Mal Cuming became the final qualifier for the NSW Darts Open to be played at WIN Entertainment Centre Wollongong on the 19th and 20th of August after he defeated Bailey Marsh 7-2 in the final of the morning action at Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club on Tuesday.
The first quarter final was between Blake Hatchett and Bailey Marsh from Western Australia. On throw in the opening leg Marsh opened with three 140s but it took nine more darts for him to hold throw. Hatchett threw 180 then 140 on his second and third visits and checked out 78 to tie the match at 1-1. Marsh opened his next throw with a 100 and got another two visits later, backing it up with a third. Hatchett had secured a maximum and then left 44 after a visit of 100. He secured the break at his next visit. He then opened the fourth leg with 96 and a maximum fourth visit up and was able to hold throw for a 3-1 lead. Marsh opened with a ton on throw and eventually checked out 36 under big preeuse after Hatchett had moved from 268 to 16 in two visits. With the score at 3-2 to Hatchett opened the sixth leg with a 135, Marsh responded with 100, Hatchett the same, Marsh 140, and Hatchett 134 to leave Hatchett on 132 after 9 darts and Marsh on 164 after the same. Neither player checked out the big numbers, nor did they do so on their next visit (Marsh missing the bull) with Hatchett finally throwing double 5 to double his lead to 4-2. Marsh then held throw in 15 darts checking out 122 after Hatchett had thrown 171 to leave 50. Both players struggled early in the eighth leg until a ton put Marsh ahead slightly against the throw. He had first attempt at a check out with a
101 but did not put multiple chances away and Hatchett finally grabbed the leg with a double six to move 5-3 up. Hatchett opened with a 100 in the next leg against the Marsh throw but his opponent responded with a 140 and a visit later had a shot at a 170 finish. Marsh did not get it but this time took his chances to move the match to 5-4. Hatchett opened with a 125 and got a third visit of 100 in the next leg but then Marsh got consecutive visits of 137 and 139. Marsh was unable to secure the 70 and Hatchett chased 104 to leave 4. Hatchett missed more match darts after Marsh missed out on 40. This time Marsh secured the leg with a double 16 to force the match into a deciding leg. Marsh opened his throw with three consecutive tons as Hatchett opened with 140, 100 and 95 to leave 166. Marsh moved from 201 to 66 with a 135 as Hatchett left himself needing 16 with a 150 visit. Marsh secured the 66 with last dart in hand to win 6-5.
In the first leg of the second semi-final Joe Comito hit a maximum to leave 38 on throw after a 100 and 140 had put David Platt in front until that point. Comito checked out to lead by a leg and then with visits of 140, 125 and 113 Comito gained the break to lead 2-0. Platt threw three consecutive 100s in the third leg but it was still not enough as Comito converted 32 to hold throw and lead 3-0. Platt then opened with 180 and backed it up with a 97 on throw. A visit of 140 left Comito needing 70 for the break but he failed to check it out and Platt secured double 16 for his first leg. COmito opened with a maximum and a 96 kicker in the next leg and then threw 140. Platt secured 100, 140 and 100 in three of his four visits but a check out from Comito in 14 darts gave him a 4-1 lead. Comito
opened with 140 against the Platt throw in leg six but his opponent had a shot at 70 only to leave 6. Comito threw 60 with two darts to move a leg away from the match. A 140 on his second visit from Platt put him ahead in the next leg against the throw but a 134 set up 87 for Comito and on his next visit he cleaned it up for a 6-1 win.
Larry Leedie opened the first leg on throw with a remarkable 152 check out before securing a maximum visit on this way to securing the break against Mal Cuming in the second leg. At 2-0 Leedie scored 125 to leave 103 but with three visits of one hundred or more Cuming had done enough to get a return to the oche where he checked out 20 for the break. He then opened with a 140 on throw but a maximum form Leedie mid leg helped set up a 43 check out eventually to break again and lead 3-1. Leedie secured a 121 on his second visit on throw in the fifth leg. Three 100s in the 6th leg helped Cuming to a 78 check out despite the pressure Leedie put him under with a 131 leaving him requiring 32. The next leg saw visits of 135, 100 and a 112 check out to move 4-2 ahead. Cuming then secured the next leg against the throw with a 76 check out. He then held throw before breaking again, this time in 15 darts inclusive of visits of 140 and 139 and a 96 check out. He opened with 140 in the tenth leg but Leedie responded with 180. Visit of 100 and 140 left him needing 61 for the match. He secured his fourth successive leg, and the match, with his 15th dart, winning 6-4.
In the last quarter final Stefan Cubrilovic opened with a ton on throw but two tons from Ray Smith later in the leg helped him to get to a check out. Smith then held throw, thanks mainly to
a 140 on his fourth visit. Cubrilovic then held throw in 17 darts, inclusive of a 140 visit on his second trip to the oche. Smith then moved from 306 to 72 in two visits and then checked out 72 for a 3-1 lead. Cubrilovic held throw again in the next leg, with another 140 visit helping. Smith then threw 180, 131 and 138 and a check out 52 to collect a 12 dart hold of throw. He then broke the throw of his opponent despite taking three visits to get through 60. He cleaned up the last leg in 17 darts to win the match 6-2.
