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Wade claims PC24 title

Thursday, 12 September 2019 08:48:09 Europe/London

Team Unicorn star James Wade won his fifth PDC title of the year at Players Championship 24 in Barnsley on Wednesday.

Wade, whose four previous wins in 2019 also came at Players Championship events, continued his consistent floor form to pocket yet another £10,000 top prize.

The final between Wade and Chisnall saw a meeting of two players who were yet to lose a ranking final this year, but it was Wade who prevailed to maintain his unbeaten record.

"It was a nerve-wracking final," Wade admitted.

"I thought I was going to have it over and done with a lot quicker than I did but it's onwards and upwards from here."

A slow start to the final from Danish Darts Open champion Chisnall was punished by Wade, who took out 76 to break throw in the opening leg, before finding double one in leg three for a second break of throw.

From there, Wade maintained his commanding position with holds of throw, while Chisnall needed to take out a magnificent 126 finish on the bull to hold throw at 5-2.

Another three holds of throw followed, as Wade went within a leg of the match at 7-3, before Chisnall held and then took out 98 in two darts for a first break of throw to stay alive at 7-5.

Chisnall then inadvertently left 14 but made no mistake on double seven to go within a leg of Wade for the first time, only for Wade to find his favourite double ten with his last dart in hand for an 82 checkout to seal victory.

Wade, who will defend his Unibet European Championship title in Germany next month, began the day with wins over Marko Kantele, Jonathan Worsley and James Richardson.

The world number eight then produced his best performance of the day against Raymond van Barneveld, averaging 105 to seal his path to the quarter-finals where he edged past Jermaine Wattimena 6-5.

Wade then ended the dream run of Scott Taylor, who reached his second ProTour semi-final despite entering the tournament as a late replacement for Michael van Gerwen.

The 2019 ProTour campaign continues with the International Darts Open in Riesa from September 13-15.

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Classy Cullen claims maiden European Tour title

Monday, 9 September 2019 08:57:57 Europe/London

Team Unicorn star Joe Cullen claimed his maiden European Tour title with a sensational performance to defeat Michael van Gerwen 8-5 in the European Darts Matchplay final in Mannheim on Sunday night.

The Bradford ace claimed the third ranking title of his career in brilliant fashion as he overcame World Champion Van Gerwen with a clinical and confident showing.

Having never previously won past the semi-finals on the European Tour, Cullen saw off William O'Connor, Glen Durrant and stablemate James Wade on Sunday to book his spot in the decider at the Maimarkthalle.

He showed no nerves against the World Champion, opening the final with a 180 and claiming four of the opening five legs to move 4-1 up, including a 14-darter to break throw.

Van Gerwen responded in the sixth, only to see Cullen power home a 170 checkout to bring the German crowd to their feet as he opened up a 5-2 lead.

Van Gerwen showed his class with three legs in a row to level the final, but Cullen regained the edge with success 13-darters to lead 7-5 - punishing misses from the Dutchman to break - before an 88 finish for a 14-darter secured the £25,000 title.

"To beat Michael in the final is amazing," said Cullen, who averaged over 101 in the final. "It's the biggest moment in my career, it's great.

"Michael is the consummate professional, he's so gracious in defeat and victory. Me and Michael are good friends and he congratulated me wholeheartedly.

"It was just one of those weekends. For us mere mortals, we're not Michael, the stage is where we all play really well or play really bad and Michael has set the standard.

"I've been threatening to win a tournament for a while and this weekend I believed I was going to win it. It genuinely believed it. I couldn't see that anyone could beat me today."

Wade survived a missed match dart against Wayne Jones in the third round before seeing off Jonny Clayton 6-4 in the quarter-finals, but lost out in his bid for a second European Darts Matchplay title to Cullen.

Cullen’s success sees him move back into the world’s top 16 as he jumps three places to 15th following the Mannheim triumph.

Photo credit - PDC Europe

0 Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

New deal delight for Dobey

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 15:00:00 Europe/London

Team Unicorn rising star Chris Dobey has put pen-to-paper on a new long term sponsorship deal with Unicorn Darts.

The Bedlington ace, who made his bow at the World Matchplay last month, has risen to a career high of World no.26 on the PDC Order of Merit, which was helped by a fantastic run to the Final of the Danish Open on the European Tour back in June.

Dobey's talent has not gone unnoticed, as he pushed stablemate Gary Anderson all the way at last years World Championship in dramatic fashion and he also secured a 6-6 draw with Mensur Suljovic in front of a passionate home crowd in Newcastle, during an incredible Premier League 'Contender' debut.

Dobey, who has already virtually guaranteed his spot at the up and coming World Grand Prix in Dublin, is delighted to have extended his agreement with the world's leading darts manufacturer ''I'm over the moon to extend my contract with Unicorn, they’ve been excellent with me since the very start. I have a great relationship with everyone and I’m very happy to still be here and very excited for the future. Without the backing from them I possibly wouldn’t be where I am today''.

