Template - Date: Gurney wins first European Tour

Daryl Gurney defeated Rob Cross, Stephen Bunting and Adrian Lewis before edging out Evans in an exciting decider at Halle 39 in Hildesheim.

 

The Northern Irishman, who won the 2018 Players Championship Finals, opened up a 5-1 lead in the final but was pegged back by fast-throwing Evans – who won five of the following six legs to level.

Former World Grand Prix champion Gurney closed out the win, however, with finishes of 46 and 96 to add a European Tour triumph to his two televised titles and ProTour glory.  “It’s amazing for me to win this title,” said Gurney, who moved up to third on the PDC Order Merit after taking the £25,000 first prize. 

“Congratulations to Ricky on his run too. He is a phenomenal player and is so fast he makes me look slow. “My best friend, the person who got me back into darts, passed away a few years ago and I dedicate all of my success to him.”

Evans reached his second European Tour final by claiming victories against Mervyn King, Darren Webster and Keegan Brown on an thrilling final day of action, which included a nine-darter from James Wade in his last 16 defeat to Webster.

2019 German Darts Championship

Sunday March 31st

THIRD ROUND (Afternoon)
Peter Wright 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Joe Cullen
Rob Cross  2-6 Daryl Gurney
Ian White 4-6 Stephen Bunting
James Wade 5-6 Darren Webster
Ricky Evans 6-4 Mervyn King
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Jonny Clayton
Keegan Brown 6-0 James Wilson

QUARTER FINALS (Evening)
Peter Wright 2-6 Adrian Lewis
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Darren Webster 5-6 Ricky Evans
Gerwyn Price 5-6 Keegan Brown

SEMI FINALS (Evening)
Adrian Lewis 5-7 Daryl Gurney
Ricky Evans 7-3 Keegan Brown

FINAL (Evening)
Daryl Gurney 8-6 Ricky Evans

Prize Fund:

Winner: £25,000
Runner-up: £10,000
Semi-Finalists: £6,500
Quarter-Finalists: £5,000
Last 16: £3,000
Last 32: £2,000
Last 48: £1,000
Total: £140,000 

Template - Date: European Darts Open ET1

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN hit a nine-dart finish on his way to winning the first European Tour title of 2019, claiming an 8-6 victory over Rob Cross in the final of the European Darts Open in Leverkusen on Sunday.

Van Gerwen made history in his 7-5 semi-final success of Mensur Suljovic as he became the first player to hit two nine-dart finishes on the European Tour, before going on to claim an incredible 29th European Tour title at the Ostermann Arena.

The final of the £140,000 tournament saw the world’s top two go head-to-head in a sensational encounter, with reigning World Champion Van Gerwen producing his best performance of the weekend, averaging 104.79 to edge a gripping contest.

2019 European Darts Open

Sunday March 24th
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT)

Third Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Jermaine Wattimena
Krzysztof Ratajski 4-6 Gerwyn Price
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Joe Cullen
James Wade 6-1 Dave Chisnall
Justin Pipe 6-1 Darren Webster
Rob Cross 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Dimitri Van den Bergh 0-6 Daryl Gurney
Peter Wright 6-3 Ross Smith

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 GMT)
Quarter-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Gerwyn Price
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 James Wade
Justin Pipe 2-6 Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney 3-6 Peter Wright

Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Mensur Suljovic
Rob Cross 7-5 Peter Wright

Final
Michael van Gerwen 8-6 Rob Cross

Prize Fund
Winner: £25,000
Runner-up: £10,000
Semi-Finalists: £6,500
Quarter-Finalists: £5,000
Last 16: £3,000
Last 32: £2,000
Last 48: £1,000
Total: £140,000

Template - Date: UNIBET Premier League BERLIN

It was a vital win for Gurney to lift him away from the bottom of the table as he stunned the World Champion 7-5. Trailing 2-0 early on, the signs looked ominous for Gurney.

But after a missed dart from Van Gerwen in the third at tops, Gurney capitalised to get himself back in the game. At 3-2 down, ‘Superchin’ then put together a run of three straight legs to lead 5-3 and take command of the tie.

A superb 86 checkout in two darts guaranteed a point for Gurney, and despite more pressure from Van Gerwen as he moved within one – the Northern Irishman got over the line to secure a vital win.

Night Seven Thursday March 21st

Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, Germany

Gerwyn Price 4-7 Rob Cross
James Wade 6-6 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 5-7 Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith 2-7 Mensur Suljovic
Max Hopp 3-7 Raymond van Barneveld

Template - Date: UNIBET Premier League Nottingham

Michael van Gerwen came into Night Six of the campaign under pressure following defeat to James Wade and a draw with John Henderson, but returned to winning ways against in-form Welshman Price. 

