After a bitterly disappointing day from team Loxley on Day 1 of the PDC Winter Series, the three will look to rectify their mistakes today, and get their campaigns off to a fresh start. With the initial day one nerves out the way, I followed Ryan Searle, Matthew Edgar, and Aaron Beeney as they all looked to add to their resumè as professional darts players, and deny Unicorn’s Michael Smith his second consecutive title.
In a replay of the PDC Grand Slam qualifier L16 on Monday, Ryan was drawn to play Justin Pipe in the opening round – a tough task, against a player in very good form as of late. Ryan will look to avenge his 5-1 defeat, knowing a top performance is needed if he is to get anything out of the game.
A steady, but unspectacular performance from Ryan saw him fall at the first hurdle for the second consecutive day, with Justin averaging well into the mid-90’s. A game that could’ve gone either way, Ryan just couldn’t find the extra gear needed, as Justin rattled off the last two legs in 15 and 12 darts to claim a 6-4 victory.
Another familiar opponent for team Loxley, as Matthew faced off against ‘Yozza’ Jamie Hughes – who Ryan defeated in the L32 on Monday in the PDC Grand Slam qualifiers. With Jamie seemingly dipping in, and out of form as of late, Matthew knows he can take nothing for granted, and must be ‘on it’ from the first dart, to the last.
Altogether a poor performance from Matthew, as he suffered a 6-0 whitewash defeat, with an inspired Jamie Hughes averaging 95.9, in comparison to Matthew’s 82.2. There were chances for Matthew throughout the match, which unfortunately he failed to convert, allowing Jamie to put himself into an unassailable lead. Two defeats from two for Matthew – he’ll need to be on top form tomorrow, with his Tour Card now potentially at stake!
Winless in his opening two games of the week, Aaron will look to put matters right and claim his third Pro-Tour win of the year, as he faced Michael Barnard for a place in the L64. With a disappointing performance yesterday, Aaron will want to bounce back, and claim Loxley’s first win of the PDC Winter Series.
This he did, defeating Michael to progress into the L64, for the third time in his career! A 6-4 win, averaging 77.6 – it wasn’t pretty, but he got the job done, setting up a tantalising tie against Dutch star Martijn Kleermaker in the next round. A poor average from Barnard, but Aaron won’t care – capitalising on every mistake his opponent made to take home the win.
Unfortunately, Aaron couldn’t make it two wins from two, as Martijn stole a 6-5 victory, despite one of Aaron’s strongest performances on the tour so far. An 88.7 average from Aaron just wasn’t enough, with Kleermaker holding his throw for a 12 darter, denying Aaron a chance at a 121 finish for the match. Nevertheless an impressive day, with some valuable ranking money added to his total – hopefully he can build on this throughout the rest of the Winter Series!
An improvement over yesterday, yet still not the results the players were after – they’ll go again tomorrow, with two of the three hunting their first win of the week. Congratulations to Aaron in his third ProTour win – hopefully a sign of things to come this week!
Images used credited to the PDC
Author – Joe Reid