Portela and Preston claim first Challenge Tour titles of 2018

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 28 Jan 2018
Samba darter Portela celebrates at Ally Pally (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Diogo Portela claimed his first PDC title on the Unicorn Challenge Tour on Saturday, while Simon Preston also entered the winner's circle in Wigan.

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The first of five double-header weekends to be held this year for PDPA Associate Members saw players compete in two £10,000 tournaments on Saturday.
 
The day's second event saw Brazil's Portela - who narrowly missed out on winning a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School last week - claim his first title by defeating Michael Barnard 5-3 in the final.
 
The recent World Championship debutant overcame Carlo van Peer 5-1 in his opener before seeing off Barrie Bates 5-3 and followed up a 5-1 win over Lewis Pride with three consecutive last-leg triumphs over Ricky Williams, Callan Rydz and Richie Corner.
 
Portela then overcame Ben Burton 5-3 in the Semi-Finals and repeated that scoreline against Barnard to pick up the title.
 
Barnard, who has vast experience on the circuit, was bidding to win his first PDC title as he defeated George Gardner, Ken MacNeil, Mike De Decker, Adam Huckvale, Mark Frost, David Pallett and Peter Mitchell to reach the final.

Preston won the year's opening event, defeating emerging star Jarred Cole 5-2 in the final.
 
The 49-year-old picked up his first Challenge Tour success as he won through the field in Wigan to claim the £2,000 first prize.
 
He opened the day with a 5-2 win over fellow Cheshire ace Stuart Kellett before edging out Cameron Menzies in a deciding leg, and then defeated Andy Boulton and Michael Gillet by 5-3 scorelines.
 
A 5-2 win over Brett Claydon was followed by a quarter-final whitewash of Martin Bradbury, before Preston saw off Dutchman Berry van Peer 5-3 in the semis.
 
He then completed the win by seeing off teenage talent Cole 5-2 in the final to claim the year's maiden Challenge Tour title.
 
Hertfordshire's Cole, 17, was a star on the Junior Darts Corporation's circuit last year and has also competed on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour, and Saturday's run saw him reach the final on his Challenge Tour debut.
 
Cole whitewashed Glenn Gibson and then overcame Simon Tate 5-1, before edging out Bryn Suckley, Lee Shewan, Dave Ladley and John Bowles in nine-leg contests.
 
The teenager then defeated experienced Stoke ace Mark Frost 5-3 in the Semi-Finals as he secured a spot in the final, but had to settle for the £1,000 runner-up prize.
 
The triumphs for Portela and Preston are likely to earn them places in the majority of Players Championship events this year, with a rule change from 2017 seeing the 128-man line-ups topped up solely from the Challenge Tour Order of Merit.

Sunday sees the weekend's action in Wigan conclude with a further two £10,000 Challenge Tour events.
 

PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour 2018 Results


Saturday January 27

Event One (Last 16 onwards)

Last 16
Jarred Cole 5-4 Dave Ladley
John Bowles 5-3 Steven Kirkby
Mark Frost 5-4 Dan Read
Michael Barnard 5-3 Martin Lukeman
Simon Preston 5-2 Brett Claydon
Martin Bradbury 5-0 Jason Lovett
Martyn Turner 5-2 Jon Jukes
Berry van Peer 5-2 Ben Burton
 
Quarter-Finals
Jarred Cole 5-4 John Bowles
Mark Frost 5-3 Michael Barnard
Simon Preston 5-0 Martin Bradbury
Berry van Peer 5-2 Martyn Turner
 
Semi-Finals
Jarred Cole 5-3 Mark Frost
Simon Preston 5-3 Berry van Peer
 
Final
Simon Preston 5-2 Jarred Cole
 
Event Two (Last 16 onwards)

Last 16
David Pallett 5-2 Jeff Smith
Michael Barnard 5-1 Mark Frost
Jamie Hughes 5-1 Jarred Cole
Peter Mitchell 5-3 Steven Smith
Richie Corner 5-4 Andy Jenkins
Diogo Portela 5-4 Callan Rydz
Ben Burton 5-2 Andy Boulton
Simon Preston 5-1 Rhys Hayden
 
Quarter-Finals
Michael Barnard 5-2 David Pallett
Peter Mitchell 5-3 Jamie Hughes
Diogo Portela 5-4 Richie Corner                                                                                                       
Ben Burton 5-4 Simon Preston
 
Semi-Finals
Michael Barnard 5-2 Peter Mitchell
Diogo Portela 5-3 Ben Burton
 
Final
Diogo Portela 5-3 Michael Barnard


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Portela and Preston claim first Challenge Tour titles of 2018

Diogo Portela claimed his first PDC title on the Unicorn Challenge Tour on Saturday, while Simon Preston also entered the winner's circle in Wigan.

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