The Final Winmau Challenge Tours of 2022 have taken place, with no fewer than Three Dunvegan Dynamos heading to the Morningside Arena in Leicester to battle for the available honours. They came in the form of ‘The Gladiator’ Mark McGeeney, ‘The Scholar’ Matt Dennant, and ‘Head Hunter’ Ryan Hogarth. There were Four Events over the Two Days, and here’s how they each got on:

Mark McGeeney
Challenge Tour 21:
Mark started his CT Campaign for the Weekend against former Challenge Tour Event Winner, Shaun Carroll. It’s fair to say Mark didn’t have his best outing in the last 256 here, as he was defeated in a whitewash, averaging just under 78. He missed Darts at Double in both his Legs on Throw, and a Dart at the Bull in the Final Leg for 130, but it wasn’t enough to get a leg on tbe board as he was eliminated in Game 1.
Result: Mark McGeeney 0-5 Shaun Carroll

Challenge Tour 22:
At CT22 of 2022, it was Dan Read up first for ‘The Gladiator’, in what was to be a much tighter affair than the day before. The match started with Dan having the Darts, and the first four legs all went with throw, before the pair exchanged breaks to level the match at 3-3. Both held their throws again, taking the affair to a Deciding Leg. Mark had a single Match Dart, after a 180 in the previous visit left 90, and a Dart at Bull was all Mark had, before he agonisingly put it into the Outer Bull. Dan came back and took out 20, meaning a much improved performance and average wielded nothing in the end.
Result: Mark McGeeney 4-5 Dan Read

Challenge Tour 23:
In the penultimate Event of the Year, luck truly deserted Mark. As he pushed his game to another level, Averaging 95, his opponent, Gary Blades, found a new gear as well in Averaging 104. In the majority of matches that average from Mark puts more than a solitary leg on the board, which he did in 15 Darts in the Fifth Leg, otherwise just about being edged by one of the best performances you’re ever likely to see on the Challenge Tour.
Result: Mark McGeeney 1-5 Gary Blades

Challenge Tour 24:
And, after Three Days of ever improving performances, Mark was finally able to get his first win of the Weekend. The Match followed Throw for the opening Five Legs, before Mark made a decisive break in the 6th in 13 Darts to put him within one leg of victory. However, an immediate return of the break and hold from his opponent sent the match to a last leg decider. And, in 15 Darts, Mark held throw to get his first win of the weekend.
Result: Mark McGeeney 5-4 Scottie Walters

In the L64, it was a tie against Jarred Cole. Mark had the darts and both held their throw to start with before exchanging breaks, with Mark’s to make it 2-2 being completed in 15 and with a 100 out. Mark followed that with a hold, before each player held again, before it went to a deciding leg. Mark stepped up to wrap the match up in 15 Darts and double his win tally for the day and week.
Result: Mark McGeeney 5-3 Jarred Cole

The L32 saw Mark start with the darts again, but face an immediate break at the hands of Scott Campbell. The match then went with throw until the deciding leg, when Scott managed to find the second and final break of the match in 14 Darts to end the weekend’s action for Mark.
Result: Mark McGeeney 2-5 Scott Campbell

Despite only winning any games on the final day, it was a decent enough weekend for Mark. Particularly the 95 Average against Gary Blades, which was only thwarted by a anomalous marvel from Blades.

Matt Dennant
Challenge Tour 21:

The Scholar started CT21 in the l256 against Graham Usher. It started with holds of 13 and 14 respectively. We then had Four consecutive breaks of throw, the best of which being a 13 Darter from Matt in Leg 3, before Graham grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to hold and break in 15 to wrap up the match.
Result: Matt Dennant 3-5 Graham Usher

Challenge Tour 22:
Matt lost 15 points on his average from his match yesterday, but gained a far superior result as he claimed his maiden win of the weekend. With a whitewash win, with legs ranging from 13 to 26 darts, it wasn’t a win for the ages, but it was a win nonetheless to set The Scholar on his way.
Result: Matt Dennant 5-0 Jimmy van Schie

