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Gutsy Wade going for Grand Slam Glory!

Tuesday, 24 November 2020 09:01:54 Europe/London

Van den Bergh opened the semi-final with a brilliant 160 finish and punished early missed doubles from Wade to open up a 5-1 lead.

A high-quality contest then saw the pair hold throw for 12 legs - of which 11 were won in 15 darts or less - before Wade broke in leg 18 and then pinned double ten to cut the gap to 10-9.

Van den Bergh hit back, then broke back with a 76 finish and produced an 11-darter as he pulled out to 13-9, only for Wade to then take four of the next five to level at 14-all.

Van den Bergh posted a 14-darter to move a leg away from victory, but missed a dart at the bull for victory in leg 30 as Wade finished double six to stay in the game.

He then opened the deciding leg with scores of 140 and 180 before taking out 76 for a 12-darter to progress to the final as the winning dart put him ahead for the first time in the game.

"I'm unbelievably happy," said Wade. "I'm buzzing - I used to feel like this many years ago and I haven't felt like this for a long time.

"It hasn't happened for me at times but at the moment I'm pushing forward, and I really am happy to win. It means a lot to me.

"I was so poor to start off and I missed quite a lot of finishes. I probably should have lost that game, Dimitri was the better player, he didn't buckle or back down, but I did enough to win.

"I was beaten and then I wasn't beaten. I was making it hard for myself when it shouldn't have been that hard - I thought I out-played him for the first ten legs.

"I thought I'd blown it when I got back to 14-all and had a poor leg, but in that last leg I was so determined. Now that I'm in the final, I'm going to relax and enjoy myself."

Wade goes into the final as the 4/5 favourite with sponsors BoyleSports, with De Sousa rated at Evens to lift the Eric Bristow Trophy.

"Jose is phenomenal," added Wade. "I don't think he cares what he's doing or how he's doing it, he enjoys darts and is a big scorer and a great finisher - but I'm not bad

 

BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts

Monday November 23

Semi-Finals

Jose De Sousa 16-12 Simon Whitlock

James Wade 16-15 Dimitri Van den Bergh

 

Tuesday November 24 (1800 GMT)

Final

Jose De Sousa v James Wade

Best of 31 legs

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Wade & Van den Bergh set for Grand Slam showdown!

Monday, 23 November 2020 09:24:38 Europe/London

Team Unicorn duo James Wade & Dimitri Van den Bergh will face off for a place in the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts Final later this evening.

James Wade remains on course to reach his third Grand Slam of Darts final after taking a 16-13 win over Damon Heta in a high-quality last eight encounter.

The 2010 and 2016 runner-up made a superb start to win the opening four legs without reply and also led 10-6 at one stage.

Australia's Heta, though, hit back to level the game after 26 legs as he searched for his maiden televised ranking semi-final, only to see the left-hander take three legs without reply to claim victory.

Legs of 15, 15, 13 and 11 darts from Wade saw him make a brilliant start and establish a ton-plus average which he would retain throughout the contest.

Heta pulled back to 4-3, but Wade denied him a chance to level with a key tops, and took out 152 and 101 as he moved into a 9-6 lead.

Tops moved Wade four legs clear once more, but 2019 Brisbane Darts Masters winner Heta showed his quality by finishing 108 and 142 to kick-start his response, before landing a ten-darter and a 101 finish as he pulled back to 13-all.

Wade, though, pinned double 16 for a 14-darter and then took out 96 to move 15-13 up, before a third-dart double two moved him into the last four.

"I'm so happy I won," said Wade, who also reached the European Championship final three weeks ago. "I did the right things at the right times of the game.

"Even though I was well in front and I was probably the better player for the majority of the game, I believe I was lucky.

"I thought he would get nervous and cave in, but he didn't - he showed a bit of class and showed his resilience and I was fortunate he missed a few shots. 

"The 96 finish was massive - if I'd have missed that, I'd have lost the game. I've played in one or two games before and I know what wins and loses games, and at that point I thought it was enough to keep me in the game, not win me the game.

"It was quite a good game and the better player on the day won. I'm grateful to still be in the tournament and I'm looking forward to my next game. I've been there and done it and I'm enjoying myself."

