Monthly Archives: February 2017

Simon Whitlock wins fifth UK Open qualifier as two hit nine darters

The Wizard clinched his second UK Open qualifier win out of five events, as the nine darters continue to flow in Wigan.

With yesterday’s winner Michael Van Gerwen not competing following his double nine darter, today’s competition was wide open especially after several of the big names fell early on.

Whitlock clinched his second title of five with solid performances throughout beating Ronny Huybrechts 6-3 in the final to move up to second place in the qualifying standings behind Peter Wright who fell in the last 16.

The elder Huybrechts though had a day to remember, as he hit the second nine darter of the day in his quarter final win over Darren Webster.

The Demolition Man had caused waves himself hitting a nine darter of his own against Benito Van De Pas.

Both men had fantastic days as the third and fourth perfect legs were hit of the weekend in Wigan.

Another man who made an impression was Rob Cross, he made the semi-finals before falling to Whitlock. However, it was the string of big names that he put out on the way to the final four, this included James Wade, Dave Chisnall, Rob Thornton and Jelle Klaasen.

Elsewhere there were also early exits for Adrian Lewis and world number two Gary Anderson.

Of the big names that did make the later stages we looked all set for a Wright v Raymond Van Barneveld quarter-final before both were knocked out in the final sixteen. Wright to Michael Smith and Barney to Gerwyn Price.

Tomorrow is the final qualifying event so it will be crucial for the vast number of players that they pick up enough points to take them to the UK Open in Minehead. Play tomorrow gets underway at 12pm from Wigan.


Premier League Darts Week 2 Preview

With the opening week been and gone all attention turns to Nottingham. While the favourites will be looking to add to good starts, it is perhaps a more crucial week for those who are yet to get off the mark.
It has been shown in recent years that players who start with two/three losses struggle to recover in what can be a tormenting campaign for those who are struggling.

A case could be made for this being the case for all the men that lost on the opening night.

In his second time in the competition Jelle Klaasen,, faces one of the two players in the world who look nearly unstoppable, Gary Anderson. Klaasen is a player capable of remarkable moments, but he looked outclassed last week by Peter Wright. Anderson played fantastically in his draw with Michael Van Gerwen and this all leads to Klaasen looking down the barrel of zero points after week two.

Like Klaasen, Belgium’s Kym Huybrechts returned to the competition last week, with a lose in a tight match with James Wade. He will look back on it as a missed opportunity, but will have a chance against Raymond Van Barneveld in week two? Barney struggled early on against Adrian Lewis, but fought back in spectacular fashion to win after Aidy missed darts for a point. It’s a very hard game to call, but it is one Huybrechts badly needs something from.

The opening game of the night see’s the other two men who lost in Newcastle meet, Lewis and Dave Chisnall. For both it is huge and in my opinion if is the most important game of the night. Lewis should have got something against Barney from a winning position and needs to pick up results fast if he is to improve on his overall poor record in the Premier League. Chisnall started his 2015 Premier League on fire and ended up finishing second after the league stage, whereas last year he was in the bottom two. Which will it be this year? Neither player is in much form recently, but I give it just to Chizzy, just.

Wade did exactly what he does best last week, grind out a win without a huge average. However, this week he faces a man with a point to prove, Phil Taylor. Having announced his retirement at the end of the year, he will want to go out on a high and he put in a convincing display against Chisnall last week. I think Taylor will be too strong for the Machine, but it will be close.

The main event of the night though is Wright against Van Gerwen. Wright will be there or thereabouts come the final week, while MVG will definitely be in the top four. After winning on the Tyne last week, Wright had a superb weekend at the UK Open Qualifiers in Wigan winning two of the three tournaments and will go into the clash high on confidence especially after beating Van Gerwen. However, MVG hasn’t lost on TV for months and I expect him to step up his game on the big stage.


