February 19, 2024 - Henderson Crowned New World Seniors Champion

A Week In Darts – February 19, 2024 – Henderson Claims World Seniors Championship Glory

The veterans took centre stage as the World Seniors Darts Championship took place at the Circus Tavern at the weekend, with 32 players over the age of 50 battling it out for the title. Elsewhere, the PDC ProTour season also got under way and the Premier League rolled into Glasgow. Here’s our look back at last week’s darts action…

HENDERSON CROWNED NEW SENIORS CHAMPION

John Henderson lived up to his pre-tournament favourite tag as he stormed to victory in the World Seniors Championship on Sunday night.

The 2021 PDC World Cup of Darts champion, who only turned 50 last year, became only the second winner of the seniors’ top prize after beating Colin McGarry 5-0 in the final.

‘The Highlander’ experienced a shaky start to his bid for the title at the Circus Tavern, dropping the first set in both of his first and second-round games against Trina Gulliver and Kevin Painter.

The Scot fought back to win both contests 3-1 to reach Sunday’s final day, where from 1-1 in sets against Andy Hamilton in the quarter-finals he would reel off 10 straight sets to clinch the title.

After getting past Hamilton 3-1, Henderson produced his best performance of the tournament, averaging 92.91 to see off Canada’s Jim Long 3-0 in the last four.

Henderson, who dropped off the PDC tour at the end of 2021 and narrowly missed out on regaining his tour card via the Challenge Tour last year, pocketed £30,000 for winning the title along with a spot in next month’s Champion of Champions.

Robert Thornton, the 2022 and 2023 champion, saw his unbeaten record in the World Seniors Championship come to an end on Saturday, following a 3-2 defeat to Hamilton in the last 16.

It was not a fairytale farewell from the Circus Tavern for Phil Taylor, who had won 11 of his 16 world titles at the Purfleet venue. ‘The Power’ was beaten 3-2 by Germany’s Manfred Bilderl in the first round in his last ever World Championship campaign.

BACK-TO-BACK VICTORIES FOR VAN GERWEN

Michael van Gerwen moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League table after securing back-to-back night wins in Glasgow on Thursday night.

The reigning Premier League champion followed up his victory in Berlin the previous week with another successful night at the OVO Hydro.

The Dutchman overcame a trio of fellow world champions in Peter Wright, Rob Cross and Luke Humphries to scoop the £10,000 bonus and extend his lead at the top of the league table.

After beating home favourite Wright (6-2) and Cross (6-4), van Gerwen edged past the world number one Humphries 6-5 in a close final.

“It’s good to get another win,” he said. “Even without my best performance I think I did a great job and sometimes that’s really important.

“I think I did everything at the right moment. You play against the best players in the world and you want to perform – you don’t want to let yourself down.

“Of course, I didn’t play the best game that I could but you still need to find a way how to win and that’s what I did today.”

LITTLER AND ANDERSON SHARE PROTOUR TITLES

The PDC ProTour season got under way for 2024 in Wigan last week with Luke Littler and Gary Anderson sharing the two Players Championship titles.

For the 17-year-old Littler it was a ProTour debut to remember as he won Players Championship 1, beating Ryan Searle 8-7 in a high-quality final.

Littler finished with an average of 109.64, whilst his opponent Searle averaged an astonishing 111.71 in defeat in a match which saw 13 180s hit and all but one leg completed in 15 darts or less.

The teenager also threw a nine-dart leg earlier in the day, wrapping up his third-round win over Italy’s Michele Turetta with the perfect leg.

The reigning PDC world youth champion picked up £15,000 for winning the floor title and already has one eye on attempting to qualify for the World Matchplay in his first season on the tour.

“I know my game is there, I know I can beat anyone, and I’m really happy to have won,” Littler said.

“Me and my manager know what I have to do to qualify for the World Matchplay.

“I’ve got about 13 or 14 ProTours before the World Matchplay, but it’s always good to get off to a good start.

“I want to try and qualify for everything, and I’ve just got to play my game. I’m taking it in my stride.”

The following day Gary Anderson was in red-hot form as he won Players Championship 2, getting past Searle 8-5 in the decider.

‘The Flying Scotsman’ produced four 100+ averages during the day and missed double 12 for a nine-dart leg on three separate occasions.

A 117.12 average in his 6-0 win against Lakeside champion Andy Baetens in the fourth round is the highest ever recorded average by Anderson, who has jumped up two places to 25th on the PDC Order of Merit.

“It’s always nice to win these events, especially the way I played today,” the two-time world champion said.

“It’s been a long day and I’m happy to come out on top against a great player in Ryan.

“We’ve practiced together a couple of times since the World Championship, we spur each other on.

“I’ll just carry on doing what I do, I’m in a good place in my life and I’m enjoying playing darts.

“I’m looking forward to playing the European Tour events as well this year and I want to keep my form going.”

TAYLOR WINS SUPER SERIES TITLE

Scott Taylor became the latest winner of Champions Week, in the MODUS Super Series, after winning Saturday’s Series 6 finale in Portsmouth.

The 32-year-old, from Bolton, beat Tom Sykes 4-1 in the final to bag the £20,000 prize.

The final night on Saturday saw six players battling it out for the title, with Taylor bouncing back from a 4-2 defeat to Ron Meulenkamp in his first group game with victories over Cam Crabtree, John O’Shea and Sykes to be crowned the new champion.

The Super Series is a weekly competition involving 12 players and played from Monday through to Saturday, with the winner of each week advancing to the Champions Week at the end of the series.

After 12 weeks of play, the 12 weekly winners then compete in Champions Week for the grand prize, which was won twice by Luke Littler last year ahead of his record-breaking run at Alexandra Palaces.

Pictures: Chris Sargeant/Tip Top Pics/PDC

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