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Updated: 26 min 54 sec ago

AUSTRALIAN DUO CLASH AGAIN AT BRISBANE DARTS MASTERS

SIMON WHITLOCK and Corey Cadby will lock horns again when they clash in the first round of the inaugural Brisbane Darts Masters on Friday.
The PDC World Series of Darts' first visit to Brisbane will see 16 players compete from August 17-19 at the BCEC in the sixth international event of the year.
Top Australian pair Whitlock and Cadby will headline Friday's opening night as they meet for a second successive week on the World Series circuit.
Whitlock, the former European Championship winner and World Championship finalist who previously lived in Queensland, took a 6-4 win when the pair met at the Melbourne Darts Masters.
Former World Youth Champion Cadby, though, will be aiming for revenge as the World Series of Darts event begins in Brisbane.
Peter Wright, last week's Melbourne Darts Masters champion, begins his challenge to claim back-to-back titles against Australian qualifier Justin Thompson.
World number one Michael van Gerwen has drawn New Zealand's Mark Cleaver, who has previously competed twice in the Auckland Darts Masters.
World Champion Rob Cross plays Tim Pusey, while recent World Matchplay winner Gary Anderson has drawn Perth's Damon Heta, who was a quarter-finalist in Melbourne.
Shanghai Darts Masters winner Michael Smith drew Brisbane's Raymond Smith, while Queenslander Gordon Mathers will take on five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld.
2017 Auckland Darts Masters winner Kyle Anderson, another former Queensland resident, will play fellow West Australian Barry Gardner, who is making his World Series of Darts debut.
Friday's first round at the BCEC will be followed by the quarter-finals on Saturday and the semi-finals and final on Sunday. For tickets, visit www.ticketek.com.au.
The Brisbane Darts Masters will be broadcast live on Fox Sports across Australia and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners, as well as through PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers (outside of the UK, Ireland & Netherlands).

UK TV coverage on ITV4 will be from 7pm BST on each night.

2018 Brisbane Darts Masters
Draw Bracket
Peter Wright (1) v Justin Thompson
Michael Smith v Raymond Smith
Rob Cross (4) v Tim Pusey
Simon Whitlock v Corey Cadby
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Mark Cleaver
Kyle Anderson v Barry Gardner
Gary Anderson (3) v Damon Heta
Raymond van Barneveld v Gordon Mathers

Schedule of Play
Friday August 17 (7pm)
First Round
Michael Smith v Raymond Smith
Raymond van Barneveld v Gordon Mathers
Kyle Anderson v Barry Gardner
Peter Wright v Justin Thompson
Rob Cross v Tim Pusey
Michael van Gerwen v Mark Cleaver
Simon Whitlock v Corey Cadby
Gary Anderson v Damon Heta
Best of 11 legs

Saturday August 18 (7pm)
Quarter-Finals
Best of 19 legs

Sunday August 19 (7pm)
Semi-Finals
Best of 21 legs

Final
Best of 21 legs

Wright's Night At Melbourne Darts Masters

PETER WRIGHT claimed a second World Series of Darts title after beating Michael Smith 11-8 in the final of the Melbourne Darts Masters at the Hisense Arena.

Wright became the fifth winner from five World Series events in 2018 and secured his second title on the PDC’s world tour after victory in the German Darts Masters in 2017.

The Scot, who was beaten in the final by Phil Taylor in Melbourne a year earlier, first defeated Michael van Gerwen in the last four before going on to claim victory over Shanghai Darts Masters Champion Smith in a hard fought final.

The decider began with the pair trading holds of throw, with neither player able to make too much of a mark when their opponent threw first.

A 120 checkout to level in the sixth leg from Smith with Wright sat on tops to break, was the highlight of the opening exchanges.

The 2017 UK Open Champion squandered three darts at a double in the eighth leg to break the throw and take a 5-3 lead, allowing Smith to step in and level once more.

The holds of throw continued until late in the contest when in the 14th leg with Smith waiting on 60, Wright took out 130 on double five to break and lead 8-6.

Smith came straight back at Wright though, hitting a 180 before pinning tops to break straight back.

The crucial moment in the match came in leg 16 when another magical finish from Wright, this time a 131, broke the throw and handed control of the contest to the Scot.

The 48-year-old eventually sealed an 11-8 win and spoke of his delight to be back on the winners podium.

“It wasn’t the best final ever in terms of averages and scores but it was a battle and I’m so happy to prove winning on the World Series in Germany last year wasn’t a fluke,” said Wright after the final.

“I lost a bit of my confidence over the last few months and felt like I was getting smashed up by a lot of players and was really struggling with my game.

“Winning here feels great, I got to the final last year but couldn’t beat Phil so to go one better this year is a sign that I can start to turn things around,” concluded the Premier League ace.

It was Smith’s second final on the World Series in 2018 but unlike in Shanghai the former World Youth Champion was unable to claim the title with a final victory.

“Fair play to Peter he deserved that tonight, It was a tough match and he got the job done,” said Smith.

“It’s another final for me though and more proof that I’m getting to where I want to be, things are starting to improve and I’m happy.”

The pair of Smith and Wright faced daunting challenges in their respective semi-finals with match-ups against Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen.

Like in the semi-final of the 2018 Premier League, Smith got one over on his mentor and friend Anderson, running out an 11-5 winner.

The 27-year-old averaged 100 and hit eight maximums on his way to victory in a match he controlled throughout.

Peter Wrght’s passage to the final was a sealed with a 11-7 win over world number one Michael van Gerwen.

The Scot punished Van Gerwen for missing 14 darts at doubles and averaged 103.47 as he secured his place in the decider.

The final saw ‘Snakebite’ average 97, two points less than his opponent but the statistic that mattered read 11-8 in Wright’s favour as he claimed the title in Melbourne.

The World Series of Darts continues in Brisbane on August 17-19 as the final of three events Down Under takes place.

Live Stats
Follow Live Stats HERE
Twitter
Updates will be posted on Twitter via @DartsMelbourne
Sunday August 12 (7pm)
Schedule of Play
Semi-Finals
Michael Smith 11-5 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 7-11 Peter Wright

Final
Michael Smith 8-11 Peter Wright
All best of 21

2018 Melbourne Darts Masters Day Two

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN had to survive a scare on day two of the Melbourne Darts Masters, beating Simon Whitlock 10-8 to book his place in the semi-finals.

Michael Smith, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright also progressed in front of a packed Hisense Arena to set up an intriguing last day in Melbourne.

The match of the night saw world number one Van Gerwen take on Australian favourite Whitlock with the Dutch ace winning through despite trailing 8-4 at one point.

The match began with Van Gerwen looking the better of the two taking a 2-0 lead before Whitlock broke back to level.

At the break Van Gerwen lead 4-3 but the best was yet to come.

After returning to the stage Whitlock seemed rejuvenated winning five legs in a row including finishes of 120 and then 170 to take a 8-4 lead.

