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BetVictor World Cup of Darts

SUPER SCOTLAND CLAIM BETVICTOR WORLD CUP OF DARTS GLORY

SCOTLAND were crowned as BetVictor World Cup of Darts champions for the first time on Sunday night as Gary Anderson and Peter Wright overcame the Republic of Ireland 3-1 in the final in Hamburg.

The Scottish pair have been defeated twice previously in the final of the annual pairs tournament, losing out to England in 2015 and the Netherlands 12 months ago.

However, this time they went all the way as they denied Steve Lennon and William O’Connor a remarkable triumph.

The Republic of Ireland had never won past the Last 16 in the previous eight World Cup tournaments but followed up around two demolition of England by defeating Austria and the Netherlands on Sunday to defy the odds and reach the final.

Their semi-final triumph over reigning champions Netherlands was particularly memorable, as they whitewashed Michael van Gerwen and Jermaine Wattimena 4-0 in the Doubles decider with the aid of finishes of 131 and 128 from Lennon.

Lennon also opened the final with a 4-2 win over Gary Anderson, but Wright’s 4-2 defeat of O’Connor saw them level before an outstanding Doubles whitewash moved them 2-1 up overall.

Wright then sealed glory for Scotland for the first time as he defeated Lennon 4-1 in their Singles tie to secure the £70,000 top prize and become only the third nation to win the event.

“I’m over the moon,” said Wright. “To play with Gary, the best player on the planet, is an honour, and it’s about time we did it.

“We’re both quality players and we should have won it ages ago, but it’s happened now, we’ve got that monkey off our backs.

“We’ve got to the final before and run out of steam in the past. We clicked this year and that’s why we won. Instead of those silver medals, we’ve got gold ones!”

The Scots had earlier raced past both Belgium and Japan with 2-0 wins to secure their place in the final, marking a hugely successful return to action for Anderson following his treatment for a back problem.

“I came here not knowing what to expect and it’s been good a confidence lifter,” said Anderson. “Ireland in the semi-finals were fantastic, and they’ve been good.

“I’m quite happy. My throw’s still not 100 per cent but we got there. We played the right games at the right times.

“It’s special. We’ve been beaten by the best in the world and it’s taken them to beat us, but we got there at last.”

Ireland had begun Sunday’s action with a 2-1 quarter-final defeat of Austria, whitewashing their opponents 4-0 in the Doubles decider.

They then secured the biggest win of their careers in a superb semi-final to end the Netherlands’ title defence.

Lennon had lost 4-3 to World Champion Van Gerwen in their Singles tie, but O’Connor swept aside Wattimena 4-1 before they limited the Dutch to just one dart at a double in the decisive Doubles contest.

Lennon admitted: “Obviously we’re gutted. We’ve done so well to get here but we will try and take the positives from it.

“I think we played brilliantly as a team. Getting to the final was immense, we couldn’t have dreamed of it.

“[Scotland] were brilliant, it’s why they’re two of the best players in the world but we showed what we can do and we’ll hopefully be back here next year.”

O’Connor added: “I’ll look back on the whole tournament positively. Myself and Steve are in the final of the World Cup, it’s a dream come true.

“I knew we could do it and it’s a pity we couldn’t go that one step further. I’m proud to represent Ireland.

“Scotland threw some unreal darts in the final, and the fans were absolutely fantastic all weekend.”

New Zealand’s run to a first World Cup quarter-final saw the challenge of Cody Harris and Haupai Puha ended with a 2-0 loss to Japan’s Seigo Asada and Haruki Muramatsu.

Canada’s Dawson Murschell claimed a memorable 4-2 Singles win over Van Gerwen in their quarter-final, only to see Wattimena overcome Jim Long 4-2 before the Dutch took the Doubles contest 4-1.

Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri Van den Bergh were unable to match last year’s semi-final appearance as they lost out 2-0 to Belgium in the last eight, where Austria also exited the event.

2019 BetVictor World Cup of Darts

Sunday, June 9

Afternoon Session

Quarter-Finals

Japan 2-0 New Zealand

Singles One: Seigo Asada 4-1 Cody Harris

Singles Two: Haruki Muramatsu 4-3 Haupai Puha

Doubles: (Not Needed)

Scotland 2-0 Belgium

Singles One: Gary Anderson 4-2 Kim Huybrechts

Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh

Doubles: (Not Needed)

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Austria

Singles One: Steve Lennon 4-1 Zoran Lerchbacher

Singles Two: William O’Connor 0-4 Mensur Suljovic

Doubles: Republic of Ireland 4-0 Austria

Netherlands 2-1 Canada

Singles One: Michael van Gerwen 2-4 Dawson Murschell

Singles Two: Jermaine Wattimena 4-2 Jim Long

Doubles: Netherlands 4-1 Canada

Evening Session

Semi-Finals

Scotland 2-0 Japan

Singles One: Gary Anderson 4-2 Seigo Asada

Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-1 Haruki Muramatsu

Doubles: (Not Needed)

Republic of Ireland 2-1 Netherlands

Singles One: Steve Lennon 3-4 Michael van Gerwen

Singles Two: William O’Connor 4-1 Jermaine Wattimena

Doubles: Republic of Ireland 4-0 Netherlands

Final

Scotland 3-1 Republic of Ireland

Singles One: Gary Anderson 2-4 Steve Lennon

Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-2 William O’Connor

Doubles: Scotland 4-0 Republic of Ireland

Singles Three: Peter Wright 4-1 Steve Lennon

Singles Four: Gary Anderson v William O’Connor (Not Needed)

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BetVictor World Cup of Darts

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND stunned England with a sensational victory over the number one seeds at the BetVictor World Cup of Darts in Hamburg on Saturday.

William O’Connor averaged over 115 in a breathtaking display to defeat former World Champion Rob Cross after Steve Lennon had edged out Michael Smith.

O’Connor landed four 180s and took out finishes of 88, 70 and a match-winning 64 to seal the shock success over four-time World Cup winners England.

Emerging Irish Ace, Lennon had earlier given Ireland the advantage by defeating Smith 4-3 before O’Connor’s incredible performance sealed their place in the quarter-finals for the first time.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said O’Connor, who won his first PDC title just over a month ago.

“It just clicked for us tonight. We knew we could beat them but to put in a performance like that against a former World Champion and one of the best players in the world is particularly special for me.

“We are going to take loads of confidence from this. We are enjoying ourselves and we will be dangerous on the final day.”

Fifth seeds Australia also suffered an upset as Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson both lost their Singles matches against Canada.

Dawson Murschell and Jim Long both won last-leg deciders to set-up a quarter-final meeting with defending champions Netherlands, who eased past Poland to progress.

Murschell edged out Whitlock in an eventful encounter, in which the Australian skipper took out back-to-back 126 checkouts on the bull to lead 3-2.

A 180 helped Murschell level up and the 23-year-old put Canada in front by taking out 97 in the deciding leg.

Long then came from 3-1 behind to defeat Anderson, who missed a dart in the last leg to take it to a Doubles decider.

Michael van Gerwen and Jermaine Wattimena both won their Singles ties to see off the Polish pairing of Krzysztof Ratajski and Tytus Kanik.

Van Gerwen took out a brilliant 123 finish on the bull to win a crucial fifth leg against Ratajski as the world number one went on to win 4-2.

Kanik threatened to put Poland back in the tie when he won the first leg of his match against Wattimena by following a 180 with a clinical 90 checkout.