Next up was one of the toughest challenges available on the CT in Scott Williams, who of course won Players Championship 18 this year. The match went with throw until Leg 5, when Scott broke in 11 Darts. Matt had to find a break in the next few legs but only managed a hold to depart at the L64 stage.
Result: Matt Dennant 3-5 Scott Williams

Challenge Tour 23:
The penultimate event of the weekend started off with a game against Scotsman Jack Walker. After unremarkable holds of throw on both sides, Matt found his gear and reeled off four consecutive legs, including a 13 Darter in the final leg to wrap up the victory.
Result: Matt Dennant 5-1 Jack Walker

Up next was Martin Thomas, and before you could recite Pi to 411 places, Matt was 3-0 up. Two holds in 16 provided the bread to sandwich a break in the second. When Martin did eventually get a break back, Matt broke back immediately again and held, doing both in 15 Darts to secure the win.
Resilt: Matt Dennant 5-2 Martin Thomas

Following that was a tie against World Seniors Champion, Robert Thornton. Just like the previous round, he started with a break n’ hold n’ break to take an early 3-0 lead. They both held until a break in the penultimate by The Thorn, before Matt broke straight back to seal the win.
Result: Matt Dennant 5-3 Robert Thornton

Matt found the accelerator in the L16, whitewashing Peter Jacques in just 8 minutes. Casually averaging 102, winning the first Three Legs in 15, and the Last Two in 14 to race through and book his place in the Quarter Finals.
Result: Matt Dennant 5-0 Peter Jacques

In this QFs, Matt averaged barely shy of a Ton, and his opponent, Jeremy van der Winkel, was just above. The scoreline, however, would fail to suggest that, with the only Leg Jeremy putting on the board coming with a break in the Third. Otherwise, Matt held and broke in a similar manner to his day as a whole, and secured another impressive win.
Result: Matt Dennant 5-1 Jeremy van der Winkel

It was Semi Finals time, and Scott Taylor was the man who stood between Matt and a shot at glory. If you like Six legs of holds then this was the match for you, before Matt broke in the Seventh and held in the Eighth, and had a deserved chance at the Title at CT23.
Result: Matt Dennant 5-3 Scott Taylor

Matt had the throw, and the match went with Throw for the opening Four legs, but Justin Smith broke, held, and broke once more to deny Matt the CT Title his play on the day deserved.
Result: Matt Dennant 2-5 Justin Smith

Challenge Tour 24:
The Final CT of the year for Matt started with a whitewash victory. With legs of (not in any order) of 14, 15, 16, 17, and 19…Couldn’t have been 18 for the sake of the sequence could it? Nothing ever wrong with a win, mind, and that’s exactly what he got.
Result: Matt Dennant 5-0 Carl Beattie

The CTs came to an end for The Scholar in the L64, as, after Four holds of throw exchanged, before three of the next four legs went the way of the Frenchman Jacques Labre, and that was enough to end a quality weekend of darts from Matt.
Result: Matt Dennant 3-5 Jacques Labre

It was a great run for Matt at these CTs,, the highlight of course being the final at CT23. So much to build on, particularly with Q School a prospect in just a few months time.

Ryan Hogarth
Challenge Tour 21:

The HeadHunter got his CT Campaign at the weekend underway against Jamie Lawrence. Two hods for each, including an 11 Darter for Jamie with Ryan on 92, before they exchanged breaks and held again to take it to a decider, and having the darts proved decisive as Ryan started with the win.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-4 Jamie Lawrence

Next up was Darren Armstrong, who broke in the first leg before Ryan responded in kind. They exchanged breaks with Ryan 3-2 up, and Ryan found one more break to seal the win and move into the L32.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-3 Darren Armstrong

And it was to be a repeat of that scoreline that got the HeadHunter through to the last 16, at the expense of Graham Usher. Graham had the darts, and the first three legs all ended as breaks, meaning the game found itself at 2-1 Ryan. All he had to do was hold his next three with the throw, and he did precisely that to reach the L16.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-3 Graham Usher

