May 2013

The visit of top PDC darts stars to Millwall Football Club has been moved to a new date.

Premier League Darts aces James Wade and Michael van Gerwen are still heading to do battle in Millwall, but will appear a couple of weeks later than originally planned.

The Millwall Masters will now take place on 12 September, and will feature world number two van Gerwen and Wade, who is ranked fourth, alongside three more top players.

Also on show are the charismatic trio of former World Champions Ted Hankey and Andy Fordham and former Players Champion Paul Nicholson.

Wade is the second most successful player in PDC history, having won seven major titles, while van Gerwen, the 2013 Premier League champion, is widely tipped to be a dominant force in darts for years to come.

The event will see four local qualifiers given the chance to take on the professionals. Details of how to qualify will be announced in due course.

World Grand Prix winner van Gerwen, who was a guest of honour at a Millwall home game last season, said: “I’m really looking forward to this event.

“I’m a big football fan and enjoyed visiting the club. I’m looking forward to coming back to show everyone what I do best in what is going to be a great night.

“The line-up for the event is fantastic. We are all players that would expect to meet in the quarters and semi-finals of major tournaments so fans are in for a treat.

“We will put on a good show and I hope the qualifiers will be ready because we will all be out to win!”

The date change is due to unforeseen professional commitments. Customers that have already purchased tickets are advised to contact MODUS Sports Management on 08450 180 180 or original place of purchase.

Tickets for the Millwall Masters are available from www.dartshop.tv / 08450 180 180 or from the box office 0207 740 0504.

Paul Nicholson led the MODUS charge in Wigan by reaching the final of the third Players Championship event of the year on Saturday.

Premier League star Robert Thornton also enjoyed a good run before bowing out at the semi-final stage at Robin Park Tennis Centre.

Both were denied potential glory by eventual winner Jamie Caven.

Nicholson won through to his second Pro Tour final of the year, kicking off with wins against promising youngster Chris Aubrey and Germany’s Jerry Hendriks.

The Australian ace then swept past three experienced opponents in Steve Beaton, Mervyn King and Mark Walsh, before defeating Michael Mansell to reach the last four.

There, he recorded an impressive victory over world number ten Justin Pipe but was edged out by Caven in the final.

Thornton began his campaign for a third title in Wigan this year with early successes against Jason Marriot, Darron Brown and Darren Webster.

The Scotsman defeated Andy Smith to reach the quarter-finals, where he saw off the great Dennis Priestley.

Thornton, who was denied a final spot by Caven, will be looking to continue his strong form on Sunday as he bids to grace the top ten in the PDC Order of Merit for the first time.

By Chris Murphy

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John Henderson was amongst the qualifiers for Gibraltar Darts Trophy after a successful night at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Friday.

The Scotsman defeated Geoff Whitworth and compatriot Keith Stephen to secure his place in the main draw for the European Tour Event, which takes place from June 28-30.

The £100,000 tournament is being held at the Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar.

Michael van Gerwen won the first ever Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters, completing an amazing week with an excellent 11-7 final victory over Raymond van Barneveld on Thursday evening.

‘Mighty Mike’, who has also triumphed in the Premier League and European Masters in the last eight days, produced stunning finishes of 164 and 170 to cap a fine string of performances.

The Dutch ace had defeated Wes Newton and Andy Hamilton to set up a last two clash with compatriot van Barneveld.

“There was a little payback there because Raymond beat me in the Grand Slam, but I always enjoy playing him and it was a great final,” van Gerwen told the PDC’s official website.

“I think, with all the conditions, I played very well and put in some great averages and hit the 170 finish and 164 finish at good moments in the final so that was important to make me the champion.”

James Wade had become the first PDC player to win a professional game outdoors when he defeated Simon Whitlock in a thrilling quarter-final match on Thursday.

But ‘The Machine’ was denied a place in the final by ‘Barney’.

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn has revealed that the tournament will return to Dubai in 2014.

He said: “We’re looking forward to building on this because the crowd have created a fantastic atmosphere.

“We’ve had over 5,000 fans visit the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium for the tournament and millions watching around the world, and I’m sure we can sell out next year’s event.”

By Chris Murphy

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Michael van Gerwen’s sensational run of success continued on Sunday evening as he won the European Darts Open in Dusseldorf with a 6-2 final victory over Simon Whitlock.

The 24-year-old Dutch star, who was crowned as Premier League Darts Champion on Thursday, followed it up by claiming his eight PDC title of 2013.

