Quick Catch Up with Kyle McKinstry

Quick catch up with Kyle McKinstry – Kyle despite not holding a PDC Tour Card reached the Last 16 in the UK Open recently.

McKinstry started his career in the BDO and still is battling it out on the NIDO circuit. On the main BDO circuit he did quite well winning the HAL and England Opens and also winning the British Pentathlon. In 2019 he reached the Quarter-Finals of the Lakeside World Championship losing out 5-2 to Glen Durrant and he recalls facing the now Premier League leader.

“I started off playing county darts for Armagh in Area 9 County team and doing a few BDO events and got a few wins; Gareth Chambers from Ballymore Inn and David Heasley from Indigo Fleet sponsored me and gave me the opportunity and I grasped it.”

“County level is a high standard and it gets you picked for the Northern Ireland team and three years in a row I finished top of the county averages,” he added.

“I won the Hal Masters (2017) in Holland the first time I went to it – I won the Northern Ireland Open twice and got beat in the final once.

“I’ve won the England Open which is a big one and three years in a row at Lakeside was a good experience.

“Winning the Northern Ireland Open in your own country is a big thing.”

“I made three Lakesides (BDO World Championships), lost out to Glen Durrant in the quarter-finals in 2019 then Matthew Ward from MDA Promotions came along and put me to Q (Qualifying) School and it snowballed from there.

“Coming up against Glen in the quarter-final on a Friday night at a packed Lakeside – the hair was standing on the back of my neck was standing up.”

“I played well, I could have went off 2-1 up at the break in sets but went off 2-1 and then Glen kicked on when we went back on stage.

“Growing up, the Lakeside was the one you’d gear up to watch ever year, I’d have always sat with my dad watching it and I always said to him I’ll be there one day.

“It was my dad that started me off playing darts in the house; he would have went to a few competitions with me, then I would throw myself into the deep end and go to all the big ones put the practice in and it has paid off.”

Switch to PDC

In terms of the PDC he made the decision to switch after the 2019 BDO World Championship and spoke of the difficulty of getting into Q-School.

“It didn’t matter what happened, whether I won it or went out in the first round I was going to the PDC; after the Lakeside I was home two days then I went to Q School.

“It was a big step up and it took me two or three days to adjust; because I had a good Lakeside I felt I had a target on my back. In the second round I played Jim Williams, averaged 97 and got beat 5-2 – it’s all in the luck of the draw.

“Last year I missed the first week of the challenge tour and the top two automatically get a tour card and a place at the Ally Pally (World Championship) and if I hadn’t missed the first weekend I’d have got it; I finished seventh and that got me into the UK Open.”

Facing Fallon Sherrock at UK Open

Speaking of facing Sherrock at the UK Open, he eased past ‘The Queen of the Palace’ and admitted nerves though beforehand despite not showing them on the stage.

“From (when) I saw the draw I was really nervous with the way she’d played at the Worlds and the way the crowd reacted. Where they going to give me hassle?

McKinstry drew the player that nobody would have wanted in the first round the ‘women of the moment’ Fallon Sherrock who’d created history by beating Ted Evetts and the big Austrian Mensur Suljovic at the World Championships in December.

However, the Moygashel man was well prepared for a female opponent as he practices with his 13-year-old daughter Cathlin Rea, who is already an accomplished thrower, having won three Northern Ireland youth events and has adopted the nickname the Village Woman.

“Even backstage before the match I was practising with Fallon and she was missing nothing, so I knew I’d have to be on the top of my game.

“Luckily I got on the stage and my finishing got me through it, I had six out of seven (6-1 victory) on the doubles and it is an experience I’ll not forget.”

Future ambitions

For the Northern Irishman after previously playing at Lakeside only one main dream remains for him at least in the near future.

“I had one dream to get to the Lakeside and I conquered it and the next dream now is the Ally Pally and a tour card.”

Credit: NewsLetter

Isle of Man Darts Festival Draw

The Pokerstars Isle of Man Darts Festival is ongoing ahead this weekend and the draws have been released, with a host of our players making the trip.

The event will kick off with the Isle of Man Classic on Thursday. The Masters and Open tournament will be played on Friday and Saturday. The finals of those three events will take place on Sunday.

Gary Tipping, Karl Frizzell, Barry Copeland, Neil Duff, Gareth Chambers, Nigel Peden, Allan Brown, Austin Thompson, Jamie Surplus, Marty Mooreland, Ryan Johnston, David Heasley, Alan Kerr, George Mcgivern among others for the men.

