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2017 Dutch Darts Masters Day One

KYLE ANDERSON produced a performance of the highest calibre as he defeated Justin Pipe 6-4 in a first round thriller at the Dutch Darts Masters as the European Tour event at the MECC in Maastricht opened on Friday.
Australian star Anderson won his first two PDC titles during August, including the Auckland Darts Masters, and maintained his confident form by averaging 108.96 in a high-quality tie with Pipe.
Pipe played his part, hitting back from 2-0 down to win four successive legs in 13, 14, 11 and 15 darts with the aid of two 180s and a key 96 finish.
Anderson, though, responded with a 12-darter in leg seven, levelled with a 14-darter, took out 87 for an 11-darter to move 5-4 up and then posted two 180s in a 12-dart leg which sealed an impressive win.
He now meets former European Tour winner Mervyn King in round two and could face World Champion Michael van Gerwen in the last 16 if he is to go on and win another title.
"It's all coming together," said Anderson. "I've been known for missing doubles; I leave doubles that I like to hit now, and I hit them.
"I hit some doubles in the first two legs and I was 2-0 up, and then Justin played brilliant and took four on the trot, but I got my opportunity and I took it.
"I'm playing well enough to do it. I'm not the one to come out and say I'm going to win, I take every game as it is. I know I'm in Michael's draw so I've got to just keep going, do what I do and hit the doubles."
Van Gerwen will face youngster Jeffrey de Zwaan in an all-Dutch second round tie in Maastricht after the Host Nation Qualifier enjoyed a 6-4 win over Greece's John Michael.
De Zwaan trailed 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3, but took out a brace of 107 checkouts in a run of three successive legs to progress to the last 32.
Jimmy Hendriks survived eight missed match darts from Rene Berndt as he came from 5-2 down to defeat the German qualifier in a deciding leg and set up a tie with Joe Cullen.
Berndt landed five 180s in a superb display to move to the brink of victory, only to miss four match darts in leg eight, three in leg nine and one in the tenth, before Hendriks fired in a maximum of his own in a 14-darter to snatch the win.
Former Dutch Darts Masters winner Kim Huybrechts will face former Lakeside Champion Christian Kist in round two, following the Host Nation Qualifier's 6-5 victory over teenager Justin van Tergouw.
European Tour debutant Van Tergouw, 17, led 3-1 and 5-4 but never had a dart to win the match as Kist took out 66 to force a decider and 60 to edge the win.
Another former winner of the event, 2012 champion Simon Whitlock, will face Kirk Shepherd in round two, after the 2008 World Championship finalist overcame German youngster Max Hopp 6-4 with some superb finishing.
Veteran star Steve Beaton overcame 16-year-old German qualifier Nico Blum 6-4 as he moved through to the second round, where he meets another former European Tour event winner in number three seed Mensur Suljovic.
Scottish qualifier Jim Walker's narrow 6-5 win over Darren Webster sees him progress to face number two seed Peter Wright on Saturday, with the UK Open champion having won four European Tour events already in 2017.
Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski impressed with a 102.48 average in a superb 6-0 whitewash of Ireland's Steve Lennon as he moved through to take on Dutch star Jelle Klaasen in round two.
Rowby-John Rodriguez saw James Wilson pull back from 5-0 down to trail 5-3 before the Austrian youngster sealed victory in a strong first round performance, setting up a second round tie with Michael Smith, May's Gibraltar Darts Trophy winner.
Former Dutch Darts Masters finalist Daryl Gurney will take on Steve West, who hit back from a two-leg deficit twice before completing his comeback from 5-3 down against Ryan Searle with a 130 checkout in the deciding leg of their tie.
John Henderson book-ended his 6-4 win over Ronny Huybrechts with checkouts of 120 and 138 as he set up a tie with Ian White, while Benito van de Pas now meets Nathan Aspinall, who landed five 180s as he came from 4-2 down to defeat Finland's Ulf Ceder 6-4.
Belgian youngster Mike De Decker impressed with six doubles from nine attempts, including a 104 finish, as he defeated Richard North 6-3 to move through to a meeting with Alan Norris.
German youngster Martin Schindler punished 19 missed doubles from Chris Quantock with a 6-4 win as he moved through to play Gerwyn Price, while Jamie Lewis' 6-2 win over European Tour debutant Harry Robinson means that he now plays Rob Cross.
Welshman Robert Owen finished six doubles from 11 attempts in a superb whitewash over Scotland's Jamie Bain, meaning that he now plays Spanish ace Cristo Reyes.
The £135,000 European Tour event at the MECC in Maastricht continues on Saturday with the second round split across two sessions, as the 16 seeded players enter the action.
The tournament then concludes on Sunday, with the afternoon session's third round followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening session. For tickets, visit www.pdc-europe.tv.
The Dutch Darts Masters can be watched worldwide by PDCTV-HD Subscribers.
Live coverage with faster streams may be available at the bookmakers' websites listed below.
CLICK HERE FOR STATS IN THE MATCH CENTRE AND TOURNAMENT DRAW BRACKET IN EVENT INFORMATION
2017 Dutch Darts Masters
Friday September 1
First Round
Afternoon Session
Robert Owen 6-0 Jamie Bain 
Steve West 6-5 Ryan Searle
Jim Walker 6-5 Darren Webster 
Martin Schindler 6-4 Chris Quantock 
Christian Kist 6-5 Justin van Tergouw 
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Ulf Ceder
Mike De Decker 6-3 Richard North 
Kirk Shepherd 6-4 Max Hopp
Evening Session
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-0 Steve Lennon
Jamie Lewis 6-2 Harry Robinson
John Henderson 6-4 Ronny Huybrechts
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-3 James Wilson
Kyle Anderson 6-4 Justin Pipe
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 John Michael
Steve Beaton 6-4 Nico Blum
Jimmy Hendriks 6-5 Rene Berndt
Saturday September 2
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Cristo Reyes v Robert Owen
Alan Norris v Mike De Decker
Rob Cross v Jamie Lewis
Jelle Klaasen v Krzysztof Ratajski
Gerwyn Price v Martin Schindler
Ian White v John Henderson
Joe Cullen v Jimmy Hendriks
Mervyn King v Kyle Anderson
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Benito van de Pas v Nathan Aspinall
Daryl Gurney v Steve West
Simon Whitlock v Kirk Shepherd
Michael van Gerwen v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Peter Wright v Jim Walker
Kim Huybrechts v Christian Kist
Michael Smith v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Mensur Suljovic v Steve Beaton
All games are the best of 11 legs.

QUALIFIERS ENTRY NOW OPEN FOR THE INTERNATIONAL PRODARTS SHOWDOWN

Here's your chance to take on the best players from around the Globe including Australias top national players
Entries to the International Prodarts Showdown are now being taken online..
The International Pro Darts Showdown Qualifers are being held at the Deception Bay Bowls Club, Deception Bay Queensland from the 22nd Sept to the 24th Sept 2017
Entry to each Qualifiers is $20.00 AUD or $70.00 for all 4 events

For more information and registration visit
http://www.dartplayersaustralia.com/?q=node/402

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Pro Darts Showdown Series coming to Townsville

HE’S the best darts player the world has seen and now Phil “The Power” Taylor is coming to Townsville.
Taylor, who has dominated darts for the past 30 years by winning a record 16 world titles and 16 world matchplay crowns, will be the main attraction in the inaugural Pro Darts Showdown Series coming to Queensland in January.
The three other venues are Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Mackay.
The Townsville leg is on January 24-25 at the Townsville Stadium at the Murray Sports Complex. The tickets across the two nights go on sale on Monday.
The 57-year-old Taylor, who recently won the Melbourne Masters at a packed-out Hisense Arena, is one of eight of the best darts players in the world who will take on the top talent in Australia in the first domestic series of its kind to be held outside the major metropolitan areas.
Event promoter the Townsville Bulletin, in association with Dart Players Australia, has also secured Australian No. 1 and former world championship runner-up Simon “The Wizard” Whitlock, Australian No. 2 and newly crowned Auckland Masters champion Kyle “The Original” Anderson with former world championship runner-up, Britain’s Andy “The Hammer” Hamilton, also taking part.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said it was great to attract new events to the city.
“What we have is the first chance to see the international champions up close,” she said.
“It’s one of those sports that is open to just about any age group.
“This takes darts out of the pub and into the international arena.”
Darts is a major spectator event, with thousands filling venues around the world to see Taylor and his colleagues. Many dress in costumes.
As well as darts’ own “battle for the Ashes” in the regions, there will be an international flavour to the Pro Darts Showdown, with South African No. 1 Devon Petersen and America’s best player John Kuczynski also headed for the Sunshine State.
Scotland’s Jamie Harvey, a former world championship semi-finalist, will also take part, with Aussie darts legend Russell Stewart set to show all the talents which won him seven Australian Grand Masters and five Australian Masters crowns.
Those eight players will take on eight of the best players from Australia as the Pro Darts Showdown moves around Queensland.
The showdown begins in Brisbane at the RNA Convention Centre on January 10-11 and heads to Gold Coast Events Centre at the Gold Coast Turf Club on January 17-18.
The Townsville event, a week after the Gold Coast, will be followed by the finale at Mackay Entertainment Centre on January 27-28.

Taylor said he was looking forward to the Queensland events. “I love it over here in Australia, the crowds are brilliant and I love every minute of it,” he said.
“I’ve not got many tournaments left in me, so I want to win as many as I can before I call it a day. I’m so proud to see the sport growing in this part of the world.
“I can’t wait.”

Qualifiers for the main event are to be held at the Deception Bay Bowls Club Queensland from the 22nd - 24th Sept 2017 which is open to all players
Entry to the International Pro Darts Showdown Qualifiers are being taken online
at
http://www.dartplayersaustralia.com/?q=node/402

Tickets go on sale with Ticketek on Monday from 10am, with further details at www.prodartsshowdownseries.com.au

Story courtesy Townsville Bulletin

Awesome Anderson Prevails in Perth

GARY ANDERSON sealed a fifth World Series of Darts title, and a first in Australia as he defeated Raymond van Barneveld 11-7 in the final of the 2017 TABtouch Perth Darts Masters.

