Caven's In Seventh Heaven!

October 30 2012

JAMIE CAVEN won through to the Championship League Darts Winners Group on Tuesday evening, defeating Paul Nicholson 6-4 to take victory in Group Seven of the internet-streamed event.

Derby's Caven, 36, continued his return to form in a superb day of darts in the tightest group yet this year, as the eight players battled it out in a high-quality day of darts.

Michael van Gerwen, the recent World Grand Prix champion, won all seven league matches with some superb darts, completing a league stage win over Caven with a 170 checkout and a 107.7 average.

The Dutch ace finished at the top of the league table, but lost 6-3 in the semi-finals to Nicholson - who only took fourth place in the final round of league games with a 6-1 win over Richie Burnett.

That victory also eliminated the Welshman, who had gone into the last games as one of four players alongside Nicholson, Mark Walsh and Brendan Dolan, who could either take a play-off place or be eliminated.

Burnett's loss, coupled with a win for Mark Walsh over Brendan Dolan, meant that the former World Champion was eliminated despite three league wins alongside 2009 Championship League winner Colin Osborne, who failed to win a league game on the day.

There was further drama in the semi-finals as Caven defeated Robert Thornton 6-2, with the Scot finishing in second place in the league table with five victories from his league games but failing to match the Derby ace's scoring power in the last four.

Caven then enjoyed a fine tussle with Nicholson in the decider, breaking throw with a 14-dart finish and taking out legs of 12 and 11 darts as he led 3-1, with Nicholson posting an 11-darter of his own in reply.

Nicholson then took out 110 and 64 to level the game before hitting a 180 and double eight to lead 4-3 - but Caven found another gear to hit back, levelling again on double ten and hitting a key 81 finish to win the ninth and move 5-4 up.

He then opened the tenth with a 171 score and added a 180 as he left 58 after nine darts, before sealing a superb triumph on tops for a 12-darter.

Caven now returns on Thursday for the big-money Winners Group, when he will join Phil Taylor, Simon Whitlock, Wes Newton, Justin Pipe, Dave Chisnall and Ronnie Baxter in competing for the £10,000 first prize and a place in the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts.

"I'm speechless after that!" said Caven. "I'm shattered, mentally drained, but I'm over the moon to get through this group.

"My form over the last couple of years has dipped and I've had a lot of personal stuff to deal with, [losing] my dad, and I'm so overwhelmed with how I've been playing recently.

"I've made a slight change to my darts and it's coming off for me. It's really tough in this event so to get through to Thursday is fantastic.

"I'll get plenty of rest on Wednesday and come back now for the Winners Group. I've never been in the Grand Slam of Darts yet so that's an aim but I'm not looking that far ahead yet, I just want to get myself ready for Thursday."

Nicholson will now return on Wednesday to compete in Group Eight as he joins seven other players - including van Gerwen, Thornton, Dolan and Walsh - in bidding to win the final place in the Winners Group.

They are joined by Denis Ovens, Peter Wright and Steve Beaton in Group Eight, which will be streamed exclusively online from 10.30am on Wednesday through LIVEPDC.TV and a host of bookmakers' websites worldwide.

All LIVEPDC.TV Subscribers will be able to watch live coverage from Championship League Darts, featuring play in the league stage simultaneously on two boards.