Meanwhile Belgian star Dimitri Van den Bergh edged out Nathan Aspinall 16-15 in a final-leg shoot-out as he continued his bid to follow up July's World Matchplay triumph with another huge title.

Aspinall played his part in another epic contest, leading 11-8 at one stage and coming from 14-12 down to lead 15-14, only for Van den Bergh to finish the stronger and claim the game's final two legs.

"I'm so chuffed that I'm through," said Van den Bergh, who now plays Wade. "It was a proper emotional rollercoaster and I'm still in that ride.

"I kept battling and never gave up because today was a such a struggle. I lost the first three sessions 3-2 and went down 9-6, but I kept digging in and believing in myself. 

"We didn't perform the way we can but at least I have a chance to improve in the next round, and I will learn from this quarter-final. It's a lesson for me but this week is going very well and I'm playing strong."

Van den Bergh opened the tie with six perfect darts but lost the first leg and trailed 2-1 before eight successive breaks of throw left Aspinall 6-5 up.

The Belgian held throw to level, but Aspinall finished double ten, 74 to break and double eight as he opened up a three-leg gap, which he retained at 10-7 and 11-8 despite Van den Bergh again throwing six perfect darts in one leg.

The Belgian finished 82, 130 and double four as he hit back to level at 11-all, and added another three straight legs as he moved into a 14-12 lead.

Aspinall, though, levelled as he punished four missed doubles from the two-time World Youth Champion, and fired in tops for a third straight leg as he moved 15-14 up.

Van den Bergh landed a 180 and posted double 16 to send the game into a deciding leg, in which Aspinall was left on 36 after landing a 180 only to see his rival pin double 18 for the win.

Monday November 23 (1900 GMT)

Semi-Finals

Simon Whitlock v Jose De Sousa

James Wade v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Best of 31 legs

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Evetts & Rydz victorious on Development Tour!

Monday, 28 September 2020 09:20:19 Europe/London

Team Unicorn stars Ted Evetts and Callan Rydz claimed victories at the year's final PDC Unicorn Development Tour weekend in Barnsley.

Evetts won his 13th title at this level in Event Seven, enjoying a 5-3 win over Joe Davis in the Event Seven decider to open Saturday's second of three days of action.

The 23-year-old won eight matches during the event, including a narrow 5-4 defeat of Northern Ireland's Nathan Rafferty in the quarter-finals and a 5-2 victory over Event Six winner Damian Mol in the semis.

He took a three-leg lead in the final before Davis hit back to trail 4-3, but a 12-darter for Evetts sealed his first title of the year.

Callan Rydz picked up his second PDC Unicorn Development Tour title on Sunday evening, claiming event ten, defeating Hong Kong's Lee Lok Yin 5-1 in the final recording an average of 104 in the process.

Rydz was dominant throughout event ten with comprehensive defeats over George Cressey, Eirwyn Evans, Daniel Castle, Niels Zonneveld with a 103.1 average and Jack Main.

Both Rydz & Evetts will be part of the 96-player field for the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Last 96, which will take place today at the Barnsley Metrodome and they will be joined by fellow Team Unicorn youngster Jeffrey de Zwaan who is in fact the no.1 seed for the event.

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Maestro Promotion for Team Unicorn trio!

Tuesday, 4 August 2020 13:18:21 Europe/London

We are delighted to announce that three Team Unicorn stars have been promoted to our Maestro category of players ahead of the next phase of new products to be released for our Unicorn 2021 range.

Belgian star Dimitri Van den Bergh, Chris Dobey and Jeffrey de Zwaan have all reached the landmark of entering the Top 20 of the PDC Order of Merit since the turn of the year.

Van den Bergh, last month claimed his maiden PDC televised title by being crowned World Matchplay Champion in the behind closed doors event in Milton Keynes, surging upto World no.12 in the process.

Dobey meanwhile, reached two major televised Semi-Finals during the latter part of 2019 and has risen to a career high World no.18 subsequently, showcasing his undoubted talent along the way.

Dutchman, de Zwaan, finished 2019 in 20th spot in the World after a sensational two years on the PDC Tour which included a run to the Semi-Finals of the 2018 World Matchplay in Blackpool, where he defeated Michael Van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis & Dave Chisnall along the way.