A cagey start saw both players struggling to find their usual high-scoring power, but it was Van Gerwen who edged his way into the ascendancy at 4-2.

The Dutchman lit up the contest with a majestic 132 finish on the bullseye to make it 5-2, before sealing the deal with legs of 13 and 14 darts to condemn Price to his first loss of the season.

Night Six – Thursday March 14th

Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Nathan Aspinall 2-7 Michael Smith
James Wade 3-7 Mensur Suljovic
Rob Cross 7-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price 2-7 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 6-6 Daryl Gurney

Rob Cross kept the pressure on Van Gerwen at the table’s summit with a 7-3 win over departing Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld, with Cross only behind Van Gerwen on legs won against throw.

An exceptional performance from last year’s semi-finalist Cross saw him kick off the game with 12 and 13-dart legs, but Van Barneveld fought back with two successive 25 finishes to level.

That was as good as it got for the 2014 Premier League Champion, as Cross proved too strong, landing a 129 checkout on his way to winning five of the next six legs to claim his fourth success of the campaign, while Van Barneveld remains rooted to the foot of the table.

Nathan Aspinall, Michael Smith (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

It was a tough welcome to Premier League life for recently-crowned UK Open Champion Nathan Aspinall, as he went down to a comprehensive 7-2 defeat at the hands of 2018 finalist Michael Smith.

Ten missed doubles in the opening three legs from Contender Aspinall allowed Smith to punish and take a 3-0 lead, before a mid-match rally from Aspinall saw him land a 158 checkout to bring it back to 5-2.

However, Smith was not to be denied and won it in style with a 127 checkout, his second ton-plus finish of the match, to double his tally of wins in the 2019 campaign and climb away from the elimination zone.

Mensur Suljovic (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Mensur Suljovic also made a positive step away from the drop zone, producing his best performance of the campaign to claim a 7-3 victory over James Wade, who topped the table heading into the night’s action.

The opening two legs went on throw, before three consecutive breaks saw Suljovic take a 3-2 lead, and he followed it up with an 84 checkout to open up a two-leg cushion for the first time in the match at 4-2.

The Austrian went on to win three of the next four legs, ending the contest with a 101.38 average, as he picked up his second win of the season to steer himself away from the relegation picture.

Daryl Gurney (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

The final game of the evening saw a gutsy Daryl Gurney survive a match dart as he battled back from 6-3 down to draw 6-6 with Peter Wright. The opening five legs went with throw, before Wright punished Gurney’s seven missed darts at double to take a 4-2 advantage.

At 6-3, Wright looked to be on his way to a third win in four games, only for Gurney to fire in three legs of five visits to earn a hard-fought point and end a run of two defeats, with the Northern Irishman three points clear of Van Barneveld.

The Unibet Premier League continues on Thursday March 21 with Night Seven in Berlin, as German number one Max Hopp makes his Premier League debut against Van Barneveld at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Template - Date: European Tour Qualifiers Wigan

STEVE BEATON, Stephen Bunting and Kyle Anderson were among eight players to secure a European Tour qualification double in Wigan on Friday.

A total of four qualifying events took place for the German Darts Grand Prix (ET3), which will take place in Munich from April 20-22, and the German Darts Open (ET4), which will be held in Saarbrucken from April 26-28.

Ever-consistent Beaton kept up his record of qualifying for every European Tour event of 2019, while world number 18 Bunting and Australia’s Anderson were joined by Chris Dobey, Brendan Dolan and Jamie Hughes in progressing from both UK Qualifying events.

It was a perfect day for rising star Ted Evetts, who hit a nine-dart finish on his way to a qualifying double, while Ritchie Edhouse also landed a perfect leg on a high-quality day of action.

Germany’s Gabriel Clemens was the only player to qualify from both West & South Europe Tour Card Holder Qualifying events for the third and fourth European Tour events of the yea

European 3 – The German Darts Grand Prix

From Munich, Germany from Saturday 20th to Monday 22nd April. CLICK HERE For the event brief and hotel/travel information.

UK Qualifiers: Ted Evetts-Josh Payne-Kyle Anderson-Ritchie Edhouse-Chris Dobey-Nathan Derry-Steve Beaton-Stephen Bunting-Glen Durrant-Alan Norris-Ricky Evans-Keegan Brown-Jamie Hughes-Ross Smith-Mark Barilli-Arron Monk-Brendan Dolan-Mark Wilson.

EUROPEAN Qualifiers: Kim Huybrechts, Danny Noppert, Krzysztof Ratajski, Gabriel Clemens, Cristo Reyes, Martin Schindler

European Tour 4 – The German Darts Open

From Saarbrucken, Germany from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April. CLICK HERE For the event brief and hotel/travel information.