The 2017 Dubai Darts Masters champion overcame James Wade in the semi-final before going on to defeat the Dutchman in a superb final at the HBF Stadium.

The decider began in style with both players hitting a 180 in the opening leg of the match, as Van Barneveld took out 61 on double 18 to hold throw.

An 11-dart leg followed for Anderson as he found tops and levelled the score at 1-1.

The pair traded holds until the fifth leg where Anderson struck the first major blow of the final. Van Barneveld missed three darts for a third consecutive hold allowing Anderson to break the throw on double five.

The Dutchman struck back immediately, punishing Anderson for missing six darts at a double to move two clear. Van Barneveld pinned double 16 to level the score at 3-3.

Yet another break followed, this time Anderson taking out a superb 136 finish on double eight to regain his lead.

With both players continuing to struggle on their own throws, a further two breaks followed with the Scot moving in to a 5-4 lead.

Anderson then found the game's first hold of throw for five legs in the tenth, taking out 40 on tops to give him a 6-4 advantage.

Van Barneveld produced a moment of magic in the 13th leg, with Anderson sat on a two-dart finish, the 5-time World Champion hit the bullseye for a delightful 121 finish, to take the score to 7-6 in Anderson’s favour.

Three consecutive holds took the score to 9-7 where Anderson turned the screw with a 14-dart break to move within a leg of the title.

Two moments of quality helped to see Anderson over the line, first hitting a maximum to leave 164 and then narrowly missing the bull to finish in style. The 46-year-old sealed the title with his next visit, taking out 25 on double eight.

It was Anderson’s first tournament win since defeating Ian White in the final of Players Championship 14 in June and he spoke of his delight after the final.

“It’s great to win here, this is my kind of town, nice and relaxed! It’s been a long three weeks and I just can’t wait to get home and see my son,” said Anderson.

“Raymond is a legend of the game and beating him at any time is fantastic, so to do it in a final is even better.

“There’s some big things coming up in my personal life and on the dart board over the next few months so I can’t wait to get going,” Added Anderson, whose partner Rachel is expecting the birth of their second child next month.

Anderson sealed his passage in to the final with a 11-9 win over James Wade earlier in the night.

The world number two started in style taking out 160 in the opening leg to set the tone for the match.

Despite numerous breaks of throw by Anderson, Wade kept in touch with his opponent throughout the match punishing the Scot for a number of missed darts at doubles during the game.

With the match looking set to go to a decider Anderson broke the throw in the 20th leg to set-up his first PDC final against Raymond van Barneveld.

The Dutchman booked his place in his first individual final since the 2015 Auckland Darts Masters after surviving three match-darts against Daryl Gurney in a 11-10 win.

It was the third consecutive match that Van Barneveld had needed a deciding last leg to confirm a victory in Perth, overcoming the Northern-Irishman in a thrilling encounter.

Gurney, who had only missed four darts at doubles throughout the entire tournament going in to the match, struggled with his finishing in the semi-finals, only hitting 28.57% of his attempts.

A dramatic final leg saw Gurney leave tops after 12-darts before going on to miss three-darts to claim a spot in his second World Series final of 2017.

Van Barneveld punished his opponent with an 87 finish on double 18 to book a place in the final.

Despite the 50-year-old's best efforts it was to be Anderson’s night as a packed HBF Stadium saw the Scot claim the final title of a three week tour of New Zealand and Australia.

The World Series of Darts returns on October 20-21 as the inaugural German Darts Masters takes place at the Castello Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany.
 
FOLLOW LIVE SCORES IN THE MATCH CENTRE AT THIS LINK
The tournament is being screened live on Fox Sports and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners, as well as in PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers (outside of the UK, Ireland & Netherlands).
Coverage in the UK on ITV4 and on RTL7 in the Netherlands is delayed.
TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
Sunday August 27 (5pm local time, 10am BST)
Semi-Finals
Gary Anderson 11-9 James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld 11-10 Daryl Gurney

Final
Gary Anderson 11-7 Raymond van Barneveld
Best of 21 legs

2017 TABtouch Perth Darts Masters Day Two

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD was once again the headline story at the TABtouch Perth Darts Masters after needing a deciding 19th leg to beat Phil Taylor and progress to Sunday's semi-finals.

A scintillating night at the HBF stadium also saw Daryl Gurney produce yet another incredible finishing display to beat Peter Wright 10-4.

Gary Anderson and James Wade also progressed in to the last four in Perth, both averaging over 100 on their way to wins over Simon Whitlock and Michael Smith.

The match of the night saw Van Barneveld start the brighter of the two taking a 2-0 lead and then missing three darts to move further ahead of Taylor.

An 11-dart hold followed for Van Barneveld as he moved 3-1 ahead, before Taylor levelled the match two legs later after the Dutchman missed another three darts to stay ahead.

Van Barneveld then took out 71 on tops to break the throw yet again before Taylor repaid the favour, taking out 96 on double nine to level the score once again.

50-year-old Van Barneveld had looked the better of the pair despite the scoreline and put together a sequence of four straight legs to put daylight between himself and his opponent.

Taylor stopped the rot by holding throw in the 13th leg of the match by pinning double 18 and then recovered one the breaks of throw with a 41 checkout.

The 16-time World Champion closed the gap to one in the next leg, hitting a 180 before taking out 16 on double eight.

The Dutchman then moved to within a leg of the match by taking out nine of double four.

The seventeenth leg saw Van Barneveld miss four match darts as Taylor went to within one leg before breaking throw to take the match to a decider.

With Taylor on throw it looked as if it would be him who claimed the space in the TABtouch Perth Darts Masters semi-finals but consecutive scores of 60,60 and 45 from ‘The Power’ allowed Van Barneveld to claim his spot in the last four after a thrilling encounter.

“I can’t do things the easy way at the moment,” joked Van Barneveld after the match.

“It’s always nice to beat Phil, he is the greatest player of all time but I could have made that much simpler for myself,

“I struggled with the crowd who were on his side but that isn’t an excuse and I’m just happy to make it though to the semi -finals,” declared the Dutchman. 

Van Barneveld will face Daryl Gurney after the 31-year-old only missed four shots at a double during his 10-4 victory over Peter Wright, to add to the 100% record he achieved the night before.

The U.S. Darts Masters runner-up came flying out of the blocks taking a 3-0 lead over an out of sorts Wright, including a 97 checkout in the third leg.

Wright then began a comeback with a 12-dart break, taking out 121 on the bullseye to claim his first leg of the match.

A superb ten-dart hold and a 12-dart break brought Wright back in to contention and level the score at 3-3.

With the Scot seemingly in control of the game Gurney then broke again with a two-dart 96 finish to open up a 4-3 advantage.

With the score at 5-4 in Gurney’s favour the Northern Irishman produced an incredible streak of finishing to win the next five legs to seal the win.

The run included finishes of 97, 32, 93, 104 and 87 on the bullseye, as well 16 on double eight to confirm his spot in the semi-finals.

"The finishing was brilliant again today, my scoring wasn't as good as it normally is but if I finish like that I'll take some stopping," Said Gurney.

'Superchin' who has hit 80% of his attempts at doubles during the tournament also added, "I didn't quite get the practice I would have liked today, so to go out and play like that is really pleasing,

"Peter is one of the best in the world so that is a massive win for me."

Fourth seed, James Wade booked his place in the semi-finals with a 10-5 win over Michael Smith.

Wade averaged 101.05 and hit five 180’s on his way to the win over his fellow Englishman.

The game began with both players hitting maximums in the opening leg before Wade found double ten to hold throw and take the lead.

A break of throw followed for ‘The Machine’ as he pinned a 140 checkout to double his advantage in the first game of the evening at the HBF Stadium.

180’s for both allowed the pair to hold throw taking the score to 3-1 in Wade’s favour.

Another ton-plus finish from Wade, this time a 110 on tops followed as he opened up a three leg lead.

The seventh leg saw Smith miss three darts to break back allowing Wade to move 5-2 clear, before a 12-dart leg including a 126 finish closed the gap to two.

Two finishes on tops allowed Wade to break throw again, this time opening up a four leg advantage and a 7-3 lead.

The quality continued in the next leg with Smith recovering one of the breaks of throw, hitting a 180 followed by a 121 finish on the bullseye.

A 65 finish on tops saw Wade regain the four leg lead, but then missed seven darts at a double in the next leg, allowing Smith to break the throw again taking the score to 8-5.

Wade then won the next two legs of the match, including a 96 checkout in the last to seal his passage in to Sunday’s semi-finals.

“It’s always hard playing a friend and Michael is certainly a friend. I have my critics and I know I bite sometimes when I shouldn’t but it is nice to answer them every now and again,” said Wade.

“I know how good I am and I know what I do wrong at times. There’s only a handful of players who have won what I’ve won but there are players more dedicated than others these days. If I was the most dedicated player, would I be the best in the World? Possibly,” Concluded the 34-year-old.

Wade will now face Gary Anderson in the semi-finals in Perth after the Scot averaged 102 in his 10-5 win over Simon Whitlock.

Anderson started the match with a break of throw, despite the Australian hitting a maximum with his opening three darts of the match.

Two breaks of throw followed with Whitlock taking out 115 on double ten before Anderson took the lead again with an 80 checkout to round-off a 12 dart leg.

After two holds of throw, three further breaks followed, meaning the pair had lost their throw three times each in the opening eight legs of the match.

Whitlock then took the lead of the first time in the match, taking out 25 on double eight for a 5-4 advantage.

The turning point in the match came in the tenth leg, where with Whitlock sat on 56, Anderson took out 110 to level the score and begin a run of six consecutive legs.