In the first semi-final Mal Cuming had the throw in the first leg but Raymond Smith made the first big visit with a 140 at the first attempt but both players struggled to make more of a difference after that until Cuming threw a 140 to leave 191. Smith threw 85 to leave 96 but a 74 left Cuming needing 60 for the hold of throw. With Smith leaving tops Cuming took the leg with his second dart on his next visit to lead 1-0. Smith then opened with 125 and 100 on throw and a 140 two visits later left him needing 76. Four darts later and it was one all. Cuming then opened the next leg with a 140 but two tons put Smith back into the leg only for Cuming to do the same and leave 76. Smith hit a third 100 to leave 141 but eventually Cuming took the leg to hold throw and lead 2-1. Both players through tons early in the next leg with Smith actually scoring three in a row. Cuming threw a 137 to leave 88 and with Smith missing out on 116 Cuming stepped up to break Smith’s throw with the 88 check out. In leg six Cuming opened with a 100 and Smith responded with 140 which was then matched by Cuming. A 136 two visits later left Smith on 48. He left 32 as Cuming threw 117 to leave 24 and put pressure on the Smith
throw but the Queenslander tied things up with his next dart in hand at 3-3. Smith opened with a ton against the throw in leg seven and then hit two more but along the way he stood behind Cuming as he threw 180 and 100. After a visit of 96 Smith checked out 105 for the break. Smith then opened with 100 on throw and a 140 fourth visit left him needing 82. He did not put it away at the first attempt but was allowed to come back to the oche, albeit under some pressure as Cuming threw 140 to leave 92. Smith gave Cuming more opportunities and Cuming finally took advantage to draw level at 4-4. Cuming opened the next leg with 140, then 100 and fourth visit of 100 and checked out with his 16th dart to lead 5-4. On hundred from Smith on his second visit was backed up two visits later with the same but Cuming secured 140s in his second and fourth visit. Smith left 116 as Cuming threw 68 for the match and checked it out to win with last dart in hand to win 6-4.
Bailey Marsh and Joe Comito played the other semi-final and n the opening leg Marsh threw 135 and 100 to start. A 134 left Comito needing 49 at the back end of the leg but Marsh threw 40 to take the break first up. Visits of 137 and 124 were not enough for Comito in leg two as Marsh held throw thanks to his last two visits of 133 and 92. Comito held throw the following leg, thanks in main to visits of 134, 100 and 133. Marsh had thrown a 177 to leave 170 but could not convert that score in two visits. He did however convert a start of 180, 140 and 134 with a hold of throw (Comito had also secured maximum during the leg.) 140s in his first and third visit gave Comito a chance at 140. His opponent had thrown 140 at visits one and four but it was Comito who with his 15th dart checked out 40
to get back to within a leg of his opponent. Comito opened with a 100 against the Marsh throw which Marsh responded by scoring 135. Comito threw 123 and 96 but it was not enough as Bailey threw 140 to leave 137 and six darts later he led 4-2. Comito then held throw thanks mainly to a 180 visit third time on the oche. Marsh then checked out a 90 in 14 darts thanks to earlier visits of 140 and 134 to move a leg away form the match. He opened the next leg against throw with 120 but Comito was not done yet and responded with a 140. A 171 left Marsh on 74 and then a 133 left Comito on 16. Marsh left 20 and Comito 16 on their next visits and then Marsh threw double ten with his next dart in hand to win the match to win 6-3.
The final started slowly on the Mal Cuming throw but 140 and 139 visits left a 58 check out for Cuming which he took despite the pressure of a previous 133 visit leaving Marsh on a 54 check out. In the next leg Cuming threw 100s on the first and third visit before Marsh threw 100 to leave 149. Bull missed the bull for a break and Marsh secured a 63 check out after that. Cuming opened the next leg with one hundred and 140 and then two 100s on throw to leave 61. He completed that number with his 14th dart to lead 2-1 on throw. Cuming opened with a 180 on the next leg with Marsh responding with 134 before Cuming threw 100 to leave 221. A 127 late in the leg from Marsh left him on 142 only for Cuing to move to 36 with a 140. Cuming missed double 18 only for Marsh to miss out on 60. Cuming took his chance on the next visit to lead 3-1. Cuming then hit a maximum on his third visit to leave 196 in leg five and a follow up 122 left him needing a check out of 74.
He threw the 74 with last dart in hand on his next visit to lead 4-1. Cuming then opened with 100 and 140 against the throw before the fourth visit of 100 left a 76 check out, which he completed on his next visit to lead 5-1. Marsh opened up 100 on throw and then 140 on his third visit. He had a check out chance at 107 and collected it to drag a leg back at 5-2. The next leg started on 100 from both players before 135 from Marsh, 140 from Cuming, and a maximum 180 from Marsh to leave 86. He had six darts at that total but failed to collect the score and Cuming threw Shanghai to lead 6-2. Cuming opened 140 on throw but Marsh responded with a 134 then Cuming threw 100. Things slowed mid leg for both players until a 100 left Cuming on 116. Cuming threw 60 to leave 56 and came back with Marsh on 136 but left 20. Marsh left 76 but it was to be his last contribution to the match as Cuming threw double 10 for the 7-2 win