Leeds United v Stoke City in the Championship Thursday 9th July 2020

After wins for Brentford on Tuesday and West Brom on Wednesday, the pressure was on Leeds in this match against relegation-threatened Stoke City, so would Leeds deal with the pressure and go within seven points minimum of promotion?

In the first 15 minutes, things were pretty even, Stoke probably the better team.

Then just after that, the first shot came from Leeds and it was from Bamford from outside the box but was too high.

After 22 minutes, Leeds ought to have 1-0 up, as they had two efforts, one from Bamford which was just cleared off the line, and a Roberts shot got blocked.

After 37 minutes, Harrison had a chance for Leeds but he shot over .

Then just before halftime came a big moment , as Costa was going nowhere and Smith from Stoke for some reason decided to do a slide tackle, fouled Costa and it was a penalty to Leeds, and Klich stepped up and coolly slotted it into the corner.

Halftime score: Leeds United 1-0 Stoke City

Not a vintage first half from Leeds, would they improve in the second half and win this game?

Two minutes into the second half, Leeds scored their second goal, as Dallas played a through ball to Costa who scored in the bottom corner.

Three minutes later, Bamford’s shot from close in hit the bar and Phillips had a shot went over.

Two minutes after that, Bamford had a shot for Leeds saved by Butland of Stoke.

Just before the hour mark, Hernandez crossed to Cooper whose shot went in off the post, it’s a rare goal for Cooper as he’s a defender, and Leeds were cruising.

On the hour mark, Dallas had a shot from centre of the box saved.

After 72 minutes, Leeds made it 4-0 as a shot from Hernandez from outside the box went into the bottom right hand corner.

The final shot of the game was a fifth goal for Leeds,  as Bamford’s left footed shot from the left side of the box went into the bottom left corner.

Fulltime score: Leeds United 5-0 Stoke City

It was a clinical performance by Leeds, probably their 2nd half was better than their first half, but they keep their one point lead over West Brom, and perhaps more importantly their six point gap over third placed Brentford. The highlights of this game are below:

West Brom and Brentford both play on Saturday, and Leeds play on Sunday, so the pressure could be on Leeds again.

Next for Leeds is an away trip to Swansea on Sunday 12th July at 1:30PM.

 

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League Saturday 4th July 2020

Match report

This game presented a chance for Manchester United to go into the top four, even if only for a few hours, against a Bournemouth side who are staring relegation in the face.

It was played at Old Trafford.

After 10 minutes,  the first attempt for United, as Fernandes had a right footed shot from the centre of the box was too high.

Five minutes later, Bournemouth took a surprise lead as King assisted Stanislas whose right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box, went past De Gea at hid near post, good goal but poor goalkeeping by De Gea, would that wake Manchester United up?

After 20 minutes, Rashford’s right footed shot from outside the box was saved for Manchester United.

From a corner, Lindelof’s header from centre of the box went high and wide to the right.

Five minutes later, Stanislas had another chance for Bournemouth, but his right footed shot from outside the box was too high and wide.

Just before the half hour mark, Manchester United were level and it was a good goal, as Greenwood hit a left footed shot from centre of box and put it into the top right corner.

After 33 minutes, Manchester United were awarded a penalty for handball against Smith, it went to the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) who agreed it was a penalty, and Rashford converted the penalty as his right footed shot just beat the Bournemouth keeper and crept into the right corner.

Just before halftime, United took control of this game and what a goal it was, Martial’s right footed shot from outside the box went to the top corner, Bournemouth keeper couldn’t do anything about it.

Halftime score: Manchester United 3-1 AFC Bournemouth.

Just a couple of minutes into the second half, Bournemouth came close, as first of all  Danjuma’s right footed shot hit the post with his left footed shot, and then they were awarded a penalty for a handball against Bailly, but of course it went to VAR who checked and agreed, and King scored the penalty with a right footed shot into the corner, but the replays showed it wasn’t handball as it hit Bailly’s shoulder, but anyway Bournemouth were back in it at 3-2.

After 54 minutes, Man United had their two goal lead back, as Greenwood’s right footed shot from centre of the box fired into the top left corner, it went to VAR to review it, but they saw nothing wrong, so goal was given.

Just before the hour mark, Manchester United scored their fifth as Martial won a freekick, and Fernandes took it, and placed it into the top corner, they checked on the VAR to see if an united player was offside, but they were OK.

After 65 minutes, United thought they’d scored their sixth, as Wan-Bissaka tried a through ball to Rashford, but Rashford was offside.

With 15 minutes to go, Martial’s left footed shot from outside box was blocked.

With 10 minutes to go, another Martial attempt was blocked, and Rashford’s shot was wide to the right.

After 84 minutes, Ighalo’s right footed shot from centre of box was close, but missed to the left.

United had other chances, but it stayed at 5-2.

Fulltime score: Manchester United 5-2 AFC Bournemouth.

So after this win which was another clinical display by United , it took Manchester United up to fourth in the Premier League, and they stayed there after Arsenal beat Wolves, but unfortunately for United, Chelsea then beat Watford  to drop United back down to fifth, and again unfortunately for United both Chelsea and Wolves play before United next play, but we’ll have to see what happens.

Next for United is an away game at Aston Villa on Thursday 9th July kickoff at 8:15pm.

 

 

 

 

 

Blackburn Rovers v Leeds United in the Championship Saturday 4th July 2020

Leeds United Match reportOn the day England had a major relaxion of lockdown rules, Leeds United had a chance to go one step closer to the Premier League.

The first attempt after two minutes was a Blackburn one, as Bradley Johnson had a left footed shot from outside the box saved.

The first goal came after seven minutes and it went to Leeds United, as Klich intercepted, passed to Bamford whose left footed shot went into the bottom left corner.

After 11 minutes Gallagher had a right footed shot for Blackburn,  from the centre of the box, but it missed to the left.

