World class darts is coming to Preston Guild Hall

Some of the biggest names in darts are bringing their arrows to Preston Guild Hall in November.

A four-man field is to compete with world number one Michael van Gerwen amongst them.

Alongside him will be fellow Dutch players Raymond van Barneveld and Vincent van der Voort. Austrialia’s Simon Whitlock completes the line up at the Guild Hall.

van Gerwen has won every major title in an explosive career.

He said: This should be a great show. It is a fantastic line-up of quality players and we will all be doing our best to win.

“It is at the most important time of year for us with the World Championship just around the corner so, while we will have a bit of fun, we will all be on top form.

“It is somewhere I’ve never played before but I’ve heard that they love their Darts in Preston and I’m sure it will be a brilliant night.”

The darts comes to Preston on Thursday 30 November from 7pm.

Three tiers of tickets are available at VIP level including buffet and waitress service all night (£75), gold with premium seating (£35) and silver which is general admission (£25).

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Fitzgerald wins at the Guild Hall

Preston boxer Scott Fitzgerald made a triumphant debut at the Guild Hall on Saturday night.

The reigning Commonweath Games champion was far too strong for his Russian opponent Andrej Cepur.

The 25-year-old claimed victory via a fourth-round stoppage in front of raucous home crowd.

It was the first time Fitzgerald had fought in his home town as a professional and he certainly put on a show for an expectant crowd.

The Jennings Gym ace dominated the fight from start to finish as Cepur came under attack from a barrage of shots.

Scott Fitzgerald hands out some punishment to Andrej Cepur

The 30-year-old, who lives in Lithuania, was unable to muster any sort of attack himself as Fitzgerald dominated the centre of the ring.

In the end, the referee brought an end to proceedings in the fourth.

Fitzgerald improved his overall record to six pro wins out of six, with four stoppages.

He also picked up his first belt in the paid ranks – the International Classic Challenge title.

“I kept thinking he was going to go down,” Fitzgerald said.

“I hit him with a few body shots and got him with a few head shots.

“I head him moan and wince a few times, but all credit to him, it was hard to find the gaps.

“It’s nice to get a little title at the Guild Hall, quite a few people came down to watch.”

Meanwhile, fellow Preston fighter Ben Swarbrick had to settle for a draw with Craig Derbyshire after the pair shared the four rounds of their bantamweight contest.

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Barry Hawkins v Ryan Day: World Grand Prix 2017 Final preview – The Hawk and Dynamite vie for glory

Barry Hawkins and Ryan Day go head to head for the right to be crowned the winner of the 2017 World Grand Prix at the Preston Guild Hall on Sunday.
After 32 players arrived in Preston at the start of the week, both men have won four matches to reach the final – knocking out seven of the world’s top 16 between them along the way – and will now face off for the title and top prize of £100,000
Hawkins’ most recent ranking title came here at the 2014 Players Championship Grand Final and, three years on, would love to put himself back into the winners’ enclosure for the third time in his career.
Having never won a frame in the two previous editions of this event, the Hawk has shredded the record book and soared to his second final of the season.
The 37-year-old, who was edged out by Mark King in the Northern Ireland Open showpiece in November, has overcome Kyren Wilson, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Liang Wenbo on the way to moving to within 10 frames of glory.
World number 12 Hawkins, who could rise to seventh on the provisional list by going all the way here, continued his impressive form this week by comprehensively sweeping Liang aside 6-1 in the semis – producing breaks of 106 and 92 in a free-scoring performance, before closing in style with a wonderful run of 120.
This will be his third meeting with Day during the current campaign. Hawkins came out on top 4-1 in the Last 16 at the English Open, while the Welshman was a narrow winner at the previous stage of the World Open earlier on.
Day is aiming to finally claim the first ranking trophy of his career at the fourth attempt and, following the surprise successes of King and Anthony Hamilton this term, will be desperate to shake off the tag of being regarded as the best player yet to taste victory.
Whatever happens in Preston, the 36-year-old will collect the biggest pay cheque of his career, but a win would see him climb back into the world’s top 16.
After seeing off Stuart Bingham, Michael White and Shaun Murphy, ‘Dynamite’ had to dig deep against Marco Fu, as he trailed 4-2 in the semi-finals.

The Welshman reeled off the next four frames, including the eighth from needing four snookers, to stun the in-form Scottish Open winner and book his place in a fourth ranking final.
It promises to be a brilliant occasion at the iconic Preston Guild Hall – the scene for some of the most memorable moments in snooker history – with the best of 19 frames determining who will lift the trophy on Sunday night.
Play gets underway at 1pm GMT with the opening nine frames, before a maximum of ten will be contested from 7pm.
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Resilient Ryan Day denies Marco Fu with superb comeback to reach World Grand Prix final

Ryan Day produced a terrific fightback from 4-2 down to defeat Marco Fu 6-4 for a place in the 2017 World Grand Prix final in Preston on Saturday night.
The Welsh ace defied two centuries from Fu and notably clinched a pivotal eighth frame after needing four snookers to remain on course for a maiden career ranking title.
The 36-year-old ended a run of five straight defeats to Fu spanning a decade as he set up a show-down with Barry Hawkins in Sunday’s final at the Preston Guild Hall.
 
