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Updated: 35 min 9 sec ago

World champs day 1

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN hit a maximum 180 with the opening three darts of the defence of his William Hill World Darts Championship before beating Christian Kist 3-1 with the third-best first round average in tournament history.

Van Gerwen hit the ground running on the opening night of the tournament in some style as he produced a standard-setting 106.17 average to fire out a warning to his rivals that he will not be relinquishing his title easily.

That opening 180 helped Van Gerwen take the first leg in 14 darts before he followed up with a 15-darter and capped off the first set with a 12-darter, highlighted with a 141 finish.

Kist needed to reply with in a 13-darter just to finally get a leg on the board as he went two sets down, but in a quality third set Kist withstood two 12-darters, two 180s and a 138 checkout from Van Gerwen to reduce the deficit to 2-1.

That sniff of danger was all the reigning champion needed though to move up another gear as he checked out 114 at the start of the fourth set, and once in front he never looked back as he powered to the winning line and set up a second round clash with James Wilson.

"It's always nice to come back to Alexandra Palace for the World Championship and a great game like this to start the tournament off is good for your confidence," said Van Gerwen, who has now won 30 successive matches.

"I also want to say well done to Christian Kist as well because he put me under pressure, he played well, he had over a 100 average. It was a nice start for me and I'm glad I won this game.

"I knew my form was there but at some points it didn't really come out. I can't really complain because I think I put on a fantastic performance for everyone and also for myself - it's a nice way to start off the tournament, it gives you a good feeling.

"I know what he can do, lately he's been struggling with a bit of trouble with his arm, but I think he's over it because he played a great game - I think anyone else he would have played tonight he would have given them a great game, but I did an step extra when I had to.

"It was a phenomenal performance for the first round as the first round is always difficult. I like to start straight away in top gear because if you underestimate people they can kill you - you have to perform round after round, game after game and leg after leg because it's the most important tournament of the year."

Next up for Van Gerwen on December 22 is James Wilson, with the Huddersfield thrower coming out on top in his first round encounter with Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski - the reigning World Masters winner - with a 3-1 victory.

"It's a good win for me and I've got massive confidence going forward," said Wilson. "I wasn't nervous but I was getting a few bounce outs and I had to put it in my mind that it wasn't me.

"I tried throwing a bit harder and they just went haywire, so I just went back to my natural throw and hope that they went in and stayed in."

Former Lakeside Champion Steve Beaton kicked-off this year's event on his 27th straight World Championship appearance with a reasonably comfortable 3-1 victory over Irish debutant William O'Connor.

"I know William can play well," said Beaton. "But I sneaked the first set and I thought after I got the second set, he didn't get off the stage - he tried to get himself focused.

"I thought the last two sets we both played how we can play. He's just got to learn, I mean I'm still learning! I still get the butterflies and I'm tense and everything.

"I couldn't believe the ending there, we were both banging them in and I just came out on top."

UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price closed the opening night as he enjoyed his first-ever World Championship victory by overpowering youngster Ted Evetts during his 3-0 straight sets victory.

Development Tour product Evetts won through the PDPA Qualifier in Milton Keynes last month to secure his World Championship debut, but the 20-year-old struggled to settle on the big stage against the more experienced Price.

"I was anxious all day and I'm just thankful to play well tonight and come through the game," said Price. "I haven't won a game on that stage so I put the pressure on myself to be honest.

"I felt good when I was practicing and I felt good when I was up there. It could have gone to 1-1 in the second set but fortunately I came through that.

"I put pressure on myself in this event because I hadn’t won a game, I've lost first round for the first three years so I felt it. I don't feel like that at any other tournament.

"At the UK Open I'd never really come through a first round but once I did that I made the final, so the rest better watch out!"

The action continues at Alexandra Palace on Friday when legendary 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor opens his challenge in the 57-year-old's final tournament before retiring by taking on youngster Chris Dobey.

Stephen Bunting takes on new World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, while shooting star Rob Cross makes his World Championship debut against the winner of the preliminary round tie between Japan's Seigo Asada and Australia's Gordon Mathers.

William Hill World Darts Championship
First Round
Thursday December 14
Steve Beaton 3-1 William O'Connor
James Wilson 3-1 Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael van Gerwen 3-1 Christian Kist
Gerwyn Price 3-0 Ted Evetts
Best of five sets

New Seven-Year Deal For PDC & Sky Sports

AS Sky Sports prepares to broadcast its 25th World Darts Championship, the Professional Darts Corporation has agreed a new seven-year broadcast deal that will take Sky’s coverage of the sport into a fourth decade.

Running until 2025, Sky customers will be able to watch the best of live darts throughout the year including the sport’s biggest tournament, the William Hill World Darts Championship, as well as the 16-week Unibet Premier League, and the prestigious BetVictor World Matchplay.

Sky Sports’ relationship with the PDC started in 1993/1994 when it broadcast the World Championship, which has evolved from its first home at the Circus Tavern in Essex with 24 players and a prize pot of £64,000 to the world-famous Alexandra Palace in London with triple the number of competitors and a prize fund of £1.8million.

The new contract will give Sky Sports customers 60 days of live darts throughout each year, featuring the William Hill World Championship, Unibet Premier League, BetVictor World Matchplay, bwin Grand Slam of Darts, Unibet World Grand Prix and Betway World Cup of Darts.

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn added: “We’re absolutely delighted that we have been able to extend our relationship with Sky Sports for a further seven years.

"The support of Sky Sports since the PDC was formed almost 25 years ago has been a vital part in the sport’s success since then, and it will be fantastic for them to continue their superb coverage of these six major tournaments until at least 2025.

"The 2017/2018 William Hill World Darts Championship promises to be the best yet as the sport’s amazing global growth continues, and this is fantastic news to kick off the most exciting period of the year.”

Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports said: “It would not be Christmas without the darts which has become an essential part of the festive period for Sky Sports.

"By continuing to show the biggest and best darts for a further seven years it’s the ideal Christmas gift for Sky Sports customers. Alongside recent long-term deals for England cricket, EFL and Formula 1® it’s yet another example of a hugely exciting future for our customers.”

For the first time, Sky Sports customers will be able to enjoy new, dedicated, darts programming across the year, including The Darts Show - a 12-episode, monthly magazine programme exclusive to the Sky Sports Action & Arena channels from January 2018.

The channels will also broadcast the Unibet Premier League live, including the inaugural night in Berlin – a new host city on the 16-stop tour and home to the fastest growing darts market in the world.

With the William Hill World Darts Championship starting on Thursday, fans can enjoy every session live and exclusive on Sky Sports Darts HD (channel 408).

The Sky Sports Main Event channel will also simulcast live play on specific days, and non-Sky customers can follow all the action with daily, weekly or monthly sports passes from NOW TV.

The announcement continues a series of strong major rights deals for Sky Sports over the past twelve months; including deals with the EFL and ECB, Women’s Six Nations Rugby, UEFA Qualifiers, and from 2019, Sky Sports will become the exclusive home of Formula 1® in the UK & ROI.

William Hill World Darts Championship Schedule

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN will begin his defence of the William Hill World Darts Championship title on the opening night of this year's tournament on Thursday December 14.
Reigning World Champion Van Gerwen will take on fellow Dutchman Christian Kist in the first round of the £1.8 million tournament, which is being held at London's Alexandra Palace from December 14-January 1.
The opening night also features Steve Beaton taking on Irish debutant William O'Connor, James Wilson's meeting with Polish ace Krzysztof Ratajski and Gerwyn Price up against youngster Ted Evetts, who won Monday's PDPA Qualifier.
Legendary 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor will begin his final World Championship challenge on Friday December 15 against Chris Dobey.
Friday's action also features Stephen Bunting's meeting with new World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, and Rob Cross making his World Championship debut against the winner of the preliminary round tie between Seigo Asada and Gordon Mathers.
The first double session of the event will be held on Saturday December 16, with the afternoon featuring Benito van de Pas up against Steve West, Mervyn King's meeting with Zoran Lerchbacher and Robert Thornton taking on Alan Ljubic or Brendan Dolan.
Saturday's evening session is headlined by two-time World Champion Gary Anderson's clash with Jeff Smith or Luke Humphries, while Joe Cullen plays Jermaine Wattimena and Jelle Klaasen takes on Dutch rival Jan Dekker.
The afternoon session on Sunday December 17 includes Australia's Kyle Anderson up against Peter Jacques, Alan Norris' meeting with Kim Viljanen and Jonny Clayton taking on either Kenny Neyens or Jamie Lewis.
Sunday's evening session sees three-time semi-finalist James Wade play Keegan Brown, while Dave Chisnall meets Vincent van der Voort and Ian White plays either Willard Bruguier or Cody Harris.
Fourth and fifth seeds Daryl Gurney and Mensur Suljovic enter the action on Monday December 18 against Ronny Huybrechts and Kevin Painter respectively, while Mark Webster will face either Kai Fan Leung or Paul Lim.
Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld plays Richard North on Tuesday December 19, when John Henderson meets Marko Kantele and two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis takes on either Aleksandr Oreshkin or Kevin Munch.
Former finalist Simon Whitlock meets German debutant Martin Schindler on Wednesday December 20, with Michael Smith playing Steve Lennon and Justin Pipe awaiting the winner of the preliminary round tie between Xiao Chen Zong and Bernie Smith.
The first round concludes on Thursday December 21 with the final four matches, headlined by number two seed Peter Wright's meeting with Brazilian debutant Diogo Portela.
Spanish duo Cristo Reyes and Toni Alcinas face off on Thursday's opening tie, before Kim Huybrechts plays James Richardson and Darren Webster meets South Africa's Devon Petersen.
The second round begins on Friday December 22 with a double session, and a further two sessions will be held on Saturday December 23 ahead of the Christmas break.
The second round concludes on Wednesday December 27, with the third round split across Wednesday night and a double session on Thursday December 28.
The quarter-finals will be held on Friday December 29, with the semi-finals on Saturday December 30 ahead of the final on Monday January 1.
The William Hill World Darts Championship will be held from December 14 to January 1 at London's Alexandra Palace, and will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

2017/2018 William Hill World Darts Championship
Schedule of Play
Preliminary & First Rounds
(P) denotes Preliminary Round
Thursday December 14 (7pm)
Steve Beaton v William O'Connor
James Wilson v Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael van Gerwen v Christian Kist
Gerwyn Price v Ted Evetts
Friday December 15 (7pm)
Seigo Asada v Gordon Mathers (P)
Stephen Bunting v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Phil Taylor v Chris Dobey
Rob Cross v Seigo Asada/Gordon Mathers
Saturday December 16
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Brendan Dolan v Alan Ljubic (P)
Benito van de Pas v Steve West
Mervyn King v Zoran Lerchbacher
Robert Thornton v Brendan Dolan/Alan Ljubic
Evening Session (7pm)
Jeff Smith v Luke Humphries (P)
Joe Cullen v Jermaine Wattimena
Jelle Klaasen v Jan Dekker
Gary Anderson v Jeff Smith/Luke Humphries
Sunday December 17
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Kenny Neyens v Jamie Lewis (P)
Alan Norris v Kim Viljanen
Kyle Anderson v Peter Jacques
Jonny Clayton v Kenny Neyens/Jamie Lewis
Evening Session (7pm)
Willard Bruguier v Cody Harris (P)
James Wade v Keegan Brown
Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort
Ian White v Willard Bruguier/Cody Harris
Monday December 18 (7pm)
Kai Fan Leung v Paul Lim (P)
Mensur Suljovic v Kevin Painter
Daryl Gurney v Ronny Huybrechts
Mark Webster v Kai Fan Leung/Paul Lim
Tuesday December 19 (7pm)
Aleksandr Oreshkin v Kevin Munch (P)
John Henderson v Marko Kantele
Raymond van Barneveld v Richard North
Adrian Lewis v Aleksandr Oreshkin/Kevin Munch
Wednesday December 20 (7pm)
Xiao Chen Zong v Bernie Smith (P)
Michael Smith v Steve Lennon
Simon Whitlock v Martin Schindler
Justin Pipe v Xiao Chen Zong/Bernie Smith
Thursday December 21 (7pm)
Cristo Reyes v Toni Alcinas
Kim Huybrechts v James Richardson
Darren Webster v Devon Petersen
Peter Wright v Diogo Portela
Second Round
Friday December 22
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Price/Evetts v White/Bruguier/Harris
Chisnall/Van der Voort v Beaton/O'Connor
Klaasen/Dekker v Bunting/Van den Bergh
Evening Session (7pm)
Suljovic/Painter v Thornton/Ljubic/Dolan
G Anderson/J Smith/Humphries v M Webster/Leung/Lim
Van Gerwen/Kist v Wilson/Ratajski
Saturday December 23
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Wade/Brown v King/Lerchbacher
M Smith/Lennon v Cross/Asada/Mathers
Van de Pas/West v Cullen/Wattimena
Evening Session (7pm)
Gurney/R Huybrechts v Henderson/Kantele
Taylor/Dobey v Pipe/Zong/Smith
Van Barneveld/North v K Anderson/Jacques
Wednesday December 27
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Whitlock/Schindler v D Webster/Petersen
Norris/Viljanen v K Huybrechts/Richardson
A Lewis/Oreshkin/Munch v Reyes/Alcinas
Evening Session (7pm)
Wright/Portela v Clayton/Neyens/J Lewis
Third Round
2x Games TBC
Thursday December 28
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
3x Games TBC
Evening Session (7pm)
3x Games TBC
Quarter-Finals
Friday December 29
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
2x Games
Evening Session (7pm)
2x Games
Semi-Finals
Saturday December 30 (7.30pm)
Final
Monday January 1 (8pm)
Format
Preliminary Round - Best of three sets
First Round - Best of five sets
Second Round - Best of seven sets
Third Round - Best of seven sets
Quarter-Finals - Best of nine sets
Semi-Finals - Best of 11 sets
Final - Best of 13 sets
All sets are the best of five legs.
A tie-break would be in operation in all matches other than the Preliminary Round. Any match which goes to a deciding set must be won by two clear legs. If the score in the final set reaches 5-5, a sudden-death leg will be played.
The schedule of play for the third round onwards will be announced at www.pdc.tv.
Schedule of play correct at time of writing. Any changes will be notified as soon as possible at www.pdc.tv.