After Wattimena levelled, Kanik went seven darts into a potential nine-darter in what proved to be a pivotal third leg as he was cruelly punished for a string of missed doubles by the Dutchman who pinned the bull to complete an 88 combination on the way to a 4-1 victory.

“I don’t think either of us performed at 100% but we hit the right shots at the right moments,” said van Gerwen.

“We are not afraid of anybody and we are going to beat everybody. We are a great team and everybody knows that.”

Scotland moved safely through to the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday afternoon.

Gary Anderson set the number two seeds on their way with a 4-0 success over Magnus Caris in the 50-year-old Swede’s final game before he retires from professional darts.

Peter Wright was less comfortable in his win against Dennis Nilsson, but a 4-2 victory wrapped up the tie.

Scotland will meet Belgium in the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon after Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri Van den Bergh sent hosts Germany crashing out of the tournament.

Huybrechts edged a dramatic encounter against Martin Schindler, who missed four darts to win a nail-biting deciding leg.

Schindler fired in seven perfect darts in the game’s fifth leg, which he won but Belgian captain Huybrechts took the next two to pinch victory.

Germany never recovered as Hopp was beaten 4-0 by Van den Bergh, securing a last eight spot for the Belgian pair.

“I was expecting Max to play a lot better but I am really pleased we’re through,” said Van den Bergh.

“We don’t think about who we are playing. We just focus on our own games and trust in each other. That’s how we won today and we’ll keep that attitude going forward.”

Austria made light work of United States of America with a brace of Singles wins to set up a quarter-final clash with the Republic of Ireland.

Zoran Lerchbacher defeated Darin Young 4-1 before Mensur Suljovic produced a sublime display to whitewash Chuck Puleo.

Former Champions League winner Suljovic completed finishes of 100 and 126 as he averaged 113 in a 4-0 triumph.

New Zealand reached the quarter-finals for the first time after winning a topsy-turvy affair against South Africa.

Cody Harris claimed a 4-0 victory over Vernon Bouwers to put New Zealand ahead until Devon Petersen hit back with a whitewash win against Haupai Puha.

Petersen averaged almost 102 and took out a brilliant 132 checkout in a high-quality singles match but the South African captain found his team 3-0 down in the doubles decider.

South Africa rallied back a to win the next two legs but Puha finally landed tops to complete victory.

New Zealand will face Japan in the last eight after Seigo Asada and Haruki Muramatsu both claimed Singles match victories to progress at the expense of Singapore.

Asada defeated Paul Lim, who led 3-2 after consecutive checkouts of 160 and 72 but Asada won the last two legs to earn the win.

Muramatsu then enjoyed a 4-2 triumph over Harith Lim to seal Japan’s place in the quarter-finals for the second consecutive year.

The event concludes on Sunday, with the quarter-finals in the afternoon session to be followed by the semi-finals and final in the evening session.

Watch live through Sky Sports in the UK & Ireland, RTL7 in the Netherlands and through the PDC’s series of worldwide broadcast partners, as well as through PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers.

Tickets for the BetVictor World Cup of Darts are available through PDC Europe.

2019 BetVictor World Cup of Darts
Saturday, June 8
Second Round


Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

New Zealand 2-1 South Africa
Singles One: Cody Harris 4-0 Vernon Bouwers
Singles Two: Haupai Puha 0-4 Devon Petersen
Doubles: New Zealand 4-2 South Africa

Japan 2-0 Singapore
Singles One: Seigo Asada 4-3 Paul Lim
Singles Two: Haruki Muramatsu 4-2 Harith Lim

Scotland 2-0 Sweden
Singles One: Gary Anderson 4-0 Magnus Caris
Singles Two: Peter Wright 4-2 Dennis Nilsson

Belgium 2-0 Germany
Singles One: Kim Huybrechts 4-3 Martin Schindler
Singles Two: Dimitri Van den Bergh 4-0 Max Hopp

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Canada 2-0 Australia
Singles One: Dawson Murschell 4-3 Simon Whitlock
Singles Two: Jim Long 4-3  Kyle Anderson

Austria 2-0 USA
Singles One: Zoran Lerchbacher 4-1 Darin Young
Singles Two: Mensur Suljovic 4-0 Chuck Puleo

Republic of Ireland 2-0 England
Singles One: Steve Lennon 4-3 Michael Smith
Singles Two: William O’Connor 4-1 Rob Cross

Netherlands 2-0 Poland
Singles One: Michael van Gerwen 4-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
Singles Two: Jermaine Wattimena 4-1 Tytus Kanik

Saturday 9 June – Order of Play
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Quarter-Finals

New Zealand v Japan
Scotland v Belgium
Republic of Ireland v Austria
Canada v Netherlands

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Semi-Finals
Final

Format: The Second Round, Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals will be played as two best of seven leg 501 Singles matches, with both nations nominating the order in which their players play. In the event of both nations winning one Singles match apiece, a best of seven leg 501 Doubles match will be played to decide the tie.

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BetVictor World Cup of Darts

DUTCH SWEEP ASIDE SPAIN IN BETVICTOR WORLD CUP OF DARTS OPENER

Michael Van Gerween in action image courtesy Stefan Strassenberg/PDC Europe

REIGNING champions Netherlands made a sensational start to their title defence at the 2019 BetVictor World Cup of Darts by whitewashing Spain on Friday night, as England and Australia also moved into round two in Hamburg.

World Champion Michael van Gerwen was joined by debutant Jermaine Wattimena in the Dutch side, with four-time World Cup winner Raymond van Barneveld missing out for the first time in the event’s history in 2019.

However, Wattimena showed his quality as the Dutch disposed of Spain’s Cristo Reyes and Toni Alcinas in under ten minutes in a clinical performance.

Wattimena took out 108 to win the tie’s opening leg and also landed key finishes in leg three and four before Van Gerwen checked out 82 to seal a comprehensive win.

“I’m really pleased,” said Van Gerwen. “Jermaine was phenomenal and it was a pleasure to play with him – he did really well and couldn’t have done much better.

“We are here to defend our title and we’re still favourites. I think we are strong as a team, we’ve started off really well and are confident.”

Wattimena admitted: “I was a bit nervous but it felt really great. It’s a lot of pressure but with Michael next to me, I feel more confident.”

The Netherlands now play Poland in Saturday’s second round, after Krzysztof Ratajski and Tytus Kanik proved too strong for the Czech Republic’s Karel Sedlacek and Pavel Jirkal by finishing five doubles from nine attempts in a 5-2 victory.

The Polish duo took command by winning the first three legs without reply, with a 160 finish from Sedlacek helping the Czech duo to cut the gap to 4-2 before Ratajski sealed the win on tops with a 14-darter.

England opened their bid to win a fifth World Cup title with a resounding 5-1 win over the Philippines, as Michael Smith made a strong debut in the tournament alongside Rob Cross.

Cross kicked off the tie with a 106 finish before Smith landed the winning double in the next three legs as England moved into a commanding 4-0 lead.

Lourence Ilagan took out tops for the Philippines to reply in leg five, but England swiftly wrapped up victory as Smith posted double eight.

“It’s been a dream of mine to play for my country, and it’s up there with some of my biggest games,” said Smith, the 2019 World Championship finalist.

“Every kid wants to represent their country in any sport and I’ve done it now – but we’re here to win this, I’m going to make sure we take the medals home.

