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Smith and Anderson honoured

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 12:25:59 Europe/London

Team Unicorn duo Gary Anderson and Michael Smith have picked up notable awards at the prestigious PDC Awards night.

Smith was named Players Player of the Year, while Anderson won the Fans’ Award at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Monday night.

For Smith, it is just reward after the best 12 months of his career and extra special because the accolade comes from his fellow professionals.

He reached the World Championship Final, the Premier League Final, the World Series Final and picked up the biggest win of his career so far at the Shanghai Darts Masters. Smith is also up to a career high No.6 in the world.

He landed back from his honeymoon to news of the award. “I am genuinely gobsmacked! It is an amazing feeling to know that the other players thought that I deserved this. I now have to make sure that 2019 is even better and that means winning big TV titles,” he said.

Anderson won the UK Open, World Matchplay and US Darts Masters and just missed out on the Grand Slam to become fans favourite for 2018.

The other awards saw World Champion Michael Van Gerwen named PDC Player of the Year and Pro Tour Player of 2018. German Max Hopp won Young Player of the Year and Luke Humphries was named Best Newcomer.

Daryl Gurney won the award for best TV performance of the year for his victory over Van Gerwen at the Players Championship Finals.

And the special award went to Rod Harrington who was deservedly inducted into the PDC Hall of Fame. Rod was the driving force behind the PDC Unicorn Challenge and Development Tours.

By STUART PYKE

Images courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Peter Johnson

Magic McGeeney clinches PDC Tour Card

Saturday, 19 January 2019 11:20:57 Europe/London

Another brilliant performance from Mark McGeeney has seen the Team Unicorn ace secure a Tour Card.

The former BDO No.1 claimed his prize on day two at Q School in Wigan, just 24 hours after losing the final qualifying game to Unicorn stablemate Harry Ward on Thursday.

Now he has this great chance to prove himself in the PDC.

McGeeney won a last leg decider against Carl Wilkinson to win the day. It was a thoroughly deserved triumph for McGeeney after two outstanding days.

“It is a big thrill and a big relief,” McGeeney said. “The last two days have been hard work and tough, but I have been preparing for this and now I get a crack at trying to reach the Ally Pally, the Winter Gardens and the rest. I had a taste of it at the Grand Slam last year and I know I can succeed in the PDC. I can’t wait to test myself against the best.”

The Stockport star was in imperious form once more as he swept past Dave Prins, Scott Dale, Martin Atkins, Andy Chalmers and Mark Hickey. Five superb wins to take him to the last 16.

Then came 5-2 victories over Matt Clark and Jamie Bain before that 5-4 win over Carl Wilkinson to clinch the big prize....16 tough games over two days but it was all worth it for McGeeney.

The other qualifier from day two of Q School was Scott Baker who beat American Daniel Lauby 5-1 in the final match.

Story from STUART PYKE

Photo courtesy PDC

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Peter Johnson

Smith eyes up Van Gerwen rematch

Friday, 18 January 2019 11:55:58 Europe/London

MICHAEL SMITH & Michael Van Gerwen will face off on the opening night of the 2019 Unibet Premier League season on Thursday February 7 in Newcastle, with the fixtures for the first nine nights now confirmed.

Darts' widest-reaching tournament will see 17 nights of action held from February-May and will feature 3 Team Unicorn players - Smith, Gary Anderson and of course a return for James Wade.

The season will include Judgement Night after nine matches, after which the bottom two players in the table will be eliminated after the players have faced each other once in the league phase.

The road to The O2 begins at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena, with Team Unicorn star Smith seeking to avenge his defeats to Van Gerwen in the 2018 Premier League final and the recent World Championship decider at Alexandra Palace.

Night One will also see former Premier League winners James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld clash in the opening match of the tournament, while Mensur Suljovic takes on Gary Anderson in a replay of the classic 2018 World Matchplay final.

The following week will see reigning World Matchplay and UK Open Champion Gary Anderson take on Daryl Gurney in his Scottish homecoming at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

The Scottish number one meets Peter Wright at 3Arena Dublin in a replay of the 2018 Champions League of Darts final, on a night in Ireland which will also see Van Gerwen face former World Champion Rob Cross.