The Van Gerwen comeback then began as he clawed his way back to an 8-7 deficit and it was in the 16th leg where the real drama took place.

Whitlock began the leg with six perfect darts and looked poised to go a leg away from the win but five missed darts allowed the Dutchman to step in to break back and level the match.

Whitlock then missed a further three darts at a double in the 17th leg to once again go within a leg of the win as Van Gerwen pinned double one to lead 9-8.

The final leg of the match saw Whitlock miss a chance yet again and was punished by the two-time World Champion who booked his place in the semi-finals.

“I missed too many shots at doubles early on in the match and gave him the chance to take control,” said Van Gerwen who finished the match with a 37% success rate on the doubles.

“The crowd were with him tonight and I have to take that on the chin but it’s annoying when they don’t support me,” joked the 29-year-old.

“Tonight was tough and I need to be better tomorrow and not make as many mistakes but I will be ready”

Van Gerwen will now face Peter Wright in the last four after the Scot made it to the semi-finals in Melbourne for the second time in as many years after beating Raymond van Barneveld 10-4.

Wright, who made it to the final of the inaugural Melbourne Darts Masters in 2017 where he lost out in the decider to Phil Taylor got out of the gate quickly against Van Barneveld, taking a 3-1 lead.

Barneveld fought back to level at 3-3 with a 119 checkout on the bull but would go on to lose seven of the next eight legs as he bowed out of the tournament.

An average of 101.91, including six maximums rounded off a solid night at work for world number two Wright.

“I made it to the final here last year and lost to Phil but hopefully this time it will be my year in Melbourne,” said Wright after the victory.

The 48-year-old, notorious for regularly changing his darts joked that he may use another new set up tomorrow.

“It depends how I feel when I wake up. If I sleep funny on my arm I might decide to use a completely different set of darts, it’s all about how I feel at the time.”

Michael Smith won four legs on the spin to recover from 9-6 down to beat Rob Cross in the quarter-finals in Melbourne.

The pair shared yet another classic encounter, reminiscent of their clash at the World Championship in December, this time with Smith coming out on top.

The start of a game was a story of hit and miss, Cross hitting his doubles and Smith missing his, with the World Champion taking an early 4-1 lead courtesy of a 150 finish.

Smith then pulled a leg back with a special finish of his own, taking out 132 on the bullseye to close the gap to two.

A strange passage of play followed with six consecutive breaks of throw with cross eventually then going on to lead 9-6 and look set to take his place in the last four.

Smith had other ideas though, taking out 120, 107, 99 and then 122 to claim a hugely impressive win.

“The last four legs were great, I couldn’t really ask for a better finish to a match.

“I always believe, so I wasn’t too worried when I was behind but my finishes weren’t good enough at the start.

“I kept missing chances to level the match and putting in bad scores when it mattered but in the end it all came good,” said Smith.

The former World Youth Champion will now face Gary Anderson in the last four after the World Matchplay Champion overcame Damon Heta 10-7 at the Hisense Arena.

Heta had produced a shock of sorts the night before in beating best friend Kyle Anderson but was unable to repeat the performance against the Australian namesake.

Heta did manage to hold his own in the opening stages of the match, going in to the break trailing 4-3.

However, Anderson came out after the stoppage with the bit between his teeth racing in to an 8-3 lead and taking firm control of the match.

The Australian did manage to produce a comeback though, winning four of the next five legs to close the gap to two and give himself hope.

Anderson did then seal the deal in the next leg but spoke of his disappointment after the match.

“That wasn’t anywhere near as good as last night and I got away with it a bit,” said an honest Anderson.

“Damon will be disappointed because he didn’t score as well as he did against Kyle last night but the boy can play.

“I just need to get some rest and come back tomorrow and see how we go, Michael and I obviously know each other very well but if I play as well as I can I win, if I don’t then it’s an early night for me.”

The Melbourne Darts Masters concludes on Sunday with the semi-finals taking place at the Hisense Arena before the decider is played out to crown a champion.
Live Stats
Follow Live Stats HERE
Twitter
Updates will be posted on Twitter via @DartsMelbourne
Saturday August 11 (7pm)
Schedule of Play
Quarter-Finals
Rob Cross 9-10 Michael Smith
Peter Wright 10-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson v Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen 10-8 Simon Whitlock
Best of 19 legs

Sunday August 12 (7pm)
Semi-Finals
Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright

MELBOURNE DAY 1

Simon Whitlock ended Corey Cadby’s return to PDC Darts as the first round of the Melbourne Darts Masters got underway, on a night that saw also saw Damon Heta upset Kyle Anderson to claim an unexpected win on his birthday at the Hisense arena.

In the all Australian clash it was the more experienced Whitlock who overcame his young rival to claim a 6-4 win and set up a quarter-final match with Michael van Gerwen who also secured victory on day one.

The big moment in the early stages of the match saw Whitlock take out 137 going 57, tops, tops to level at 2-2 and wrestle the initiative away from Cadby.

Whitlock then moved in to a 4-2 lead and looked set to record a more comfortable win.

Cadby, who was playing in his first televised PDC event since making the final of the UK Open in March then battled back to level the game at 4-4.

The younger Australian left 30 to take the lead and go one leg from the quarter-finals but decided to split the score and went on to miss his two shots at a double, allowing Whitlock to move in and break the throw for a 5-4 advantage.

The former European Championship winner then sealed the deal in the next leg but spoke of his respect for Cadby after the match.

“I honestly believe Corey is the most talented player to ever come out of Australia, the kid is phenomenal.

“It’s really good to get another win against him and that gives me confidence for my match against Michael tomorrow,” said Whitlock after his victory.

Michael van Gerwen averaged 112.61 and hit six maximums on his way to booking a spot in the last eight of the Melbourne Darts Masters as he beat Raymond Smith 6-1.

The world number one was imperious throughout and put an abrupt halt to Smith’s PDC televised debut winning five of the last six legs to seal the win.

Smith, who will make his debut at the World Championship in December, did miss a dart to level at 2-2 early in the match but Van Gerwen was far too strong for his opponent on the opening day of action at the Hisense arena.

“The scoring was great but 180s don’t win you matches so my finishing pleased me as well tonight,” said Van Gerwen.

“I didn’t really know what to expect from Raymond so I made sure I didn’t make many mistakes and now we move on to tomorrow.”

Kyle Anderson was the only PDC player representative not to make the last eight in Melbourne as his best friend and old school mate Damon Heta beat him 6-5.

The pair who had played darts as juniors together as well as sharing time at school played out a scrappy encounter with Heta surviving a match-dart to book a day two tussle with Gary Anderson.

“It’s a great present to share the stage with one of my best friends and to beat him was great,” said Heta who celebrated his 31st birthday with a win.

“Kyle and I have known each other for ages and used to spend so much time with each other playing darts and having fun.