2012 Championship League Darts
Group Seven Results

Board One

Board Two

Mark Walsh 1-6 Paul Nicholson

Brendan Dolan 3-6 Richie Burnett

Colin Osborne 1-6 Michael van Gerwen

Robert Thornton 6-1 Jamie Caven

Richie Burnett 6-3 Mark Walsh

Paul Nicholson 5-6 Brendan Dolan

Jamie Caven 6-4 Colin Osborne

Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Robert Thornton

Richie Burnett 4-6 Robert Thornton

Mark Walsh 5-6 Michael van Gerwen

Jamie Caven 5-6 Brendan Dolan

Paul Nicholson 6-2 Colin Osborne

Robert Thornton 5-6 Mark Walsh

Richie Burnett 1-6 Michael van Gerwen

Paul Nicholson 5-6 Jamie Caven

Brendan Dolan 6-2 Colin Osborne

Brendan Dolan 4-6 Robert Thornton

Colin Osborne 1-6 Mark Walsh

Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Paul Nicholson

Jamie Caven 6-2 Richie Burnett

Colin Osborne 1-6 Richie Burnett

Paul Nicholson 3-6 Robert Thornton

Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Brendan Dolan

Mark Walsh 4-6 Jamie Caven

Jamie Caven 3-6 Michael van Gerwen

Robert Thornton 6-2 Colin Osborne

Brendan Dolan 4-6 Mark Walsh

Richie Burnett 1-6 Paul Nicholson



Michael van Gerwen 3-6 Paul Nicholson

Robert Thornton 2-6 Jamie Caven



Paul Nicholson 4-6 Jamie Caven


Final League Table & Prize Money

Group Seven






Leg +/-




Michael van Gerwen










Robert Thornton










Jamie Caven










Paul Nicholson










Brendan Dolan










Mark Walsh










Richie Burnett










Colin Osborne










Match Information
First Round of Matches

Paul Nicholson made a flying start to Group Seven with a 6-1 win over Mark Walsh. Nicholson continued the form which took him to the Dutch Darts Masters final on Sunday with the win, averaging 100.93 in a strong display and taking command early on as he took the first four legs without reply. Walsh edged the fifth, after Nicholson missed four darts to win the leg, but the Group Five finalist took the next two to seal the win.
Richie Burnett won the battle of the Championship League Darts debutants 6-3 against Brendan Dolan . Burnett won the game's first four legs before Dolan hit back, landing tops and finishes of 71 and 61 to cut the gap to 4-3. Burnett finished 96 to win the eighth and then landed double 12 for the points.
Michael van Gerwen raced past Colin Osborne 6-1 to make a winning introduction to this year's event. The Dutch ace, who won the World Grand Prix earlier this month, started with a superb 11-darter and added double 16 before Osborne landed double four to win the third. Osborne then missed a dart at double 12 to level as van Gerwen fired in double 16 again, before taking the next three for victory with an average of 101.42.
Robert Thornton claimed a fine 6-1 win to kick off Group Seven against Jamie Caven . Thornton took the game's first two legs before Caven landed double 16 in the third. Thornton restored his advantage in the fourth and hit double 16 for a 4-1 lead. He also won leg six, and then took out 118 to seal the win, ending with an average of 98.03.

Second Set of Matches
Richie Burnett's great start continued with a 6-3 win over Mark Walsh . The Welshman took control from the start by winning the first four legs without reply before landing tops to lead 5-0 Walsh landed a 180 and double ten as he got off the mark, before finishing 161 and 64 to pull back to 5-3, but Burnett took the next to seal the win.
Brendan Dolan came from 3-1 down to win his first game in Championship League Darts, defeating Paul Nicholson 6-5. Dolan won the opener, but Nicholson took out 106 to level and tops in the next two legs to move 3-1 up. The pair shared the next two before Dolan won three in a row to move 5-4 up in the game. He missed five match darts in the next as Nicholson forced a decider - but he then missed his chance for victory, missing double 16 for a 146 checkout to let Dolan in to hit the same bed in taking out 62 in two darts.
Jamie Caven won his first Group Seven game, defeating Colin Osborne 6-4 in a high-quality contest which saw both players average over 100. After Caven won the opener, hitting a 180 and double 14, Osborne took out 130 to level and won the third to move ahead. Caven took two of the next three to level and three-all and then landed a 130 checkout to move 4-3 up. Osborne replied with a 167 finish, but Caven took out 116 to move back ahead and tops for a 13-darter to seal the victory.
Michael van Gerwen's brilliant start continued with a 6-2 win over Robert Thornton as the in-form Dutch ace averaged 103.37 to his opponent's 102.3. Van Gerwen took out 76 and 72 to win the first two legs before Thornton finished double eight and double four to level. Van Gerwen, though, took the fifth leg and then won the next two on the bull with finishes of 86 and 92 before taking out tops for the match.