“We gelled well then and I hit some good scores at the right time and we got the job done.”

Cross added: “I think without Michael tonight I would have struggled a bit more. I didn’t play my best tonight and I don’t think Michael did but we had good chemistry.”

William O’Connor landed the winning double for the Republic of Ireland in four out of five legs as he joined Steve Lennon in seeing off Greece 5-1.

Lennon’s double 15 gave Ireland the opener before Veniamin Symeonidis took out tops to level, but O’Connor proved too clinical by claiming the next four as they moved into the second round.

“We’re happy with the win and that’s all we could aim for today,” said O’Connor. “Both of us are capable of producing world-class darts, we can beat anyone out there on our day so we’ll have to wait and see.

Stefan Strassenberg/PDC Europe

“We’ll be giving it our best and whoever beats us is going to have to earn it.”

Australia won a shoot-out with Finland to secure their last 16 spot, with Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson claiming a 5-4 win with a 14-darter in the deciding leg.

Finland’s Marko Kantele and Kim Viljanen led 1-0 and came from 2-1 down to lead 3-2 in mid-game, only for Australia to level with a 13-darter and then move 4-3 up.

Tops for Finland saw them take the tie all the way, but Whitlock and Anderson both opened the decider with 180s before Whitlock finished 70 in two darts to claim victory.

“It means the world to us,” said Whitlock, who was a finalist in 2012. “We are so passionate about our country and this is a great win for us.

“To go 140 and 140 in the last leg you get a little bit of a cushion and we took full advantage of it. I’d love to win this tournament – we play well together and are a great team.”

Australia now plays Canada, for whom Dawson Murschell and debutant Jim Long overcame Italy’s Andrea Micheletti and Stefano Tomassetti 5-3 in a high-quality encounter.

Micheletti fired in a 116 finish in leg two and the Italians levelled in leg four with a 13-darter and shared the opening six legs.

However, Canada followed up a superb 106 checkout in leg five with tops to move 4-3 up, before Long landed double ten to seal a winning World Cup debut.

Austria mounted a fightback from 3-1 down against Russia to claim a 5-3 victory as Mensur Suljovic and Zoran Lerchbacher booked their second round place.

Russian pair Boris Koltsov and Aleksey Kadochnikov came from a leg down to take the next three, including a brilliant 116 finish from the latter to break in leg three with a 12-darter.

Austria, though, stepped in to take the next two to level before Lerchbacher finished 138 to move his country 4-3 up, and Suljovic sealed victory on double 16 for a 13-dart leg.

The Austrians now face the American pair of Darin Young and Chuck Puleo, who booked their place in the last 16 with a 5-1 win over China’s Xiaochen Zong and Yuanjun Liu.

After sharing the opening two legs, USA found their rhythm and combined well to move into a 3-1 advantage.

Young then took the fifth leg for the Americans, before Puleo secured victory on his World Cup debut by landing double three.

Saturday’s second round will begin in the afternoon session as Thursday’s winning nations return to the stage for their last 16 ties, as the tournament moves into a format of two Singles ties and a possible Doubles decider.

Two-time finalists Scotland face Sweden, while 2013 runners-up Belgium meet host nation Germany.

Thursday’s giant-killers South Africa open up against New Zealand before Singapore look to follow up their upset victory over Wales when they face Japan.

Tickets for the BetVictor World Cup of Darts are available through www.pdc-europe.tv/tickets.

BetVictor World Cup of Darts

Friday, June 7

USA 5-1 China

Canada 5-3 Italy

Poland 5-2 Czech Republic

Republic of Ireland 5-1 Greece

England 5-1 Philippines

Austria 5-3 Russia

Australia 5-4 Finland

Netherlands 5-0 Spain

Saturday, June 8

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

South Africa v New Zealand

Singapore v Japan

Scotland v Sweden

Belgium v Germany

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Australia v Canada

Austria v USA

England v Republic of Ireland

Netherlands v Poland

Format: The Second Round, Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals will be played as two best of seven leg 501 Singles matches, with both nations nominating the order in which their players play. In the event of both nations winning one Singles match apiece, a best of seven leg 501 Doubles match will be played to decide the tie.

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BetVictor World Cup Of Darts

WALES & NORTHERN IRELAND KO’d AS BETVICTOR WORLD CUP BEGINS IN DRAMATIC FASHION

SINGAPORE and South Africa caused upsets on the opening night of the 2019 BetVictor World Cup of Darts with wins over Wales and Northern Ireland, as Scotland made a strong start to their Hamburg challenge.

Legendary star Paul Lim and partner Harith Lim secured another big-name scalp as they followed up their 2017 first round win over Scotland with a 5-3 defeat of third seeds Wales.

Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price and Welsh partner Jonny Clayton led 2-1 early on before Singapore edged 3-2 and 4-3 up.

Paul Lim missed the bull for victory in leg eight, but Clayton was unable to send the tie into a deciding leg as Harith Lim stepped into land tops for a famous victory.

“It was a great game and we’re so happy to win,” said Paul Lim, who at 65 is the oldest player in the tournament. “Both sides missed some doubles but we managed to hit five good legs.”

Singapore will face Japan in round two on Saturday, and Lim added: “We will take one game at a time and can’t underestimate any team. We know the Japanese guys well from the Asian Tour and we’ll do our best.”

South Africa, meanwhile, knocked out number six seeds Northern Ireland with a memorable 5-4 victory, as Devon Petersen showed his class by landing a 180 and taking out 74 in the deciding leg of their tie.

There was little between the nations throughout as the opening eight legs went with throw, before Daryl Gurney saw a match dart go begging in leg eight and Brendan Dolan missed two further chances to claim the win.

Petersen then stepped up in the decider, landing a 180 before taking out 74 in two darts to send himself and big-stage debutant Vernon Bouwers into the last 16.

“It’s a brilliant win but I think in the end we deserved it too,” said Petersen. “We knew what we were up against but the pairs match is different because they don’t have the same rhythm.

“Vernon showed his class early on and kept us in the game and in the last leg I knew that I needed to step forward.

“It’s phenomenal for us, not just for us as individuals but for darts in Africa. It shows that we can progress the sport in Africa now.”

Newcomer Bowers, who won the Last Man Standing event earlier this year and also hails from Mitchell’s Plain, admitted: “I’ve been watching these guys on TV so it’s amazing to beat them – but it was nerve-wracking!”

South Africa now play New Zealand after Cody Harris and Haupai Puha defeated debutants Lithuania 5-1.

Harris showed the experience he has gained competing on the PDC circuit for the past 18 months with an early 110 finish as New Zealand moved into a 4-0 lead.

Darius Labanauskas took out 100 to get Lithuania off the mark in leg five, but Harris sealed the victory for his country with a 124 checkout as New Zealand reached the last 16 for the first time since 2015.

“We’re so happy to win,” said Auckland’s Harris. “I’m glad we got through and it was a great night for us.

“Playing over here with all these top players has helped my consistency. We can’t wait to play South Africa now – all the teams are really good and on the day it’s anyone’s game.”

Gary Anderson made his return to action, competing on TV for only the second time since the World Championship, as Scotland raced past Denmark in just ten minutes.

A 100 finish from Peter Wright was the match-high finish as the two-time finalists posted an impressive 101.55 average as they restricted the Danish pair of Per Laursen and Niels Heinsøe to just one dart at a double.