Two minutes later, Blackburn came close, as Holtby’s right footed shot hit the post.

Just after the quarter hour, from a free kick, Johnson’s header missed to the right.

After 27 minutes, Harrison had an attempt for Leeds , but his left footed shot from outside the box was blocked.

Bamford then hit the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

Just after the half hour, Blackburn had another attempt as Rothwell’s right footed shot from outside the box was high and wide to the right.

After 38 minutes, another couple of attempts by Leeds players as Ayling had a shot from the right side of the six yard box saved, and Harrison had a left footed shot blocked.

5 minutes before halftime, Leeds went 2-0 up, as they won a  free kick, about 20 yards out from goal and Phillips placed it into the top left corner.

Halftime score: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Leeds United

Three minutes into the second half, Blackburn got back in it, as from a freekick, Armstrong’s right footed shot went into the top right corner.

With eight minutes gone in the second half, Leeds took control again as Klich’s right footed shot from outside the box went into the bottom left corner, and Leeds went 3-1 up.

A minute later, Armstrong’s right footed shot from outside the box was high and wide to the right for Blackburn.

Ayling then had a header for Leeds from right side of the six yard box but missed to the left.

Just before the hour,  Roberts’s  left footed shot from outside box was blocked for Leeds.

After 64 minutes, Nyambe had a attempt for Blackburn, as his left footed shot from right side of the box was too high.

Three minutes later, following a corner, Bamford had a left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right which was close, but missed.

With 15 minutes left, Douglas had an attempt for Leeds saved.

Heading into the final 10 minutes, following a set piece, Cooper had a header for Leeds from centre of the box, but it missed to the right, and Bamford had a left footed shot from left side of the box blocked.

With time running out, Blackburn had an attempt as following a set piece, Lenihan had a header from left side of the box but missed.

Fulltime score: Blackburn Rovers 1-3 Leeds United

So not a vintage performance from Leeds, but they won the game, and at time of writing are four points clear of West Brom, and remain six points clear of Brentford, however before Leeds play next,  West Brom play twice, and Brentford play again, so it could look different by the time Leeds next play. However, after writing this blog, West Brom are back to one point behind Leeds after they won on Sunday 5th July.

Leeds need a minimum of 10 points from their last five games to secure promotion to the Premier League, so could be exciting/stressful times for Leeds fans in these last five games.

Their next game is back at Elland Road against Stoke on Thursday 9th July 2020, 5pm kickoff.

 

Leeds United v Luton Town in the Championship

Leeds United Match report

This was Leeds United’s third game in the Championship, since its resumption and second consecutive one at Elland Road,  and after Brentford and Fulham both won their games earlier on Tuesday night, the pressure was on Leeds to try and  extend their gap at the top, so could they or would lowly Luton Town halt the promotion charge?

The first attempt was after two minutes for Leeds  as Roberts played a through ball to Bamford, who’s right footed shot from  the right of the six yard box was saved in the bottom right corner.

After 12 minutes, Leeds had to make a substation as Cooper went off due to a back injury and was replaced by Berardi.

Then Leeds had two attempts in the space of a minute, as Dallas assisted Roberts who’s left footed shot from the left side of the box was too high, and Costa assisted by Ayling had a left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right was too high.

Around the 20 minute mark, Luton had their first attempts as Bree crossed it in,  and Bradley had a header from centre of the box saved, and from a corner Pearson had a shot from centre of the box, but was high and wide from a corner, assist by Potts from the corner.

Just before half time, Leeds had another attempt as Klich had a left footed shot from outside the box, but was saved in the centre of the goal.

Halftime score: Leeds United 0-0 Luton Town

Would this be one of those night for Leeds where they dominate as they usually do, but couldn’t find a way through?

5 minutes into the second half, Luton took a surprise lead as they brokeaway fast, and Cornick had a right footed shot from the left side of the box and it went into the top right corner.

In the space of a minute after that goal, Leeds had more attempts as  Bamford had an attempt blocked for Leeds,  Harrison had a left footed shot from outside the box blocked, and Roberts had a right footed shot from right side of the box saved.

Harrison had another shot saved, and from a corner, White had a header from right side of the box but was too high to the right.

Just before the hour mark, Leeds kept going and had a couple more attempts,  as Phillips had a right footed shot from outside box saved, Alioski had a right footed shot from the centre of the box saved to bottom right corner, and following a set piece situation, Costa had a right footed shot,  from the right hand side of the six yard box went close.

After 63 minutes, all of Leeds’  pressure paid off as they equalised as Alioski assisted Dallas whose left footed shot from centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

Four minutes later, Costa crossed it but Alioski header from the left side of the six yard box went close, but missed to the left.

With 15 minutes remaining, Alioski crossed and Bamford’s left footed shot from centre of box went close but missed to the left.

Alioski then had a left footed shot from outside the box blocked with 10 minutes remaining.

Leeds were desperately trying to find a winner, and with 8 minutes left Dallas’ left footed shot from outside the box  was saved to centre of the goal.

With two minutes left, Alioski crossed and Dallas’ attempt was blocked.

In stoppage time, Leeds had more chances through Dallas Ayling, and Costa but the one that should have gone in was the Costa chance as he had a header from centre of the box but missed it.

Fulltime score: Leeds United 1-1 Luton Town

So two points dropped by Leeds United, but they are still top of the Championship, one  point clear of West Brom but only six  points clear of Brentford at time of writing, with six games to play.

Next for Leeds is an away trip to Blackburn on Saturday at 3pm.

Brighton v Manchester United in the Premier League Tuesday 30th June 2020

Match reportThis game was a chance for Manchester United to close the gap on Chelsea,  go 15 games unbeaten in all competitions and try and keep the pressure on Chelsea, it was also a chance for Brighton to go further clear at the bottom of the table.