Matt Rankin, Unicorn Player Liaison commented on the new deal ''We are very pleased with the progress Chris is making. His form and attitude are both exactly where they need to be right now and with that, he is gaining more and more experience on the big stage, which is going to stand him in very good stead in the future''.

Dobey's attention will now turn to the rest of the 2019 season and with plenty of big TV tournaments on the horizon, he will be striving towards a place in the World's Top 20.

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Unicorn Darts

John Part previews the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay

Thursday, 18 July 2019 11:30:00 Europe/London

Unicorn World Champion Ambassador & Sky Sports Darts pundit John Part previews all of the action, ahead of the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, focussing on all things Team Unicorn.

Watch the video preview with JP below: 

 

0 Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Wade extends Unicorn deal

Thursday, 18 July 2019 11:00:00 Europe/London

He is a master of his craft and the man they call ‘The Machine’ has signed a new long-term deal with Unicorn.
 
It will take James Wade’s partnership with the world’s leading darts manufacturer to almost two decades.
 
The new contract comes after a stellar year for Wade which has seen him win back-to-back ‘Majors’ at the European Championship and World Series Finals.
 
“It has always been the perfect partnership for me,” he said. “Unicorn have been with me on my journey and given me incredible support.”
 
“As people will know, I’ve been through some tough times away from darts, but Unicorn has steadfastly stood by me and I will always be grateful.” Wade added.
 
Since reaching the final of The Masters this year, Wade has won four Players Championship titles on the Pro Tour in 2019, as he continues to prove just why he is one of the very best in the world.
 
Unicorn Managing Director Edward Lowy said it was a big move for everyone: “It was 15 years ago when we first started working with the extraordinary talent of James’ left arm! That arm has placed Unicorn darts in pole position in so many tournaments, including ‘Nine Magnificent Majors’ and I am convinced the partnership will continue to flourish.”
 
For Wade, there remains just one ultimate aim. “It is all about being World Champion,” he admitted. “Of course, it is great to win tournaments and big TV events, but winning at the Alexandra Palace and being called World Champion is what it is all about.”
 
Wade has reached three World Championship semi-finals, but the last one came back in 2013. “That is what drives me on. I know I have the game to win it, now it is up to me to go and prove it!”
 
Story by STUART PYKE
Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Perfect Matchplay preparation for Cullen

Thursday, 18 July 2019 08:52:34 Europe/London

Joe Cullen reached his first PDC final for two years. 
 
The Unicorn man was beaten 8-1 by a red hot Peter Wright, who won both Players Championship events in Barnsley to add to his German Darts Masters crown at the weekend. 
 
But Cullen still enjoyed a superb day and it was the ideal confidence boost ahead of his all Unicorn clash with Ian White at the Winter Gardens. He beat the likes of Gerwyn Price, Rob Cross and Adrian Lewis en route to the final.
 
********************
 
Devon Petersen reached his first Pro Tour quarter-final for four years. A great achievement before he was beaten by Wright.
 
Also on Wednesday the Unicorn trio of Dimitri van den Bergh, Jelle Klaasen and Jeffrey de Zwaan made it to the last 16.
 
********************
 
Gary Anderson reached the semi-finals of PC 19 before losing to Wright on Tuesday but over the two days, he played eight competitive games which is perfect match practice ahead of Blackpool and defending his Matchplay title. It was all about finding that competitive edge.
 
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And Team Unicorn youngster Harry Ward provided further evidence of his immense potential by getting through to the quarter-finals of PC 19. His run was only ended in a last leg decider by Ron Meulenkamp.
 
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The latest stop in the World Series of Darts took the roadshow to Cologne and there was a semi-final for James Wade at the German Darts Masters. He was beaten by eventual winner Peter Wright.
 
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There were four different winners at the latest weekend on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour. Cody Harris, Nick Fulwell, Berry van Peer and Andy Jenkins took the honours. Team Unicorn’s Cameron Menzies lost in the final of CT 11 to Van Peer.
 
The top two in the Challenge Tour Order of Merit earn prized PDC Tour Cards for 2020 and the man who finishes top also claims a spot at the World Championship. Menzies is currently 4th. The list is topped by Stephen Burton with eight events remaining this year.
 
By STUART PYKE
 
Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Gary Anderson speaks to Stuart Pyke

Monday, 15 July 2019 14:15:00 Europe/London

Team Unicorn double World Champion Gary Anderson talks in-depth to Stuart Pyke whilst in Las Vegas, about his recent injury lay off, his new fitness regime and his plans to return to prime form ahead of the rest of the 2019 campaign.

Listen to the full interview below:

 

 

 

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Anderson faces tough defence of Matchplay crown!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019 16:25:17 Europe/London

It is without doubt the best World Matchplay field ever assembled, so it was always going to be a difficult test for Gary Anderson.
 
The Team Unicorn superstar will start the defence of his Blackpool title against Dutchman Danny Noppert. Victory for the Scot could see him playing newly crowned US Darts Masters Champion Nathan Aspinall.
 