UK Qualifiers: Kyle Anderson-Chris Dobey-Steve Beaton-Stephen Bunting-John Henderson-James Wilson-Steve Lennon-Kirk Shepherd-Luke Humphries-Steve West-Wayne Jones-Ted Evetts-Micky Mansell-Jamie Hughes-David Pallett-James Richardson-Brendan Dolan-Nathan Aspinall.

EUROPEAN Qualifiers: Vincent Kamphuis, Dimitri Van den Bergh, Gabriel Clemens, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Vincent van der Meer, Raymond van Barneveld.

Template - Date: Ladbrokes UK Open

Ranked 34th on the PDC Order of Merit before the tournament, Aspinall took the UK Open by storm with a series of sensational performances, capped off with success in his first televised final.

Record-breaker Aspinall became the first player ranked outside the top 32 to win a televised ranking event since 2012 and just the second player in PDC history to win a televised tournament with a 170 finish.

The 27-year-old had to win back his Tour Card at 2018 Qualifying School, but has enjoyed a life-changing six months which began with his first ProTour title in September.

Aspinall pocketed £100,000 for reaching the semi-finals of the World Championship in December and the Stockport man added to his tally by clinching the £100,000 top prize in Minehead.

After beginning the day with a 10-6 success over Ross Smith in the quarter-finals, Aspinall edged out in-form Gerwyn Price 11-9 before defeating Cross to become the fastest player to reach the top 16 after winning a Tour Card.

Nathan Aspinall (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

“I’ve worked so hard to get this far and to win this title is just a truly amazing feeling,” said an emotional Aspinall.

“[In 2014] my grandad and I were sat in the crowd and I told him I’m as good as the players up there, and now here I am lifting the trophy on this stage, it’s just unreal.

“I want to thank my family because I’m away a lot so this is for them and I’d like to thank everyone for their support.

“The standard is so tough now, it was a long day for us both and neither Rob nor I played like we can in the final but I’m just so happy to get the win.”

Nathan Aspinall (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

The final began with a strong start from Cross, who hit 180s in each of the opening two legs, but Aspinall held firm and struck the first blow with a 77 finish to break throw and go 3-2 up.

Growing in belief, Aspinall took out 66 for a second break to open up a three leg lead at 5-2, but after four darts at double went begging for the Stockport ace, Cross found double four to break straight back.

It was then Cross’ turn to rue missed chances as he fired wide six times, missing the chance to level in leg ten as Aspinall regained breathing space at 6-4.

Aspinall clinically took out 50 in two darts to break the Cross throw for a third time and make it 8-5, and after Cross hit a single 12 when going for double five to break straight back, he pinned double ten to go within two legs of the title.

Cross once again missed a dart at double, this time at double top, and Aspinall capitalised, hitting the same target to break throw once more and go within a leg of glory.

Aspinall’s 170 finish to seal a famous win sparked incredible scenes at the Skyline Arena, with the Stockport man heading straight over to celebrate with his family after the roof-raising checkout.

Rob Cross, Nathan Aspinall (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

“Full credit to Nathan, he played well but I had nothing left which is a great shame,” said Cross, who was competing in his first televised ranking final since being crowned World Champion.

“This tournament was a massive start to my career in 2016 and it was great to play well here in front of this amazing crowd again.

“Unfortunately I came up just short in the final but take nothing away from Nathan, he was pure class all the way through.”

Michael Smith had to settle for a semi-final finish in Minehead after defying the pain of a leg injury throughout the weekend, powering through his quarter-final against Steve Beaton with a fine 10-1 triumph only to lose out 11-7 to Cross in the last four.

In-form Gerwyn Price had seen his 20-game unbeaten run ended by Aspinall in the semis, with the Welshman being a 10-5 victor against Plymouth’s Simon Stevenson in the afternoon session.

Josh Payne and Ross Smith also saw their impressive weekends in Minehead ended in the last eight after they won through to their first televised PDC ranking quarter-finals.

Aspinall will return to star as a Unibet Premier League Contender against Michael Smith in Nottingham on March 14, while Cross and the regular Premier League stars will return to action in Aberdeen on Thursday March 7.

The Premier League action in Aberdeen will be broadcast live on ITV4 for UK viewers, worldwide through the PDC’s international broadcast partners and through video.pdc.tv for Rest of the World subscribers.

Ladbrokes UK Open Results and Stats

Ladbrokes UK Open
Sunday March 3
Afternoon Session

Quarter-Finals
Main Stage

Rob Cross 10-7 Josh Payne
Michael Smith 10-1 Steve Beaton
Gerwyn Price 10-5 Simon Stevenson
Nathan Aspinall 10-6 Ross Smith

Evening Session
Semi-Finals
Nathan Aspinall 11-9 Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross 11-7 Michael Smith

Final
Nathan Aspinall 11-5 Rob Cross