Third Set of Matches
Robert Thornton won his second game of the day, defeating Richie Burnett 6-4. Burnett took out 113 for the opening leg, but Thornton won the next two on double 16 before stepping in to steal the third after the Welshman hit a 180 but missed five doubles. Burnett then won the next three to lead 4-3, but missed his chance in the eighth as Thornton levelled before finishing 62 to force a decider - in which the Scot opened with two 180s and hit double nine for the win.
Michael van Gerwen's unbeaten start saw him win a third successive game with a 6-5 win over Mark Walsh as he came from 3-1 down to edge a tight contest with a third successive ton-plus average, this time at 102.38. Walsh finished 102 to win the first leg, and after van Gerwen levelled he took the next two to lead 3-1. He also had a chance to win the fifth before van Gerwen posted double eight, but Walsh fired home a 161 checkout to move 4-2 up. Van Gerwen won the next two to level, but Walsh this time took out 144 as he moved 5-4 up - only for the Dutchman to respond superbly, hitting tops to force a decider. The youngster initially missed double 16 for a 134 finish to take the game, but Walsh was unable to post double nine for a 138 game shot, and van Gerwen stepped in to take the win on double eight.
Brendan Dolan picked up his second victory of Group Seven, edging out Jamie Caven 6-5 by taking out 121 for a 12-dart leg in the decider. The pair began the game with 180s, as Dolan took out double ten for the opener before Caven replied in kind to level. Dolan hit 180s as he won the next two, before Caven took the fifth to pull back to 3-2 only to then miss three darts to level as Dolan returned from bursting his score on 61 to take out the finish at the second time of asking. Caven won leg seven, but Dolan won the eighth in style with a 13-darter, hitting 174 and 180 to set up a potential nine-darter before eventually landing double eight. Caven finished double four and 115 to force a decider, but Dolan hit 140, 140 and 100 in the decider before finishing 121 on double five for the win.
Paul Nicholson condemned Colin Osborne to his third straight Group Seven defeat with a clinical 6-2 win over the Derby ace. Nicholson took out 110 in the first leg and won the next four to lead 5-0 before Osborne hit back, punishing a miss from his opponent to seal a whitewash by hitting double two and then taking out 80 for a second leg. However, he missed four darts at doubles to continue the fightback, and Nicholson hit a 174 to leave double top as he secured a second win of the day.

Fourth Set of Matches
Mark Walsh edged tight clash with Robert Thornton 6-5 to claim his first victory of Group Seven. The pair hit 180s in holding throw in the first two legs before the Scot edged 2-1 up, but Walsh replied with two superb legs, hitting legs of 12 and 11 darts to move 3-2 ahead - in both hitting a 180, a 140 and a ton before finishing 81. Thornton levelled but missed two darts to break in the seventh as Walsh posted tops. The next three also went with throw to force a deciding leg, with Thornton missing 14 for a 107 finish and Walsh stepping in to land double 16 for the win.
Michael van Gerwen remains unbeaten following four matches, after defeating top-four rival Richie Burnett 6-1. The pair shared the first two legs, before van Gerwen raced to the third in 12 darts, hitting 180, 140, 100 and finishing 81 on double 16. The Dutchman then took out 70 on tops and 36 to move 4-1 up, before hitting a 180 in the sixth before finishing 32 with an improvised double seven, double nine combination, before landing double 16 to complete a heavy win.
Jamie Caven hit back from 5-3 down to win 6-5 against Paul Nicholson .The first four legs were shared before Nicholson broke in the fifth to hit tops for a 3-2 lead, before finishing 81 to move two clear. The next two were shared as he led 5-3 before Caven took the ninth and punished two missed match darts to force a decider, which he won on double 18.
Brendan Dolan won his third game of the day, defeating winless Colin Osborne 6-2. Osborne won the opener, but Dolan levelled on double four and took out 76 and 64 to lead 3-1. Osborne finished tops to break in the fifth, but Dolan hit back by finishing 121 on the bull in the next, finished 57 to lead 5-2 and sealed the win on double six.

Fifth Set of Matches
Robert Thornton
won his third game of the day to maintain his play-off push with a 6-4 defeat of Brendan Dolan . The first two legs were shared before Thornton took out 87, 93 and 61 to move 4-1 up. The next two were shared as Thornton edged towards victory, and although Dolan took out 24 and 106 to pull back to 5-4 the Scot hit a 180 to leave 96 as he sealed victory.
Mark Walsh won the basement battle with Colin Osborne 6-1 with a fine performance to leave the 2009 champion on the brink of elimination in Group Seven. Osborne took the opening leg, but Walsh levelled by finishing 68 and took the next three for a 4-1 lead. Osborne missed his chance to hit back as double ten put Walsh 5-1 up before he sealed the wi with a superb 158 checkout, ending with a 98.24 average.
Michael van Gerwen defeated Paul Nicholson 6-4 in a superb contest, averaging 103.43 to his opponent's 101.87 as he remains unbeaten after five games. Double 12 gave van Gerwen the first leg before Nicholson hit two 180s in the second, while the Dutchman finished 111 for the third. Nicholson took the next two to edge ahead, before van Gerwen found another gear to win the next three for a 5-3 lead. Nicholson saved the match with a two-dart 100 finish, but van Gerwen sealed the win in style, hitting a 171 to lead 94 as he took out an 11-darter.
Jamie Caven powered in a brilliant 106.64 average as he defeated Richie Burnett 6-2 for a third win of the day. Caven won the first three legs before Burnett replied on double 12, and the pair shared double 16 finishes to leave the Derby man 4-2 up. A 54 finish gave Caven his fifth leg, and he sealed the victory with the best leg of the day so far, hitting 140, 180, 145 and double 18 for a ten-darter.

Sixth Set of Matches
Richie Burnett picked up his third win of Group Seven and confirmed Colin Osborne's elimination with a 6-1 victory. Burnett made an ideal start, hitting a 180 in a 14-darter to break throw before punishing a miss at double 16 from Osborne to hit the same bed and double his lead. The Derby man hit a 180 as he got off the mark in the third, but finishes of double four and double eight gave Burnett a 4-1 lead, double 18 edged him further away and double ten sealed the victory.
Robert Thornton picked up his fourth win of the day by defeating Paul Nicholson 6-3 to leave the latter - last year's runner-up in the Winners Group - in danger of elimination. Thornton made a sensational start, opening the game with a 180 and hitting legs of 11 and 12 darts to take the lead before finishing 80 in the third. He also missed doubles to win the fourth as Nicholson took out double eight to get off the mark, and after Thornton won the fifth a 103 checkout pulled him back to 4-2. Thornton hit a 180 as he moved 5-2 up, and though Nicholson finished 99 to save the game, the Scot finished 65 on tops in the next to seal a superb win.
Michael van Gerwen produced some stunning darts to come from 5-2 down and defeat Brendan Dolan 6-5 - with the Dutchman averaging 103.97 hitting eight 180s and a 177 and setting up a nine-darter three times in a game which also saw the Northern Irishman hit four maximums. The pair both hit 180s in the opening leg, which Dolan took, before van Gerwen added a maximum as he levelled. Dolan then hit two 180s in the third before van Gerwen opened the fourth with seventh perfect darts, missing the treble 19 on a nine-darter but finishing double eight for a 12-dart finish. Dolan then won three streaight legs to put himself 5-2 up before van Gerwen kicked off the eighth with a 180 and 177, winning the leg in 11 darts. Dolan then missed two match darts as the Dutchman hit double five to stay alive. He then set up another possible nine-darter with back-to-back 180s to open the tenth leg, before hitting double 18 for a ten-darter to force a deciding leg in which his power scoring came at the back end, as he finished 124 on the bull for a 12-darter in sealing the win.
Jamie Caven put one foot into the semi-finals with a 6-4 win over Mark Walsh which leaves the Hertfordshire ace needing a win from his final game to avoid elimination. Caven made a strong start to lead 2-0, only for Walsh to win the next three to edge ahead. Caven took the sixth before Walsh finished 121 on the bull for the seventh. Walsh also hit a 180 in the eighth, but Caven landed tops to level at four-all before winning the next two to complete the win.