Anderson will play Smith in an all Team Unicorn rematch of last year's Premier League semi-final at Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena.

Following Judgement Night’s elimination of the bottom two players, the remaining eight players will then do battle for Play-Off places by facing each other once more in the league phase, with fixtures to be confirmed after the second night in Rotterdam.

2019 Unibet Premier League Fixtures in full:   

Night One - Thursday February 7 

Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld

Gerwyn Price v Daryl Gurney

Gary Anderson v Mensur Suljovic

Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith

Peter Wright v Rob Cross

Tickets: 0844 493 6666 & ticketmaster.co.uk

 

Night Two - Thursday February 14

The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Peter Wright v Michael Smith

Rob Cross v James Wade

Raymond van Barneveld v Gerwyn Price

Daryl Gurney v Gary Anderson

Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen

Tickets: 0844 395 4000 or thessehydro.com

 

Night Three - Thursday February 21

3Arena, Dublin

Gerwyn Price v James Wade

Gary Anderson v Peter Wright

Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross

Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney

Mensur Suljovic v Raymond van Barneveld

Tickets: 0818 719 300 (Ire) & 3arena.ie

 

Night Four - Thursday February 28

Westpoint Exeter

Gary Anderson v Gerwyn Price

Daryl Gurney v Rob Cross

Mensur Suljovic v Peter Wright

Michael van Gerwen v James Wade

Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld

Tickets: 08444 99 99 55 or ticketzone.co.uk

 

Night Five - Thursday March 7

The BHGE Arena, Aberdeen

Michael Smith v Rob Cross

Daryl Gurney v James Wade

Mensur Suljovic v Gerwyn Price

Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright

Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

Tickets: 08444 77 9000 & ticketmaster.co.uk

 

Night Six - Thursday March 14

Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

Gary Anderson v Michael Smith

James Wade v Mensur Suljovic

Rob Cross v Raymond van Barneveld

Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen

Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney

Tickets: 0843 373 3000 or motorpointarenanottingham.com

 

Night Seven - Thursday March 21

Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin

Gerwyn Price v Rob Cross

James Wade v Peter Wright

Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney

Michael Smith v Mensur Suljovic

Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld

Tickets: 030 20 60 70 88 99 (Ger) or mercedes-benz-arena-berlin.de

 

Night Eight - Wednesday March 27

Rotterdam Ahoy

Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith

James Wade v Gary Anderson

Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic

Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen

Raymond van Barneveld v Daryl Gurney

Tickets: 0900 300 1250 (Ned) 0031 88 123 24 25 (Outside Ned) or ticketmaster.nl

 

Judgement Night - Thursday March 28

Rotterdam Ahoy

Daryl Gurney v Mensur Suljovic

Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price

Rob Cross v Gary Anderson

Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen

James Wade v Michael Smith

Tickets: 0900 300 1250 (Ned) 0031 88 123 24 25 (Outside Ned) or ticketmaster.nl

Fixtures for Nights Ten-16 will be confirmed following Judgement Night.

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Ward wins Golden Ticket!

Friday, 18 January 2019 08:50:50 Europe/London

Unicorn youngster Harry Ward has enjoyed the best day of his career to secure a prized PDC Tour Card.

On the opening day at Q School in Wigan, the 21-year-old from Derbyshire came through a field of nearly 400 to become the first man to win a coveted two-year PDC Tour Card.

Ward won an all Unicorn showdown with Mark McGeeney 5-2, averaging 103 in the process, in the final match to qualify.

‘Big H’ was on the money when it mattered all day at Robin Park in Wigan on Thursday where play was also interrupted by a fire alarm!

But the young Team Unicorn ace kept his cool. After wins over Brian Doran, Ricky King and Dyson Parody, he then beat Lakeside semi-finalist Jim Williams before convincing victories over James Kempster and Richie Howson. Then came that brilliant performance to pip McGeeney.

“It is an incredible achievement for me,” Ward said.

“I am sure all the experiences of playing on the Challenge and Development tours has really helped me. It is going to be an exciting time!”

The win also earns Ward a place at the UK Open in a few weeks time. 

