International Prodarts Series Gold Coast Night 2

Simon Whitlock prepared for his return to the Premier League in the best way possible on the Gold Coast version of the Prodarts Series. He defeated Kyle Anderson in a battle of the top two ranked Australian players, and World Cup teammates.
In the opening semi-final of the night local Robbie King took on Geelong player Lucas Cameron and it was close at the start. Cameron took the lead twice early on only for King to peg him back on both occasions.
In the fifth leg Cameron missed the bull but King was well behind and at his next visit Cameron secured the lead for the third time. The next leg was critical as King was broken by his opponent. It was a high scoring affair early as King’s 140 was met by a maximum by Cameron. With Cameron on 129 and King on 182 Cameron set up to leave 140 with his 13th dart. King had his chance to convert with 124 but left 56. Having missed all three check out chances on his previous visit, Cameron came back and secured the required double ten. He consolidated the next leg on throw to grab a three leg lead.
King threw to open the next leg and thoughts of his previous night’s comeback came to mind. At his first shot at tops King had drawn back within two legs, albeit on throw. 5-3. In the next leg Cameron hit the wire twice on the wrong side to miss his chance of taking the leg and King pounces to grab the break back and move the score to within one.
With century starts on their next visits it looked tight but mid leg Cameron sneaked ahead. He missed a double 8 to give King the chance to tie things up but he missed the same checkout. Cameron then scored the double eight to stop his opponent’s momentum. King had a chance in the next leg to win it but missed two darts and Cameron was able to come back to the oche to secure the match 7-4.
In the second match two of the big guns of darts face off as Simon Whitlock took on Andy Hamilton. Whitlock opened the first leg with a bullseyes finish before a triple 20 double 16 finish in two darts doubled his lead. The third leg saw Andy Hamilton secure the first 180 of the match to move himself to 181 with Whitlock on 224. However a poor visit from the Englishman left him on 126 as a maximum moved the Wizard to 44. King missed the bull for 126 check out and Whitlock checks out to take a three nil lead.
The next leg saw Hamilton take a lead and keep it this time as a double 16 moved the score to 3-1. However Whitlock was not finished. Two big starts from both players actually sees Hammer take the darts but was unable to collect the required double 16 and despite nearly busting, Wizard secured a 4-1 lead. The whole match was coming done to conversions of doubles.
In the next leg it seemed to be the local players only for him to not convert 58. However Hamilton could not convert his own leg darts and at his next visit Whitlock went 5-1 clear.
Hamilton is anything but a quitter though and in the next leg, with the Wizard on 16, Hamilton gets double tops for the leg with last dart in hand. A 15 dart leg then saw Hamilton reduce the gap to two legs before Whitlock seemed to grab the impetus in the next leg with a 180 moving him to 38. However Hamilton did not feel the pressure and scored the double 8 required to move the match with one leg difference, 5-4.
Hamilton had the throw on the next leg but it was Whitlock who took a big lead until Hamilton moved from 221 to 87 in one visit. Whitlock had something special in mind as he hit the bull once more in a crunch leg, in this case checking out a 164 finish. This was a hammer blow and in the last leg it looked like Whitlock would do the business until he missed the bull for the match. It gave Hamilton a chance but he missed two at double16 (his nemesis for this match) and Whitlock scored9 and double 8 for the leg and the match, 7-4.
The third match saw Phil Taylor secure another win with a 7-2 victory over Steve Macarthur. Macarthur had gone to a large lead at the beginning of the match, including Taylor scoring a 158 finish with Macarthur sitting on 32 to secure his first break. Macarthur took a couple of legs further in to the match but Taylor was not going to be denied, securing the ninth leg of the match to win 7-2.
The last quarter final looked very competitive throughout with Tasmanian Brad Thorp going toe to toe with Kyle Anderson. Thorp took the first leg and despite missing two at tops Anderson was able to secure a 1-1 scoreline after the second leg. With Thorp not on a finish Anderson moved from 132 to 40 and on the next leg secures an early break, 2-1.
Thorp started better in the next leg and moves to 155 before Kyle gets to 136. A loose dart and Thorp leaves 77 but watches just behind Anderson as he missed double eight for 136. A 77 check out meant Thorp broke straight back. 2-2.
A 180 opening for Anderson was not enough as he missed the bull for the leg and Thorp gets the double 16 to move 3-2 ahead, now back on throw. The two combatants matched score for score in the next leg but it was Anderson who snuck the vital double first to tie the match up after six legs.