“We’ve always talked about playing each other on the big stage and today that dream came true.”

Heta will now face Gary Anderson after the World Matchplay Champion averaged 109 on his way to a 6-2 first round win against James Bailey in the fourth game of the evening at the Hisense Arena.

The two-time World Champion also hit 50% of his shots at doubles to round off an incredibly impressive performance.

Anderson had looked like getting close to breaking the highest World Series average of 118.21, set by Michael van Gerwen in 2014 as he raced in to a 5-0 lead. However some sloppy visits cost the Scot a shot at the record.

“That felt good today. I was getting shots for 12 and 13-dart legs most of the time so I knew the average was good for most of the game,” offered the 47-year-old.

“James was obviously a bit nervous today and I understand that but the quality of these guys is getting better each year and it’s really great to see.

“We saw in Auckland how close the qualifiers are coming so you have to concentrate and play well,” concluded Anderson.

In the first game of the evening 2018 Auckland Darts Masters finalist Raymond van Barneveld overcame Ray O’Donnell 6-4.

The five-time World Champion stared slowly, trailing the Australian 3-1 before winning five of the next six legs to secure the win.

Van Barneveld will face Peter Wright next after the 2017 UK Open Champion hit all six of his attempts at doubles in whitewashing Mike Bosner.

The Scot hit two maximums during the match but spoke of his disappointment with his scoring after the win.

“The finishing was obviously perfect but I couldn’t find the scoring as well as I would have liked.

“I need to hit more 180s against Raymond tomorrow but if I finish like that again I reckon I should be ok,” joked Wright.

“Raymond is a great player and it will be good to play him tomorrow.”

Michael Smith will return for the second day of action at the Melbourne Darts Masters after a convincing 6-2 win over Tim Pusey, in which the former World Youth Champion hit 60% of his attempts at doubles.

Smith who was beaten in the opening round in Auckland a week earlier was keen to make amends for the poor performance that cost him in New Zealand.

“My preparation killed me last week but that’s no excuse. I’m not the sort to try and come up with reasons as to why I lost. He hit six doubles and I hit four so he deserved to win last week.

This time I felt a lot better and although it wasn’t my best performance I got the job done this time and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow,” said Smith who will now face World Champion Rob Cross in the quarter-finals.

Cross progressed in Melbourne after a 6-2 win over Haupai Puha.

The world number three who has made the final of two World Series events this year averaged 92.17 mainly due to some trouble on doubles but says there is plenty more to come as the tournament progresses.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow, I still think I have plenty of gears to go through, that’s for sure,” said Cross.

“I will have to put a show on and play better against Michael, I missed a lot of darts at doubles today when it probably didn’t matter because he wasn’t on a finish, so maybe a little bit more pressure might help me.

“I am happy to be through, get a good night’s sleep tonight and make sure I am ready for tomorrow,” concluded the 27-year-old.

The Melbourne Darts Masters continues on Saturday with the quarter-finals taking place at the Hisense Arena.

2018 Melbourne Darts Masters
Friday August 10 (7pm)
First Round
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Ray O’Donnell
Michael Smith 6-2 Tim Pusey
Rob Cross 6-2 Haupai Puha
Gary Anderson 6-2 James Bailey
Peter Wright 6-0 Mike Bonser
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Raymond Smith
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Corey Cadby
Kyle Anderson 5-6 Damon Heta
Best of 11 legs

Saturday August 11
Schedule of Play
Rob Cross v Michael Smith
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson v Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
Best of 19 legs

2018 Melbourne Darts Masters Draw

AUSTRALIAN rivals Simon Whitlock and Corey Cadby will clash in the Melbourne Darts Masters first round on Friday, as Michael van Gerwen meets debutant Raymond Smith at the Hisense Arena.

The PDC World Series of Darts returns to Australia following last week's Auckland Darts Masters as 16 players compete in Melbourne from August 10-12.

The first round's stand-out tie will see the most successful Australian star in darting history, former European Championship winner Whitlock, taking on former World Youth Champion Cadby.

Melbourne-based Cadby, the UK Open runner-up in March, reached the 2017 Auckland Darts Masters final and is returning to action on the big stage for the first time in five months.

The tournament's other seeded Australian, former Auckland Darts Masters champion Kyle Anderson, has drawn his former schoolmate in Perth, Damon Heta.

Michael van Gerwen, whose win in the Auckland Darts Masters last weekend earned him the top seeding in Melbourne, has drawn Brisbane's Raymond Smith, who is making his TV debut.

World Champion Rob Cross takes on DartPlayers New Zealand qualifier Haupai Puha, who make his big-stage debut in Auckland alongside Tim Pusey, who has drawn Michael Smith.

2018 UK Open and World Matchplay winner Gary Anderson comes up against Brisbane-based qualifier James Bailey, while fellow World Series debutants Mike Bonser and Raymond O'Donnell draw Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld respectively.

Following Friday's first round of the Melbourne Darts Masters, the tournament continues across the weekend at the Hisense Arena, with the quarter-finals on Saturday followed by the semi-finals and final on Sunday.

With 2017 champion Phil Taylor - who won the inaugural title in Melbourne with a defeat of Wright in the final - having retired, a new name will be on the trophy on Sunday night.

Following the Melbourne Darts Masters, the Australian double-header sees the World Series of Darts head to Queensland for the first Brisbane Darts Masters from August 17-19.

Tickets for the Melbourne Darts Masters and Brisbane Darts Masters are available from ticketek.com.au.

2018 Melbourne Darts Masters
Draw Bracket
(1) Michael van Gerwen v Raymond Smith
Simon Whitlock v Corey Cadby
(4) Peter Wright v Mike Bonser
Raymond van Barneveld v Raymond O'Donnell
(2) Rob Cross v Haupai Puha
Michael Smith v Tim Pusey
(3) Gary Anderson v James Bailey
Kyle Anderson v Damon Heta

Cadby Desperate To Make Up For Lost Time

COREY CADBY is aiming to make up for lost time as he makes his return to action at the Melbourne Darts Masters on Friday.

Cadby has been based back in Australia since reaching the Coral UK Open final in March, having won his PDC Tour Card and claimed a UK Open Qualifier in an explosive start to the year.

Having returned to Australia to parry partner Breana, Cadby has also been limited to competing on the DPA's domestic circuit whilst a UK Visa application is processed.

However, Cadby will be competing on home soil at the Hisense Arena this weekend and will also take part in next week's inaugural Brisbane Darts Masters.

The former World Youth Champion is now aiming to use the World Series of Darts double-header in Australia as a chance to relaunch his exciting career.

"I can't wait for the darts in Melbourne to start, as I have lost time to make up," said Cadby, a finalist in the 2017 Auckland Darts Masters.

"I showed in a short space of time that I can compete at the top level and just can't wait to get started once more."
Cadby has won six DPA Australian ProTour titles during his time back in Australia, but added: "It's not been easy just not knowing what is going on, as all the paperwork is in then you don't get told anything.