“It’s good to be back and I’m enjoying it,” said Anderson. “We don’t play pairs very often so it’s hard to get into a rhythm but we got through.

“The darts are going well in practice so we’ll see what happens this weekend.”

Scotland will now meet Sweden, who came from a leg down to power past Brazil with a 5-1 win, with Dennis Nilsson helping to ensure that Magnus Caris’ final tournament would not end in the first round in Hamburg.

Brazil’s Diogo Portela and Artur Valle started confidently with a 14-darter, but a 141 checkout from Nilsson in leg three moved Sweden ahead before Caris fittingly sealed the win on double eight.

“Playing with Dennis is a pleasure and when he hit the 141 I felt that we would win,” said Caris. “He hit some good doubles and I’m thrilled that I can play again on Saturday.”

Host nation Germany reeled off five straight legs as they came from a leg down against Hungary to win 5-1, with Martin Schindler taking out a key 137 checkout in leg four to give his side breathing space.

The Germans have reached the quarter-finals for the past two years, and Schindler admitted: “It was not easy for us and it was difficult in the beginning but we got through it so we’re happy.”

2013 finalists Belgium raced past Hong Kong with a 5-1 victory to book their spot in round two against the Germans.

Royden Lam took out a 141 finish in leg two to level for Hong Kong, but the Belgian pair of Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri Van den Bergh pulled clear with four successive legs before the World Youth Champion sealed victory with a 136 checkout.

“We’re very happy with that because the first round is never easy and I think we did well,” said Huybrechts. “This is a special tournament and it’s a tournament that brings the best out of you.

“Other teams might be favourites, but as a pair, we can match anyone. If we play as we can then we have a great chance.”

2018 quarter-finalists Japan progressed to the second round in dramatic fashion with a 5-4 win over Gibraltar.

The Japanese pair of Seigo Asada and Haruki Muramatsu opened up a 4-2 lead before Dyson Parody and Antony Lopez hit back to level, but with Gibraltar waiting on 42 in the decider, Asada took out 104 for victory.

The first round of the 32-nation tournament concludes on Friday at Hamburg’s Barclaycard Arena with the remaining eight first round ties.

Reigning champions Netherlands begin their title defence as World Champion Michael van Gerwen and debutant Jermaine Wattimena play Spain’s Cristo Reyes and Toni Alcinas.

Four-time champions England play the Philippines, while former finalists Australia play Finland and Austria take on Russia amongst the other ties.

For tickets, visit www.pdc-europe.tv/tickets.

BetVictor World Cup of Darts

Thursday, June 6

Japan 5-4 Gibraltar

South Africa 5-4 Northern Ireland

New Zealand 5-1 Lithuania

Belgium 5-1 Hong Kong

Sweden 5-1 Brazil

Singapore 5-3 Wales

Germany 5-1 Hungary

Scotland 5-0 Denmark

Friday, June 7 (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

China v USA

Italy v Canada

Poland v Czech Republic

Republic of Ireland v Greece

England v Philippines

Austria v Russia

Australia v Finland

Netherlands v Spain

First Round – Best of nine legs, Doubles

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THE 2019 BetVictor World Cup of Darts begins on Thursday, with the new-look Netherlands bidding to retain their title at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg. Image Supplied By PDC

The unique 32-nation Pairs tournament will be held from June 6-9 live on Sky Sports, through the PDC’s international broadcast partners, and on PDCTV-HD for International Subscribers.

The £350,000 event will see each country represented by two players in a combination of Doubles and Singles matches in a battle for the title, which was won by the Netherlands for a fourth time last June.

Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld’s triumph in Frankfurt last year saw the Netherlands equal England’s record of four World Cup crowns in the eight stagings of the competition.

This year’s event will see Van Barneveld absent in the Dutch line-up for the first time, with World Champion Van Gerwen teaming up with world number 23 Jermaine Wattimena, the second-highest Dutch ranked player on the PDC Order of Merit.

The fourth seeds will face Spanish duo Cristo Reyes and Toni Alcinas in their first-round assignment, with Van Gerwen feeling confident of retaining the title.

“With all respect to Raymond, I think Jermaine deserves his place,” said Van Gerwen, who has won the tournament three times alongside Van Barneveld.

Image Supplied By PDC

“I love to hold records and this would be a special one.

“It would be something special for the Netherlands to overtake England and I am really determined to do that.

“Also for myself, it would take me level on titles with three great World Cup players and if I do that then I have the chance next year to break that record too.”

The first round will take place across Thursday and Friday, with the second round split across two sessions on Saturday, June 2, with the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon and the semi-finals and final on Sunday evening.

Round one will see English top seeds Rob Cross and Michael Smith pair up for the first time against highly-rated Filipino duo Lourence Ilagan and Noel Malicdem

Image Supplied By PDC

For Cross, this will be the former World Champion’s second taste of World Cup action having reached the quarter-finals alongside Dave Chisnall in 2018, while Smith is relishing the prospect of pulling on an England shirt for the first time.

“I can’t wait to represent my country, it will be one of the proudest moments of my career,” said Smith.

“Even if I were to fall down the rankings in later years and this turns out to be the only chance I get to play for England, I will always look back on it with pride.

“Everyone wants to represent their country in any sport, and last year I was doing everything I could to get into the team, it was one of my biggest aims.

“I think we’ve got a good chance of doing well, Rob had a great Premier League season, whereas I didn’t play badly but my doubles let me down.“

Number two seeds Scotland will once again be represented by Gary Anderson and Peter Wright, who will be looking to go one better than their runner-up placings in 2015 and 2018.

Image Supplied By PDC

They will begin their bid for a first title against Denmark, while Welsh third seeds Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton get their campaign underway against Paul Lim and Harith Lim’s Singapore.

Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson will fly the Australian flag for Australia for a fourth consecutive year, and 2012 runner-up Whitlock admits it would be one of the biggest disappointments of his career if he were never to win the title for his country.

“Every tournament is important but this one is really special to me,” said Whitlock has reached the semi-finals on three other occasions.

“The final defeat in 2012 really hurt me but I’ve still got the chance to win it. Paul (Nicholson) and I were a strong team and the title was there for us to win but we missed our chance.

“That fuelled my hunger to win the event. It would be huge for Australian darts. I have built up a good rapport with Kyle and I think we are ready as a team to go and play our best darts in what I think is a very open tournament that we have every chance of winning.”

2016 semi-finalists Northern Ireland will once again be represented by world number four Daryl Gurney and World Cup ever-present Brendan Dolan, who will face South Africa in their opening game.

Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri Van den Bergh will compete for Belgium for a second successive year, having made it to the semi-finals in 2018, and they will meet Hong Kong in round one.

Austrian duo Mensur Suljovic and Zoran Lerchbacher will be hoping to erase the memory of their first round exit last year when they take on Russia.

Japanese pair Seigo Asada and Haruki Muramatsu, who were quarter-finalists in 2018, will open this year’s event against Gibraltar, who are represented by ever-present Dyson Parody and debutant Antony Lopez.

China, who meet the USA in Friday’s opening tie, suffered a late team change when Yuanjun Liu stepped in to make his third World Cup appearance following the withdrawal of Qingyu Zhan due to a passport issue.

Following the first round on Thursday and Friday, the tournament’s second round will be split across two sessions on Saturday, June 8, featuring a combination of Singles and Doubles tie.