In the ladies we have Grace Crane, Denise Cassidy, Julie Leahy, Tammy Jo Grafton and Anna Madigan.

A host of international players have registered including Jim Williams, James Richardson, Ross Montgomery, Chris Landman, Wes Newton, Martin Adams, Ted Hankey, Dave Parletti, Paul Hogan and Richard Veenstra.

While Beau Greaves, Deta Hedman, Lorraine Winstanley, Aileen de Graaf, Anastasia Dobromyslova and Fallon Sherrock are among the female participants.

Draw 2020 Isle of Man Darts Festival

Isle of Man Classic (Thursday)

Men’s
Ladies

Isle of Man Masters (Friday)

Men’s
Ladies

Isle of Man Open (Saturday)

Men’s
Ladies

Good luck to all.

Daryl Gurney into final day at the PDC UK Open

Northern Irelands Daryl Gurney is into the final day of darting action in Minehead today at the UK Open.

Daryl came through some nail biting games against Keegan Brown and William O’Connor both in last leg deciders. Then came a bigger task the World Champion Peter Wright. Daryl won out 10-6 and took his chances when Snakebite missed his.

The 148 checkout of Daryl to go 8-5 kind of broke Snakebites heart and after that it was plain sailing for Superchin. Daryl finished off the game with another sublime finish of 108 to move into the quarter finals.

Daryl Gurney has been to the semi final stage before and will look to go one better this time out. He has won here in Minehead at the Players Championship so has the pedigree and experience to go all the way. He will have to get through Jelle Klaasen next who out finished Gary Anderson in the last 16 stage.

Sunday March 8
Afternoon Session (1245 GMT start)

Quarter-Finals
Main Stage
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney v Jelle Klaasen
Jamie Hughes v Jonny Clayton

Evening Session (1900 GMT start)
Semi-Finals & Final
Main Stage

UK Open 5th Round Preview

After a great day yesterday at the PDC UK Open we are now down to the last 32.

Two Northern Ireland based players are left Daryl Gurney and Kyle Mckinstry. Mckinstry came through Fallon Sherrock, Jason Heaver, Stephen Burton and Bradley Brookes. Daryl squeezed by Keegan Brown.

In the fourth round last 64, Gurney rode his luck with a 10-9 last leg decider against Keegan Brown and Mckinstry came back against Bradley Brookes after being 7-3 down, what a comeback.

Gurney will play William O’Connor who beat Dave Chisnall and Kyle will play Martin Schindler who crushed Justin Pipe 10-2.

Today sees the last 32 in action. Here is the draw.

UK Open Fifth Round Draw

Joe Cullen v Jonny Clayton
Michael van Gerwen v Jason Lowe
Steve West v Jelle Klaasen
Martin Schindler v Kyle McKinstry
Jamie Hughes v Martin Atkins (Wigan)
Ricky Evans v Gerwyn Price
Alan Tabern v Stephen Bunting
Chris Dobey v Simon Whitlock
Michael Smith v Rob Cross
Dimitri van den Bergh v Matthew Edgar
Gabriel Clemens v Andy Boulton
Kim Huybrechts v James Wade
Mensur Suljovic v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Simon Stevenson v Gary Anderson
Daryl Gurney v William O’Connor
Ian White v Peter Wright

Winmau Sponsor Sean Kearns

News incoming in the world of darts, teenage darts sensation Sean Kearns from Castledawson playing out of the Tumbledown Bar and Area 2 County Team has been sponsored by one of the biggest names in darts – Winmau.

Simon Hall from Winmau has sponsored Sean Kearns for the next year with a full accessory sponsorship with a possible long term deal at the end of the contract.

Geoff Wylie (NIDO Chairman) was introduced to Sean by his father and took him on to try and get the best possible out of Sean. It is obvious from watching Sean play he has bags of potential and it’s with that potential that Winmau have invested their time in supporting Sean. Also on board for Sean as a sponsor is David Heasley of Indigo Car and Van Hire locally here in Northern Ireland. David being a main NIDO sponsor asked to see if there was a young player he could sponsor and Sean fit the bill.

With a lot of competition play, and some majors across the water in the UK at WDF ranked events, a potential spot in the WDF Masters could be on the cards for Sean. No-one know how far anyone can get in the world of darts but we all know that Sean has the raw potential not seen very often. Practice and dedication is all that Sean needs to get to the next level, but with Winmau and Indigo on board he has all the support he needs.

Congratulations Sean on your sponsorships and all the best for the incoming year and years ahead.