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World Matchplay Sunday evening session moved forward to avoid Euros final clash

The session will now start at 4.30pm and is due to finish before the 8pm kick-off.

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Sunday evening’s session at the World Matchplay has been brought forward to avoid a clash with the Euro 2024 final.

First-round matches between Rob Cross and Gian van Veen, Joe Cullen and Brendan Dolan, Peter Wright against Andrew Gilding and Dave Chisnall versus Krzysztof Ratajski were due to commence at 7pm at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

But following England’s qualification for Sunday night’s European Championship final in Berlin, the session will now start at 4.30pm and is due to finish before the 8pm kick-off.

Rob Cross stretches is arms in celebration
Rob Cross’ first-round match at the World Matchplay has been brought forward due to England’s qualification for the Euro 2024 final (Peter Byrne/PA)

The afternoon session, featuring Ross Smith against Josh Rock, Danny Noppert and James Wade, Dimitri Van den Bergh versus Martin Schindler and Stephen Bunting against Ryan Joyce will now start at 12pm.

The Matchplay, widely regarded as the second most prestigious tournament after the World Championship, kicks off on Saturday, with Nathan Aspinall defending his title with a first-round match against Luke Woodhouse.

The blockbusting tie of the first round comes on Monday night when teenager Luke Littler, unseeded in this tournament, faces off against Michael van Gerwen.

Gareth Southgate’s men will be hoping to follow in Luke Humphries and Michael Smith’s footsteps after the English pair won the World Cup of Darts in Dortmund a fortnight ago.

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