The event concludes on Sunday, with the quarter-finals in the afternoon session to be followed by the semi-finals and final in the evening session.

2019 BetVictor World Cup of Darts
Nations & Competing Players

(Seed 1) England – Rob Cross & Michael Smith
(Seed 2) Scotland – Gary Anderson & Peter Wright
(Seed 3) Wales – Gerwyn Price & Jonny Clayton
(Seed 4) Netherlands – Michael van Gerwen & Jermaine Wattimena
(Seed 5) Australia –Simon Whitlock & Kyle Anderson
(Seed 6) Northern Ireland – Daryl Gurney & Brendan Dolan
(Seed 7) Belgium – Kim Huybrechts & Dimitri Van den Bergh
(Seed 8) Austria – Mensur Suljovic & Zoran Lerchbacher

Brazil – Diogo Portela & Artur Valle
Canada – Dawson Murschell & Jim Long
China – Xiaochen Zong & Yuanjun Liu (Qingyu Zhan replaced by Yuanjun Liu)
Czech Republic – Pavel Jirkal & Karel Sedlacek
Denmark – Per Laursen & Niels Heinsøe
Finland – Marko Kantele & Kim Viljanen
Germany – Max Hopp & Martin Schindler
Gibraltar – Dyson Parody & Antony Lopez
Greece – John Michael & Veniamin Symeonidis
Hong Kong – Royden Lam & Kai Fan Leung
Hungary – Pal Szekely & Janos Vegso
Italy – Andrea Micheletti & Stefano Tomassetti
Japan – Seigo Asada & Haruki Muramatsu
Lithuania – Darius Labanauskas & Mindaugas Barauskas
New Zealand – Cody Harris & Haupai Puha
Philippines – Lourence Ilagan & Noel Malicdem
Poland – Krzysztof Ratajski & Tytus Kanik
Republic of Ireland – Steve Lennon & William O’Connor
Russia – Boris Koltsov & Aleksey Kadochnikov
Singapore – Paul Lim & Harith Lim
South Africa – Devon Petersen & Vernon Bouwers
Spain – Cristo Reyes & Toni Alcinas
Sweden – Dennis Nilsson & Magnus Caris
United States of America – Darin Young & Chuck Puleo

Session Times:
Thursday, June 6 (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Gibraltar v Japan
Northern Ireland v South Africa
New Zealand v Lithuania
Belgium v Hong Kong
Brazil v Sweden
Wales v Singapore
Hungary v Germany
Scotland v Denmark

Friday, June 7 (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

China v USA
Italy v Canada
Poland v Czech Republic
Republic of Ireland v Greece
England v Philippines
Austria v Russia
Australia v Finland
Netherlands v Spain

Saturday, June 8
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Second Round x4

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Second Round x4

Sunday, June 9
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Quarter-Finals

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Semi-Finals
Final

Prize Fund
Winners (Per Player) £35,000
Runner-Up (Per Player) £20,000
Semi-Finalists (Per Player) £12,000
Quarter-Finalists (Per Player) £8,000
Second Round Losers (Per Player) £4,000
First Round Losers (Per Player) £2,000
Total £350,000

Format


First Round
Best of nine legs Doubles

Second Round, Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals
The Second Round, Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals will be played as two best of seven legs 501 Singles matches, with both nations nominating the order in which their players play. In the event of both nations winning one Singles match apiece, a best of seven leg 501 Doubles match will be played to decide the tie.

Final
The Final will be played as two best of seven legs 501 Singles matches, with both nations nominating the order in which their players play the first two matches, followed by a best of seven legs 501 Doubles match and then Reverse Singles matches. The first team to win three games is declared the winner

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2019 Unibet Premier League – Night 16 Round-Up

VAN GERWEN TOPS TABLE AS WADE & GURNEY REACH UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN claimed the top spot in the Unibet Premier League table for a seventh successive season as the league stage of the event concluded in Leeds on Thursday, where James Wade and Daryl Gurney claimed the final Play-Off places.

Dutch star Van Gerwen went into the final league night at the First Direct Arena a point adrift of Rob Cross in the race to top the final standings and claim the £25,000 league leader’s bonus.

World number one Van Gerwen powered past Mensur Suljovic with an 8-5 win, ending the Austrian’s Play-Off chances, and then saw Cross lose 8-6 to Wade.

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
FIRST DIRECT ARENA ,
LEEDS
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V MENSUR SULJOVIC
MENSUR SULJOVIC IN ACTION

That result ensured Van Gerwen retained his record of topping the Premier League table in every season since his debut in 2013, despite suffering three defeats during the campaign.

“It’s a great achievement for myself but I know I can do better than this,” said Van Gerwen. “There’s lots of room for improvement because I let myself down in a few games.

“But now I will focus on next week and the most important thing is to win the Play-Offs in London.”

Van Gerwen raced into a 5-0 lead against Suljovic, who hit back with three legs but was unable to stop the Dutchman’s march to a tenth league win of the season.

Van Gerwen now faces a semi-final tie with Gurney – who inflicted two of his three defeats during the regular season – after the Northern Irish ace secured his first Play-Offs appearance with an 8-3 win over Michael Smith.

A high-quality opening saw the pair share the opening four legs shared with three 12-darters and a 13-dart finish before Gurney pulled clear to lead 5-2.

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
FIRST DIRECT ARENA,
LEEDS
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
DARYL GURNEY V MICHAEL SMITH
DARYL GURNEY IN ACTION

Smith finished 100 for a second ton-plus checkout of the game, but missed doubles in the next leg allowed Gurney back in before the Northern Irish ace completed victory with an average of almost 102.

“I’m delighted,” said Gurney. “I knew I had to win tonight and I was probably the most focused I’ve ever been and it’s one of my best performances.

“It was a quality game and I took out a couple of importance finishes. Under the circumstances, I think I played beyond my expectations, so I’m happy with that.

“Now I’m in the Play-Offs I’ll do my best to win the title.”

Wade secured a third-place finish with an 8-6 victory over Cross, and the pair will meet once again in the semi-finals at The O2 in London on Thursday, May 23.

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
FIRST DIRECT ARENA,
LEEDS
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
JAMES WADE V ROB CROSS
JAMES WADE IN ACTION

A tight opening saw the first eight legs shared before Wade secured a first break of the game to lead 6-4.

Cross – who needed to win to top the final league table – hit back to 6-5 and 7-6, but the 2009 champion took the deciding leg to claim a seventh win of the campaign.

“Rob has been the best player in the Premier League this season but tonight I thought the nerves might get to him,” said Wade.

“Tonight’s result doesn’t mean anything going into the Play-Offs, and if anything it will give Rob a bit of fuel because I just cost him £25,000!

“I’m never someone to be written off though because I’ve been there and done it before.”

The night’s action had begun with Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price briefly keeping alive his Play-Off hopes with a fine 8-3 win over Peter Wright.

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
FIRST DIRECT ARENA,
LEEDS
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
GERWYN PRICE V PETER WRIGHT
GERWYN PRICE IN ACTION

The pair shared four ton-plus finishes, with Price’s early 106 checkouts cancelled out by a 136 combination from Wright in leg four.

Price produced a huge 146 finish in leg five before double one gave him a break to claim breathing space, and he pulled out to 6-2 before defying a 100 checkout from the Scot to complete the win.

“I knew I had to get a win and I did that, but I’ve had a lot of draws and that’s cost me in the end,” said Price, whose six wins were matched by six stalemates.