The L16 would end Ryan’s journey on Day 1. He faced Lakeside Finalist Thibault Tricole. After they both held, Tricole went on a damaging run, reeling off 4 consecutive legs including breaks to put him in a commanding position in the race to 5. Despite a heroic 12 Dart Break by Ryan, Tricole responded with yet another break to secure the victory.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 2-5 Thibault Tricole

Challenge Tour 22:
It was a tie against an opponent of the previous event in Martin Thomas who was Ryan’s first opponent of the day. Ryan had the darts, and both held before a Thomas break in the third. However, Ryan wasn’t going to let that slide as he broke straight back to level the match again. The rest of the match from that point just went with throw, which meant Ryan was able to get the decisive win.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-4 Martin Thomas

Up next was Martijn Dragt. Ryan had the darts again before Martijn broke him in the first leg. However, as was the style at the time, Ryan broke straight back. Now, read that again and it covers the next two legs. 2-2 from 4 consecutive breaks of throw. The remaining legs all went with throw, with Ryan throwing a couple of rather lovely 12 darters on the way to booking a place in the L32.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-4 Martijn Dragt

The L32 presented Gian van Veen, who himself had conjured up a few good runs thus far. They broke one another to start the tie, before Ryan turned on the style to hold in 12 and break in 15. He held again to go within one, and, although Gian broke his throw to be within a hold of levelling, it was a decisive break in 14 by Ryan which wrapped up a match which could have become very volatile.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-3 Gian van Veen

The L16 threw up Arjan Konterman as Ryan’s opponent. Arjan struck early, with a hold and break for 0-2, but Ryan recovered in the following legs to do the same and level the match at 2-2. The same pattern followed, with Ryan holding and breaking, before Arjan breaking and holding to send us to a last leg decider, which wasn’t the greatest leg on paper, but would have felt like it was for Ryan as he won it to reach the Quarter Finals.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-4 Arjan Konterman

And, for the second event in a row, it was a Frenchman that ended Ryan’s run, this time in the form of Jacques Labre. After both held, both broke, and both were completed in 28 darts between them. Both held again before an 85 kill by Jacques on the Hogarth darts meant Ryan had to find a break to take it to a deciding leg, However, Jacques took it in 12 to wrap up the win and reach the Semi Finals at Ryan’s expense.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 3-5 Jacques Labre

Challenge Tour 23:
It was only the one game for Ryan in the CT23 as he departed in the L128. He broke and held over the first two legs, but after both held again, Kevin Garcia reeled off four consecutive legs to get the win and to give Ryan extra preparation time for CT24.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 3-5 Kevin Garcia

Challenge Tour 24:
The Final CT of the year started with a tie against Christian Kist. It went the full 9 legs, with Kist breaking early on to open a two leg lead, but 4 of the next 6 legs went the way of a determined Ryan to get the win in the L128.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-4 Christian Kist

It was another match that went all the way for Ryan up against Alexander Morrison. It went with throw until a break in the seventh put Morrison within one, but a break and a 14 dart hold from Ryan showed his determination in getting the win.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-4 Alexander Morrison

Ryan refused to give himself a leg off as he went all the way once more, this time doing battle with Nathan Girvan. Both held and broke to leave us at 2-2. They held, they broke, they loved as we reached 4-4, before Ryan took 76 out in two to wrap up the tie.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-4 Nathan Girvan

You’ll never guess how many legs his tie with Robert Thornton went to…Oh wait, you most probably do know. It was 9. Holds until leg seven, a Thornton break followed by a Hogarth break to take it to a decider, which Ryan won for ANOTHER victory after the full 9.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 5-4 Robert Thornton

It would be 9 more legs only for Ryan as his journey for the year on the CT came to an end.They exchanged breaks in legs 1 and 2 and 7 and 8, otherwise going with throw until the decider, but for the first time today, that final leg eluded the HeadHunter and Budgen bagged the victory.
Result: Ryan Hogarth 4-5 Lee Budgen

A good weekend overall for the Dunvegan Dynamos. Ryan reaching a number of Quarter Finals, Matt reaching a final, and some outstanding averages from Mark. Lots to build on with Q School coming ever closer into view.

Words: Ryan Segal @theryansegal