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MVG Wins the Dutch Darts Masters!

Great performance by Steve Lennon in Zwolle, Netherlands, as he reaches his first ever PDC finall beating the likes of Rowby-John Rodriguez, Mensur Suljovic & Kim Huybrects along the way.

Management Happy? YES!

Big weekend for Steve Lennon but it was also pretty good for Gerry Kennedy, Steve's manager! Is that the phone ringng?


Loving the Darts on the Emerald Isle!

Matt, the 'Irish Darts Fan,' is an avid follower of the tungsten pays particular attention to his fellow countrymen. News, statistics and player quotes. From O'Connor to Lennon to Dolan, darts in Ireland has nothing to do with luck, it's about the Skill of the Irish baby!


Locked n' Loaded?

Will the Irishman remain nicknameless or will he choose a catchy calling card?

Ideas? Tweet at us @HighRollerRadio

World Cup?

William O'Connor will partner with Steve Lennon for the World Cup of Darts. Daryl Gurney will play with Brendan Dolan.

MVG Wins the Dutch Darts Masters...

But Steve Lennon was "Amazing!"

By: Matt, the @IrishDartsFan


European Tour paid it's first visit to Zwolle this weekend, and what a debut it was for the new venue! A host of shock results ending up with a surprise finalist, the amazing STEVE LENNON. He gave it a great go in the final, before falling just short to Michael van Gerwen. An amazing weekend for Steve, analysed in detail below. Jason Cullen and Daryl Gurney also featured this weekend, with Daryl in particular impressing by reaching the semi finals. An amazing weekend for Irish darts, here's my stats and analysis.

"Michael was unreal today, that's why he's number one!"

- Steve Lennon

Steve Lennon

Of course I must start with the man of the moment, Steve Lennon. Steve qualified comfortably for the event in April, defeating Joe Murnan and Gary Eastwood at the expense of only 2 legs. Onto Zwolle now, and Steve came through 4 tough games to reach his first senior PDC final. It was without doubt a weekend where Steve came of age. His opening 2 games were last leg deciders, beating Rowby-John Rodriguez and James Richardson in clutch last legs.

Next up, it was the 6th seed Mensur Suljovic. Steve produced his best display so far to defeat him 6-3 to reach his first ever senior PDC semi-final. An excellent come back from 3-0 down to a 7-5 win saw him reach his first PDC senior final (he reached a few Development Tour finals last year). Unfortunately, Steve came up just short in the final against the home favourite Michael van Gerwen, losing 8-5.

"Imagine if Steve had lost that leg? The weekend could have been so different!"

An amazing weekend for the World number 51 (before the weekend), here are his stats. As I said, Steve's first game was against Rowby-John Rodriguez. Steve had to work his way back from 3-1 down, when he took the next 4 legs to lead 5-3. But Rodriguez was not finished yet. 2 solid legs brought the game to 5 a piece, before Steve regained his form to close out an excellent 13 darter on Double 12. Imagine if Steve had lost that leg, the weekend could have been so different! Steve averaged 91.5, hit 32% of his doubles and threw 3 180s in this one. Onto the Last 32 now, and Steve was due to play Rob Cross. Unfortunately, Cross was forced to withdraw from the action due to an illness. However, Steve was to profit from Rob's misfortune. An extra £1000 and a bye into the Last 16.

So, after defeating John Henderson 6-3, it was James Richardson who earned the right to face Steve Lennon. It was close all the way, going all the way to a final leg. Once again, it was Steve who prevailed. James missed a dart at bull, and it was a 21 dart leg, but Steve didn't care, he was into his first ever European Tour quarter final! An average of 87 and 55% on doubles enough to see him through.

"I was just nervous the whole time!"
- Steve Lennon, after defeatng James Richardson in dramatic fashion.

It was the quarter finals where Steve met his first seed, number 6, Mensur Suljovic. Steve burst out of the blocks into a 3-0 lead, but Mensur clawed it back to 3-2. Steve kept his head and regained his 3 leg advantage at 5-2 before closing it out 6-3. Mensur wasn't at his best, but Steve did more than enough to capitalise. An 88 average, 38% on doubles and 2 180s saw Steve into his first ever senior PDC semi final. In his way was 'The Hurricane' Kim Huybrechts. The 10th seed was playing in his second semi final of the year, and this experience paid off early on, Kim taking a 3-0 lead. Steve worked his way back to eventually tie the game at 4 all, a best of 5 match from here. Kim took the next leg, but that was all he could muster. A brilliant run of 3 legs from Steve saw him into his first senior PDC final. A 7-5 victory, Michael van Gerwen waiting. It was an 89 average, 35% on doubles as well as 2 180s which saw Steve through.

Clutch Checkouts? Yes!

1) A brilliant 143 to beat Mensur                        2) Crucial 111 checkout to break Kim Huybrechts in 11th leg                3) Then, a 119 finish for the match!

So here it was, Steve's first Pro Tour final. Of course it was against the huge home favourite van Gerwen in Zwolle. Any nerves? No, Steve holding in the first leg. However, the game turned from here. MVG reeled of 5 legs on the spin to open up a commanding lead at 5-1. The 2 shared the next 4 bringing the scoreline to 7-3. Steve took the next 2 legs, and missed 2 at Double 10 to make it 7-6, but Michael didn't give him another chance, closing it out 8-5. A 91.4 average in the final, 29% on doubles his downfall.