*Ward is pictured alongside his manager Matthew Ward (MDA Promotions)

McGeeney twice had shots at a 9 darter on Thursday and his superb run means he is in a terrific position to win a Tour Card at the weekend. Eight players will win cards over the four days plus 11 more through the Q School Order of Merit.

McGeeney averaged over 100 in three of his first four games and came from 1-4 down to beat Andy Boulton 5-4 in the quarter-finals.

Jamie Hughes was the other player to win a Tour Card on day one at Q School. He averaged 110, 109 and 108 en route to that final qualifying game where he beat Kirk Shepherd 5-1.

By STUART PYKE

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Razma wins prized Tour Card

Monday, 7 January 2019 11:18:03 Europe/London

Team Unicorn Latvian star Madars Razma, pictured top, has achieved his dream!

He has clinched a priceless PDC Tour Card for the next two years, coming through a tough European Q School in Hildesheim, Germany.

Although he didn’t win one of the four qualifying tournaments, Razma’s consistency saw him finish top of the European Q School Order of Merit.

In the four days of qualifying he reached a final, semi-final and quarter-final to come out ahead of the rest in the qualification table.

The four winners to claim tour cards were Niels Zonneveld, Mike Van Duijvenbode, Christian Bunse and Darius Labanauskas.

Razma lost the final to Van Duijvenbode on day two 5-4 after being 4-2 up and was beaten by Labanauskas in the semi-finals on day four, but he had done enough.

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

Meanwhile at the BDO World Championship, Team Unicorn’s number one seed and last year’s runner-up Mark McGeeney, pictured below, saw off Dutch youngster Derk Telnekes by three sets to one.

The opening two sets were shared but McGeeney soon got into his rhythm and 13, 14 and 16 darters from the Stockport man took him to the third set, and Telnekes was unable to stem the tide as McGeeney eventually got over the line with his fifth match dart to move through to round two at Lakeside for the fourth consecutive year.

Story by STUART PYKE

 

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Peter Johnson

The future is in Smith’s hands

Wednesday, 2 January 2019 18:39:31 Europe/London

He has played in the biggest match in darts - the PDC World Championship Final - but it isn’t enough for Michael Smith.

Yes it is a fantastic achievement, yes he has won £200,000, yes he is up to a career high No.6 in the world and yes he is one of the best in the business.

But that is of little consolation to the Team Unicorn star. Smith is a winner and he knows that he must return to the Alexandra Palace stage and lift the Sid Waddell Trophy.

That is the motivation for the man from St Helens and he has no doubts: “I will be back and I will be a winner. Having tasted it and got so close, I do not want to experience the feeling of losing again. I know I am good enough to be World Champion. I have to prove that now, to me and everyone else.”

It may well be that the occasion got to him on New Year’s Day. He was nervous and who can blame him, but Michael van Gerwen’s experience of the biggest occasion in the sport proved invaluable. Smith knows he had to make a good start. He didn’t. He had chances and didn’t take them and to come back from 0-4 down against the best in the world was a step too far.

The Dutchman described Smith as ‘phenomenal” and also predicted the Unicorn man will achieve his dream. He actually had darts to win five of the last six sets on Tuesday. Fine margins in a World Final and he will be better for the experience.

But Michael has put down a huge marker over the last few weeks. He is now being talked about in the same breath as Van Gerwen and his great friend and mentor Gary Anderson. His time will come. For sure, 2019 will be a big year and his immediate target is to win a TV ranking ‘Major’ to get the ball rolling. He has the class and the talent and the drive and ambition.

Now he has to make sure his darts do the talking!

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

Meanwhile the field has been confirmed for the Unibet Masters in Milton Keynes - the first big TV tournament of 2019 - from February 1-3 on ITV4.

Smith will face an all-Unicorn clash against Ian White. There are five Team Unicorn players in the hunt from a field featuring the top 16 players in the World. Joe Cullen makes his Masters debut against Rob Cross, while Gary Anderson meets Darren Webster and James Wade plays Gerwyn Price.

The draw in full:

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Jonny Clayton (16)

Rob Cross (2) v Joe Cullen (15)

Peter Wright (3) v Adrian Lewis (14)

Gary Anderson (4) v Darren Webster (13)

Daryl Gurney (5) v Dave Chisnall (12)

Michael Smith (6) v Ian White (11)

Gerwyn Price (7) v James Wade (10)

Mensur Suljovic (8) v Simon Whitlock (9)

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

As far as the rest of Team Unicorn is concerned in the newly published World rankings following the World Championship, there are certainly some movers and shakers in the top 50.