The former World Champion sealed the win with a stunning 144 checkout but sited the tenth leg as the big moment in the match.

“That 110 checkout on double 15 was huge, it’s not a double you want to leave but with the way Simon was playing I needed to hit it,” offered Anderson.

“Simon has been playing well recently so that worked as a good kick in the backside for me and hopefully sets me up nicely for tomorrow,” added the 46-year-old.

The 2017 TABtouch Perth Darts Masters concludes on Sunday with the semi-finals and final being played out in front of another packed out crowd at the HBF Stadium.
 
FOLLOW LIVE SCORES IN THE MATCH CENTRE AT THIS LINK
The tournament is being screened live on Fox Sports and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners, as well as in PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers (outside of the UK, Ireland & Netherlands).
Coverage in the UK on ITV4 and on RTL7 in the Netherlands is delayed.
TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
Saturday August 26 (7pm local time, 12pm BST)
Quarter-Finals
James Wade (4) 10-5 Michael Smith
Gary Anderson (1) 10-5 Simon Whitlock 
Raymond van Barneveld 10-9 Phil Taylor (2) 
Daryl Gurney 10-4 Peter Wright (3)
Best of 19 legs
Sunday August 27 (5pm local time, 10am BST)
Semi-Finals
Gary Anderson v James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Daryl Gurney

2017 TABtouch Perth Darts Masters Day One

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD gained revenge for his defeat in Melbourne by beating Corey Cadby in a thrilling 6-5 victory at the Tabtouch Perth Darts Masters, on a night that saw all the favourites progress at the HBF Stadium.

The Dutchman had lost to the young Australian a week earlier in Melbourne but was determined to repay the favour in front of a noisy Perth Crowd.

Van Barneveld opened the match by breaking the Cadby throw, finding double 14 to take the lead.

After a hold in the second leg, Van Barneveld broke again, taking out 100 on double ten to open up a three leg advantage.

A two-dart 96 checkout on double 18 helped Cadby break back and close the gap, before holding two to take the score to 3-2 in the Dutchman’s favour.

A hold and another break, this time 86 on double 7, followed as Van Barneveld punished an out of sorts Cadby, to move within a leg of the victory.

The 22-year-old Australian was not finished there though as he found tops to break the throw and close the gap to two, before a hold of throw put the pressure on the veteran Dutchman.

Van Barneveld then missed two match darts before and incredible 161 checkout saw Cadby level the score and have the opportunity to throw for the match.

A crucial 180 in the deciding leg helped set Van Barneveld up for the victory as he took out 15 on double four to advance, and set up a quarter-final with Phil Taylor.

"It's good to get a little bit of revenge against Corey, he's a great talent so that's a big win for me," said Van Barneveld.

"I thought I had him the whole way through the match and then he takes out the 161 and I thought it was going to happen all over again,

I'm glad I kept my cool and the 180 in the last leg was massive. That's a great win for me," added the 50-year-old.

The 16-time World Champion had to come from behind as he progressed in to the last eight of the Tabtouch Perth Darts Masters, beating Kyle Anderson 6-4.

Anderson started the brighter of the pair, breaking in the opening leg of the encounter.

The Australian was unable to take advantage of Taylor’s poor start as the ‘Power’ broke back immediately to level the score.

Anderson hit his first of four maximums in the match in the third leg, which helped him to break the throw again and move in to the lead.

The pair then traded holds of throw taking the home favourite in to a 4-3 lead.

The crucial leg of the match was the eighth, where Anderson missed a dart to hold throw and take a 5-3 ahead before Taylor pinned double 16 to level the score.

That break seemed to unsettle the rhythm of the Australian and Taylor won the next two legs to progress.

“He had his chances there, he pushed me right up until the end. I had to dig deep there because I was on the brink at one point and wasn’t playing well at the start,

“My record in Australia is brilliant and I want to continue that and win in Perth for the last time,” Said Taylor.

Daryl Gurney produced arguably the performance of the first night at the night, averaging 106 and hitting all his attempts at a double in a 6-0 win over Koha Kokiri.

The match started with Gurney taking out 96 in the opening leg to set the tone of the rest of the encounter.

Back-to-back maximums followed in the next leg before the Northern Irishman took a 2-0 lead.

Checkouts of 80, 68 and 64 took ‘Superchin’ to within a leg of the match, before taking out 130 on the bull to progress in to the last four.

“That didn’t feel like a 106 average, I’ve got a lot more left in the locker,” joked Gurney.

“To not miss a shot at a double is great, carry on like that and I’ll be fine. I’ve been finishing pretty well lately and tonight shows that,” concluded the 31-year-old.

Gurney will now face Peter Wright in the last eight after he sealed his passage in to the quarter-finals of the Tabtouch Perth Darts Masters with a 6-2 win over Rhys Mathewson.

Wright, who had beaten Mathewson by the same scoreline in Melbourne a week earlier, average 100.24 and hit almost 50% of his attempts at doubles spoke of his respect for the Australian after the match.

“I beat Rhys last week and he didn’t play anywhere near as well as he can. He’s a good player and he showed that tonight. I had to play well to beat him.

“It’s good to have a test early in the tournament, hopefully that sets me up for the rest of the weekend.” Said Wright.

Michael Smith progressed in to the final eight of the tournament with a comfortable 6-2 victory over Adam Rowe.

The world number nine hit two maximums and sealed the victory with a 120 checkout as he moved in to the quarter-finals.

“I was trying my best out there tonight. It wasn’t a perfect performance but I’m trying to correct any errors I have been making and improve my game,” said Smith.

“I’m here to win and if I play as well as I can there isn’t any reason why that can’t be my trophy on Sunday night,’ added the Englishman.

James Wade will return on Saturday to face Smith after a crushing 6-0 whitewash victory over Darren Hayes.

A 95.94 average for the ‘Machine’ was more than enough to overcome Hayes, who was clearly unsettled by nerves on his TV debut.

“I didn’t enjoy that at all, I’ve got respect for everyone who picks up a dart and you never like to see anyone that nervous,” Said Wade.

“I’m too nice to people, I know that, but it’s the way I am and that isn’t going to change.

“Not many people have won more than me in this sport and people need to remember that. It’s all still in there and it’s starting to come out again,” summed up the Englishman.

Simon Whitlock’s hopes of winning the Tabtouch Perth Darts Masters were enhanced after a 6-2 win over Justin Thompson.

Whitlock punished Thompson for missing 16 darts at doubles as he moved in to Saturday’s quarter-finals.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Justin, he’s much better than that but I have a job to do and I did it tonight,” said Whitlock.

The Australian will now face Gary Anderson in the last eight after he cruised past Rob Szabo with a 6-1 win.

The former World Champion, averaged 96.47 and hit seven perfect darts in leg four of the match in a solid performance.

“I fancied the nine tonight! When the seventh went in I was sure I’d get a shot at the double, but but it wasn’t to be,” said Anderson.

The Scot added, “I was happy with the scoring and other than one leg the doubles were good as well. I’m happy with that, ready for the next one now.”

The Tabtouch Perth Darts Masters continues on Saturday with the four quarter-finals taking place at the HBF Stadium.

FOLLOW LIVE SCORES IN THE MATCH CENTRE AT THIS LINK
The tournament is being screened live on Fox Sports and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners, as well as in PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers (outside of the UK, Ireland & Netherlands).
Coverage in the UK on ITV4 and on RTL7 in the Netherlands is delayed.
TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
Friday August 25 (7pm local time, 12pm BST)
First Round x8
Michael Smith 6-2 Adam Rowe
Peter Wright 6-2 Rhys Mathewson
Daryl Gurney 6-0 Koha Kokiri
James Wade 6-0 Darren Hayes
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Justin Thompson
Phil Taylor 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Gary Anderson 6-1 Rob Szabo
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Corey Cadby
Best of 11 legs
Saturday August 26 (7pm local time, 12pm BST)
Quarter-Finals
James Wade (4) v Michael Smith
Gary Anderson (1) v Simon Whitlock 
Phil Taylor (2) v Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright (3) v Daryl Gurney

Best of 19 legs
Sunday August 27 (5pm local time, 10am BST)
Semi-Finals
Final
Best of 21 legs

2017 Unibet Champions League Schedule

PHIL TAYLOR will open his defence of the Unibet Champions League of Darts title against Adrian Lewis on Saturday September 16, as Dutch rivals Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld also meet in Cardiff.

Taylor, the 16-time World Champion, took victory in the inaugural Champions League of Darts last year, defeating Michael van Gerwen in the final at the Motorpoint Arena.

This year's eight-player event, broadcast live on BBC Sport, will see Taylor joined in Group A for the round-robin stage by fellow World Champions Van Gerwen, Lewis and Van Barneveld.

Taylor will meet Stoke rival Lewis in their opening fixture, with Van Gerwen set to face Van Barneveld in an all-Dutch battle.

Group B will begin as flamboyant Peter Wright - the reigning UK Open champion - takes on Champions League debutant Dave Chisnall in the tournament's opening fixture.

Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson then takes on Mensur Suljovic in Group B's other fixture in Saturday afternoon's opening session.

The group phase continues on Saturday evening with the second set of matches, as the afternoon session's winning players clash as the losing players in each group also meet.

Sunday's afternoon session then sees the remaining group games, before the top two players from each group progress to compete in Sunday evening's semi-finals and final.

Tickets for the Unibet Champions League of Darts are available through motorpointarenacardiff.co.uk or by calling 029 2022 4488.

Unibet Champions League of Darts
Saturday September 16
Afternoon Session (1.15pm)
First Group Matches
Peter Wright v Dave Chisnall (B)
Gary Anderson v Mensur Suljovic (B)
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis (A)
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld (A)

Evening Session (6.30pm)
Second Group Matches
The afternoon session's winners face each other, and the losing players face each other.

