PDC World Championship Semi Finals tonight

Well here we are at the penultimate round of the PDC World Championship tonight and we have two great match ups to look forward to.

Peter Wright vs Gerwyn Price

Peter Wright hasn’t lit up Ally Pally as yet with some stuttering wins, but a win is a win as they say. He dispatched Luke Humphries 5-3 in the quarter finals and did just enough. Seems he is keeping his powder dry for the final? He will need to get all his guns ablaze tonight as Gerwyn Price is coming through like a train. Price demolished Durrant with a 5-1 scoreline but it kind of flattered the Welsh man. Durrant missed too many doubles and set up shots to ever trouble Price after he went 3-1 up, Durrant looked dead and buried. Price plays well one game, average the next, so can we expect a good one this time? I think so, Price can see the winning line and has that focus of a primed competitor ready to strike. Unfortunately for Wright fans, we just dont know what darts he will turn up with, never mind what form he will be in. Price is the measured bet here, but you just can’t write Snakebite off.

Michael van Gerwen vs Nathan Aspinall

MVG has ruffled a few feathers on his way to the semi final stage this year. Not been at his best and still winning games with a 99 odd average. Darius Labanauskas could have made it 4-3 but for missed doubles last night but MVG wasnt really even interested. He let it slip while interviewed after that he was bored, and maybe that’s the secret, slow play him to boredom… MVG last night went for 141 whilst on 400 required to try and put off Labanauskas whilst he was on a 9 darter, just disrespectful in my opinion. Aspinall has been stellar throughout each round and dispatched Van Den Bergh 5-3 in the quarter final stage. The UK Open and US Masters Champion in 2019, he knows how to win and I do hope he doesnt get overawed by the occasion. MVG interviewed yesterday and tried the mind games again, saying that Aspinall looks up to him – I suspect not, as MVG isn’t a role model for anybody, he has some personality traits that you would not want to mimic, the 141 above as an example. On the other hand Aspinall is nothing but gracious in winning and losing check out his pre tournament interview.

I expect this to be close, but The Green Machine will win out with two of his sets being 108+ in average.

PDC Quarter Finals Day

So we are down to the quarter finals at the PDC World Championship and it should be a great day of darts at Alexandra Palace in London.

PDC World Championship

Nathan Aspinall vs Dimitri Van Den Bergh

How Dimitri came through against Adrian Lewis after being 3-1 down in sets showed his resolve. Jackpot must be kicking himself that he has to wait a full year to put that right. Apsinall played superb to overcome Gary Anderson, and I expect he will do the same again. The Asp to win.

Luke Humphries vs Peter Wright

Peter Wright sneaked through in a decider and has done just about enough to win games all the way through. Humphries has looked great all the way through and hammered Huybrechts in last round. He will have the bit between his teeth after Huybrechts comments after their game. But will the Snakebite actually turn up this time? Snakebite to win for me.

Michael Van Gerwen bs Darius Labanauskas

A bit of humility would do MVG good as he has got very over confident at this worlds, without even showing his A game. Could have and should have been beat if opponents had turned up against him. He always seems to find a way but he must not under estimate Labanauskas. MVG to win.

Glen Durrant vs Gerwyn Price

Last up we have the current BDO world champion taking on the back to back Grand Slam champion. Gerwyn played an average game against Whitlock last night, blaming the Aussie of slow playing. Durrant isn’t a fast player either and will play his own game, so will it be another frustrating game for Gerwyn? I expect Durrant to dictate the pace here as we saw him slow down Dobey in his last game. Durrant is lethal on double 16 and I expect him to hit it a lot again today. I’m going with Durrant, I can’t see Gerwyn beating Durrant on form, I just really can’t.

Interview with Geoff Wylie

We have been lucky enough to gain an interview with Northern Ireland Darts Organisation Chairman and NI darts legend Geoff Wylie.

We know you are very experienced and have played many many international games and won the England Open and played in the PDC and BDO, but how did you start throwing darts? 

It was a bit of fun at the start but then I noticed there was something there so got on the board and practiced. I enjoyed the winning part, even league games.

Who have been your role models or inspiration – not necessarily in darts? 

