Joe Cullen Wins First European Tour Title

Joe Cullen Wins First European Tour Title

Joe Cullen European Darts

Playing in his first ranking final on a stage, Joe ‘The Rockstar’ Cullen put in a series of brilliant performances at the European Darts Matchplay in Mannheim last weekend, which culminated in him winning the event at the expense of the world champion Michael van Gerwen, who was defending his title.

Since bagging a pair of minor PDC titles back in 2017, Cullen had been expected to become a major player on the circuit, challenging regularly for the top honours. Instead though, he drifted down the ranks while others came from relative obscurity – we’re looking at you Rob Cross – to win the biggest events in darts.

Instead, the closest Cullen came to challenging was running Gary Anderson extremely close in the 2018 World Matchplay quarter-finals and almost making the European Championship final only to fall at the last against Simon Whitlock.

A look back at the action

Last week though, he demonstrated that there was still a player in there as he saw off Jamie Hughes, William O’Connor, Glen Durrant and James Wade before his showdown with Mighty Mike where he would go on to average 101.3 compared to MVG’s 100.18.

Once in the final, the 29-year-old brought the crowd to their feet by scoring a 170 checkout in the seventh leg to move 5-2 up. This was a feat he repeated later to finish from 88, and by doing so, he would clinch an 8-5 victory courtesy of a match-winning 14-darter.

Cullen also managed to successfully convert 17 attempts at doubles while his Dutch opponent wasted 12 of his 17.

Mighty Mike may have lost last weekend’s final to Mensur Suljovic in Austria but got his revenge this time around in Germany by seeing off The Gentle 6-4 in the third round. This was before dismissing Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 in the quarter-finals and seeing off Dave Chisnall, his eleventh straight win against Chizzy, 7-1 in the last four.

2019 International Darts Open Betting Tips

Play now moves on to the German town of Riesa for this year’s International Darts Open. It is the 12th in a series of 13 European Tour events throughout 2019 and will see 48 players competing at the Sachsenarena from September 13-15. As with all European Tour events, all the action is streamed on PDC TV.

The first round takes place on Friday but it isn’t until Saturday that we will see the 16 seeded players enter the event in round two. Names to look out for at this stage include reigning champion Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and number one seed Ian ‘Diamond’ White. Sadly, Michael van Gerwen and Dave Chisnall have withdrawn with their places going to Host Nation Qualifiers (HNQ) who will be competing earlier than the others except for the South & West Europe Qualifiers (SWEQ).

The betting lines for the event have been shaken up. Rob Voltage’ Cross is the favourite for the event, helped by MVG’s withdrawal. Betway value the Hastings chucker at 5/1. Second favourite is reserved for Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright at 11/2, and while either of these two are worth considering, this event last year was picked up by Gerwyn Price, who is 10/1 and more than twice the value than those ahead of him.

Daryl Gurney, Glen Durrant and Mensur Suljovic are also fancied at 10/1 with the latter at least picking up a trophy in the last few weeks. Ian White, the number one seed, is priced at 12’s, while Dave ‘Chizzy’ Chisnall is at 18/1. Nathan Aspinall is available at 20/1, while last week’s hero Joe Cullen is a 22/1 to repeat last week’s heroics. Others are, of course, available.

2019 International Darts Open Schedule of Play

Friday September 13

First Round

  • Harry Ward v Reece Robinson
  • William O’Connor v Benito van de Pas
  • HNQ1 v Justin Pipe
  • Arron Monk v Kyle Anderson
  • John Henderson v Brett Claydon
  • James Richardson v HNQ2
  • Mickey Mansell v Danny Noppert
  • WSEQ2 v HNQ6
  • Richard North v Boris Koltsov
  • Daniel Larsson v Steve West
  • Ritchie Edhouse v WSEQ1
  • HNQ5 v Luke Woodhouse
  • Adam Hunt v Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Andy Boulton v HNQ3
  • Joe Murnan v Jelle Klaasen
  • Davy Van Baelen v HNQ4

Saturday September 14

Second Round

  • Nathan Aspinall v HNQ1/Pipe
  • Krzysztof Ratajski v WSEQ2/HNQ6
  • Glen Durrant v Richardson/HNQ2
  • Rob Cross v Henderson/Claydon
  • Adrian Lewis v O’Connor/Van de Pas
  • Daryl Gurney v Mansell/Noppert
  • Steve Beaton v HNQ5/Woodhouse
  • Gerwyn Price v Monk/Anderson
  • Ricky Evans v Hunt/Van den Bergh
  • Jamie Hughes v Larsson/West
  • Jonny Clayton v Boulton/HNQ3
  • Jeffrey de Zwaan v Murnan/Klaasen
  • Joe Cullen v Van Baelen/HNQ4
  • Ian White v North/Koltsov
  • Mensur Suljovic v Ward/Robinson
  • Peter Wright v Edhouse/WSEQ1

