An Article by The Suit….

Soaring  up the charts is Red Dragon’s Mark Hylton. Here are the top 32 ‘Mile High’ hits from February 2010 – July 2012.

The Top 10

10 – Professional TV Debut Grand Slam  2010

21 guests and a huge opening night crowd made the result irrelevant in one of the highlights of any sporting career, your professional television debut.

9a – Unique Bolton Hat Trick – UK Open 2012

A 4-0 opening night whitewash of Spain’s Antonio Alcinas was a mighty impressive win, but to complete the hat trick of 2007, 2011 & 2012 opening night, main stage TV wins as an amateur, an unsung pro and a returning Qtr finalist was totally satisfying.

9 – Perfect `Red Dragon’ Darts x 2

20 years awaiting a competitive 9 darter, what happens? Two 9 Darters in five days of April 2011. Two different open events, five days apart; the Double16.com Open & Let’s Play Knockout Darts @ The Red Lion. The 2nd was at a sponsors event in front of many friends & as an extra fairytale dimension, Mark signed with Red Dragon darts only 24hrs before. His ‘Mile High’ arrows went on sale in autumn 2011 and Mark benefitted with a new long term Red Dragon contract.

8 – 138 Finish vs Colin Lloyd – World Championships 2010/11

After qualifying for round two with a great but obviously nervy win over Steve Beaton, the clash with Jaws was a glimpse of the real talent that Mark was eager to show, after getting into a lead and being pegged back by a great set from Colin, Mark delivered a 3-1 set at an average of 115+ including a 138 finish that appeared to leave ”Jaws” thinking “what more can I do?”

7- Australian Open 2010

Mark left the UK for this event in August 2010 just settling into PDC life, by the time of his return he was within reach of a Professional Tour Card and a place at The World professional Championships. A plotted and planned operation paid off to perfection when Mark came from 2-5 in Rd. 1 against Pat Oreolle, (Grand Slam Semi Finalist), and went on to reach the final defeating Rob Thornton and Mark Walsh along the way. Dennis Priestly was too legendary, that day, but even that loss would benefit ‘Mile High’ later in the year.

6 – Legs out of 7! World Grand Prix 2011

Making his debut in an event we believed suited him was not made easier by the flu! A battling Hylton found himself a set and 0-1 down against the darts! Mark 2 “Special Brew” Walsh is tough enough at the best of times so the next half hour was astounding. Six of the next seven legs went to ‘Mile High’ who stormed into Rd.2 and a clash with The Aussie Wizard.

5 – Illustrious Company – PDC New Player of the Year 2011

‘Mile High’ Mark Hylton, joining a super group of darting talent. Raymond Van Barneveld, Simon Whitlock, Merv King, Robert Thornton made up the other members the club and have been recently joined by Dave Chisnall.

4 – When 2 Qtrs Don’t Equal 1 Half

Although neither resulted in a “half final”, Mark’s two major quarters in five months of 2011 are surely worthy of a place in the memory bank of achievement. Not often will a player of little or no top line experience and from outside the top 32 achieve this again. In both matches ‘Mile High’ gave resounding proof of his class at this level, early on against Richie and in storming back from 0-5 down, to Denis Ovens in the UK Qtr, averaging 115+ for a spell and hitting 100+ finishes for fun. 3rd time……

3- Dublin Darting Deeds

Still recovering from flu, and spending more time in the sauna than the practice room, ‘Mile High’ shows relaxation and composure of a much more seasoned professional as he defeats Aussie Simon Whitlock, the world no.5, to gain his second Major TV Qtr final in five months.

2 – ‘Mile High’ & The Blackpool ‘Power’

Sky’s team before the game you would have believing that Mark was a ritual lamb to the slaughter. The man from Rugeley and his team knew better. From the walk on it was clear that ‘Mile High’ was in perfect order and out to show what he was made of, taking a 3-2 lead that could have easily been 4-1. “The Power hits back hard, forcing an 8-4 lead. Still ‘Mile High’ refused to roll over showing both courage and huge talent to get within a throw of leveling at 9-9, outscoring the master with seven 180’s and fifteen 140’s hitting 108 and 119 finishes winning four successive legs. “One of the best comeback players I have ever played, his 180’s were remarkable tonight…..” stated “The Power”.