It was played at The Amex Stadium where United have lost their last two trips to, what would happen this time?

The first chance went to Brighton after six minutes, as an effort from Stephens went too high.

After 12 minutes, the first shot by united was by Bruno Fernandes who was unlucky as he hit the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box, after a lay-off from Pogba.

Pogba then had an attempt blocked.

Just after the quarter hour mark,  Manchester United took the lead as Greenwood did a few stepovers, before shooting left footed from the right hand side of the box, and scored into the bottom right corner.

After 21 minutes, United had a direct free-kick but Fernandes attempt went too high over the crossbar.

Maguire then had a header from a corner, but it missed to the left.

Just before the half hour, Manchester United took control of the game as Fernandes hit a right footed shot from outside the area, and slotted it into the bottom right corner, and United had the 2-0 lead their dominance deserved.

After 39 minutes, another United chance as Rashford had a right footed shot from outside the box, but went too high and wide to the right.

Halftime score: Brighton 0-2 Manchester United

Manchester United dominated the first half, looked confident and are playing well under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, more of the same in the second half, or would Brighton be a little bit better?

Five minutes into the second half, Manchester United scored their third goal and it was Fernandes again , he had a left footed half volley from the centre of the box, after a cross from Greenwood after a fast counter-attack, it was a superb goal.

On the hour mark, Brighton had a rare attempt, it came from Trossard and it was a left footed shot, from left hand side of the box it was close but missed.

Trossard then had another attempt for Brighton, but again was high and wide.

With twenty minutes to go, Connolly had a right footed shot from outside the box for Brighton saved by De Gea.

With fifteen minutes  remaining, Maupay had a shot for Brighton saved by De Gea.

With six minutes left, McTominay had a shot for United from outside the box, it was saved by Ryan of Brighton.

Near the end of the game, James had a couple of attempts easily saved by Ryan.

Fulltime score: Brighton 0-3 Manchester United

It was a comprehensive, dominant, wonderful display by Manchester United, they go 15 games unbeaten in all competitions, and at time of writing two points behind Chelsea, and after Chelsea’s defeat on Wednesday at West Ham, United are still only two points behind Chelsea.

Next for Manchester  United in the Premier League is Bournemouth on Saturday at 3pm, where a win will see them go into the top four for a few hours at least,  are the good times coming back to Old Trafford?

 

 

Leeds United v Fulham match report- Championship resumption

Leeds United Match report

This was a big game in the Championship on its 2nd weekend since the resumption . On the first weekend, both sides lost 2-0 but Leeds had a 7 point gap between themselves and Fulham going into this weekend and this match was played on Saturday 27th June 2020.

It was at Elland Road in Leeds which is usually buzzing and a vociferous crowd, but a clever thing Leeds have done is they’ve put 15,000 crowdies in the crowd for the 5 home games left, which are basically cardboard cutouts of fans who wanted a crowdie in the ground.

The first flashpoint was after six minutes, as Mitrovic of Fulham was lucky not to get sent off, for a elbow smash on White of Leeds.

After 10 minutes, Leeds United went ahead after Costa ran and crossed it to Bamford who scored in the bottom right hand corner.

Four minutes later, Knockaert shot wide for Fulham.

After 25 minutes, Fulham had a shout for handball as Mitrovic header hit the back of White, but it wasn’t handball.

Just before the half hour mark, Fulham came close again as Knockaert made Meslier the Leeds keeper save his shot, then Reid couldn’t convert.

Six minutes before halftime, more Fulham chances as Knockaert fired just wide, then Mitrovic had a sharp shot on the turn, saved by Meslier.

The last chance before halftime was again for Fulham as Mitrovic header went just wide.

Halftime score: Leeds United 1-0 Fulham.

Leeds were fortunate to be 1-0 up, but could they improve second half, and edge closer to the Premier League?

In the first few minutes of the  second half, Roberts had a shot for Leeds which went wide of the post, and also Harrison for Leeds had a shot blocked by Reed of Fulham.

After 56 minutes, Alioski slotted the ball into the net to put Leeds 2-0 up, and he celebrated by going near the Crowdies,  he thought the crowdies were real.

With 20 minutes to go, Hernandez played a sublime pass to Harrison who slotted it under the Fulham keeper’s body to put Leeds 3-0 up.

In stoppage time at the end of the game, Kebano got sent off for Fulham.

Fulltime: Leeds United 3-0 Fulham.

Leeds were poor in the first half, better in the second half.   So, it means Leeds United top of the Championship, 3 points clear of West Brom, 8 points clear of Brentford and 10 points clear of Fulham.

With 7 games to go, are Leeds fans daring to dream that this could finally be the year they get promoted to the Premier League after all the years of heartache?

 

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United in the Premier League resumption: Project Restart – match report

Match reportThis was game four of Project Restart in the Premier League on a Friday night, but the first game of the resumption for these two clubs, how would they play with no fans inside the ground, with a battle for the top four or five at stake?

Because depending on if Man City get banned from Champions League, fifth place could be a Champions League place.

The first meaningful moment came after 21 minutes, as Marcus Rashford had a shot for Man United saved by Lloris the Tottenham goalkeeper.

Four minutes later, United had another shot as Fernandes had a shot saved.

Then just a couple of minutes later, Tottenham took the lead as Bergwijn stepped past Maguire in the United defence, shot and it went in, although the United keeper De Gea should have saved it.

After 30 minutes, Tottenham had another chance as Son did a header, but was tipped over the bar by De Gea.

Just before half-time, Fernandes had a long range shot saved for United by Lloris

Halftime score was Tottenham 1-0 United, not a bad performance from United but could they turn it round?

Nine minutes into the second half, Fernandes shot just wide, but United were improving.

With half an hour left, Solskjaer (United manager) brought Pogba on and this changed the game.