Both Dobey and de Zwaan will once again be participants in the PDC Premier League later this month, under the Contender/Challenger format which has freshened up the line-up of players over the past two years in the popular concept.

Player Liaison Manager Matt Rankin commented ‘’It has been incredibly pleasing to see the progression of all three players over the past 18 months or so, especially with Dimitri winning the World Matchplay. All three players are incredibly talented and fully deserve their promotion to Maestro and I am sure Chris & Jeffrey will be looking to join Dimitri in the Major winners enclosure in the not too distant future’’.

New products for our newly promoted trio will be released over the coming weeks and months > https://www.playwiththebest.com/darts/new-2021-launches.html

As ever, stay tuned to our website and social media platforms for further news.

0 Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Incredible Dimitri crowned World Matchplay Champion!

Monday, 27 July 2020 08:05:15 Europe/London

Belgian star Dimitri van den Bergh sensationally won his first televised ranking title at the 2020 Betfred World Matchplay on Sunday, overcoming former champion Gary Anderson with a dominant 18-10 victory in an all Team Unicorn final.

In his debut year at the event, the young Belgian claimed the Phil Taylor trophy in emphatic style at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, averaging almost 100 and hitting four ton-plus finishes along the way.

A nervy start to the final saw the pair struggling to score freely, with both players averaging just 87 going in to the first break, Van den Bergh leading 3-2.

The quality significantly increased during the second session, with both players adding a handful of points on to their averages. Five consecutive holds of throw saw the match level at 5-5, with both players settling in to the contest.

The 11th and 12th legs saw two moments of magic, as first Anderson pinned double five for a 130 finish to break, before Van den Bergh took out 170 with Anderson stuck on 82 to level at 6-6.

Both players missed darts to break and take control of the match in the following legs but it was Van den Bergh who took an 8-7 lead into the third interval.

The 26-year-old, playing in his first ever televised ranking final, then took control of the match as he won four of the next five legs to open up a four leg advantage on Anderson.

Another incredible session for Van den Bergh saw him pull further clear of the two-time World Champion, starting with a stunning 124 finish on the bull, before another bullseye checkout in the following leg, this time 132.

Anderson was unable to get a foothold in the game and Van den Bergh went on to secure a 18-10 win just a few legs later, pocketing the £150,000 top prize.

“My dreams have come true, what a beautiful trophy, I’m so happy,” said Van den Bergh, the first debut winner of the tournament since its inaugural staging in 1994.

“I have so much respect for Gary, to beat him is showing me how far I have come and now I know I can win, I can’t believe this."

The event, being played outside of Blackpool for the first time in its history, was also the first time the World Matchplay had been played without a crowd, and the new champion was keen to thank those involved in making it happen.

“The world is going through a very difficult time and the PDC, Barry Hearn and Matthew Porter have given me a chance to live my dreams when it hasn’t been possible for other, so thank you to them," Van den Bergh continued.

During lockdown, Van den Bergh was forced to spend a total of 11 weeks living with World Champion Peter Wright as he was unable to return home to Belgium.

The dancing ace spoke kindly of his hosts and credited them with playing a major part in his success.

Van den Bergh added: "I spent a lot of time with Peter Wright over the lockdown and he has taught me so much, I’m so grateful to him and his family for everything they did for me during a difficult time."

The run to the final saw Anderson defend a major chunk of the ranking money he won at the 2018 World Matchplay but conceded his opponent deserved the victory on the night.

“He played well right from the off, I just wasn’t there tonight. All credit to Dimitri, he is a lovely lad and deserves his win tonight,” said the Scot.

The 49-year-old, known for his scoring power only hit one 180 during the match and couldn’t find the rhythm or form that won him so many titles before.

“I’ve got a few weeks off now to sort a few things out, I had a few issues with my grip and darts dropping low but no excuses, he deserves it,” concluded the two-time Premier League champion.

Everyone at Unicorn would like to congratulate Dimitri for his magnificent achievement upon being crowned World Matchplay Champion!.

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Anderson & Van den Bergh to battle it out for Matchplay crown!