‘Mighty Mike’ defeated Andre Welge, Wayne Jones, Terry Jenkins, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright to reach the final, where he saw off ‘The Wizard’ to clinch the £20,000 first prize.

“It’s been a brilliant few days,”  van Gerwen told the PDC’s official website.

“I’m a bit tired at the moment but winning is the most important thing, and I’m very glad I saved my best game for the final.

“Simon beat me the last time we played in a final and I knew I needed to play a proper game to beat him, and I think I showed my class with a very good performance tonight.”

The highlight of Whitlock’s charge to the final was a dazzling display in his last eight triumph over Justin Pipe, when the Australian hit eight 180s and took out a 170 finish.

van Gerwen and Whitlock will join the likes of James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld in Dubai next week as the top eight player in world darts compete in the inaugural Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters.

By Chris Murphy

Michael van Gerwen defeated Phil Taylor to win the McCoy’s Premier League at London’s O2 Arena on Thursday, while James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld bowed out at the semi-final stage.

Dutch ace van Gerwen avenged January’s World Championship final defeat to ‘The Power’ with a thrilling victory over the world number one.

The 24-year-old prevailed by ten legs to eight and sealed the biggest win of his career with a spectacular 132 finish, completing the three-dart combination on the bull.

“I’m so happy to win this Premier League and it is a dream come true,” said ‘Mighty Mike’, who clinched his second PDC major title after winning October’s World Grand Prix.

“It was important for me to get this win after losing to Phil at the World Championships. I was a bit sick about that but this was my night, my tournament.

“I think I deserved to win it and Phil played really well so I had to show my class. It is my best moment and I hope there will be many more like this.”

van Gerwen trailed six-time and defending champion Taylor 5-2 before putting together a brilliant run of five consecutive legs to take charge of the final.

The 16-time World Champion hit back though as he broke van Gerwen’s throw before the youngster declined a shot at the bull, only for Taylor to produce a stunning 160 checkout.

With parity restored at seven legs apiece, world number two van Gerwen responded with one of his nine 180s before pegging double top to edge back ahead.

He then broke Taylor’s throw to close in on victory but missed two match darts at double eight in the following leg, allowing his opponent to keep the match alive.

But van Gerwen ensured victory before the prospect of a deciding leg when he produced a sensational 132 finish to clinch the £150,00 first prize and title of 2013 Premier League Champion.

He added: “Phil started off really well but being 5-2 down probably took a little bit of pressure off me and I settled down after the break.

“I was gutted when I missed the two darts at double eight but that didn’t matter when I hit that bull to win.

“I’m so proud. I have loved every minute of this Premier League and to win it like that, by beating the greatest player ever in the final, is very special.”

It was the first time that Taylor had lost in the final of the £520,000 tournament and he was chasing his seventh victory when he saw off van Barneveld in the last four.

van Gerwen had ended 2009 champion Wade’s chances of winning his eighth major title with an 8-4 semi-final success over ‘The Machine’.

Wade said after the defeat: “I wasn’t good enough and Michael was. That’s the story of it.

“I missed too many doubles and he punished me for being messy.”

By Chris Murphy

Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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James Wade and Michael van Gerwen will go head to head in the semi-finals of the McCoy’s Premier League on Thursday, when the final four will compete for the prestigious title.

Wade, a former winner of the £520,000 tournament, meets ‘Mighty Mike’ who topped the table in his debut season, as the 14 week elite darts showcase reaches its climax at London’s O2 Arena.

Raymond van Barneveld takes on defending champion Phil Taylor in the other clash of a semi-final line-up that is identical to the last four stage of January’s World Championship.

Seven-time PDC major title winner Wade believes that the tournament, which he won in 2009, is there for the taking.

“I really don’t think anyone can confidently pick a winner this year,” said ‘The Machine’.

“You’ve got four quality players, who are all capable of fantastic things so it’s all on the night.

“Michael van Gerwen is playing brilliant but we’ve had some close games recently. I’ll just concentrate on my own game and I know I what I can do.

“His strength his scoring and mine is finishing so I hope we both go up and play our best games because it could be something really great.

“I want to win a couple of majors this year and I’m hoping the first one comes my way on Thursday.”

World number two van Gerwen is chasing his second televised success in the PDC after losing two major finals since winning the World Grand Prix in October.

He said: “I want to win this Premier League. Finishing first in the table was a nice thing for me but now I have to follow it up.

“I have two more matches hopefully and I need to win them both.

