With the PDC’s first ever Winter Series coming to a close, the three Loxley sponsored players know what’s at stake, with each aiming for their own individual goals come the end of the day. A contrasting week for the three, with each hitting different heights in the final five Players Championship events of the PDC darts season.
For Ryan Searle, he’ll look to continue his good form over the last two days, with a quarter final, and L16 placing attained through solid, consistent performances. A turbulent week for Matthew Edgar, who comes into the final day winless – despite an incredible, confidence boosting performance on Monday in the PDC Grand Slam qualifier, where he (along with fellow Loxley professional Ryan Searle), lost out in the final qualifying round. Aaron Beeney will, like Ryan, look to build on the form he’s demonstrated throughout the week, having doubled his PDC win tally, achieving first round success on day two and three of the competition.
Coming fresh off the back of his L16 defeat to Adrian Lewis yesterday evening, Ryan will look to put that behind him, as he looks for another good run to put himself in with a shout of Grand Slam qualification through the PDC Winter Series Order of Merit. His opponent was, ironically, Adrian yet again, allowing Ryan the opportunity to gain revenge on his fellow countryman and progress to the second round.
Despite Ryan leading 5-3, Adrian fought back well to earn his second victory over ‘Heavy Metal’ in as many days. A steady 90.9 average was not enough for Searle to progress, with a fantastic 14 dart leg from Lewis to hold throw and take the match 6-5. Despite his loss, positives can always be found – thanks to other results going his way, Ryan achives his goal of Grand Slam qualification, as well as qualifying for both the PDC World Championship next month, as well as the upcoming PDC Players Championship Finals – in the latter, Ryan will enter as 16th seed, facing Callan Rydz in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.
The pressure now well, and truly on – one last chance for Matthew to move up the rankings. Should he fall early today, his PDC career will rest in the balance, depending solely on the upcoming PDC World Championship qualifier. His opponent for today was Niels Zonneveld, who, like Matthew, is hunting down an elusive spot at the PDC Players Championship Finals.
It may have been his best performance of the week, with a staggering 101.4 average, but for the fifth time this weekend, Matthew falls at the first hurdle. An equally impressive performance from Niels, with a 99.8 average, was enough for him to steal away a 6-4 win. Heartbreak for Matthew, who now knows he has it all to do in the coming weeks if he wishes to retain his status as a PDC professional.
After a disappointing day yesterday, Aaron will look to find his form again in time for the PDPA World Championship qualifiers – the perfect opportunity to do so today, and in turn, end the PDC Winter Series on a high! Up first would be Mickey Mansell, in what could be a close fought encounter.
This proved true, with Mickey running out a deserving 6-4 winner. It seemed the tank was empty for Aaron, who afforded too many chances to his opponent early on. Poor opening legs allowed Mickey to begin to stretch out a lead – by the time Aaron had regained his form, it was too late, with Mickey holding his throw in 18 darts to seal the win, and end Aaron’s chances of progressing in the final Players Championship event.
So, that’s the end of the PDC Winter Series! Positives to take from Ryan, Matthew and Aaron’s performances over the course of the week, with all three now heading home to hit the practice board. Up next for Ryan is the Players Championship finals, while both Aaron and Matthew will wait for the PDPA World Championship Qualifier, in the hope of making it to the Alexandra Palace in December.
Well done to all three this weekend! Heads up, and heads on ready for the next one!
Images used credited to the PDC
Author – Joe Reid