Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Dennis back in semis

Dennis back in semis

Dennis Priestley^s renaissance continued as the veteran booked his place in the World Matchplay semi-finals for the first time in nine years with a thrilling win over Alan Tabern.

Priestley last made the semi-finals in Blackpool in 1999 but he is back there again after a fine win - and he will be joined by defending champion James Wade, who had to dig deep to oust Matt Clark.

58-year-old Priestley is well into veteran status but he showed that he still has the class that took him to the final of the first three Matchplay events.

The man from Mexborough, who came through a prostate cancer battle in January, had to fight tooth-and-nail with rising force Tabern, who has now reached the last eight in the last three major tournaments.

After going behind Priestley won five legs out of six to move into a 7-4 lead, and the game then went with throw to see the Yorkshireman lead 14-13 and two legs from victory.

After falling to within one leg to defeat, Tabern showed bottle to nail a tricky 64 outshot with just one dart for double 16 - which he duly made.

Priestley though used all his experience and in the next he sealed a 16-14 win when he calmly took out 76 with two darts to move into the semis.

"I^m absolutely delighted to be in the semi-final," said Priestley.

"My aim is always just to play as well as I can and if I win it^s a bonus.


Priestley says that he wants to move away from his slow and thoughtful style of throwing as it is taking too much out of him.

The heat inside the Winter Gardens can be stifling at times and the veteran now feels the pace as the games stretch on.

"I don^t like playing slowly and taking methodical aim with each dart because it tires me out," he added.

"I had a period where I was absolutely exhausted but I bucked myself up and got a second wind."

Tabern was naturally full of disappointment but after a third quarter-final appearance he is happy with the way he is improving.

"I^m gutted," said Tabern. "Bit was a really good game and I enjoyed it. If I look back at the game, Dennis deserved to win.

"I^m on a roll at the moment having made the quarter-finals of the last three TV tournaments, thousands of players all over the world would love to be in my position."

Wade wins

Defending champion James Wade was pushed all the way by surprise package Matt Clark, but eventually maintained his defence with a 16-12 win.

The left-hander needed some big finishes and heavy scoring just to battle his way into a 9-7 lead, but Clark kept his cool and hit successive 12-darters with sublime finishes of 161 and 113 to level things up.

Despite Wade going ahead again Clark pulled him back to 13-12 but finally the champion took three legs on the bounce to seal his victory.

"I did get frustrated," Wade admitted. "I was missing doubles and Matt hit me with some shots that hurt me.

"I probably made it harder for myself than I needed to but I probably got affected by Matt^s slow pace. I^m a fast player and don^t have the best temperament when players do that against me."

a.top_betting_link_1 {background-image: url(^/Images/skysports/fixturecal/icons/fix-bet.gif^);background-repeat:no-repeat;background-position:0% 50%;padding-left:18px;}

Read more


In a new, fun-filled feature for Bristol City World this season the players have been taking part in the ^Nine-Dart Challenge^.The challenge involves each competitor being given nine darts to bag t...

Read more

Win Jim Bowen in your living room in our new competition

BULLSEYE host Jim Bowen is set to take his Edinburgh Fringe show to a lucky Record reader^s living room. The comedian - famed for his "you can^t beat a bit of bully" and super, smashing, great "cat...

Read more