Sunday September 15

  • Third Round
  • Quarter-Finals
  • Semi-Finals
  • Final

QUICK GLANCE AT THE INTERNATIONAL DARTS OPEN

Venue: Sachsenarena, Riesa, Germany
Dates: Friday September 13th – Sunday September 15th 2019
Format: Best of 11, 13 & 15 legs
Current Champion: Gerwyn Price
Where To Watch: PDC TV
When To Watch: (1100 & 1715 BST)

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Local Hero Mensur Suljovic Wins In Austria

Local Hero Mensur Suljovic Wins In Austria

Mensur Suljovic Austria

The Gentle Mensur Suljovic returned to his homeland last weekend where he scooped the Austrian Darts Championship in Vienna after he beat Michael van Gerwen 8-7 in Sunday’s final at the Multiversum Schwechat.

The title is actually his first won in his home city and his third PDC European Tour title overall. He nearly disappointed his home crowd again, however, as his victory required an unlikely dramatic comeback from 6-3 down against the world number one.

Suljovic overcomes deficit

Going into the weekend, MVG was the hot favourite to win his third PDC title in succession and 13th match victory in a row, after taking down back-to-back World Series events in Melbourne and New Zealand. All the more so after surging into an early 2-0 lead.

By leg six though, Suljovic had leveled things at 3-3 after taking full advantage of three missed Mighty Mike doubles. The closing of the gap however only served to anger MVG into life and he duly took the next three to move 6-3 up.

But then the world champion wobbled, missing four doubles in the tenth leg when it was Suljovic’s turn to take advantage. The Gentle pulled the game back level again after he cleared 121 and 86 to the delight of his Vienna support.

There was still time for MVG to go ahead once more, capitalising on a Suljovic miss at double 15 that would have completed a 150 checkout. Instead, Mighty Mike cleared up before Suljovic took the game to a decider by holding throw in leg 14.

Even then, in the final leg MVG hit a timely 180 to make it to a finish only to miss bull leaving Suljovic a chance on his return. The Gentle rounded off a memorable weekend back home after he checked out 70 on his favoured double 14 to lift the trophy and become only the sixth player to win three or more European Tour titles.

Suljovic had earlier in the weekend enjoyed wins over James Wilson, Ian White and Vincent van der Voort to move into the final, while van Gerwen racked up the scalps of Kyle Anderson, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Ricky Evans and Peter Wright respectively to reach the final.

European Darts Matchplay Betting Tips

Play now moves on to the European Darts Matchplay in Mannheim, the eleventh of thirteen events on the European Tour calendar. The action gets underway on Friday, September 6 at around 1200 GMT.

Last year’s tourney provided another win for Michael van Gerwen who defeated William O’Connor in the final and he is, of course, back to defend his title this weekend coming and is the 5/4 favourite with bookmakers Betway to do exactly that.

Rob Cross, James Wade and Glen Durrant will all return to European Tour action having sat things out in Vienna. Cross takes his place as the third favourite at 8/1, while Wade and Duzza are priced at 22/1 and 25/1 respectively.

Other UK Qualifiers include Jamie Hughes (50/1), Mark McGeeney (125/1), Simon Whitlock (66/1) and Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith (18/1), while Jeffrey de Zwaan (40/1) and Max Hopp (66/1) will line up as the European Qualifiers.

Other names to look out for include second favourite Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright who is fancied as a 7/1 shot, Gerwyn Price 20/1, Daryl Gurney 20/1, Ian White 18/1 and the week’s hero Mensur Suljovic who is listed as 20/1. Dave Chisnall (25/2), Adrian Lewis (50/1) and Nathan Aspinall (22/1) will also be taking part in Germany.

QUICK GLANCE AT EUROPEAN DARTS MATCHPLAY

Venue: Maimarkthalle, Mannheim
Dates: Friday 06.09.2019
Format: Best of 11- 15 legs
Current Champion: Michael van Gerwen
Where To Watch: PDC TV
When To Watch: (1200 & 1600 BST)

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Michael van Gerwen Wins New Zealand Darts Masters

Michael van Gerwen Wins New Zealand Darts Masters

MVG New Zealand Darts Masters

Two Dutch legends met in the final of the New Zealand Darts Masters in the early hours of Sunday morning when Michael van Gerwen thrashed Raymond van Barneveld 8-1 to take his second World Series title in a week.

