Sunday, September 20, 2020

Hughes secures World Grand Prix spot following Semi-Final run

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Tom Beresford
Sports journalist. Non-League football reporter. YouTuber, presenter, podcast host. Previously heard on FiveLive and Love Sport Radio. Managed by Epic Sports Management

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Tipton’s darts ace Jamie Hughes secured his place at the 2019 World Grand Prix in Dublin after a fantastic run to the Semi-Finals at PDC Players Championship 24 in Barnsley.

Darts statistician, Burton DeWitt breaks the news of Hughes’ qualification for the 2019 World Grand Prix.

‘Yozza’ consistently tore through the 128-man field at the Barnsley Metrodome on Wednesday afternoon, only losing out narrowly to Dave Chisnall by a 7-6 score-line. Hughes was waiting on a 24 checkout for the match and a place in his first PDC Pro-Tour final, before Chisnall produced a sublime 141 checkout.

Since winning his PDC tour-card in January, Hughes has recorded a number of stratospheric averages, and over the course of Wednesday’s event, the Tiptoner consistently averaged from the mid-to-high nineties to as high as 108.

In his opening match, Hughes produced a solid display to see off Ireland’s William O’Connor in a 6-3 win. Hughes recorded an average of 101.5, coming back from 2-1 behind to win five out of the last six legs to book his place in round two.

In the second round, Hughes faced off with Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode in what turned out to be a high-quality battle. Despite being 4-1 behind, Hughes kept on battling away, and took his chances expertly as ‘Yozza’ reeled off the last four legs from 5-2 behind to run out a 6-5 winner.

Hughes’ winning legs in those last four legs were won in 13, 15, 14 and 14 darts, which calculates as an average of 107.36, and a first 9 average of 119.92.

Following a 6-2 victory over Maik Kuivenhoven, Hughes advanced to the last 16 in Barnsley, and the prospect of a mouth-watering clash with Wales’ number one, Gerwyn Price.

The build-up surrounding the match wasn’t overhyped in the slightest. with both players averaging well in excess of 100, Hughes managed to take out a key 77 checkout, after surviving one match-dart from his Welsh opponenent to book his place in the Quarter-Finals.

With both players coring heavily throughout the duration of the match, it was always going to be high-quality affair. After six legs, Hughes was averaging 110 compared to Price’s 105, and ‘Yozza’ will be pleased to record another win over the Welshman.

In the last eight, Hughes faced off with his good friend and stablemate, James Wilson. Despite not playing his best game, Hughes managed to secure a ‘comfortable’ 6-3 win over the Yorkshireman to move into the final four.

Hughes’ opponent in the last four, was Dave Chisnall, who already has four PDC titles to his name in 2019 alone. As expected, it was another fantastic match in terms of quality.

With no operating the pair, it was a ‘coin toss’ as to who would progress to the final, and Hughes had the match in the palm of his hand, seemingly.

‘Yozza’ was left on D12 after a superb 137 visit, to open up a great chance to progress to the final. Chisnall, who was sat on a difficult 141 outshot, took out the three-figure combination, to crush Hughes’ hopes of a run to the title.

Being the professional that he is, Hughes greeted Chisnall with a beaming smile and congratulated ‘Chizzy’ on the win, in what was a terrific contest.

Up next for Hughes, it’s now on to the International Darts Open, which takes place from Friday in Riesa, Germany.

For all the results from PDC Players Championship 24, please visit the link below.

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