"The plus point is that I have had my amazing family around me. I got married to my beautiful wife, which was a moment that I will never forget."

The World Series tour continues with the Melbourne Darts Masters this weekend (August 10-12) at the Hisense Arena. For tickets, visit www.ticketek.com.au.

The Brisbane Darts Masters will be held from August 17-19 at the BCEC. For tickets, visit www.ticketek.com.au.

Melbourne Darts Masters
August 10-12, Hisense Arena, Melbourne, Australia
Competing Players
PDC Representatives: Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock, Kyle Anderson, Michael Smith, Raymond van Barneveld
Oceanic Representatives: Corey Cadby, Tim Pusey, Raymond Smith, Haupai Puha, Damon Heta, Mike Bonser, Ray O'Donnell, James Bailey

Brisbane Darts Masters
August 17-19, BCEC, Brisbane, Australia
Competing Players
PDC Representatives: Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock, Kyle Anderson, Michael Smith, Raymond van Barneveld
Oceanic Representatives: Corey Cadby, Tim Pusey, Raymond Smith, Mark Cleaver, Damon Heta, Gordon Mathers, Barry Gardner, Justin Thompson

MvG takes out Auckland

The final night of the 2018 Auckland Darts Masters saw Michael van Gerwen put his name on the title for first time.
In the semi finals Raymond van Barneveld upped his game from the previous round to put Simon Whitlock to the sword by ten games to five.
Both players had held throw early until the fifth leg when van Barneveld broke his opponent after Whitlock failed to convert 142. It looked as though it was a blip in the Wizard’s game though as he went on to break straight back. He could not consolidate in the next leg, though, as Barney checked out 130 for his second lead of the match. Both players then held throw for the next three legs before a 71 check out gave the Dutchman a second break.
Whitlock stole the 12th leg with a 116 check out only for Barney to beat it by two, checking out 118 in the 13th leg. A 121 finish, on the bull, put van Barneveld a leg away from the final and with a 12 darter in the next leg he was through.
In the second semi final Michael van Gerwen came out of the blocks at full speed. He broke his opponent in the second leg and before long had secured a second break of throw. The fifth leg was even more of a step up as MvG left 170 after nine darts. He secured that check out with the required bullseye. He then followed it up in the next leg with a 164 check out. At 6-0 up he then left 170 but this time missed the conversion, although he still won the leg.
After the break MVG moved to an 8-0 lead before Wright won two legs in succession. Van Gerwen then stopped the mini revival with a 68 check out to move within a leg of the final. He failed to convert a 160 in the next leg and Wright stepped up to secure his required 46 check out. The 13th leg was a bridge too far for Wright though and van Gerwen picked up his tenth leg to set up an all Dutch final.
The final itself looked to be going the way of van Gerwen’s semi as he came out of the blocks at full throttle once more. A ten dart start on throw was then followed by a break against the van Barneveld throw. Both players had opportunities in the next leg but it was van Gerwen who took a 3-0 lead. Both players then held throw as MvG took a 4-1 lead into the first break and then secured the next two legs to seemingly secure an impenetrable 6-1 lead.
A third 180 in three legs gave Barney an opportunity in the eighth leg and when van Gerwen missed a dart at tops for the leg his opponent pounced to secure the leg with a double five. He then collected another two legs to close in to 6-4 at the second break. That break came at the perfect time for van Gerwen as he came back out to win two straight legs before checking out 156 and restoring his five leg lead.
Van Gerwen moved to within a leg of the match when he punished van Barneveld for missing a double 16 check out and even though he could not take out another 170 finish, his opponent could not secure the required check out and eventually MvG hit tops for the match.
A glorious edition of the Auckland Darts Masters had finished with a new name on the winner’s trophy, a name etched on many a darts trophy around the world, Michael van Gerwen.

Auckland Darts Masters Night Two

The second night of the Auckland Darts Masters produced some more world class performances as four players moved through to the semi finals, Simon Whitlock, Raymond van Barneveld, Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright.

The first quarter final of the match saw Simon Whitlock go behind early to World Champion Rob Cross before three legs on the trot saw the Wizard take the lead. Another two legs (including an 11 dart seventh leg) to Cross moved him back in front before Whitlock, thanks to his 100% start on the check out darts, secured another three legs in a row.

The Englishman then secured two legs on the trot after Whitlock missed the bull and Cross checked out 78. In leg 13 Whitlock started a run of 180s that would eventually take him to the match. After securing that leg Whitlock missed the bull for a 164 check out and Cross tied the match up at 7-7. Whitlock then moved ahead with a full finish chasing a 126 check out. His opponent then was unable to get to a finish dart chasing just 65 and Whitlock pounced to move within a leg of the match. After another maximum at his second visit to the oche in the next leg Whitlock moved through with confidence, having hit tops to take out the match.

Local hope Mark McGrath then put up a decent fight before succumbing to Raymond van Barneveld, 10 legs to 4. Things started well for McGrath as he managed to hold throw but on his second throw he was broken by his Dutch opponent and after holding throw Barney was quickly 3-1 ahead. McGrath looked to be in trouble but demonstrated his resilience by holding his next throw. He could then have broken his opponent but missed the double 15 and the PDC player punished the miss.

Van Barneveld then won legs either side of the break to lead 6-2. After the Dutchman secured another leg he looked to be moving to a six leg lead until six poor darts let McGrath back into the leg, which he took with both hands after checking out 78. This revival was put out after the Dutchman stole the next leg. Again McGrath did not throw in the towel as he checked a 115. However the lead was too big and after missing the bull to win a fifth leg, the Kiwi had to stand and watch as Barney hit a double 16 with last dart in hand to take out the match.
In a high class third quarter final Michael van Gerwen defeated a slow starting Gary Anderson by ten legs to four.

Van Gerwen’s attitude was clear from the start as he chased a nine darter with seven perfect darts. He then secured a break of throw and was soon five nil up. To that point a 134 was his lowest first visit to the oche. Just before the break the World matchplay champion jumped into gear with two legs, including a 170 to go to the break 5-2 down. Van Gerwen came out after the break and threw a 12 dart leg before quickly adding a further leg to his lead.

Anderson then went on a mini run as he won two games on the trot but the turning point of the match came in the 12th leg when Anderson could have moved to 7-5 but failed to convert 36. Van Gerwen then powered through the next leg to move only one away from the match. More maximums gave both players a chance but Anderson missed the double ten and on his next visit Van Gerwen locked the match up ten legs to four.

In the final quarter final Peter Wright took out the defending champion, Kyle Anderson. The Scotsman came out of the blocks quickly and jumped to a 2-0 lead. With an amazing last dart Anderson got a leg back. After his first two darts had covered the target, a double 8, he had to move very wide but managed to sneak his arrow through. He then had an outside chance of going all square but he could not convert 160 and Wright squeezed a double one home for a 3-1 lead. Anderson then secured the fifth leg and the match went on throw until the break, including “The Original” hitting a treble 1, 25 and bull finish for the seventh leg.

