New Zealand Darts Masters PDC World Series of Darts Hamilton 2022 Night 1 Match 1 Jonny Clayton v Mal Cuming Mal Cuming came within a leg of winning his first match in the World Series of Darts. He now takes on the winner of the last World Series of Darts in Wollongong. Both players are debuting on the PDC stage in New Zealand. Clayton has already lost a match in the first round in this series of events, in Townsville Australia to Kiwi Haupai Puha, and Aussie now looking to eliminate him in New Zealand.
Match 2 Joe Cullen v Damon Heta
Joe Cullen takes on a new opponent for the first round after defeating Dave Marland in the previous two events (6-0 and 6-3.) In the meantime Heta has lost his opening matches to last leg deciders in Australia but in the land of his father’s birth he will be looking to put that disappointment behind him to progress past round one and go on a deep run. Heta won the first match between the two in the players championship in 2020. Since then Cullen has won their other two clashes including 10-2 in this year’s World Matchplay only just over a month ago.
Match 3 (4) James Wade v Gordon Mathers
In a replay from Wollongong just eight days before, Wade and Mathers go head-to-head. Wade won 6-3 and made it all the way to the final. In Hamilton in 2019 Wade made the semi-finals and Auckland 2015, 2016 and 2017. As he did not tour in 2018 it means he has never missed out on the semi-finals in a PDC competition in New Zealand. It is Mathers debut in the World Series in New Zealand.
Match 4 Fallon Sherrock v Kayden Milne Youngster Kayden Milne is the next generation of dart players in New Zealand. Sherrock was very upset at losing her opening round match in Townsville and then edged past Mal Cuming in the opening round at Wollongong. She will be looking to continue her progress against Milne but the Kiwi youngster will want the Kiwi crowd to go home happy. Match 5 (3) Michael Smith v Warren Parry This is the sixth match with both players having been a part of the PDC World Championships. They have never played each other but Smith only needs to ask MvG what it is like to play Parry, the Kiwi’s comeback win over MvG in Sydney one of the greatest matches in the World Series of Darts history. Parry has lost matches to Rob Cross, Raymond van Barneveld (twice), and Peter Wright – all who (now in the case of Wright) have one or more World Championships to their name. He will be looking to make Smith his second victim in the history of the World Series, but Smith has thrown some outstanding darts in his opening two first round matches this tour.
Match 6 (2) Michael van Gerwen v Bernie Smith This is five of the six opening round matches that includes two players having played in the PDC World Championships. They have not met before but Smith has all the experience in the world, although he only has played on the World Series stage once, in Auckland 2016. MvG will be looking for a better than his first-round elimination in Wollongong last time of asking.
Match 7 Gerwyn Price v Ben Robb
These two are playing for the first time. Robb wants to break a two match losing streak in 2022 against PDC players. Price will not be happy at losing the final in Townsville and not even making the final in Wollongong. Robb defeated Simon Whitlock 6-4 in Hamilton last time around, before losing to Rob Cross in the next round. Possibly just as famous was his last leg thriller match in Auckland 2018 when he lost out to Whitlock 6-5 having only found out he was in the competition 48 hours before.
Match 8 (1) Dimitri Van den Bergh v Simon Whitlock Whitlock won the first match between the two in 2017 but then lost the next three in a row, three of those four total matches in the players championship. They have had a surprising lack of matches on TV in the last few years, the closest being Belgium v Australia but Van den Bergh went head to head against Damon Heta and not Whitlock. Van den Bergh was eliminated on the second night in NSW as was Whitlock. Both players did the same in Townsville so one of these two will come away with a perfect result from first round matches on this tour downunder.
Quarter Final 1 Dimitri Van den Bergh v Joe Cullen
Prior to this series in PDC events Joe Cullen held a head to head record of 4-2 but Dimitri Van den Bergh had won the last two having lost the first four. Remarkably they did not face each other on TV for over two years between the 2020 World Matchplay, won by Van den Bergh 6-5, and the World Series of Darts Queensland Darts Masters in Townsville a fortnight ago, which helped Cullen extend his lead to 5-2 after he won 6-4.
Quarter Final 2 James Wade v Gerwyn Price
Up until mid 2020 James Wade held an 8 – 5 record (1 draw) against Gerwyn Price. He actually lost his first match against Price, in the players championship of 2014. They met in a World Series event in Dubai in 2017, which Price also won. The last two years they have played each other ten times, the last time a week ago in Wollongong. The record in that timeframe is even more clear than their previous record, with Wade winning seven times and losing only three, including a 7-3 semi final win in last week’s NSW Darts Masters. Thus the overall record reads 15 – 8 (1 draw) in Wade’s favour.
Quarter Final 3 Michael van Gerwen v Jonny Clayton
Since 2016 Jonny Clayton had struggled against Michael van Gerwen, losing their first five matches head to head and only securing two wins in their first ten matches. He lost to MvG in the 2019 Masters but came back and took out their match in the 2020 version. Van Gerwen got revenge later in the year. In 2021 they played each other seven times and the record started to even up with Clayton winning five of those matches. The two have faced off against each other eight times this year, with the record split at 4-4. So MvG holds the face to face record of 17-13 over Welshman Clayton.
Quarter Final 4 Michael Smith v Kayden Milne
This is Kayden Milne’s first match against Michael Smith. Smith has made the final eight on both the other events on this PDC World Series of Darts tour but has lost them both, including to local Queensland GG Mathers in the Queensland Darts Masters, and eventual winner Jonny Clayton in Wollongong. Milne will be looking to keep this record going in this quarter final at Hamilton.