Kim Huybrechts drops to 22nd, but Kyle Anderson is up to 23rd….Jelle Klaasen is now ranked 27th with Dimitri van den Bergh and Chris Dobey on the brink of the elite top 32. They are ranked No.33 and No.34 respectively, while Keegan Brown is up to 37th and Jeffrey de Zwaan is up at 44th

Story by STUART PYKE

Image courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC

0 Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Peter Johnson

Super Smith loses World Final

Tuesday, 1 January 2019 23:24:59 Europe/London

He gave it his best shot but Michael Smith just came up short in the World Championship Final.

Michael Van Gerwen won by seven ses to three to claim a third World crown at the Alexandra Palace.

The scoreline doesn’t tell the story or reflect how well Smith fought back but the St Helens star just left himself too much to do.

He has shown he is World class and there is no doubt that this is only the start. He should be very proud of what he has achieved.

“I am gutted to be honest,” Smith said. “In the cold light of day I will look back at the big chances that I missed. I just couldn’t get going at the start and that cost me.”

“This is my first one and I guarantee it won’t be my last and I guarantee I will win that trophy. I will be World Champion. This will drive me on for sure.”

Van Gerwen agreed: “This is very special for me. Michael pushed my very hard. He had me worried for a time. But one day he will lift this trophy. He is that good.”

A glowing endorsement for Smith who acquitted himself superbly.

Smith found himself four sets down having missed 14 big darts at doubles. He fought back though, refusing to throw the towel in.

The Unicorn ace actually had darts to win five of the last six sets. That’s how close he was, but he could only take three and Van Gerwen joined an elite group of three-time World Champions.

He averaged 102.21 to Smith’s 95.29

But there is no doubt.....Michael Smith’s time will come

The Story of the Final:

Set 1 - Pulsating opening set sees Van Gerwen take it on throw in a deciding leg. The Dutchman made an explosive start with a 129 finish on the bull. But two 180s from Smith and he is back in it. Van Gerwen misses two for the set and the Unicorn man levels, but the World No.1 takes the set on D6

Set 2 - Smith fails to take his chances. After missing the bull for a 167, he blew two chances at D10 to allow his opponent to break. Van Gerwen then takes out 126. The St Helens star breaks back with an 86 finish but then misses two more, this time at D12, to level and Van Gerwen hits D4 for a two set lead. At this stage Smith is 3/13 on the doubles. Those misses proving crucial

Set 3 - Smith just can’t get a foothold in the final. Van Gerwen looks calm and composed. The Dutchman wires D16 to win the set without reply and Smith hits 66 to stay in it. But it is only brief respite as Van Gerwen hits D10 for a three set lead in the final

Set 4 - Disbelief as Smith blows four darts for the set. He led two one in legs and was sat on D10 for the set only for Van Gerwen to nail 84 on the bull. In the deciding leg Smith missed D12 for a 104 to take it. The Dutch ace though misses two darts of his own. The Unicorn ace steps back but is wide of the mark with three more darts at D12 and Van Gerwen opens up a four set advantage on D8

Set 5 - Smith is on the board! Superb from Smith. After Van Gerwen misses the bull for a 170 to win the set 3-1, the Team Unicorn man forces a deciding leg and then produces a magnificent 124 finish on D11 to make it four sets to one with his opponent sat on 20

Set 6 - Smith responds superbly with his best darts of the final....127 on the bull, 124 on the bull and then 70 on ‘tops’ and back-to-back sets. It was brilliant from Smith. He’d won five straight legs

Set 7 - The opening leg was huge. Both players hit 180s but Smith missed D13 to break throw and keep the momentum going. Van Gerwen seized the moment and a 112 finish gave him a five sets to two lead.