For the whole weekend, Steve had a 3 dart average of 89.3. Incredibly, this is down on what he achieved in numerous previous European Tour events where he only reached the Last 32. This only shows how important timing, and a bit of luck are. His 36% on doubles is impressive, as are his 10 180s, 2 per match. Steve's performances this week will prove to be hugely important in certain Order of Merits in the weeks to come. Having earned £10,000 for reaching the final, Steve has climbed into the Top 50 in the Order of Merit and the Top 32 of the Pro Tour rankings for the first time. Both incredible achievements.

What makes this week even more important, is that he is provisionally in the Pro Tour spots for the World Matchplay, the World Grand Prix and the World Championships at the end of the year. There is a lot of darts to be played yet, but these are great signs! Just want to say finally, congratulations to Steve and his management team of Gerry Kennedy at Shamrock Darts Management on this incredible display. Everyone at home is really happy for you, and we are all delighted to see you do so well!

Daryl Gurney

Moving on now to Daryl Gurney, and Daryl was also impressive this weekend, although his performances will be overshadowed by Steve's run. Wins over Cristo Reyes and Mervyn King brought him to the quarter finals where he met Stephen Bunting. Daryl dispatched of Bunting 6-2 to set up a semi final tie with the crowd favourite Michael van Gerwen. Daryl took a 6-2 lead before missing 3 match darts and losing 7-6. A devestating loss for Daryl, here are his stats from the weekend's action.

Gurney defeats Spaniard Cristo Reyes in Round of 32.

His first opponent was Cristo Reyes in the Last 32. It was a high quality game with Daryl averaging over 100 with Cristo not far behind. Eventually, Daryl ran out 6-4 winner. A 102 average, 50% on doubles and 2 180s. Excellent stuff from Daryl early on. It was Mervyn King in the Last 16, a potentially extremely dangerous opponent. However, he was no match for Daryl, who won out 6-2 to book his spot in the quarters. A 98.5 3 dart average, a super 60% on doubles and 3 180s,

Daryl showing great form. He backed up these 2 performances in the Last 8, with another 6-2 win, this time against Michael Smith destroyer Stephen Bunting. Daryl was always in control here, and was good value for the win. A 93.6 average and 67% on doubles, his checkouts in particular winning him the matches. This win set up a clash of the Titans in the semi final, with Daryl taking on crowd favourite Michael van Gerwen. It was Daryl who flew out of the blocks, his scoring and doubling consistency pushing him 4-2 ahead of MVG. Another 2 legs on the trot saw Daryl go within one leg of the match at 6-2. However, van Gerwen reeled off the next 3 legs in fine style to cut the gap to 6-5. Now was Gurney's chance, a 96 out to reach the final. He hit the Triple 20 first dart before painfully missing 2 darts at Double 18. Van Gerwen stole the leg and won the decider for an incredible 5 consecutive legs and a 7-6 win. Awesome from the World number 1. Daryl's average of 84.6 was down, as was his double % at 30%.

Daryl will know it was a major chance to win a European Tour, but will be happy to have given Michael van Gerwen such a game in front of his home crowd in Zwolle. Daryl had an excellent overall 3 dart of 93.5, alongside an incredible 47% on doubles and 7 180s. The checkouts are especially promising for a man with such excellent scoring. With these stats, it won't be long until Daryl wins another big one like the World Grand Prix. The £6000 won is plenty to consolidate 5th on both the PDC and Pro Tour Order of Merits. He is well clear of Suljovic in 6th on the Order of Merit, and if anything, is gaining on Gary Anderson ahead. Fantastic form for Gurney, he will fancy his chances with Players Championships 11 & 12 next weekend.

Jason Cullen

The final Irishman in action this weekend was Jason Cullen. Jason did very well to qualify for this event back in April, defeating Robert Thornton 6-5 and fellow countryman Mick McGowan 6-2 to earn his spot in Zwolle. Unfortunately, he was unable to make it past the first round, but his tussle with James Richardson was lauded as one of the best in the Last 48, and yet again proves he holds no fear on the big stage. Jason drew James Richardson in Round 1 in Zwolle, his second European Tour event of the year. Jason flew into a 2-0 lead but was pegged back to 4-4, before losing the next 2 to go out 6-4.

1) Back-to-back 180's                                                                 2) Lining up the 141 checkout for perfection (not to be).

Jason's scoring was spectacular, at one stage finding himself on 141 after 6 darts. Unfortunately, he could not complete the 9 darter, the Curse of Ross Smith evidently getting in the way. Jason had a 3 dart average of 88 and hit 36% (4/11) of his doubles. However, the stand out stat is his 180s hit. 5 in just 10 legs, the highest 180 per leg ratio of anyone in the tournament according to @theredbit180, with 1 every 2 legs. His scoring is excellent, if he can tidy up on his finishing, Jason will start to win his Round 1 games comfortably. The £1000 he earned is enough to bring Jason up to 115th on the PDC Order of Merit with £4750 earned. Unfortunately, Jason is of now not part of the 128 man field for next weekend's Players Championship events. He is however the first reserve and should anyone withdraw will be called upon (I will post any updates on Twitter). He will be in England for the European Tour qualifiers anyway, of which he will be hoping to qualify for at least one. The future looks bright for Jason, high up on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit, and competing well on the Pro Tour!

'Player of the Week'

Finally, it is Player of the Week time and once again it is (drum roll please).... STEVE LENNON who takes the crown. A fantastic run to the final in Zwolle makes him the deserving winner of the award. Congratulations Steve!! Thanks to High Roller Radio for giving me the space to write my piece every week. I think I may have turned YOU into an Irish Darts Fan!! Next week, it is the European Tour UK Qualifiers for events 7 & 8, followed by Players Championships 11 & 12.

But that's all for this week...