Lewis 4-7 Chisnall

Wade 5-7 Taylor

Klaasen 2-7 Anderson

Wright 4-7 Van Gerwen

Huybrechts 5-7 Barneveld

A great point at Chorley for Darlo

On Saturday I was at a wedding so was unable to attend the game, but I have found the key to us playing well, bet against us.
I honestly expected to check the results at HT and FT to see us having been resoundingly beaten, but nope a brilliant point on the road, even if it did ruin my accumulator.
I don’t know what I was more surprised with the result or our starting line-up. At the start of the season I would never have expected Terry Galbraith or Josh Gillies to be sitting on the bench, but it worked.
For once, MG completely changed it up and maybe that was what we needed.
Over the last few months we have played a lot of the top sides which has coincided with our poor run of form. Even though we have dropped points against some of the bottom sides as well.
No disrespect to the teams we have coming up in February and March, but we are very much still in this promotion race. Starting with bottom of the table Altrincham next week we face several of the weaker teams in the division. Yes we need to play better at both ends of the pitch, but if we can put a run together we can still make the top five, three points can be made up.
It will be interesting to see the formation and starting 11 come Saturday, either way, hopefully we put on another good display.
Elsewhere in the division out friends at Salford picked up a very interesting result against Fylde. When we played Fylde I wasn’t overly impressed apart from Danny Rowe, I still expect them to win the league, but a fantastic result for Gary Neville and co who look a good bet for second. Last game of the season showdown anyone?

Premier League Darts 2017 Preview

The showpiece tour in the PDC calender starts again tonight in Newcastle!

16 venues across the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands culminating in finals night at the O2 in London, it should be fantastic for anyone who loves darts.

After the World Championship Final, Barry Hearn announced the line-up for the Premier League and if we are honest there were no major shocks.  Mensur Suljovic possibly will feel hard done by after a terrific year, but everyone who has been included has the ability to get the crowd going which is what the tour is all about.

Michael Van Gerwen will start every match he plays this year as favourite and after winning his second World Crown he added the first major of 2017 at the weekend, The Masters. Of course he is the one everyone will be out to beat and even if he does lose the odd game in the group stage, he will no doubt finish in the top four.

Gary Anderson, who has moved ahead of the rest for the title of second best player on the planet in recent years, should also cruise into the top four and the Newcastle crowd will be in for a treat on opening night when the pair meet.

Phil Taylor having announced his retirement at the end of the year, will have all the crowd’s behind him as always and he will be looking for the perfect Premier League finale this year.

The Power starts off against Dave Chisnall,  who will surely cause shocks in the competition, but can he string enough results to make the final four? He definitely has the game for it.

Another heavyweight opening clash see’s Raymond Van Barneveld face old rival Adrian Lewis. Barney knocked Lewis out of the World’s in December and both will fancy another push for the top four.

Peter Wright has been in excellent form and has improved so much in the last few years to be a genuine contender for major titles. Can the Premier League be his first? Personally, I would love to see him do it, he is a fantastic character and 2017 could be his year.

Jelle Klaasen returns to the Premier League after previously appearing in 2009 and along with Kym Huybrechts is the favourite to be eliminated after week 9. Both have the game to beat anyone in the competition and Klaasen in particular is capable of really special darts. However, it may be too much for either to put a string of results together to make London.

Finally, we have the Machine James Wade. He is Mr consistent and he will surely get enough points to avoid dropping out at the halfway stage, but the top four may be too much.

The Premier League is growing more and more every year and after the success of the first event in the Netherlands last year it will only continue to grow more.

This year will be the sixth year in a row that I have been to the Premier League, all in Newcastle. So having it as the opening night is brilliant, having MVG v Anderson also helps!

Opening week predictions

Huybrechts v Wade – Wade 7-4

Barney v Lewis –  Barney 7-5

Taylor v Chisnall – Taylor 7-2

Anderson v Van Gerwen – Van Gerwen 7-3

Wright v Klaasen –   Wright 7-3