With just one win between them so far in the PDC Winter Series, team Loxley will look to rectify things today as they toe the oche for Day 3. Fresh off the back of just his third ever ProTour victory, Aaron Beeney will want to build on his progress made yesterday, as he looks for his fourth win as a PDC professional. For Ryan Searle and Matthew Edgar, a chance for redemption, with neither player so far hitting the heights found on Monday in the Grand Slam qualifier, in which they both came so close to qualification.
Up first for Ryan was young star Bradley Brooks, coming fresh off of a good run to the L32 yesterday, where he lost out to eventual finalist, Jose de Sousa. A tough task, with Brooks showing good form as of late – a big performance needed if Ryan is to progress in today’s competition.
An incredible performance from Ryan sees him through, defeating ‘Bamm-Bamm’ 6-1 in a phenomenal performance. Averaging just shy of 100, Ryan had just one leg won in over 15 darts, with Brooks managing to avoid the whitewash thanks to a 14 dart leg of his own.
The waiting game was now on for Ryan, keeping a close eye on the match between Christian Bunse, and Rowby-John Rodriguez. A tough board for Ryan, who knows victory in his next match will see him face the victor of the battle of former BDO World Champions, as Glen Durrant takes on Scott Mitchell. It was Bunse who eventually prevailed, with a stunning 98.8 average to defeat the Austrian 6-4. With both players in such good form, this match may be too tough to call.
In his best performance of the week, Ryan dismantled Christian Bunse 6-3, with a staggering 101.4 average to book his place in the L32. Powerful scoring and relentless doubling helped him to brush aside the young German, and set up a clash against, as I mentioned earlier, a former BDO World Champion.
This World Champion ended up being Glen Durrant, as the 2017, 2018 and 2019 champion defeated the 2015 champion Scott Mitchell, coming through a tense last leg decider, with both players averaging 93!
Yet again, Ryan prevailed, brushing aside the recently crowned PDC Premier League champion 6-4, in a cagey affair on the streaming board. A 92.9 average was enough for Ryan, who’s opponent never seemed to get going, with Glen averaging just 87.9. Another huge confidence boost for Ryan, who now knows the defending champion is out! Could this be Ryan’s time to add to his PDC title collection?
No time to dream just yet, as Ryan’s next opponent was revealed – Latvian star Madars Razma, who had defeated Peter Jaques, Jitse van der Wal and Ted Evetts on his way to setting up a clash with ‘Heavy Metal’ in the L16, as he looked to reach his first ProTour quarter-final in nearly two years.
In another close encounter, Ryan once again ran out as the victor, edging past Madars with a fantastic 126 checkout to seal the match. Both players averaged 88, and yet it was Ryan who managed to find the extra gear, coming from 2-0 down to win 6-4. The quarter-final beckoned, with Ryan not having to wait long to discover his next opponent.
It was William O’Connor, former PDC World Cup finalist, who was tasked with trying to stop Ryan as he looked to double his PDC title tally. With the news that the man-of-the-moment Michael Smith had been knocked out, both players believed that they could be the PDC Winter Series Day 3 champion!
Despite a well timed 140 checkout from Ryan, he could do little to stop the onslaught from William O’Connor, as he fell to a 6-3 defeat at the quarter-final stage of the competition. Despite scoring well, his doubling let him down at key times, with three of O’Connor’s legs potentially going the other way. Nevertheless, a good day for Ryan, with valuable ranking money attained – his PDC Winter Series campaign is now well and truly underway!
For Matthew, he faces his first round opponent from Tuesday, as he takes on Jelle Klaasen for a place in the L64. Matthew will be focused on forgetting about their previous meeting, in which he squandered a 5-2 lead, allowing Jelle to capitalise on missed doubles to rattle off the last 4 legs in quick succession.
Worrying signs now for Matthew, as he falls to his third consecutive defeat in the PDC Winter Series. A poor performance from, averaging 85.4, allowed Jelle to coast home to a 6-3 win, averaging 96.7 – over 11 points higher than his opponent. All to do now for Matthew, who needs to pick up some ranking money in the next two days, should he wish to retain his Tour Card for another year.
A chance for Aaron to progress for the second consecutive day, as he faces a former winner on the ProTour, Joe Murnan, who won his sole PDC title back in 2015, in a ProTour event held in Crawley. Aaron will want to repeat his performance from yesterday’s clash against Martijn Kleermaker, knowing an average around the 90 mark may be enough to see him through.
It may not have been the 90 average I’d suggested, but despite averaging 11 points less in the averages, Aaron secured his second win in as many days to push himself into the L64. In a typical case of averages meaning very little, Aaron took his chances brilliantly, with a well timed 180 in the deciding leg allowing him a chance at D18, which he took to move into the L64. Fantastic courage from him!
Up next was ‘The Silencer’ Jeff Smith, who defeated Jamie Hughes in a thrilling match earlier in the afternoon. A 6-4 win for Smith, averaging 97.5 in what was one of the highest combined averages of the day so far, with Hugest himself averaging 95.7. Top form needed from Aaron, if he wishes to progress to the L32 for the first time in his career.
It wasn’t meant to be, as Aaron fell to a 6-0 defeat at the hands of ‘The Silencer’. In a ruthless performance, Jeff averaged 103.7, affording Aaron just one solitary dart at double – a shot at bullseye in the final leg, unfortunately falling into the single 19. Another impressive day from Aaron, who is showing signs of improvement every time he steps up to the oche. More of the same tomorrow!
Some good signs today from team Loxley, with an incredible quarter-final run from Ryan Searle the highlight of the week so far! Another impressive day from Aaron Beeney, as he earned his second win of the week, with a hard fought match deservingly going his way. Disappointment yet again for Matthew Edgar, who desperately needs to find the form he showed on Monday in the Grand Slam qualifier. Still all to play for!
Picture credited to the PDC
Author – Joe Reid