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Paul Nicholson and Michael van Gerwen both won through to the second round of the European Darts Championship with victories on Friday evening in Mulheim.

Nicholson saw off German youngster Max Hopp, while van Gerwen defeated Belgiums Kurt van de Rijck.

The world number two set up a tasty last 16 encounter against Mervyn King after seeing off his Belgian opponent.

“It wasn’t my best performance but I’m happy I won,” said van Gerwen, the reigning Premier League champion.

“It was hard to find my game but I’ll make sure it is there for the next one.

“Winning is the most important thing and I’m through so I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

van Gerwen won the first leg on double one before pegging double four for a break of throw.

He scored his first maximum in leg three, which he won by bedding double top.

But his second maximum couldn’t stop van de Rijck from pulling a leg back.

van Gerwen pinned double 16 to restore his three leg advantage and his third 180 helped him move 5-1 in front.

And the Dutchman finished the job by hitting double four.

Nicholson had to fight back from 3-1 down to defeat Hopp and silence the vociferous home crowd.

Nicholson pegged double 16 to win the opening leg but Hopp took the next three in a row.

‘The Asset’ stopped the rot by pinning double seven and he grabbed a crucial break of throw by taking out 56, restoring parity at three legs apiece.

Hopp broke straight back but Nicholson responded in kind when he neatly took out 65.

And the Australian pegged double top to edge ahead and move withing a leg of victory, and he found the same bed to seal the win.

Nicholson faces Andy Hamilton on Saturday afternoon.

The PDC have announced a new three-year contract with ITV, which will see them broadcast four events each year.

The European Championships and Players Championship finals will be broadcast on ITV in 2013, 2014 and 2015, as will a brand new event – The Masters – where the world’s top 16 players will do battle in November in Edinburgh.

Further to this, the free-to-view broadcaster will also show the live UK Open finals from 2014.

Further information, including dates can be found here:–itv-agree-new-four-event-deal


Stephen Fry has backed the upcoming Untouchables charity darts night by tweeting about the event.

Fry, who is an avid darts fan, mentioned the event on his official twitter page in a huge boost for potential fundraising for the two charities it is being held in aid of – Bipolar UK and Bradbury Enhanced Care Service.

The fundraiser, which will take place on the evening of Friday 21 June, will see some of the world’s top professional darts players perform at Roffey Sports and Social Club, Horsham.

Premier League stars James Wade, Simon Whitlock, Michael van Gerwen and Robert Thornton are amongst a fantastic line-up for the event.

They will be joined by former Players Champion Paul Nicholson, former World Champions Mark Webster and Andy Fordham and the Dutch duo of Vincent van der Voort and Co Stompe.

Tickets are priced at £20 and are available from / 08450 180 180
or 01403 210 223

All funds raised from the event will be split directly between the two charities.

Bipolar UK is the national charity dedicated to supporting individuals with the much misunderstood and devastating condition of Bipolar, while Bradbury Enhanced Care Service provides crucial support for young adults with complex health needs, physical disabilities and life limiting conditions.

Fry, the famous actor, comedian and presenter, has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and is a patron of Bipolar UK.

His tweet is a huge boost for both charities as it raises awareness of the event to his millions of twitter followers.

Tickets are priced at £20 and are available here or by calling MODUS on 08450 180 180.

Attendees are reminded that all proceeds will be split between the two causes, with further fund-raising activities taking place on the evening.

Items have already been donated for auction by World Snooker, Matchroom Sport and Unicorn Darts.

Donations can also be made via this page for Bipolar UK or text the amount you would like to donate & Dart52 to 70070 OR click here for Bradbury Enhanced care or text the amount you would like to donate & Dart54 to 70070.

By Chris Murphy





James Wade will face Dave Chisnall in the fourth round of the Speedy Services UK Open on Saturday afternoon in Bolton.

The two-time champion will take on the world number nine in arguably the pick of matches from the last 32 draw.

2012 winner Robert Thornton will continue his title defence when he faces Kirk Shepherd at the Reebok Stadium, while bookies favourite Michael van Gerwen will meet Michael Mansell.

Raymond van Barneveld was drawn against Joey Palfreyman and John Henderson’s reward for defeating Scott Rand is a tie against Kevin McDine.