“The eighth frame swung the momentum in my favour,” admitted Day. “I had one look at the table and I thought I’d give it my best.
 
“As long as there’s a red on the table and there’s an opportunity of a free ball with the balls in a good position then you should go for it.
 
“Maybe the way that match turned around in the last couple of frames is a sign? Fingers crossed it is.
 
“Barry [Hawkins] is probably playing as well as anyone at the minute so I know I’m going to have to play well to give him a game,” he added.
It was Fu who kicked off the match in spectacular fashion with a clearance of 125 to clinch the opening frame, before Day hit back with a 72 break to level.
The impressive standard continued as Fu made an 84 to regain the lead, only for Day to do the damage with a 58 break in the fourth frame for parity at two apiece.
Fu came out firing again with a stunning break of 123 to edge back ahead, before battling back from the brink to snatch a lengthy sixth frame and forge a 4-2 advantage.

Day, though, dominated frame seven by 80 points to nil and despite a 62 break from Fu in the next, ‘Dynamite’ mustered three snookers and a free ball in overturning the deficit and levelling up at 4-4.
Fu seemingly failed to recover and Day capitalised to move in front for the first time, before defying a run of 51 from the Hong Kong cueist in frame ten to get over the line.
A dejected Fu admitted: “I’m disappointed to lose the match but in a way I’m kind of relieved that it’s over because the way I was playing, I didn’t deserve to be in the final.
 
“I’m very happy for Ryan and hopefully he can win his first ranking title here.”
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Ryan Day ends Shaun Murphy\’s World Grand Prix title defence as free-scoring Fu downs King

Reigning champion Shaun Murphy is out of the 2017 World Grand Prix after suffering a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Ryan Day on Friday, while free-scoring Marco Fu enjoyed a success by the same scoreline over Mark King at the Preston Guild Hall.
Murphy’s title defence came to an end after he was outclassed by Day, who made five breaks of 50 or over on the way to booking his place in the semi-finals of a ranking event for the first time in three years.
The Welshman pounced on a misjudged safety shot from the Magician with runs of 68 and 50 to draw first blood, before doubling his lead with breaks of 50 and 47 along the way.
At this stage, Day was outscoring Murphy by 215 points to one, but the Triple Crown winner responded well by dominating the third frame with contributions of 32 and 50 to halve the deficit.
However, the three-time ranking event finalist moved to the brink of victory after a run of 51 to the blue in the fourth.
The reigning champion kept his hopes alive after eventually taking a scrappy 46-minute long fifth frame on the colours, but split the reds after missing a black off its spot in the next and Day punished with 79 to seal the deal.
He will play Fu in the semi-finals on Saturday, after the Scottish Open winner hit breaks of 72, 102, 98 and 69 on the way to seeing off King.
Both players had chances in the opening frame before Fu cleared with 72 for 1-0. The man from Hong Kong then opened up a commanding 3-0 lead thanks to breaks of 102 and 98, but Northern Ireland Open champion King averted the whitewash with a run of 65 along the way.

A scrappy fifth frame then went the way of the Romford cueist, who deep before taking it on the pink, but Fu halted the fightback with 69 to advance to the Last Four.
Ladbrokes World Grand Prix 2017 Results
Friday February 10
Quarter-Finals
Ryan Day 4-2 Shaun Murphy
Mark King 2-4 Marco Fu
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World Grand Prix Snooker 2017 live scores and tournament schedule

The World Grand Prix takes place in Preston this week as 32 players do battle in the season’s thirteenth ranking event, and you can follow all the latest results and fixtures here. 
The £300,000 tournament features the top 32 players from the one-year ranking list following last weekend’s German Masters.
The action continues thick and fast in an important phase of the season as a number of players make a swift return to action following last week’s trip to Berlin.
Anthony Hamilton’s landmark triumph in the German Masters sees him rewarded with a debut appearance in this competition as the ninth seed.
Shaun Murphy, who claimed this crown 12 months ago courtesy of a 10-9 victory over Stuart Bingham in the final in Llandudno, is seeded number 15.
Masters Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is aiming to bounce back from last week’s shock First Round exit in Germany, while 2015 Grand Prix winner Judd Trump is also in action.
The likes of World Champion Mark Selby, Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson and John Higgins will also have their sights set on landing the £100,000 top prize this week.
The tournament runs from February 6-12 at The Preston Guild Hall, with all matches up to and including the Quarter-Finals best of seven frames, Semi-Finals best of 11 and the final best of 19.
Ladbrokes World Grand Prix 2017 Tournament Schedule
 
