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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European Darts Trophy Won By Michael van Gerwen

European Darts Trophy Won By Michael van Gerwen

Michael Van Gerwen European Darts Trophy

Another week, another tournament, another win for Michael van Gerwen. This time Mighty Mike produced a tantalising display in the European Darts Trophy final where he comfortably saw off the challenge from James ‘The Machine’ Wade. The game was a repeat of this year’s European Darts Grand Prix final in Sindelfingen which lead to the same result.

The world number one, whose latest win was his 18th individual title of the season, chucked an average of 111.27 as he ran out the 8-3 winner, closing with a 170 checkout at the Lokhalle. The Dutchman also managed to land another two 100+ checkouts, five 180s while also hitting eight of his 13 attempts at doubles to put Wade firmly in his place.

During the weekend, MVG averaged over 100 in Gottingen, as he scooped his eighth European Tour title of the year so far. In total, he played five games starting with a 6-2 win over fellow Dutchman Vincent van der Voort. He followed this up with 6-4 victory over Stephen Bunting when he hit another five 180s during the Sunday afternoon session. MGV then kicked the evening games with a 106.53, 6-2 win over Daryl ‘Superchin’ Gurney.

From there, he moved on to Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith, who was seen off in a 7-2 win in the semi-finals. Mighty Mike’s opponent in the final, James Wade, was appearing in his fourth PDC final of the season and his second on the European Tour. On his way there, he beat Toni Alcinas 6-4, Darren Webster 6-3, Rob Cross 6-3 and Richard North 7-4 in the semi-finals.

It’s a quiet weekend for the big names as they look forward to next week’s European Darts Championship , which takes place at the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany. We will take a deeper look at the event next week but early prices on an outright win are already up.

Michael van Gerwen, 8/11, is the odds-on favourite, followed in the betting somewhat surprisingly by Mensur Suljovic who is priced at 8/1. Peter Wright is third in the betting also at 8/1, ahead of Rob Cross at 11’s, Michael Smith at 18/1 and Daryl Gurney at 22/1. All of the above prices are available at the online bookmakers Betway.

PDC Events Calendar 2018

  • Oct 25 2018 – Oct 28 2018: European Championship, Westfalenhalle, Dortmund (ITV Sport)

November

  • Nov 2 2018 – Nov 4 2018: 2018 World Series of Darts Finals, Multiversum, Schwechat, Vienna (ITV Sport)
  • Nov 10 2018 – Nov 18 2018: Grand Slam of Darts, Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton (Sky Sports)
  • Nov 23 2018 – Nov 25 2018: Players Championship Finals, Butlin’s Minehead Resort, Minehead (ITV Sport)

December

  • Dec 13 2018 – Jan 1 2019: World Championship, Alexandra Palace, London (Sky Sports)
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