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Semi-Final delight for Dobey

Friday, 11 October 2019 09:15:05 Europe/London

Team Unicorn rising star Chris Dobey is through to his first major televised Semi-Final at the World Grand Prix in Dublin. Dobey continued his sensational impact in this his first appearance in the event with five ton-plus checkouts in a win over stablemate Ian White.

A rampant start from Dobey saw him whitewash White in the first set, sealing it with a 132 checkout, before a strong response from White saw him take the second set 3-1.

It was White's turn for a whitewash in the third to go 2-1 ahead in sets, but Dobey fired back with finishes of 120 and 100 to take the fourth 3-1.

A stunning 156 finish from Dobey put him within a leg of the semi-finals, and the Geordie sealed his place in the final four with another 100 checkout in the next leg to secure his first PDC televised semi-final berth.

"It's great to go out there and show what I can do. I felt great up there, I was a bit patchy at times but I finished well," said Dobey.

It's put me into my first semi-final and to beat the number ten in the world is great, especially after beating Gary [Anderson] too.

"I've got all the belief in the world and I'm playing well enough to go all the way but I'll just focus on the semis now, whoever I play. I will never look past my next game and I will prepare myself like I would for any other game."

Dobey's next test at the Citywest Convention Centre, will come in the form of current World no.1 Michael van Gerwen. Everyone at Unicorn wishes Chris all the very best of luck!

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Dobey and White progress in Dublin

Wednesday, 9 October 2019 09:26:08 Europe/London

Team Unicorn star Chris Dobey, has reached his third televised quarter-final with a superb 3-1 victory over two-time World Champion and stablemate Gary Anderson.

The Scot, a former Dublin finalist, defied a showpiece 134 checkout from Dobey to claim the opening set 3-2, only to see the Newcastle youngster come from 2-1 down to level in the second.

Dobey then finished 90, 60 and 110 to win the third without reply, before securing his last eight place by claiming set four with a 3-1 scoreline.

"I think my overall performance was pretty good and I'm delighted to have won," said Dobey. "I knew I had the game to beat Gary and I had to keep my cool, and it's up there with my best performances on stage.

"It means a lot to me. This is a great competition to be in and I like the double-start format - I think it suits my game. I'm not here to make the numbers up, I'm in it to win it but I'm not going to look any further forward than the next game."

Ian White won through to his first World Grand Prix quarter-final since 2015 with a 3-1 win over Michael Smith in another all Team Unicorn clash. Smith continued his record of failing to win past the last 16 in Dublin.

White led 2-1 early on, only to miss his chance to close out the set as Smith capitalised on two missed doubles with a 14-darter before winning the deciding leg on double ten.

White, though, opened set two with a 12-darter to spark a run of seven successive legs as he moved into a 2-1 lead in the game and also took the advantage in set four.

Smith hit back to win two of the next three as he saved the set, but the fightback was brief as tops sealed White's spot in the last eight.

"I'm delighted to win but it was hard work," said White. "Michael's my practice partner and a close friend so it's hard playing someone you know so well.

"I thought I could have won the first set, but I kept myself focused and not many players win seven legs in a row against Michael Smith.

"I wanted to get towards the latter stages to give myself a chance and I'm glad I'm still going. It's coming up to the end of the year so every major tournament is big and I want to prove to everyone that I can play up there."

White will now play Dobey in a further all Team Unicorn shoot out for a place in the Semi-Finals on Thursday evening in Dublin.

Elsewhere from a Unicorn perspective, James Wade the 2007 and 2010 winner at the Citywest Convention Centre fell to a 3-1 defeat to Mervyn King and Dutch star Jeffrey de Zwaan was defeated 3-0 by World no.1 Michael van Gerwen.

Mervyn King 3-1 James Wade (2-3, 3-2, 3-1, 3-0)

Ian White 3-1 Michael Smith (2-3, 3-0, 3-0, 3-2)

Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Jeffrey de Zwaan (3-0, 3-1, 3-1)

Chris Dobey 3-1 Gary Anderson (2-3, 3-2, 3-0, 3-1)

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Unicorn Darts

Classy Rydz seals the deal!