Sunday September 17
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Final Group Matches

Evening Session (6.30pm)
Semi-Finals
Final

Format
Group Matches - Best of 19 legs
Semi-Final & Final - Best of 21 legs

Group A
Michael van Gerwen
Phil Taylor
Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld

Group B
Gary Anderson
Peter Wright
Dave Chisnall
Mensur Suljovic

Prize Fund
Winner £100,000
Runner-Up £50,000
Semi-Finalists £25,000
Third In Group £15,000
Fourth In Group £10,000
Total £250,000

TABtouch Perth Darts Masters

PHIL TAYLOR will begin his bid to win a third TABtouch Perth Darts Masters title against Kyle Anderson on Friday, as Corey Cadby and Raymond van Barneveld meet once again on the World Series of Darts stage.

Legendary 16-time World Champion Taylor took victory in the first two years of the Perth Darts Masters in 2014 and 2015, and warmed up for his return to Western Australia by winning last weekend's Melbourne Darts Masters.

The 57-year-old will meet August's other World Series of Darts winner, Auckland Darts Masters champion Kyle Anderson, in a plum first round tie after being paired with the Perth-born star.

"It will be tough against Kyle because his confidence is up at the moment and he's a really good player," said Taylor. "I've loved it in Perth before and it will be great again this week.

"I'm looking forward to it and it's lovely in Perth, probably my favourite place in Australia so far."

Local hero Anderson said: "It's good to be home, I'm happy to be here.

"I've said before that if I get how I play on the floor onto TV then I can get to the end of the events and that's shown in the last couple of weeks.

"I'm playing well and I'm looking forward to seeing my family, playing in front of friends and hearing that roar again like I have for the last four years."

The opening night of the World Series of Darts event will also see Australia's World Youth Champion Cadby taking on five-time World Champion Van Barneveld for a second successive weekend, having won their meeting in Melbourne 6-4.

World number three Peter Wright, the runner-up in Melbourne, will take on Rhys Mathewson as they meet for a second successive week, with the Scottish ace winning 6-2 last Friday.

Top seed Gary Anderson drew New Zealand's Rob Szabo, while former Perth Darts Masters finalist James Wade, the number four seed, meets qualifier Darren Hayes, who is making his TV debut on Friday after winning through a knockout held in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Perth's Adam Rowe will take on former World Youth Champion Michael Smith, while New Zealand-born Koha Kokiri faces Daryl Gurney and top-ranked Australian Simon Whitlock comes up against Justin Thompson.

The TABtouch Perth Darts Masters will be held from August 25-27 at HBF Stadium in Perth. For tickets, visit www.downunderevents.com.au or www.ticketmaster.com.au.

Watch the draw at the OfficialPDC Facebook Channel

TABtouch Perth Darts Masters
Draw Bracket
Gary Anderson (1) v Rob Szabo
Simon Whitlock v Justin Thompson
James Wade (4) v Darren Hayes
Michael Smith v Adam Rowe
Phil Taylor (2) v Kyle Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld v Corey Cadby
Peter Wright (3) v Rhys Mathewson
Daryl Gurney v Koka Kokiri

Schedule of Play
Friday August 25 (7pm local time)
First Round x8
Michael Smith v Adam Rowe
Peter Wright v Rhys Mathewson
Daryl Gurney v Koha Kokiri
James Wade v Darren Hayes
Simon Whitlock v Justin Thompson
Phil Taylor v Kyle Anderson
Gary Anderson v Rob Szabo
Raymond van Barneveld v Corey Cadby
Best of 11 legs

Saturday August 26 (7pm local time)
Quarter-Finals
Best of 19 legs

Sunday August 27 (7pm local time)
Semi-Finals
Final
Best of 21 legs

Taylor Claims Title in Melbourne

PHIL TAYLOR claimed an eighth World Series of Darts title, and a seventh in Australia as he overcame Peter Wright 11-8 in the final of the inaugural Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters.

Taylor, who has only ever been beaten once in Australia began the final in nervy fashion, missing three darts in the opening leg to break the Wright throw.

The pair traded holds of throw until the sixth leg of the match, where Taylor missed double 19 for a 158 checkout before Wright took out 81, finishing seven, double 17 and then double 20 for a break.

The next three legs saw Wright miss a total of twelve darts at doubles, allowing Taylor to gain control of the match.

Wright then produced another ‘double-double’ finish in the 11th leg to close the gap to one, as once again he took out 81, this time going nine, double 18, double 18.

’Snakebite’ was unable to capitalise though as Taylor then broke again to open up a three leg advantage, with the score at 8-5.

With Taylor looking set to seal the title, Wright then produced a fightback of his own, winning the next three legs to level the score at 8-8.

Once again though, the Scot could not regain the lead as Taylor broke the throw to move in to a 9-8 advantage.

A 112 finish and then another break of throw sealed the win for the 16-time World Champion who spoke of his delight after the final.

“I love it over here in Australia, the crowd are brilliant and I’m loving every minute of it,

“I’ve not got many tournaments left in me so I want to win as many as I can before I call it a day,” said Taylor.

“I’m so proud to see the sport growing in this part of the world, I’ve been lucky enough to see it all over the years, but we never believed it would get this big,

“Barry Hearn has done such a brilliant job and here’s to many more years of this sport getting bigger and bigger,” added the 57-year-old.

Earlier in the night ‘The Power’ had overcome his second Australian opponent in as many nights as he defeated Simon Whitlock 11-4 to reach the decider in Melbourne.

Taylor produced a run that saw him win nine of the last 11 legs to seal the victory including an superb 144 finish to seal the victory.

An average of 93.97 and an impressive 57.89% success rate on his double attempts was more than enough for the Englishman to overcome and out of sorts Whitlock.

Wright booked his place in the final of the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters with an 11-4 win over Daryl Gurney at the Hisense Arena.

The Scot took full control of the encounter during the first five legs, taking a commanding 4-1 lead, including a 101 checkout.

Despite hitting no 180’s during the match, Wright still managed to average 95.27, mainly thanks to some solid finishing. Wright pinned 55% of his attempts at doubles as he sealed a spot in the decider.

It was a fourth World Series final for the Scot, who despite not being able to get over the line on this occasion is vey confident ahead of the next event in Perth.

“I’ve got to learn from these defeats, I will come back stronger and next week in Perth that title is for me,” said Wright.

The sixth World Series of Darts event of 2017 takes place on August 25-27 at the HBF Stadium in Perth, as eight of the world’s best players take on eight qualifiers at the Perth Darts Masters

Day Two Delight In Melbourne

DARYL GURNEY defeated Gary Anderson for the third successive time to progress to the semi-finals of the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters, on a night that also saw Phil Taylor reach the last four.

Number one seed Anderson started poorly at the Hisense Arena, missing seven darts in the opening leg to hold throw before Gurney punished the world number two on double 16.

A second break followed in the fifth leg as the Northern Irishman took a commanding 4-1 lead.

Gurney missed three chances to take 5-2 lead in the seventh leg allowing Anderson to close the gap to one.

The match then went with throw until the 12th leg where a 12-darter helped Anderson recover the break of throw and level the match at 6-6.

The Scot then took the lead for the first time in the match as he found tops to steal the initiative.

World number twelve Gurney then hit seven perfect darts in the 14th leg before going out in 11 to once again level the match.

The decisive moment of the encounter came in the 17th leg as with Anderson missing a dart to hold, Gurney punished him by taking out 68 on double 16 to break and move within a leg of the match.

The drama continued in the final leg of the match with Anderson once again missing darts, this time a total of five as he squandered his chance to take the match to a decider.

Gurney eventually found double 16 to get over the line a book a semi-final clash with Peter Wright.

“It’s great to beat Gary, he’s such a good player and it shows how far I’ve come that I’ve started to beat these players consistently,” said Gurney.

“It wasn’t our best game but I got over the line and I’m looking forward to taking on Peter tomorrow night,” added Superchin.

Peter Wright needed a deciding leg to overcome Michael Smith in the quarter-finals of the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters.

Both players started in scrappy style with the pair missing 17 darts at doubles between them in the opening five legs.

It was Smith who took the initiative in the early stages of the match breaking in the first leg. That advantage remained until eight leg of the match, where Wright took out 60 on tops to level the score.

Wright then strung a further four consecutive legs together to take an 8-4 lead, including a 121 finish on the bullseye.

The Englishman produced an impressive sequence of his own to win five of the next six legs and take the match in to a decider.

Wright, started the 19th leg with a maximum and remained in control, before finding tops to secure his spot in the last four.

“You only have to look at the averages to know it was a poor start, but I slowly got going and started to show the best of me at the end,” said Wright.

“I want to win here and I’m still going, so let’s come back tomorrow and go again,” added the world number three.

Simon Whitlock had to survive two match darts as he defeated James Wade 10-9 to move in to the last four of the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters.

It was Wade who started the brighter of the pair, breaking in the first leg of the match.

The Australian then took out 130 on the bullseye to get his name on the board, with Wade sat on 32, waiting to go 3-0 up.

Another ton-plus finish followed for Whitlock as he took out 108 on double 16, before ‘The Wizard’ took the lead for the first time in the match in the ninth leg with a 128 checkout.

The pair traded breaks until, with the score at 9-8, Wade missed two darts at tops to book his place in the semi-finals before Whitlock found double four to level.

Crowd favourite, Whitlock then began the deciding leg with six perfect darts, before taking out 33 on double 16 to seal the win.

“The crowd were amazing, I want to say a massive thank you them because they helped pull me through that one,

“I’ve been due a bit of luck for a while now and I got it tonight, James should have won but sometimes in life you get a bit of luck and tonight I took my chance!” Said Whitlock.

Whitlock will now face Phil Taylor as he recovered from 9-7 down overcome Corey Cadby, as the pair continued their World Series rivalry.

Taylor who had been beaten in the Aukland Darts Masters by Cadby a week earlier began by taking a 3-1 lead over his Australian opponent.

