The second players championship event of the season took place on Sunday at the Metrodome Leisure Complex in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
Outside of the venue Storm Ciara was causing chaos but inside there was also a storm! A storm of players that is!
The players returned for another crack to bag themselves some silverware under their belts. Yesterday’s thrilling action saw Gary Anderson win his first singles title since the 2018 Champions League in PC 1, beating Jeff Smith 8-4 in the final. Could Anderson do the double? Or will it be someone else’s turn to claim some silverware?
Gary Anderson’s hopes of the double were ended at the first hurdle! The two time world champion lost 6-5 to Steve Beaton! It was a nip and tuck game throughout but an 86 checkout and a 12 darter gave the Adonis victory!
Michael van Gerwen was safely through into the second round after beating Harry Ward 6-3, despite Ward averaging nearly 100. Jamie Hughes put in a superb 104 average in beating Robert Thornton 6-2 with the reigning world champion Peter Wright averaging 102 in his 6-3 victory over Finland’s Marko Kantele. Jonny Clayton averaged 100 in his 6-4 win over Darren Webster with Dirk van Duijvenbode also averaging 100 in his 6-2 win over William Borland. Jose de Sousa averaged the highest in the first round! A 107.2 average helped the Portugese beat Kim Huybrechts 6-2 with Huybrechts averaging over 100 in defeat. Another one with a 100 average was Lisa Ashton! The 49 year old claimed her first match victory on the pro tour, defeating Christian Bunse 6-3!
Keegan Brown averaged 104.8 in his 6-2 over Poland’s Krzysztof Kciuk and Brown’s performance featured the third 9 darter of the weekend, which won him the match. Brown took out an unconventional route, hitting back to back scores of 177, then taking out 147 for perfection! Another nine darter was also hit in the first round! It was Scott Baker who did it in the third leg of his match against Danny Noppert, going the common route with two 180’s and a 141 finish! However Baker went on to lose the match in a decider!
Other players who comfortably won their first round matches were Mensur Suljovic (6-3 over Damon Heta), Stephen Bunting (6-2 over Aaron Beeney), James Wade (6-1 over Nathan Derry), Nathan Aspinall (6-1 over Carl Wilkinson), Ian White (6-1 over Alan Tabern), Daryl Gurney (6-2 over Andy Boulton), Michael Smith (6-2 over Karel Sedlacek) and Krzysztof Ratajski (6-3 over Ted Evetts).
Some of the top players needed a battle to book their places. Gerwyn Price survived 10 match darts from Spain’s Toni Alcinas to once again survive 6-5 in the first round. Adrian Lewis needed to come from 3-1 behind to defeat Croatia’s Boris Krcmar 6-4. Dave Chisnall survived a second first round exit of the weekend after edging past Luke Humphries 6-5. It was the second time that Humphries lost in a decider in the first round this weekend! Glen Durrant survived another test in the first round, this time from Jan Dekker! The Smoggie came through to win 6-4.
However some of the top players departed in Round 1. Chris Dobey lost 6-4 to Steve West, Max Hopp was thrashed 6-0 by Huddersfield Town fan Peter Jacques, Jeffrey de Zwaan lost 6-3 to Ross Smith, Simon Whitlock lost 6-3 to Ryan Joyce, Dimitri Van den Bergh lost 6-3 to Ryan Murray, Joe Cullen lost 6-4 to the returning Andy Hamilton and the biggest casualty was the 2018 world champion Rob Cross! He lost in a decider to Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas.
Michael van Gerwen averaged 100 in his win over Mike De Decker, however the world number one needed to survive a scare in coming back from 3-1 down to defeat the young Belgian 6-4. Ian White averaged nearly 102 in his 6-1 win over Mike van Duivenbode with Jonny Clayton coming through a decider against Conan Whitehead, despite the Welshman averaging 102! Danny Noppert averaged 100 once again as he beat Adam Hunt 6-3 with Glen Durrant slamming home a 102 and a half average in whitewashing Wigan’s Martin Atkins 6-0! Mickey Mansell also averaged 100 in beating Ryan Murray 6-3.
