Senior Masters Preview: Anderson Bows Out As Cameron Looks For Replication

Red Dragon Darts

THE inaugural Jenningsbet World Senior Masters saw David Cameron become champion a year ago at Lakeside, beating the legendary Phil Taylor in the Final. But a certain Scots World WSDT Champion will be aiming to be The Thorn in his side this year.

Robert Thornton could complete the Grand Slam of Senior Darts Victories if he were to pick up success in Yeovil, as the event moves the The Westlands. The Red Dragon thrower has claimed back-to-back Senior World Darts Championships as well as the World Senior Darts Matchplay, with only last year’s WSDT Masters slipping through his fingers.

Robert Thornton during the 2023 World Senior Darts Championship at the Circus Tavern, 12th February 2023.

The Thorn will be ranked as the 2nd seed for the upcoming event at Westlands and will face Northern Irishman Colin McGarry in the 1st Round, with either John Part or Kevin Painter awaiting in the Quarters. 

The competition returns in 2023 with the likes of Bob Anderson looking to impress in his last competition and Richie Howson hoping to go 1 step further, having lost 2 Finals on the Senior Circuit already this year.

The Limestone Cowboy will play out his final tournament at a new home of Westlands in Yeovil, in a fantastic career that saw him win the World Championship in 1988 and the World Masters 3 times in a row. 

“It was a difficult decision; I must be honest and not one I really wanted to make. But I realised that I am no longer as competitive as I used to be, and it was a bitter pill to swallow.”

“It’s been a thrill to get back into the arena but a disappointment at the same time, I would compete when I felt competitive, and that feeling is not there which is very sad. But I always give it my best and I intend to do so in Yeovil.”

Anderson will face Richie Howson in the Final match of the opening session, with the 75-year-old looking forward to his walk on at Westlands. 

Bob Anderson during the 2022 Jenning bet World Seniors Darts Championship at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet on the 4th February 2022

“I’m looking forward to the walk on more than I am to the walk off, I’m nervous about it but then again, I always did feel nervous before a tournament and I think it’s a good sign, if I’m feeling nervous then it shows that I’m thinking about what I must do. 

Richie Howson will hope this is the tournament where he finally gets over the line on the World Seniors Circuit, having lost to Robert Thornton in the World Senior Darts Championship Final at Circus Tavern, and Leonard Gates at the Champion of Champions. 

“Yeah, it’s a lot of pressure, everyone keeps saying this one’s you’re one. But to be honest, it’s difficult just to get to the Final let alone thinking you’re going to win it. As I said there is no reason why I can’t win this one and there is going to be a lot of good players standing in the way, so you’ve got to take it one game at a time and try you’re best really.”

“Bob is a proper legend; he’s done so much for darts over the years and it’s going to be sad seeing him play in his last tournament. He’s done himself proud over the years.”

Trina Gulliver will open the competition as she prepares to face former MODUS Super Series winner Chris Mason in the 1st Round. The Golden Girl impressed in her last outing on the Seniors Circuit, suffering a narrow 10-7 defeat to Martin Adams in the Quarter Finals of the Champion of Champions. 

Trina Gulliver during the 2023 World Senior Darts Championship at the Circus Tavern, 9 February 2023.

“I’ve played there before so that will be interesting, I’m sure it will be a great setup as to previous events there have been. I’m looking forward to playing against Chris, that will be an entertaining match, and as you say it’s the opening game, so I hope we put a good show on for everyone.”

“I was pleased how I played against Martin; I dwindled a bit in the last few legs. I need to be a bit more prepared to step up and get over the line, I’m excited for what’s to come and it has filled me with confidence.”

Trina was also handed the BDO World Championship trophy in Blackpool after LP Metal Detecting bought the trophy at an auction, to be reunited with a player who had won the World Championship a record breaking 10 times. 

“It was amazing, I couldn’t believe it, it was such a fantastic gesture, and I had no clue at all. I think you could see that if you play it back, I was in total shock.”

John Part will hope to follow in compatriot David Cameron’s footsteps in Yeovil as he prepares to face former World Championship finalist Kevin Painter in the Last 16 at the 2023 World Senior Masters. 

John Part during the 2023 World Senior Darts Championship at the Circus Tavern, 10th February 2023.

“I’m just trying to get my game to happen when I want it to happen. I think I’m capable, if I get one win, I feel I can get a bunch of wins. That didn’t happen last year when I beat Paul (Lim) and I had to play Phil (Taylor) in the same session, the doubling vapourised even though I still had the edge on scoring. I was 1 for 16 on the doubles or something and you’re not going to win doing that.”

Darth Maple recently played in the CDC Cross Border Challenge along with compatriots Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell, in a heated atmosphere in Jersey City. 

“It was a rowdy old crowd we had there, and it was all about the whole Canada and USA thing, some felt they were too rowdy, but I didn’t mind it. I’ve been on the wrong end of crowds before, and I refer to the 2008 World Final when they wanted Kirk Shepard to win.”

“If you start listening, anything can bother you, but I think in terms of the atmosphere, I like it and there’s energy there. For me or against me, it’s better than quiet”.

John Henderson will join the World Seniors Circuit after accepting an invitation for the upcoming World Senior Darts Matchplay, again showing evidence of how much the organisation has moved forward since starting up last year.

The World Senior Masters starts on the 25th-26th of June from Westlands in Yeovil, with 16 players including defending champion David Cameron and 2-time reigning Senior Masters Champion Robert Thornton all hunting down the trophy in set play format. 

2023 World Senior Masters Draw: 

Last 16: 

David Cameron (1) v Neil Duff 

Bob Anderson (8) v Richie Howson 

Phil Taylor (4) v Mark McGeeney

Martin Adams (5) v Dennis Harbour

Robert Thornton (2) v Colin McGarry

John Part (7) v Kevin Painter 

Leonard Gates (3) v Mark Dudbridge 

Trina Gulliver (6) v Chris Mason 


Images: WSDT / Chris Sargeant

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