An incredible sequence of seven breaks in the next eight legs followed to take the score to 6-5 in Cadby’s favour, with the 22-year-old taking out 121 on the bull in the eleventh leg.

Taylor followed that with a big checkout of his own, finishing 117 on tops to hold his throw and make the score 7-6.

Three holds of throw followed to take Cadby to within a leg of the match, which seemed to ignite the Taylor fightback.

The 16-time World Champion hit maximums in each of the next three legs, to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters.

“He’s a cracking little player, and after last week I needed to get my own back,

“I think this boy could be the next Michael van Gerwen, he’s the future!” Said Taylor.

“I’m relaxed and enjoying myself so there’s no reason why I can’t win here. We’ll just take it one game at a time and see what happens.” Concluded the 57-year-old.

The Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters concludes on Sunday with the two semi-finals taking place before the winner is eventually settled in the decider.

TV coverage is live on Fox Sports in Australia and broadcast worldwide through the PDC's series of broadcast partners, with delayed coverage in the UK and Netherlands.

PDCTV-HD Rest of the World Subscribers (outside of the UK, Ireland & Netherlands) can watch live in PDCTV-HD.

Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters
Saturday August 19 (7pm local time)
Quarter-Finals
Peter Wright 10-9 Michael Smith
Simon Whitlock 10-9 James Wade
Phil Taylor 10-9 Corey Cadby
Daryl Gurney 10-8 Gary Anderson
Best of 19 legs

Sunday August 20 (7pm local time)
Semi-Finals
Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright
Phil Taylor v Simon Whitlock

Final
v
Best of 21 leg

Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters Day One

COREY CADBY claimed another big-name scalp by seeing off Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 on the opening night of the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters, as Simon Whitlock swept aside Kyle Anderson in their all-Australian first round tie.
Reigning World Youth Champion Cadby enhanced his growing reputation by reaching last weekend's Auckland Darts Masters final, and began the new World Series of Darts event with another impressive display.
Five-time World Champion Van Barneveld shared the opening eight legs with the Tasmania-born youngster, who claimed a crucial break of throw in leg nine with a 13-darter.
Melbourne-based Cadby then closed out victory in style with a 12-darter, following up four 140s with an 81 finish to seal a memorable triumph in his home event at the Hisense Arena.
Cadby will now meet 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor in Saturday's quarter-finals, having won the last two meetings with the 57-year-old which included a semi-final triumph last weekend.
"I'm so happy, I can't believe it," said Cadby. "My heart is beating so fast, that felt so good!
"I can't wait to play Phil again. He's the best there’s ever been so it's going to be another great test for me."
Taylor overcame a stern test from New Zealand's Cody Harris before claiming a 6-3 win to open his bid for the title.
Harris took out a 126 finish as he shared six legs with the Stoke legend, but Taylor pulled away with back-to-back 14-darters before landing tops to seal the win.
"It's a good start for me and Cody played well, but I've got another tough test on Saturday," said Taylor. "Corey's got a big future and I've got to know him a bit better over the last couple of weeks, and he's a good bloke."
Kyle Anderson's bid to follow up last weekend's Auckland Darts Masters triumph with another victory was ended with a first round exit to compatriot Simon Whitlock, who averaged an outstanding 107.69 in his 6-1 win.
Whitlock lay down a marker for his performance with a 122 finish in the opening leg, with Anderson taking out 71 to level only to see his rival hit three 14-darters in moving 5-1 up.
Whitlock then opened the seventh leg with two 180s, and though he was unable to complete a nine-darter he went on to take the leg in 12 darts to crown an impressive display.
Having lost out to Anderson in Auckland, Whitlock said: "I'm over the moon. I wanted to beat Kyle after last week and revenge feels good.
"We all have our ups and downs but it's how you bounce back. I'm starting to win tournaments again and show everyone that I’ve still got it in me.
"Australian darts is booming and it’s so good to see. I'm a proud Aussie and I love this game, I'm so happy we're all playing well and putting Australian darts back on the map."
Whitlock now faces James Wade, who punished 20 missed doubles from New Zealander Koha Kokiri before emerging with a 6-3 win from their clash in Melbourne.
After Perth-based Kokiri had landed a 180 in the opening leg, four missed doubles allowed Wade in to finish 104 for a key early break of throw, with the left-hander leading 2-0 and adding legs of 14 and 13 darts as he created a 4-2 cushion.
Kokiri took out 116 to pull back in leg seven, but missed eight darts at doubles to level the tie in the next as Wade escaped on double one before sealing the win with an 84 finish.
"It wasn't great but I'm through and that's all that matters," said Wade, a semi-finalist in Auckland last weekend.
"I want to play well every time I get up on stage but that isn't always possible. Today was about the win and I got it."
David Platt missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish before losing out to Michael Smith, who progresses to meet Wright in the quarter-finals.
A brilliant start saw Platt land double 12 to win the opening leg before opening the second with two 180s, and after landing a seventh treble 20 and the treble 19, he wired double 12 for what would have been only the second perfect leg in World Series history.
He returned to win the leg in ten darts, but Smith clawed his way back level before taking the lead at 3-2 with a classy 113 finish, and he also landed a 14-darter and double two to move 5-2 up.
Double top kept Platt's hopes alive, but Smith sealed victory by finishing 106 on double 16 to set up a quarter-final with Peter Wright.
"All these guys can play darts and David showed that," said Smith. "I wanted him to hit the nine-darter - it's great for darts when moments like that happen - and if anything it helped kick me into life.
"It was scrappy, it was a bit messy at times but I got the job done."
Number four seed Wright saw off Rhys Mathewson 6-2 in their tie, with the Australian qualifier unable to repeat the heroics which had seen him knock out Wade in Sydney last August.
Mathewson missed one chance to lead in the opening leg as Wright landed double 16, and the UK Open champion took the next four legs to move to the brink of victory.
Two missed match darts allowed the DPA ace to land double ten to stay in the game before he took out 118 to continue the revival, but two missed doubles in leg eight allowed Wright to finally complete the win on tops.
"I'm delighted to win but that was a nightmare - my scoring just disappeared," said Wright. "I have these matches every now and again where the scoring goes, but it doesn't last long.
"I need to get on the practice board and it will be okay for tomorrow - I'll be much better."
Top seed Gary Anderson needed a superb 170 checkout to break the resistance of TV debutant Justin Thompson before the two-time World Champion took a 6-2 win over the Australian qualifier.
Thompson took the game's opening leg and also squared the tie in the fourth before Anderson took out the highest possible finish to complete a 12-darter in moving 3-2 up.
Anderson then reeled off legs of 13, 13 and 11 darts to book his last eight spot with a strong 104 average.
"I started a bit slow but once I found the length they were flying in," said Anderson. "We've seen the boys over in this part of the world improve so much over the years we’ve been doing the World Series and you can't underestimate anyone."
Daryl Gurney produced a display of brilliant finishing to whitewash TV debutant Dave Marland 6-0 in the tournament's opening tie with six doubles from seven attempts to set up a tie with Anderson.
Marland - who owns a real estate business in Sutherland and won through the DPA Qualifiers - landed 180s in the opening two legs, but five missed doubles in the second to level gave Gurney a let-off which he punished in style.
The Northern Irish ace, the U.S. Darts Masters finalist last month, followed two successive tops finishes in moving 3-0 up with a trio of ton-plus checkouts for finishes of 132 on the bull, 110 and 100 to finish.
"The doubles were good tonight but the rest was a little bit off and it's not often I hit less 180s than my opponent," said Gurney.
"I knew he was a little nervous so I just had to try and be consistent, but I hope he enjoyed it up there."
Saturday's quarter-finals at the Hisense Arena (7pm start) will be followed on Sunday by the semi-finals and final as the inaugural Melbourne Darts Masters champion is crowned.
TV coverage is live on Fox Sports in Australia and broadcast worldwide through the PDC's series of broadcast partners, with delayed coverage in the UK and Netherlands.
PDCTV-HD Rest of the World Subscribers (outside of the UK, Ireland & Netherlands) can watch live in PDCTV-HD.
2017 Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters
Friday August 18
First Round
Daryl Gurney 6-0 Dave Marland
Peter Wright 6-2 Rhys Mathewson
James Wade 6-3  Koha Kokiri
Michael Smith 6-3 David Platt
Phil Taylor 6-3 Cody Harris
Corey Cadby 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 6-2 Justin Thompson
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Kyle Anderson
Best of 11 legs

Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters Draw

AUSTRALIAN pair Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson will clash in the first round of the inaugural Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters on Friday, while Phil Taylor has been paired with top New Zealander Cody Harris.

Perth's Anderson claimed his first TV title at last weekend's Auckland Darts Masters, seeing off Australian number one Whitlock along the way before overcoming World Youth Champion Corey Cadby in the final.

Anderson and Whitlock - the former European Championship winner - were drawn together in a plum first round tie for the inaugural World Series of Darts event in Melbourne, which begins on Friday night.

Having been the leading Australian star for a decade, Whitlock has spoken of his pride in taking the World Series to another new venue at the Hisense Arena.

"It means a lot for me to be here," said Whitlock. "I'm a proud Australian so it’s great to play in front of an Aussie crowd.

"Melbourne is known for high quality professional sport, so hopefully we can carry that on.

"I feel great, the darts are going well and I'm looking forward to getting up there. I need to do a bit better than I did in Auckland but with my confidence levels where they are there's no reason I can't win it."

Whitlock and Anderson have teamed up to represent Australia in the PDC World Cup of Darts for the past two years, and the pony-tailed star added: "It was great to see Kyle win last week.

"I would have liked it to have been me, but Kyle is a great guy and fully deserved to get the win in Auckland.

"To see some new Australian talent come through in Kyle and Corey Cadby is massive for the sport over here. If as a group we can all start playing well consistently then it can only be good for Australian darts."

Melbourne-based Cadby will face five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld as he looks to enhance his growing reputation by following up his wins over Peter Wright, Michael Smith and Phil Taylor in Auckland with another big-name victim.