“I’ve learned a lot during this Premier League and I won’t be disheartened. I’ve bombed a lot of opportunities withdraws where I should have won, but I’ve enjoyed the season.”

The destiny of the Unibet Premier League title will be determined next Thursday with the semi-finals and finals at The O2 in London, where a £250,000 top prize is on offer.

2019 Unibet Premier League

Night 16 – Thursday, May 16

First Direct Arena, Leeds

Gerwyn Price 8-3 Peter Wright

Daryl Gurney 8-3 Michael Smith

Michael van Gerwen 8-5 Mensur Suljovic

James Wade 8-6 Rob Cross

Play-Offs – Thursday, May 23

The O2, London

Semi-Finals

Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney

Rob Cross v James Wade

Final

Van Gerwen/Gurney v Cross/Wade

Final League Table

P W D L +/- LWAT Pts
1 Michael van Gerwen 16 10 3 3 +40 40 23
2 Rob Cross 16 10 2 4 +26 40 22
3 James Wade 16 7 6 3 +20 38 20
4 Daryl Gurney 16 8 3 5 +7 33 19
5 Gerwyn Price 16 6 6 4 +6 34 18
6 Mensur Suljovic 16 7 3 6 -1 36 17
7 Michael Smith 16 3 4 9 -26 24 10
8 Peter Wright 16 2 5 9 -32 22 9
9 Raymond van Barneveld (E) 9 1 2 6 -22 12 4
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2019 Unibet Premier League Darts  Night 16: Leeds Preview UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
FLYDSA ARENA ,
SHEFFIELD
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
GERWYN PRICE V DARYL GURNEY
DARYL GURNEY IN ACTION

THE 2019 Unibet Premier League’s Darts regular season concludes final league at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Thursday, where four players are vying for the final two Play-Off places.

The tightest ever league phase will reach its climax in Yorkshire in arguably the most pivotal night of league action in the competition’s 15-year history.

James Wade, Mensur Suljovic, Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price all still harbour hopes of making it to The O2 on May 23, while Rob Cross and Michael van Gerwen are battling it out for top spot and the £25,000 league leader bonus.

All four games will have a bearing on the final finishing positions on a crucial night of action, beginning when sixth-placed Gerwyn Price takes on Peter Wright – who sits eighth – in the opening game of the night.

Welshman Price must win or draw to keep his Play-Off hopes alive and then hope results go his way later in the night, and the Grand Slam of Darts Champion is hoping he won’t be left ruing missed chances amongst six draws this season.

“At the start of the league I would’ve taken this position but going back five or six weeks I would’ve been disappointed for the situation to be out of my hands,” said Price, who drew 7-7 with Play-Off chasing rival Gurney in Sheffield last Thursday but missed one match dart.

“Last week’s game meant a lot to me, I knew I needed a win or at least a draw and I should’ve won. But it didn’t go my way and I’ve got to move on now.

“If I don’t go through it’s still been a brilliant year for me in the Premier League, even though I drew too many games. I’m going to keep being me and playing my own game.”

The focus then moves to fifth-placed Daryl Gurney, who takes on already-eliminated Michael Smith and knows that he must better the results of Price and Suljovic.

The Northern Irishman pinned a pivotal double 16 with his last dart in hand against Price in Sheffield to take a big step towards making his Play-Offs debut.

“For me, that game was the biggest of the season,” reflected Gurney. “He was the far better player and probably should have won the game, and I did well to get a draw,” said Gurney.

“I came away with a very important point. If I’d lost that game and Gerwyn had won it he would have been in the driving seat to qualify for The O2, but we got a draw so if Gerwyn wins [in Leeds] I’ve got to win.

“I think it leads for a very interesting last week, and I know it’s going to be a very difficult game against Michael Smith. He is a sleeping giant right now – the most naturally gifted player there is on the circuit.”

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
MOTORPOINT ARENA,
CARDIFF
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
MENSUR SULJOVIC V DARYL GURNEY
MENSUR SULJOVIC IN ACTION

Fourth-placed Suljovic competes in the third tie of the evening, against Van Gerwen, and knows that he must better the results of Gurney and Price in their earlier games.

“Of course it will be really hard and I know I have to play well to beat Michael, but I will give it my all,” said Suljovic.

“It’s been a great Premier League and I hope I can make the top four and play in the Play-Offs. I’ve loved the Premier League this season and I don’t want it to end this week.”

Third-placed Wade will qualify with a win or a draw from his tie with Cross in the night’s final fixture, although if Gurney or Suljovic fail to win then the 2009 champion will have qualified for the Play-Offs before throwing a dart.

“I was disappointed to only come away with a draw last week, but it could turn out to be a good point,” said Wade.

“I know what I’ve got to do now, the equation for me is simple so it’s up to me to go out there and do it against Rob on Thursday.”

Cross moved a step closer to joining Phil Taylor and Van Gerwen as the third player in history to top the league phase with an 8-4 victory over Suljovic in Sheffield last week, and a win over Wade would guarantee a finish at the top of the pile.

In doing so, the former World Champion would end Van Gerwen’s record of topping the league phase every year since his 2013 debut, while also pocketing the £25,000 bonus for topping the standings.

“It would be a real privilege to join Phil and Michael on the list of league phase winners,” said Cross, who has won ten matches in this year’s competition, more than any other player.

“If it was easy to do then there would be a fair few more players on that list, so I can’t take for granted how special it would be.

“I’ve got a tough game against James on Thursday, he’s played brilliant darts throughout the Premier League and he’s got a great chance to qualify. I’m going to have to play proper darts to get the win and I believe I will.”

Meanwhile, Van Gerwen will be aiming to put the pressure on Cross in their battle to top the final league table in his meeting with Suljovic.

The Dutchman sits a point behind Cross but has superior leg difference, so would move top with a draw ahead of the 2018 World Champion’s meeting with Wade in the final tie in Leeds.

“I can only blame myself for being in this position – I lost too many points this year,” said Van Gerwen.

“I think I can make up the point difference on Rob, I’ve been there before and I know what it takes so I will hopefully pile the pressure onto him with a win over Mensur.”

Night 16 of the Unibet Premier League in Leeds will be shown live on Sky Sports, worldwide through the PDC’s broadcast partners, and through video.pdc.tv for Rest of the World Subscribers.

Night 16 – Thursday, May 16
First Direct Arena, Leeds

Gerwyn Price v Peter Wright

Daryl Gurney v Michael Smith

Michael van Gerwen v Mensur Suljovic

James Wade v Rob Cross

Unibet Premier League – Night 16 Permutations

James Wade
Qualifies with a win or a draw.
If Gurney or Suljovic do not win, Wade has qualified before playing his match.

Gerwyn Price
If Price draws, he needs Suljovic and Gurney to lose.
If Price wins, he needs Suljovic and Gurney not to win.

Daryl Gurney
Needs a better result than Mensur Suljovic and Gerwyn Price.

Mensur Suljovic
Needs a better result than Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price.

Players tied on points are split as follows:
League Points
Leg Difference (+/-)
Legs Won Against Throw (LWAT)
Tournament Average from Sportradar

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CROSS & VAN GERWEN CONTINUE UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS BATTLE

THE battle to top the Unibet Premier League table will go to the wire after Rob Cross and Michael van Gerwen claimed big wins in Sheffield on Thursday, as the Play-Off battle intensified on a dramatic night.

