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PDC Unicorn Challenge wins for Jacques & Humphries

Posted on by Tom Warrington

Peter Jacques and Luke Humphries claimed their maiden PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour titles with victories in Events 11 and 12 at Arena MK on Sunday.

The first event of the day saw Huddersfield ace Jacques, who reached a Players Championship final in February, follow up two previous Challenge Tour quarter-finals by going all the way to the £2,000 top prize in Event 11.

The 44-year-old defeated Scott Rollings, Matthew Edgar, Tony Lincoln and Nathan Aspinall to reach the quarter-finals, where he whitewashed Peter Mitchell.

Jacques then saw off former World Youth Champion James Hubbard 5-2 in the semi-finals before sealing the title in a dramatic deciding leg against Jones.

After racing into a 4-0 lead, Jacques squandered seven darts to seal a whitewash victory, with Jones then hitting back to level only to miss five darts to claim the title in the decider.

Jones’ bid to win a third Challenge Tour event of 2017 saw him overcome Rob Hewson, Curtis Hammond, Chris Hartrey, Michael Power, Nigel Heydon and Ian Jones in his run to the final.

Hubbard’s semi-final appearance was his best finish on the PDC’s second-tier Challenge Tour, with Tipton’s Jones also reaching the last four for the first time.

Humphries then bagged himself a £2,000 winner’s prize as he defeated Andy Smith 5-4 in the final of Event 12 to conclude the year’s third Challenge Tour weekend.

A winner of two PDC Unicorn Development Tour titles in 2017, Humphries had been knocked out in the first round of Event 11 before going all the way just a few hours later.

Humphries began the afternoon with victories over Adam Whieldon, Mark Carter and Mark Wilson to secure his place in the last 16, where he defeated Hubbard 5-1.

The quarter-finals saw another 5-1 win for Humphries as he overcame Aaron Dyer, then securing a spot in the final with a yet another 5-1 victory over Joshua Richardson.

His opponent in the final was three-time World Grand Prix quarter-finalist Andy Smith, who was appearing in his first final since dropping onto the Challenge Tour this year.

Smith defeated Martin Lukeman, Keith Arber, James Marcroft and Mark Frost to move in to the last eight, where he saw off Jacques 5-2 before sealing a place in the final with a 5-1 win over Nick Fullwell.

The final was a tense encounter as Humphries needed a deciding leg to seal his first Challenge Tour title and continue his impressive emergence this year..

Former Junior Darts Corporation champion Richardson enjoyed his best finish since joining the senior circuit as he reached the semi-finals, alonside experienced thrower Fullwell.

Dyer saw his bid to win a third Challenge Tour event of the year ended in the Event 12 quarter-finals, where he was joined by Jacques, Brett Claydon and South Africa’s Warrick Scheffer.

The next PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour weekend will be held on June 10-11 at Arena MK in Milton Keynes, where a further four £10,000 tournaments will take place.


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