Taylor, the legendary 16-time World Champion and a winner of six previous World Series events in Australia, will meet emerging Kiwi star Cody Harris in another tasty first round tie.

Top seed Gary Anderson, May's Dubai Darts Masters winner, will meet DPA Qualifier Justin Thompson, who is making his TV debut in Melbourne this weekend.

Another newcomer to the big-stage, Sutherland-based real estate business owner Dave Marland, has drawn Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney, who reached the U.S. Darts Masters final last month.

Number three seed James Wade faces New Zealand-born Koha Kokiri, while reigning UK Open champion Wright plays Hoppers Crossing's Rhys Mathewson and Michael Smith drew Perth-based qualifier David Platt.

Following Friday's first round at the Hisense Arena, play continues on Saturday (7pm) with the quarter-finals before culminating with the semi-finals and final on Sunday (7pm).

Tickets for the Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters are available from www.ticketek.com.au or by calling 132 849.

Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters
Draw Bracket
Gary Anderson (1) v Justin Thompson
Daryl Gurney v Dave Marland
Peter Wright (4) v Rhys Mathewson
Michael Smith v David Platt
Raymond van Barneveld (2) v Corey Cadby
Phil Taylor v Cody Harris
James Wade (3) v Koha Kokiri
Simon Whitlock v Kyle Anderson

Schedule of Play
Friday August 18 (7pm)
First Round
Daryl Gurney v Dave Marland
Peter Wright v Rhys Mathewson
James Wade v Koha Kokiri
Michael Smith v David Platt
Phil Taylor v Cody Harris
Raymond van Barneveld v Corey Cadby
Gary Anderson v Justin Thompson
Simon Whitlock v Kyle Anderson
Best of 11 legs

Saturday August 19 (7pm)
Quarter-Finals
Order of Play TBC
Best of 19 legs

Sunday August 20 (7pm)
Semi-Finals
Final
Best of 21 legs

Heard hails Anderson win massive

KYLE ANDERSON'S victory in the Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King, has been hailed as a breakthrough moment for the sport Down Under by PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.

Anderson defeated reigning World Youth Champion Corey Cadby in an all-Australian final at the third staging of the Auckland Darts Masters to open August's World Series of Darts treble-header.

Watched on by New Zealand's Prime Minister Bill English and the enthusiastic Kiwi crowd, Anderson's victory saw him claim glory for the first time in a televised event just four years after making his big-stage debut.

Anderson's success included a quarter-final victory over Australian number one Simon Whitlock - a former European Championship winner - and has been seen as a significant step for the sport in the Oceanic region following an event which also featured emerging New Zealanders Cody Harris and Darren Herewini.

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn has praised Anderson's achievement, which he believes can inspire the Perth-born star to further glory and boost darts in Australia and New Zealand.

Hearn said: "Simon was the first flag bearer for Australia, Paul Nicholson also had some success. Over the years we've watched local players come through the ranks, Kyle Anderson, Corey Cadby - this young, precocious talent - and who'd have thought that the final of the Auckland Masters would be between two unseeded players.

"This gives the game in Australia and New Zealand a massive push. The event showed that people can change their lives through darts, and here it was in the raw.

"All we can do is give them the opportunity and fund the change in lifestyle. Kyle Anderson has earned over £30,000 in the last couple of weeks, but what does it lead to? Whitlock became a Premier League player and one of the world's elite and he's still there.

"We're very excited and we're looking to the future, because who knows what's going to happen in Melbourne this week? Will we see more Australian success? The fans are in for a treat, the TV viewers at Fox are in for an extravaganza."

The introduction of the World Series in 2013 had the aim of spreading top-level professional darts around the globe.

With new events in Las Vegas, Melbourne and Dusseldorf this year alongside the tournaments in Dubai, Shanghai, Auckland and Perth ahead of the season-ending World Series Finals, Hearn is delighted with the growth of the concept.

"Five years ago now we had the idea that we were making such huge progress in the UK and Europe, but there's another world out there that we have to go to, because there's dart players everywhere," he added.

"We launched the World Series to go out and find local talent, to encourage them, to show them the opportunity they have in their career and also to take the world's best players out there to entertain a new legion of darts fans.
 
"I'm feeling pretty happy because it's working. We've got seven World Series events this year, we've just come back from the best tournament we've ever done in America at the U.S. Masters and we've got a massive event coming up in Germany in October."

The Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters will take place from August 18-20 at the Hisense Arena. For tickets, visit www.ticketek.com.au or call 132 849.

The TABtouch Perth Darts Masters will be held from August 25-27 at HBF Stadium. For tickets visit www.downunderevents.com.au and www.ticketmaster.com.au.

ALL AUSTRALIAN FINAL at the Auckland Masters

Kyle Anderson’s experience was utilised to the fullest as he overcame a magnificent Corey Cadby 11-10 in the all Australian final (only the second one in PDC history and the first on television) of the 2017 Auckland Darts Masters 2017.
Cadby started with a maximum 180 in his first visit to the oche and later in the leg, with Anderson on 266, he was able to convert 61 with double twenty and completed a 12 dart leg to lead one nil. Another maximum start in the second leg by Cadby, this time on Anderson’s throw, got a more effective response from Anderson as he hit two lots of 140 in response. With Cadby on 98 Anderson chased 140. He missed the check-out of double ten and Cadby doubled his lead with double twenty. 2-0 in 25 darts from Cadby. A 96 start from Cadby and 140 mid leg put him in a good position in leg three. Cadby hit the double ten to convert 56 as Anderson sat on 40 for the leg. 3-0 to Cadby.
Anderson opened the next game with his first maximum of the final. The Original later chased 90 for the leg but missed double twenty and ten, however Cadby was not on a finish this time. In his next visit Anderson used his first two darts as guides to put his third into the double ten bed for his first leg win of the final. 3-1 to Cadby. In the leg before the break a 137 start from Cadby was met by a 123 from Anderson. Mid leg both players reduced their scoring results but a 125 left 75 for Cadby. Anderson was unlucky with the wrong treble as he chased a 140 check out and Cadby converted on his next visit to lead 4-1 at the first break.
A 180 from Anderson put him in a good position for the leg after the break and double twenty at the end of it put him back within two legs of his opponent. (4-2 to Cadby.) Cadby then responded with a fourth 180 but could not shake Anderson throughout the seventh leg. He did leave himself a 96 check out and hit 20 and double 18 chasing it but missed the double twenty and Anderson hit treble 20 twice and a double 20 once for a 160 check out to put the match back on throw at 4-3 to Cadby. A 128 start from Cadby was more than his opponent had scored first up and another 180 from Cadby looked to have set him up but he missed the double for the check out and Anderson got the 80 required to hold his throw and draw the match level at four apiece.
Cadby was the first to a check out score in the next leg but it was only a 144. However Anderson was only on 206 at the time so Cadby missing the double 12 for the leg did not seem to matter too much. However a 140 put Anderson on 66 as Cadby missed three darts at double on his next visit. With one dart at double twenty Anderson converted to lead 5-4 and win four straight legs. At the start of the tenth leg a 140 to Anderson could not be matched by Cadby as he threw 100. Anderson scored 140 later in the leg to leave 121. Chasing that check-out Anderson missed the bull, however a 17 at the next visit looked to have set him up, only for him to miss the double four twice. On 52 Cadby took two darts to punish Anderson and tie things back up at 5-5. Anderson opened with a maximum after the break but at the end of the leg it was Cadby who hit the double twenty with his last dart at hand to hold his throw. 6-5 Cadby
A 127 from Cadby did not leave him a check out in the next leg but a 140 from Anderson only put him on 216. A 57 put Cadby on 140 but the same from Anderson left him on 76 as Cadby missed the 140 with his last dart. Anderson yet again did not miss with the double twenty to tie the match up at 6-6. A 140 start in leg 13 from Cadby was then contrasted with only 24 thrown by his adversary (which was further punished with a 137 follow up from Cadby.) Anderson did hit 140 at his next visit and Cadby only scored 60. Cadby left himself on 20 with Anderson on 80 and Cadby racked up another 3 missed darts on top of the one from his previous visit. Anderson, though, missed double twenty as Cadby came back to the oche and hit a double five with his next throw for the match to move to 7-6 to Cadby.
Anderson opened with 100 in the next leg but Cadby scored his sixth 180 only for Anderson to hit 140 in reply. Anderson then left himself 170 as a 134 saw Cadby only needing 94. Later in the leg Cadby missed double twenty for the leg and Anderson got the 70 required with the same check out to tie things back up at 7-7.
Another 180 from Anderson in the next leg and he backed it up with a second in a row. Cadby was on 290 as Anderson missed his seventh treble 20 (chasing the perfect nine darter) but with 57 he left 84. 140 from Cadby left him on 150. Anderson missed the bullseye for the checkout. It seemed Anderson had missed his chance as Cadby had the chance to score 100 but he could not do so on his next visit. Anderson then had double 4 to go ahead at such a critical stage and he got it with his last dart in hand, by the end of the night this would be a double that would become very special to him. The scoreboard now read 8-7 to Kyle Anderson and he was ahead for only the second time in the match. In the next leg a 134 start for Anderson looked even more impressive when Cadby could only get 57 in response. Anderson then scored another 140. Later in the leg Anderson just missed the double ten check-out as Cadby sat on 147. For the double five Anderson went straight at it but got the five and then busted. Cadby had left 47 to level things up and held his nerve to do so in two darts. 8-8.
A 140 start from Cadby and Anderson was chasing again in the next leg, which he did so well, scoring the same in reply. A 115 and Cadby looked to be feeling good but the wind was somewhat taken out of him by a 180 from Anderson. A 140 from Cadby then left him on 106 and Anderson could only move to 150. Cadby missed the double 18 for the leg. Anderson then missed the double 15 himself but Cadby faced the challenging double nine, only for him to hit it in one dart and return to the lead 9-8. A 96 start from Kyle Anderson and only 95 from Corey Cadby in the 18th leg saw Anderson move ahead. A 133 later in the leg left Cadby on 272 but a 140 left his opponent on 185. A maximum from Cadby then left 92 for him to get. With Anderson on 94 Cadby missed his leg darts. Anderson, though, missed double eight as well. Corey then missed out again on his next visit and with Anderson requiring the 16 he used two darts to get there. 9-9.
95 from Cadby and 140 from Anderson began the next leg. Then 140 from Cadby and only 45 from Anderson. 134 left Cadby on 132 as 58 left Anderson on 258. Sixty was not enough for Cadby but a century from Anderson did not seem enough. Cadby missed the bull on the next visit and Anderson threw a perfect first dart chasing 158 but could only leave himself on 74 after three were thrown. Cadby snuck in his last dart to check out a score that put him within a leg of the competition. A maximum start from Anderson was backed up with only a 60 and Cadby stepped up to hit his own maximum. 85 left 136 for Cadby. Anderson could not convert the 170 but left himself 74. Cadby could not convert either and needing 74 Anderson hit his trusty double twenty to move the match to ten all.
Cadby started the final leg with only 60. Anderson did not really punish him with a 95. However six darts without a big treble from Cadby gave Anderson the advantage and he threw a maximum to rub it in. A 57 left Cadby on 325. Anderson only collected 59 but did leave himself a shot at 167. 125 left Cadby well behind on 200. Anderson hit the treble 20 but left 68 after all three of his throws. A 140 from Cadby then left him on 60 and ready to pounce if called upon. However a treble 20 left 8 and Anderson hit a famous double four to break Cadby and win the Auckland Darts Masters 11 legs to 10.
Anderson was delighted with the win “I am wrapped with the way I am playing. I hit some scores in the final. I mean Corey started like a train and I thought it was going to be a one way road but after the break I started hitting my straps and after I got back to even I said to myself you have a good chance of winning this if you score like you can and I did, and I hit the doubles. It is all in the doubles and the doubles are going in.”
Cadby was still coming to turns with what had occurred over the weekend by the end of the match, “I am overwhelmed. Unfortunately you have to hit doubles to win the game but to make an Aussie final, it is brilliant.”

