Clark & Moss win final Ladbrokes World Darts Championship places

Matt Clark and Ian Moss claimed the final two places in the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship at Monday’s PDPA Qualifier in Barnsley.

The pair won through a field of 116 players at the Barnsley Metrodome to earn their spots at Alexandra Palace next month, seeing off the likes of former World Champion Dennis Priestley, 2004 UK Open champion Roland Scholten and former World Championship finalists Peter Manley and Kirk Shepherd.

Moss, a 50-year-old from Oxfordshire, will be making his World Championship debut after picking up wins over Mark Jones, Martyn Turner, John Bowles, Finland’s Jani Haavisto, Colin Osborne and Kevin Thomas.

“It’s a dream come true and it means the world to me,” said Moss. “I’ve put a lot of work in and I’ve had a lot of help along the way, particularly from Dennis Smith, who along with my family has believed in me.

“I’ve never given up and today I’ve finally got here. It’s a big donkey off my back! Matt played well and beat me fair and square in the final, but I can’t wait to be at Alexandra Palace.”

Clark, meanwhile, ends a three-year absence from the Alexandra Palace stage after overcoming Andy Jenkins 5-3 to win their semi-final and earn a 14th World Championship appearance.

The 45-year-old former World Matchplay quarter-finalist defeated Dave Honey, Alan Derrett, Johnny Haines and top young prospect Josh Payne before taking victory in his semi-final with Jenkins.

Clark then whitewashed Moss in the PDPA Qualifier final, ensuring that he enters the World Championship in the first round and his opponent will come into the £1 million event in the preliminary round next month.

“It’s great to be back,” said Clark. “Ian’s had a great season, he’s picked up some good results and he deserves this too, but I’ve had two years by the wayside and this is brilliant for me.

“I still remember the buzz I got when I first played at Alexandra Palace and had a walk-on, and it’s always special there. You can’t imagine how it feels and I’m looking forward to being back there so much.”

Experienced Portsmouth thrower Jenkins, a former World Championship semi-finalist, had defeated Michael Barnard, Canada’s Jeff Smith, Steve West and Stoke’s Mark Frost before falling one game short of qualifying.

Welsh ace Thomas, who hit a nine-darter earlier this year, picked up wins against David Copley, William O’Connor, Daniel Day, Michael Mansell – where he came from 4-3 down to win 5-4 with a 114 finish and an 11-darter in the deciding leg – and Nigel Birch, before losing out to Moss.

Osborne, who dropped out of the world’s top 32 last weekend and was outside of the ProTour Order of Merit qualifying places, battled bravely to win an Alexandra Palace return, coming from behind in wins over Sam Hill and Dave Ladley and also defeating Paul Rowley only to see Moss end his hopes.

Veteran star Priestley, the PDC’s first World Champion 20 years ago, was a second round loser to Payne as the 63-year-old saw his hopes of gracing the Alexandra Palace stage once again ended.

Denis Ovens, who has returned to action less than a month after undergoing carpal tunnel surgery in his throwing arm, was a third round loser to David Pallett, while Kirk Shepherd lost in the second round to end his hopes of repeating his incredible run to the final as a qualifier in 2008.

Colchester’s Jamie Robinson – whose run to the final of Sunday’s Players Championship was not enough to see him qualify through the ProTour Order of Merit – hit a nine-dart finish during his third round game with Steve West, only to eventually lose 5-4!

West, though, was defeated by Jenkins in the last 16, while his brother Tony also missed out on winning a World Championship spot with a second round defeat to James Hubbbard, who also reached the fourth round.

Former UK Open champion Roland Scholten was edged out in the second round by Daniel Day, 1996 World Matchplay winner Peter Evison lost to Johnny Haines in round one, and he was joined by experienced stars Peter Manley, Steve Hine and Alex Roy in falling at the first hurdle.

Monday’s PDPA Qualifier completes the 72-player field for the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship, which will be held at London’s Alexandra Palace from December 13-January 1.

The preliminary round draw will be made this weekend during the Cash Converters Players Championship Finals in Minehead, with the eagerly-awaited first round draw to be made on Monday December 2 live on Sky Sports News around 11.30am.





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