Sunday, 26 July 2020 09:58:50 Europe/London

Gary Anderson and Dimitri Van den Bergh will clash in an all Team Unicorn Betfred World Matchplay final on Sunday evening after battling through thrilling semi-final contests in Milton Keynes.

The £700,000 tournament will conclude on Sunday as Scottish ace Anderson challenges for his second title in three years after seeing off Michael Smith 18-16 in a tie-break.

Van den Bergh, meanwhile, became the first debutant to win through to the final since James Wade in 2006 with a narrow 17-15 defeat of Glen Durrant in another exciting contest.

Anderson lifted the Phil Taylor Trophy in 2018 and remains on course for another success in the tournament after surviving Smith's fightback.

The Scot had looked on course for the final after opening up a 14-9 lead, only for Smith to move ahead for the first time with six straight legs, but Anderson regained his composure to close out victory.

"To win it would be fantastic - to get my name on that trophy again would be special," admitted Anderson.

"I got a good lead and let him in. Michael will be gutted - his scoring wasn't quite up there tonight and he was struggling a little bit.

"It was great up to a point for me and I felt like I had it done and dusted but then it went wrong - I was struggling to get my darts up but I plodded on and pinched it at the end.

"I'm fighting myself and it's driving me nuts. I had all the time off last year and then I was just getting into it again and we went into lockdown.

"I want to get my game back to where I know it should be and I'm expecting to play like I used to but it's not happening for me at the moment. I'm playing nowhere near what I should be."

A tight opening five legs saw neither player able to break throw before Anderson broke twice as he moved into an 8-3 advantage, defying a 120 finish from Smith with some clinical doubling.

Smith responded strongly with four successive legs, and after the pair traded 12-darters the St Helens man levelled at nine-all.

Anderson, though, fired in a 13-darter to regain the lead before following an earlier 127 checkout with a 128 combination to break for an 11-9 cushion, and he also won the next three to move five clear of his rival.

Smith produced a five-leg burst to turn the game around as he drew level at 14-all, before punishing four missed doubles from the 2018 champion to move ahead for the first time at 15-14.

Anderson took out a pressure 116 to level after Smith missed the bull to move two legs clear, and the Scot then punished another miss as he regained the edge at 16-15.

Smith landed two 180s and finished 81 to level, but Anderson took out 44 and double 18 in the next two to ensure his return to the final.

Van den Bergh's tie with Durrant followed a similar pattern to Friday's quarter-final win over Adrian Lewis as the Belgian eventually took a 17-15 from another tight contest.

Durrant began the match with an outstanding 151 checkout and doubled his lead with a 14-darter, before adding an 11-darter as he moved 3-1 up - only to see the Belgian produce four straight legs to move ahead.

Durrant hit back with a ten-dart leg and a 104 checkout for a 12-darter, but crucially missed a bullseye to level before seeing Van den Bergh move into a 9-5 lead.

Three straight legs cut the gap to one, but Durrant then saw two darts at double 18 to level go begging as Van den Bergh edged away again on double ten, before winning the next two for a 12-8 cushion.

However, Durrant - as he did in the quarter-finals - dug in to find a second wind as he won five of the next six legs to level, including pressure finishes of 76 and 97, before regaining the lead for the first time since leg five at 14-13.

The next two were shared as Durrant edged 15-14 up, but Van den Bergh posted double eight to level, punished his opponent's miss at the bull to regain the lead at 16-15 with another 13-darter before posting double 16 to secure victory.

"It's incredible - I don't think I realise what I've done yet," said the 26-year-old. "I kept digging in and I did the job when I had to do it at the end.

"I know Glen so well so I was nervous right to the end because you expect him to step up at any moment. Tonight he gave me opportunities and those little moments are the ones where I step in.

"I'm so proud to be in the final but I want to win it now. I'm in the final for a reason, and if I manage to win it will not be an upset.

"It's because I've worked hard for it and kept digging in and believing in myself. Tomorrow I will need to be on top of it from the start to the end.

"I think it will work for me that Gary is a fast player because I've played other fast players this week. I'll be ready and I think I have a big chance to be one of those winners who everyone remembers."

Everyone at Unicorn would like to wish both Gary & Dimitri all the very best of luck ahead of what will be a fantastic all Team Unicorn final.

0 Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Debutant Dimitri through to World Matchplay Semi-Final!