Cross remains at the top of the table, a point clear of Van Gerwen, heading to next Thursday’s final league night in Leeds as their battle to claim the £25,000 league leader’s bonus continued.

Four other players – James Wade, Mensur Suljovic, Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price – are all still in the hunt to claim the final two semi-final places, which will be decided at the First Direct Arena on May 16.

Rob Cross V Mensur Suljovic (8-4)

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
FLYDSA ARENA,
SHEFFIELD
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
ROB CROSS V MENSUR SULJOVIC
ROB CROSS IN ACTION

Cross opened Night 15 at The FlyDSA Arena with yet another top-class display, as the 2018 World Champion saw off Suljovic 8-4.

He took a 3-0 lead and also finished 126 on the bullseye to move clear of the Austrian, before sealing a tenth victory of the season which dents Suljovic’s own top four hopes.

“It feels absolutely brilliant,” said Cross. “Getting into the Play-Offs is the aim for everyone at the start of the season so I’m delighted.

“I’m loving it at the moment and it’s nice to win again. I started the game well but I made myself a bit edgy, and then I pulled myself together and got the win.

“I really enjoyed it and I need to focus on myself now and getting ready for the Play-Offs.”

Michael Van Gerwen v Peter Wright (8-1)

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
FLYDSA ARENA,
SHEFFIELD
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V PETER WRIGHT
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN IN ACTION

Cross’ performance was bettered, statistically, by reigning Premier League champion Van Gerwen, who produced the season’s highest average of 110.85 in an 8-1 romp against Peter Wright.

Van Gerwen followed an 11-darter with finishes of 102 and 105 as he opened up a 3-0 lead, with Wright replying with an 11-dart finish of his own in leg four.

The Dutchman, though, was relentless as he raced into a 7-1 lead without missing a dart at a double before overcoming three missed match darts in the next to complete a superb win.

“The main thing today was qualifying – I had to play well and I’m glad I did,” said Van Gerwen, who plays Suljovic in Leeds next week.

“I think I can be happy with this display – I didn’t do much wrong. Peter played well and pushed me, and we got the best out of each other.

“I think I played a good game. I believe in my ability and always believe I will make the Play-Offs, but it would mean a lot if I can finish top too.

“I know what it takes but I can only blame myself for being in this position because I’ve lost too many points. I have to put everything together next week and make sure I’m putting pressure on Rob.”

James Wade v Michael Smith (7-7)

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
FLYDSA ARENA,
SHEFFIELD
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
JAMES WADE V MICHAEL SMITH
MICHAEL SMITH IN ACTION

Third-placed Wade moved a step closer to securing his first Play-Offs appearance since 2013 with a draw against Michael Smith.

A high-quality opening saw Wade respond to finishes of 76 and 94 from the World Championship finalist with a 144 checkout to level in leg four, only for Smith to then fire in a 128 bull combination.

Double ten in leg six saw Smith claim the first break to move 4-2 up, but his missed doubles in four of the next five allowed Wade back in to move 6-5 up.

A brilliant 161 checkout from Wade saw him secure a point, but Smith took the final two legs to share the spoils.

“It’s a frustrating result,” said Wade, the 2009 Premier League champion. “I got a point, which I guess is quite important at this stage of the season, but I’m not happy with how I played.

“Michael played better than me but I was fortunate he didn’t hit his doubles.”

Daryl Gurney v Gwerwyn Price (7-7)

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
FLYDSA ARENA,
SHEFFIELD
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
GERWYN PRICE V DARYL GURNEY
DARYL GURNEY IN ACTION

Gurney and Price also remain in the hunt for Play-Off places following their draw, which ended with the Northern Irish ace exchanging words with the Grand Slam of Darts champion on stage.

Price hit back from a leg down to lead 3-1, while Gurney landed a superb ten-darter as he pulled back to 4-3, before levelling after 12 legs courtesy of a 95 finish – maintaining his superb finishing record on the night.

Price then held his nerve with a 96 finish that featured double 18 and double top as he secured a point – keeping his Play-Off hopes alive – but missed double 13 for the match in a dramatic decider before Gurney took out 64 to claim the draw.

The Unibet Premier League’s regular season will conclude on Thursday, May 16 at the First Direct Arena in Leeds with four matches which will all have a bearing on the Play-Off race. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk or call 0844 248 1585.

2019 Unibet Premier League

Night 15 – Thursday, May 9

The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield

Michael Smith 7-7 James Wade

Mensur Suljovic 4-8 Rob Cross

Daryl Gurney 7-7 Gerwyn Price

Michael van Gerwen 8-1 Peter Wright

Night 16 – Thursday, May 16

First Direct Arena, Leeds

Gerwyn Price v Peter Wright

James Wade v Rob Cross

Michael van Gerwen v Mensur Suljovic

Daryl Gurney v Michael Smith

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HUGE UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE NIGHT AHEAD IN SHEFFIELD UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019 MANCHESTER ARENA ,
MANCHESTER
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
MENSUR SULJOVIC V PETER WRIGHT
MENSUR SULJOVIC IN ACTION

PLACES in the Unibet Premier League Play-Offs are on the line when the tournament visits The FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield on Thursday for a pivotal Night 15.

With just two league nights remaining before the Play-Offs in London on Thursday, May 23, six of the eight players can still secure places in the top four.

2018 World Champion Rob Cross currently sits at the top of the league table and is crucially four points clear of fifth-placed Daryl Gurney with two games to play.

Cross knows that a draw against fourth-placed Mensur Suljovic in Sheffield would ensure his semi-final spot, while a win keeps him on course to become only the third player in Premier League history to top the regular season table, after Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen.

“We all dream about winning the Premier League,” said Cross, an impressive 8-1 winner against Michael Smith last week. “We all set our stall out to qualify and we worry about positions afterwards.

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
M&S BANK ARENA,
LIVERPOOL
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V MICHAEL SMITH
MICHAEL SMITH IN ACTION

“It’s my second attempt and it looks like I’m going to qualify for the second time. We’ve got two matches left and I want the best run-in that I can have.

“You’ve got to make sure you’re playing well and that you’re confident. I think it’s important that I have a good run-in now to try and get to The O2 and feel positive and know that I’m playing well.

“I’ll just try and try and perform to the best of my capabilities. I think I’ve done well this year – I’m a lot more settled than last year and I feel fresher.”

Van Gerwen sits a point behind Cross following last week’s defeat to Daryl Gurney in Manchester, with the Dutchman taking on Peter Wright on Thursday in a repeat of the 2017 Premier League final.

The Dutchman won the Austrian Darts Open over the weekend – defeating Wright 6-5 in the quarter-finals – and is aiming to bounce back on the Premier League stage in style.

“I made too many mistakes last week against Daryl but I played well at the weekend and I want to keep that going now,” said World Champion Van Gerwen.

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
MOTORPOINT ARENA,
CARDIFF
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V ROB CROSS
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN IN ACTION

“I need to make sure I play well because Peter has nothing to lose now and he will be dangerous. I want to put in a good performance to make sure that I’m going into the Play-Offs in good form.”

Third-placed James Wade takes on Michael Smith, who also cannot qualify, and the 2009 Premier League winner is aiming to secure his place in the Play-Offs for the first time since 2013.

“I just want to be in the top four,” said Wade. “We’ve got a few more games left and I’m playing with the best players in the world but I’ll take anyone on.