After 66 minutes, Martial had a shot that looked like it was going in tipped over the bar by Lloris.

With 10 minutes left,  Pogba got past Dier who pushed Pogba to the floor, the referee gave a penalty and Fernandes stepped up and scored confidently.

The last action was a shot from Greenwood for United which went wide.

Fulltime score: Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United.

So perhaps a draw not what either side wanted, but it was a decent game, and United a couple of points behind Chelsea at the time of writing, however after Sunday they are five points behind them now.

The story of the Home Tour darts tournament play-offs

dartboard

The 2nd phase of the Home Tour darts started this evening with a different sponsor Low6, and matches are best of 11 legs with the same rules applying, the player who tops the group will go through to the semi-finals.

See how the first phase shaped out at: https://wordpress.com/post/danssportsblogweb.wordpress.com/459

In the play-offs phase taking place between 26 May and 2 June, the 32 winners will again be put into groups of four, where all players will play each other over one night, but each match is now a best of 11 legs match, but all other rules being the same. The eight winners in the second phase will then move into a semi-final group stage taking place on 3 & 4 June, with the top two in each group moving forward to the Championship Group stage, where the winner will become the champion.

Each match will be a best of 11 legs match, with the winner of each match getting two points on the table. Should there be a tie on points after all the matches, the leg difference will determine the winner, should that also be equal, the result between the two players is taken into account. Should there be a three-way tie for first place, the overall average of the players will then be taken into account.

See below to see how the last 11 nights of the PDC Home Tour darts tournament shaped out:

Tuesday 26th May – Playoff Group 1

Players involved: Wright, Reyes,  Klaasen and Murray. This looked like a tough group to predict, as it had 2 world champions in it in Wright and Klaasen.

Results: Wright 6-2 Murray, Reyes 6-5 Klaasen,  Klaasen 6-4 Murray, Wright 6-5 Reyes, Reyes 6-3 Murray, Klaasen 6-1 Wright. It means Klaasen is the first player into the semi –finals but Reyes, Wright and Reyes are out of the tournament altogether .

Wednesday 27th May – Playoff Group 2

Players involved: Bunting, Durrant, Tabern and De Decker.  This group just like group 1 featured 2 world champions in Bunting and Durrant, would it be a tight 1?

Results:  Bunting 6-5 De Decker,  Durrant 6-3 Tabern,   De Decker 6-5 Tabern,  Bunting 6-3 Durrant, De Decker 6-4 Durrant, Tabern 6-2 Bunting.   It was a good night of darts but De Decker won the group with 4 points and is into the semi finals with 4 points,  Bunting , Tabern and Durrant are all knocked out.

Thursday 28th May – Playoff Group 3

Players involved: Gary Anderson, Humphries, Jamie Lewis and Nick Kenny. We had a world champion, a world youth champion and 2 Welshmen tonight, will we see another shock or will Anderson be the first big name into the semis?

Results:  Anderson 6-2 Kenny, Humphries 6-2 Lewis,   Lewis 6-4 Kenny,  Anderson 6-1 Humphries, Humphries 6-1 Kenny,  Anderson 6-3 Lewis.  Anderson is into the semi finals of the Home Tour and the first big name to get into the semi-finals and he won all 3 of his games.

Friday 29th May – Playoff Group 4

Players involved: Chisnall, D Webster, Heta and Nentjes .

Results:  Heta 6-5 Chisnall, Nentjes 6-5 Webster, Nentjes 6-5 Heta, Chisnall 6-2 Webster, Webster 6-2 Heta, Chisnall 6-3 Heta. Chisnall into the semi-finals and that completes the line-up for the first semi-final group.

Saturday 30th May –Playoff group 5

Players involved: Cross, Searle, Woodhouse and Larsson.  Involved in this group were the current Match play champion and former World Champion, and the 9 dart hero from phase 1.  Would Cross progress to the semi-finals?

Results: Cross 6-3 Larsson, Searle 6-4 Woodhouse, Larsson 6-5 Woodhouse,  Cross 6-4 Searle, Searle 6-4 Larsson,  Woodhouse 6-5 Cross. It means Cross progresses to the semi-finals and is the highest ranked player into the semi-finals.

Sunday 31st May – Playoff group 6

Players involved: Jeff Smith, Dobey, Kleermaker and Cullen.  Highest ranked player in this group Cullen, would we get a Yorkshireman into the semi-finals or would birthday boy Dobey progress?

Results: Cullen 6-3 Kleermaker, Smith 6-1 Dobey, Smith 6-5 Kleermaker,  Cullen 6-5 Dobey, Dobey 6-3 Kleermaker, Cullen 6-4 Smith. Cullen wins the group 6 points and is into the semi-finals.

Monday 1st June – Playoff group 7

Players involved:  Aspinall, Hughes, De Sousa and Noguera. Can  Aspinall join Klaasen, De Decker, Anderson, Chisnall, Cross and Cullen into the semi-finals or will we see a shock?

Results:  Aspinall 6-4 Noguera, De Sousa 6-1 Hughes,  De Sousa 6-4 Noguera, Aspinall 6-2 Hughes,  Hughes 6-4 Noguera, Aspinall 6-4 De Sousa. The last game was tense but Aspinall wins the group, and is into the semi-finals.

 Tuesday 2nd June –Playoff group 8  

Players involved: Clayton, Hopp, Wilkinson and Waites. This is the final group of the play-offs, who will complete the 2nd semi-final  group line-up?

Results:  Clayton 6-3 Waites,  Hopp 6-3 Wilkinson, Waites 6-0 Wilkinson, Clayton 6-3 Hopp, Waites 6-1 Hopp, Clayton 6-2 Wilkinson. Clayton completes the semi-final line-up.

