Heavy Metal Converts As Three Generations Emerge

Red Dragon Darts

Ryan Searle continued his excellent start to the 2024 season on Monday, to defeat Gary Anderson 8-7 in the final of Players Championship (03), as the second double header of the 2024 PDC Pro Tour season commenced at the Morningside Arena, Leicester.  

Searle, who lost out in the final in both of the opening two Players Championship Events of the year last week in Wigan, reached the final again by recording a succession of victories against Patrick Geeraets, Owen Bates, Simon Whitlock, Damon Heta, Danny Noppert and Michael Van Gerwen, to set up a clash with Anderson for the second time in six days.  

It was another day of strong runs from some of the older PDC stars with Peter Wright and MVG also reaching the Quarter finals.

The final began with Searle racing into a 3-0 lead, with winning legs coming in a total of 45 darts, before Anderson ended the Englishman’s run in Leg Four with a 12 dart hold of throw and a stunning 164 checkout. The tie then saw a run of six straight holds of throw, ending with Anderson breaking Searle’s throw in Leg 11 with an 11 darter, which was then followed by a 14 dart hold of throw from ‘The Flying Scotsman’ to make it 6apiece and a best of three contest.

The pair then held throw in the following two legs, both in 15 darts, to send the tie the distance, in which Searle would have the advantage of throwing first. Firing in two maximums in the decider proved to be decisive for ‘Heavy Metal’, as he sealed the victory in 14 darts to get his revenge against his practice partner and pick up a fifth PDC ranking title of his career.  

Anderson, who was victorious against Searle in the decider of last week’s Players Championship Two, narrowly missed out on clinching back-to-back Pro Tour titles, as he recorded victories on the day against Jeffrey De Graaf, William Borland, Jim Williams, Jeffrey Sparidaans, Peter Wright and Callan Rydz, with the 2x World Champion averaging over 109 on three occasions.  

Wjilst the teenage/ youth prodigies are grabbing the headlines, and the old guard are holding them at bay, what could be referred to as the ‘middle generation’ has begun the season strongly with several experienced players still not out of their 30s registering early success. Searle himself, Danny Noppert, Damon Heta and Steve Lennon where some of yesterdays examples.

Elsewhere, there were Quarter Final runs for PC1 Winner Luke Littler and Former World Cup of Darts Finalist Steve Lennon, whilst the likes of top seed Dave Chisnall, Former World Champion Rob Cross and World Matchplay Champion Nathan Aspinall were amongst the high profile first round casualties. The day also saw the fourth Nine Dart leg hit on the PDC Pro Tour in 2024, with Ryan Meikle firing in a perfect leg during his first-round victory against Geert Nentjes.  

The PDC Pro Tour double header in Leicester concludes on Tuesday with Players Championship Four taking place, with the 128 players returning to compete for a further £125,000 in prize money, with play beginning at 13:00 GMT.

Play will be broadcasted across two streaming boards on PDC.TV and various bookmaker websites worldwide, with all live scores and results on tv.dartconnect.com.  

Players Championship (Event 3)

Last 16 

Peter Wright 6-1 Leighton Bennett 

Gary Anderson 6-0 Jeffrey Sparidaans 

Luke Littler 6-4 Dirk Van Duijvenbode 

Callan Rydz 6-5 Daryl Gurney 

Steve Lennon 6-4 Ritchie Edhouse 

Michael Van Gerwen 6-4 Michael Smith  

Ryan Searle 6-3 Damon Heta 

Danny Noppert 6-3 Raymond Van Barneveld 

Quarter Finals 

Gary Anderson 6-2 Peter Wright 

Callan Rydz 6-4 Luke Littler 

Michael Van Gerwen 6-5 Steve Lennon  

Ryan Searle 6-4 Danny Noppert 

Semi Finals 

Gary Anderson 7-4 Callan Rydz 

Ryan Searle 7-4 Michael Van Gerwen 

Final 

Ryan Searle 8-7 Gary Anderson 

—–ENDS—–

Images: PDC

Grab the current print Issue 584 here  or a 50th Anniversary Darts World bundle 581 here 

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