A lot, but the one that stood out was out was Davy Rock, he was the best about in my early days and when asked to play pairs with him it was special – a hard master but great achievements are derived from that.  Eric Bristow is another, always had time when making my first internationals and a lifelong friend. I still have his number on my phone to this day and have great memories. The main one was and still is my wife Ann, as she had to put up with all the travelling and time away listening to highs and lows, the shoulds and could haves and still 100% behind me.

What was your first competition win that stands out and who was it against? 

Best that stands out was the England Open. I beat Roland Scholten in the last eight, Peter Manley in semi final and Raymond van Barneveld in the final. This got me my first full time sponsor plus the first player from here to win a BDO major. Then I started to room and played pairs with Mike Gregory for the next couple of years great memories.

Recently we have seen a lot of NI based players make the transition to the BDO and PDC, do you think the NIDO is increasing in standard and we are becoming more competitive to the BICC and PDC standard? 

Yes for sure. There are a lot of good players that can mix it with the best but only if you dedicate and put in the commitment on the board will you get results you deserve. You must be fully committed to come close, you can’t pick one or two tournaments and hope, you must give 100% to what you want.

Your role as Chairman of NIDO must be challenging at times, what one thing would you like to change in NIDO, given the opportunity?

Being chairman is never easy if something goes wrong, it’s lies with me. We have had a hard five years with some people working against the grain all the time, but last year I put an executive in place, five people plus myself. From there we have gained new sponsors – Indigo and Smithwicks just to name a couple. We have a hard working team with a new venue so things are on the up and looking good for the future. I now want to put some more effort towards the youth, as to me there is not enough for them and remember they are our future in the sport.   

The Celtic Challenge was from our perspective a great weekend of darts, will NIDO continue in this challenge with the other nations?

Yes for sure its guaranteed for the next couple of years and other teams already wanting in, so looks good for the present.

What darts do you use – flights, stems and barrel.

My darts are custom made, I always designed my own darts so they are made for me. With flights and stems I try different ones, but at present I am playing with cuesoul – thanks to Neil Duff.

What is your favourite double? 

I like 16 and tops but it’s a strong part of my game so I don’t mind – its getting to them now lol

Recently the NIDO tournaments moved to the Nortel Social Club, what did the executive think of the move, was it successful? 

Fantastic entry for our first day with over 174 entries in men. We were in a small room but this has now being sorted and will start and finish much earlier next time. Also the ladies and youth will have a bigger and better room. I think it’s a keeper.

Apart from the usual suspects, who should we look out for – new or returning players on the local ladies, mens and youth, circuit this season?

Too many to pick from and the standard is going up all the time. I think we are now in a good place to bring out the best going forward.

Wearing your Area 2 hat now, what do you think are Area 2s chances of winning the 1st division?

I have played for Area 2 for thirty plus years and will continue to do so till we don’t have a team. I don’t chase the glory as in Area 2 we have it already. I think we have a very good chance to regain the county’s championship as it was ours to win, but strange things happen in darts.  

We have noticed that the NIDO Pairs is jot on the calendar, is that correct or is it to be decided?

Hopefully it will be back with the new venue as it may attract more entries.

What do you think NIDO should do to increase the participation in the tournaments?

One of the main things was the change of venue. The members now need to support the tournaments. It looks good from here forward.

What is your favourite venue to play in Northern Ireland?

I love all the venues as every club put in a lot of time to make things right so I enjoy them all.

Will the NIDO be using Gladiator boards, in future?

If we have to we will but at present Winmau is the one board supplier that gives us help at present.

Who has been your favourite pairs partner? 

Few good ones here Martin Adams, Eric Bristow and Mike Gregory. Locally Davy Rock, George McDowell, John McGowan and big John elder all take a bow for putting up with me. All of them are all so special to me. 

Toughest person to beat in a darts game?

Now everyone lol. But there is a lot of class out there, so l respect them all and yourself Johnny when you have the dart head on.

Best finisher on the circuit?

Myself 15 years ago. Nowadays Kyle, Chris and Neil, but so so many to mention.

Most likely to hit a double double finish? 

Darnell McCrory would be the one to try it most hitting it ????

Most likely to get a bounce out?