However two players averaged over 100 in the second round and still lost! John Henderson averaged 101 but lost 6-4 to Jason Lowe, who averaged 105 in victory. Luke Woodhouse averaged nearly 104 but it wasn’t enough to beat Michael Smith (who averaged nearly 103), losing 6-2!
Other notable winners in the second round were Peter Wright (6-1 over Nick Kenny), Adrian Lewis (6-1 over Justin Pipe) and Gerwyn Price (6-2 over John Michael). A few survived big scares such as James Wade (6-5 over Martin Schindler), Dave Chisnall (6-4 over Matt Clark), Nathan Aspinall (6-4 over Peter Jacques) and Steve Beaton (6-5 over Wayne Jones).
A few big casualties went out at this stage! Mervyn King lost 6-5 to Ryan Searle, Mensur Suljovic lost 6-3 to Maik Kuivenhoven, Stephen Bunting lost 6-3 to Gabriel Clemens, Daryl Gurney lost 6-5 to Jeff Smith, Ricky Evans lost 6-3 to Dirk van Duijvenbode and Krzysztof Ratajski lost 6-4 to Niels Zonneveld. There was also disappointment for Lisa Ashton too as she fell 6-2 to Darius Labanauskas.
Michael van Gerwen keep on the charge as he beat Ryan Searle comfortably 6-2 to book his place in the last 16. Nathan Aspinall averaged 103 in his match against Keegan Brown but the man from Stockport needed to win a deciding leg to progress! James Wade came through a tricky test against Steve West, winning 6-4. Peter Wright cruised through with a 6-2 win over Brendan Dolan with Gerwyn Price breezing past Ryan Joyce 6-0. Michael Smith survived a test against Darius Labanauskas with Bully Boy winning 6-4.
Dave Chisnall was one of the big names to fall at this stage. The five time major runner up lost 6-2 to Jason Lowe! Other big names that went out were Adrian Lewis (lost 6-1 to Jose De Sousa), Glen Durrant (lost 6-1 to Dirk van Duijvenbode), Steve Beaton (lost 6-5 to Kirk Shepherd) and finally Ian White who despite averaging 106, still lost 6-3 to two time BDO world champion Scott Waites!
Jamie Hughes produced the upset of the round as he finally defeated Michael van Gerwen for the first time in his career. The Tipton thrower led the world number one 4-1 and 5-2 before Van Gerwen produced a typical comeback to level at 5-5! Hughes was first to a double in a decider and he held his nerve for a famous victory and eliminate the disappointment of not beating him in the World Grand Prix back in October. Hughes would face Gabriel Clemens in the quarter finals after the German put in a 100.3 average to beat James Wade 6-4.
World champion Peter Wright also booked his place into the quarters after beating Portugal’s Jose De Sousa 6-2. The first four legs were shared but the world champion won four legs in a row to progress. Both players averaged over 100 in that match. Wright averaged 104.8. De Sousa averaged 101.2. Wright would face Nathan Aspinall in the quarter finals after the Asp came from 3-2 down to beat Jason Lowe 6-3.
Dover’s Ross Smith blew away Scott Waites in their last 16 match. The former lorry driver ran down the former carpenter 6-1! Smith would face Dirk van Duijvenbode in the quarter finals after the Dutchman came from 5-4 down to beat Canadian Jeff Smith in a decider, preventing an all Smith quarter final clash!
Gerwyn Price survived another last leg decider of the day when he took on Michael Smith. The Welshman won the first two legs before Smith levelled up at 2-2! Both players shared the next six legs before Price took out 76 to seal the victory! He would face Mickey Mansell in the quarter finals after the Northern Irishman defeated former world finalist Kirk Shepherd 6-2.
Peter Wright faced Nathan Aspinall in a match that would live long in the pro tour memory! Aspinall raced out of the blocks with a 90 finish and a 17 darter to lead 2-0 before Peter Wright responded with a 12 (featuring a 154 finish) and a 13 darter to get back level. Aspinall won the next two in 14 and 12 darts to go two ahead again before Wright posted home 116 and 96 checkouts for 4-4! Then Nathan Aspinall produced a moment of magic in the ninth by hitting THE THIRD NINE DARTER OF THE DAY! The Asp began with a 177, then a 180 and then took out 144 for perfection! Absolutely stunning! Aspinall then took out a cracking 137 finish to secure an incredible win!