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


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



James Wade and Michael van Gerwen are both preparing for a double header in Sheffield, which sees the pair play their tenth and eleventh fixtures of the McCoy’s Premier League Darts season.

The top of the table duo are set to face each other in final fixture of the night in South Yorkshire, where Wade will also face Adrian Lewis and van Gerwen takes on Phil Taylor.

They are the first of the players who will have to play two fixtures in one evening following the elimination of Wes Newton and Gary Anderson in Brighton last Thursday.

‘Mighty Mike’, who lost out to Wade just a fortnight ago in Glasgow is looking forward to the challenge.

“I’d like to play five games every evening,” said van Gerwen, who is joint top of the league with Wade and Raymond van Barneveld.

“That’s not going to happen I know but I will enjoy playing two.

“I like to play darts and I like to win. I don’t really care about playing more games because I like darts and I don’t worry about anything apart from winning each game.”

Second-placed Wade also goes into the evening in fine form after defeating Anderson last week and hitting seven doubles out of eight attempts in the process.

“My finishing is going well,” said Wade, the 2009 champion.

“But my scoring is getting there as well now and I’m feeling great.

“I’ve still got a lot more in the locker so hopefully I will peak at the right time as I’m definitely in it to win it.”

van Barneveld, who secured a fine win over Lewis last Thursday, faces Andy Hamilton in Sheffield, while Robert Thornton, who currently occupies the other play-off slot takes on Judgement Night survivor Simon Whitlock.

By Chris Murphy

Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

McCoy’s Premier League Darts Week Ten April 11 – Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield

Robert Thornton v Simon Whitlock

Adrian Lewis v James Wade

Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor

Andy Hamilton v Raymond van Barneveld

James Wade v Michael van Gerwen


See some of the stars of Premier League Darts in action at the Portsmouth International Masters – Tickets available from or call 08450 180 180 now.

Simon Whitlock faces a ‘Judgement Night’ showdown in Brighton as he and three other players battle to avoid being the first ever casualties of the new relegation format of the McCoy’s Premier League, which will see two players eliminated on Thursday night.

Whitlock, who has six points from the first eight weeks of action, faces Michael van Gerwen at the Brighton centre in the knowledge that victory will ensure his safety from the dreaded drop.

However, van Gerwen will prove a tough opponent as one of the players in a four way tie at the top of the table in the tightest ever staging of the tournament in it’s nine year history.

“I know it will be tough,” admitted Australian ace Whitlock.

“But every game has been tough for all of us. That is why it is so close.

“Whoever stays up will then have a great chance of going on to reach the play-offs.

“The good thing for me is that is in my own hands and I believe in myself. Hopefully, I have saved my best performance for when it really matters.”

Whitlock may avoid relegation before he faces ‘Mighty Mike’ if other results go his way.

James Wade takes on Gary Anderson and victory for ‘The Machine’ paired with defeat for Wes Newton against Andy Hamilton would see ‘The Wizard’ reach safety.

Wade, who is also on ten points after seeing off van Gerwen in Glasgow last week, is hoping continue his good form against 2011 winner Anderson, who is currently in the relegation zone.

“I want to keep playing well and winning games to reach the play-offs,” said 2009 champion Wade.

“It won’t be a nice thing to beat someone and relegate them but while it may be new in the Premier League it’s nothing new in darts.

“In most tournaments if you win, the other player goes out so I will just have that attitude against Gary.”

Raymond van Barneveld, another of the joint leaders, takes on Adrian Lewis and a victory for the Dutch legend would leave ‘Jackpot’ in danger of elimination and awaiting other results.

Robert Thornton takes on Phil Taylor in the only match that won’t affect the relegation battle.

The Scotsman reached safety with victory over Whitlock last week and is in a relaxed mood ahead of his tie against the world number one.

“Bring on Mr Taylor,” said Thornton, who defeated the 16-time World Champion twice on TV last year – including in the final of the UK Open.

“I know I can beat him and he knows he can beat me so it is all about how we perform on the night.

“I’m just glad to not be scrapping for survival and I can just concentrate on a game of darts.”