Geoffrey Matthews gets a few of those, as does Chris Gilliland with his light throw.

Most likely to miss count? 

Freddie McMullan was always at it, and I am sure hasn’t changed lol.

Best marker on the circuit? 

Alan Brown or Tony Rimmer.

Biggest moaner on the circuit?

Come on now how long do you want the list to be and by the way for all the smart asses out there, I have changed! But Neil Duff and John Elder must be close contenders lol.

Would like to thank everyone for the great years in darts I have had so far, at home and all over the world and hopefully will live to enjoy a few more years in one of the best games ever played. Thanks so much Johnny you are doing a great job.

PDC Worlds Continues Today

Steve Beaton vs Darius Labanauskas

The evergreen Steve Beaton continues on here, I think he is too consistent for Darius. Beaton to win here in the opener.

Kim Huybrechts vs Luke Humphries

Kim has had a resurgence of form here at the worlds, but Luke is playing some stuff. Kim to win in a really tight game.

Dimitri Van Den Bergh vs Adrian Lewis

Adrian Lewis has had to come from behind in his last two games, but looks like he is really getting his game back. I dont think Van den Bergh can keep up his form from last game. Lewis to win again.

Peter Wright vs Jeffrey de Zwaan

Snakebite really had a tough game against Seigo Asada, and De Zwaan himself had an epic against Chisnall. Likely Santa will have visited Snakebite and he will have changed his darts by time this game comes around. But De Zwaans issue all year has been consistency, and Snakebite although frustrating always seems to get a 95+ average which I think will be enough to beat De Zwaan with some 100+ checkouts. Wright to win.

Glen Durrant vs Chris Dobey

A north east derby match here. Dobey played well against the crowd versus Fallon Sherrock and I expect the crowd to back and forth between the two. Durrant has that extra bit of class for me and is better on his doubles in my opinion. Durrant to win.

Gerwyn Price vs Simon Whitlock

I can’t see anything but a Price win here and will be shocked if he loses. Price to win 4-1.

PDC World Championshop resumes, here is today’s preview

So now that Christmas is over and the toys have been opened and the turkey been ate, the PDC World Championship resumes today. Some great matches on today.

Simon Whitlock vs Mervyn King

This should be a great match between these two, they have played many a time in the BDO and the PDC. King is playing great in this tournament and Whitlock the same. Really I’d love to either of them in the next round as both should have won at least one Lakeside championship. Is this the year for one them? King to win.

Daryl Gurney vs Glen Durrant

Gurney hasn’t really done well in the PDC worlds previously and this is Durrants first attempt. Gurney seemed to have Durrants number during their previous visits, but Glen will have most of the crowd on his side. Looking forward to this one. Daryl to win for me.

Fallon Sherrock vs Chris Dobey

Chris Dobey usually has the crowd on his side, but he will be well under the pressure here against Fallon. Who knows how Dobey will react to it, playing a lady and playing against the crowd, he will have to have a lot of bottle as Sherrock will play her usual game. Fairytale will end sometime but who knows.

Gerwyn Price vs John Henderson

Big Hendo will have the crowd fired up for his match against Price. The crowd will be against Price here, as Hendo is a crowd favourite. Price is playing out of his skin recently and even with the crowd against him, I expect him to have too much for big Hendo. Price to win, most 180s and highest checkout.

Gary Anderson vs Nathan Aspinall

Gary Anderson when 3-1 down Ryan Searle, hit the boost and sped up the game which improved his scoring into his A game. Searle just couldn’t keep up and maybe a bit of naivety on his part he didnt play his own game and tried to keep up with Ando. I dont think this will affect Aspinall, he is one of the best young talents about and did well here last year. The Asp is a fantastic player, but maybe he might be overawed by playing Ando, who looked back to his best against Searle. Anderson to win in a thriller.

MVG vs Stephen Bunting

MVG will want a quick game here, but Bunting is a difficult opponent with him standing far right on the oche, it means MVG will have to adjust his walk back from the board. Small things like that can often put people off, but MVG is too experienced and mentally focused for that to happen here. Bunting will be out to avenge the 4-0 whitewash MVG dished out to best pal Ricky Evans in the last round. But I fear here for Bunting as well. Stephen will need to settle quick and win the first set or it could be over quick. MVG to win.