Monday February 6
Round One
7pm
Judd Trump 4-2 Tom Ford
Dominic Dale 0-4 Liang Wenbo
John Higgins 3-4 Michael White
Barry Hawkins 4-2 Kyren Wilson
Tuesday February 7
Round One
1pm
Stuart Bingham 2-4 Ryan Day
Mark King 4-3 Stephen Maguire
3pm
Shaun Murphy 4-1 Michael Holt
Mark Williams 2-4 Joe Perry
7pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Yan Bingtao
David Gilbert 1-4 Anthony McGill
9pm
Marco Fu 4-2 Jamie Jones
Ali Carter 4-3 Zhou Yuelong
 
Wednesday February 8
Round One
1pm
Neil Robertson 4-2 Ricky Walden
Anthony Hamilton 0-4 Mark Allen
3pm
Mark Selby 3-4 Martin Gould
Yu Delu 2-4 Ding Junhui
Second Round
7pm
Ali Carter 3-4 Mark King
Shaun Murphy 4-3 Ding Junhui
9pm
Anthony McGill 2-4 Marco Fu
Michael White 2-4 Ryan Day
Thursday February 9
Second Round
1pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan 1-4 Neil Robertson
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Judd Trump
3pm
Martin Gould 3-4 Joe Perry
Mark Allen 3-4 Liang Wenbo
Quarter-Finals
7pm
Neil Robertson 2-4 Barry Hawkins
8pm
Joe Perry 3-4 Liang Wenbo
Friday February 10
Quarter-Finals
1pm
Ryan Day 4-2 Shaun Murphy
Mark King v Marco Fu
Semi-Final 1
7pm
Liang Wenbo v Barry Hawkins
Saturday February 11
Semi-Final 2
7pm
King/Fu v Ryan Day
Sunday February 12
1pm & 7pm
Final
Prize fund
Winner: £100,000
Runner-up: £40,000
Semi-Final losers: £20,000
Quarter-Final losers: £12,500
Last 16 losers: £7,500
Last 32 losers: £5,000
———————-
Highest break: £5,000
———————-
Total: £300,000
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World Grand Prix Snooker 2017 live scores and tournament schedule

The World Grand Prix takes place in Preston this week as 32 players do battle in the season’s thirteenth ranking event, and you can follow all the latest results and fixtures here. 
The £300,000 tournament features the top 32 players from the one-year ranking list following last weekend’s German Masters.

Last year's finalists Bingham and Murphy pose with the trophy before the final

The action continues thick and fast in an important phase of the season as a number of players make a swift return to action following last week’s trip to Berlin.
Anthony Hamilton’s landmark triumph in the German Masters sees him rewarded with a debut appearance in this competition as the ninth seed.
Shaun Murphy, who claimed this crown 12 months ago courtesy of a 10-9 victory over Stuart Bingham in the final in Llandudno, is seeded number 15.
Masters Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is aiming to bounce back from last week’s shock First Round exit in Germany, while 2015 Grand Prix winner Judd Trump is also in action.
The likes of World Champion Mark Selby, Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson and John Higgins will also have their sights set on landing the £100,000 top prize this week.
The tournament runs from February 6-12 at The Preston Guild Hall, with all matches up to and including the Quarter-Finals best of seven frames, Semi-Finals best of 11 and the final best of 19.
Ladbrokes World Grand Prix 2017 Tournament Schedule
Monday February 6
Round One
7pm
Judd Trump 4-2 Tom Ford
Dominic Dale 0-4 Liang Wenbo
John Higgins 3-4 Michael White
Barry Hawkins 4-2 Kyren Wilson
Tuesday February 7
Round One
1pm
Stuart Bingham 2-4 Ryan Day
Mark King 4-3 Stephen Maguire
3pm
Shaun Murphy 4-1 Michael Holt
Mark Williams 2-4 Joe Perry
7pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Yan Bingtao
David Gilbert 1-4 Anthony McGill
9pm
Marco Fu 4-2 Jamie Jones
Ali Carter 4-3 Zhou Yuelong
 
Wednesday February 8
Round One
1pm
Neil Robertson 4-2 Ricky Walden
Anthony Hamilton 0-4 Mark Allen
3pm
Mark Selby 3-4 Martin Gould
Yu Delu 2-4 Ding Junhui
Second Round
7pm
Ali Carter v Mark King
Shaun Murphy v Ding Junhui
9pm
Anthony McGill v Marco Fu
Michael White v Ryan Day
Thursday February 9
Second Round
1pm
Martin Gould v Joe Perry
Mark Allen v Liang Wenbo
3pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Neil Robertson
Barry Hawkins v Judd Trump
7pm
Quarter-Final matches (TBC)
Friday February 10
Quarter-Final matches (TBC)
Saturday February 11
1pm
Semi-Final 1
7pm
Semi-Final 2
Sunday February 12
1pm & 7pm
Final
Prize fund
Winner: £100,000
Runner-up: £40,000
Semi-Final losers: £20,000
Quarter-Final losers: £12,500
Last 16 losers: £7,500
Last 32 losers: £5,000
———————-
Highest break: £5,000
———————-
Total: £300,000
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Ronnie O\’Sullivan battles past Yan Bingtao in World Grand Prix opener as Ryan Day defeats Stuart Bingham