Some powerful throwing from Wright kept him well ahead in the leg after the break and he went 6-3 up after Anderson failed to check out 121 in three visits to the oche. In the tenth leg Anderson required 66 but the Australian had to watch as Wright took out his check out first. Despite missing the bull for the next leg Wright was 8-3 two darts later and yet another double ten finish moved the Snakebite to just a leg away from the match. In the final leg the double ten finish let Wright down but Anderson missed the bull and a couple of darts later the night was over.

Mark McGrath takes win from Smith in Auckland

THE 2018 Auckland Darts Masters presented by TAB and Burger King got underway with a bang as the reigning Shanghai Darts Master Michael Smith was dumped out on day one by Mark McGrath.

The night also saw defending champion Kyle Anderson progress, Rob Cross and Simon Whitlock survive match-darts and Gary Anderson set up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash with Michael van Gerwen. There were also wins for Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld at the Trusts Arena.

It will be a tournament to forget though for the former World Youth Champion Michael Smith as he suffered an early upset at the hands of Mark McGrath in the opening round in Auckland.

Smith who had claimed his first senior televised title in China less than a month before was punished for only hitting 21% of his shots at doubles as McGrath progressed in to the quarter-finals.

The pair exchanged holds of throw until the sixth leg where McGrath broke to take a 4-2 lead.

a 78 checkout from Smith in the next leg saw him break back before levelling again.

A scrappy ninth leg ended with the man from New Zealand pinning double one after a 26-dart leg.

McGrath then delighted the New Zealand crowd, pinning tops to seal the victory.

“It’s the best win of my career but hopefully there are a couple more to come.

“I think Michael was a little under the weather but this is still going to take a little while to sink in,” said McGrath who will now face Raymond van Barneveld in the last eight after the five time world-champion beat Warren Parry 6-4.

In a repeat of their first round clash in Auckland a year earlier, Van Barneveld once again was too strong beating his opponent by the same 6-4 scoreline as 2017.

Four maximum and almost 50% success rate on doubles was enough for the Dutchman in the end as he booked his place in the last eight.

Reigning Auckland Darts Masters champion Kyle Anderson got his campaign to defend his title underway with a 6-4 win against Haupai Puha.

Puha, a former champion golfer, started the better of the pair, racing in to a 3-1 lead before a spirited comeback saw Anderson win five of the final six legs to progress in Auckland.

“I’ll be honest and say I’m having a bit of an issue with my confidence at the moment.

“In the practice room I was playing great but I just couldn’t transfer it to the start of that match,” said Anderson.

“The guys over here are getting better and better and it’s so good to see players from this part of the world improve.

“The opportunity to play on TV is a massive chance to make your family proud and I think that’s why the standard of the qualifiers at TV events is so high now,” concluded the 30-year-old.

Anderson will come up against Peter Wright in the last eight as the Scot made the quarter-finals in Auckland for the third time in four years after a 6-3 win over Tahuna Irwin.

The young man from Gisborne, New Zealand, who will make his first appearance at the World Championship in December at the age of 22 will have gained valuable experience on his big stage debut but the quality of Wright, including a 121 bullseye finish, shone through on the night.

World number one Michael van Gerwen will face newly crowned World Matchplay champion Gary Anderson in the tie of the quarter-finals after beating Cody Harris 6-2.

The two-time World Champion, who missed the World Series event in New Zealand last year due to the birth of his daughter Zoe, was in no mood to be dragged in to a close match after his first round defeat in the Matchplay a week earlier averaged 102.45 in Auckland.

A 120 finish from Van Gerwen was the highlight of the match but almost 55% success rate on double attempts shows the world’s top player means business this weekend.

“I don’t want to lose ever, so when Jeffrey beat me last week it was tough.

“I played well today and didn’t make any mistakes, I can do better but that is a good start,” said Van Gerwen.

Gary Anderson progressed in to the last eight with a 6-3 win over Australian Tim Pusey.

An average of 94 and a 100 checkout was comfortably enough for the Scot who was in control throughout the match to set up a quarter-final encounter with the world number one.

“It will be good to play Michael, we always have great games so I’m looking forward to it.

“It was great to win in Blackpool last week and hopefully I can carry on the run here in New Zealand,” offered Anderson after his victory.

World Champion Rob Cross saw John Hurring miss two-match darts in the deciding leg of their encounter before the Englishman eventually got over the line to set up a quarter-final match with Simon Whitlock

It was another TV debut for one of the Oceanic representatives as Hurring gave himself the chance to beat the world number three in Auckland.

Cross produced a piece of magic in the third leg taking out 150 to move in to the lead but Hurring was able to stick with the 27-year-old pushing the game in to a deciding leg.

The New Zealand thrower left 56 after nine darts but was unable to convert either of his two attempts at tops to move in to the last eight.

“I’ve been impressed with the standard of the qualifiers in the practice room, darts is getting bigger and bigger and the guys over here keep improving,” said Cross.

“I needed a bit of luck tonight but if I come back tomorrow and play as well as I can then I know I’ve got a good chance of doing well,” concluded the champion of the world.

Simon Whitlock also had to survive a match-dart in the opening match of the evening in Auckland as Ben Robb pushed him all the way to a last leg decider at the Trusts Arena.

Robb, who had only found out he had been selected for the event two days ago after a late withdrawal from Corey Cadby, struck finishes of 101 and 124 as he pushed the world number seven all the way to a final leg.

The 29-year-old from New Zealand who was making his television debut had a dart at double 16 to beat the former European Champion but was unable to convert, allowing Whitlock to seal the win on the same target.

“I’m really happy just to have gotten over the line to be honest,” said Whitlock.

“I was told he was a good player so I expected a tough game and I needed a bit of luck in the end.”

The Auckland Darts Masters continues on Saturday with the quarter-final ties taking place in a best of 19 format at the Trusts Arena.

Auckland Darts Masters, Presented by TAB and Burger King
Friday August 3 (7pm local time)
First Round
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Ben Robb
Rob Cross 6-5 John Hurring
Mark McGrath 6-4 Michael Smith
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Warren Parry
Kyle Anderson 6-4 Haupai Puha
Peter Wright 6-3 Tahuna Irwin
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Cody Harris
Gary Anderson 6-3 Tim Pusey

Saturday August 4 (7pm)
Quarter-Finals
Rob Cross v Simon Whitlock
Mark McGrath v Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright v Kyle Anderson
Best of 19 legs

Kyle ready to defend title

KYLE ANDERSON will start the defence of his title with a clash against Haupai Puha at the Trusts Arena as the 2018 Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB and Burger King, gets underway.

Anderson beat Corey Cadby to lift his first TV title back in 2017 and will be searching for more success as the PDC’s World Series of Darts continues down under with events in Auckland, Melbourne and Brisbane.