“Everybody keeps saying I will win a lot in the future but you never know how your form might change.

“I’m playing well now and I want to make it count now.”

van Barneveld has set his sights on reaching a first Premier League final after five unsuccessful attempts.

But the Dutchman knows he has his work cut out against a player he is yet to beat in the competition.

“I had a good chance to beat Phil Taylor in the league this year,” said ‘Barney’, the five-time World Champion.

“But maybe that wasn’t my time. I hope Thursday night is. If I play like I can then I can do it.

“Five times I have lost in the semis so to make the final, just once, would be great for me and to win the whole tournament would be a dream come true.”

Whoever does take glory on Thursday will scoop a £150,000 first prize – the second largest winners cheque on the PDC tour.

By Chris Murphy

Individual previews can be viewed at the players’ official websites: James Wade – www.jameswade.co.uk / Michael van Gerwen – www.michaelvangerwen.tv / Raymond van Barneveld – www.barneyuk.tv

 

 

Four of the biggest names in professional darts will be on show at the Benfield Nissan Darts Masters in Sunderland next month.

The stars, including five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, will compete at the Nissan Sports and Leisure complex on 15 June.

Dutch legend ‘Barney’ will be joined by Australian ace and European Champion Simon Whitlock, double World Champion Ted Hankey and James Wade, winner of seven major titles.

They will battle it out, alongside local qualifiers, in the type of thrilling tournament as seen on TV as high quality darts heads to Sunderland.

“This should be a great night,” said van Barneveld, who starred in the Premier League in Newcastle last week.

“I know that fans up there are very passionate about their darts. They were amazing on Thursday and I’m looking forward to meeting the guys in Sunderland.

“I’m sure there will be some good players from the local area, who will give us a run for our money.

“It is a brilliant line up and we will all be aiming to put on a show and, most importantly, win!”

Tickets for this exciting event are available online at www.dartshop.tv or by calling 08450 180 180.

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS TO THIS EVENT OR FOR MORE INFORMATION

James Wade secured the final McCoy’s Premier League semi-final spot, as Michael van Gerwen finished top of the table following the final night of league action in Newcastle on Thursday evening.

The pair will now meet in the play-off’s on finals night, which take place at London’s O2 next week.

Wade shared a draw with world number one Phil Taylor with a gutsy display.  A point proved to be enough for ‘The Machine’ to progress after Robert Thornton suffered two defeats and Simon Whitlock took a point from his two matches, ending the pairs’ semi-final aspirations.

“It was nervy but I did enough and that draw was bigger than any win I’ve had all season,” Wade told www.pdc.tv  “I feel fresh now and I’m ready for the Play-Offs.

“Michael’s a brilliant player, but I’m also pretty good myself and I think it’s the most even Premier League ever. I don’t think anybody could pick a player to win it.

“I still haven’t played great, and apart probably from five games where I played well and in other games I rode my luck and got through them. I’ll prepare right for the Play-Offs and I’m looking forward to it.”

van Gerwen became the only player other than Taylor to end the season as the league leader after producing a thrilling performance to defeat Thornton.

“It was a big target for me and it’s a very special moment for me,” said van Gerwen. “It means a lot to me and you can see how difficult it is to finish top because nobody has ever done it other than Phil.

“It was important to win tonight with a very good game, and I can look forward to playing James in the semi-finals now. He’s a quality player who knows exactly how to win games, but I just want to play my own game, like I did tonight.”

Raymond van Barneveld finished in second place after securing two victories in Newcastle. ‘Barney’ will face Taylor next Thursday as he bids to reach the final for the first time.

By Chris Murphy

 

Robert Thornton and Michael van Gerwen claimed triumphs in the first two Players Championships of 2013 in Wigan at the weekend.

The pair warmed up for the final night of McCoy’s Premier League action on Thursday by each collecting the recently increased first prizes of £10,000.

Thornton, who is chasing a Premier League play-off place when he meets van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld in Newcastle, took Saturday’s title with brilliant run at Robin Park.

The Scottish ace stormed to a 6-0 final success over Ronnie Huybrechts, averaging over 111 to seal his second Pro Tour victory of the year.

van Gerwen claimed his sixth floor tournament success on Sunday when he saw off Stuart Kellet 6-1 in the final.

‘Mighty Mike’ needs a point from his match with ‘The Thorn’ to finish top of the Premier League table in his debut season.

Further reports are available at the players’ official websites: www.robertthornton.co.uk / www.michaelvangerwen.tv

 

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