So here we are again, this week off to Westpoint Arena in Exeter with local thrower and World Youth Champion Luke Humphries in action as this week’s challenger.
First up is Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney, winless in four attempts, taking on Rob Cross. Every week it’s a challenge for Daryl, but we all know he is more than capable but he is just not firing as yet in the Premier League. Rob Cross will look to pounce on any weakness that Daryl shows. Hopefully this is Daryl’s week and he gets off well and continues. I think this is a draw 6-6.
Second match Gerwyn Price the newly crowned Belgian Dart Champion takes on three time BDO winner Glen Durrant. Not hard to predict this one as Gerwyn seems to be on a crest of a wave and I can see no other result but a win for Price. Price 7-2.
Third match is Snakebite vs The Asp – which one will strike first? An intriguing game this one, Aspinall continues to race up the rankings and Snakebite is the newly crowned World Champion. Snakebite has been putting in some serious serious averages on the floor but then hasn’t totally shone at the Premier League. Is this the week the real Snakebite turns up, he will have to or Aspinall will have him. Snakebite to win 7-4.
Gary Anderson next against World Youth Champion Luke Humphries. I canno see anything other than a win for Anderson. Humphries is a real talent but he is not on the level that Anderson is, in my opinion. Anderson to win 7-3.
Last up tonight is Michael Smith versus Michael Van Gerwen. Two of the most talented guys in world darts. Michael Smith is undoubtedly capable of beating anyone, and I mean anyone on planet darts. MVG is the same but he does it on a more consistent basis. With that in mind MVG has not been the same invincible monster he was previously and is vulnerable nowadays. It’s a brave man to bet against MVG and it won’t be me this week. Very rarely does MVG get beat consecutively by the same person. He will be up for getting his revenge on Smith for knocking him out of the Belgian Darts Championship. MVG wins 7-4.
2020 Unibet Premier League Night Five Thursday March 5 Westpoint Exeter Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney Gerwyn Price v Glen Durrant Nathan Aspinall v Peter Wright Gary Anderson v Luke Humphries Michael Smith v Michael van Gerwen
Get your entry in for the NIDO Individuals on the 21st of March. To be played at the Nortel Social Club in Newtownabbey.
There will be men’s, ladies and youths competitions. Open to all NIDO county/registered players. Get in touch with your NIDO area representative to enter or contact Stephen Pinkerton the NIDO General Secretary for more information.
The entry fee is £10 for men’s and ladies and £5 for youths. Format is best of 7 till the quarters when it moves up to best of 9 and then best of 11 in the final.
Closing date for entries is the 18th March – so be quick to avoid non entry.
Come along and support – even if you don’t want to play you can come along and support and watch some top notch darting action. Players likely to be playing, Neil Duff, Kyle McKinstry, Davy Glenn, Geoff Wylie, Gary Elliott, Chris Gilliland, Philip Carson, Marty Mooreland, Grace Crane, Denise Cassidy, Helen Dunn, Sean Kearns, Travis Baur and Johnny Stewart etc etc.
Here we are with our preview of the UK Open, on our screens on ITV this weekend and happily there are a number of Northern Ireland based players competing this weekend.
Kyle Mckinstry vs Fallon Sherrock
First up we have The Village Man Kyle McKinstry playing against Fallon Sherrock. That should be an interesting tie and will give Kyle his much deserved big break on the big stage in the PDC. Sherrock caused quite a storm at the PDC Worlds and is going to the World Series events also, so she will be looking to put on a show. Kyle on the other hand, will just knuckle down and treat as it is – a game of darts. I asked Kyle during the week if he had played Fallon before, the Celtic Challenge Cup and what his aims are for the weekend.
I have not played Fallon before but she was part off my three-a-side team at the Scottish Open two or three years ago alongside Darren Clifford – so I know her game and more importantly she knows mine. This weekend I would like to go and please myself and play to the standard I know I can play at and you never know what happens.
What are your thoughts on your recent win with the NI International team at the Celtic Challenge?
Yes the team was great from one to twelve and I would love to see our big win get people playing more and look to wear that shirt for our country more.
Can I give a big shout out to MDA Promotions, Ballymore Inn and Indigo Fleet whom sponsor and encourage me. And to all my family and friends for their support, and my to wee girls Cathlin and Molly who will be watching at home, and to my partner Danielle who will be with me at the UK Open.