After beating Gary Anderson in the opening round last year, the Australian then saw off Simon Whitlock, James Wade and Cadby to lift the title.

“It’s been hard to keep up with what happened to be honest, as it was such an emotional rollercoaster at the time,” said Kyle on his achievement.

“It meant a hell of a lot - I had friends I hadn’t seen for ten years watching me in the crowd, and to perform in front of them was something special.

“I am looking forward to this one, I feel good and I’m hoping that comes out on stage.”

His opponent, 33-year-old Puha, is no stranger to professional sport having previously been a professional Golfer on New Zealand and Australian Pro-Am circuit.

Peter Wright faces 21-year-old hot prospect Tahuna Irwin in the opening round at the Trusts Arena.

Irwin, who has also qualified for the World Darts Championship in December, was a spectator at the 2017 Auckland Darts Masters which he states motivated him towards qualification this year.

“When I was there, the atmosphere was amazing and that inspired me to want to get up there - and here I am now.

“I hope to just be the best I can, I don’t want to be wasting the time that I have.

“I’m very excited to play Peter, to test myself and experience everything before the World Championship.

“Win or lose, I am still happy that I even got there. But of course the goal is to win - and I know I have the talent to do that, I just have to use it.”

Michael van Gerwen’s bid to get back to winning ways starts with a clash against Cody Harris.

32-year-old Harris is well known in the PDC ranks, having played previously at the World Darts Championship and UK Open.

Gary Anderson, who won the BetVictor World Matchplay on Sunday (July 29), will conclude the first round against Australian Tim Pusey.

Following the withdrawal of Cadby due to visa issues, Ben Robb - third on the Dart Players New Zealand rankings - steps in to face Simon Whitlock in the opening game of the competition.

Michael Smith, the most recent winner on the World Series of Darts in Shanghai, faces 50-year-old Mark McGrath.

World Champion Rob Cross, a finalist in both Shanghai and Las Vegas, will be looking to go one better as he takes on Christchurch native John Hurring.

And in a rematch of the first round in 2017, Raymond van Barneveld takes on 54-year-old Warren Parry.

Tickets are still available for all three days of the 2018 Auckland Darts Masters

Auckland Darts Masters, Presented by TAB and Burger King
Friday August 3 (7pm local time)
First Round
Simon Whitlock v Ben Robb
Rob Cross v John Hurring
Michael Smith v Mark McGrath
Raymond van Barneveld v Warren Parry
Kyle Anderson v Haupai Puha
Peter Wright v Tahuna Irwin
Michael van Gerwen v Cody Harris
Gary Anderson v Tim Pusey

Draw Bracket
(1) Rob Cross v John Hurring
Simon Whitlock v Ben Robb
(4) Michael Smith v Mark McGrath
Raymond van Barneveld v Warren Parry
(2) Gary Anderson v Tim Pusey
Michael van Gerwen v Cody Harris
(3) Peter Wright v Tahuna Irwin
Kyle Anderson v Haupai Puha

BIG-STAGE DEBUT FOR ROBB AS CADBY MISSES AUCKLAND DARTS MASTERS

BEN ROBB will make his World Series of Darts debut in the Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King, following the withdrawal of Corey Cadby.

2017 Auckland Darts Masters runner-up Cadby has pulled out of this year's Trusts Arena event after being unable to travel to New Zealand due to a delay in a visa application.

The former World Youth Champion will be replaced in the 16-player field for this weekend's tournament by Ben Robb, the third-placed player on the DartPlayers New Zealand rankings.

Canterbury's Robb has never previously competed in a televised event, but was the runner-up to Haupai Puha in a DPNZ event earlier this year and has also previously lost to Warren Parry and Mark McGrath in finals on the domestic circuit.

The 29-year-old will take on one of the eight PDC stars, who include new World Matchplay champion Gary Anderson, world number one Michael van Gerwen and World Champion Rob Cross, in Friday's first round at the Trusts Arena.

The World Series of Darts event then continues with the quarter-finals on Saturday and the semi-finals and final on Sunday.

Tickets for the Auckland Darts Masters - which will be held from August 3-5 at the Trusts Arena - are available through www.ticketek.co.nz.

Auckland Darts Masters, presented by TAB & Burger King

Competing Players

PDC Representatives: Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock, Kyle Anderson, Michael Smith, Raymond van Barneveld

Oceanic Representatives: Cody Harris, Warren Parry, Haupai Puha, Tim Pusey, Tahuna Irwin, Mark McGrath, John Hurring, Ben Robb

Damon Heta a threat in Melbourne

KYLE Anderson says fellow West Australian Damon Heta will be the one to watch at the much-anticipated Melbourne and Brisbane Darts Masters tournaments next month.
Heta qualified for both events on the same day at the qualifying tournament in Warilla, NSW, earlier this week and Anderson, who is the only Australian to win a World Series of Darts title, says all the qualifiers have the chance to upset the top professionals in the world but backed Heta as the likely standout
“Any player that has got through can do well,” Anderson, who defeated compatriot Corey Cadby to win the Auckland Darts Masters last year, said.
“But from what I see this year Damon Heta is the man to watch.
“He has been at the top of his game for years and he used to be my juniors pairs partner, so I know what he is capable of and how he handles the pressure.”
A former DPA Australian singles champion, Heta, from Perth, will return to the TV stage in Melbourne and Brisbane after previously competing in the 2014 Sydney Darts Masters and the Auckland Darts Masters in 2016.
He denied world championship qualifier Gordon Mathers a place in the Melbourne event with a 6-4 victory and then defeated veteran David Platt 6-3 to make it to the Brisbane tournament.
Mathers made up for his defeat by qualifying for his home event in Brisbane later in the week.
The qualifiers will take on the top PDC professionals in the world in Melbourne and Brisbane, including world No.1 Michael van Gerwen, reigning world champion Rob Cross, two-time world champion Gary Anderson plus homegrown stars Anderson and Simon Whitlock.

The Melbourne Darts Masters will be held from August 10-12 at Hisense Arena with the Brisbane Masters to run from August 17-19 at the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre.

