Soulger Seals Seniors Triple Crown

Soulger Seals Seniors Triple Crown

04 September, 2023

Winmau’s latest recruit Leonard Gates continued his domination on the World Seniors Circuit with victory at the 2023 Seniors World Matchplay, after beating Scotsman Jim McEwan 9-6 in the Final at the York Barbican.

Soulger had already claimed the Seniors Champion of Champions earlier in the year, as well as the World Senior Darts Masters. The American defeated Richie Howson in both Finals and completed the hat-trick this weekend in the Final Seniors TV Event of the year against Chucky.

The American’s fortunes started to turn in lockdown and since then has never looked back, winning the 2022 PDC North American Darts Championship which gave him an inclusion in his first PDC World Darts Championship where he reached the Second Round.

Gates opened his 2023 Senior World Matchplay campaign with victory in the opening session of the tournament, defeating Northern Irishman Colin McGarry 9-7 in injury time after the match reached 7-7 in a race to 8 legs.

The Winmau player continued to show why he has been the man to beat on the World Seniors Circuit this year, hitting the first 100+ televised Senior average in his Quarter Final victory over former Senior Masters winner David Cameron. The American scored 101.28 in an 11-9 victory over Excalibur to reach the Semi Finals where he would face former Champion of Champions winner Paul Hogan.

Crocodile Dundee defeated Phil Taylor 8-6 in the Quarter Finals, whilst the reigning WDF World Champion Neil Duff reached the Last 4 with wins over defending champion Robert Thornton in the 1st Round and Richie Howson in the Quarter Finals.

Duffman’s run would end against Jim McEwan in the Semi Finals, as Chucky reached his maiden Seniors televised Final with a 9-5 victory over Ballyclare born player.

Leonard would face Paul Hogan in the other Semi Final and went down to an early 2-0 deficit against his English opponent, with Crocodile Dundee breaking throw in the opening leg. Soulger responded by taking the next four legs without reply in York, including a 121 finish on double 14 to lead 4-2 at the break.

The American international was forced into a level game once more after Hogan found a 61 checkout with his last dart at double 18 for 7-7. The Winmau player secured a 9-7 victory after hitting another ton plus checkout, this time the Shanghai (120) finish to put himself one match away from another Seniors Title.

Gates averaged 102 in the opening four legs of the Final and claimed all of them without reply from fellow Finalist Jim McEwan at the York Barbican. Chucky did find a finish of 117 to get himself off the mark in the Final, hitting double tops in the fifth leg of the match.

The Texas born player continued to hit the gas in the Final and found his trusted double tops to claim a 9-6 win over McEwan to win £10,000 in prize money.

A fantastic year on the Seniors Circuit for Leonard Gates, who added the World Senior Matchplay to his 2023 roll of honours that also includes the Senior Champion of Champions and the World Senior Darts Masters.

By Harry Masterson


2023 World Senior Darts Matchplay Results:

Last 16:

Paul Hogan 8-6 Scott Mitchell

Richie Howson 8-3 Trina Gulliver

Kevin Painter 8-1 Deta Hedman

Leonard Gates 9-7 Colin McGarry

David Cameron 8-4 John Henderson

Phil Taylor 9-7 John Part

Neil Duff 8-5 Robert Thornton

Jim McEwan 9-7 Glen Durrant


Quarter Finals:

Neil Duff 11-9 Richie Howson

Jim McEwan 9-7 Kevin Painter

Leonard Gates 11-9 David Cameron

Paul Hogan 8-6 Phil Taylor


Semi Finals:

Jim McEwan 9-5 Neil Duff

Leonard Gates 9-7 Paul Hogan



Leonard Gates 9-6 Jim McEwan

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