Monday, 30 September 2019 08:42:01 Europe/London

Talented Team Unicorn star Callan Rydz has topped the 2019 PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour Order of Merit, which has earned him a coveted two-year Tour Card aswell as a prized spot in the William Hill World Darts Championship later this year.

Event 18 in Wigan, saw Newcastle-based Rydz, 21, collect his second Challenge Tour title of the year, as he moved to the top of the rankings on Saturday evening, but had to wait nervously towards the conclusion of the weekends action before his double success was confirmed, after reaching the Event 19 semi-finals earlier on Sunday.

In the aforementioned Event 18, Rydz overcame four-time Lakeside Women's Champion Lisa Ashton as well as former UK Open finalist Wes Newton, John Bowles, Andrew Gilding and Aden Kirk before enjoying a 5-1 win over Cody Harris in the final.

Rydz who only joined the ranks at Unicorn a matter of months ago is unsurprisingly delighted with his achievement "I'm absolutely chuffed to win the Challenge Tour and secure my place at the Ally Pally. None of this would be possible without the support, belief and patience shown in me by all of the guys at Unicorn. They truly are the best".

Due to his Challenge Tour success, Rydz has already been making himself known amongst the games elite players, with a run to the Quarter-Finals of the main Pro Tour back in June and a very recent scalp of Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld.

The final Challenge Tour Order of Merit saw Rydz collect £6,750 during the year, ahead of Jesus Noguera (£6,050), as the Spanish player also collects a two-year PDC Tour Card.

Elsewhere for Team Unicorn, Scottish star Cameron Menzies (£5,800) came agonisingly close to also securing a tour card, as he finished in 3rd place on the Order of Merit, earning free entry to the 2020 PDC Qualifying School & a spot at the UK Open in Minehead for his efforts.

Callan is pictured above alongside PDPA Chairman Peter Manley in Wigan.

0 Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

Team Unicorn set for Dublin

Monday, 23 September 2019 16:24:39 Europe/London

The field has been confirmed for the 2019 BoyleSports World Grand Prix, with two Team Unicorn youngsters set to make their Dublin debuts in October.

The double-start tournament will return to the Citywest Convention Centre from October 6-12.

Following Sunday's Players Championship 26, the line-up has now been confirmed with the top eight players on the PDC Order of Merit seeded for the event.

Double World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh will make his World Grand Prix debut, alongside Chris Dobey, in a line-up that that will feature NINE Team Unicorn stars.

Former finalist Gary Anderson will be the fourth seed, World Championship finalist Michael Smith seeded fifth, with 2007 & 2010 event winner James Wade seeded eighth.

PDC Order of Merit qualifiers & 2019 European Tour event winners Ian White and Joe Cullen will be looking to make their mark at this years tournament along with Dutch sensation Jeffrey de Zwaan, who landed a 9-dart finish during the Players Championship events in Barnsley at the weekend and also Keegan Brown, who will be aiming to continue his impressive form in Dublin.

With a record £450,000 in prize money to play for, the action will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

The draw for the 2019 BoyleSports World Grand Prix will take place on Friday September 27th.

PDC Order of Merit Qualifiers (Seeding in brackets)

(1) Michael van Gerwen, (2) Rob Cross, (3) Daryl Gurney, (4) Gary Anderson, (5) Michael Smith, (6) Gerwyn Price, (7) Peter Wright, (8) James Wade, Mensur Suljovic, Ian White, Dave Chisnall, Simon Whitlock, Nathan Aspinall, Jonny Clayton, Adrian Lewis, Joe Cullen.

ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers

Krzysztof Ratajski, Glen Durrant, Jermaine Wattimena, Jamie Hughes, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Ricky Evans, Steve Beaton, Keegan Brown, Chris Dobey, Stephen Bunting, Danny Noppert, Max Hopp, John Henderson, Vincent van der Voort, Mervyn King, Dimitri Van den Bergh.

Comments | Posted in Unicorn Darts By Matthew Rankin

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.
 
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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.
 
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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
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