Australian World Series of Qualifiers Finalised

An exciting week of qualifiers at the Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club on the beautiful south coast of NSW has culminated in the final positions of the PDC World Series of Darts 2018 Australian events being filled.
For the running of the second Melbourne Darts Masters invitee Corey Cadby has been joined by Raymond Smith and Tim Pusey (both of whom had already qualified through the DPA season). They have been joined by DPNZ Qualifier Haupai Puha and the winners of this weeks qualifiers, Damon Heta, Mike Bonser, Ray O’Donnell and James Bailey.
Heta was a recent runners up in the Perth Premier League of Darts whilst the other three are veterans of the darts circuit in Australia. The line up demonstrates the widespread appeal of darts in Australia with the players having represented Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia in the DPA Australasian Championships and one player was born in Tasmania.
All the Australian qualifiers, bar Cadby and Heta, will be making their World Series of Darts debuts but have strong darts acumen behind them. Competition has been fierce for these positions with over 300 entrants playing out the season events and around 70 players being part of this weeks qualifiers each day.
The inaugural Brisbane Darts Masters will also see Cadby, Smith and Pusey participate, as will Heta who won two events on the one day of qualifiers to make the main stage for both events. DPNZ Qualifier Mark Cleaver will also join the field. The other three positions were snapped up by local Queensland star, and PDC World Championship entrant, Gordon Mathers, Perth Premier League of Darts winner Barry Gardner, and former Lakeside entrant Justin Thompson.
With two Queenslanders taking to the big stage, in Smith and Mathers, the locals are sure to be vocal in their support of their fellow Queenslanders as they, along with the other qualifiers, take on the some of the worlds best players.

Thompson Triumphs to take up the last spot in Brisbane

Justin Thompson played just one day of qualifiers but left his mark by securing the final spot for the debut of the PDC World Series of Darts events in Brisbane. Another elimination leg was required to separate two protagonists as Thompson defeated fellow Victorian Rhys Mathewson 6-5.

The board winners were Rhys Mathewson (over Jeremy Fagg), Mark Smyth (over Ray O’Donnell), Chippy Miller (over Jerry Weyman), Alex Evans (over Matt Clarke), Mike Bonser (over Mick Lacey), Steve Macarthur (over Darren Wolter Gumley), Justin Thompson (over Koha Kokiri) and Jake Devries (over Mark Taafe.)

In the final eight Mathewson returned to some good form, defeating Smyth 5-1. Alex Evans upset a very consistent Chippy Miller 5-3. Steve MacArthur defeated Melbourne bound Mike 5-3 and Justin Thompson showed his class in a 5-1 win over Devries. Mathewson continued his good for in the semi finals with a 5-2 win over Alex Evans and set up a final clash against fellow Victorian Justin Thompson who defeated MacArthur 3-5, preventing the Queenslander from being on stage at his local event.

The final started well for Thompson as he won the bull to throw first forcing Mathewson to break him to take the match. Thompson opened with a 100 but on his second visit Mathewson hit a maximum. A 125 response from Thommo had him well and truly in the leg although it was Mathewson who had first shot at a check out. With Thompson needing 50 Mathewson was unable to convert 121 (leaving 32) and Thompson took out the leg.
A poor start of 59 for Mathewson was pounced on by Thompson with a 140. Thompson scored 100 when chasing 148 but with Mathewson far behind on the leg he got another visit to the oche but missed his check out. Mathewson could not convert 100, leaving tops, and Thompson was able to hit the required target with his last dart in hand. 2-0 to Thompson.
The next leg started well for Mathewson with a 135 and two 140 visits but Thompson threw good consistent numbers to stay in the leg. Both players required 86 but Mathewson got it at the first attempt to get the break back off his opponent. Mathewson then opened with 100 which was matched by his opponent. Thompson then moved ahead by 75 points but missed a chance to leave a check out after his next visit. A 140 left 80 for Thompson as Mathewson moved from 180 to 80. Thompson left twenty as Mathewson held throw with last dart in hand. 2-2.
Thommo opened the next leg with 45 whilst a 134 demonstrated a mini momentum shift to Mathewson. Thompson had to do something to stifle this and he did so by throwing a maximum. A second 180 in consecutive visits set Thompson up for the leg but he failed to convert 96. With Mathewson unable to take out a huge 167, missing the bull, Thompson hit tops with his next dart.
The sixth leg started out close but mid leg a maximum to Mathewson left him on 128. He had six darts to complete the score and used them all to do so. The match was tied at three legs each.
Thompson and Mathewson traded some big visits midway through the seventh leg but a 171 from Mathewson left him with a 132 checkout. He was unable to convert this and then had to watch as Thompson checked out 105 to hold throw. After nine darts of the next leg Mathewson was on 127 and with a 95 visit left himself 32. He secured it with the last dart in hand on his next visit. 4-4 and both players had to hold their nerve.
Thompson showed all his experience by opening the next leg with a 140 and then backed it up with another. Eventually he took the leg out (it did take another 16 darts and along the way Mathewson missed the bull to steal the leg.) A 60 opening from his opponent gave Thompson a chance to take the match in this leg and he took it by scoring 140. His next visit was not as comprehensive but a 136 left him on 170 as Mathewson sat on 101. 134 from Thompson left the pressure on Mathewson but he showed great character in converting it to move the match into an elimination leg.
Thompson started with an 83 and Mathewson opened with 140. Thompson then hit two maximums in a row to leave 58 and he hit it in style with the first two darts of his next visit.
Justin Thompson therefore secured the last place in the Darts ANZ World Series of Darts Brisbane event.

Brisbane Darts Masters Qualifier 4 Updates

Board 1
Steve Fitzpatrick BYE
Rhys Mathewson 5-2 Ash Britt
Jeremy Fagg BYE
Lucas Gray v Nathan Simpson

Board 2
Mal Cuming 3-5 Raymond Odonnell
Kevin Luland v Craig Edwards
Mick McCreedie BYE
Evan Lane v Mark Smyth

Board 3
James Macdonald BYE
Chippy Miller v John Bunyard
Anton Soc BYE
Jerry Weyman v Paul Hill

Board 4
Jen Lange BYE
Leanne Shooter v Matt Clarke
Stephen Schmitt BYE
Alex Evans v John Riley

Board 5
Cody Harris BYE
Sean Haskenscheid 2-5 Mick Lacey
Lucas Cameron BYE
Mike Bonser v Pat Dargan

Board 6
Steve Macarthur BYE
Mat Leahy 5-4 Colin Edwards
Shane Harris BYE
Darren Wolter Gumley v Jess Smiley

Board 7
Clayton Collins BYE
Koha Kokiri 5-1 Jake Howie
Justin Thompson BYE
James Bailey BYE

Board 8
Darrell Logue BYE
Mark Taafe 0-5 Jack Sinclair
Jack Davies BYE
Loz Ryzer BYE

WORLD SERIES OF DARTS QUALIFIERS

The DPA's World Series of Darts Qualifiers continue Wednesday at the Warilla Bowls and recreation Club, Warilla NSW
Stay tuned to Dartplayers Australia for all the latest news and results