PDC World Championship Day 11 Preview

Great games on today. Good luck to all the throwers and us punters alike.

Monday December 23

Afternoon Session (12.30pm GMT)

3 x Third Round

Nico Kurz vs Luke Humphries

Going with Luke in this one, Nico has looked steady but really the players he played didnt play to their best and Humphries seems to play well on this big stage. Humphries to win.

Adrian Lewis vs Darren Webster

This should be a belter. Adrian Lewis looked great in his last match when he was 2-0 down he had to start and did he so well, missing a 9 darter in the process. Webster has never really done anything of note at the Worlds and only coming back into form with his tennis elbow recovered. I expect Lewis to pull out a few big shots and take the win 4-2.

Luke Woodhouse vs Van den Bergh

The surprise of this quarter Luke Woodhouse versus Dimitri. Dimitri can be beaten if you keep on top of him. Both will fancy this match. I cant pick a winner here, but fancy Dimitri to hit most 180s.

Evening Session (7pm GMT)

3 x Third Round

Dave Chisnall vs De Zwaan

Cant see anything but a win for Chizzy here. De Zwann hasn’t fulfilled his potential. Chisnall back on up the rankings with his run at the World Grand Prix and Pro Tours this year. Chisnall has never lost his scoring power and when doubles go in, he can beat ANYONE. Chisnall 4-1.

Gary Anderson vs Ryan Searle

Anderson has to be on his toes here and start from the get go as Searle will want to take advantage of an out of sorts Anderson who is only really coming back to some sort of form. Searle played out of skin against Steve West, can he replicate that? Odds say no to me. Ando to win 4-2.

Peter Wright vs Seigo Asada

Well Asada has been great so far, Snakebite scraped through his game. But Snakebite seems to find a way to win. I hope Asada wins here. Asada 4-3 in a close game but could go either way.

PDC World Championship Day 10 Preview

The PDC World Championship continues today and we have six matches on today, with the showstopper being MVG versus Ricky Evans.

Sunday December 22

Afternoon Session (12.30pm)

3 x Third Round

Johnny Clayton vs Stephen Bunting

Wales number 2 Johnny Clayton played well in his first match winning 3-0 but will have a tougher match against The Bullet. Stephen kicks off his championship assault today and he has been playing well all year but maybe not got the rub off the green. Set play suits the Bullet as he won the majority of his titles in the BDO with this format. Johnny hits a lot of 180s himself and is tenacious. Could go all the way. Bunting to win 4-2.

Darius Labanauskas vs Max Hopp

Labanauskas very much goes under the radar every year but is a steady performer under pressure. Max always seem to crumble under the pressure against player he should beat. I’m going with Labanauskas to somehow win through with a lower average with Hopp missing doubles. Labanauskas to win.

Nathan Aspinall vs Ratajski

This should be a cracker. Aspinall is playing great darts but Ratajski is also a top top performer. I can’t pick a winner here.

Evening Session (7pm)

3 x Third Round

James Wade vs Steve Beaton

James Wade always seems to find a way to not win matches at the PDC World Championships and maybe this is the year Steve Beaton has his darts head on and goes close? I’d love to see Steve Beaton roll back the years and have a good result here, he is certainly capable. If Wade takes out his outshots over 100+ then Wade will win. Depends on which Wade for me. My heart says Beaton, my head says Wade. Beaton most 180s.

Kim Huybrechts vs Danny Noppert

Kim Huybrechts should come though this match if he ups his scoring from his last match. His finishing was superb, great to see. Noppert doesnt seem to be able to maintain consistency during tournaments and for that reason I expect Kim to win here.

Michael van Gerwen vs Ricky Evans

The last match of the day pits Englands Ricky Evans against World number one and defending World champion. What needs to be said about MVG he is the one to beat. Evans is certainly capable and I hope he keeps up his jovial antics to perhaps upset MVG. Evans is so so fast on his throw but MVG will be used to that with practicing with Vincent van der Voort. Again it depends on which Evans turns up. MVG to win but that’s not the result I would like.