Wednesday 3rd June – Semi-final group 1

Players involved: Klaasen, De Decker, Anderson and Chisnall.  2 world champions, another PDC winner  in Chizzy and a young man from Belgium, the top 2 progress to the Championship group, 1 good player will miss out, who will make it to the Championship Group?

Results:  Anderson 6-5 De Decker, Klaasen 6-2 Chisnall, Klaasen 6-3 De Decker, Anderson 6-3 Chisnall, Chisnall 6-5 De Decker, Anderson 6-2 Klaasen. It all means that Anderson wins the group with 6 points, Klaasen came 2nd in the group with 4 points and both qualify for the Championship Group on Friday night, For Chisnall and De Decker their Home Tour adventure came to an end.

Thursday 4th June- Semi-final Group  2

Players involved: Rob Cross, Joe Cullen, Nathan Aspinall, Jonny Clayton. All 4 players in this group are in the top 16, so what will the 2nd semi-final group produce, will it produce some really good quality games?  Whatever happens, 2 good players will join Klaasen and Anderson in the Championship Group, and 2 good players will miss out at the final hurdle.

Results:  Cullen 6-4 Cross, Aspinall 6-5 Clayton,  Clayton 6-5 Cullen, Cross 6-5 Aspinall,  Aspinall 6-5 Cullen,  Clayton 6-1 Cross.  That means Clayton wins the group  4 points and qualifies for the Championship Group ,  Aspinall came 2nd with 4 points and also qualifies for the Championship Group, for Cullen and Cross the Home Tour adventure comes to an end.

Friday 5th June- Championship group

The final 4 players are:  Jelle Klaasen, Gary Anderson,  Nathan Aspinall and Jonny Clayton.  Who will be the Low6 Home tour champion?

Results:  Aspinall 6-3 Klaasen,   Anderson 6-2 Clayton, Clayton 6-2 Klaasen (that defeat for Klaasen means Klaasen wouldn’t be the Home Tour Champion),   Aspinall 6-5 Anderson,  Anderson 6-3 Klaasen, Aspinall 6-4 Clayton.

It means Nathan Aspinall is the Low6 Home Tour Champion 6 points Leg difference +6, Gary Anderson runner up 4 points LD +6, Jonny Clayton 3rd 2 points LD -2 and Jelle Klaasen finished 4th 0 points Leg difference -10.

It’s been a brilliant tournament, something good out of this crisis, it’s given me something to do on an evening.  Well done to all players involved, PDC, Low6, Unibet,  Dan Dawson who oversaw it all, but once again a special congratulations to Nathan Aspinall.

 

 

Virtual match report between Featherstone Rovers Old Stars and Featherstone Rovers modern era

Harold Box kicked off for the Old Stars, picked up by Hardman and Rovers attacked first, however it didn’t come to anything as the Old Stars showed a strong defence ending in a crunching tackle by Thompson. The first try came after 6 minutes, and it was a brilliant try as Dixon broke away, sidestepped Hardcastle and Dixon passed to Coventry on the wing who raced over to score in the corner, successful conversion by the reliable boot of Steve  Quinn.

4 minutes later, things got even better for the Old Stars straight from the kickoff as the ball was gathered deep by Box who fed it out to Nash who made good yardage with a nice little sidestep.  At the play the ball, there was some quick passing along the line before Evans found some space, and made a darting run upfield, before passing inside to a speedy Paul Newlove who ghosted past 2 defenders before a clear run to the line, touching down under the sticks , an easy conversion followed from Quinn.

After 18 minutes, Rovers did score their 1st try after sensational play from Chisholm as he intercepted a kick from Quinn from inside his own half, and raced the length of the field to score to the left of the sticks, successful conversion from Chisholm.

4 minutes later, the Old Stars were awarded a penalty after a high tackle from Davies on Bell, and Quinn easily converted.

A few minutes later, Rovers came close as Hardcastle offloaded , but Cooper couldn’t grasp the ball.

Just past the half hour mark, a fantastic Featherstone try, it started with Golding who gathered the ball near his own try line, broke superbly to the halfway line, he then played the ball to Briscoe who used his pace to make yardage and score in the corner, successful conversion from out wide from Chisholm.

The last try of the 1st half went to Rovers Old Stars as on the last tackle, Quinn did a spiralling kick in the air, it went everywhere but Hobbs latched onto it and scored under the sticks, an easy conversion followed from Quinn.

Halftime score: Featherstone Old stars 20-12 Rovers modern team.

5 minutes into the 2nd half, Old Stars extended their lead after what seemed like a lapse in concentration from Rovers as Smith raced downfield, got ankle tapped but still managed to feed Evans out wide to score in the corner for what seemed like an easy try, unsuccessful conversion from Quinn.

After 10 2nd half minutes, Modern Rovers got back into it as Thackeray did a sidestep and passed inside to Chisholm, who then fed it to Harrison who went over under the sticks, successful conversion from Chisholm.

After 59 minutes, Old Stars nearly over as Farrar did a drive near the line, but was held up.

With exactly a quarter of the game to go, the  Old Stars scored another try after good work as they moved the ball from right to left, going from  Thompson, Batten, Dixon and Fennell, before eventually finding Nash who was left in plenty of space to finish in the corner, successful conversion from Quinn it was 30-18 to Old Stars.

With 15 minutes remaining, Modern Rovers responded as Chisholm passed To Harrison who passed to Albert who found his way over the line, successful conversion from Chisholm.

After 76 minutes, Quinn kicked a drop goal for Rovers old stars.

The last try of the game went to Old Stars as Box passed to Dickens, who then passed it to Tuuta, who Bell then received it from and scored, unsuccessful conversion from Quinn.

Fulltime score: Featherstone Old Stars 35-24 Modern rovers.