By Chris Murphy

Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

P W D L +/- Pts
Phil Taylor 8 4 2 2 +12 10
Michael van Gerwen 8 4 2 2 +12 10
James Wade 8 4 2 2 +9 10
Raymond van Barneveld 8 4 2 2 +6 10
Robert Thornton 8 3 3 2 +5 9
Andy Hamilton 8 4 0 4 0 8
Adrian Lewis 8 3 1 4 -7 7
Simon Whitlock 8 3 0 5 -11 6
Wes Newton 8 2 1 5 -12 5
Gary Anderson 8 2 1 5 -14 5



James Wade, Simon Whitlock and Raymond van Barneveld all claimed excellent victories on night five of the McCoy’s Premier League.

Wade produced a brilliant performance to see off Thornton with a 7-1 triumph, averaging over 105 and taking out two 121 finishes along the way.

“I felt really good up there and it showed in my performance,” said ‘The Machine’, who upped his points tally to seven.

“I keep saying it but the practise is really making all the difference and I feel that there’s more to come.

“In fact I know there is. I’m working harder than ever on my game and I’m delighted with the start I’ve made.”

Whitlock had to fight back from 4-1 down to take a 7-5 triumph against Wes Newton and was delighted to claim his second win of the season.

He said: “That could be a very important win.

“I have been playing well for the last few weeks but not getting the results so I’m thrilled to win tonight.

“Every game is so competitive that you’ve got to be happy with every good result.”

van Barneveld went top of the table with his 7-5 success against Andy Hamilton, as six 180s and an average of over 100 gave the Dutchman his fourth win of the season.

“Every opponent is tough in the league so I’m really delighted to have got four wins already,” said ‘Barney’ who faces Thornton next Thursday.

“I’m a confident person now and maybe that’s what got me through in the last leg. I was relaxed and I believed in myself.

“That’s so important in this game and I will have to do it all over again next week against Robert, who has been amazing in his first season.”

Michael van Gerwen suffered defeat at the hands of a rejuvenated Adrian Lewis, while Gary Anderson beat Phil Taylor in the evening’s other matches.

By Chris Murphy

SKY SPORTS will take its partnership with the Professional Darts Corporation into a 25th year thanks to a new five-year broadcast deal.
The agreement offers Sky Sports viewers over 50 days of live and exclusive darts throughout the year including the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship each Christmas until 2018.
As part of the deal, Sky Sports viewers will also enjoy live coverage of the McCoy’s Premier League, World Grand Prix, William Hill Grand Slam of Darts, Betfair World Cup of Darts and the Betfair World Matchplay, which celebrates its 20th staging this summer.
The partnership between Sky Sports and the PDC extends back to the organisation’s formation two decades ago, beginning with the 1994 World Championship.
Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “Sky Sports has worked with the PDC since the early 1990s, helping to build the sport from working men’s clubs to some of the biggest arenas in the UK and Ireland.”
He added: “This is a real success story and an excellent long term partnership.  Our live coverage and promotion of darts is unique and Sky Sports viewers can enjoy the fantastic atmosphere that these events generate for a further five years.”
Since the PDC’s formation, live televised darts has grown from just a few hundred fans at venues such as the Circus Tavern and Salford’s Willows Variety Centre, to over 10,000 fans at the O2 Arena for the Premier League.
The World Championship offers £1 million in prize money – over 15 times the prize fund for the PDC’s first World Championship back in 1994 – while over £5 million prize money is now paid out annually on the PDC circuit.
PDC chairman Barry Hearn said: “We’ve just celebrated our 20th World Championship with the best tournament ever staged, and both that event and the current McCoy’s Premier League Darts show how far the sport has come in the past two decades.
“Sky Sports has played an integral part in the growth of darts, with its innovative and high quality broadcasts and fundamental support of the PDC, and we are delighted to sign this new broadcast contract.
“This deal is not only great for the PDC but also for our players, who will be playing in huge events live on Sky Sports in the coming years.”
This announcement continues a series of strong major rights deals for Sky Sports over the twelve months, including: Barclays Premier League, England & Wales cricket, British & Irish Lions, Heineken Cup, European Tour, Ryder Cup, NBA, NFL, plus many more.
ive darts coverage is also available via Sky Go, which offers Sky customers access to live and on demand programmes and films from up to 43 channels on a wide range of internet-connected devices including laptops, smartphones, tablets and games consoles.
Watch the McCoy’s Premier League Darts live on Sky Sports, with the current season running through until the Play-Offs on Thursday May 16.

See tonight’s Week Five action live from 7pm on Sky Sports HD2 from the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham.


Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC