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Players Championship Darts 2014: Recapping Saturday's Biggest Upsets

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19:  Dennis Preistley of England reacts during his match against Ronnie Baxter during day 6 of the 2013 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on December 19, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2014

Crawley's K2 Centre welcomed the Players Championship back to southern England this weekend after the biggest stars of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) had spent two months away from its setting.

Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor were just some of those names out in force at the K2 in late March, and all except "The Power" have made the trip back to participate this Saturday.

The favourites will each make a strong claim for the £10,000 first-place prize, but as the weekend's earliest results will attest, it's not always the heaviest hitter who comes out on top.

 

Saturday's Biggest Upsets

Antonio Alcinas 6-5 Ronnie Baxter

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19:  Dennis Preistley of England reacts during his match against Ronnie Baxter during day 6 of the 2013 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on December 19, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/G
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

It was only two months ago that Antonio Alcinas broke a year-long drought without having made it to the last 16 of an event at Players Championship 7, and now the Spaniard is edging closer to tying up a useful bit of consistency.

That's after he arose to beat world No. 19 Ronnie Baxter 6-5 on Saturday, showing that Crawley may be something of a good luck charm for him.

Livescore Darts confirmed the win over Twitter:

The Mallorca native has two rounds to go before he can match or even beat the accomplishment of making it to the last 16 eight weeks ago, but moving past Baxter will have put a considerable spring in his step.

 

James Richardson 6-5 Jamie Lewis

By the slimmest of margins, James Richardson managed to show that there is some value to be held in experience, triumphing 6-5 against one of darts' most promising upstarts Jamie Lewis.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18:  James Richardson of Great Britain reacts during his first round match against Raymond van Barneveld of The Netherlands during day four of the 2012 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on December 18, 2
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Although 18 years his junior, Lewis currently ranks No. 37 in the world stakes, a whole 33 places above 40-year-old Richardson, showing just how highly thought of he is in these circles.

But Richardson clearly wasn't fazed by those conditions, with SportsRadar Live announcing that "Ruthless" had managed that which many his own age have not in the last couple of years:

According to Darts Database, these two had met twice prior to Saturday's collision, each winning once in 2012, but Richardson now takes an advantage over "Rasta" in their head-to-head.

 

Benito van de Pas 6-3 Kevin Painter

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27: Kevin Painter of England in action during his third round match against Simon Whitlock of Australia on day twelve of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on December 27, 2013 in London, England.  (P
Harry Engels/Getty Images

A day after beating Steve West 6-2 in his Gibraltar Darts UK Trophy Qualifier, Kevin Painter was summoned back to the oche in the expectation that the world ranked No. 20 would prevail over Benito van de Pas.

However, the 21-year-old overcame the latest hurdle of his career since earning his PDC tour card at the beginning of this year, with SportsRadar Live confirming the youngster's win over the highly ranked Painter:

After losing 6-1 to Simon Whitlock at the eighth Players Championship event of the year earlier in May, it looked as though Van de Pas had suffered a setback in his development.

However, bouncing back to claim victory over Painter shows that the Dutchman has commendable resolve to go hand-in-hand with his obvious talent, during what's turning out to be a very promising start to his career.

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