Darren Penhall demonstrated why he is Australia’s number one with another event win on Saturday at Warilla Bowls and Recreation club but he had to see off three of Australia’s best players as GG Mathers (5-2 over Bailey Marsh), Mal Cuming (5-0 over Clayton Collins) and Jeremy Fagg (5-3 over Bill Aitken.)
Both semi finals ended up finishing 5-2 with Penhall victorious over fellow Queenslander Mathers and Fagg eliminating Cuming.
The final saw Penhall hold his throw in the opening leg before Fagg did the same, finishing in 15 darts with visits of 140 and 80 completing the leg. Fagg then missed multiple darts at a break before Penhall finally held throw once more. Both players missed chances in the next leg before Fagg eventually thew double four to move the match back to level terms. A 99 check out then put Penhall back in front before he left tops only to watch Fagg throw double 16 to hold his throw. Penhall then threw a 15 dart leg to continue to run the hold of throws before Fagg held in one less dart to move the match to a deciding leg. That leg was another 14 darter with Penhall throwing four successive tripled figure visits before checking out 61 to take the match 5-4.
The race was still on for a top 8 finish to the season for the players as they chased a position in the DPA Australian side to take on the PDNZ Kiwi side.
Saturday night saw Pro Tour 23 played out with Jeremy Fagg returning to the final to face off against Penhall for the second time of the day.
The quarters had seen Andrew Eagers and Daniel Pearson make the quarter finals for the first time on the weekend but both were eliminated at that stage, Eagers by Penhall 5-3 and Pearson by Cuming, 5-2. Fagg had seen off the challenge of Bill Aitken 5-1 whilst GG Mathers rounded out the semi final positions with a 5-3 win over Bailey Marsh. Thus Aitken and Marsh both fell to the same men in the same round twice in a day.
Penhall saw off Mathers once again, this time 5-3, whilst Cuming made a match of it against Fagg but a final 15 dart break of throw, including a 158 check out, saw Fagg progress to the final.
This final saw Penhall broken by Fagg straight up and with Fagg holding throw in 14 darts and then gaining a second break 15 darts later, he jumped to a 3-0 lead. Penhall then checked out 141 to gain one of the breaks back but Fagg responded with visits of 180. 140 and 137 to leave 44 which he got with his 11th dart to move the lead back to three legs. He then held throw to take the match comfortably, with a scoreline of 5-1.
Play continues on Sunday as the race for an Australian spot concludes.