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David Evans and Ritchie Edhouse secure PDC Tour Cards via the Challenge Tour

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PDC Challenge Tour Order of Merit following Event Six

Several players withdrawn on eventful final day of opening Challenge Tour weekend

Jamie Shaw in Challenge Tour 08 Aug 2021
The opening UK Challenge Tour weekend ended in dramatic fashion (Photo by PA Images)

A number of players were withdrawn from the final Challenge Tour event of the weekend in Milton Keynes on Sunday after coming into contact with a player who had tested positive for Covid-19.

Challenge Tour Event Six at the Marshall Arena saw 12 players pulled from their boards, in some cases midway through a match.

This came after an unnamed player returned a positive Covid test, meaning all players who had come into close contact with that player had to be removed from the event in accordance with government guidelines.

Their scheduled opponents were then handed walkovers into the next round.

Players forced to withdraw included Ayrshire’s Jim McEwan, who had claimed the Event Three title on Saturday, as well as Nathan Rafferty, Scott Marsh and Joe Davis.

Event Six was eventually won by Jamie Clarke, who defeated Ryan Palmer 5-3 in the final.

Earlier in the day, Challenge Tour Event Five was suspended for over an hour after a small electrical fire broke out in another part of the venue.

The venue was evacuated as fire crews attended the scene before play resumed to a finish, with Shaun McDonald defeating Nathan Girvan 5-4 to clinch the title.

Saturday saw Adam Smith-Neale join McEwan in the winner’s circle by claiming the Event Four title with a 5-1 rout of Gavin Carlin in the final.

The opening event of the series of Friday saw Darren Beveridge dispatch Martin Thomas 5-2 in the final to claim glory, before former BDO world finalist Jim Williams edged out Smith-Neale 5-4 in the final of Event Two.

Williams leads the way at the top of the Challenge Tour Order of Merit after racking up £3,700 in prize money, with Smith-Neale in second and McDonald in third.

The UK Challenge Tour resumes in Milton Keynes for Events 7-12 from September 3-5, as well as the European Challenge Tour in Niedernhausen the same weekend.

The leading player from both the UK and European Challenge Tour Order of Merit will secure a PDC Tour Card for 2022/23 and a place in the 2021/22 World Darts Championship.

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