aided by a 108 checkout, Smith stormed into a 3-0 lead to take immediate control of the best of 11 leg final.

Suljovic, a winner on the European Tour last year, produced a spirited fightback to break Smith’s throw twice and level the match, before holding his throw to take a 4-3 lead.

St Helens ace Smith then took out 81 on double 12 to level the contest at 4-4, before winning a crucial ninth leg.

With Suljovic left requiring 56 to hold throw and move to within a leg of the title, Smith landed a superb 132 checkout on the bullseye to break the throw and edge 5-4 in front.

A miss at tops for the title in the next leg from Smith allowed his opponent a dart at double 15 to send the final into a decider.

Suljovic’s effort went just inside the wire, allowing Smith to step in and seal the victory on double 10 and secure his first PDC title since winning the European Darts Trophy back in September 2015.

“It’s a great feeling – I’m so chuffed,” Smith said. “I’d forgotten what it feels like to win a tournament and it feels like I’ve just won my very first tournament again.

“This year I’ve made two finals and I thought I was going to blow it again.

“The 132 to go 5-4 up won me the game, it was absolutely huge. I didn’t fancy the game going five-all because Mensur is amazing.”

Smith had to work hard to book his place in the final, coming through deciders in each of his previous four matches in the tournament, starting with Saturday’s 6-5 defeat of Christian Kist.

Sunday’s challenge began with a hard-fought win over Dimitri van den Bergh, with Smith hitting a key 180 in the deciding leg on his way to a 14-darter to seal a quarter-final spot.

In-form Rob Cross was his opponent in the last eight, where Smith once again required a last-leg maximum to give him the chance to take out 81 for a spot in the semi-finals.

World number three Peter Wright – a winner of three of the four European Tour events held so far in 2017 – was Smith’s opponent in the semi-finals.

Yet again he needed a deciding leg to come through, and as with the previous two matches the world number 11 hit a 180 to put himself in control of the final leg before eventually landing double 10 for the win.

2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy
Sunday May 14
Afternoon Session
Third Round
Peter Wright 6-0 Stephen Bunting
Darren Johnson 6-3 Alan Norris
Michael Smith 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Rob Cross 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Cristo Reyes
Magnus Caris 6-2 Benito van de Pas
James Wilson 6-3 Ian White
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Simon Whitlock

Evening Session
Peter Wright 6-5 Darren Johnson
Michael Smith 6-5 Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Magnus Caris
Daryl Gurney 6-3 James Wilson

Michael Smith 6-5 Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Daryl Gurney

Michael Smith 6-4 Mensur Suljovic

Picture: PDC Europe

Steve Beaton the top performer after comeback win on opening day of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy

By Alex Moss
12 MAY 2017 • 10:53PM

Steve Beaton produced the best performance on the opening day of the 2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy to come back from 4-2 down to beat Mike De Decker 6-4 in the first round.

The former BDO world champion appeared to be heading for a second early exit in as many weeks on the European Tour as he trailed De Decker 4-2.

But the Belgian crucially missed a dart at tops in the seventh leg to go 5-2 up, and Beaton went on to win the next four legs to progress.

Beaton hit 180s in four successive legs and finished with the day’s best average, of 99.29, as he completed the comeback victory and will next face Simon Whitlock in the last 32.

“I love it here and I’d love to still be in at the end of the weekend,” Beaton said.

“I’m really happy, I think I played quite well and that’s a good result for me.”

Another former Lakeside winner, Christian Kist, held off a comeback from Ronny Huybrechts to win 6-4 and set up a clash with Michael Smith in the second round.

Kist had opened up leads of 3-1 and 4-2 before being pegged back at 4-4, but then pulled away again by winning the next two legs to advance.

Former European Tour finalist Paul Nicholson spurned three match darts in the deciding leg of his first round tie with Chris Quantock, who enjoyed his first win on the European Tour with a narrow 6-5 victory.

In a game which saw all 11 legs go with throw, a superb 160 checkout from Nicholson in the 10th leg forced a decider, but he missed the bull, double eight and double four to allow Quantock back in to clinch the win and a meeting with Stephen Bunting in the last 32.

John Henderson landed a brilliant 170 finish during his 6-4 win over Germany’s Rene Eidams, as the former European Tour finalist moved through to meet Ian White tomorrow.

Elsewhere on the opening day, there was disappointment for the five Host Nation Qualifiers as they all lost out in the first round on home soil.