Final Set of Matches
Michael van Gerwen averaged a stunning 107.70 in his 6-3 win over Jamie Caven as he ends the league phase unbeaten, sealing the win with a 170 checkout. Caven hit a 180 and finished 80 for a 14-darter in the first leg before van Gerwent took out 126 on the bull to level. Caven then finished double five to win the third, only for van Gerwen to level and then take out an effortless 156 checkout to lead 3-2, and then extended his lead on double eight. The pair traded 180s in the next as Caven hit tops to pull back to 4-3, but van Gerwen took out 48 to win the next and sealed the win in fine style with a 170 checkout.
Robert Thornton secured second place in the league phase with a 6-2 defeat of Colin Osborne , who exits the event without a win on the day. Osborne took out 99 to win the first leg and also led 2-1 before Thornton hit top gear, levelling on tops and moving 3-2 up before hitting a 180 and double 16 to a two-leg lead. He also landed a 180 in the seventh before finishing 32 to seal the win in the next.
Mark Walsh defeated Brendan Dolan 6-4 to dramatically survive in Championship League Darts, winning his third game of the day. Walsh finished 116 to win the opening and also took two of the next three legs to lead 3-1 before Dolan finished 36 to hit back. Walsh took the next two to move 5-2 up and to the brink of victory only for Dolan to hit back and threaten a win which would have seen him finish fourth and Walsh eliminated - the Northern Irishman taking two successive legs to pull back to 5-4, only for the Hertfordshire ace to hit double five to finally edge the win.
Paul Nicholson's 6-1 win over Richie Burnett sees him claim fourth place and a semi-final spot and also eliminates the Welsh ace on leg difference in an amazing finale to the league stage. After Nicholson won the opener with a 72 ifnish, Burnett took out 90 to level only for his opponent to pull away, hitting a 180 in the third and tops to lead 3-1. He also won the next two before Burnett fired in a 180 in reply in leg seven, only to miss two darts at double eight to stay in the game as Nicholson returned to finish tops to seal the win and a Play-Off place, as well as ending his opponent's hopes.

Michael van Gerwen 3-6 Paul Nicholson
Robert Thornton 2-6 Jamie Caven
Paul Nicholson won through to the Group Seven final, inflicting Michael van Gerwen's first defeat of the day in their semi-final contest. Nicholson made a brilliant start, winning the first leg in 14 darts, stealing the second with a 114 finish and taking the third in 11 darts. Van Gerwen hit a 180 in a 13-darter as he got off the mark in the fourth, added another two 13-dart finishes to leevl the match in style. Nicholson, though, halted his surge on double eight and then landed double 14 to move to the brink of victory, before trading 180s with van Gerwen in the next, with double 16 securing a spot in the decider.
Jamie Caven produced a brilliant display to power into the Group Seven final, defeating Robert Thornton 6-2. Caven took the game's first two legs before Thornton finished 94 to hit back - only to then miss doubles to level as Caven hit double five to lead 3-1. Thornton hit a 180 in winning leg five and added another maximum in the next only to miss double 18 to level as Caven finished 70 to move 4-2 up. Double ten gave Caven a fifth leg, and another 70 checkout from Caven - this time for a 12-darter - sealed his place in the final.

Paul Nicholson 4-6 Jamie Caven
Jamie Caven claimed victory in Group Seven a fine tussle with Paul Nicholson in the decider, breaking throw with a 14-dart finish and taking out legs of 12 and 11 darts as he led 3-1, with Nicholson posting an 11-darter of his own in reply.
Nicholson then took out 110 and 64 to level the game before hitting a 180 and double eight to lead 4-3 - but Caven found another gear to hit back, levelling again on double ten and hitting a key 81 finish to win the ninth and move 5-4 up.
He then opened the tenth with a 171 score and added a 180 as he left 58 after nine darts, before sealing a superb triumph on tops for a 12-darter.

Final Match Stats

Paul Nicholson


Jamie Caven

















High Finish



Breaks of Throw


Group Seven Player Stats

Name G7 Average 180s High Finish
Michael van Gerwen 102.80 21 170
Robert Thornton 98.03 24 118
Jamie Caven 98/32 19 130
Paul Nicholson 96.03 17 114
Brendan Dolan 92.08 11 121
Mark Walsh 93.24 16 161
Richie Burnett 90.18 7 113
Colin Osborne 90.10 6 167

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