In a repeat of last year’s corresponding final in Auckland, Mighty Mike was just too good for his compatriot and won his latest title with ease in front of a 4000-strong crowd at the Claudelands Arena in Hamilton.

The game’s fate was sealed almost immediately as Barney missed three darts at doubles in the opening two legs which allowed MVG to open up a 2-0 lead. That lead would soon be stretched to 5-0 as van Gerwen broke again with a 100 checkout in the second of the following three sets he reeled off.

Down 5-0, Barney finally did get a score on the board after he landed a double ten in the sixth leg. Sadly for the retiring legend, this was to be his only point of the match as the world number one would go on to claim the next three legs and walk away with yet another title, his 14th World Series title overall.

Earlier on in the day, MVG had produced a brilliant 8-5 win over Gary Anderson in a repeat of the final in Melbourne a week earlier. Mighty Mike followed that with a semi-final clash with former world champion Rob Cross, who he overcame in an 8-3 victory to secure a place in the final in Hamilton.

Barney’s route to the final saw him take on Daryl Gurney in the last eight, where he would run out the 8-6 winner. From there, he moved on to James Wade in the semi-final, where he sealed an 8-5 victory to set up the all-Dutch clash with van Gerwen.

Austrian Darts Championship Betting Tips Defending Champion

Our heroes now return to the European circuit and this week are back on European Tour duty as competitive play moves on to Schwechat in Austria t. The 2019 Austrian Darts Championship will take place on August 30 through September 1 and will see the return of the European Tour after a short break down under.

The top 16 players all receive a bye in the first round so we will need to wait a day to see number one seed Michael van Gerwen get his campaign underway. Mighty Mike will be aiming to make it three titles in three weekends after two World Series triumphs and is 11/10 with Betway to do precisely that. There is no Gary Anderson or Rob Cross this week so Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright goes in as the second favourite at the distant price of 7/1, slightly lower than Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith’s 9/1.

Things drift even further until Daryl Gurney’s 12/1 and Gerwyn Price’s 16/1. Mensur Suljovic will be the home favourite as the number seven seed. The Gentle is available for 20/1 as is Nathan Aspinall, while Dave Chisnall is 25/1 ahead of the rest of what is a packed field for a three-day event.

Austrian Darts Championship 2019 Schedule of Play

Friday August 30 (First Round)

  • William O’Connor v Brendan Dolan
  • James Wilson v Gavin Carlin
  • Adam Gawlas v Ross Smith
  • Ted Evetts v Host Nation Qualifier 2
  • Cameron Menzies v West/South European Qualifier 2
  • Host Nation Qualifier 5 v Cor Dekker
  • Justin Pipe v Vincent van der Voort
  • Jermaine Wattimena v Christian Bunse
  • Host Nation Qualifier 1 v Kirk Shepherd
  • Mark Webster v Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Luke Humphries v Jamie Hughes
  • Host Nation Qualifier 4 v Keegan Brown
  • West/South European Qualifier 1 v Chris Dobey
  • Rowby-John Rodriguez v Josh Payne
  • Jeffrey de Zwaan v Host Nation Qualifier 3
  • Kyle Anderson v Stephen Bunting

Saturday August 31 (Second Round)

  • Steve Beaton v Wilson/Carlin
  • Simon Whitlock v Pipe/Van der Voort
  • Gerwyn Price v O’Connor/Dolan
  • Dave Chisnall v Host Nation Qualifier 5/Dekker
  • Ricky Evans v Host Nation Qualifier 1/Shepherd
  • Michael Smith v Menzies/ West/South European Qualifier 2
  • Ian White v Evetts/ Host Nation Qualifier 2
  • Adrian Lewis v Wattimena/Bunse
  • Nathan Aspinall v Host Nation Qualifier 4/Brown
  • Daryl Gurney v Rodriguez/Payne
  • Jonny Clayton v West/South European Qualifier 1/Dobey
  • Peter Wright v M Webster/Van den Bergh
  • Mensur Suljovic v Gawlas/R Smith
  • Joe Cullen v Humphries/Hughes
  • Michael van Gerwen v Anderson/Bunting
  • Darren Webster v De Zwaan/ Host Nation Qualifier 3

Sunday September 1

  • Third Round
  • Quarter-Finals
  • Semi-Finals
  • Final

QUICK GLANCE AT THE AUSTRIAN DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP

Venue: Multiversum Schwechat
Dates: August 30 – September 1
Format: Best of 11-15 legs
Current Champion: N/A
Where To Watch: PDC TV
When To Watch: (12.00, 18.15 GMT)

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