Ritchie Edhouse, Stephen Burton, Boris Koltsov and Shaun Carroll win titles on opening weekend of 2019 PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour

Former tour card holder Ritchie Edhouse leads the way at the top of the Unicorn Challenge Tour Order of Merit following the first weekend of the season.

The 35-year-old, from Enfield, lost his tour card at the end of 2018 and was unsuccessful in his bid to win it back at UK Q-School earlier this month.

But Edhouse has made a strong start at earning a tour card onto the main PDC circuit for 2020 via the Challenge Tour, with a victory in Event Three on Sunday helping him climb to the top of the Order of Merit.

Edhouse picked up the £2,000 first prize in Sunday’s first event at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, in Wigan, beating Scott Taylor 5-3 in the final.

Earlier in the day, Edhouse had beaten Michael Rasztovits, Zak Cross, Jimmy Hendriks, Berry van Peer, Darren Johnson, Ricky Williams and Jeffrey de Graaf, before edging past Andrew Gilding 5-3 in the semi-finals and repeating that scoreline against Taylor in the decider.

The previous day had seen both Shaun Carroll and Stephen Burton clinch their maiden Challenge Tour titles.

Carroll saw off Patrick Lynskey 5-1 in the Event One final, while Burton, also a tour card holder last year, edged past Nathan Rafferty 5-4 in the Event Two decider.

Russia’s Boris Koltsov made it four different winners from the four events over the weekend, beating Dave Prins 5-4 in the Event Four final on Sunday evening.

Koltsov, a regular representative for his country in the World Cup, was in good form as he defeated Event Three winner Edhouse in the last 16.

The Russian then recorded 5-1 wins over Darren Johnson and Dave Ladley to reach his first Challenge Tour final, where he came through a last-leg decider to win the title.

Sunday’s second event also saw former Players Championship finalist Peter Jacques hit a nine-dart leg in his 5-3 win over Radek Szaganski.

The second weekend of the Challenge Tour takes place at the Robin Park Tennis Centre on May 11-12.

Picture: PDC

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