The averages of the match? Nathan Aspinall averaged 117.4 with Wright averaging 113.7! Combining those averages together would total up to 231.1, beating that of the highest combined average ever in a darts match! The previous record was 230.5 in PC30 last year between Max Hopp and Ian White. Aspinall would face Gabriel Clemens in the semi finals after the German coasted past Jamie Hughes 6-2!
Gerwyn Price put in a stunning display to beat Mickey Mansell 6-0. The Welshman averaged a supreme 106, taking out finishes of 100, 81 and 130 along the way. He would face Dirk van Duijvenbode in the semi finals after the Dutchman survived a comeback against Ross Smith. Dirk lead 4-0 before Smith closed it to 5-4, but the Dutchman took out 60 in the tenth to fall over the line.
The semi final in the top half of the draw was between Nathan Aspinall and Gabriel Clemens. Unfortunatley for Clemens he would be another victim of another superb Aspinall performance. The Asp cruised to a 7-0 whitewash win, needing 102 darts to book his place into the final. Clemens only had darts at a double in three of those legs! Aspinall averaged 103.2, his third ton plus average in six matches. A deserved appearance in the final from Aspinall and could he go on to secure his first PC title since 2018?
The semi final in the bottom half of the draw was between Dirk van Duijvenbode and Gerwyn Price. Price plucked out a 76 finish in the first before Van Duijvenbode won the next two (an 80 finish in leg 3) to go ahead 2-1. Price won the next two (including a 91 finish) to go back ahead before Van Duijvenbode once again got back ahead by winning the next two! However Price rode on an extra gear after that, winning four in a row to secure a 7-4 victory and reach his fifth final in 32 PC events. Could the Welshman go on and win his sixth PC title?
After another long day it was time for the final of PC 2 to commence. It featured Nathan Aspinall against Gerwyn Price. Aspinall beat Carl Wilkinson, Peter Jacques, Keegan Brown, Jason Lowe, Peter Wright and Gabriel Clemens on his route to the final whilst Price beat Toni Alcinas, John Michael, Ryan Joyce, Michael Smith, Mickey Mansell and Dirk van Duijvenbode on his route to the final. Could Aspinall win his first PC title since PC 18 back in 2018 or will Price bag his sixth?
First blood went to Aspinall after he picked out double 8, then took out 72 on tops to double his advantage. Price then took out 66 on tops to finally get on the board before Aspinall took the fourth to go 3-1 ahead. Price took out 77 on double 10 to go one behind again before the Asp dished up 93 on double 18 for a 4-2 lead. Aspinall then went three legs clear for the first time thanks to an 11 darter on double 16 then went 6-2 ahead after posting 60 on tops. Aspinall then moved to within a leg of glory thanks to an 81 finish on double 18 before Price hit double 13 for an 81 finish of his own to stay alive. But it was Aspinall’s day as the 28 year old from Stockport took out tops for a 68 finish and win the second PC title of his career, winning by 8 legs to 3!
A thoroughly deserved PC title victory for Nathan Aspinall who averaged over 100 in four of his seven matches today, hit a 9 darter and also played his part in the highest combined average match ever in the PDC in his quarter final clash against world champion Peter Wright! After losing in three PC event finals last year he finally bags one on his second attempt in 2020. It’s a day that the Asp will remember for the rest of his life!
“I’ve never thrown darts like that, the last two hours of play I just felt like I wasn’t going to miss,” said PC 2 winner Aspinall. “To throw such a big average against the World Champion makes it even more special.”
“This weekend I’ve felt brilliant and I’ve beaten some quality players, I’m very happy to win my second ProTour title.
“I’m still on cloud nine to be in the Premier League. I’m still new to this game, I’m still learning.”
“I know what I can do and I want to show it more consistently.”