The Rileys UK Open Darts Qualifiers are nearly upon us, and competition will be as fierce as ever for the 16 spots available to represent #TeamRileys at the FA Cup of Darts.
We’ve had some incredible success stories over the years, here are some of our highlights as well as what happened next!
It is hard to believe that it has been two years since the heroics of Rob Cross at the UK Open Darts Championship. The former World Champion admits that his whirlwind year of 2017 which culminated in him winning the Sid Waddell Trophy at Ally Pally all started with qualifying through our Rileys branch.
Having missed out at South Benfleet in 2016, the Hastings based former electrician received a knock on the door from his uncle at the crack of dawn. Together they would set off on the 180+ mile trip from Hastings to Norwich. Cross would prevail, and the rest they say is history.
At the UK Open itself, Cross would win through against Ken MacNeil, Wes Newton and a last leg decider against Jeffrey de Graaf. He’d then face off against Michael van Gerwen in a memorable contest which featured 18 perfect darts. Little did they know they would go to toe to toe in the World Semis just 19 months later.
— Rileys (@ClubRileys) 5 March 2016
Also in 2016, Barry Lynn would cause some of the biggest upsets ever seen at the UK Open Darts finals in his run to the last eight. Lynn’s first shock was against Brendan Dolan in the third round, before he produced the mother of all upsets, defeating the reigning World Champion Gary Anderson 9-3 with a 125 checkout.
He would eventually bow out on the final day’s action against eventual champion Michael van Gerwen in the last eight. He’d scoop £10,000 for his efforts.
In 2018, Lynn is very much active on the circuit, with two last eight and one semi final appearance on the Challenge Tour. He also made two European Tour events picking up £2,000 each time for his efforts.
There are only five players who have reached all of the UK Opens Darts finals since its inception in 2003, namely James Wade, Steve Beaton, Terry Jenkins, Wayne Jones….and three-time Team Rileys member Alex Roy.
Having won through twice at Harlow and once at London Victoria, the two-time UK Open quarter-finalist clearly likes representing us at the main event in Butlins Minehead. He has reached the last 64 (aka the money round!) for the past three years. The Middlesex based player has also enjoyed two television wins in the tournament in that time, once against Dennis Smith and last year against Toni Alcinas. Will he able to keep his streak going this year?
Crocodile Dundee Paul Hogan was in the very first UK Open in 2003. The Berkshire based player made his return to the event in 2014 as part of Team Rileys and has been a perennial favourite ever since. He has enjoyed two runs to the last 32 and the same number of runs to the last 16. In total, he has scooped £19k from his efforts in the tournament.
2017 will long live in the memory, defeating Gary Anderson, Jamie Lewis and Adrian Lewis in the same tournament is no mean feat to say the least.
Just last week he was in action at Lakeside, where he enjoyed a win over Wes Newton.
— The Darting Nerd (@thedartingnerd) 13 January 2019
Reading 2012’s Team RIleys list is quite something, especially if you are a BDO darts fan. Two members have since won the World title at Lakeside, and in fact they played each at Bolton in the very first round of the main event itself.
Stephen Bunting triumphed 4-0 over Glen Durrant. Little did we know then what they would both go onto achieve! The Bullet won Lakeside two years later, while Durrant has triumphed over the past three years.
Jamie Hughes, another BDO favourite for many years was also in action at the 2012 for Rileys missing out against Steve Hine in the first round. Both Hughes and Durrant head to Q-School this week.
In addition to them, Andy Boulton, Steve Douglas, Dave Prins, John Ferrell, Dan Day, Dave Parletti, Mark Barilli, Dean Reynolds and the aforementioned Hogan are all Team Rileys representatives that have played at Lakeside.
PDC tour card holders
Rileys/Speedy qualifiers in the fourth round:
2010 Paul Warwick
2011 Andrew Gilding, John Bowles, Andy Boulton, Joe Murnan
2013 Stephen Bunting
2014 Paul Hogan, Simon Stevenson
2015 Paul Hogan
2016 Barry Lynn, Rob Cross
2017 Paul Hogan
2018 Paul Hogan
— Christopher Kempf (@ochepedia) 2 March 2018
In 2010, a young Ricky Evans was a Rileys Qualifier. He has since played at four World Darts Championships and is well established on the PDC Tour. Joe Murnan, Andrew Gilding and John Bowles were part of the Rileys class of 2011. All three giant killed their way to the last 32, with Bowles going one step further and reaching the last 16 after shocking Steve Beaton. All three have since enjoyed successful stints on the PDC Tour since then, with Murnan even winning a Pro Tour event.
Chris Dobey, Richard North, Scott Taylor, Simon Stevenson, Mark Wilson and Gary Eastwood are others who have represented RIleys before going onto win a Tour card.
And now YOU can follow in their footsteps!
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) 4 January 2019
Win your way to represent #TeamRileys at the UK Open Darts Finals at Butlins Minehead, click here to book your place today!
2019 Qualifier Event dates
South Benfleet, 09/02