Stoke on Trent Welcomes World’s Best Darts Professionals

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Autonet Insurance sponsors major darts tournament.

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The Staffordshire Classic

It’s going to be a fantastic evening for everyone to watch the drama unfold

Sunday 26th August saw the start of the very first Staffordshire Classic darts competition held in the heart of Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent. The event was a huge success and saw many people flock to Fenton Manor Sports Complex to go head to head in the preliminary knock out stages. Participants travelled from all over the UK including areas such as Staffordshire, Cheshire and Cambridgeshire to take part in the competition.

The tournaments main sponsor, Autonet Insurance, entered one of their own members of staff to represent the company in the knock out stages. Lee Ratcliffe, a member of the new business verification department managed to battle his way through to the last 32 competitors but was unfortunately knocked out by semi-professional darts player Gareth Pass in a match that ended 5 -2.

The majority of competitors who entered the competition play semi-professional darts and this was reflected in some of the qualifying rounds. Many of the matches were close fought battles between some of the country’s finest semi-professional players including Andy Pearce, John Burgess, Matt Edgar and Daz Whittingham, who all won their respective groups and have qualified for the live final which will take place on Friday 28th September, again at Fenton Manor Sports Complex.    

All four players will now face the tough challenge of taking on some of the world’s top seeded professionals including Stoke on Trent’s very own born and bred 15 time Champion of the world Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor. The three other seeds will include 2 time Champion of the world Ted ‘The Count’ Hankey, world finalist Andy ‘The Hammer’ Hamilton, and world finalist Dave ‘Chizzy’ Chisnall, who were all invited to take place in the competition at the beginning of the year.

The final day is set to be an exciting challenge for all 8 players who will go head to head in the quarter and semi-finals. These matches will be played the best of 11 legs. The last two players will battle out to be crowned the champion in the final which will be the best of 13 legs. The winner will not only receive the champion’s trophy but also a £2000 winner’s cheque.

Ian Donaldson, Managing Director of Autonet Insurance commented: “This is the first time that Autonet Insurance has sponsored such an event of this magnitude. We have all been working tirelessly to make sure the Staffordshire Classic darts competition is a huge success. The qualifying knock out stage saw some great talent arrive in Stoke on Trent and I can’t wait to see the final 8 players commence battle on the 28th September. It’s going to be a fantastic evening for everyone to watch the drama unfold”.

This sporting event is set to be one of the biggest that Stoke on Trent has seen in many years. The night will include the full premier darts league stage, comperes, promotional girls, big screens, music and of course the good old trusty 180 score boards! Crowds are expected to gather to cheer on all 8 participants and also get to watch some of the finest players in the sporting world show off their skills. Press from Autonet Insurance, the main sponsors of the tournament will be representing the company and reporting on the event throughout the night. For up to date news and information you can follow the Staffordshire Classic darts competition at Autonet Insurance’s dedicated Twitter page – https://twitter.com/theautonetopen. You can also take a look at the company’s interactive player profile page for interesting facts about the four top seeds at – http://www.autonetinsurance.co.uk/infographics/dartboard

The first match will commence at 7.30pm and doors will open at 6.30pm. Ticket prices start from £25 and increase to £55 for full VIP treatment. Quote promotional code ‘PLD0912’ when you purchase for a 10% discount. For more information or to purchase tickets you can contact The Box Office on 01782 234200.

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Mark Bakharia
Autonet Insurance Group
01782 678717
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