Gavin Carlin vs Harry Ward
The Cannon Gavin Carlin has been in and around the business end of local competitions in Ireland and Northern Ireland this last 12 months or so and will be ready for this game against MDA backed ‘Big H’ Harry Ward. Harry won on the Pro Tour in 2019, so he knows how to string a few games together and more importantly winning. Gavin won his tour card on his first attempt and looking at his results against some players, his averages suggest he has the beating of Harry. Time will tell. Minehead and the multi stage format doesnt suit everyone and there are always surprises.
Nathan Rafferty vs Darren Beveridge
Youngster Rafferty another MDA backed player has all the talent in the world. I’ve been on the receiving end of it at The Dunleath Bar in Cookstown. I’m looking at tops for an out, and he takes out 146! Anyhow Rafferty now needs to step up with that talent and go on a run in one of these. He shows no fear at times and has the scalp of many a professional including Snakebite. I think Rafferty wins this against Beveridge who was on the BDO tour for a while and is dipping his toe in the PDC ranks of late.
Kevin Burness v Harald Leitinger
Kevin Burness has been warming up for the UK Open at home in Northern Ireland and reached the final of the WWMC Open in Newtownabbey. I briefly talked to Kevin while he was practicing and he seemed upbeat about the UK Open and said:
It’s all on the day. Some days you can get through with a 90 average and the very next game a 100+ average will get you beat 6-3. The Pro Tour is so competitive now, that sometimes it’s a lottery who you get and what form they are in. The UK Open is a great tournament and I’m looking forward to getting there and doing my best.
Harald Leitinger is an unknown quantity as I have not seen him on the PDC stream or PDC TV events as yet. However he did win his PDC Tour Card this year in the European event – so he must have something in his locker. I do expect a Kevin Burness win in this first round match though.
Mickey Mansell comes into the tournament in Round 3 and Daryl Gurney & Brendan Dolan in Round 4.
2020 Ladbrokes UK Open Friday March 6 Afternoon Session (1100 GMT Start, 1200 GMT on Main Stage) First, Second & Third Rounds Main Stage Mike De Decker v Lisa Ashton (R1) Damon Heta v Scott Waites (R1) Kyle McKinstry v Fallon Sherrock (R1) Scott Baker v Mark McGeeney (R2) Jeff Smith v John Michael (R2) David Pallett v Doets/Thompson (R2) Heaver/Noguera v McKinstry/Sherrock (R2) Luke Humphries v Kyle Anderson (R3) Kim Huybrechts v Robert Thornton (R3) Josh Payne v Luke Woodhouse (R3)
Stage Two Cody Harris v Scott Taylor (R1) Kai Fan Leung v Kelvin Self (R1) Adam Hunt v Karel Sedlacek (R1) Keane Barry v Alan Tabern (R1) Andy Hamilton v Patrick Lynskey (R1) Marko Kantele v Dirk van Duijvenbode (R2) Heta/Waites v Geert Nentjes (R2) Larsson/Meikle v De Decker/Ashton (R2) Menzies/Brooks v Nick Kenny (R2) Ryan Searle v Cristo Reyes (R3) William O’Connor v Jan Dekker (R3) Vincent van der Voort v Smith/Michael (R3) Koltsov/Van Trijp/Davidson/Borland v Larsson/Meikle/De Decker/Ashton (R3)