World Championship Draw

PHIL TAYLOR will play youngster Chris Dobey as he begins his final challenge at the William Hill World Darts Championship next month, while reigning champion Michael van Gerwen was handed an all-Dutch first round tie with Christian Kist.

Legendary Stoke star Taylor, 57, will retire following the World Championship as he bids to bow out of the sport in a blaze of glory at Alexandra Palace on New Year's Day.

The 16-time World Champion has been drawn against one of the sport's top young prospects for the first round as he takes on Bedlington's Dobey, the world number 38.

"It will be a big challenge for me," said Taylor. "Chris has made massive strides in the last couple of years and is wanting to make his mark, but I can go up there relaxed because I've nothing to lose.

"It's my final World Championship and I want to enjoy it."

Dobey, 27, was a quarter-finalist in the 2016 Grand Slam of Darts and reached the second round on his World Championship debut last year, but is rated at 500/1 with sponsors William Hill to go all the way at Alexandra Palace.

Reigning champion Van Gerwen, the 4/5 pre-tournament favourite with William Hill, will begin his challenge to claim a third Alexandra Palace triumph against former Lakeside Champion Kist.

Number two seed Peter Wright has drawn debutant Diogo Portela, who will become the first Brazilian to compete in the World Championship next month after making his breakthrough in 2017.

Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson, whose bid to claim a third successive title was ended by Van Gerwen in last year's final, will take on the winner of the preliminary round meeting between Canada's Jeff Smith and young Englishman Luke Humphries, the 2017 PDC Unicorn Development Tour Order of Merit winner.

Number four seed Daryl Gurney, October's World Grand Prix champion, drew Belgian ace Ronny Huybrechts, whose younger brother Kim will meet James Richardson in the first round.

Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic, seeded fifth, plays 2004 World Championship finalist Kevin Painter in a tasty fixture, while five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld meets emerging star Richard North and Dave Chisnall drew Dutchman Vincent van der Voort.

Adrian Lewis, the 2011 and 2012 World Champion, will play either Russia's Aleksandr Oreshkin or Germany's Kevin Munch, with 2010 finalist Simon Whitlock set to face German newcomer Martin Schindler.

Three-time semi-finalist James Wade takes on former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown, Jelle Klaasen faces an all-Dutch tie with Jan Dekker, Michael Smith drew Irish debutant Steve Lennon and Benito van de Pas plays Steve West.

Alan Norris, the 15th seed, will meet Finland's Kim Viljanen, whose fellow countryman Marko Kantele drew Scottish ace John Henderson, a World Grand Prix semi-finalist last month.

Welshman Gerwyn Price, seeded 16th, drew debutant Ted Evetts after the youngster won the PDPA Qualifier in Milton Keynes on Monday to secure his first World Championship appearance.

Number 17 seed Ian White will play either American policeman Willard Bruguier or New Zealand's Cody Harris, while Joe Cullen drew quick-fire Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena.

European Championship finalist Rob Cross, the 9/1 co-third favourite with William Hill on his World Championship debut following a remarkable first year as a professional, has drawn either Japan's Seigo Asada or Australia's Gordon Mathers.

Former Lakeside Champion Stephen Bunting plays new World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, Mervyn King drew Austrian qualifier Zoran Lerchbacher and Darren Webster faces South Africa's Devon Petersen.

Auckland Darts Masters winner Kyle Anderson has drawn debutant Peter Jacques, the postal worker from Huddersfield who has broken through in 2017, while former Lakeside Champion Steve Beaton meets Irish Matchplay winner William O'Connor.

Spanish duo Cristo Reyes and Antonio Alcinas drew each other for their first round contest, while Justin Pipe takes on either Chinese youngster Xiao Chen Zong or New Zealand's Bernie Smith.

Former UK Open and World Grand Prix winner Robert Thornton plays either Croatia's Alan Ljubic or Northern Ireland's Brendan Dolan, with former Lakeside Champion Mark Webster meeting Hong Kong's Kai Fan Leung or Singapore's legendary Paul Lim.

Welshman Jonny Clayton, the runner-up to Van Gerwen in the Players Championship Finals, meets either Belgium's Kenny Neyens or fellow countryman Jamie Lewis, and 32nd seed James Wilson plays Polish debutant Krzystof Ratajski.

The William Hill World Darts Championship will be held from December 14 to January 1 at London's Alexandra Palace, and will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

A small number of tickets for the William Hill World Darts Championship are still available - click here for details of standard tickets and Hospitality Packages.

The schedule of play for the William Hill World Darts Championship will be confirmed in due course and announced at www.pdc.tv.

2017/2018 William Hill World Darts Championship
Draw Bracket
(1) Michael van Gerwen v Christian Kist
(32) James Wilson v Krzystof Ratajski
(16) Gerwyn Price v Ted Evetts
(17) Ian White v Willard Bruguier/Cody Harris
(8) Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort
(25) Steve Beaton v William O'Connor
(9) Raymond van Barneveld v Richard North
(24) Kyle Anderson v Peter Jacques
(5) Mensur Suljovic v Kevin Painter
(28) Robert Thornton v Alan Ljubic/Brendan Dolan
(12) Jelle Klaasen v Jan Dekker
(21) Stephen Bunting v Dimitri Van den Bergh
(4) Daryl Gurney v Ronny Huybrechts
(29) John Henderson v Marko Kantele
(13) Michael Smith v Steve Lennon
(20) Rob Cross v Seigo Asada/Gordon Mathers
(2) Peter Wright v Diogo Portela
(31) Jonny Clayton v Kenny Neyens/Jamie Lewis
(15) Alan Norris v Kim Viljanen
(18) Kim Huybrechts v James Richardson
(7) Adrian Lewis v Aleksandr Oreshkin/Kevin Munch
(26) Cristo Reyes v Antonio Alcinas
(10) Simon Whitlock v Martin Schindler
(23) Darren Webster v Devon Petersen
(6) Phil Taylor v Chris Dobey
(27) Justin Pipe v Xiao Chen Zong/Bernie Smith
(11) James Wade v Keegan Brown
(22) Mervyn King v Zoran Lerchbacher
(3) Gary Anderson v Jeff Smith/Luke Humphries
(30) Mark Webster v Kai Fan Leung/Paul Lim
(14) Benito van de Pas v Steve West
(19) Joe Cullen v Jermaine Wattimena

William Hill World Darts Championship (Sponsors odds)
4/5 Michael van Gerwen
6/1 Gary Anderson
9/1 Peter Wright, Phil Taylor, Rob Cross
25/1 Daryl Gurney
33/1 Mensur Suljovic
40/1 Adrian Lewis
50/1 Raymond van Barneveld
66/1 Dave Chisnall
100/1 James Wade, Kyle Anderson, Michael Smith
125/1 Jelle Klaasen, Kim Huybrechts, Simon Whitlock
150/1 Alan Norris, Gerwyn Price, Ian White
200/1 Benito van de Pas, Darren Webster, Dimitri van den Bergh, Jeff Smith, Joe Cullen, Robert Thornton, Stephen Bunting
250/1 Chris Dobey, Cristo Reyes, James Wilson, Johnny Clayton, Krzysztof Ratajski, Mark Webster, Mervyn King
300/1 Steve West, Ted Evetts, Vincent van der Voort
500/1 Antonio Alcinas, Brendan Dolan, Chris Dobey, Christian Kist, Cody Harris, Devon Peterson, Diogo Portela, Jamie Lewis, Jan Dekker, Jermaine Wattimena, John Henderson, Keegan Brown, Kevin Painter, Ronny Huybrechts, Steve Beaton, Steve Lennon
750/1 Aleksander Oreshkin, Seigo Asada, William O'Connor
1000/1 Justin Pipe, Paul Lim, Richard North, Willard Bruguier, Zoran Lerchbacher
2000/1 Kenny Neyens, Kevin Munch, Kim Viljanen, Luke Humphries
2500/1 Alan Ljubic, Bernie Smith, Gordan Mathers, Xiao Chen Zong
EW 1/2 Odds Place 1,2

Selected Specials
Nationality of Winner: 4/6 Dutch, 11/4 Scottish, 10/3 English, 8/1 Rest of the World

Total Nine Dart Finishes: 6/5 None, 11/8 Exactly One, 3/1 Two Or More

Total 170 Checkouts: 9/1 None, 7/4 1-2, 7/4 3-4, 3/1 5-6, 8/1 7 Or More

Odds courtesy William Hill and correct at time of writing. Subject to fluctuation.

Qualifiers & Draw Numbers
PDC Order of Merit Top 32
1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gary Anderson
4 Daryl Gurney
5 Mensur Suljovic
6 Phil Taylor
7 Adrian Lewis
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Raymond van Barneveld
10 Simon Whitlock
11 James Wade
12 Jelle Klaasen
13 Michael Smith
14 Benito van de Pas
15 Alan Norris
16 Gerwyn Price
17 Ian White
18 Kim Huybrechts
19 Joe Cullen
20 Rob Cross
21 Stephen Bunting
22 Mervyn King
23 Darren Webster
24 Kyle Anderson
25 Steve Beaton
26 Cristo Reyes
27 Justin Pipe
28 Robert Thornton
29 John Henderson
30 Mark Webster
31 Jonny Clayton
32 James Wilson

ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers
33 Richard North
34 Vincent van der Voort
35 Christian Kist
36 Ronny Huybrechts
37 Jermaine Wattimena
38 Steve West
39 Zoran Lerchbacher
40 Dimitri Van den Bergh
41 Jan Dekker
42 Keegan Brown
43 James Richardson
44 Peter Jacques
45 Martin Schindler
46 Chris Dobey
47 Steve Lennon
48 Kevin Painter

International Qualifiers
49 Devon Petersen
50 William O'Connor
51 Krzystof Ratajski
52 Kim Viljanen
53 Antonio Alcinas
54 Diogo Portela
55 Marko Kantele
56 Ted Evetts
57 Jeff Smith/Luke Humphries
58 Brendan Dolan/Alan Ljubic
59 Xiao Chen Zong/Bernie Smith
60 Kenny Neyens/Jamie Lewis
61 Seigo Asada/Gordon Mathers
62 Kai Fan Leung/Paul Lim
63 Willard Bruguier/Cody Harris
64 Aleksandr Oreshkin/Kevin Munch

The Draw - As It Happened
(22) Mervyn King v 39 Zoran Lerchbacher
(8) Dave Chisnall v 34 Vincent van der Voort
(19) Joe Cullen v 37 Jermaine Wattimena
(1) Michael van Gerwen v 35 Christian Kist
(11) James Wade v 42 Keegan Brown
(25) Steve Beaton v 50 William O'Connor
(15) Alan Norris v 52 Kim Viljanen
(20) Rob Cross v 61 Seigo Asada/Gordon Mathers
(24) Kyle Anderson v (44) Peter Jacques
(7) Adrian Lewis v 64 Aleksandr Oreshkin/Kevin Munch
(13) Michael Smith v 47 Steve Lennon
(4) Daryl Gurney v 36 Ronny Huybrechts
(2) Peter Wright v 54 Diogo Portela
(28) Robert Thornton v 58 Alan Ljubic/Brendan Dolan
(12) Jelle Klaasen v 41 Jan Dekker
(10) Simon Whitlock v 45 Martin Schindler
(16) Gerwyn Price v 56 Ted Evetts
(31) Jonny Clayton v 60 Kenny Neyens/Jamie Lewis
(32) James Wilson v 51 Krzystof Ratajski
(27) Justin Pipe v 59 Xiao Chen Zong/Bernie Smith
(26) Cristo Reyes v 53 Antonio Alcinas
(23) Darren Webster v 49 Devon Petersen
(30) Mark Webster v 62 Kai Fan Leung/Paul Lim
(17) Ian White v 63 Willard Bruguier/Cody Harris
(18) Kim Huybrechts v 43 James Richardson
(29) John Henderson v 55 Marko Kantele
(6) Phil Taylor v 46 Chris Dobey
(5) Mensur Suljovic v 48 Kevin Painter
(21) Stephen Bunting v 40 Dimitri Van den Bergh
(14) Benito van de Pas v 38 Steve West
(3) Gary Anderson v 57 Jeff Smith/Luke Humphries
(9) Raymond van Barneveld v 33 Richard North

Minehead Treble For Unbeatable Van Gerwen

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN'S amazing run of form continued as he won a third successive title at the Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals on Sunday night, defeating Jonny Clayton 11-2 in the final.

The Dutchman has won the European Championship, World Series of Darts Finals and Grand Slam of Darts titles over the past month, and extended his unbeaten streak to 28 matches as he scooped the £100,000 title.

Van Gerwen had seen off Jan Dekker in their all-Dutch quarter-final earlier on Sunday and then pulled clear from two-all to win 11-3 against Justin Pipe in the semi-finals.

He was equally dominant in the final against Welshman Clayton, who never recovered from seeing Van Gerwen race into a five-leg lead before the Dutchman closed out yet another big title.

The world number one set the tone with two 180s in a 12-darter to open the game, and also finished 100 in leg five to move 5-0 up, with Clayton claiming two of the next three to reduce the arrears.

Van Gerwen, though, finished an 11-darter as he moved 8-2 up and added a 13-darter to edge towards victory before double five sealed glory for a fourth time in five years.

"It's been a phenomenal weekend," said Van Gerwen. "It was a great tournament, I think I played really well and I had to perform against new players round by round, so I had to keep my focus.

"Jonny did great to reach the final. It's a big step for him because he wasn't in the top 32, so it's a massive step for his career. Fair play to him, he did really well but I'm glad I won the final.

"After not being here for the UK Open [in March] I'm really glad to be back here with this trophy.

"I've won the last four TV tournaments so this is great for my confidence going into the World Championship - but I'll enjoy this title first."

Clayton had won through to his first TV final, with his career-high £40,000 in prize money moving the 43-year-old into the world's top 32 for the first time and putting himself in line for a Grand Slam of Darts place in 2018.

Clayton showed his class by coming from 7-4 down to defeat Steve Beaton 10-8 in the quarter-finals before also fighting back from a 6-3 deficit to see off top seed Rob Cross 11-8 in the semis.

"You take one game at a time, and to get this far in front of this amazing crowd was awesome," said the Pontyberem ace. "I've had a brilliant weekend and the support I've had has been amazing.

"When you play against Michael on form like that it's really difficult, but I enjoyed the final. I'm proud of what I've achieved this weekend.

"It's a learning curve, my first final and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'll take a lot out of that game."

Pipe's run to the semi-finals was his best finish in a televised ranking event for four years - since he previously reached the semi-finals of the same event for a second time in 2013 - as he defeated Daryl Gurney 10-9 in the last eight.

Cross was also a semi-finalist as he continued his impressive debut year on the PDC circuit with a fine 10-6 win over leading left-hander James Wade in their quarter-final.

Sunday also saw Belgium's Dimitri Van den Bergh win the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship title, defeating Josh Payne 6-3 in the final with an impressive 101.23 average as he claimed the £10,000 title.

GERWEN 3RD TIME CHAMPION

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN retained the bwin Grand Slam of Darts title and extended his winning streak in Wolverhampton to three years with a brilliant 16-12 success against Peter Wright in Sunday's final.

The Dutchman had been in dominant form in Sunday afternoon's high-profile semi-final with Phil Taylor as he ended the six-time Grand Slam champion's hopes of a farewell triumph at the Wolves Civic with a 16-8 success.

He then denied Wright a third TV title of the year as he scooped a £112,500 winner's cheque by continuing his Grand Slam dominance in outlasting Wright in the final.

The colourful Scot, who claimed his first TV title at March's UK Open amongst 11 tournament wins so far in 2017, shared the opening 20 legs with Van Gerwen but was powerless to stop the Dutchman pulling away for glory.

"To win a tournaments like this is always nice, especially in a game like that," said Van Gerwen, who landed four ton-plus checkouts and averaged over 102 in the final.

"It was a final and there was pressure on us. You want to perform at as high a level as possible and I think I had a fantastic tournament.

"After ten-ten I had a little turbo, but maybe we were trying too hard and we didn't want to lose to each other. Sooner or later Peter will stop me in a final but I'm over the moon that I won.

"I feel great and winning a tournament like this is always nice, good for your confidence and I think I also deserved it with the way I played, the average I threw, the 180s and the good scores."

Van Gerwen was joined on stage by baby daughter Zoe as he celebrated the win, and he admitted: "Winning tournaments is nice, trying to be the best in the world is nice but nothing beats this."

Wright took out an early 120 and hit back after Van Gerwen edged 3-2 and 4-3 up by regaining the edge as the pair traded legs, with the World Champion hitting two 12-darters, a 13-darter and six perfect darts in response.

Wright took out finishes of 156 and 149 as he led 10-9, but Van Gerwen crucially checked out 146 and 100 in a run of four successive legs to finally assert his dominance.

Number two seed Wright hit back on tops and double one to claim two of the next three, but tops moved Van Gerwen 15-12 up before he sealed the title with double 16.

Van Gerwen is now unbeaten since October's World Grand Prix, having since retained the European Championship, World Series of Darts Finals and now the Grand Slam of Darts in an imperious month.

"I'm glad I won another trophy," said Van Gerwen. "When you have a period like this it's good for you and for your confidence, especially for the World Championship which is coming up.

"I'll have a rest now because next week is the Players Championship Finals and I want to win that too."

Wright had made a brilliant comeback from 14-8 down to win his semi-final against Gary Anderson 16-15 before losing out in the decider, and conceded: "I'm gutted.

"I had my chance and didn't take it, and that's why he is number one in the world.

"Neither of us played our top game in the final and I was struggling throughout the match, but the best player won on the day.

"I had plenty of chances and didn't play well in the final. I struggled through the whole game, I wasn't good enough and I'm disappointed with the way I played - but I got to the final.

"I played some really nice games this week, and I can take positives from this."

2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts Finals Day

PETER WRIGHT made an incredible comeback from 14-8 down to reach the bwin Grand Slam of Darts final with a deciding-leg 16-15 win over Gary Anderson in a Wolves Civic thriller.

The UK Open champion had looked set to miss out on a first appearance in the Wolverhampton final when 2011 runner-up Anderson pulled clear from 7-6 to lead 14-8.

However, Wright changed darts before clawing his way back into the contest to finally level in leg 30 as Anderson missed one match dart, and then completed his comeback by taking out 64 for victory.

"I'm over the moon and I'll still be on a high for the final," said Wright. "It's my best win against Gary because being that far behind against a player of that calibre.

"It felt like a final for me because I class him as the second-best player in the world but I got over the line.

"I changed my darts halfway through because the other ones were not working. Deep down I believed that these darts can win me the tournament if I stick with them, and they still could."

Anderson punished two missed doubles from Wright to win the opening leg with a break of throw, and led 2-0 and 3-1 before an 11-darter created a 6-3 cushion.

Wright responded and landed a brilliant ten-darter as he reduced the gap to one leg at 7-6, only for Anderson to land a trio of double eight finishes to edge away before taking out 110, 86 and 119 as he created a 13-7 cushion.

The next two were shared as Anderson retained a six-leg lead at 14-8, only for Wright to take five successive legs, including an 84 finish on the bull, to pull back to trail by just one leg.

A miss at tops to level in leg 28 allowed Anderson back in one double five as he moved to the brink of victory at 15-13, but Wright followed an 11-darter by punishing his rival's one missed match dart - at double seven - to force a decider with a second successive 81 finish.

Anderson kicked off the 31st leg with a 180 and left 82 following 12 darts, but Wright clinically closed out victory by finishing 64 to progress to the final.

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen secured his place in the final for a third successive year by continuing his title defence with a superb 16-8 win over Phil Taylor.

Six-time champion Taylor was aiming to claim a farewell title in Wolverhampton, but saw his hopes ended as Van Gerwen averaged almost 107 and finished 50 percent of his chances at a double in a clinical display.

Taylor held an early advantage with finishes of 68 and 60, but Van Gerwen took out 117 and 106 before coming from 3-2 down to win four successive legs as he took a 6-3 lead.

Taylor cut the gap to one leg before Van Gerwen piled home a 164 checkout on his way to a 9-5 lead, while the Dutchman's 96 checkout was bettered by a 97 combination from the 57-year-old as he pulled back to 10-7.

Van Gerwen restored a four-leg lead with a 71 checkout, and after Taylor hit back with a 13-darter the reigning champion produced two 74 finishes, a 63 checkout and double four to move 15-8 up before closing out the win on double 16.

"I think I played really well," said Van Gerwen. "To beat Phil Taylor is always nice and to get into the final is amazing.

"It's only a semi-final and I've not won anything yet. I don't like runner-up trophies but I still have to play well to beat Peter Wright.

"I feel confident and I believe in my ability. I still have to do it later on but my aim is to win it."

2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts Day Eight

GREAT rivals Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen will clash in the bwin Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals following their brilliant victories over Daryl Gurney and Rob Cross at the Wolves Civic on Saturday.

Six-time champion Taylor's bid to claim a seventh, and farewell, triumph in the bwin Grand Slam of Darts continued with a 16-4 quarter-final romp against world number four Gurney.

The World Grand Prix champion was aiming to claim his first-ever victory over the 16-time World Champion, but saw Taylor finish 67 percent of his darts at a double and average 104 in a ruthless display.

Gurney opened the game with a 115 finish, but Taylor finished 68 and 58 to move ahead and 115 to open up a 3-1 lead.

The Northern Irish ace hit back to level after eight legs, but an incredible surge from Taylor saw him claim 12 successive legs in a relentless charge into the last four.

The run began with double 12 to break throw before he took out 73, 126, 64 and 81 to gain breathing space, followed a 13-darter with a 132 checkout and then punished four missed doubles from Gurney to create a 13-4 cushion.

Taylor then fired in a fourth ton-plus checkout of the game, with a 137 combination, and took out 84 to lead 15-4 before wrapping up a comprehensive win with the aid of a seventh 180 and tops.

"I'm delighted to be through and I can get ready for Sunday now," said Taylor. "My finishing was brilliant tonight - I put him under pressure and that was the intention.

"I thought I might give him a game because he's younger, he's fresher and at the minute he's probably playing better than I am. I did a couple of good finishes there against him and put him under pressure.

"It won't do him any harm, he needs to learn. He needs to re-evaluate what he's doing, re-evaluate his career.

"He's a cracking player and if I managed him he would win everything because he's one hell of a dart player, but his attitude is wrong. He needs to enjoy it more."

The night's second quarter-final proved highly dramatic and tense as newcomer Cross pushed Van Gerwen all the way for 22 legs before the reigning champion pulled clear to complete a 16-13 win.

Despite Van Gerwen opening the contest with 180 and 177 as he landed six perfect darts, Cross took out 127 for a 12-darter to break throw immediately and then took out 112 to move 2-0 up.

Van Gerwen stormed back to level before an 11-darter moved the Dutchman 3-2 up, and the next nine legs went with throw as the players maintained ton-plus averages to remain locked at seven-all.

Cross, though, produced an outstanding 131 checkout to break throw in leg 15, before finishing double four to move 9-7 up, only for Van Gerwen to claim a break back in leg 20 to square the game once more.

The next two were shared before finishes of 122 on the bull and 108 to break gave Van Gerwen a two-leg gap once more, before double four created a 14-11 cushion.

Cross hit back to win his 12th leg, but Van Gerwen landed two 180s to his rival's one as a 12-darter moved him 15-12 up and, though the Englishman responded with a 72 finish, a pair of missed doubles in the next allowed the world number one to seal victory with a 110 checkout.

"I'm really happy with this win," said Van Gerwen, who averaged over 104 and hit 11 maximums. "I played really well at the beginning of the game and I think he also played a phenomenal game.

"I can do better and I will need to tomorrow. I don't want to let myself down and tomorrow is going to be a big game and I want to beat Phil. It's one of the last chances and I want to take it with two hands.

"Phil doesn't have anything to lose. I'm the favourite and I have to do it, but I know I can handle the pressure and I've handled it for the last three years so why not now.

"He's the greatest who ever played and I've got a lot of respect for that man, but not tomorrow. I want to perform well - I don't want to give him a finger because he takes your hand."

Sunday afternoon's other semi-final will see Scottish pair Peter Wright and Gary Anderson - the players ranked second and third in the world - clash for a spot in the final.

The tournament then concludes with the final in Sunday's evening session, where a £110,000 top prize is on offer

2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts Day Seven

SCOTTISH duo Peter Wright and Gary Anderson will clash in the bwin Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals on Sunday after claiming Friday night victories at the Wolves Civic.

World number two Wright reached the last four for a second successive year by ending the hopes of Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant in their quarter-final contest.

Durrant was the only BDO representative in the 32-player event to win through to the last eight, but saw the clinical finishing which he had shown during his previous four games desert him in the first half of a 16-10 defeat.

The victory sees Wright move through to Sunday's decisive final day as the number two seed aims to claim the prestigious Grand Slam title for a first time.

Wright - whose painted head was supporting the Children in Need charity - capitalised on missed doubles from Durrant to win the opening two legs, before the Lakeside Champion took out double ten and 71 to level.

The next two were shared before Wright broke with a 68 finish to move 4-3 up, and he won the next three legs to open up a four-leg advantage.

Durrant took out 89 to hit back, but Wright punished further missed doubles as he continued his charge with five further legs before five wayward darts from the Scot allowed his rival to hit back to 12-5.

Durrant also finished 124 on the bull as he claimed a sixth leg of the game, and back-to-back 14-darters cut the gap to 14-8 before he landed six perfect darts with two maximums in a 12-darter as he continued his revival.

However, two wired darts at double eight allowed Wright in to move 15-9 up, with Durrant then coming one dart away from a perfect leg in the 25th as he landed back-to-back 180s again, a seventh treble 20 and then treble 19 only to miss double 12 to achieve the feat.

He returned to hit double 12 at the second time of asking to complete a ten-dart finish, but he was unable to nail the bullseye for a second 124 checkout in the next leg as Wright closed out victory on double five.

"I'm obviously delighted with the result but not with the way I performed," said Wright. "I got to the semi-finals last year so I've equalled that but hopefully I can go further now.

"You want to hit the big averages like Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson are doing, and if I want to win this tournament I'll have to - but I'm still learning all the time.

"Glen's an awesome player and a lovely guy, and I was geeing him up backstage but I didn't want to gee him up so much that he almost him a nine-darter! I wish him all the best at Lakeside and he deserves to go and win that again."

Durrant, who missed 32 darts at a double during the game, admitted: "I'm incredibly disappointed in my performance tonight. I don't know why I played like that.

"I really wanted to put on a show tonight - what an opportunity, to play Peter Wright live on Sky on a Friday night. It was my moment and it just didn't happen.

"The whole Grand Slam is brilliant and certainly for the BDO players. The crowd were great but early doors I was really poor and I don't know why."

Number two seed Anderson, meanwhile, battled past Mensur Suljovic with a 16-12 success as the 2011 finalist landed nine 180s and averaged almost 102 to end a three-game losing run against the Austrian.

Anderson responded to Suljovic's 100 finish in the opening leg by taking out 61, 68 and 90 to move 3-1 up, and he also led 5-3 before the Champions League of Darts winner took out 113 and then punished five misses from his rival to level.

Anderson claimed the next four legs without reply to move 9-5 up, but missed a trio of doubles in leg 15 as the Austrian again hit back to win three in a row.

Suljovic remained in touch at 10-9 and 11-10, but crucially missed double 16 to level in leg 22 as double four edged Anderson further ahead, double six created a three-leg gap and a 72 finish moved him two legs away from the win.

Anderson landed a 180 for a fourth successive leg in the 25th, but missed the bull for a 126 finish as Suljovic completed a 71 combination to remain in the hunt and then broke on double nine to pull back to 14-12.

However, a miss at double 12 allowed Anderson a let-off for a miss at tops, and the Scot then capitalised on three further misses from Suljovic gave him the chance to seal victory on double four.

The quarter-finals conclude on Saturday night (8pm), when six-time Grand Slam champion Phil Taylor faces World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney before reigning champion Michael van Gerwen plays European Championship finalist Rob Cross.

2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts Day Six

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN was cheered on by baby daughter Zoe for the first time as he powered into the bwin Grand Slam of Darts quarter-finals with a ruthless 10-3 defeat of youngster Steve Lennon on Thursday.

The Dutchman had become a father for the first time in August, and had wife Daphne and three-month-old Zoe in the crowd at the Wolves Civic to cheer him to victory in round two.

Reigning champion Van Gerwen produced a stunning mid-game surge as he ended Irish youngster Lennon's Grand Slam debut with an imperious display to average 105.

After losing the opening two legs, Lennon hit back in the third only to see Van Gerwen hit seven 180s in six legs and a trio of 11-darters as the stormed into an 8-1 advantage.

Carlow's Lennon responded in the tenth leg, but Van Gerwen scored another 180 and a 171 in a ten-darter to move 9-2 up, and while a superb 11-darter kept the youngster in the game briefly the World Champion wrapped up the win on double 16.

"It's a really special night for me," said Van Gerwen. "Having my daughter was the biggest thing ever in my life, bigger than any title, and I'm so proud that she was here.

"I need to make sure that I keep my family happy by winning tournaments. You always want to perform well but I was too relaxed at times and I wasn't happy with the first session of five legs.

"I played really well after that and I want to keep that going now. It's a massive tournament and I need to make sure I'm ready for Saturday."

Van Gerwen will now meet Rob Cross in a repeat of their recent meeting in the European Championship final after the shooting star from Sussex continued his incredible debut year with an 10-7 win over Raymond van Barneveld.

2012 Grand Slam winner Van Barneveld piled in a 167 finish as he took a 3-1 lead and the 50-year-old also held a 4-2 cushion before Cross, aided by two 180s, a 171 and a 104 finish, took four straight legs to move ahead.

Van Barneveld battled back with three straight legs to resume control at 7-6, but Cross showed his mettle with a 180 as he levelled, an 11-darter to move back ahead and back-to-back 14-darters which closed out the win.

"Raymond is such a great guy and in the game I showed him too much respect, but I was glad to get over the line," said Cross, who averaged almost 104.

"I'm more than happy that I won and I'm starting to feel more comfortable that I can do it under pressure. I'm getting better all the time, I'm playing well and progressing.

"I'm never fazed and I think I've learned from my other games against Michael and as long as I do what I can do it could be a cracker because Michael is great at what he does."

Phil Taylor's bid to say a winning farewell to the Wolves Civic continued as he secured a quarter-final spot with a 10-4 win over Darren Webster.

The six-time Grand Slam champion, who will retire at the end of the year, pulled clear from two-all to see off Webster in style as he moved into a last four tie against Daryl Gurney.

Three successive legs put Taylor into a 5-2 lead, with Webster hitting back in the eighth and setting up a possible nine-darter in the ninth, only to miss his chance for a perfect leg before a killer 120 finish restored the Stoke legend's cushion.

A trio of double 16 checkouts moved Taylor into a 9-3 lead, with Webster maintaining a perfect doubling record as he took out 140 only to see a 91 finish seal the 57-year-old's quarter-final spot.

"With the format being longer I could relax a bit but Darren's a very good player who wears his heart on his sleeve and I had to do a job tonight," said Taylor.

"The 120 was a massive shot. He'd hit me with a couple of blows in that leg when he was on the nine-darter, but that was a knockout from me.

"It's a matter for me of pushing on now. I've got a day off now before the quarter-finals and I can get myself ready for Saturday."

Taylor now faces Daryl Gurney, who won through to the quarter-finals in his debut year at the Wolves Civic with a fine 10-2 win over two-time finalist James Wade.

The Northern Irish ace claimed his maiden TV title at the World Grand Prix last month and has moved up to fourth on the world rankings this year, and is aiming to cap his first Grand Slam appearance with glory on Sunday.

Gurney opened the game with a 180 before taking out 100 to lead, and after Wade responded it was the Northern Irish ace who took the next six legs without reply to move 7-1 up.

Wade fired in a 171 and took out 70 to respond with a 14-darter, but Gurney took the next two to move to the brink of victory at 9-2 before sealing his quarter-final place on Saturday by punishing six misses from the left-hander.

"I'm really happy to be through," said Gurney. "James didn't play his best darts in the group stages but I thought that in the longer format he would express himself and it would be a lot tighter.

"James kept letting me in and I kept taking my chances - he wasn't on it tonight and I got through easily. I just wanted to win and it didn't matter what the result was, but I still didn't play my best.

"I'm fighting with myself because I should be playing so much better and I've been practising so well. It was good enough to win the game but it's my lowest average of the tournament and I want to improve on Saturday."

The quarter-finals commence on Friday night, including the tie between PDC world number two Peter Wright and reigning BDO Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant.

"Hopefully it should be a great game," said Wright, the 2017 UK Open champion.

"The longer distance may suit me but Glen's been playing fantastic darts. He's a lovely guy and I admire how he plays - he aims with every single dart."

Durrant had won the pair's Group E meeting last Saturday with an outstanding performance, and he admitted: "I'm really enjoying it and it feels so good right now.

"It's an amazing tournament with an amazing crowd at a fantastic venue, and I'm enjoying every second.

"To play Peter over this distance is something I really want - live on Sky Sports in the quarter-finals. Peter's a great person and he's always been wonderful with me."

Friday's other quarter-final sees number three seed Gary Anderson take on September's Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic as they bid to reach Sunday's finals day.

The bwin Grand Slam of Darts will be broadcast live on Sky Sports from November 11-19.

Tickets for the bwin Grand Slam of Darts are available through www.wolvescivic.co.uk or by calling 0870 320 7000.

bwin Grand Slam of Darts
Thursday November 16
Second Round x4
Daryl Gurney 10-2 James Wade
Phil Taylor 10-4 Darren Webster
Michael van Gerwen 10-3 Steve Lennon
Raymond van Barneveld v Rob Cross

Friday November 17 (7pm)
Quarter-Finals x2
Glen Durrant v Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic v Gary Anderson

Saturday November 18 (8pm)
Quarter-Finals x2
Phil Taylor v Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross

Quarter-Finals - Best of 31 legs

2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts Day Five

GARY ANDERSON produced a sublime comeback from 4-1 down to see off Michael Smith 10-6 with a 107 average as the Scot stormed through to set up a bwin Grand Slam of Darts quarter-final with Mensur Suljovic in Wolverhampton on Wednesday.
An explosive start from both players saw former World Youth Champion Smith claim legs of 12 and 11 darts and a 110 finish as he won four of the first five legs against his mentor, with a 124 checkout being Anderson's only response.
However, a 164 checkout in leg six sparked a run of seven straight legs for the Scot as he moved into an 8-4 advantage.
Smith took out 68 and double ten to keep his hopes alive at 9-6, but Anderson fired home double two to complete his comeback and remain on course for a second Wolverhampton final.
"I was in trouble for a while there but I'd missed a couple of doubles and I could have been 3-2 up when I was 4-1 down," said Anderson.
"Michael was tremendous for those first four or five legs and he's something else when he gets going but then he wavers a little. If he'd kept it up he would probably have won 10-2 or something."
Anderson has lost his last three games against Suljovic, including September's Champions League of Darts final, but is aiming to end that run in Friday's quarter-final.
"He's a lovely lad and he deserves all the success he's having - but I hate playing him," added the number three seed. "He's a fantastic player but he's so hard to play against!"
Suljovic had earlier ended the hopes of brave Berry van Peer with a clinical 10-2 triumph in their second round tie.
Dutch youngster Van Peer has emotionally battled against dartitis to win through his group in the £450,000 tournament, defeating Simon Whitlock and Cameron Menzies to reach the last 16.
However he saw his run ended as Suljovic - who had given the 21-year-old advice on how to cope with the condition earlier in the event - proved too strong with a high-quality display.
Suljovic claimed the game's opening seven legs without reply as he capitalised on four missed doubles from Van Peer, took out finishes of 110, 90 and 80 plus an 11-darter to pull clear.
Van Peer checked out 96 and 119 as he hit back, but three further missed doubles allowed Suljovic in to secure his first Wolverhampton quarter-final appearance with a 106 average and ten doubles from 15 attempts.
"Berry has a problem with dartitis but he is a super player and he played well," said Suljovic. "I was focused on my game and I played brilliant darts - my doubles were good and it was a perfect night.
"I'm happy that I won and I feel really good."
Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant became the first BDO player to reach the quarter-finals since 2013 as he overcame Dave Chisnall 10-8 with another solid performance.
Durrant took out a 161 finish as he claimed a 3-1 lead early on, only for missed doubles to allow Chisnall back in to square the contest following ten legs.
The Middlesbrough ace, though, found another gear to finish 87, 86 and 71 as he moved into a 9-7 lead before closing out a solid win with a 99.33 average.
"To be in the quarter-finals feels so good," said Durrant. "I'd targeted reaching the quarter-finals before the event but now I'm there I want to enjoy the moment.
"I'm flying the flag for the BDO and I'm really proud to be in the quarter-finals, but there's more to come from me. I feel so comfortable and I'm loving every second on that stage.
"I was disappointed to be five-all at the second break but I thought back to last year, when I was in the same position but then lost to Raymond van Barneveld, composed myself and came out firing. On my throw I played really well."
Durrant now faces a quarter-final tie with Peter Wright on Friday night - six days after defeating the UK Open champion with a brilliant display in their opening Group E game.
Wright secured his last eight place with a dominant 10-4 win over Stephen Bunting in their second round meeting, averaging 103 and finishing ten doubles from 19 attempts.
The Scot moved into an early 3-1 lead before Bunting produced a 12-darter to respond, but Wright took out a brilliant 161 checkout in a run of five straight legs to move 8-2 up.
Bunting produced back-to-back legs - including seven perfect darts in an attempt at a perfect leg - as he pulled back to 8-4 but Wright was not to be denied as he moved into the last eight.
"It was always going to be a tough game and I had to play well because Stephen has been coming back into form," said Wright. "We had a fantastic game in the World Grand Prix and he let me off then so I had to be on form today.
"The second session of five legs was very important when I got clear of him. I felt like I hit lots of 140s but not as many 180s as I wanted, but my finishing wasn't too bad and I'm getting better and better with these darts."
The second round concludes on Thursday with the remaining four matches, headlined by reigning champion Michael van Gerwen taking on Irish youngster Steve Lennon, who has reached the last 16 on his Wolverhampton debut.
"I'm feeling good and now that the format is longer it's better for me," said Van Gerwen. "I love the longer games because you're less nervous and you can settle down.
"I've played well in the groups but I can still improve and I'm confident."
Six-time winner Phil Taylor takes on Darren Webster - who won 5-0 when the pair met in last year's group stage - while 2012 champion Raymond van Barneveld faces shooting star Rob Cross.
Daryl Gurney plays two-time finalist James Wade, who bounced back from a loss in his opening group match on Saturday to qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament with a win over Taylor on Tuesday.
"I'm not playing as well as I can do but I showed in moments against Phil that I can hurt people when I get it right," said Wade. "I'm practising hard and if I do what I can do then it's an enjoyable game."
The bwin Grand Slam of Darts will be broadcast live on Sky Sports from November 11-19.
Tickets for the bwin Grand Slam of Darts are available through www.wolvescivic.co.uk or by calling 0870 320 7000.
bwin Grand Slam of Darts
Wednesday November 15
Second Round x4
Mensur Suljovic 10-2 Berry van Peer
Glen Durrant 10-8 Dave Chisnall
Gary Anderson 10-6 Michael Smith
Peter Wright 10-4 Stephen Bunting
Thursday November 16 (7pm)
Second Round x4
Daryl Gurney v James Wade
Phil Taylor v Darren Webster
Michael van Gerwen v Steve Lennon
Raymond van Barneveld v Rob Cross
Second Round - Best of 19 legs

Grand Slam update

DARREN WEBSTER went from despair to joy as he won a nine-dart shoot-out against Mark Webster to qualify for the knockout stage of the bwin Grand Slam of Darts on Tuesday night.

Norwich ace Webster had thought his chance to qualify from Group D had passed when he lost 5-1 to Daryl Gurney in their final round-robin match at the Wolves Civic.

However, Webster had finished level on points and leg difference with namesake Mark Webster, who lost out 5-2 to Danny Noppert as the Dutchman claimed a consolation win from their final group game.

The duo returned to the stage to compete in a nine-dart shoot-out, with Mark Webster scoring a 140 with his first three darts and 298 in total, only to see Darren Webster land a treble 19 with his final dart to total 301.

"I'm really chuffed to get through, over the moon," said Webster. "It was hard for us both and to be honest I thought I was knocked out earlier on when I'd lost.

"I'm sorry for Mark because it was tough for us both. It's great to see him getting back to his best and he'll be back, but I'm pleased to have got through.

"I've got to refocus now for the second round but I know I can beat anyone and I've got to do something to take my practice game onto stage."

Gurney topped Group D with a third impressive victory of the group stage as he produced another strong performance.

"I wanted to get the win and to top my group and I'm delighted to have done that," said Gurney, who averaged 99 and hit five doubles from eight attempts. "I'm loving it and it's great to win my group in my first time here.

"My sole focus was getting the win and I had no idea of what had to happen in relation to Darren and Mark, Darren had some darts at a double that he didn't take and I hit some crucial finishes there.

"I'm very pleased with how I've been playing because I was nervous with the short format, but now I want to relax and play my best game."

Two-time Grand Slam of Darts finalist James Wade secured qualification from Group C alongside Phil Taylor with a 5-3 win over the six-time Wolverhampton champion in their decisive clash.

Following a defeat for Robbie Green against BDO World Trophy winner Peter Machin in their earlier match, Wade knew that he needed to defeat Taylor to progress and showed his quality to do just that.

The left-hander punished missed doubles from Taylor as he came from a leg down to lead 2-1 and 4-2, and though the 57-year-old kept the game alive it was Wade who sealed victory in style with an 11-darter.

"After losing my opening game on Saturday I'm pleased to have got through," said Wade. "Phil wasn't at his best but I came good for the last few legs.

"I think my last three legs were good enough to beat most players under pressure and at moments the practice I've been doing started to show."

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen completed Group A with a third successive win, and was in dominant mood as he averaged 108.29 as he defeated Joe Murnan 4-2.

Murnan landed a 119 finish as he shared the opening four legs in his search for a consolation victory, but Van Gerwen took out 135 for a 12-darter before punishing two missed doubles from his opponent in leg six as he raced away to victory.

"There was not a lot of a pressure on me because I was through before the game, but I still wanted to win to keep my confidence up and I'm happy with this performance," said Van Gerwen.

"I played well and had a couple of nice finishes. I can still improve but I performed really well today."

Rob Cross secured qualification alongside Van Gerwen from Group A as he claimed a 5-2 win over Ross Montgomery in their decisive clash.

Montgomery took the game's opening leg and was level following four legs, but Cross took command with an 11-darter, took out 88 for a two-leg cushion and sealed his second round spot in style with a 164 checkout.

"I knew I had to win tonight to get through and it's lovely to get over the line," said Cross. "Ross is a great player and he's been a bit unlucky because he played well against Michael and me, but it's all about winning.

"My finishing was good in stages, I’m glad just to get over the line and get the win.

"It's been fantastic so far this week. The crowd all love the darts and it's been a massive experience for me, I'm looking forward to going into the knockout stages."

Raymond van Barneveld and Steve Lennon qualified from Group B after local star Jamie Hughes' consolation 5-1 victory over Gerwyn Price eliminated the Welshman.

Van Barneveld later defeated Lennon 5-2, with the Irish youngster landing two 100 finishes only to see the 2012 Grand Slam of Darts champion land five doubles from as many attempts, including a 160 checkout, in a perfect display.

"I'm happy to be through and to win my group is good," said Van Barneveld. "The aim for me was to win and I wanted to make sure I did that.

"The 160 finish was lovely and I needed it because Steve has played well and he's a good young player, so I'm pleased to beat him."

Tipton's Hughes finished his campaign on a high with a strong performance as he erased the memory of defeats to Van Barneveld and Lennon.

"I really enjoyed it tonight - there was no pressure and that showed in my performance," said Hughes. "It's nice for me to play well and win in front of my own fans here.

"I didn't realise that I'd knocked Gerwyn out, and I just wanted to go up there and play like I can do.

"The group stage makes this tournament so intriguing and Gerwyn will come back stronger - he's part of the new breed of players and his future is bright."

Following Tuesday's dramatic night, reigning champion Van Gerwen now progresses to face Lennon, Van Barneveld takes on Cross, Taylor plays Darren Webster and Gurney meets Wade in Thursday's second round.

The second round commences on Wednesday with the first four matches, including number two seed Peter Wright's clash with Stephen Bunting, Gary Anderson's tie against Michael Smith, Glen Durrant against Dave Chisnall and Mensur Suljovic taking on Berry van Peer.

The bwin Grand Slam of Darts will be broadcast live on Sky Sports from November 11-19.

Tickets for the bwin Grand Slam of Darts are available through www.wolvescivic.co.uk or by calling 0870 320 7000.

bwin Grand Slam of Darts
Tuesday November 14
8x A-D Group Matches
Danny Noppert 5-2 Mark Webster - Mark Webster and Darren Webster will play a nine-dart shoot-out
Daryl Gurney 5-1 Darren Webster - Daryl Gurney qualifies from Group D. Mark Webster and Darren Webster will play a nine-dart shoot-out
Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Joe Murnan - Michael van Gerwen qualifies from Group A
Rob Cross 5-2 Ross Montgomery - Rob Cross qualifies from Group A
Peter Machin 5-3 Robbie Green - Robbie Green is eliminated alongside Peter Machin
James Wade 5-3 Phil Taylor - Phil Taylor and James Wade qualify from Group C
Jamie Hughes 5-1 Gerwyn Price - Gerwyn Price is eliminated alongside Jamie Hughes
Raymond van Barneveld 5-2 Steve Lennon - Raymond van Barneveld & Steve Lennon qualify from Group B

Nine-Dart Shoot-Out
Darren Webster 301, Mark Webster 298

2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts Day Three

TEARFUL Berry van Peer secured a second round spot in the bwin Grand Slam of Darts on a dramatic Monday night in Wolverhampton, as Peter Wright, Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall edged into the knockout stages.

Former World Youth Championship finalist Van Peer has won the hearts of the Wolves Civic crowds and millions watching around the world as he battles publicly against dartitis, where he struggles to release his darts.

However, the youngster followed up his win over Simon Whitlock on his Grand Slam debut on Saturday with a 5-4 win over Cameron Menzies in their decisive Group H contest.

Van Peer opened the tie with a 78 finish and claimed three legs in a row from 2-1 down to move to the brink of victory at 4-2.

After missing match darts in leg seven, Menzies finished 68 and tops to force a decider, but the Scot missed his chance to claim victory in a tense finale before Van Peer hit double ten to claim an emotional win.

"I'm feeling good because I won but it was tough for me - I feel like I'm dreaming," said Van Peer. "I'd have been happy just to win a couple of legs in every game, but then I won my first game.

"It was an unbelievable match today. I got some tips and they've really helped me through the game. I tried to compose myself every time, I started well and to win was great but it was so hard.

"I've qualified for this for a reason and I wanted to enjoy it, and I can say I stood there and achieved more than I could hope for."

Gary Anderson progressed to the knockout stages with a 100 percent record in Group H as he completed a disappointing three days for winless Whitlock with a 5-2 triumph over the Australian.

The Scot followed up his wins over Cameron Menzies and Berry van Peer with a strong 104.73 average to see off Whitlock, hitting five 180s, a 130 finish and two 13-darters to top Group H.

"I thought it was a bit of an iffy game but I'm glad to get through with three wins," said Anderson. "I've had a lot of time off but I'm getting back into it and starting to get my game back to where I want to be."

Number two seed Peter Wright claimed his second round spot with a dramatic 5-4 win over Alan Norris in their Group E shoot-out.

A tight battle saw the opening seven legs go with throw as Norris edged 4-3 up before Wright landed a 180 and then took out a brilliant 170 finish to take the game into a decider.

Wright then landed a 180 to leave 36, and when Norris missed tops for a 105 finish the Scot stepped in to complete a 14-darter as he sealed a second round place.

"It was tough so I'm relieved to win it but Alan played really well and it was so hard to break his throw," said Wright. "You have to battle and sometimes you have to win dirty, and I did that today.

"I've still got to improve but I'm through and I can get ready for the last 16 now because there are still so many players who can win this.

"I'm glad that these darts worked under pressure because I've only been using this design for three games but I know there's more in the tank."

Corey Cadby claimed a consolation victory in Group E as he defeated Glen Durrant, the Lakeside Champion who had already secured his last 16 place.

Former World Youth Champion Cadby took out 120 and 79 as he came from a leg down to lead 3-1 and also took a 4-2 lead before Durrant hit back to level, but the Australian showed his class with a maximum and a 90 finish to snatch the win.

"It was a battle because Glen is playing really well, so to finish off with a win is nice," said Cadby. "It's better than going out with three losses, and unfortunately I'm not going through but I'll move on now."

Austrian ace Mensur Suljovic secured his own qualification from Group G and aided the progression of Michael Smith into the knockout stage with his narrow 5-4 win over James Wilson.

Wilson produced some excellent finishing to lead 2-0 and also finished 124 and 60 to move 4-3 up, but Suljovic followed an earlier 123 checkout with a 112 combination to force a decider, which he won on tops.

"It was a very hard game for me but I'm so happy to win it," said Suljovic. "Some of my finishes were really good, especially the 123 and 112, but it was a crazy game.

"I could have won two matches and still gone out, so it's fantastic that I'm through."

Smith had earlier defeated Mark McGeeney 5-4 to secure his second Group G win as he averaged 105 in a superb performance, hitting five doubles from six attempts to end the hopes of the BDO number one.

"It was a tough group but as long as I'm through that's all that matters - but it was hard to watch Mensur's game and I was cheering him on!" admitted Smith, who now faces mentor Gary Anderson in Wednesday's second round.

"I've got a chance now that I'm through and I'm playing well. I've played well in my last two games and hit lots of 180s so I'm looking forward to playing Gary now."

Group F also enjoyed a dramatic finale in Wolverhampton, as Stephen Bunting edged out Scott Mitchell 5-4 to secure his second round spot, with that result also meaning that Dave Chisnall progressed despite his 5-4 loss to Jeffrey de Zwaan.

Chisnall admitted: "I was so nervous watching Stephen's game and he's done me a favour.

"I thought I played quite well but I didn't get the result against Jeffrey but my old mate helped me out. I feel sorry for Scott Mitchell because he played fantastically, but he let Stephen back in at the end."

Former Lakeside Champion Bunting, who won all three matches in his group, said: "I'm delighted to have come through such a tough group.

"I didn't really know what the situation was with Dave and I just wanted to win, but he's a massive friend of mine and I've known him for years in St Helens and I'm sure he'd have been happy for me if had been the other way around."

The group stage concludes on Tuesday with the final matches in Groups A-D, with reigning champion Michael van Gerwen already qualified for the last 16 but with places still up for grabs in all four groups.

The bwin Grand Slam of Darts will be broadcast live on Sky Sports from November 11-19.

Tickets for the bwin Grand Slam of Darts are available through www.wolvescivic.co.uk or by calling 0870 320 7000.

bwin Grand Slam of Darts
Monday November 13 (7pm)
8x E-H Group Matches
Gary Anderson 5-2 Simon Whitlock - Gary Anderson qualifies from Group H
Berry van Peer 5-4 Cameron Menzies - Berry van Peer qualifies from Group H
Corey Cadby 5-4 Glen Durrant - Glen Durrant qualifies from Group E
Peter Wright 5-4 Alan Norris - Peter Wright qualifies from Group E
Michael Smith 5-4 Mark McGeeney - Michael Smith qualifies from Group G
Mensur Suljovic 5-4 James Wilson - Mensur Suljovic qualifies from Group G
Jeffrey de Zwaan 5-4 Dave Chisnall - Dave Chisnall qualifies from Group F
Stephen Bunting 5-4 Scott Mitchell - Stephen Bunting qualifies from Group F

Tuesday November 14 (7pm)
8x A-D Group Matches
Mark Webster v Danny Noppert
Daryl Gurney v Darren Webster
Michael van Gerwen v Joe Murnan
Rob Cross v Ross Montgomery
Robbie Green v Peter Machin
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Gerwyn Price v Jamie Hughes
Raymond van Barneveld v Steve Lennon

Best of nine legs

Grand Slam day 2

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN, Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld all came back from 4-2 down to remain unbeaten in the bwin Grand Slam of Darts in Sunday's second group matches at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Van Gerwen had been staring defeat in the face as Rob Cross took out finishes of 114 and 170 to move 4-2 up, only to miss two match darts as the Dutchman forced a decider.

The World Champion then showed his class with an 11-darter to secure the victory and qualification for the knockout phase with one Group A match remaining.

"It was a great game, both for us but also for the fans," said Van Gerwen. "He made me work hard but this is good for my confidence for the rest of the tournament.

"You know you have to play your best game against Rob and I was very close to that. The 170 was great from Rob but he missed two match darts and I took advantage of that."

Six-time champion Taylor was punished for a dozen missed doubles against Robbie Green before he survived three missed match darts and then claimed their deciding leg with a 12-dart finish to remain unbeaten in Group C.

"That was hard work, it really was," said Taylor. "I put myself under pressure by missing early doubles but I thought Robbie played superbly.

"These players are playing week in and week out and they're not frightened of anybody. I just hoped he might miss three darts at the double and thankfully he did."

Van Barneveld, the 2012 champion, also came from 4-2 down in his Group B clash with Gerwyn Price before he won their deciding leg with a 13-darter, as another former Wolverhampton winner showed his class.

"It was a really important match for me and I'm happy to win it," said Van Barneveld. "It was an amazing battle and Gerwyn was outstanding, but he never had a match dart."

Van Gerwen was joined in qualifying for the knockout phase following two games by reigning Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant and two-time World Champion Gary Anderson after they picked up their second victories of the weekend with superb displays.

Number three seed Anderson overcame fellow Scot Cameron Menzies on Saturday before seeing off Dutch youngster Berry van Peer 5-1 in Sunday's second matches.

Van Peer has been battling against dartitis - where he struggles to release the dart - during his opening two matches, and Anderson had sympathy for his opponent.

"I'm obviously glad to be through but it was really tough to see Berry struggling like that," said Anderson. "He's a young lad who he was trying his best and it's hard for him.

"I had to try and concentrate on my own game and I did that pretty well, but I've still got to focus on the last match because I want to qualify as a Group Winner."

Scottish newcomer Cameron Menzies will know take on Van Peer in a Group H shoot-out on Monday night after eliminating Simon Whitlock with a 5-2 win over the Australian.

"This is a dream for me but I'm loving every moment," said Menzies, who has emerged on the BDO circuit this year. "I've never experienced anything like this in my life.

"I've got nothing to lose and I'm just happy to be here in this company. Just to play Gary yesterday was incredible for me, but to beat Simon is amazing."

Lakeside Champion Durrant also secured a last 16 spot as he continued his impressive form in Wolverhampton by averaging 103.50 in a 5-3 comeback win over Alan Norris.

"I'm feeling absolutely great," said Durrant "I found it harder today against Alan than I did against Peter Wright but I'm delighted to win and be through.

"That was the first objective for me so I'm happy but I'm playing pretty well. My finishing has been really good so far and my averages are a sign of that, but my new darts are flying well and I love this stage."

Wright bounced back from his opening defeat to Glen Durrant with a clinical whitewash of Corey Cadby in their second Group E contest, picking up two points and crucial leg difference as he eliminated the Australian.

Number four seed Daryl Gurney picked up a second successive victory, defeating Mark Webster 5-3 to move closer to sealing a second round spot from Group D, where Darren Webster hit five doubles from six attempts in his 5-2 win over Danny Noppert.

Irish youngster Steve Lennon produced a 100 average as he whitewashed local star Jamie Hughes in Group B, and the former accounting student now has a chance to reach the knockout phase when he meets Van Barneveld on Tuesday.

Two-time finalist James Wade bounced back from his disappointing defeat to Robbie Green with a 5-1 win over Peter Machin in Group C, with the Australian now eliminated from the event.

Ross Montgomery bounced back from his opening defeat to Van Gerwen with a 5-3 defeat of Joe Murnan which gives the Scot - who averaged 101 - a chance of qualifying from Group A.

Mensur Suljovic moved a step closer to qualification for the knockout stage with a narrow 5-4 win over Michael Smith to claim his second win of Group G, where James Wilson came from two legs down to defeat Mark McGeeney.

Stephen Bunting put one foot into the second round as he claimed his second victory of the weekend, overcoming St Helens rival Dave Chisnall 5-2 in Group F, where Scott Mitchell was a 5-3 winner against Jeffrey de Zwaan.

The bwin Grand Slam of Darts will be broadcast live on Sky Sports from November 11-19.

Tickets for the bwin Grand Slam of Darts are available through www.wolvescivic.co.uk or by calling 0870 320 7000.

bwin Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday November 12
Afternoon Session
8x E-H Group Matches
Scott Mitchell 5-3 Jeffrey de Zwaan
James Wilson 5-2 Mark McGeeney
Peter Wright 5-0 Corey Cadby
Cameron Menzies 5-2 Simon Whitlock
Mensur Suljovic 5-4 Michael Smith
Gary Anderson 5-1 Berry van Peer
Glen Durrant 5-3 Alan Norris
Stephen Bunting 5-2 Dave Chisnall

Evening Session
8x A-D Group Matches
Ross Montgomery 5-3 Joe Murnan
Darren Webster 5-2 Danny Noppert
Steve Lennon 5-0 Jamie Hughes
James Wade 5-1 Peter Machin
Daryl Gurney 5-3 Mark Webster
Phil Taylor 5-4 Robbie Green
Michael van Gerwen 5-4 Rob Cross
Raymond van Barneveld 5-4 Gerwyn Price

All games are the best of nine legs

bwin Grand Slam of Darts - Day One Round-Up

FORMER champions Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld opened the 2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts with big victories on Saturday as Glen Durrant produced an outstanding win over Peter Wright in Wolverhampton.

Dutch star Van Gerwen, the winner in 2015 and 2016 at the Wolves Civic, dropped just one leg as he powered past Scottish debutant Ross Montgomery to begin his bid for a third straight title.

The number one seed now plays Rob Cross on Sunday in a repeat of the recent European Championship final, after the emerging star from Sussex averaged an impressive 104 in his own 5-1 win, against Joe Murnan.

"It's a good start," said Van Gerwen. "I was never troubled and it was a solid win.

"I hit the right shots and the right moments and I want to keep that going. Of course I want to add another title this week and I know I've got more in the tank."

Six-time champion Phil Taylor also dropped only one leg as he saw off Australian Peter Machin, the BDO World Trophy winner, to begin his final Wolverhampton challenge before retirement in strong style.

"It's nice to win but I was a bit nervous, especially when I gave him the second leg," said Taylor, who now faces Robbie Green. "Winning today isn't as important, you have to win tomorrow."

Green also claimed an opening 5-1 victory in Group C as he overcame a below-par James Wade, with the two-time Grand Slam of Darts finalist now facing a must-win tie with Machin on Sunday.

The 43-year-old from Wallasey had also found himself in hospital during the night ahead of his Grand Slam opener following an insect bite to his head, but showed no ill-effects on the oche.

"It's been a crazy day but life throws challenges at you and you've got to overcome them," said Green.

"I woke up at 4am and my face was swollen, I had to go to A&E and they put me on antibiotics. It's feeling better and hopefully it will keep improving."

Van Barneveld, meanwhile, swept aside local hero Jamie Hughes 5-1 as the 2012 champion came from a leg down to average almost 99 in opening Group B with a win.

He now plays Welshman Gerwen Price, who held off a fightback from young Irish qualifier Steve Lennon to claim a 5-3 victory in their opening fixture.

Reigning Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant was the opening day's most impressive winner as he stormed to a 5-2 win over number two seed Peter Wright, averaging 106.05

"That's a perfect start for me and I'm delighted with that," said Durrant. "I wasn't sure exactly where my game was at and this is a real opportunity to see where I am.

"That's probably my highest average in a TV tournament and I felt good. I was controlled and I stayed calm, even though inside I was doing cartwheels."

Durrant now plays Alan Norris, who survived one missed match dart from Australian newcomer Corey Cadby before escaping with the points from their Group E opener.

World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney was in clinical mood as he hit five doubles from eight attempts in seeing off Dutchman Danny Noppert, with the number four seed now meeting Mark Webster.

Webster defied a 156 checkout from namesake Darren Webster to claim a 5-3 as finishes of 96 and 117 turned the tie the Welshman's way.

Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson landed a 148 checkout as he overcame fellow Scot Cameron Menzies 5-3 in Group H.

Anderson now plays young Dutchman Berry van Peer, who battled against the effects of dartitis to defeat Simon Whitlock 5-4 in a tense opener.

"I'm very pleased with that," said Van Peer. "Simon missed some doubles and I took my chances but it wasn't easy.

"I had trouble with dartitis recently and I was okay, but at the World Youth Championship I got it back a bit. I've been back to the physiotherapist but on pressure moments it happens.

"It's hard to play with and I was trying to compose myself, but I got there in the end."

Former Wolverhampton finalist Dave Chisnall made a strong start with a 5-2 defeat of Scott Mitchell and now takes on St Helens rival Stephen Bunting, who opened Group F with a 5-4 win over Jeffrey de Zwaan.

September's Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic reeled off four straight legs from 2-1 down to defeat BDO number one Mark McGeeney with a 5-2 success.

Suljovic's opponent in their second Group G game will be Michael Smith after the former World Youth Champion saw off James Wilson 5-3.

The bwin Grand Slam of Darts continues on Sunday with the second round robin matches across two sessions at the Wolves Civic, with Saturday's winning players in each group facing off and the losing players also meeting.

2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts

Saturday November 11

Afternoon Session

8x E-H Group Matches

Michael Smith 5-3 James Wilson (G)

Stephen Bunting 5-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan (F)

Berry van Peer 5-4 Simon Whitlock (H)

Alan Norris 5-4 Corey Cadby (E)

Dave Chisnall 5-2 Scott Mitchell (F)

Mensur Suljovic 5-2 Mark McGeeney (G)

Gary Anderson 5-3 Cameron Menzies (H)

Glen Durrant 5-2 Peter Wright (E)

Evening Session

8x A-D Group Matches

Gerwyn Price 5-3 Steve Lennon (B)

Robbie Green 5-1 James Wade (C)

Mark Webster 5-3 Darren Webster (D)

Rob Cross 5-1 Joe Murnan (A)

Phil Taylor 5-1 Peter Machin (C)

Michael van Gerwen 5-1 Ross Montgomery (A)

Raymond van Barneveld 5-1 Jamie Hughes (B)

Daryl Gurney 5-1 Danny Noppert (D)

GRAND SLAM OF DARTS DRAW

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN will begin his defence of the bwin Grand Slam of Darts title against Rob Cross, Joe Murnan and Ross Montgomery following the draw for the Group Stage of the cross-code tournament.

The Grand Slam of Darts brings together players from both the PDC and BDO systems to compete across nine days at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, live on Sky Sports.

Van Gerwen is bidding to claim a third successive Grand Slam of Darts triumph in the £450,000 tournament, with the World Champion and top seed heading Group A.

He will open his title defence against Scottish debutant Ross Montgomery on Saturday, and will also face European Championship finalist Rob Cross and qualifier Joe Murnan in the round-robin phase.

Six-time Grand Slam of Darts winner Phil Taylor, seeded fifth for his final Wolves Civic challenge, has been drawn with two-time finalist James Wade, qualifier Robbie Green and Australia's BDO World Trophy winner Peter Machin in Group D.

UK Open champion Peter Wright, the number two seed, heads arguably the toughest quartet, as he opens up against Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant in a Group B which also features Alan Norris and 2016 World Youth Champion Corey Cadby.

2012 Grand Slam of Darts winner Raymond van Barneveld is joined in Group B by UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price, Irish debutant Steve Lennon and Tipton's Jamie Hughes, who is competing in his "local" event for a second straight year.

World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney, the fourth seed, heads Group D alongside Darren Webster, Mark Webster and Danny Noppert, the Dutch ace who impressed on his Grand Slam debut 12 months ago before reaching the Lakeside Championship final.

Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson, seeded third, opens up against Scottish debutant Cameron Menzies and will also face Australia's Simon Whitlock and Dutch youngster Berry van Peer in Group H.

September's Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic heads Group G alongside former Wolverhampton semi-finalist Michael Smith, James Wilson and BDO number one Mark McGeeney.

2014 Grand Slam runner-up Dave Chisnall, seeded seventh, is joined in Group F by former Lakeside Champions Stephen Bunting and Scott Mitchall and Dutch youngster Jeffrey de Zwaan.

The opening group matches will be held on Saturday November 11, with play across two sessions at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Sunday November 12 sees the second group games, with Saturday's winning players facing each other and the losing players also playing.

The final group games will then be held on Monday and Tuesday, with the top two players from each group then progressing to the knockout stage from the last 16 onwards.

Tickets for the bwin Grand Slam of Darts are available through www.wolvescivic.co.uk or by calling 0870 320 7000.

2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts
Group A
(1) Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross
Joe Murnan
Ross Montgomery

Group B
(8) Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price
Steve Lennon
Jamie Hughes

Group C
(5) Phil Taylor
James Wade
Robbie Green
Peter Machin

Group D
(4) Daryl Gurney
Darren Webster
Mark Webster
Danny Noppert

Group E
(2) Peter Wright
Alan Norris
Corey Cadby
Glen Durrant

Group F
(7) Dave Chisnall
Stephen Bunting
Jeffrey de Zwaan
Scott Mitchell

Group G
(6) Mensur Suljovic
Michael Smith
James Wilson
Mark McGeeney

Group H
(3) Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock
Berry van Peer
Cameron Menzies

Pool Two
1 Michael Smith
2 Simon Whitlock
3 James Wade
4 Alan Norris
5 Gerwyn Price
6 Stephen Bunting
7 Rob Cross
8 Darren Webster

Pool Three
1 Mark Webster
2 James Wilson
3 Robbie Green
4 Joe Murnan
5 Jeffrey de Zwaan
6 Berry van Peer
7 Steve Lennon
8 Corey Cadby

Pool Four
1 Mark McGeeney
2 Glen Durrant
3 Jamie Hughes
4 Scott Mitchell
5 Ross Montgomery
6 Cameron Menzies
7 Danny Noppert
8 Peter Machin

Huge Day Ahead For Young Stars

MONDAY sees the 2018 PDC Unicorn World Youth Chamionship Last 64 take place in Wigan, as the battle to claim the £10,000 title begins.

The Robin Park Tennis Centre hosts the early rounds of the £50,000 tournament, with play down to the last two players.

The final will be held on Sunday November 26 on ITV4 at the Butlins Minehead Resort between the semi-finals and final at the Mr Green Sports Players Championship Finals.

Benito van de Pas will be the top seed after qualifying from the PDC Order of Merit - with top 32 players not eligible to compete on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour but exempt into the World Youth Championship's Last 64.

The top seven players from the final Development Tour Order of Merit, headed by Luke Humphries, will also be seeded.

A total of 46 players from the Development Tour Order of Merit qualified for the World Youth Championship, alongside a series of International Qualifiers who include reigning champion Corey Cadby.

Play in the Last 64 commences at 12pm, with results to be available in the Match Centre at THIS LINK.

2018 PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship
Seeded Players:
1 Benito van de Pas
2 Luke Humphries
3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
4 Adam Hunt
5 Kenny Neyens
6 Ted Evetts
7 Mike van Duivenbode
8 Mike De Decker

International Qualifiers
Dominik Pundt - USA
Keifer Durham - Canada
Qingyu Zhan - China
Corey Cadby, Kalani Hillman - Australia
Max Hopp - Germany
Melvin de Feyter - Central Europe
Gergely Lakatos - Eastern Europe
David Medina Puyol - Southern Europe
Jarvis Bautista - Gibraltar
Daniel Jensen - Scandinavia
Nathan Rafferty - Ireland
Jordan Christie - New Zealand
Man Lok Leung - Asia
Maxim Aldoshin - Russia
Luke Durham, Jack Ryder - JDC

Development Tour Order of Merit Qualifiers
Rowby-John Rodriguez, Ryan Meikle, Steve Lennon, Harry Ward, Martin Schindler, Rusty-Jake Rodriguez, Justin van Tergouw, Dawson Murschell, Adam Smith-Neale, Josh Payne, Rhys Griffin, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Rhys Hayden, Jake Jones, Kurt Parry, Brian Raman, Berry van Peer, Ronnie Roberts, Sven Groen, Dan Read, Stephen Rosney, Scott Dale, Thomas Lovely, Rob Hewson, Kevin De Vries, John Brown, Jimmy Hendriks, Geert Nentjes, Reece Colley, Joe Davis, Lee Budgen, Andrew Davidson, Nico Ziemann, Sam Hewson, Sam Head, Christian Bunse, Nico Blum, Conor Maes, Jarred Cole.

2017 Ladbrokes World Series Finals Day Two

GARY ANDERSON and Peter Wright returned to Scotland in style as the pair progressed to the last eight of remained on course for glory on day two of the 2017 Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals.
World number one Michael van Gerwen also reached the quarter-finals and Dimitri Van den Bergh upset Raymond van Barneveld on a scintillating evening at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow.
Number one seed Anderson averaged 103.57 as he defeated Chris Dobey - a player he helps to mentor - 6-1.
Finishes of 130 and 110 were the highlights as Anderson booked a quarter-final clash with Gerwyn Price, who overcame Corey Cadby 6-5 in a fiery encounter.
The world number 18 averaged 93.86 to set up the sixth meeting between himself and two-time World Champion Anderson, with the Scot currently leading the head-to-heads 3-2.
The pair last met in a Players Championship event in March 2016, where Anderson came out a 6-0 winner and the 46-year-old is looking forward to another clash with the Welshman.
“Bring it on,” smirked the two-time Premier League champion.

“I just want to get up on stage and play darts, if he wants to give it that’s entirely up to him but I’m going up to play my darts, and hopefully play well.”
Peter Wright also delighted the Scottish crowd and will face Daryl Gurney for the 16th time on Sunday afternoon after defeating Justin Pipe 6-1.
The world number two is still aiming to secure the title in Glasgow but believes he will have to improve if he is to beat the Northern Irishman.
“I did enough tonight," said Wright. "It’s tough playing Justin because he is such a good friend but there is obviously more to come.
“Daryl beat me last weekend so it will be nice to play him again and hopefully get a little bit of revenge."
Gurney, who defeated Simon Whitlock 6-3 with an average of 103.64 in a repeat of last month's World Grand Prix final, spoke about his record against Wright after his match.
“When I first came over to the PDC he used to beat me up for fun but I’m a different player now,” said Gurrney, who also overcame Wright in last weekend's European Championship.
“Sunday is a longer format like it was last weekend in Belgium, so I know I can beat him over that distance. If I play my best I know I will be there or thereabouts.”
World Champion Michael van Gerwen kept his hopes of a third consecutive World Series Finals crown alive and moved safely in to the last eight after a comprehensive 6-1 win over Max Hopp.
Van Gerwen - a World Series winner in Shanghai and Las Vegas in July - averaged 102.98 and will face Rob Cross in the quarter-finals, with the shooting star surviving a late comeback to beat Auckland Masters champion Kyle Anderson 6-5.
The pair last met in the final of the European Championship last week where Van Gerwen sealed the title, but Cross says he will be ready for the defending champion when the pair meet on Sunday.
Cross said: "I was flying last weekend and thought I could beat him. If I play as well as I can then I know I can get close to Michael."
Cross has reached number 24 in the world despite only becoming a professional ten months ago, but has his sights set higher as he continues his emergence.
"I believe I can be number one in the world," he added. "I know I've got to earn the right and have a lot to learn like Adrian Lewis did early in his career and like Michael had to do as well, but the belief is there."
Dimitri Van den Bergh averaged 102 and hit five 180s as he knocked out fifth seed Raymond van Barneveld to move in to the first televised quarter-final of his career.
After sealing victory with a brilliant ten-dart finish, the Belgian described how he is looking forward rather than back and hoping to change people’s opinions of him.
“I don’t want to be known as Dimitri the dancer, I want to be known as Dimitri the darts player," said Van den Bergh, who entertains crowds with his "Happy" walk-on song. "I love to dance but playing darts is my career and I want to go as far as I can."
The 23-year-old will now face James Wade in the last eight, with the left-hander being a man who he looks up to and hopes to emulate in the future.
“I want to become more like Jame Wade, a solid player who can win matches before they’ve even started - the kind of player where people just know if you give them even a small chance they will punish you," added Van den Bergh.
“I’m really looking forward to playing James and whatever happens I will learn another lesson and improve as a player."
Wade is also relishing the prospect of playing in Sunday's final day of action after a 6-5 win over Simon Stevenson.
“I’m practicing as well as I have since 2009 and I’m going to give my all to this sport again starting from now," he said.
“I’ve not put enough back in and lived on my reputation for too long, you can’t argue with facts and it’s time to move forward again.
Wade had led 5-2 but a Stevenson comeback threatened to upset the 34-year-old before he eventually got over the line.
“I let him back in there tonight and maybe was worried about throwing another match away but I’m looking forward to playing again tomorrow now," Wade reflected.
“I want to get excited by darts again, I know I can still be one of the best and it is time to prove that.”
The 2017 Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals concludes on Sunday with two sessions of action as the remaining eight players look to claim the £50,000 winners prize money.

Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals
Saturday November 4 (7pm)
Second Round
James Wade (5) 6-5 Simon Stevenson 
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld (4) 
Gerwyn Price (8) 6-5 Corey Cadby
Gary Anderson (1) 6-1 Chris Dobey
Peter Wright (3) 6-1 Justin Pipe
Michael van Gerwen (2) 6-1 Max Hopp
Daryl Gurney (6) 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Rob Cross 6-5 Kyle Anderson (7)
Sunday November 5
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Quarter Finals
James Wade (5) v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Gary Anderson (1) v  Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney (6) v Peter Wright (3)
Best of 19 Legs

Evening Session (7pm)
Semi Finals
Final
Best of 21 Legs

Australasian Championships Round Up

The 2017 Australasian Darts Championships have concluded in Dubbo New South Wales...
Congratulations to all winners and participants .
Thanks to all our partners and sponsors for making this yet another successful event in 2017

Full results are as follows

Test Match Australia v New Zealand 28-26 Russell Stewart to Collect Trophy
Oceanic Masters
Ladies Runner up Sally Fenton
Ladies Winner Chrissy Sheerin
Men's Runner up Tahuna Irwin
Mens Winner Bernie Smith Invite to Ally Pally
Teams
3rd Ladies QLD
2nd Ladies NSW
1st Ladies NZ North
3rd men NZ South
2nd men Victoria
1st men Western Australia
Doubles
Ladies Runners Up Chrissy Sheerin / Sally Fenton
Ladies Winners Kit Bennett and Sha Hohipa
Mens Runners Up Aaron Delvendiep and Raymond Odonnell
Mens Winners Tim Pusey and Damon Heta
DPA Australian Matchplay
Ladies runner Up Kitt Bennett
Ladies Winner Tara Mears
Mens Runner up David Platt
Mens Winner Loz Ryder
DPA Australian Singles
Ladies Runner Up
Ladies Winner
Mens Winner
Mens Runner up

Highest Peg
There was 4 x 170s
1 x ladies Deb Soden
3 x men Russell Stewart / Greg Major and Dave Williams

Averages Women top 8
Number 8 Leanne Ward 55.26
Number 7 Renata Downs 55.59
Number 6 Lavinia Hogg 55.86
Number 5 Desi Mercer 56.25
Number 4 Melina Van Den Kieboom 56.55
Number 3 Sha Hohipa 57.20
Number 2 Wendy Harper 59.61
Number 1 Judy Fenton 60.93

Averages Men top 8
Number 8 Lucas Cameron 78.66
Number 7 Aaron Delvendiep 81.06
Number 6 Ray Odonnell 81.48
Number 5 Haupai Puha 83.31
Number 4 Justin Thompson 84.12
Number 3 Warren Parry 85.38
Number 2 Damon Heta 85.44
Number 1 Raymond Smith 88.71

Prodarts Series Invites
John Bunyard NSW Invite to Mackay
Dave Littleboy QLD Invite to Mackay
Steve Duke Snr VIC – Invite to Mackay
Pat Molloy ACT Invite to Townesville
Haupai Puha NZ North Invite to Brisbane
Warren Parry NZ South Invite to Gold Coast
Raymond Odonnell South Australia Invite to Brisbane
Brad Thorp Tasmania Invite to Gold Coast
Greg Major Indigenous Rep invite to Townsville
Damon Heta Western Australia Invite to Brisbane

DPA 2017 Hall of Fame entrants for their years of dedication to the Sport of Darts in Australia
Brian Roach - New South Wales
Steve Duke Snr - Victoria

Cadby through to round 2 of world series finals

Corey Cadby made a winning return to the PDC stage as he overcame Jelle Klaasen 6-3 to set up an intriguing second round clash with Gerwyn Price.

The Australian broke early in the match and took a 3-1 lead and looked set to move three clear before Klaasen took out 146 to close the gap to one at the break.

The Dutchman then missed three darts to level the score, allowing Cadby to extend his lead before going on to move 5-2 ahead.

The 22-year-old eventually got over the line averaging 87.54 and will now face Welshman, Gerwyn Price.

“There are going to be fireworks. He gives it, I give it, so it should be a magic match,

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Gerwyn and the best man on the night will win, let’s hope it’s me,” said Cadby.
CHRIS DOBEY produced the shock of the first round at the 2017 Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals, as he recovered from 3-0 down to defeat Mensur Suljovic 6-3 at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow. The opening night also saw Max Hopp, Dimitri van den Bergh and Justin Pipe all upset the odds and Corey Cadby return to PDC darts in style.

27 year-old, Dobey looked nervous as the 2017 Champions League of Darts winner, Suljovic raced to a 3-0 lead in Glasgow.

Dobey’s remarkable comeback began as he pinned double eight to get a leg on the board.

A first maximum, followed by a 70 checkout on double 16 saw Dobey recover the break, before levelling on double 14 in the next leg.

A third 180 in as many legs helped Dobey to break the throw again and move in to the lead for the first time in the match.

The former Grand Slam quarter-finalist hit a fourth and final maximum in the eighth leg before completing the win with his sixth consecutive leg to set up a second round match with his mentor, Gary Anderson.

“Gary and I are great friends off the board but you’ve got to put that to one side when you get up on stage.

“Gary has been great to me and playing him in Scotland is going to be tough but I’m ready for it, I’ll just play my game and I’m looking forward to it,” said Cross.

Germany’s Max Hopp will now face Michael van Gerwen in round two after completing an impressive 6-2 win over Adrian Lewis.

The former World Youth Champion stared the match in style taking out 108 on double 16 to break the throw and punish Lewis for missing a dart at tops.

Lewis then immediately broke back before a run of four straight legs put Hopp in complete control of the match.

A finish of 100 gave the Englishman hope in the seventh leg, but Lewis then went on to miss three darts at a double in the following leg as Hopp secured the win.

“That’s a big win for me, I’ve not shown myself at my best this year so hopefully that can help me to improve,” said Hopp

“I’m working hard and I know I can still achieve my goals and show everyone how good I can be.”

The 21-year-old now faces the world number one for a place in the quarter-finals and says he will have to improve on tonight’s performance if he is to progress further.

“Michael is the best player in the world and you always have to improve if you are going to beat him. I have to be confident though and I believe I’ll be ready.”

Dimitri van den Bergh also produced an upset to set up a last 16 encounter with Raymond van Barneveld in Glasgow after he averaged 100.11 in a 6-1 win over Michael Smith.

The Belgian took a 2-0 lead over his opponent before hitting seven perfect darts, including back-to-back 174s followed by pinning tops to move three clear of Smith.

Despite an average of over 97, Smith couldn’t take advantage of his opportunities at doubles and was put to the sword by Van den Bergh.

“I’ve been feeling good for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of detailed practice, especially on the finishing,” said the Belgian.

“I saw this match as a bit of a free swing as I would have gone to Wigan to play the Development Tour if I had lost.

“I just love playing darts and don’t care if it’s on the stage or on the floor I will always enjoy playing and keep trying to improve,” added the 23-year-old.

Justin Pipe defied two match-darts and five 180’s from Dave Chisnall as he defeated the world number eight 6-5 to set up a second round clash with Peter Wright.

Pipe started the brighter of the pair taking out 110 in the opening leg of the match but could not find an early break.

Chisnall levelled the match in the sixth leg with a 103 finish before going on to break in the next to take control of the encounter.

The world number eight missed two match darts in the tenth leg and was punished on double two by the 45-year-old.

Pipe confirmed his spot in the last 16 hitting double five, with Chisnall sat waiting on 60.
Simon Stevenson took advantage of an out of sorts Jan Dekker as he secured a comfortable 6-3 victory.

The first three legs of the encounter saw the pair hold throw, before the Englishman broke in the fourth leg.

A 117 checkout secured Stevenson a second break of throw to move him in to a 5-1 lead.

A minor fightback of sorts followed from Dekker, but it was Stevenson who will now face James Wade in round two in Glasgow.

Mark Webster missed twenty darts at a double as he was defeated 6-3 by Simon Whitlock.

A scrappy game saw the Australian progress and he will now face Daryl Gurney in a repeat of the 2017 World Grand Prix final.

Rob Cross will face the Auckland Darts Masters Champion, Kyle Anderson in the last 16 after a comfortable 6-1 victory over Jonny Clayton.

Cross, the runner-up in last weekend's European Championship averaged 97.93 and is looking forward to tomorrow’s match with the Australian.

“Kyle is a great player but I believe if I can bring my A-game I will win the match,” said Cross.

“I’ve got to tread carefully because he’s a top player and a lovely guy but things are going my way at the moment so long may it continue,” added the former electrician.

The second round of the 2017 Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals begins on Saturday at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow, with the eight seeded players joining the competition.

Friday November 3 Results
First Round x8
Simon Stevenson 6-3 Jan Dekker
Justin Pipe 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Max Hopp 6-2 Adrian Lewis
Dimitri Van Den Bergh 6-1 Michael Smith
Corey Cadby 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Mark Webster
Chris Dobey 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Rob Cross 6-1 Jonny Clayton

Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals Schedule
Saturday November 4 - 7pm
Second Round x8
James Wade (5) v Simon Stevenson
Raymond van Barneveld (4) v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Gerwyn Price (8) v Corey Cadby
Gary Anderson (1) v Chris Dobey/Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright (3) v Justin Pipe
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Max Hopp
Daryl Gurney (6) v Simon Whitlock
Kyle Anderson (7) v Rob Cross

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