Saturday, 25 July 2020 09:55:36 Europe/London

Team Unicorn star Dimitri Van den Bergh set up a tantalising semi-final against Glen Durrant at the Betfred World Matchplay with a gutsy victory over Adrian Lewis on Friday, rising upto a career high World no.17 in the process.

Debutant Van den Bergh, held off Lewis' fightback from 8-2 down to claim a 16-12 win and reach the semi-finals on his debut in the World Matchplay.

Another exciting night of action in the £700,000 event at Milton Keynes' Marshall Arena began as the Belgian secured a spot in his first televised individual semi-final in style.

Lewis cut the gap to three legs at one stage, but Van den Bergh punished some key missed doubles as he pulled clear to continue a remarkable week, averaging almost 100 and finishing 41% of his darts at a double.

A two-time World Youth Champion, Van den Bergh has reached five televised quarter-finals in recent years as well as the World Cup semi-finals alongside Kim Huybrechts, but has now set his sights on lifting the Phil Taylor Trophy.

"It's a fantastic feeling - amazing and unbelievable," said Van den Bergh. "It's my first semi-final in a major and I'm showing the world that I have it in me.

"I'm in the semi-finals and I want to win that now and see how far I can get. It would be a dream come true to win this event but I'll take it round by round and I'll be practising, fighting and believing in my own ability.

"I'm so happy about my game and I know that I've learned from each match. I keep learning and I keep digging in and I'm chasing my dreams.

"Adrian has been in the final but I showed that I can play long games. When he came back I had to keep playing my game. It's the first time I've played a game of the first to 16 but match-play is all about legs, not sets, and I took the chances I got on my doubles."

Despite an early 12-darter from Lewis, which featured a 102 finish, Van den Bergh quickly established a 6-1 advantage with the aid of four 180s, a 177 and a 164 checkout.

Lewis hit back by taking out 161 in leg eight, but Van den Bergh finished tops and 104 to move six legs clear, and then retained that cushion by trading 13-darters with the Stoke ace to lead 10-4.

Lewis took four of the next five - including trading 11-darters with Van den Bergh - as he cut the gap to 11-8, but three in a row moved the Belgian 14-8 up.

Lewis again hit back, winning three successive legs, but Van den Bergh had enough cushion to eventually secure his spot in the last four with a 66 finish.

Saturday's other semi-final sees 2018 champion Gary Anderson taking on 2019 finalist Michael Smith in a mouth-watering all Team Unicorn tie, before Durrant and Van den Bergh battle it out for the other place in Sunday's decider.

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Anderson & Smith set for World Matchplay showdown!

Friday, 24 July 2020 09:20:55 Europe/London

2018 champion Gary Anderson will face Michael Smith in a tasty all Team Unicorn semi-final of the 2020 Betfred World Matchplay after the pair defeated Simon Whitlock and Krzysztof Ratajski respectively at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on Thursday night.

Smith began the night with a dogged display to overcome Polish number one Ratajski with a 16-13 win, before Anderson went on to secure his spot in the final four with a hard-fought win over Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror, Simon Whitlock.

Anderson, who came into the match on the back of a second round win over James Wade, began the match the brighter of the pair, taking a 4-1 lead into the opening interval.

The second session began with the players exchanging a handful of 180s and holds of throw, before a moment of quality saw Whitlock break back to close the gap to one.

The Australian, left with 120, appeared to block the treble 20 bed with his first dart, and moved down the board to hit back-to-back bullseyes with Anderson stranded on 80 to hold.

Anderson immediately wrestled back the initiative, pinning double five to restore the two-leg advantage before moving three clear with a  hold in the following leg.

The Scot returned from the second break to punish Whitlock again, with the former European Champion unable to hold throw, allowing Anderson to move in to a 10-6 advantage.

Whitlock then produced what seemed a vital recovery as he recorded four consecutive legs, including finishes of 80 and 114 to level the match up at 10-10.

Despite this fightback, Anderson once again regained control of the contest, holding throw on double ten before finding tops for a 12-10 lead.

Once again though, the bullseye came to Whitlock’s aid as he took out 90 on the middle double to put the match back on throw.

