Saturday, 23 March 2013

PDC World Youth Finals

NINE-DART hero Michael Smith and emerging star Ricky Evans will contest the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final in May after winning through the £40,000 tournament's early rounds in Barnsley on Friday night.

The tournament, featuring players who competed on last year's PDC Unicorn Youth Tour and a series of International Qualifiers, saw Smith joined in hitting a perfect leg by Kurt Parry.

Smith went on to win through to May's final, which will be played during the McCoy's Premier League Darts Play-Offs at The O2 in London, by showing some incredible form in winning five matches on Friday night.

The 22-year-old from St Helens dropped just one leg as he defeated Brandon Walsh, George Killington, Samuel Head and Dean Finn to reach the semi-finals - hitting a nine-darter in the opening leg of his last 16 game with Head.

Smith then defeated County Durham's Adam Hunt 6-3 to win through to the final with another fine performance - which comes only a week after he had reached the final of a Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier on the senior circuit. "I've been practising so well for the last few months and, since Christmas, I've put in an amazing amount of work so it's great to see it paying off," said Smith. "I'm confident that I can keep this form going now and I'm really going to look forward to the final. I was shaking like a leaf in the semi-finals and it was brilliant to win it."

Kettering's Evans, meanwhile, won through to face Smith at The O2 by defeating 2011 World Youth Champion Arron Monk 6-3 in their semi-final. Evans defeated Canada's Shaun Narain in the first round and then saw off Australian youngster Harley Kemp before overcoming Chris Aubrey, Sam Hamilton and Monk.

The 22-year-old, a winner on the PDC Unicorn Youth Tour in 2011, has only ever competed on television once before, at the 2010 UK Open, but will compete in front of 10,000 fans in May when he competes for the World Youth Championship title.

Evans had turned professional in January when he won a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School, and admitted: "Ever since Q School I've been on a high and this is something I've really wanted. "I'm enjoying my darts so much at the moment. It's a big step up for me and it will be the biggest crowd I've played in front of by miles, but it's going to be an exciting two months waiting for the day to arrive!"

The pair will also now qualify for November's William Hill Grand Slam of Darts, and are assured of a PDC Tour Card for 2014 and 2015, although both are currently Tour Card Holders. Smith's achievement in hitting a nine-dart finish came only minutes after 19-year-old Welshman Kurt Parry had hit a perfect leg during his second round win over Josh Jones.

Reigning champion James Hubbard was a first round casualty as he went down 6-4 to Matthew Dicken, while fellow seeds Jamie Lewis and Keegan Brown also lost at that stage, to Brandon Monk and Reece Robinson respectively.

Australian teenagers Harley Kemp and Jackson Wilson-Young both reached the last 32 following their around-the-world trips, and emerging German ace Max Hopp made it through to the last 16 before losing out to Sam Hamilton. Hamilton picked up £1,500 as a quarter-final loser alongside Dutchman Ryan De Vreede, Jake Patchett and Irish qualifier Dean Finn.

PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship
First Round

Arron Monk (1) 6-2 Curtis Bagley
Sergio Garcia 6-4 Curtis Hammond
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-0 Lee Whitworth
Michael Blake 6-3 Dan Lauby II
Sam Hill (8) 6-3 Jake Jones
Ryan De Vreede 6-2 Jamie Landon
Kurt Parry 6-1 Joe Davis
Josh Jones 6-4 Matthew Dennant
Chris Aubrey (5) 6-4 Teemu Harju
Paddy Meaney 6-1 Kai Gotthardt
Harley Kemp 6-3 Shaun Griffiths
Ricky Evans 6-2 Shaun Narain
Brandonn Monk 6-5 Jamie Lewis (4)
Sam Hamilton 6-4 Oisin Daly
Ben Songhurst 6-5 Adam Smith-Neale
Max Hopp 6-4 Aden Kirk
Michael Smith (2) 6-0 Brandon Walsh
George Killington 6-4 John Seagrave
Sam Head 6-1 James Thompson
Darren Whittingham 6-1 Liam Showell
Josh Payne (7) 6-3 Martin Heneghan
Dean Finn 6-3 Jack Hill
Steve Haggerty 6-5 Sam Davidson
Lewis Venes 6-5 Harry Miles
Reece Robinson 6-1 Keegan Brown (6)
Rowby John Rodriguez 6-1 Ryan Harrington
Jackson Wilson-Young 6-3 Ricky De Vos
Jake Patchett 6-3 John De Kruijf
Matthew Dicken 6-4 James Hubbard (3)
Wouter Vaes 6-0 Adam Hart
Adam Hunt 6-4 Oliver Stell
Josh McCarthy 6-3 Shane Friedlander
Losers £100

Second Round
Arron Monk 6-2 Sergio Garcia
Dirk Van Duijvenbode 6-5 Michael Blake
Ryan De Vreede 6-4 Sam Hill
Kurt Parry 6-5 Josh Jones - Kurt Parry hits nine-dart finish
Chris Aubrey 6-5 Paddy Meaney
Ricky Evans 6-4 Harley Kemp
Sam Hamilton 6-4 Brandon Monk
Max Hopp 6-4 Ben Songhurst
Michael Smith 6-0 George Killington
Samuel Head 6-3 Darren Whittingham
Dean Finn 6-5 Josh Payne
Steve Haggerty 6-5 Lewis Venes
Reece Robinson 6-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Jake Patchett 6-2 Jackson Wilson-Young
Matthew Dicken 6-4 Wouter Vaes
Adam Hunt 6-1 Josh McCarthy
Losers £250

Third Round
Arron Monk 6-2 Dirk Van Duijvenbode
Ryan De Vreede 6-0 Kurt Parry
Ricky Evans 6-2 Chris Aubrey
Sam Hamilton 6-3 Max Hopp
Michael Smith 6-1 Samuel Head - Michael Smith hits nine-dart finish
Dean Finn 6-5 Steve Haggerty
Jake Patchett 6-3 Reece Robinson
Adam Hunt 6-4 Matthew Dicken
Losers £725

Arron Monk 6-3 Ryan De Vreede
Ricky Evans 6-5 Sam Hamilton
Michael Smith 6-0 Dean Finn
Adam Hunt 6-3 Jake Patchett
Losers £1,500

Ricky Evans 6-4 Arron Monk
Michael Smith 6-3 Adam Hunt
Losers £3,000

Ricky Evans v Michael Smith
To be played at The O2 in London on Thursday May 16 during the McCoy's Premier League Darts Play-Offs
Winner £10,000
Runner-Up £5,000

Plus, finalists also receive invitation to 2013 William Hill Grand Slam of Darts, plus a PDC Tour Card for 2014 and 2015 with 2014 entries paid for.

Prize Fund
Winner £10,000
Runner-Up £5,000
Semi-Finalists £3,000
Quarter-Finalists £1,500
Last 16 Losers £725
Last 32 Losers £250
Last 64 Losers £100
Total: £40,000