Old Stars squad:

Eric Batten – Wing

Keith Bell – Loose Forward

Harold Box – Fullback

Paul Coventry – Wing

Jim Denton – Wing/stand-off

Stuart Dickens  – Prop

Malcolm Dixon – Prop

Carl Dooler – Scrum-half

Vince Farrar – Hooker

Jackie Fennell – Fullback

Deryck Fox – Scrum-half

Don Fox – Prop

Peter Fox – forward

Mick Gibbins – Prop

Jack Hirst – Centre

David Hobbs – 2nd row

Cyril Kellett – fullback

Cliff Lambert – 2nd row

Freddie Miller – fullback

Arnie Morgan – Prop

Joe Mullaney – standoff

Steve Nash – scrum-half

John Newlove – stand-off

Paul Newlove – Centre

Steve Quinn – Centre

Mike Smith – Stand-off

Peter Smith – 2nd row

Charlie Stone – prop

Jimmy Thompson – 2nd row

Les Tonks – Prop

Brendon Tuuta – Stand-off

Cyril Woolford – Centre

Steve Evans – Wing

Modern rovers squad

Ian Hardman – Centre

Misi Taulapapa – Wing

Luke Briscoe – Wing

Anthony Thackeray – Hooker

John Davies – 2nd row

Dane Chisholm – standoff

Luke Cooper – Prop

Josh Hardcastle – Centre

James Harrison – 2nd row

James Lockwood – Loose forward

Wellington Albert – Prop

Ashton Golding – fullback

Louis Jouffret- Scrum-half

 

 

 

 

The story of the Unibet Home Tour darts tournament so far

 

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The 2020 Unibet Home Tour is a special tournament organised by the Professional Darts Corporation for players to play indoor tournaments at their homes during the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. The tournament was open to all players who had a PDC Tour Card in 2020.

Originally the plan was to have 32 consecutive nights in which ONLY the group winners of each group would progress, followed by a knockout stage, but they have extended it until the 5th June, when an overall champion will be crowned.

Night 1- 17th April 2020

This was opening night, and the first 4 players involved were:

Jamie Lewis, Peter Wright, Peter Jacques and Niels Zonneveld.  So the world champion was involved.

The results were:

Wright 5-4 Jacques, Lewis 3-5 Zonneveld, Jacques 5-2 Zonneveld, Wright 1-5 Lewis, Lewis 5-4 Jacques and Zonneveld 1-5 Wright. It meant Jamie Lewis was the group winner on 4 points, and the other 3 were knocked out, so the first shock.

Night 2- 18th April

On night 2, the players involved were Price, Woodhouse, Evetts and Rodriguez, would we see another shock or would Price prevail?

Results: Price 5-2 Rodriguez, Woodhouse 5-2 Evetts, Rodriguez 3-5 Evetts,Price 0-5 Woodhouse which included a 9 darter from Woodhouse, Woodhouse 5-2 Rodriguez and Evetts 2-5 Price. The group winner on night 2 was Woodhouse with 6 points and 3 wins out of 3, which meant world number 3 Price and the other 2 were knocked out.

Night 3 – 19th April

On night 3, the players involved were Chisnall, Waites, Worsley and Dekker. Would Chisnall avoid becoming the latest big name to be knocked out?

Results: Chisnall 5-2, Dekker 4-5 Worsley, Waites 5-1 Worsley, Chisnall 5-0 Dekker, Dekker 1-5 Waites and Worsley 1-5 Chisnall. So winner of group 3 was world number 11 Chisnall on 6 points and 3 wins out of 3, the other 3 out.

Night 4- 20th April

On night 4, players involved were: Nentjes, Ross Smith, Mansell and Ashton.

Results: Smith 5—1 Ashton, Mansell 3-5 Nentjes, Ashton 3-5 Nentjes, Smith 3-5 Mansell, Ashton 5-3 Mansell and Nentjes 5-3 Smith. Group winner of number 4 was Nentjes with , other 3 knocked out so another shock in the Home Tour.

Night 5- 21st April

Players involved: Kenny, Humphries, Murnan and Petersen, so involved in this group was 2 time World Championship Quarter finalist Humphries, would he progress though?

Results: Humphries 3-5 Kenny, Petersen 1-5 Murnan, Kenny 5-2 Murnan, Humphries 5-4 Petersen, Petersen 3-5 Kenny and Murnan 3-5 Humphries., winner of group 5 was Kenny with 6 points and 3 wins out of 3, the other 3 knocked out, so another shock.

Night 6- 22nd April

Players involved: Wade, Searle, Boulton and Gray. The big hitter in this group was Wade, another upset or favourite progress?

Results: Wade 5-2 Gray, Searle 5-1 Boulton, Boulton 5-2 Gray, Searle 5-3 Wade, Searle 5-2 Gray, Boulton 5-2 Wade, group winner: Searle on 6 points, 3 wins out of 3, Wade finished 3rd and him and the other 2 got knocked-out.

Night 7- 23rd April

Players involved: Klassen, Meikle, Clemens and Carlin, would tonight be the night where the favourites start to progress?

Results: Clemens 5-3 Meikle, Klaasen 5-2 Carlin, Meikle 5-1 Carlin, Clemens 3-5 Klaasen, Klaasen 4-5 Meikle, Carlin 5-4 Clemens. Group winner: Klassen by a single leg on 4 points the other 3 knocked out.

Night 8- 24th April

Players involved: Clayton, Hunt, Pallett and North. The big name in this group was Clayton.

Results: Clayton 5-2 Hunt, North 2-5 Pallett, Hunt 5-3 Pallett, Clayton 5-3 North, Hunt 5-1 North and Pallett 2-5 Clayton. Group winner Clayton with 6 points and 3 wins out of 3.

Night 9- 25th April

Players involved: Michael Smith, Clark, Kleermaker and Ward. Big hitter in this group Smith, and this was the most competitive night of the Home Tour so far.

