Owen & Plaisier share Challenge Tour spoils

Robert Owen (PDC)

Robert Owen and Wesley Plaisier shared the spoils as the 2022 Winmau Challenge Tour resumed in Leicester on Friday.

The first of three days of action got underway at the Morningside Arena on Friday, and former UK Open semi-finalist Owen secured his maiden title at Event 16 to move up to second on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit.

The Welshman averaged above 92 in seven of his eight matches, following up a hard-fought win over Colin Osborne by seeing off Matthew Dennant and Robert Thornton in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

Owen then eased past former Lakeside Championship winner Christian Kist 5-2 in Friday afternoon's showpiece, averaging 94 and firing in four 180s to scoop the £2,000 top prize.

However, it was Plaisier who prevailed at Event 17, overcoming former World Grand Prix and UK Open champion Thornton 5-3 to secure his first triumph on the Winmau Challenge Tour.

The Dutchman has excelled on the European Tour in 2022, and he continued his fine form in Leicester, producing three ton-plus averages en route to the title.

Plaisier averaged 103, 100 and 101 in wins over Geoffrey Murray, Raymond Marshall and Lewis Pride respectively, having also accounted for Event 16 runner-up Kist earlier in the day.

The 32-year-old recorded a convincing victory over fellow Dutchman Martijn Dragt in the semi-finals, before winning four of the last five legs to topple Thornton, who also impressed at the Morningside Arena.

The veteran Scot posted a superb 103.75 average in his semi-final success against Czech star Karel Sedlacek, but he was unable to repeat the feat against Plaisier.

Elsewhere, Germany's Lukas Wenig achieved perfection at Event 17, landing a nine-darter to complete a 5-3 win over Andrew Hyland in the last 32, before succumbing to Sedlacek in the quarter-finals.

This weekend's Winmau Challenge Tour action continues with Events 18 & 19 on Saturday, with £20,000 in prize money up for grabs.

The top two players from the final 2022 Challenge Tour Order of Merit will secure a PDC Tour Card for 2023/24 and a place in the 2022/23 Cazoo World Darts Championship, with Scott Williams still boasting a £1,450 lead at the summit.

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PDC Winmau Challenge Tour
September 16, Morningside Arena
Event 16

Robert Owen 5-1 Matthew Dennant
Robert Thornton 5-2 David Wawrzewski
Christian Kist 5-3 Llew Bevan
John Bowles 5-0 Prakash Jiwa

Robert Owen 5-4 Robert Thornton
Christian Kist 5-3 John Bowles

Robert Owen 5-2 Christian Kist

Event 17

Karel Sedlacek 5-1 Lukas Wenig
Robert Thornton 5-0 Dan Read
Martijn Dragt 5-3 Jurjen van der Velde
Wesley Plaisier 5-3 Lewis Pride

Robert Thornton 5-3 Karel Sedlacek
Wesley Plaisier 5-2 Martijn Dragt

Wesley Plaisier 5-3 Robert Thornton