GARDNER WINS BRISBANE QUALIFIER

Barry Gardner qualified for the Darts ANZ World Series of Darts event in Brisbane after defeating Koha Kokiri in the third qualifying final at the Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club by six legs to three.
In the board finals Barry Gardner defeated Rhys Mathewson 5-3, Colin Edwards defeated Steve MacArthur 5-2, Lucas Cameron defeated Paul Cotton 5-3, Koha Kokiri 5-1 over Mike Bonser, Mat Leahy 5-3 over Steve Fitsimmons, Cody Harris 5-2 over Kerry Allen, David Platt 5-0 over Andrew Eagers, and Mark Smyth over James Bailey.
That left some top class head to head clashes in the quarter finals as Barry Gardner defeated Edwards 5-1, Mark Smyth took out Cameron 5-2, Koha Kokiri eliminated Leahy 5-1, and Cody Harris whitewashed Platt.
In an all Kiwi semi-final Koha Kokiri took a 4-1 lead but Cody Harris drew level after eight legs. In the final leg Kokiri broke the throw of Harris and took out the match 5-4. The other match was much more comprehensive with Barry Gardner winning 5-1 over Smyth.
The final saw Gardner score a maximum with his second visit to the oche and tops with his first dart on sixth visit gave him the first leg. In the second leg Kokiri took an early lead but was unable to check out 104 or 78 and Gardner took two darts to take out 85 to take a break in the match. The third leg saw three century plus visits from Gardner in a row and he comfortably took a 3-0 lead.
The fourth leg saw Gardner take a lead and although he was unable to take out 157 his opponent could not convert 138 and with 2 darts on his next visit Gardner checked out 32. The fifth leg saw nerves kick in for both players and both players had multiple chances to take the leg until Gardner checked out twenty and put himself one leg from victory.
Kokiri had nothing to lose and opening the next leg he threw more consistently and took the leg. In leg 7 both players opened with 140 but a pair of 100s later in the leg put Kokiri ahead and he checked out 30 to move to a 5-2 score line. He also held his next throw easily and momentum seemed to be in his favour as Gardner opened leg 9 with a 58. However critically Kokiri only matched that score and then Gardner through a 140. It put Gardner well enough ahead that he could set up 40 for the win and with his first dart at that target he was the victor.
Thus Barry Gardner, champion of the Perth Premier League of Darts from 2018, qualified for an even grander stage at the Darts ANZ World Series of Darts Brisbane leg. For Kokiri it was his second loss in a final on the same day.

Broken Hill’s Ray O’Donnell has qualified for the Darts ANZ World Series of Darts

Broken Hill’s Ray O’Donnell has qualified for the Darts ANZ World Series of Darts event in Melbourne after defeating Koha Kokiri in the third qualifying final for the event.
The board winners had been Marshall Allen (5-3 over Sean Hafkensheid), Mark Smyth (5-0 over Daniel Sim), Ray O’Donnell (5-3 over Barb Smyth), Mick Lacey (5-1 over Jerry Weymann), Cody Harris (5-2 over Rhys Mathewson), Kerry Allen (5-3 over Dave Platt), Koha Kokiri (5-3 over James Bailey), and Loz Ryder (5-3 over John Bunyard.)
In the quarters Smyth lost to O’Donnell (2-5), Lacey was whitewashed by Harris, Kerry Allen lost to Kokiri (2-5), and Marshall Allen lost to Loz Ryder (5-1). The first semi-final was a top class affair as O’Donnell defeated Cody Harris in the ninth and final leg whilst Koha Kokiri defeated Loz Ryder 5-2.
In the final the match started well for Kokiri as he took the first leg, although it did take three visit to the oche to get the checkout required. Under some scoring pressure from his opponent O’Donnell was able to hold throw with a bull finish to tie the match up after two legs. In the next leg Kokiri was unable to check out 100 but O’Donnell let him back to the oche after not converting 115. It was an opportunity Kokiri took as he went to a 2-1 lead, on throw.
O’Donnell took a clear lead in the next leg and comfortably held throw. The fifth leg started well for Kokiri as he opened with a maximum. Despite some low scoring after that he managed to get a check out first and he put away 56 to take another lead in the match. O’Donnell then opened with 100 which was bettered by his opponent with a 121 start. Further in a 140 put O’Donnell back in the leg as 140 was not converted by Kohiri. Chasing 76 O’Donnell left twenty, Kokiri could still not put the score away and with his first dart on the next visit O’Donnell had tied the match up once more.
Leg seven saw Kokiri needing 105 but only scoring 73 as O’Donnell then tried to shoot down 147. He left 50 which he must have thought he would never have another shot at but Kokiri failed on his next visit and with his following two darts O’Donnell took the first break of the match to lead 4-3.
A 45 opening in the next leg from O’Donnell gave his opponent a chance to hit back and he did so with a 140. Kokiri had an outside chance of a 156 finish but could not get it and chasing 60 O’Donnell took the next leg 5-3. Throwing first in the next leg it was do or die for Kokiri and he opened with a century. It seemed to be going wrong when O’Donnell then stepped up and secured a 180 and then a 140, following it up with a 100. Despite this Kokiri was able to stay close and when O’Donnell failed to convert 81 on two visits his opponent pounced to take the leg.
Having won a leg he had no right to Kokiri managed to break the throw of his opponent in the next leg to take the match to a deciding leg. Both players seemed nervous in the leg but it was O’Donnell who first check out chance with 101 on offer. He only scored 57 so Kokiri stepped up requiring 66. He missed a match double to only get 48. Requiring 44 O’Donnell needed all three darts but managed to get what was required of him with Kokiri standing behind him ready to pounce on any error.
Having played in the Prodarts Series in January this year O’Donnell now faces an even greater challenge on the Darts ANZ World Series of Darts main stage in Melbourne.

Brisbane Darts Masters Qualifier 3 Updates

Board 1
Theo Greyling v Ray Odonnell
Clayton Collins v Rhys Mathewson
Jack Sinclair v Barry Gardner
Mick Lacey BYE

Board 2
Brendon McCausland v Kevin Luland
Jake Howie v Steve Macarthur
Colin Edwards v Alex Evens
Jessica Smiley BYE

Board 3
Lucas Cameron v Mal Cuming
Stefan Cubrilovic v Loz Ryder
Darren Lane v James Mcdonald
Paul Cotton BYE

Board 4
James Bailey v Jen Lange
Barb Smyth v Craig Edwards
Craig Prizeman v Marshall Allen
Mark Smyth BYE

Board 5
Koha Kokiri v Jack Devries
Dave Marland v James Doherty
Mike Bonser v Pat Dargan
Leanne Shooter BYE

Board 6
Jerry Weyman v Steve Fitzpatrick
Sapphire Allen v Chippy Miller
Mat Leahy v John Riley
Darren Wolter Gumley BYE

Board 7
Kerry Allen v Matt Clarke
Sean Hafkensheid v Jeremy Fagg
Anton Soc v Stephen Schmitt
Cody Harris BYE

Board 8
Mick Mccreedie v Evan Lane
David Platt v Lucas Grey
Daniel v Nathan Simpson
Sonny Turner v Andrew Eagers

Day 3 World Series of Darts Qualifers

Day 3 of the World Series of Darts Qualifiers continues at the home of Australian Darts , Warilla Bowls and recreation Club
Stay tuned to Dartplayers Australia for all the latest news and results

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