Stage Three Steffen Siepmann v Krzysztof Kciuk (R1) Peter Jacques v Ciaran Teehan (R1) Michael Barnard v Steve Brown (R1) Daniel Larsson v Ryan Meikle (R1) Harry Ward v Gavin Carlin (R2) Kirk Shepherd v Leung/Self (R2) Hunt/Sedlacek v Barrie Bates (R2) Hayden/J Clark v Richardson/Penhall (R2) Ron Meulenkamp v Richard North (R3) Jones/Blades/Whitehead v Steve West (R3) Devon Petersen v Menzies/Brooks/Kenny (R3) Justin Smith/Jenkins/Beeney/Harms v Atkins/Murray/Bunse (R3) Huckvale/Burton/Van der Meer v Heaver/Noguera/McKinstry/Sherrock (R3)
Stage Four Jason Askew v Greg Ritchie (R1) Jason Heaver v Jesus Noguera (R1) Adam Smith-Neale v Ben Cheeseman (R1) Darren Beveridge v Nathan Rafferty (R1) Andy Boulton v Reece Robinson (R2) Nathan Derry v Maik Kuivenhoven (R2) Justin Smith/Jenkins v Beeney/Harms (R2) Telnekes/Kleermaker v Madars Razma (R2) Jamie Lewis v Ross Smith (R3) Evetts/Van Peer/Roelofs v James Wilson (R3) Steve Lennon v Barnard/Brown/Barry/Tabern (R3) Mickey Mansell v Zonneveld/Hamilton/Lynskey (R3)
Stage Five Adam Huckvale v Stephen Burton (R1) Rhys Hayden v James Clark (R1) Cameron Menzies v Bradley Brooks (R1) Kevin Burness v Harald Leitinger (R1) Jonathan Worsley v Matt Clark (R2) Carl Wilkinson v Siepmann/Kciuk (R2) Ted Evetts v Van Peer/Roelofs (R2) Barnard/Brown v Barry/Tabern (R2) Justin Pipe v Shepherd/Leung/Self (R3) Ryan Joyce v Jacques/Teehan/Meeuwisse (R3) Jose De Sousa v Williams/Owen/Gray (R3) Van Duivenbode/Beveridge/Rafferty v Jamie Hughes (R3)
Stage Six Aaron Beeney v Wesley Harms (R1) Boris Koltsov v Danny van Trijp (R1) Andrew Davidson v William Borland (R1) Lewis Williams v Robert Owen (R1) Harris/Taylor v Jason Lowe (R2) Atkins/Murray v Christian Bunse (R2) Mike van Duivenbode v Beveridge/Rafferty (R2) Niels Zonneveld v Hamilton/Lynskey (R2) Derry/Kuivenhoven v Gabriel Clemens (R3) Darius Labanauskas v Kantele/Van Duijvenbode (R3) Hayden/J Clark/Richardson/Penhall v Toni Alcinas (R3) Matthew Edgar v Smith-Neale/Cheeseman/McGuirk/Rydz (R3)
Stage Seven Martin Atkins v Ryan Murray (R1) Shane McGuirk v Callan Rydz (R1) Wayne Jones v Gary Blades (R1) Berry van Peer v Owen Roelofs (R1) Rowby-John Rodriguez v Askew/Ritchie (R2) Jacques/Teehan v Yordi Meeuwisse (R2) Williams/Owen v Adrian Gray (R2) Burness/Leitinger v Joe Murnan (R2) Martin Schindler v Benito van de Pas (R3) Baker/McGeeney v Boulton/Robinson (R3) Worsley/M Clark v Harris/Taylor/Lowe (R3) Telnekes/Kleermaker/Razma v Heta/Waites/Nentjes (R3)
Stage Eight Justin Smith v Andy Jenkins (R1) Derk Telnekes v Martijn Kleermaker (R1) James Richardson v Darren Penhall (R1) Kevin Doets v Alfie Thompson (R1) Huckvale/Burton v Vincent van der Meer (R2) Jones/Blades v Conan Whitehead (R2) Koltsov/Van Trijp v Davidson/Borland (R2) Smith-Neale/Cheeseman v McGuirk/Rydz (R2) Jelle Klaasen v Rodriguez/Askew/Ritchie (R3) Ward/Carlin v Wilkinson/Siepmann/Kciuk (R3) Pallett/Doets/Thompson v Simon Stevenson (R3) Hunt/Sedlacek/Bates v Burness/Leitinger/Murnan (R3)
Schedule of Play Friday March 6 Afternoon Session (1100 GMT start – 1200 GMT start on Main Stage) First, Second & Third Rounds Main Stage, Stage Two & Stages Three-Eight
Evening Session (1900 GMT start) Fourth Round Main Stage, Stage Two & Stages Three-Eight
Saturday March 7 Afternoon Session (1230 GMT start) Fifth Round Main Stage, Stage Two & Stages Three-Four
Evening Session (1900 GMT start) Sixth Round Main Stage & Stage Two * NB Session times for Saturday amended from one session to two sessions.
