Tricole wins Winmau Challenge Tour Event Five

Thibault Tricole picked up the second PDC Winmau Challenge Tour title of his career as he beat Owen Bates 5-2 to win Event Five in Milton Keynes on Sunday.

After a tricky start to the Challenge Tour weekend, Tricole really started to find his form in the final two events - reaching the semi-finals in Event Four before securing the title in the final event of the weekend. 

A strong 15-darter from Bates kicked off the final, with Tricole levelling before breaking for the first time for a 2-1 lead. 

The Frenchman then put together a run of three more legs including two breaks of throw to lead 4-1, with a match-high 121 checkout sealing a 12-dart break in the fifth leg. 

Bates broke back in the sixth to move to within two, but Tricole proved too strong as he broke again to secure the title and round off a strong opening Challenge Tour weekend. 

The run to the title for the 33-year-old started with a 5-2 victory over Gary Butcher, before he saw off Robert Grundy 5-3 in the Last 128. 

Next, he dispatched Adam Atkinson 5-2 with a brilliant 102.48 average (the third highest of the day) and followed this with victory over Brazil's Diogo Portela by the same scoreline. 

Again, a 5-2 victory was to follow in the Last 16 - this time against James Hurrell - before he edged past the experienced Wayne Jones 5-3 in the quarter-finals. 

Jarred Cole was the Frenchman's next victim in the semi-finals as he ran out a 5-2 winner, before completing his success with the victory over Bates. 

For Bates, his run to the final started with a 5-1 victory over Sam Hoddinott, before he defeated Dutchman Patrick Peters 5-3 and Ireland's Niall Culleton 5-1.

Jim McEwan was his next big test, but Bates raised his game to secure a 5-2 win with a 97 average, and he followed this with victories over Charlie Martin and Adam Hunt by the same scoreline to reach the last four. 

There, he beat Dom Taylor 5-1 to reach his second consecutive final, before falling to Tricole in Sunday's showpiece.

Elsewhere, it was a decent afternoon for John Henderson in his first weekend of Challenge Tour action after losing his Tour Card - with the Scot reaching the quarter-finals.

Victory for Tricole means there were five different champions across the five events on the opening weekend, as he joins Christian Kist, Chris Landman, Andy Boulton and Cameron Crabtree in the winner's circle.

The top two players from the final 2023 Challenge Tour Order of Merit at the end of the year will secure a PDC Tour Card for 2024/25 and a place in the 2023/24 Cazoo World Darts Championship.

Click here to view the Event Five Draw & Results

Results & Match stats can be viewed through DartConnect.

PDC Winmau Challenge Tour
Sunday January 22
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes

Event Five

Thibault Tricole 5-3 Wayne Jones
Jarred Cole 5-2 John Henderson
Dom Taylor 5-2 Jeremy van der Winkel
Owen Bates 5-2 Adam Hunt

Thibault Tricole 5-2 Jarred Cole
Owen Bates 5-1 Dom Taylor

Thibault Tricole 5-2 Owen Bates