Atkins and Cullen share PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour wins

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Nrwcomer Martin Atkins and Ireland’s Jason Cullen shared victories on Sunday’s second day of the 2018 PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour.

Atkins won his first PDC title with a 5-4 win over Michael Barnard in the final of Sunday’s Event Three at the Robin Park Tennis Centre.

The 43-year-old from Wigan joined the PDC circuit by competing in his home town in Qualifying School last week, and has made a successful step onto the Challenge Tour to take the £2,000 title in the weekend’s third event.

Atkins was taken to a deciding leg in three of his opening four matches, against David Pallett, Rhys Griffin and Lee Budgen, and also whitewashed David Edwards before a 5-2 win over former UK Open finalist Colin Osborne moved him into the last eight.

There, he was a 5-3 winner over Ricky Williams before defeating Jason Lowe 5-2 in the last four, and battled all the way in the final against Barnard before edging the win.

Barnard had also won through to Saturday’s Event Two final, where he lost 5-3 to Diogo Portela, as he overcame Jack Fuller, Ian Withers, John Bowles, Steven Kirkby, Rusty-Jake Rodriguez, Martin Lukeman and Tony O’Shea.

Former Lakeside Champion O’Shea had defeated Brazil’s Portela and former World Championship semi-finalist Andy Jenkins during his run to the last four.

Irish thrower Cullen defeated Scotland’s Cameron Menzies in the final of Event Four to conclude the double-header weekend in Wigan as he picked up the £2,000 top prize.

The 2017 Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay finalist bounced back from a second round loss in Event Three to go all the way through a tough field, opening his challenge with a 5-3 win over former ranking event winner Andy Smith.

He then defeated Leon Bailey, overcame Kevin Dowling in a deciding leg and whitewashed Matt Padgett before wins over Ryan Murray, Stuart Kellett and Yordi Meeuwisse put him into the final.

The decider went all the way to the ninth leg, and with Menzies waiting on a double it was Cullen who claimed glory with a 114 checkout.

Menzies – who competed in the 2017 bwin Grand Slam of Darts – overcame Shayne Burgess, Dean Mills, Michael Rasztovits, Kevin Simm, Jarred Cole, Rhys Griffin and Steven Kirkby to win through to the final.

The next PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour weekend will take place on March 24-25 at Arena MK in Milton Keynes, where a further four £10,000 tournaments will take place.

PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour

Sunday January 28, Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan

Event Three

Last 16

Matt Padgett 5-2 Jeff Smith

Jason Lowe 5-3 Cameron Menzies

Martin Atkins 5-2 Colin Osborne

Ricky Williams 5-2 Brian Woods

Tony O’Shea 5-4 Andy Jenkins

Diogo Portela 5-1 Callum Loose

Michael Barnard 5-2 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez

Martin Lukeman 5-4 Robert Rickwood

Quarter-Finals

Jason Lowe 5-0 Matt Padgett

Martin Atkins 5-3 Ricky Williams

Tony O’Shea 5-2 Diogo Portela

Michael Barnard 5-2 Martin Lukeman

Semi-Finals

Martin Atkins 5-2 Jason Lowe

Michael Barnard 5-3 Tony O’Shea

Final

Martin Atkins 5-4 Michael Barnard

Event Four

Last 16

Jason Cullen 5-3 Ryan Murray

Stuart Kellett 5-4 Mark Walsh

Peter Mitchell 5-4 Thomas Lovely

Yordi Meeuwisse 5-1 Mark Frost

Colin Osborne 5-3 Dave Prins

Steven Kirkby 5-3 Bryn Suckley

Cameron Menzies 5-3 Jarred Cole

Rhys Griffin 5-2 Lee Evans

Quarter-Finals

Jason Cullen 5-2 Stuart Kellett

Yordi Meeuwisse 5-2 Peter Mitchell

Steven Kirkby 5-2 Colin Osborne

Cameron Menzies 5-3 Rhys Griffin

Semi-Finals

Jason Cullen 5-3 Yordi Meeuwisse

Cameron Menzies 5-1 Steven Kirkby

Final

Jason Cullen 5-4 Cameron Menzies

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