Sunday March 8 Afternoon Session (1245 GMT start) Quarter-Finals Main Stage
Evening Session (1900 GMT start) Semi-Finals & Final Main Stage
Format First, Second & Third Rounds – Best of 11 legs Fourth, Fifth & Sixth Rounds & Quarter-Finals – Best of 19 legs Semi-Finals & Final – Best of 21 legs
It’s been over a week now since the NI Darts team managed to get back across the water from Scotland after winning the Celtic Challenge Cup in Glenrothes. What a win from the men’s team with great performances all around. Congratulations lads!
The Celtic Challenge Cup consists of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (men’s and ladies) playing each other in best of seven matches (12 matches in total against each country). The best team with most wins and/or legs won is determined the winner over the weekend.
The ladies team played well in places, but just didn’t have their double hitting boots on and faltered at the doubles when they had great chances – plenty to build on ladies. Grace Crane, Helen Dunn and Kayleigh O’Neill were outstanding at times. Beaten by Wales and Scotland but there were flashes of brilliance along the way. Onto the next one ladies.
However the men’s team played to the level we all know they can. Team captain Kyle Mckinstry was runner up in the Individuals on the Friday warm up session. Then on to the teams on Saturday where NI played Scotland First up on Saturday morning. A very tough game for the NI lads but we were well up for it. Josh Rock opened up his account with a 4-2 win on his debut, followed up by Chris Gilliland coming through a last leg decider hitting a 100 checkout after hitting a 180 to pressure Scotland’s throw. Scotland clawed the next three back to go ahead, then up stepped Daniel Mcdonald against Alan Soutar – taking his winning leg in 14 darts in style to draw NI level. For me it was the best game on Saturday. Next up Neil Duff showed his class with a 4-2 win, so now NI were ahead 4-3 overall. The Boss Ross Montgomery took out the next one to level again. Then Mckinstry and Gary Elliott showed their experience to wrap up their games convincingly leaving it to Simon Dunn in the last but Euan Callendar was too strong – so it ended 6-6 on the first day with Scotland managing to scrape a draw against us.
The lads knew they were all playing well and had plenty to go for against the Welsh team on Sunday, knowing that a good result would put the pressure on Scotland in the following match. So onto Sunday and our men’s team raced into a 5-0 lead with Duff, Coulter, Dunn, Lockhart and Gilliland racing through their games. Mike Warburton got Wales on the board for 5-1 with Kyle Mckinstry up next it looked good for NI. Kyle duly won his game 4-1 to make it 6-1 overall. Up next Jim Williams took the next for 6-2 only for Gary Elliott to win his game to win the game for NI 7-2 – but more legs were needed and Dave Finlay won the next for 8-2. Wales won the next two legs to finish up 8-4. A great result and put the pressure on Scotland to score heavy against Wales later.
It was a bridge too far for Scotland and whilst they showed promise early on, it was too much to ask as Wales seemed more upbeat in this game than against NI. Jim Williams had a great game against Ross Montgomery and sealed Scotlands fate.
Congratulations to Northern Ireland! Hearty thanks to the NIDO, Sponsors, Ballymore Inn, Indigo, Smithwicks and Stevie at Davison Coaches. The support from home and further afield has been fantastic and goes to show that NI darts is definitely on the up. We have so many many talented darters amongst us – some of the names not even at this tournament is scary! Now let’s defend this next year and support our ladies and men’s teams throughout the year. Well done everyone – managers Lorraine and Gareth are a credit to the team and the team couldn’t do it without you two. Special mention to the Ladies team who supported the men throughout – a true combined team effort. Congratulations!
The Belgian Darts Championship culminates today with some great games coming up.
Sunday March 1 Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT) Third Round
Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith
MVG seems to have the upper hand on Michael Smith of late and I see no difference here. In a game of first to 6 though you can never count Smith out as when he starts hitting hes so dangerous. But even with his 9 dart leg at the Premier League I cant see him being any different to his modus operandi and will take a few legs to get going, but by that stage against Mighty Mike, that will be too much to claw back. Unless MVG is on his C game MVG wins this.
Mervyn King v Martijn Kleermaker
Merv King plays really really well when hes on, when hes off, he blames sciatica and injuries and anything else he can think off. King is no doubt a better player than Kleermaker, but not always the best player wins. King to win in a struggle.