The former back-to-back World Champion then missed a dart at tops for a 101 finish, allowing Whitlock to restore parity once again at 12-12.

Anderson’s scoring power came to the fore in the final four legs, restricting Whitlock to just one shot at the outer ring, as he secured his place in the semi-finals for the fourth time.

"I've made hard work of that tonight but that's what Simon can do to you. He battles and makes you work for it so it was a slog to get it done," said Anderson after the win.

"Hopefully I'm sat here on Sunday with a trophy but I'm taking it one game at a time and it's going to be another tough fight against Michael Smith on Saturday.

"He's got a good record against me recently and is playing some brilliant darts, I've been saying how good he is for years and although it's a bit late he's finally starting to come through to the top," concluded the Scot about his last four opponent.

Anderson will meet his protégé Smith in Saturday’s semi-finals night after the 2019 runner-up made it into the final four with a win over Krzystof Ratajski.

The match began with Smith taking a 2-0 lead courtesy of a break of throw before Ratajski immediately broke back with a superb 128 finish on the bull.

With the match evenly poised at 5-5 the Pole took the lead for the first time with a break but was unable to press on as he was hauled back at the first attempt by Smith.

The 14th leg saw Smith miss four darts to take an 8-6, allowing Ratajski to step in a level up at 7-7 before a stunning 161 checkout saw him break again to lead 8-7.

The Englishman, once again broke back at the first time of asking, levelling the game up this time at 8-8.

The 18th leg saw yet another ton-plus finish from Ratajski as he took out 139 on tops to see the score move to 9-9.

A hold of throw followed for Smith who then stole back the initiative on Ratajski’s throw in leg 20 to lead 11-9.

The former World Youth Champion then moved further clear, pinning double six for a three leg advantage, before yet another break of throw saw him move 13-9 ahead.

A fifth consecutive leg followed for Smith before Ratajski stopped the rot on tops to trail 14-10.

The Pole then closed the gap further with a break of throw, punishing Smith for a missed dart at tops to go within a leg of the semi-finals.

Despite constant pressure in almost every leg from Ratajski, the Englishman was able to get over the line, sealing a second consecutive Matchplay semi-final appearance with an 16-13 win.

The victory pushes Smith back in to the world’s top four, an achievement that the former Premier League finalist was keen to look past in the short-term.

“I do like looking at the rankings and before lockdown I saw I was a long way clear of Nathan (Aspinall), but since then he has caught up with but I’m not fussed about that now I just want to concentrate on trying to make the final,” said Smith after the match.

“I want this so bad, maybe too much sometimes but I know once I get that first one like MVG did then the wins will start to flow.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself but today I proved I can handle it against a really classy player.”

The final two spots in the 2020 Betfred World Matchplay will be decided on Friday night as Adrian Lewis takes on Dimitri Van den Bergh before Glen Durrant faces Vincent van der Voort.

 

2020 Betfred World Matchplay
Thursday July 23
2x Quarter-Finals 
Michael Smith 16-13 Krzysztof Ratajski
Gary Anderson 16-12 Simon Whitlock

Friday July 24
2x Quarter-Finals

Adrian Lewis v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Glen Durrant v Vincent van der Voort

All matches best of 31 legs

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Team Unicorn trio through to Matchplay Quarter-Finals!

Thursday, 23 July 2020 09:33:04 Europe/London

 

Belgian star Dimitri Van den Bergh booked his spot in the last eight of the behind closed doors Betfred World Matchplay in Milton Keynes, in his first year at the tournament, defeating Joe Cullen 11-9 in a scrappy all Team Unicorn encounter.

The match began with Cullen, who had match-darts to defeat Gary Anderson in the 2018 Matchplay quarter-final, taking a 3-2 lead in to the opening break despite two ton plus finishes from his opponent.

A further break of throw followed for Cullen as he moved 5-2 ahead before a magical 138 finish from the Belgian closed the gap to two once again.

The 26-year-old former World Youth Champion, retrieved one of the breaks of throw before going on to level the match at 8-8, punishing Culled for missing three at a double to go 9-7 up.

The pair then traded breaks of throw until a scrappy 20th leg eventually saw Van den Bergh break throw and get over the line on double one.

“It wasn’t easy today but I’m so happy to say I am starting to win ugly games, this is very important,” said the Belgian.