Anderson is in the top half of the draw, which looks on paper to be toughest section at the Winter Gardens.
 
There is a tasty all Unicorn clash to look forward to as former Matchplay winner James Wade takes on Jeffrey de Zwaan, who of course had that brilliant run in Blackpool 12 months ago. He toppled Michael van Gerwen before being edged out by Anderson in a thrilling semi-final.
 
Also in that top half, a rejuvenated Michael Smith will face Matchplay debutant Jamie Hughes.
 
In the other half of the Matchplay draw, there is another big Team Unicorn showdown. It is Ian White against Joe Cullen.
 
Meanwhile on his World Matchplay debut, Chris Dobey will meet No.2 seed Rob Cross.
 
And Unicorn man Keegan Brown will fancy his chances after being drawn against Welshman Jonny Clayton. 
 
Draw in full bracket breakdown with Team Unicorn stars highlighted:
 
Michael Van Gerwen (1) v Steve Beaton
Adrian Lewis (16) v Glen Durrant
JAMES WADE (8) v JEFFREY DE ZWAAN
Mensur Suljovic (9) v Jermaine Wattimena 
MICHAEL SMITH (5) v Jamie Hughes
Dave Chisnall (12) v Max Hopp
GARY ANDERSON (4) v Danny Noppert
Nathan Aspinall (13) v Mervyn King
Rob Cross (2) v CHRIS DOBEY
Darren Webster (15) v Krzysztof Ratajski
Gerwyn Price (7) v Stephen Bunting
IAN WHITE (10) v JOE CULLEN
Peter Wright (6) v Vincent van der Voort
Simon Whitlock (11) v John Henderson
Daryl Gurney (3) v Ricky Evans
Jonny Clayton (14) v KEEGAN BROWN
 
By STUART PYKE
 
Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Smith back on track

Sunday, 7 July 2019 17:13:54 Europe/London

He may have lost an incredible final at the US Darts Masters, but the tournament should be a 2019 turning point for Michael Smith.

By his very high standards, the Unicorn star has suffered a slump in form since the World Championship Final, but he was certainly back in business in Las Vegas. 

“I was enjoying myself again,” he admitted. “I am sure it made a difference to my game and allowed me to play with freedom.”

“I know that I can head to Blackpool for the World Matchplay with confidence and belief that I can succeed.”

“The final with Nathan was brilliant. It was great to play in and we both played our part. Congratulations to him!”

Smith lost the Las Vegas final 8-4 to an inspired Nathan Aspinall, who actually hit 15 perfect scoring darts with a bounce out at the start of the match!

The Team Unicorn man produced three superb ton plus finishes but Aspinall won four straight legs to hit the Vegas jackpot.

Smith had also beaten Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals before accounting for Gerwyn Price in the semi-finals.

It certainly augurs well for the rest of the year for the man from St Helens.

********************

And the World Series roadshow now shifts to Cologne for the German Darts Masters on Friday.

Team Unicorn’s defending World Series Champion James Wade enters the fray. He will face Kevin Munch in the 1st Round, while Gary Anderson plays Nico Kurz.

Anderson was pleased with the way things went in Vegas. He was starting to look good again after hardly playing this year because of those back and elbow injuries. He perhaps should have won his quarter-final against Price, missing five darts for a 7-6 lead, however you could see that glint in his eye again!

Story from STUART PYKE

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Brilliant Brown bags Blackpool spot

Monday, 1 July 2019 12:41:05 Europe/London

Keegan Brown has secured his place at the World Matchplay!

The Unicorn star produced a brilliant run to the semi-finals of the inaugural Czech Darts Open in Prague.

Meanwhile fellow Team Unicorn ace Chris Dobey will make his Blackpool debut later this month and defending Matchplay champion Gary Anderson is seeded 4th at the Winter Gardens.

Brown beat Michael van Gerwen, Danny Noppert and Mensur Suljovic en route to the last four in Prague. He eventually lost 7-4 to Stephen Bunting, but he had done more than enough to make the Matchplay.

The tournament was won by PDC new boy Jamie Hughes. His 8-3 victory over Bunting saw him win a Winter Gardens place. It was the only result that would have seen him qualify! Unfortunately Unicorn’s Kyle Anderson was knocked out of the equation.

Ian White reached another Euro Tour quarter-final in Prague and he was edged out in a last leg decider by Hughes.....White is desperate to make a big impression at a TV ‘Major’ and he will be seeded 10th.

Gary Anderson will prepare for the defence of his Matchplay crown by trying to defend his US Darts Masters title in Las Vegas this week.

Of the other Unicorn players, Michael Smith is the No.5 seed, former Blackpool winner James Wade is 8th, while Joe Cullen and Jeffrey de Zwaan qualified through the Pro Tour Order of Merit.

Remember De Zwaan toppled Van Gerwen at the Winter Gardens last year and Cullen missed match darts to beat Anderson in the quarter-finals.

Story from STUART PYKE in Las Vegas

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin
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