Set 8 - It went to another dramatic deciding leg. Smith had the darts but started with only 57 and 40. He fought back and incredibly wired the bull for a 170 for the set. After Van Gerwen missed D16, Smith returned with dart to make it 5-3 in sets. However he couldn’t take his opportunity as darts at D10 and D5 went astray and Van Gerwen cleaned up to make it six sets to two

Set 9 - Smith is a battler and he kept fighting. A great 72 finish when Van Gerwen was sat on 20 for the title and then he stepped up to crack D7 for the set. A brave effort.

Set 10 - But it wasn’t to be. A Van Gerwen 12 darter broke the throw and despite a 13th 180, Smith missed two more doubles. He had hit 18/46. After the Dutchman wired D16 for the title, Smith won what turned out to be his final leg and Van Gerwen hit a 14th maximum and another D16 to take the crown.

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

Meanwhile Smith and Van Gerwen will be among the big guns at the 2019 Premier League . Unicorn star James Wade returns to the tournament after his European Championship and World Series victories. Of course Gary Anderson will be there and the field will be made up by Rob Cross, Peter Wright, Daryl Gurney, Gerwyn Price, Mensur Suljovic and Raymond van Barneveld.

Story by STUART PYKE

Image courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Peter Johnson

Smith to face Van Gerwen in World Final

Sunday, 30 December 2018 23:21:13 Europe/London

Michael Smith is in darting dreamland.

The Unicorn star is in the World Championship Final after winning an absorbing clash with Nathan Aspinall.

But it won’t be an all-Unicorn final after Gary Anderson failed to fire and lost to Michael van Gerwen on Sunday night.

Smith though was simply sensational. The performance of his life in the match of his life. He hit 17 x 180s which is an individual record for a World Championship semi-final. A brilliant 105.22 average, 51% on the doubles and an incredible five ton-plus finishes, including the match-winning 121.

“I am speechless!” he joked. “To do that on that stage makes me very proud. Nathan played superbly to come back at me, but I’ve probably never played as well as that.”

Aspinall was also inspired as the pair gave us an Ally Pally classic. Both players were terrific. The match was played with so much respect as two fantastic talents went toe-to-toe on the biggest stage in the world.

There was no sign of the drama to come when the Unicorn star made the perfect start as he won the first seven legs of the match. Two sets up and his opponent was really struggling. But from nowhere Aspinall found something special. Smith threw for a three-set lead but Aspinall took it and the next and we had a level game!

Smith had already hit nine 180s, three big finishes (108, 100, 136) and was averaging 105 and was only level. The 5th set was pivotal.

Back-to-back 180s from Aspinall and an 11 darter saw him lead for the first time. Smith played brilliantly to force a deciding leg and it was arguably the best leg of this or any World Championship.

Smith 140, Aspinall 140, Smith 134, Aspinall 134, Smith 134, Aspinall 180 to leave 47 and Smith hitting 93 on D9 to win the set. Wow!

Aspinall wouldn’t go away and levelled again. The St Helens star hit the front again with a 90 finish on the bull to make it four sets to three.

Then he really put his foot in the gas. A magnificent 16th 180 and 130 finish on the bull to break the throw and finally break his opponent.

This time Aspinall couldn’t respond and Smith won six straight legs, claiming victory in style with a brilliant 121 check-out.

There were 29 x 180s in total.

“I know I now have to take it to another level,” he admitted. “But I truly believe this is my time and I can win it.”

Sadly, no all-Unicorn clash and Anderson will be hugely disappointed. In the end he won only seven legs in his eagerly anticipated showdown with Van Gerwen.

Gary started superbly with a 127 finish on the bull, but as it turned out that opening set was crucial. It went to a decider. Anderson was sat on 44 to win it only for the Dutchman to hit ‘tops’ with his last dart.

After that Anderson started missing important doubles and his opponent just cashed in.

Van Gerwen took control and went five sets clear before Anderson got a set on the board. The Scot should have won the seventh set as well. In total he hit 11 x 180s, but double trouble cost him and Van Gerwen cleaned up.

But now this is Smith’s time on New Year’s Day!

S/Final results:

Michael Smith 6-3 Nathan Aspinall

Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Gary Anderson

By STUART PYKE

Image courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC

 

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Peter Johnson

Sensational Smith wows the Ally Pally!

Saturday, 29 December 2018 23:13:25 Europe/London

Michael Smith has proved once again that he has the game to be World Champion.