Van den Bergh who reached the quarter-final stage of the UK Open in March went on to conclude that the time feels right to make a major step in his career.

“It is time to start being a bit more arrogant on stage. I have dreams and now it’s time to go out and get them, no more excuses.”

Van den Bergh will face two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis in the last eight after the 35-year-old defeated debutant Danny Noppert 11-7.

On Tuesday evening, Team Unicorn talisman Gary Anderson in the last 16, afterthe Scot ran out an 11-8 victory over James Wade in the battle of the former World Matchplay champions.

2018 winner Anderson, who is now the only player left in the field to have lifted the title, threw nine 180s and twice threatened a nine-dart finish by opening the ninth and tenth legs with six perfect darts.

From 3-2 down, Anderson won seven of the next eight legs to move into a commanding 9-4 lead, taking advantage of some uncharacteristic missed double attempts from Wade.

A hat-trick of legs saw Wade fight back to trail 9-7, but Anderson twice found his favourite double top to end hopes of a fightback.

"Tonight was a continuation of how my game has been going recently, some good and some bad," admitted Anderson.

"One minute my throw is fine, the next minute it's all over the place and I'm not quite sure why.

"I found it fine playing the online darts during lockdown, but I'm still finding this very weird playing in front of no fans.

"But, even though I'm not too happy with how I'm playing, I've got that winning feeling so hopefully I can keep it going."

Team Unicorn’s 2019 runner-up Michael Smith became the first player to reach the quarter-finals, coming through a dramatic tie-break with Mensur Suljovic to win 14-12.

Smith, who piled in ten 180s, recovered from deficits of 8-5 and 9-6 to take Suljovic to a second tie-break in as many matches.

The opening four legs of the tie-break were shared, with neither player crafting out a match dart, before Smith struck a vital break of throw to go 13-12 up.

After Suljovic spurned three double attempts to break straight back, Smith landed a timely 110 checkout to book a last eight meeting with Krzysztof Ratajski.

"I wasn't ready to go home tonight, I had to fight really hard for my place in the tournament," said Smith.

"I've showed over the last year or so that I have got the fight to stick in games and come out on top.

"People associate me getting annoyed with myself as a sign that I'm 'giving up' but it's not at all, it's me trying to get myself going.

"I often boss games with my scoring but tonight I wasn't scoring well so I had to make up for it with good finishing, which isn't what I'm known for, but tonight I made the most of my chances."

Everyone at Unicorn wishes Dimitri, Gary and Michael all of the very best for the rest of the tournament.

 

Thursday July 23 (1900)
2x Quarter-Finals - Order of Play
Krzysztof Ratajski v Michael Smith
Simon Whitlock v Gary Anderson

Friday July 24 (1900)
2x Quarter-Finals - Order of Play

Adrian Lewis v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Glen Durrant v Vincent van der Voort

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Home Tour delight for Team Unicorn duo!

Thursday, 4 June 2020 08:40:33 Europe/London

Team Unicorn duo Gary Anderson and Jelle Klaasen secured places in the Low6 Home Tour Play-Offs Championship Group on Wednesday.

Two-time World Champion Anderson and former Lakeside Champion Klaasen booked their spot in Friday's Home Tour decider by claiming wins over Dave Chisnall and Mike De Decker in their opening two matches of Semi-Finals Group One.

Chisnall gained consolation with a 6-5 win over De Decker in their final match of the night, before Anderson saw off Klaasen 6-2 to top the Group One table.

It now makes it nine victories in a row on the Home Tour for Anderson, having won all three of his groups undefeated. 

The final two places in Friday's Championship Group are on offer in Thursday's Semi-Finals Group Two, as top 16 stars Rob Cross, Nathan Aspinall, Jonny Clayton and Joe Cullen face off.

SINCE 1937. Over 80 Years of Innovation and Experience - Have a closer look at the darts used by both players below.

Jelle Klaasen World Champion Phase 2: https://www.playwiththebest.com/jelle-klaasen-world-champion-phase-2-steel-tip-dart-set.html

Gary Anderson NOIR Phase 3: https://www.playwiththebest.com/noir-gary-anderson-90-tungsten.html

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin
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