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
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
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
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.
The PDC Premier League is back in full swing and after the opening week last week, again the PDC Premier League has some great match up’s in Nottingham tonight.
First up we have Rob Cross versus Nathan Aspinall. Much has been said about Rob Cross being a one hit wonder – but he did win the Matchplay last year – so does that make him a two hit wonder?? The man is a class act and is so dangerous on the 100+ outshots – however he is in a dip of form and up against one of the youngsters who is on an upward trajectory. Cross has lost over two stone in weight and that will affect your game – I expect Cross to get his form back but Aspinall is riding on the crest of wave recently and I can see two wins on the bounce for The Asp. Aspinall to win 7-4.
Second match on the card is the Welsh juggernaut Gerwyn Price against Michael Smith. A tough one to call this. Michael Smith always seems to be there or thereabouts – but unable to cross the line. Gerwyn Price will be looking to pounce on a vunerable Smith in this one and I expect Price to win out 7-5.
The battle of the two Scotland World Cup Pair Gary Anderson versus Peter Wright. Ando beat Northern Ireland star Daryl Gurney last week in Aberdeen without too much trouble to be honest and that backed up a win in the first Pro Tour of the year. Wright meanwhile won the World Championship quite convincingly and followed that up with The Masters… A battle indeed but Anderson has more wins in the head to heads and I expect it to be really close between the pair. Draw 6-6.
Second to last match is Glen Durrant versus Fallon Sherrock. Well a lot has been made about this match during the week from the PDC press and news websites etc. But I really don’t think Sherrock is in Durrant’s league. If Durrant doesn’t win this I will be totally shocked. Sherrock whilst she won two games at Ally Pally, does not have a Tour card (like Lisa Ashton!) and isn’t playing these premier league players every week. Durrant is a class act, reaching two PDC major semi finals in 2019 and shot up the rankings inside the top 32 in less than one season on the circuit. I really can’t see anything but a Durrant win 7-3. Sherrock to hit most 180’s.
Last up we have Daryl Gurney against Michael Van Gerwen. Always a great game between these two and they love to one up each other. Daryl could be attributed with the slight downward trend of MVG winning everything on the calendar with his exploits in the Premier League and Players Championship in previous years. Players no longer fear playing MVG as he does have his B game (96-100) more often. Daryl on his A game is well capable of beating MVG and MVG knows that. MVG will be up for this game, but with the new darts from Winmau, is he ready for Daryl Gurney – time will tell. I’ll go with a 6-6 draw in this one.
2020 Unibet Premier League Night Two Thursday February 13 Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham Rob Cross v Nathan Aspinall Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith Gary Anderson v Peter Wright Glen Durrant v Fallon Sherrock Daryl Gurney v Michael van Gerwen