Ronnie O’Sullivan produced a pair of stunning century breaks on the way to a 4-2 victory over Yan Bingtao in the opening round of the World Grand Prix in Preston on Tuesday, while Ryan Day dumped out Stuart Bingham.

Masters Champion O’Sullivan bounced back from his First Round exit in last week’s German Masters with an assured display to deny the 16-year-old a dream debut at The Guild Hall.

O’Sullivan began in emphatic fashion by powering in a break of 137 to seal the opening frame, before punishing a risky missed double on a red from the Chinese youngster to double his lead.

Bingtao responded well with a break of 69 to halve the deficit, before firing in further breaks of 55 and 68 in frame four to level the match.

The turning point, however, came in the fifth frame as ‘The Rocket’ fluked a red before going on to make 59 for a 3-2 lead and close out victory with a majestic break of 128 in the next.

Welsh ace Day, meanwhile, enjoyed a 4-2 victory over last year’s World Grand Prix runner-up Bingham in the afternoon session.

Day established a 2-1 lead with a high break of 67 in frame one, and after Bingham had levelled with the aid of an 86 break, ‘Dynamite’ took the next two in quick succession to seal his spot in the Last 16.

Shaun Murphy kick-started the defence of his title with a commanding 4-1 win over Michael Holt which included top breaks of 73, 60 and 73.

Masters runner-up Joe Perry continued his fine run of form with a 4-2 defeat of two-time World Champion Mark Williams, recovering from 2-0 down to reel off four consecutive frames including a top break of 84.

Ali Carter battled his way to a hard-fought deciding frame victory over emerging star Zhou Yuelong – who recovered from 3-1 behind to send the match the distance, only for ‘The Captain’ to utilise his vast experience and seal the deal.

Northern Ireland Open winner Mark King was another last-frame victor as he held his nerve to see off a frustrated Stephen Maguire – who squandered a 3-2 advantage.

Scotland’s Anthony McGill made light work of Dave Gilbert, running out a 4-1 winner, while Marco Fu compiled high breaks of 105 and 85 in dispatching Jamie Jones – who himself produced a top effort of 121.

Ladbrokes World Grand Prix 2017 Results

Tuesday February 7

Round One

Afternoon Session
Stuart Bingham 2-4 Ryan Day
Mark King 4-3 Stephen Maguire
Shaun Murphy 4-1 Michael Holt
Mark Williams 2-4 Joe Perry

Evening Session
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Yan Bingtao
David Gilbert 1-4 Anthony McGill
Marco Fu 4-2 Jamie Jones
Ali Carter 4-3 Zhou Yuelong

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Ronnie O’Sullivan dazzles the crowd in Preston at the World Grand Prix snooker

Iconic snooker superstar Ronnie O’Sullivan eased into the second round of the World Grand Prix at Preston’s Guild Hall before delivering an awkward post-match interview.

The 41-year old clinically dispatched Chinese youngster Yan Bingtao 4-2 in a best of seven encounter before appearing non-committal to the media after the match.

The current Masters champion is facing on-going disciplinary action from governing body World Snooker after a post-match outburst at last week’s German Masters where he was surprisingly knocked out in the first round by Mark King.

And the player, affectionately known as ‘The Rocket’ for his speed of potting, has clearly taking umbrage at the investigation, despite dazzling the Preston crowd with century breaks in both the opening and final frames.

O’Sullivan is currently competing at the 2017 Ladbrokes World Grand Prix which sees a ranking snooker event return to the venue for the first time since 2005.

The World Grand Prix, with extensive live coverage each day on ITV4, sees the top 32 players on a one-year ranking list compete for a top prize of £100,000 with the final this Sunday, February 12.

The event, which had been held for the past two years in North Wales, also features defending champion Shaun Murphy as well as a host of other stars including World Number One Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson.

The Guild Hall is synonymous with snooker, going back to 1978 when the UK Championship was staged at the venue for the first time.

Despite a number of exhibition matches and qualifiers over the past year, this week’s tournament is a major coup for the venue after undergoing a multi-million pound renovation over the last few years.

Tickets are still on-sale for both afternoon and evening sessions and start from £9 – for more information call 01772 80 4444 or visit the Guild Hall Box Office.

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