SEMI FINALS FOR COREY AND KYLE

Corey Cadby sealed a spot in the semi-finals of the Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King, beating Michael Smith on a night that also saw Phil Taylor progress into the last four.
 
Cadby, appearing in his third World Series event, averaged 100.17 as he comfortably defeated Michael Smith 10-5 at The Trusts Arena in Auckland.
 
The match started with Cadby setting an early marker as he raced in to a 5-1 lead.
 
Five consecutive breaks of throw then followed as Smith eventually closed the gap on his opponent to just two legs, with the score at 7-5.
 
Smith was then unable to put any significant pressure on his opponent as the young Australian claimed the next three legs to set up a semi-final clash with Phil Taylor.
 
Cadby, who ended Phil Taylor’s unbeaten run in Australia at the Perth Darts Masters last year, spoke of his admiration for ‘The Power’ after the match.
 
“He’s one of the best the game has ever seen. He’s beaten me before and I’ve beaten him, so this should be one hell of a game.
 
“I need to prepare properly but I’m really excited and can’t wait to get going tomorrow. I came to win so let’s see what we can do.”
 
Earlier, Phil Taylor had to survive three match darts and needed a last leg decider to beat Raymond van Barneveld and progress to the 2017 Auckland Darts Masters semi-finals.
 
The early stages of the clash saw Van Barneveld take out finishes of116 and 121 in the opening five legs of the match as he took a 3-2 lead in to the first break.
 
Taylor then responded to level the score at 3-3 with a break of throw on double eight before the Dutchman found tops in the subsequent two legs to move two clear of Taylor.
 
Three consecutive legs followed for the Englishman as he took a 6-5 advantage and took the lead for the first time since the third leg.
 
Van Barneveld responded, winning four of the next five legs to move within one of a place in the semi-finals.
 
A hold of throw followed for Taylor to put the pressure on Van Barneveld, who was unable to respond as he missed the first of three-match darts, with Taylor then pinning double ten to take the match to a deciding leg.
 
Two more match-darts came and went for the Dutchman in the decider as Taylor then took out 91 on double 16 to move in to the last four.
 
“We’ve had some great clashes over the years, me and Barney,” Said Taylor.
 
“I still love this sport, I know it’s coming to an end for me but it still means a lot to win matches like that.
 
“I feel so relaxed and am just trying to enjoy as much of it as I can before I call it a day.” Added the 16-time World Champion.
 
James Wade progressed in to the semi-final of the 2017 Auckland Darts Masters by beating Daryl Gurney 10-7.
 
The pair traded holds of throw until the seventh leg of the encounter where Gurney made the first breakthrough, taking out 100 on double ten.
 
With Gurney seemingly in control, Wade then strung together a sequence of five consecutive legs, including a 124 finish to move 8-4 clear of his opponent.
 
Gurney then battled back and closed the gap to a single leg once again before Wade put in a 14-dart break of throw to move within a leg of the win.
 
Another 14-dart leg followed for ‘The Machine’ as he sealed the victory with an average of 100.75.
 
“That was a bit of the old James Wade magic, important checkouts and some solid scoring,” said Wade.
 
“He’s disappointed with how he played there but he’s got a massive future and has loads of chances to win tournaments in the future.” Added the 34-year-old.
 
Wade will face Kyle Anderson in Sunday’s final day of action at the Auckland Darts Masters as he came from 4-1 down to beat Simon Whitlock in a last leg decider.
 
The Australian number one raced in to a commanding position as his fellow countryman struggled to find consistency on his double attempts.
 
With the score at 4-1 coming out of the first break, Anderson began his fightback taking four of the next five legs to level the score at 5-5.
 
A hold of throw followed by a 91 checkout on double nine for another break to move Whitlock clear again.
 
The 13th leg saw Whitlock miss a dart to go 8-5 ahead before Anderson pinned double four to break back and eventually level the score again on tops in the next leg.
 
Anderson, who won his first PDC title a week earlier then took the lead of the first time in the match, breaking the throw on double six for an 8-7 lead.
 
The man from Perth was unable to double the advantage though, missing six darts in the next leg to hold throw, allowing Whitlock to break again and level the score.
 
Two holds of throw followed to take the match to a decider, where a 14-dart leg was enough for Anderson to break the throw and move in to the last four.
 
“The pressure was on there and I’m glad I was able to get over the line.
 
“Simon was too good for me at the Matchplay so it was really important to show everyone what I can do tonight.
 
“It wasn’t perfect but I got the job done.” Said Anderson after his victory.
Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King
Saturday August 12 (7pm local time)
Quarter-Finals
James Wade 10-7 Daryl Gurney
Kyle Anderson 10-9 Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor 10-9 Raymond van Barneveld 
Corey Cadby 10-5 Michael Smith
All games best of 19 legs
Sunday August 13 (6pm local time)
Semi Finals 

Kyle Anderson v James Wade
Corey Cadby v Phil Taylor

TOP SEEDS OUT IN AUCKLAND

TOP SEEDS Gary Anderson and Peter Wright crashed out of the 2017 Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King, on the opening night as Australian pair Kyle Anderson and Corey Cadby showed their class at the Trusts Arena.

World number two Anderson had gone all the way to glory in Auckland last year and had been aiming to follow up his repeat success from the Dubai Darts Masters by retaining the title on his return to the Trusts Arena.

However, Australian star Anderson produced a brilliant display to average almost 103 and hit five 180s in a thrilling 6-4 win over the Scot as he ended his namesake's title defence at the first hurdle.

After the pair traded 180s in the opening leg, Gary Anderson took out 138 to lead, only to see the Australian power through the next three for a 3-1 advantage.

A 14-darter and a 100 finish for a 12-dart leg helped Gary Anderson to win three of the next five as he stayed in contention, but Kyle Anderson opened leg ten with his fifth 180 before pinning double eight for victory.

Having won his maiden PDC ranking title last week, where he also hit a nine-darter, Anderson admitted that his confidence is high as he bids for glory in Auckland.

"I'm delighted," said the 29-year-old. "I couldn't hit a thing in the practice room but as soon as I got on stage everything started to flow, which is a really good sign.

"It’s going well on the ProTour and it was just a case of hitting the doubles on stage, and today that happened for me. I'm taking everything seriously and things are starting to go my way."

Anderson's triumph was followed by another upset as number two seed Peter Wright, the reigning UK Open champion, was eliminated with a 6-4 defeat to inspired Corey Cadby.

Cadby had stunned Phil Taylor in the Perth Darts Masters in only his second televised appearance last year before losing out to Wright - but the World Youth Champion gained revenge with the aid of six 180s.

Each of those maximums came in the opening six legs, as Wright withstood a barrage of big scores to remain level at three-all - despite his own trouble hitting the treble 20 leading to a mid-game switch to the 19 bed instead.

That paid off as Wright hit a 13-darter in leg seven to lead 4-3, but Cadby levelled, took out a superb 112 finish to regain the lead and then finished double 16 for a memorable triumph.

"I wanted revenge against Peter and I got it," said Tasmania-born Cadby. "My dad told me to never let someone beat you twice in a row and I managed to stop Peter doing that tonight.

"I'm not here to lose and I know I can beat the best on my day. We'll see what happens but I don't plan on losing."

Simon Whitlock completed a trio of Australians to progress to the quarter-finals on the opening night despite being given a stern test by New Zealand's Cody Harris, who eventually fell to a 6-4 defeat.

Whitlock hit back from a leg down to lead 2-1 before Harris showed his class with a 12-darter as a 76 finish levelled - but he crucially missed seven darts to lead as the Australian regained the edge.

A 122 finish from Harris saw him respond once more, with Whitlock firing in a stunning ten-darter only to then miss seven doubles of his own as the Kiwi claimed leg eight.