Gibraltar number one Dyson Parody saw his hopes of emulating last year’s run to the quarter-finals ended with a 6-1 defeat to Magnus Caris, the Swede coming back from a leg down and hitting a 114 finish to set up a clash with Jelle Klaasen.

James Wilson hit six doubles from 10 attempts as he swept past Parody’s Betway World Cup of Darts partner, Dylan Duo, 6-1 to advance to a second round meeting with Kim Huybrechts.

Matt Clark defeated European Tour debutant Justin Broton 6-3 to move through to face Alan Norris in the last 32 tomorrow.

Darren Johnson produced a strong display to defeat Manuel Vilerio 6-1, averaging close to 93 as he set up a clash with Gerwyn Price in the next round.

Antony Lopez was the other Host Nation Qualifier to slip to defeat, losing out to Dimitri van den Bergh 6-2, with the Belgian now facing James Wade in the last 32.

Polish qualifier Krzysztof Ratajski moved into the second round for the third European Tour event running, seeing off Ritchie Edhouse 6-3 to set up a clash with top seed Peter Wright.

Rob Cross punished European Tour debutant Mario Robbe for 12 missed doubles with a whitewash 6-0 victory, and he will now face Joe Cullen tomorrow.

Alan Tabern marked his first appearance on the European Tour this year with a 6-4 win over Dutch youngster Jeffrey de Zwaan, with Mensur Suljovic next up for the experienced left hander in the second round.

Jonny Clayton survived missed match darts from Justin Pipe in the deciding leg of their tight first round contest, as the Welshman progressed to a meeting with Dave Chisnall tomorrow.

Darren Webster also came through an 11-leg battle, winning the last two legs of his encounter with Richie Corner to set up a last 32 clash with Daryl Gurney.

James Richardson progressed to the second round of a European Tour event for the third time in 2017, defeating Matthew Dennant 6-1 to move into a clash with Spain’s Cristo Reyes tomorrow.

And finally, Martin Schindler punished 21 missed doubles from European Tour debutant Callan Rydz to win 6-4, with the German ace now facing Benito van de Pas on Saturday.

2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy
Draw Bracket (Second Round Onwards)
Peter Wright (1) v Krzysztof Ratajski
Stephen Bunting (16) v Chris Quantock
Gerwyn Price (8) v Darren Johnson
Alan Norris (9) v Matt Clark
James Wade (5) v Dimitri van den Bergh
Michael Smith (12) v Christian Kist
Dave Chisnall (4) v Jonny Clayton
Joe Cullen (13) v Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic (2) v Alan Tabern
Cristo Reyes (15) v James Richardson
Benito van de Pas (7) v Martin Schindler
Jelle Klaasen (10) v Magnus Caris
Kim Huybrechts (6) v James Wilson
Ian White (11) v John Henderson
Simon Whitlock (3) v Steve Beaton
Daryl Gurney (14) v Darren Webster

Schedule of Play
Friday May 12
First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Jeffrey de Zwaan 4-6 Alan Tabern
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Justin Pipe
Richie Corner 5-6 Darren Webster
Matthew Dennant 1-6 James Richardson
Justin Broton 3-6 Matt Clark
Martin Schindler 6-4 Callan Rydz
Magnus Caris 6-1 Dyson Parody
Paul Nicholson 5-6 Chris Quantock

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Mario Robbe 0-6 Rob Cross
Rene Eidams 4-6 John Henderson
Ritchie Edhouse 3-6 Krzysztof Ratajski
Steve Beaton 6-4 Mike De Decker
James Wilson 6-1 Dylan Duo
Christian Kist 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Manuel Vilerio 1-6 Darren Johnson
Dimitri van den Bergh 6-2 Anthony Lopez

Saturday May 13
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Cristo Reyes v James Richardson
Daryl Gurney v Darren Webster
Alan Norris v Matt Clark
Benito van de Pas v Martin Schindler
Stephen Bunting v Chris Quantock
Jelle Klaasen v Magnus Caris
Michael Smith v Christian Kist
Joe Cullen v Rob Cross

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Gerwyn Price v Darren Johnson
Mensur Suljovic v Alan Tabern
Dave Chisnall v Jonny Clayton
Peter Wright v Krzysztof Ratajski
James Wade v Dimitri van den Bergh
Kim Huybrechts v James Wilson
Ian White v John Henderson
Simon Whitlock v Steve Beaton

Sunday May 14
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Third Round

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)

All games are the best of 11 legs