As the dust settles on one of the most memorable UK Opens ever held, we take the chance to reflect on how Team Rileys fared at the 2018 FA Cup of Darts.
We of course start with Paul Hogan who has enjoyed such incredible success at this event over the years.
The Basingstoke based player reached the 2nd day of action for the third time in his career.
He was pushed all the way by fellow Rileys Qualifier Darren Brown in the first round. Brown took the opening leg but Hogan rattled off the next five. Incredibly Brown had either had shots at a double or was on a double in all 5 legs which Hogan won. Brown rocketed back however taking out the next four legs in 16, 15, 13 and 13. Hogan would win the leg decider in 15 darts however to scrape home. Brown averaged 92.9 (averaging over 104 with the first nine) to Hogan’s 80.2 in a standout match from the first round.
Took his chances superbly . https://t.co/RCsJhAn0ji
— Darren brown (@D180Brown) 2 March 2018
Travelled back last night as County match for Berkshire today. Thanks to team Riley’s and shirt sponsors A1 Metal Recycling, The Academy Basingstoke, but especially to my wife Angela. Thanks for all the messages of support
— Paul Hogan (@paulhogan0180) 4 March 2018
Benefitting from a bye in the 2nd round, Hogan then overcame Paul Nicholson in the evening session to be the only Rileys qualifier to make the 2nd day’s action. He then vanquished Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror Jeffrey de Zwaan 10-8 averaging 97.6. Leading 9-8 against Gerwyn Price, Hogan would narrowly miss out on a place in the last eight, with Price winning the final two legs.
On the Sunday, Hogan travelled back to Berkshire to play for his County where he promptly averaged over 109 in his win. He will surely be one to watch at this weekend’s Isle of Man Darts Festival.
Just won County match with an 36.44 average must be the practice all the past over the few days
— Paul Hogan (@paulhogan0180) 4 March 2018
The Best of the Rest
In addition to Hogan, four Rileys Qualifiers made the 3rd round money stage, picking up £1750, for many of them its the biggest pay day of their careers.
UK Open ever present Alex Roy made the third round for the third year in a row. After overcoming old adversary Mark Walsh (who was playing in a hoodie) 6-2, the Middlesex charity worker then battled past Toni Alcinas 6-4 live on ITV4. That earned him a clash with Gerwyn Price, and despite quickly falling 5-1 down, drew on all his experience and rallied to level at five apiece. Price would take five of the next six legs however to prevail.
Croydon’s Darryl Pilgrim banished the memories from 12 months ago when he lost in the opening round against Ben Green having led 3-0. This time round though, he made light work of fellow Rileys Qualifier Ian Jopling and held his never against Dutch youngster Geert Nentjes 6-4 which got one journalist particularly excited…
— The Darting Nerd (@thedartingnerd) 2 March 2018
He then pushed Steve West all the way in the third round, having been 4-1 down he won five straight legs to lead 6-4. The final leg proved to be outrageous, with three maximums, two for West and one for Pilgrim, with West winning in 12 darts.
Not my best weekend thats for sure !!!! But i guarantee it wont stop me from trying # believeinmyself
— JOPPERS (@joppers180) 4 March 2018
David Airey and former Lakeside Youth finalist Harry Ward were the other members of #teamrileys to make the money round after two solid wins each.
Airey hit two 180s in a ding dong battle with fellow qualifier Benjamin McClelland where he survived 6-4 after a rally from the latter who was 4-1 down. But Airey, who qualified from Rileys Chester, stepped it up a gear in the 2nd round against Stuart Kellett, averaging 88.5 and winning six legs in a row including a 12 darter. He would eventually lose to Jason Lowe 10-3.
Youngster Harry Ward breezed through his opening two games for the loss of just one leg, first dispatching fellow Rileys Qualifier Dan Lee 6-0, and then overcoming another bright young prospect in the form of Ted Evetts 6-1. Evetts was sat on a double in five of the six legs which Ward won. He couldn’t reproduce that form however against the ever improving Chris Dobey, who himself was a Rileys Qualifier from 2014.
This tournament will of course always be remembered for the weather. Chris Lacey, Craig Winstanley, Andrew Davidson, Scott Robertson and Mark Rice were all forced to withdraw from the competition due to the adverse conditions.
On route home had ago trying to get to minehead was too dangerous absolutely devastated
— Craig Winstanley (@Wince_Fac251) 2 March 2018
Snow wrecks Craig Winstanley’s hopes of competing in FA Cup of Darts https://t.co/4F8sMvgQGm
— Mike Critchley (@mike_critchley) 2 March 2018
John Part 6-2 John Morris
Alex Roy 6-2 Mark Walsh
Michael Burgoine Bye (Andrew Davidson withdrew)
Rene Eidams 6-4 Andrew Johnson
Michael Barnard Bye (Scott Robertson withdrew)
Andrew Pullen Bye (Mark Rice withdrew)
Michael Rasztovits 6-3 Simon Tate
Luke Humphries 6-0 Liam Kelly
Harry Ward 6-0 Daniel Lee
Darryl Pilgrim 6-2 Ian Jopling
Joe Davis 6-5 Dan Read
David Airey 6-4 Benjamin McClelland
Martin Biggs Bye (Chris Lacey withdrew)
Ricky Evans 6-1 Andreas Hajiminia
Cody Harris 6-1 Tony Mitchell
Mark Craddock Bye (Craig Winstanley withdrew)
Andy Hamilton Bye (William O’Connor withdrew)
Paul Whitworth 6-3 Martin Atkins
Paul Hogan 6-5 Darren Brown
Ron Meulenkamp 6-4 Andy Hibbert
Jason Mold 6-5 Prakash Jiwa
John Scott 6-4 Darren Johnson
Alex Roy 6-4 Toni Alcinas
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Martin Biggs
Paul Hogan Bye (John Goldie withdrew)
David Airey 6-1 Stuart Kellett
Nathan Rafferty 6-3 Jason Mold
Robert Owen 6-4 Michael Burgoine
Jermaine Wattimena 6-0 Andy Hamilton
Jason Lowe 6-4 John Scott
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Andrew Pullen
Ron Meulenkamp 6-1 Joe Davis
John Part 6-0 Paul Whitworth
Harry Ward 6-1 Ted Evetts
Ryan Meikle 6-4 Mark Craddock
Darryl Pilgrim 6-4 Geert Nentjes
LISTEN TO A PODCAST OF RILEYS UK OPEN QUALIFIERS – featuring Alex Roy, John Ferrell, Morgan Smith, Lionel Sams, Dave Parletti, Rhys Hayden, Michael Burgoine, Darryl Pilgrim, Joe Davis and John Scott.