On Valentines day we said that this past weekend was going to be a big weekend of darts and so it proved. Our round up of the darts weekend is special for us at Darts Mad for a number of reasons.
The weekend kicked off in style with a double header of Euro tour qualifiers taking place in Wigan. The first qualifier was for the upcoming event in Hasselt, Belgium, and you can read all about who qualified for the Belgian Darts Championship here
The action was straight on to the second qualifier, this time for the European Darts Grand Prix. Among those securing double qualification were newcomer Darren Penhall and veteran Mervyn King. The qualifier also ensured a return to the Euro Tour for Devon Peterson and JDC chief Steve Brown. The full list of qualifiers for Euro Tour is:
Josh Payne, Adam Hunt, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Steve Lennon, Michael Smith, Darren Penhall, Jeff Smith, Mervyn King, Jason Lowe, Devon Petersen, Steffen Siepmann, William O’Connor, Alan Tabern, Ryan Murray, Scott Waites, Ron Meulenkamp, Chris Dobey, Steve Brown, Danny Noppert, Simon Stevenson, Reece Robinson, Steve West, Niels Zonneveld, Richard North
Saturday dawned with many events on the agenda. The PDC Pro Tour saw events 3, and 4 take place on Saturday and Sunday, The JDC also had events 3 and 4 on their billing at Rileys Worcester, and up in Scotland the Scottish Open was taking place.
A Special Weekend of Darts
Carter Guiney at the Scottish Open
For Darts Mad this weekend was special for a number of reasons with our very own Carter Guiney making his debut representing Darts Mad on the oche. Having recently turned 16 the Scottish Open was the first event we have sent him to play in, and his first senior event on the WDF/BDO circuit.
Carter has been instructed to put enjoying himself and learning more about playing darts above any kind of pressure to win matches this season although Karaoke wasn’t perhaps what we meant Carter:
Best singer there is 👀 pic.twitter.com/1K00l8Ljnl
— Carter Guiney (@CarterGuiney1) February 16, 2020
Despite his own disappointment with the level of his play we were delighted to see Carter battle through winning his matches in round 1 and 2 before falling at the board semi-final stage. A win in the second round of the men’s pairs event completed his debut weekend. Many thanks to Wayne Warren and Paul Brown for taking Carter under their wing, having the BDO world champion and a man who looks after a number of darts stars has certainly helped in the learning part of Carter’s year in darts.
Ryan Searle wins PC3
Further delight for Darts Mad came at Wigan where having overcome a 4-1 deficit in the first round against Gerwyn Price, our very own Ryan Searle powered his way through the field to reach only his second PDC final of his career. Having lost his first final against Nathan Aspinall back in 2018 facing the Mighty MvG in his second final will have had many expecting Ryan to stay title-less.
In a high quality encounter Ryan and Michael didn’t give each other an inch, each breaking serve a couple of times along the way. Leading 7-6 and with Michael unable to complete a big checkout to send it to a decider Ryan was left with 25 to score and duly completed the trick hitting double 8 with a dart to spare.
A massive win for Ryan, a win that will hopefully give him the confidence to go on to the next level like many have predicted he can do.
Nathan Care scoops the pot at JDC 3+4
The JDC is proving to be the breeding ground of exceptional talent and with it’s founder and director having regained his pdc tour card at Q-School you can see that the tour is being led from the front.
Nathan Care is one of those exceptional young talents and he enjoyed a superb visit to Riley’s in Worcester going undefeated on the day. Nathan defeated JDC debutante Jack Barrows 5-1 in the final of event 3 having earlier beaten wonder-kid Leighton Bennett in a final leg decider at the quarter final stage.
In event 4 Nathan carried on this superb form and soon found himself in the final against Harry Martin. Despite making his first appearance in a JDC final Martin showed his talent to good effect taking out the big fish and another ton+ finish. Care wasn’t to be stopped from the daily double however and ran out a 5-2 victor to land the spoils.
Krzysztof Ratajski wins PC 4
Krzysztof Ratajski has been using new darts this year and the Polish star seems to have got the hang of them judging by his performances on Sunday. Despite twice facing match darts, including in the very first round, Ratajski hammered home 4 ton+ averages on the day as he surged to victory.
Despite only having been on the tour for a couple of years Krzysztof Ratajski is no stranger to pro tour finals, and nor is his opponent Ian Diamond White. The pair put on what can only be described as a truly magnificent final with some stunning scoring and finishing. The final served up what can possibly be the finish of the season, needing 155 to break Ratajski and send the match into the deciding leg White proceeded to find the middle of T20, the middle of T19 and the middle of D19 in a sublime 3 perfect darts.
Having been left hanging on a finish for the win you might think Ratajski would have been deflated, but those that know Krzysztof know he is very rarely rattled on the oche. With an excellent deciding leg he managed to break White for the win and the 10,000 pounds winners prize.
Scottish Open wins for Greaves and Williams
Up in Scotland the ladies singles served up a final between two of the best female players in the world as Fallon Sherrock took on the 16 year old Beau Greaves. After making their way to the final with some excellent darts it was the youngster who landed the spoils with a comfortable 5-2 victory.
Fallon’s talents have been clearly on view for us all to see in recent months with her performances at the World championships and the premier league. Going slightly under the radar Greaves has been racking up titles at an incredible rate including 7 of the last 10 ladies events she has competed in. We have said it before and we will say it again, ladies in darts are truly a force to be reckoned with and we are sure that Beau will mix it up with the best of the PDC in the years to come.
Jim Williams has been unlucky in recent times, losing the final of the BDO worlds and missing out on a tour card via Q-School but this has not damaged his appetite for winning.
Making his way through a huge field to defeat Gary Stone in the quarter final and Darren Beveridge in the semis Williams set himself up for a final with ” The Muffin Man” Steve Hine.
In the final Williams showed just how good a player he is. Dominating from the off Jim raced through to a 6-2 win averaging 99.7 in the process. The trophy and the 3000 pound check were just rewards for a great performance.
Seigo Asada and Kasumi Sato win in Japan
The weekend was rounded off over in Japan where Seigo Asada and Kasumi Sato landed the spoils at the 1st leg of the Perfect Darts Tour.
1st PERFECT Tour achievements
Winner – Seigo Asada
3rd place – Toru Suzuki
Winner – Kasumi Sato pic.twitter.com/RRlgsSwcuy
— Unicorn Darts (@UnicornDarts) February 17, 2020
Images courtesy of PDC, JDC, Dart Connect and the Scottish Open.