1- World Championship Debut 2010/11 – Encounter with an old friend.

To qualify for Alexandra Palace is extremely tough for any player, 1st time of asking is even harder. For a player of no previous professional or top level experience it is almost unheard of. To then draw a former World Champion and one of the games true greats could be called harsh. Steve is a friend, and has been as helpful as possible, so this was an extremely big ask for ‘Mile High’.  However, clearly battling the nerves, he held strong on his own darts and even missed a chance to gain a 2 sets to nil lead. When the game was forced to a deciding set many assumed that the new boy would fold. For the 1st time on TV Mark showed his bottle and guts to earn a chance at 81 for the match. As the bulls eye landed the emotion was visible, and for those who know Mark, almost unbearable.

‘Mile High’ had truly arrived, on schedule!

 

The Chart Run Down 11 – 32

11 – Mile High reaches Grand Slam of Darts – October 2010 – An emotional and draining night in Barnsley left ‘Mile High’ near cloud nine, the irony of defeating Dennis Priestly in the final round, after Australia, was lost on no one. Amazing.

12 –  ‘Mile High’ UK Majors SetPlayers Championship Finals 2011. Set is not done by many outside the top 32.

13 – ‘Mile High’- Valiant vs Vincent –World Championship 2012 –Despite many extra pressures Mark gives his all in a great match.

14 – Mark battles  the Myth – July 2012- Defeats Dave Chisnall 6-3 with 100+ average to stop Chizzy’s incredible Crawley run!

15 – ‘Mile High’ is back! UK Open 2012– Stuart Kellett was on the end of a phenomenal start & finish from the real ‘Mile High’.

16 – Mark’s 3rd UK Open secured – Qtr final place in Birmingham Qualifier despite tough times shows bottle & guts.

17 – ‘Mile High’ bags Big 5  – Sept 2011 Holland – beating  Steve Maish means MH completes the set with The World GP in Dublin.

18 – ‘Mile High’ heads to Blackpool – June 2011 – Victory over James Wade ensures a World Matchplay debut for Mark.

19 – Mark’ first UK Pro Tour Semifinal – June 2011 – Duo 6-2, MVG 6-0, Baxter 6-0, Ovens 6-4, Beaton 6-5. Out of this world.

20 – ‘Mile High’ shines in UK Open 2011 Night 1 – June 2011 – Professional and efficient Marks books place in later stages.

21 – Mark’s first Pro Tour Euro Semifinal – May 2011 – Next day the run: Kutroatz, Barnard, Walsh White & Part.

22 – Mark’s first Pro Tour Euro Qtr – May 2011 – Phenomenal run beating Mark Walsh and Richie Burnett en route.

23 -  ‘Mile High’ qualifies for UK Open – March 2011 – Another UK L16 with wins over Priestly & Wayne Jones ensures Bolton.

24 – Mark’s first Pro Tour UK L16 – February 2011 – Unsighted side-step double 16 defeats Matt Clark and breaks another barrier.

25 – ‘Mile High’ assures first World Championship – defeats Andy Fulton 6-5 in a horribly nervy encounter.

26 – ‘Mile High’ 4-2 Diamond White – The first meeting of these friends now known as “High & Whitey” GSOD Qualifier October 2010

27 – Mark Hylton 6-5 Gary Anderson – Dublin October 2010 – A monumental game and dramatic recovery from 1-5.

28 – Marks first Pro Tour Last 16 – Wins over Hernadez, Dolan & Hammer – June 2010

29 – Marks first  Pro Tour L32 – Wins over Mark Frost & a seeded Jamie Caven – June 2010

30 – Mark claims his first `scalp’ – 6-4 over UK Open Semi Finalist Tony Ayres – May 2010

=31 – ‘Mile High’ vs ‘The Power’ Chapter 1 – Mark hits 180 first throw but goes down 1-6 Derby February 2010

=31 – Mark’s first win on PDC – 6-3 over David Ruiz in Gibraltar February 2010

32 – ‘Mile High’ claims top 32 place – July 2012, Crawley – A superb win over Steve Beaton (yes, The Adonis, again! at a crucial point), means Mark has won his place amongst the game’s elite.

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