Results: Smith 3-5 Kleermaker, then a technical fault meant Smith had to play again and this time won 5-3 against Ward, Ward 3-5 Clark, Clark 5-3 Kleermaker, Kleermaker 5-2 Ward and Smith 5-3 Clark, group winner Kleermaker with 4 points, but by just a single leg couldn’t have been any closer.

Night 10- 26th April

Players involved:  Aspinall, Joyce, Stevenson and Brown. The big name in this group was 2 time World Championship semi-finalist and world number 7 Aspinall.

Results: Aspinall 5-2 Brown, Joyce 5-2 Stevenson, Brown 5-1 Stevenson, Aspinall 5-2 Joyce, Brown 5-3 Joyce, Aspinall 5-0 Stevenson. Group winner Aspinall with 6 points and 3 wins out of 3, the other 3 knocked out so the favourite progressed.

Night 11- 27th April

Players involved: Whitlock, Shepherd, Tabern and Duivenbode. The big name in this group was Whitlock and it was a dramatic night.

Results: Duivenbode 5-3 Whitlock, Shepherd 5-1 Tabern, Tabern 5-2 Duivenbode, Whitlock 5-4 Shepherd, Duivenbode 5-4 Shepherd and Tabern 5-4 Whitlock. Group winner Tabern on 4 points, the other 3 knocked out, so another night where there’s a surprise winner.

Night 12- 28th April

Players involved: Hopp, Keegan Brown, Whitehead and De Decker. The 2 big names in this group were Hopp and Brown.

This was a very complicated night. Here’s the results: De Decker 5-3 Hopp, Brown 3-5 Whitehead, Whitehead 5-2 De Decker Hopp 5-3 Whitehead, then it got complicated as Brown had to withdraw due to technical issues which meant his result v Whitehead was voided and he didn’t get to play his other 2 games, which then meant it turned into a 3 man group with each player playing each other once, Hopp 5-3 De Decker, Hopp 5-2 Whitehead and De Decker 5-1 Whitehead. It means in a revised table, Hopp wins the group on 6 points.

Night 13 -29th April

Players involved: Beaton, Rydz, Edgar and Wilkinson. The main player in this group is former Lakeside champion Beaton.

Results: Beaton 5—1 Rydz, Wilkinson 5-0 Edgar, Wilkinson 5-3 Rydz, Edgar 5-1 Beaton, Rydz 5-2 Edgar and Wilkinson 5-2 Beaton. It went to the final game of the night, but Wilkinson won the group pretty convincingly on 6 points, the other 3 knocked out.

Night 14- 30th April.

Players involved: Dobey, Teehan, Meulenkamp and Leung. So Dobey highest ranked player in this group, and an international feel with Leung playing in Hong Kong.

Results: Dobey 5-2 Teehan, Meulankamp 5-4 Leung, Teehan 5-1 Leung, Dobey  5-1  Meulenkamp,

Meulenkamp 5-1 Teehan, Leung 5-4 Dobey. Group winner was Dobey with 4 points.

Night 15- 1st May

Players involved: Darren Webster, Scott Baker, Andy Hamilton and  Bradley Brooks.

Results: Webster 5-4 Brooks, Baker 5-4 Hamilton, Hamilton 5-3 Brooks, Webster 5-2 Baker, Brooks 5-1 Baker, Webster 5-3 Hamilton. Group winner was Webster.

Night 16- 2nd May

Players involved: Evans, Bunse, J Smith, Atkins. This was the halfway point of the Home Tour, and highest ranked player tonight was Evans.

Atkins 5-2 Evans, Smith 5-1 Bunse, Atkins 5-4 Smith, Evans 5-3 Bunse, Bunse 5-2 Atkins and Smith 5-4 Evans. The winner of the group was Jeff Smith, but it went down to the last game, and Smith knew any win would see him win the group.

Night 17- 3rd May

Players involved: John Henderson, Damon Heta, Gary Blades and Krzysztof Kciuk. The big name in this group was Henderson.

Results: Henderson 5-4 Kciuk, Heta 5-0 Blades, Kciuk 5-3 Blades, Heta 5-3 Henderson, Kciuk 5-3 Heta, Henderson 5-1 Blades. Heta won the group on 4 points as he wonthe 3 legs he needed against kciuk, hopwever 2nd and 3rd also got 4 points, so a tight group overall, but another shock winner of a group.

Night 18- 4th May

Players involved: Bunting, Huybrechts, Derry and Leitinger. The 2 big players in this group were Bunting and Huybrechts but only 1 can win the group.

Results: Bunting 5-4 Leitinger, Huybrechts 5-0 Derry, Leitinger 5-0 Derry, Bunting 5-1 Huybrechts, Huybrechts 5-1 Derry and Bunting 5-1 Derry. Bunting group winner on 6 points.

Night 19- 5th May

Players involved: Durrant, Pipe, Kuivenhoven and Van der Meer. The big player in this group was Durrant.

Results: Durrant 5-1 Van der Meer, Pipe 5-1 Kuivenhoven, Kuivenhoven 5-1 Van der Meer, Durrant 5-3 Pipe, Pipe 5-=2 Van der Meer and Durrant 5-2 Kuivenhoven. It means Durrant wins the group on 6 points.

Night 20- 6th May

Players involved: Cullen, Michael, Wattimena who took De Zwaan’s place due to an injury and Murray. Highest ranked player Cullen.

Results: Cullen 5-4 Murray, Michael 5-2 Wattimena, Murray 5-3 Michael, Wattimena 5-4 Cullen, Murray 5-1 Wattimena, Cullen 5-3 Michael. Group winner on 4 points Murray world number 135, so another upset, but it was a tight group tonight.