Peter Wright v Danny Noppert
If the Peter Wright that turned up in Dublin turns up here today, he gets mugged by Noppy. Going with Noppert. 6-5 in a last leg decider.
Krzysztof Ratajski v Rob Cross
Somehow I think Ratajski wins this game and it’s about time he took floor game to stage game. Cross is not really doing anything of late, is this his chance to get back into the last 4 of a competition? Always seems to crop up again and again after going missing for a while. He looks to be getting use to his weight loss. Polish Eagle to win 6-4.
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Two Dutch men pair off for this last 16 tie and it would be a brave man to be betting on either. Really this one is a coin toss. I’ll go with Dirk just because.
James Wade v Nathan Aspinall
James Wade has been on a downward trajectory in the rankings and unless he goes well over this year, will be losing a lot more than money, will be losing his ranking and therefore automatic qualification for a lot of tournaments…he has to knuckle down now. Aspinall is riding on a crest of a wave, beating the World Champ during the week at the PL in Dublin. Aspinall to win 6-3.
Gerwyn Price v Jamie Hughes
This game looks like being a great game if form from yesterday has anything to go by. Hughes has been quietly going about his business and in complete opposite Price has been as loud as ever in his matches and confident in his interviews. Is it time for a 100+ average game from Tiptons Jamie Hughes. Going with Price 6-4.
Mensur Suljovic v Steve West
Last up we have the Austrian Mensur Suljovic versus Steve Simply West. Steve West is such a consistent scorer in the trebles but we all know his doubles let him down a bagful at times. He should have won some competitions in the PDC already but for double trouble taking him out of games he should be winning. Suljovic is the opposite, winning games with big checkouts and stealing games whilst players are an out, he bangs in 100+ checkouts and is so dangerous on D14. So who wins this one? Going with Westie to get through this round. 6-4.
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 GMT) Quarter-Finals Semi-Finals Final
Format All games up to, and including, the quarter-finals, are the best of 11 legs. The semi-finals are the best of 13 legs and the final is the best of 15 legs.
Quick preview of tonight’s matches at the PDC Premier League in Dublin.
Premier League Darts 2020 schedule
Night Four, Dublin
19:15 Glen Durrant vs Nathan Aspinall
Both debutants in the PL this season Durrant and Aspinall have been great so far. I think Durrant takes this one 7-5.
19:50 Rob Cross vs Gary Anderson
Hard to look past Anderson in this one. Ando to win 7-4.
20:25 Daryl Gurney vs Michael Smith
Gurney back in Dublin, where he won his first major, The World Grand Prix. Smith hasn’t really shone in Dublin before, but signs of his form are there or thereabouts. Going for a draw here.
21:00 Michael van Gerwen vs William O’Connor [challenger]
This weeks challenger is Limerick man William Oconnor versus MVG. Who would bet against MVG? Oconnor is a tough opponent, but will he let his head get in the way of the match in front of him. MVG near his A game should win this, but on his B game and Oconnor will have him. MVG to win 7-3.
21:35 Gerwyn Price vs Peter Wright
Last up is the repeat of the World Final, Snakebite vs Price. Going for a draw 6-6. Both playing near their peak at the moment. Could go either way.
A great win yesterday by Roy Bailie winning the Whitehouse Working Men’s Club Darts Open yesterday beating Kevin Burness in the final.
An absolutely fantastic turnout for the darts yesterday with 99 throwers including Darnell McCrory, Davy Glenn, Ticky Taylor, Scott Withers, Johnny Cree, Mervyn Greer, Roy Baillie, Kevin Burness, Carter Guiney, Jonny Blair, Brian Van Doran, Tony Rimmer, Ryan Johnston, Barry Copeland, Ian Kitchen, Nigel Cahoon and Craig Orr to name a few.
Kevin Burness beat Darnell McCrory and Roy Bailie beat Craig Orr in the semi finals. But it was the more experienced darter in Roy that overcame Kevin in the final.
Thanks to everyone that supported and helped run the tournament organised by Ticky Taylor. Special thanks to all that contributed to the raffle and collections.
Beaten quarter finalists:
George Fleck Davy Glenn Jamie Serplus Roy Montgomery