“I’ve only brushed upon the edges of my abilities – I think I can do better.”

A huge match-up in Sheffield sees Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price – who sit in fifth and sixth place respectively – clash in a game which could end one of the pair’s Play-Off hopes.

Gurney has never previously beaten Price on TV in four previous meetings and admitted: “It’s a big match.

“Gerwyn’s played me a lot on TV now and I can’t remember the last time I beat him.

“Hopefully I can get a result against him and keep myself in the running. I’m taking one game at a time and if I can get something out of it, hopefully, I can qualify for The O2.”

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019
MOTORPOINT ARENA,
CARDIFF
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
GERWYN PRICE N MICHAEL SMITH
GERWYN PRICE IN ACTION

Tickets for Thursday’s Unibet Premier League at The FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield are still available and can be purchased by calling 0114 256 5656 or online at www.flydsaarena.co.uk.

The event will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix from 1900, worldwide through the PDC’s international broadcast partners and at video.pdc.tv for PDCTV-HD Rest of the World Subscribers.

Following Thursday’s event, the final league night of the Unibet Premier League season will take place at The First Direct Arena in Leeds on Thursday, May 16. For tickets, call 0844 248 1585 or visit ticketmaster.co.uk.

2019 Unibet Premier League

Night 15 – Thursday, May 9

The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield

Michael Smith v James Wade

Mensur Suljovic v Rob Cross

Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price

Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright

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UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019 MANCHESTER ARENA,
MANCHESTER
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
ROB CROSS V MICHAEL SMITH
ROB CROSS IN ACTION Unibet Premier League Darts – Week 14 Results

Van Gerwen’s win over Cross in Cardiff a fortnight ago had seen him overtake the 2018 World Champion in the battle for the £25,000 league leader’s bonus.

However, Cross’ 8-1 rout of Michael Smith at The Manchester Arena was followed by a brilliant Gurney display as the Northern Irish ace took a 4-0 lead on his way to victory over Van Gerwen.

Cross now sits a point clear going into the final two league nights, leaving him in pole position to end Van Gerwen’s record of topping the pile every year since his 2013 debut after averaging almost 103 in a clinical display at The Manchester Arena.

Smith had reached the Premier League final last May before losing to Van Gerwen, but the eighth defeat of this season saw his Play-Off chances ended, with Cross now all but assured of his place at The O2 on May 23.

He took the opening five legs without reply, checking out finishes of 101, 78, 71 and 68 in the process before Smith finished 68 himself to get off the mark in the sixth.

Cross, though, wasted no time in wrapping up the points with three successive 11-darters which sealed his ninth win of the season.

“I’m really pleased with my performance,” said Cross. “I scored well in placed and my finishing was the catalyst to get me an early lead.

“It was important for me at 5-0 too to maintain my concentration, and when I lost a leg I got a good reaction from myself. Once I started to spread my wings at 5-1 I started to score as I can.

“It’s the tightest Premier League we’ve ever had and I want to keep my momentum going in the last two games ahead of the Play-Offs. It’s crunch time now.”

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019 MANCHESTER ARENA ,
MANCHESTER
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
DARYL GURNEY V MICHAEL VAN GERWEN
DARYL GURNEY IN ACTION

Gurney completed a Premier League double over Van Gerwen with an 8-5 triumph in their Manchester contest as he followed up his Berlin win over the World Champion with another fine display.

Gurney raced into a four-leg lead, taking out 105 and 76 for breaks of throw before a 127 checkout from Van Gerwen got the reigning champion off the mark.

Double eight saw Van Gerwen take a second leg before Gurney restored his four-leg cushion, and even a 130 checkout from the Dutchman was unable to stop his rival securing at least a draw at 7-4.

Van Gerwen finished 100 to keep his hopes alive in leg 12, but tops for Gurney sealed a key win as he stays a point away from the top four.

“Michael’s the best player in the world so it means a lot to me to beat him again,” said Gurney. “To beat him twice in one season is a nice record to have.

“I don’t panic any more against him now, where I maybe tried too hard to beat him in recent years. I needed to get something out of the game and luckily I came away with the two points.

“If I can go into my next two games with the same temperament I could win them, and if I can get into the top four I will be very happy.”

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019 MANCHESTER ARENA ,
MANCHESTER
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
JAMES WADE V GERWYN PRICE
JAMES WADE IN ACTION

James Wade sits in third place after overcoming Gerwyn Price 8-4 in a key top-four battle which leaves the Grand Slam of Darts champion two points adrift of the Play-Off places.

Finishes of 61, 73 and tops helped Wade into a three-leg lead before Price kick-started his challenge with an 11-darter.

Wade pulled clear at 5-2 and then took out 122 on the bull and 81 on double 12 to secure at least a point at 7-4, before tops secured two crucial points.

“Gerwyn is one of the top four players in the world at the moment so it’s a really good win,” said Wade. “I think I can do better than I did tonight, but I can move forward from here.

“I want to make sure I get in the top four. This is the top players in the world but I will play anyone.”

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2019 MANCHESTER ARENA ,
MANCHESTER
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG
MENSUR SULJOVIC V PETER WRIGHT
MENSUR SULJOVIC IN ACTION

Mensur Suljovic maintained his Play-Offs challenge and ended Peter Wright’s faint hopes of reaching the top four with an 8-6 victory from their contest to move into fourth place.

The Austrian opened the tie with a 144 finish and led 3-0, with a 130 combination from Wright only stemming the tide briefly as Suljovic opened up a 5-1 lead.

Wright, though, took out double ten, 80 and 100 as he pulled back to 5-4, with Suljovic edging a key leg to deny the Scot a chance to level before sealing at least a point at 7-5.

Wright took out 110 to force a deciding leg, but Suljovic sealed victory in style by following three 140 scores with an 81 finish for a 12-darter.

“It’s a brilliant win for me,” said Suljovic, who moves onto 17 league points to move into the top four. “It’s a good feeling to Peter Wright because at 5-1 he came back, so I’m happy to win.

“The Premier League is brilliant and I’ve nothing to lose. I will do my best and I hope I can get into the semi-finals.”

The Unibet Premier League continues on Thursday, May 9 at The FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, where Cross takes on Suljovic, Van Gerwen plays Wright, Gurney meets Price and Wade faces Smith.

Unibet Premier League

Night 14 – Thursday, May 2

The Manchester Arena

Rob Cross 8-1 Michael Smith

Peter Wright 6-8 Mensur Suljovic

Daryl Gurney 8-5 Michael van Gerwen

James Wade 8-4 Gerwyn Price

Night 15 – Thursday, May 9

The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield

Michael Smith v James Wade

Mensur Suljovic v Rob Cross

Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price

Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright

Latest League Table

P W D L +/- LWAT Pts
1 Rob Cross 14 9 2 3 +24 34 20
2 Michael van Gerwen 14 8 3 3 +30 35 19
3 James Wade 14 6 5 3 +18 33 17
4 Mensur Suljovic 14 7 3 4 +6 33 17
5 Daryl Gurney 14 7 2 5 +2 28 16
6 Gerwyn Price 14 5 5 4 +1 27 15
7 Peter Wright 14 2 5 7 -20 20 9
8 Michael Smith 14 3 3 8 -21 22 9
9 Raymond van Barneveld (E) 9 1 2 6 -22 12 4
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