Darts: Down-trodden Deano out for Worlds redemption

Dean Winstanley
Dean Winstanley

Dean Winstanley will be aiming to get his promising career back on track with a festive flurry at the PDC World Darts Championship.

The Conisbrough thrower heads to the Alexandra Palace after a poor year of form on the PDC Tour which saw him miss every televised tournament but one in 2015.

But he will no doubt be buoyed by his previous appearances in the PDC’s premier tournament with a last 16 and a last 32 appearance over the past three years.

Winstanley – who hit a nine darter at the World Championships in 2012 – will play top Belgian thrower Ronny Huybrechts on Tuesday night in the evening’s first match.

The winner will face off in the second against the victor from the match between world number four Peter Wright and Keegan Brown on December 28.

After a brilliant 2014, 34-year-old Winstanley has suffered a dramatic struggle for form during 2015.

He had targeted a place inside the top 16 in the world to book him into all televised tournaments but has fallen well short of that target.

His best performances this year saw him reach the last 16 in only two events, the most recent of which came in March.

His qualification for this year’s World Championship largely came down to his performances last year. The PDC order of merit is calculated over a two year period which leaves him ranked 29th in the world despite his poor year.

A reflection of how difficult a year it has been for Winstanley is that his £10,000 prize money for being in the first round of the World Championships is only slightly less than the total prize money he has earned for the year to date.