Night 21 – 7th May

Players involved: Cross, Van den Bergh, Sedlacek (replacing Derk Telnekes due to family reasons) and Borland. Big names in this group: Cross and van den Bergh, Cross inspired to play after a family tragedy

Results: Cross 5-2 Borland, Van den Bergh 5-1 Sedlacek,  Sedlacek 5-0 Borland, Cross 5-4 Van den Bergh, Borland 5-3 Van den Bergh, Cross 5-4 Sedlacek. Cross group winner on 6 points he needed to get to 4 legs and he did it.

Night 22- 8th May

Players involved: White, Noppert, Wilson and Noguera.  Highest ranked player White.

Noguera 5-3 White, Noppert 5-4 Wilson, Noguera 5-2 Wilson, White 5-2 Noppert, Noppert 5-2 Noguera, Wilson 5-4White. It means Noguera won the group on leg difference from Noppert as Noguera had a leg difference of +2, Noppert +1, it was 1 of the tightest groups of the Home Tour so far, and yet another shock.

Night 23 – 9th May

Players involved: Kyle Anderson, Schindler, Van Duijvenbode and Larsson. Biggest player in this group Kyle Anderson who’s recovered after contracting coronavirus earlier this year.

Results: Larsson 5-2 K Anderson, van Duijvenbode 5-1 Schindler, Larsson 5-2 Van Duijvenbode, Schindler 5-0 Anderson, Larsson 5-0 Schindler, Anderson 5-3 Van Duijvenbode.

Group winner Larsson so another surprise group winner.

Night 24- 10th May

Players involved: Ratajski, Hughes, Labanauskas and Alcinas. Highest ranked player in this group was Ratajski.

Results: Ratajski 5-3 Alcinas, Hughes 5-2 Ratajski, Hughes 5-2 Labanauskas, Labanauskas 5-0 Alcinas, Hughes 5-4 Alcinas, Ratajski 5-3 Labanauskas. Group winner was Hughes.

Night 25- 11th May

Players involved: Brown, Sousa, Thornton and Robinson.; Brown gets a 2nd chance after not being able to finish last time and he’s the highest ranked player.

Results: Brown 5-4 Robinson, De Sousa 5-0 Thornton, Robinson 5-2 Thornton, De Sousa 5-0 Brown, De Sousa 5-1 Robinson and Brown 5-2 Thornton.  De Sousa stormed the group with a Leg difference of +14.

Night 26 – 12th  May

Players involved: Whitehead, De Decker, Atkins and Steve Brown. These 4 have played already in the Home Tour, and get a 2nd chance as with almost all of the 101 Tour Card holders who registered an interest in taking part having played across the first 25 nights, the remaining groups will mainly be filled with previous group runners-up.

Results: Brown 5-0 Whitehead, Atkins 5-3 De Decker, Brown 5-2 Atkins, De Decker 5-1 Whitehead, De Decker 5-2 Brown and Atkins 5-4 Whitehead. De Decker needed to beat brown by 3 legs to top the group on leg difference and he did, so De Decker won the group.

Night  27- 13th May

Players involved: Beaton, Waites, Meulenkamp and Ross Smith.  These 4 came runner up in their groups.

Results: Waites 5-3 Beaton, R Smith 5-1 Meulenkamp, Waites 5-0 Meulenkamp, Smith 5-4 Beaton, Waites 5-2 Smith, Beaton

Group winner Waites on 6 points.

Nigh 28- 14th May

Players involved: Michael Smith, Humphries, Boulton and Duivenbode.

Results: Smith 5-0 Van Duivenbode, Humphries 5-4 Boulton, Boulton 5-4 Van Duivenbode,  Humphries 5-2 Smith, Humphries 5-3 Van Duivenbode,

Group winner Humphries, but it was a really quality night all round, Van Duivenbode unlucky not to win a game.

Night 29- 15th May

Players involved: Noppert, Henderson, Noppert and Meikle

Results: Noppert 5-2 Meikle, Reyes 5-4 Henderson, Reyes 5-4 Meikle, Henderson 5-4 Noppert, Henderson 5-0 Reyes and Reyes 5-2 Noppert. Reyes won the group 6 points on same leg difference as Henderson, but Henderson only got 4 points.

Night 30- 16th May

Players involved: Gary Anderson, Van den Bergh, Huybrechts and Van Duijvenbode. This looked like a belter of a night on paper, would it turn out that way?

Results: Anderson 5-1 Van Duijvenbode,  Huybrechts 5-2 Van den Bergh,  Huybrechts 5-3 Van Duijvenbode, Anderson 5-1 Van den bergh, Van den Bergh 5-0 Van Duijvenbode, Anderson 5-2 Huybrechs. Gary Anderson group winner on 6 points.

Night 31- 17th May

Players involved: Price, Brooks, K Brown and Cullen. The penultimate night of the first phase of the Home Tour.

Results: Price 5-3 Brooks, Cullen 5-2 Brown, Brown 5-1 Brooks, Cullen 5-3 Price, Cullen 5-0 Brooks, Brown 5-4 Price. Cullen group winner on 6 points.

Night 32- 18th May

Players involved: Wright, Ratajski, Pipe and Hunt. This was the last night of the first phase of the Unibet home tour.

Results: Wright 5-2 Hunt, Ratajski 5-0 Pipe, Hunt 5-3 Pipe, Wright 5-4 Ratajski, Hunt 5-4 Ratajski, Pipe 5-4 Wright.  Wright is the last group winner of the 1st phase of the Home Tour.

So there’s 15 Englishmen, 3 Welshmen, 2 Spanishmen, 1 Belgian, 1 Portuguese, 1 Australian, 2 Dutchmen, 1 Swede, 3 Scotsmen, 1 Dutchman, 1 German and 1 Canadian in the last 32.

Phase 2 begins on May 26th,  however the sponsors will be Low6 for the rest of the tournament  and I will update my blog when this phase happens and an explanation of how it will work.