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
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.
The Belgian Darts Championship culminates today with some great games coming up.
Sunday March 1
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT)
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)
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.
The Celtic Challenge team events start today.
The live stream is here:
Celtic Challenge Darts – Schedule 22nd – 23rd February 2020
Saturday 22nd February 2020:
10:00am Players and official’s accreditation provided and practice area open to players only
11:00am Doors to general public open
12:00pm Wales v Scotland (Ladies)
WALES v SCOTLAND
KAYE HALES v CHELSEA MCMAHON
ALANNAH WATERS-EVANS v SUSANNA MCGIMPSEY
RHIAN O’SULLIVAN v LORRAINE HYDE
CHRIS SAVVERY v LYNSEY WARD
KATIE BELLERBY v STEPH GILMOUR
ANN-MARIE POTTS v LOUISE HEPBURN
1:45pm Scotland v Northern Ireland (Men)
MATT GOLDIE v JOSH ROCK
CRAIG OWENS v CHRIS GILLILAND
ALEC JEFFREY v ANDREW COULTER
COLIN MILLAR v DAVID FINLEY
SCOTT ROBERTSON v JASON LOCKHART
ALAN SOUTAR v DANIEL MCDONALD
JIM MCEWAN v NEIL DUFF
ROSS MONTGOMERY v RAYMOND WILLIAMSON
BRUCE MONTGOMERY v KYLE MCKINSTERY
ALAN SMALL v PATRICK MCGINNIS
CAMERON MENZIES v GARY ELLIOTT
EUAN CALLANDER v SIMON DUNN
5:45pm Northern Ireland v Wales (Ladies)
GRACE CRANE v KATIE BELLERBY
ELAINE MORAN v ALANNAH WATERS-EVANS
HELEN DUNN v ANN-MARIE POTTS
JACKIE O’NEIL v RHIAN O’SULLIVAN
KAYLEIGH O’NEILL v CHRIS SAVVERY
SHEILA HAMILL v KAYE HALES
6:45pm Concludes Play
8:00pm Bar close main Hall
8:30pm to 1:00 Entertainment
Sunday 23rd February 2020
09:00am Players and official’s accreditation provided and practice area open to players only
10:00am Doors to general public open
11:00am Northern Ireland v Wales (Men)
NEIL DUFF v MARK BLANDFORD
ANDREW COULTER v ANDY ALKER
SIMON DUNN v DAVID ROGERS
CHRIS GILLILAND v CAVAN PHILLIPS
JASON LOCKHART v LLOYD BROWNING
JOSH ROCK v MICHAEL WARBURTON
KYLE MCKINSTERY v JOHN WILLIAMS-JONES
DANIEL MCDONALD v JIM WILLIAMS
GARY ELLIOTT v WAYNE DAVIES
DAVID FINLAY v GARETH GRIFFITHS
RAYMOND WILLIAMSON v MARK LAYTON
PATRICK MCGINNIS v DALE HUGHES
3:00pm Scotland v Northern Ireland (Ladies)
4:45pm Wales v Scotland (Men)
8:30pm Bar close Main Hall
The Celtic Challenge Trophy was devised to fill a gap in the calendar as several of the Home Nations were not attending the 2017 World Cup in Japan.
The inaugural event was held in the CISWO Club, Glenrothes and host nation Scotland won both the Mens and Ladies titles with Wales runners-up in both and Northern Ireland in third spot. It was such a popular event that it was decided to continue the championship for an initial three years, thus giving players the chance of extra International caps for their home nations.
The following year Northern Ireland were hosts and the event was held in Newry. This year again the host nation won the Mens title with Wales taking the Ladies event.
In 2019 Scotland and Northern Ireland travelled to Merthyr to contest the event and true to form the Mens title went to the host nation as Wales lifted the trophy. The Ladies event was won by Scotland, taking their second title in this challenge.
This year the event returns to the CISWO Club on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February and it is hoped that home advantage will play a great part in the outcome of both titles. The SDA hope that a large home support will give the players a fantastic atmosphere to play in and that the spectators will have the chance to see the best of Scottish darts up-close.
Tickets are £15 for the weekend or £10 for each single day and can be obtained by contacting the Scottish Darts Association.
The NI Open is back on this year at Bellinis in Newry 16th to the 18th October.
This event will attract the best throwers locally, the UK and Ireland and Internationally. Last year notable players such as Paul Hogan, Kyle Mckinstry, Jim Williams, Laura Turner, Keane Barry and Kirsty Hutchinson were at the business end of the competitions, along with some local players such as Neil Duff for instance.
This year the competition on Saturday (Open) and Sunday (Matchplay) will attract Silver ranking points for WDF ranking.
Come along for a great run competition and a fantastic venue, supported by Bellinis Complex, Winmau and NIDO. Live streaming will be available from McEvoy Darts Streaming. Mens, Ladies, Youths and Pairs competitions, so should be a fantastic weekend of darts.
The Premier League of Darts in the PDC starts back up again tomorrow 6th February, and it should be a great night of darts all on SkySports from 7pm from Aberdeen.
Night One – Thursday February 6
Michael Smith v Glen Durrant
Glen Durrant starts off in the Premier League proper against the Premier League runner up from 2019 Michael Smith. Glen has two semi finals in PDC majors under his belt and had he been ranked on 2019 money he would have been a top 16 player. The three time world champion excelled in his contender role last year, so I expect he will play his usual 95+ standard. Michael Smith on the other hand is an enigma, he again has lost another final, The Masters, against Snakebite, so I expect that will be on his mind, no matter what he says. Durrant to win this one 7-5.
Gary Anderson v Daryl Gurney
Scotland World Cup winner Gary Anderson is back in the Premier League after a year out, and he comes against Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney. Anderson pulled out of the Premier League last season due to back injury, but he looks to be back on form. At the World Championship he showed glimpses of his true standard and at The Masters he played well against The Iceman going out thereafter. Daryl Gurney has went off the boil since his exploits half way during 2019 and will look to this Premier League to get his form back on track. Daryl is a better player than his recent showings and will be up for this to spoil the party in Aberdeen. But Anderson I fear will be very strong here in Scotland, with a fervent crowd on his side. A draw 6-6 here.
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
World Championship runner up and world number one MVG is up against his victor Snakebite Wright. A repeat of the PDC Final where MVG didn’t have the usual clinical finishing and Snakebite didnt let up. MVG subsequently went on to sign a new deal with Winmau and is trying out new darts combinations to find his winning dart. On the other hand Peter Wright has found his winning dart and they are a lovely looking dart (have to stop myself buying them!). If Snakebite stays with these darts, he has a great chance of repeating his world final result and beating MVG. MVG is never really out of a game, but I dont think he will be consistent on his new darts for a while. Snakebite to win 7-5.
Nathan Aspinall v John Henderson
The Asp graces the Premier League again, this time as an actual player. He won the UK Open last year and had another semi final run in the world championship, so he deserves his entry into the PL. Again John Henderson is the local pick here in Aberdeen and who can forget his entrance last year. The crowd somehow spurred Hendo on to a 6-6 draw against MVG last year. I’m going with Hendo to win, I want him to win and I expect he will. Aspinall is still relatively young and wont have played in an atmosphere as Aberdeen will provide for him. Hendo 7-5.
Gerwyn Price v Rob Cross
Last up we have Gerwyn Price versus former world champion Rob Cross. So the 400 odd thousand has come off Cross’ order of merit ranking money but he is still the same player, a dangerous player who can hit any finish above 100. But with the recent two stone weight loss, he is running into a Gerwyn Price who is an animal at the moment. Price to win here 7-3.