The Unicorn ace demolished Luke Humphries 5-1 to set up a World Championship semi-final against Nathan Aspinall.

And of course the dream of an all Unicorn World Championship Final is still very much alive. Gary Anderson’s brilliant 5-2 victory over Dave Chisnall on Saturday afternoon sets up that semi-final showdown with Michael van Gerwen.

Smith defied his own double trouble to win in an hour with Humphries unable to match the St Helens star.

Smith was harsh on himself: “All those missed doubles were a nightmare and I will have to cut that out. But I channelled my anger in a positive way by coming back from those blow outs to play some good stuff.”

Smith’s performance in numbers....103 average, eight 180s, 24 x 140s but 15/46 on the doubles! He missed more doubles than his opponent had in the entire match. Humphries was 8/14.

But this win moves Smith up to No.6 in the world.

He started superbly going two sets up in just 12 minutes! Smith won six legs out of seven and the one he lost, he missed five darts at doubles.

A fantastic 170 check-out got Humphries fired up as he won the third set without reply, but Smith soon extinguished any hope of a comeback.

He restored a two-set lead and despite a 151 finish from Humphries and five more missed darts to break, the Unicorn man stormed back with two 180s and a 177 as he banged in 13 and 11 dart legs to make it four sets to one.

Smith had another meltdown on his finishing in the 6th set but it didn’t matter. He recovered to take his 180 tally to eight and won the match with a two-dart 87 finish.

“I have a great chance now but I have to hold it all together,” he said. “It would be great to play Gary in the final, so let’s see.”

“I have one more hurdle left to jump to give myself the chance to live the dream.”

Quarter-Final results:

Michael Smith 5-1 Luke Humphries

Gary Anderson 5-2 Dave Chisnall

Michael van Gerwen 5-1 Ryan Joyce

Nathan Aspinall 5-1 Brendan Dolan

S/Finals (best of 11 sets):

Michael Smith v Nathan Aspinall

Michael Van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

By STUART PYKE at the World Darts Championship

Image courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Peter Johnson

Brilliant Anderson races into World Championship semi-finals

Saturday, 29 December 2018 17:18:27 Europe/London

Gary Anderson came up with the goods when it really mattered with a blistering display at the Alexandra Palace.

Without doubt his best performance of this World Championship as he took out Dave Chisnall 5-2 in a high quality quarter-final on Saturday.

After squeezing past Jermaine Wattimena and Chris Dobey, the Unicorn star stamped his class on a thrilling encounter despite his ongoing back problems.

“It is a relief for sure,” he admitted. “I’m glad it’s over. I would really have struggled if it had gone to eight or nine sets. The back is still sore and I’ve had the chiropractor up treating it. I will have more treatment before the semi-final and it will probably take a few months to get right.”

Anderson’s majestic start was vital as he raced into a three-set lead. In truth it should have been 4-0 but as Chisnall threatened a comeback, the Scot held his nerve superbly to close it out and reach another Ally Pally semi-final.

The first set took him just 39 darts, including an 11 darter to break in a leg where he hit two 180s.....after missing four darts in the opening leg of set two, Anderson produced some sparkling darts to reel off three consecutive legs in only 42 darts.

Chisnall brilliantly took out 121 on the bull and 112 to stay in the third set but a fabulous 7th 180 in the deciding leg left Gary ‘tops’ and he was three sets up averaging just shy of 110.

Anderson was actually two legs up in the fourth set but this time he couldn’t close it out. He missed darts at the bull and D9 and Chisnall pinched it on D10 with the last dart in hand.

Gary though raised the bar again. A 115 check-out to start set five and as Chisnall threatened again, the Unicorn man found a fabulous 130 finish on the bull to take the set in another deciding leg.

The St Helens man stayed in it, but Anderson wasn’t to be denied. Chizzy took out 140 to force another decider. Gary banged in a brilliant 171 to set up the win and nailed ‘tops’ to seal it 5-2.

In the end an average of 103 and a fantastic job done with 12 x 180s.

“I will rest up as much as possible and get ready for the next one! Let’s see what happens but that wasn’t bad for an old man with a bad back!”

Story from STUART PYKE in London

Image courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Peter Johnson
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