St Helens aces ready for the FA Cup of darts this weekend

Alan Tabern
Alan Tabern
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The world's top 32, which includes St Helens trio, Michael Smith, Dave Chisnall and Stephen Bunting, will be exempt until the fourth round of the Ladbrokes UK Open - dubbed the FA Cup of darts.

The event, which is being stage at Butlin's, Minehead, this weekend (March 1-3), will see 160 players competing for prize money totalling £450,000.

Lesser lights, including Grange Park's Alan Tabern, will enter the contest earlier than the elite of the sport.

Tabern will face Joe Murnan (Hindley), Ryan Meikle (Ipswich) or Mark Frost (Stoke) in the third round - the draw having been made last night (Monday).

From the conclusion of the third round, an open draw will be made which means that any of the top players could cross swords.

Smith will also be in action on Thursday night when he faces Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld in the Premier League at Exeter.

'Bully Boy,'who was runnes-up in last year's competition, is still seeking his first win in 2019 and currently occupies bottom spot in the table.