2017 PDC World Championships Australian representative GG Mathers of Team Rebel will be returning to the World Series of Darts stage in 2018, but this time in his home state’s debut event of the series after he overcame David Platt in the second qualifier for the Brisbane event.
Earlier in the day the board finals were taken out by Barry Gardner (5-3 over Shane Wolter), Mal Cuming (5-3 over Mick Lavey), Brendon McClausland (5-3 over Mat Leahy), GG Mathers (over Steve Fitzpatrick), James Bailey (5-2 over James Doherty), 8 Marland (5-3 over Cody Harris), David Platt (5-0 over Craig Prizeman) and Jack Devries (5-4 over Jeremy Fagg.)
The quarter final affairs were very different affairs with Bailey defeating Marland in the ninth and final leg whilst GG Mathers defeated McClausland 5-0. Cuming defeated Gardner 5-3 to make his second semi final of the day and David Platt securing his match 5-2 over Jack Devries.
It was the two losing finalists from Sunday’s qualifiers that made it to the final after Mathers defeated Cuming 5-1 in the semi final and Platt eliminated James Bailey, 5-3 being that final score.
In the final the first leg saw Platt have a dart at breaking his opponent but he missed the early chance and sitting on 10 watched as Mathers secured the leg with his last dart in hand. Platt then took an early lead on his own throw but Mathers was able to hit a 140 to move to 66 although he was not able to convert on his next visit and this time Platt was able to hold the leg with two darts collecting the required 100.
A 140 opening from GG in the next leg saw him open up his own early lead. Within 12 darts he had shots at doubles for the leg and although he did not make them on his first visit Mathers was well enough ahead to come back again and secure the leg with his first dart of the next visit. GG edged slightly ahead after two visits each on the next leg but was not able to hold it as both players sat on 181. With a 133 Platt moved into favouritism for the leg and he took on his next visit to the oche. The match was level after four legs.
Good scoring from both players in the next leg soon sat them on check outs. GG missed out on 129 and Platt also missed with his chance of 147. The 24 Mathers had left was cleaned up on his next visit to take a lead once more. In leg 6 Platt took a comfortable lead and a 180 left him on 20. Despite his opponent gaining 180 as well it looked as though Platt would take the leg but he missed out on the next visit and Mathers took full advantage at his next time on the oche to move to a two leg lead for the first time in the match, 4 legs to 2.
With GG on 70 Platt chased a 130 check out to break straight back but left tops only to watch Mathers take out the required 70 to go 5-2 up in the match. A 140 start on his throw gave Platt some confidence and another similar visit later in the leg moved him to a 120 Shanghai target. Platt had two mote unsuccessful visits before finally winning the leg. It was 5-3 to Mathers as he had the throw for the match. Some early heavy scoring in the leg gave Mathers the upper hand and despite missing out on a 167 check out he was able to come up on the next visit and throw his third dart for the match. He was unable to convert but with Platt unable to score the 126 required Mathers took out the final with his next dart.
For Platt it was his second loss in the final of the Brisbane Qualifiers in two days whilst Mathers made amends for his loss in the first qualifying final for the Melbourne Darts ANZ World Series of Darts event.
A Real Bonanza for Mike
Mike Bonser was a popular winner of the second qualification tournament for Darts ANZ World Series of Darts Melbourne event as he overcame Mal Cuming 6-3 in the final.
Earlier in the day David Platt had lost to Bonser in the board final and fellow Perth Premier League player Barry Gardner had lost to Cuming at the same time. Other winners of board finals included James Bailey (over Lucas Cameron), Loz Ryder (over Ray O’Donnell), Stephen Schmitt (over John Riley), Dave Marland (over Mick Lacey), Paul Cotton (over Jack Sinclair) and Stefan Cubrolvic (over Craig Prizeman.)
The last eight saw Bonser defeat James Bailey 5-2 and Cuming beat Dave Marland 5-4. There opponents in the semis were Paul Cotton (who won 5-4 over Stehan Cubrolvic) and Stephen Schmitt (5-4 over Loz Ryder.) The semis both finished 5-2 (Bonser over Schmitt and Cuming over Cotton.)
In the final it was Bonser who opened first but Cuming broke straight away. He was unable to hold throw in the next leg despite having multiple darts to close the leg and the match was back on throw after two legs. The next leg saw Bonser hold throw although it took him three visits to check it out. He then had one dart at tops for the next leg but did not hit the target and Cumins pounced on his next visit to the Oche to tie the match up once more.
Bonser held throw in the fifth leg hitting double 8 with his 16th dart. It then took Cuming 14 darts to move the match back into parity. Leg seven was critical as both player had multiple chances at the leg but in the end Bonser held his nerve, and his throw to move out to a lead he would never sacrifice. Despite a maximum in the next leg from Cuming, Bonser’s consistent high scoring in the leg put him in good stead after Cuming failed to convert 94. Bonser took out the required 50 with his last dart in hand to lead 5-3 and move to within a leg of the match. In leg 9 Bonser did not give Cuming a shot at a check out and with a double ten was able to secure the match 6-3 and qualification for Melbourne.
Having been such a big part of the game of darts in NSW, Bonser’s win was popular amongst the local NSW players.