Category Archives: DARTS

Celtic Challenge schedule

The Celtic Challenge team events start today.

The live stream is here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h_Ajn_TeFbw

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
Saturday night
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)
8:00pm Presentations
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.

Northern Ireland Darts Open 2020

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.

PDC Premier League returns

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.

NIDO Averages and Tables Updated

The NIDO has released up to date averages for the mens inter area county divisions 1 and 2.

Top of the division 1 is Area 2 and division 2 is 2c.

Top of the average rankings is Kyle Mckinstry. With Gavin not able to qualify for the NI team due to having a PDC Tour Card young Josh Rock is technically number 5 on the rankings. A great showing this year after progressing through the NIDO youth system and moving on from Area 5 last season. He has settled with Area 2D and has some steady players to gain experience with in Paul Mcdonald, Davy Martin, Colin Reid, Ashley Rainey and his dad Paul Rock. Look forward to seeing if Josh can keep this up over the long season ahead.

  1. Kyle Mckinstry
  2. Chris Gilliland
  3. Gavin Carlin
  4. Gary Elliott
  5. Neil Duff
  6. Josh Rock
  7. Andy Coulter
  8. Daniel McDonald
  9. David Finlay
  10. Simon Dunn

Check out the full rankings list and tables here www.nidarts.co.uk/nido

McKinstry and Rafferty in the PDC UK Open

The Challenge Tour and Development Tour spots have been confirmed for the 2020 UK Open after the conclusion of Q-School and players being taken out as a result of winning Tour Cards.

Cameron Menzies heads the list of the Challenge Tour qualifiers and is joined by names such as Andy Jenkins, Barry van Peer, Cody Harris and Boris Koltzov. They are joined by Northern Ireland player and International Captain Kyle McKinstry. He will look to assert himself in the UK Open at Minehead.

He is joined by three Irish youngsters Keane Barry, Nathan Rafferty and Shane McGuirk who between them headed up the Development tour hierarchy at the end of the season. Each one of them are well capable of winning big time games. A great future ahead. I expect at least one of them to get through to the last 16 stage.

Good luck lads.

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 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.