However, double 16 edged Whitlock back ahead, before he took out 60 to seal the win, after Harris missed two darts at tops to force a decider.

"I'm really happy to win," said Whitlock, who now meets Anderson in the quarter-finals. "He played well and every time I gave him a chance he seemed to take it, but there's a lot more to come from me.

"I'm really confident at the moment, my darts feel great and I feel like my performance levels are really good at the moment.

"I feel like I can win here. Whether I do or not is another thing, but the belief is there."

The other three New Zealanders in the PDC World Series of Darts event joined Harris in being eliminated on the opening night, although debutant Darren Herewini and veteran star Warren Parry both gave their World Champion opponents a scare.

Herewini, a 25-year-old from Porirua who won through last weekend's DPNZ Qualifiers, pushed the legendary Phil Taylor all the way on his first TV appearance before the 56-year-old edged through with a 6-4 win.

Taylor had looked set to pull away when, after sharing the opening two legs, he took out 101 and an 11-darter to move into a 3-1 lead.

Herewini, though, finished 68 in leg five and then punished five missed doubles from Taylor to level in the sixth and threaten an almighty upset.

The New Zealander then opened leg seven with a 180, but crucially missed two darts at doubles to lead as Taylor took out double 16 to regain the edge.

A 69 finish moved Taylor 5-3 up, before Herewini landed two 180s to his rival's one in the ninth as a 12-darter kept the match alive - but the 56-year-old sealed victory in style with another double 16.

Taylor now takes on great rival Van Barneveld in the quarter-finals, after the Dutchman also emerged with a 6-4 win from his tussle with Invercargill's Parry.

Parry - who knocked out Michael van Gerwen in the Sydney Darts Masters three years ago - shared the opening six legs with the Dutchman as he chased another upset win, twice capitalising on missed doubles from Van Barneveld as well as finishing 107.

The former Auckland finalist - who had hit an earlier 116 checkout of his own - claimed a crucial break of throw in leg eight to move 5-3 up, only for Parry to hit back immediately by taking out 80 when his rival missed one match dart.

However, Van Barneveld was first to a finish in the next, and took out 56 seal his quarter-final spot.

"On the practice board things are going well but I'm not sure why it's not quite there on stage yet," admitted Van Barneveld. "I struggled a bit tonight."

Michael Smith impressed on his World Series of Darts debut with a 6-0 whitewash of Rob Szabo, with the former World Youth Champion averaging 103.66 and hitting four 180s as he set up a mouth-watering tie with Cadby.

A bright start settled any nerves as Smith landed maximums in legs of 13 and 11 darts to take control, and he hit two further 180s as he moved 4-0 up before closing out victory without Szabo having a dart at a double.

James Wade battled his way to a 6-2 win as he overcame New Zealand's Mark Cleaver, who lost out in the first round for the second time in three years.

The left-hander took the opening three legs, including a 74 to break throw in leg two, before the qualifier capitalised on Wade's misses to hit back in the fourth.

A 120 finish saw Wade regain his advantage before Cleaver's misses at double 14 and seven allowed him to move 5-1 up, and though a 66 finish kept the home favourite's hopes alive, the former World Series finalist hit double ten to seal the win.

Having lost in the first round at the U.S. Darts Masters and World Matchplay, Wade is hoping that he can bounce back in style during the World Series treble-header in New Zealand and Australia.

"The results haven't been there for six or seven months but I know it's still there," said Wade. "It wasn't great tonight but when I needed it then it was there.
"The crazy thing is that I'm still 100 percent confident whenever I play, despite the results I've been getting. I believe I can win against anyone and from any position."

Wade now takes on Daryl Gurney, who ended the hopes of Australian qualifier Rob Modra with a 6-2 victory in their clash.

Gurney's opening 103 checkout was levelled by Modra's 102 finish, before the Northern Irish ace took the next three to open up a 4-1 cushion.

Modra hit back on double eight, but U.S. Darts Masters finalist Gurney took out 96 to regain his advantage before sealing the win on double eight.

The Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King, continues on Saturday (7pm) with the quarter-finals at the Trusts Arena, before concluding with the semi-finals and final on Sunday (6pm).

Koha Clicks In

In the final qualifier for the PDC Melbourne Darts Masters Koha Kokiri staved off the challenge of Rob Modra as he won 6-5 at the festival of darts at Warilla Bowling and Entertainment Club.

 Kokiri had finished top of the board before defeating Team Rebel’s Aaron Petty 6-0, Mark Taafe 6-2, and the living legend that is Russell Stewart by the same score in the quarter finals. In the semifinals he took on Robbie King and was just as comprehensive in that match as he had been all day, not conceding a leg.

 Modra had qualified fourth off a tough board and had a much tougher time progressing through, defeating Steve MacArthur 6-5, Kalani Hillman (who continues to impress) 6-3, and Sean Hekfenschen 6-5 before taking on the double finalist of the weekend, Tic Bridge, in the semifinal. In that match it was Modra who came out on top 6-4.

 In the final it was Modra who skipped away to an early 2-0 lead after breaking his opponent in the first leg. His opponent from the West Coast of Australia drew the game back to 2-2 and the players then stayed within one leg of each other. Thus it came down to the final leg which Kokiri had first visit. It looked like he had the match wrapped up but could not convert his first chances at a finish and Modra got one shot at bull which he put just the other side of the wire. Kokiri then converted on his next visit and secure his position at the Melbourne Darts Masters to compliment his appearance at his local event in Perth.

 “Hopefully I can calm down this time on the big stage and just play my darts on the big stage. It is always going to be about your doubles, you always get chances and you just have to take them.”  

The Big Fish Catches His Prey

David Marland has defeated Tic Bridge 6-3 to win a spot in the World Series of Darts for the first time at the 2017 Melbourne Darts Masters. Marland, a four time finalist and now two time winner of DPA events, was the outsider in the final but managed to hold his nerve to win his way through. For Tic Bridge it was the second night of disappointment in the final.

 Marland, a former back to back NSW State Champion, had progressed through the day having come third off his board. He defeated good friend “the Guvnor” John Bunyard 6-3 in a high quality match in the round of 32 before surviving a last leg decider in the last 16 against Mark Anderson. His second dual with Steve Powell over the weekend saw him come out 6-2 winner, setting up a semi-final against Rob Modra who had thrown well throughout the weekend. This match also went to a final leg and it was Marland who was able to take his opportunity first to progress through to the final.

  For Bridge he entered the elimination legs having finished fourth on his board. He then turned a 1-5 deficit into a 6-5 win against previous semi-finalist Kalani Hillman before making a better grasp of things by defeating Tony Chapman 6-0 in the round of 16. He also moved past another player who had thrown well across the weekend in Steve MacArthur 6-2 in the quarter finals. For the second night in a row he had to play at 100% to be able to get past Koha Kokiri in the semi-final.

 The competition had been whittled down from 64 to 2 combatants and it was Bridge who took the early break in the final only for Marland to break back immediately. Games then went with throw until the eighth game when Marland broke for what would turn out to be the crucial leg, thus taking a 5-3 lead. A maximum had helped Marland early and he closed out the leg effectively to set himself up to win the match on his throw and .despite a nervy finish to the match, Marland was able to compose himself and take out the leg and the match, 6-3 being the final score.

 Marland, who was actually born in Victoria but left as a six month old baby, was blown away by the result and the chance to play in the Melbourne Darts Masters. Like all players in Australia he has had to balance his work commitments as the business owner of Marland Real Estate, a small business in the Sutherland Shire, his family responsibilities, as he and his wife Heidi bring up their two daughters, Hannah, 15, and Brooke, 11 and his desire to play darts, playing around his beloved Shire at places like Miranda and Heathcote (as well as Revesby just outside) and events all over Australia across the year.

 “I have put some really hard yards in on the practice board in the last six weeks so I am very happy. I can’t believe it, I am wrapped, I fought hard all day.”

 Whilst his name may not be on the top of any favourites list to take out a qualifier he fought against those odds all day to make it through against some big names of Australian darts and as results fell his way he was able to take out crucial matches in pressure situations. He is well-respected amongst his peers and now can look to stepping up on the big stage at Hisense Arena Melbourne in a few short weeks.

 

Platty Ties Up His Place

On the first night of qualifications David Platt qualified for his ninth PDC Darts World Series event with a 6-3 victory over Tic Bridge in the Russell Stewart Classic Final at the Warilla Darts and Entertainment Club.

 A field of 80 players lined up chasing not only the prestigious title but also a chance to be on stage at the Melbourne Darts Masters event in the PDC World Series of Darts.

 Both players, having got off their boards, progressed past quality players in the knock out stages with Platt defeating Mark Taafe, Steve Macarthur and Australian vice-captain Daniel Sim and Bridge winning against Tremaine Gallagher, Dave Marland and Robbie King to qualify for the last four.

 In the semi-finals both matches went to 4-4, with Platt skipping away from youngster Kalani Hillman in the last two legs and the other match going to the last leg where Bridge checking out a 145 to get past Koha Kokiri (who has previously qualified for the Perth Darts Masters.)

 In the final Platt skipped out to an early lead only for Bridge to fight back to equality after 6 legs. Platt then stepped up another gear to win three games and take out the final 6-3, taking out the Russell Stewart Classic for a second time, and at the same stage a position on stage at the PDC Melbourne Darts Masters.

 After injury put pay to Platt’s hopes of repeating his success on the local tour from 2016 he was delighted to be back in the winners circle. “It is an honour to win the trophy named after such an icon of Australian sport for a second time. Obviously getting back on stage at the World Series is amazing, having been out injured for most of the year. I am looking forward to putting my best game on yet in Melbourne.”

Final Warilla Bowls World Series Darts Qualifier Day

The final Day of the Warilla Bowls Club festival of darts concludes today with the Final Warilla Bowls World Series Darts Qualifier Day

Stay tuned to Dartplayers Australia for all the latest news and results

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