With Anderson on 123 the Tasmanian secured 60 to retake the lad, 4-3. The next leg went to Anderson, before he took a strong lead in the next leg against the throw and
Anderson 265 Thorp 344 Anderson leaves 170 and thorp only 244 leave six darts. Anderson leaves 72as Thorp moves to 126. Treble 16, 16 and tops for Anderson ties the game up after 8. 4-4.
Two 100 starts in the next leg but Thorp then can only go to 356 , Anderson moves to 261. 180 from Anderson moves him to 81 with Thorp on 222. Anderson breaks the Tasmanian to 5-4. Anderson hits Thorp again in the next leg with a double two finish. The Australian number two then takes the lead on Thorp’s next throw but misses his check out darts. Thorp misses two check outs of his own for Anderson to come up and finish with a double 3 to win the match 7 games to 4.
The first semi-final started with an 11 darter from the Wizard before he checks out 52 to take a two leg lead. An 80 finish and then a 20 (after throwing a 180 and 140) finish in the next two legs saw Whitlock double his lead.
In the fifth leg Cameron got his first 180 of the match but even this was not enough as he missed the bull for the steal. Whitlock then steps up and gets a leg he had no right to. 5-0.
Finally in the sixth leg Cameron was able to slow the onslaught as he converts 24 with his last dart in hand and his opponent sitting on 80. 5-1.
It was to be his last joy as the final two legs went empathically Whitlock’s way and the score finished 7-1.
The second semi-final saw Phil Taylor take the first leg against Kyle Anderson but it was not emphatic as the Aussie missed two chances at tops. Despite missing double eight and double 4 Taylor was able to double that lead with a double two.
Things seemed to be going to script in the third leg as he hits a double 8 to leave Anderson on 78 and three legs behind.
The next leg saw Taylor only open with 41 and Anderson took his chance by moving to 270 after six darts. A maximum and with Taylor well behind his opponent was able to leave 16. Taylor score 140 to leave 120 and then Anderson missed all three on his next visit. The next visit would be one of those points in a match that changed things. Chasing Shanghai Taylor missed tops and left 20. Anderson checked out on his next visit and the momentum had change. 3-1 to Taylor.
In the next leg Taylor left tops when chasing 100 and Anderson was able to take full advantage to draw back within a leg thanks to the break of throw. On his next throw Anderson was able to convert 119 with a bull finish and tie things up. An opening maximum from the Aussie in the next leg and a follow up 140 pushed Anderson well ahead in the leg. A double ten gave Anderson a second break in a row for a 4-3 lead.
Consistent throwing from Anderson saw him leave 87 with Taylor one hundred behind. The Original threw his double clinically to take a 5-3 lead.
A 167 from Phil Taylor in the next leg left him a check out which he took to slow his opponent’s push temporarily but in the tenth leg it was power scoring from both players at the start that gave each opportunities. Anderson missed his chance before Taylor missed the chance to square things up again. Anderson took his second opportunity to move to 6-4 and be just a leg away from the match.
The next leg saw the 16 time world champion take full control and at 6-5 it came down to Anderson on his throw keeping a level head. With a 140 start he showed he could do just that and was able to keep his throw consistent throughout this pressure leg to take out the match 7-5 and inflict Phil Taylor’s first defeat on the east coast of Australia since 2012, when he lost to the man Anderson would now face in the final, Simon Whitlock.
The final itself saw Simon Whitlock get off to a confident start but Anderson was able to stay with him and after three legs it was 2-1 to the Wizard. An early critical leg was the fourth as both players had decent shots at a check out but Whitlock was the first to convert and thus took the first considerable lead of the match, 3-1.
He consolidated in the next leg with power hitting and then opened with a maximum to move ahead in the next leg. Chasing 110 for the check-out Whitlock seemed to have screwed it up by hitting treble 3 but a treble 17 and the bull gave him the leg anyway, and a four leg lead.
It was time for a comeback and Anderson provided just that by checking out 108 in the next leg and then, aided by his third maximum in four legs, he was able to secure his second double tops check out in a row to move the score back to 5-3.
Another break was critical for Anderson and with Whitlock on 18 a 122 check out on the bull gave The Original just that.
With the score at 5-4 Anderson threw first to tie the match back up. He started with 100 and the Wizard pounced with a 180. Anderson moved to 267 as Whitlock got to 224. A poor visit of 60 was pounced upon by his opponent who moved to 126. With Anderson on 114 Wizard hit the bull once more, it seemed to be the largest segment on the board for Whitlock tonight, as he converted the 126, broke Anderson, and took a 6-4 lead.
It would prove to be too much for Anderson to fight back once more as consistent throwing from Whitlock moved him to 162. Another good visit left the Wizard needing just 24 and a single 12 and double six at his next turn at the oche was enough to give him the match 7-4.
For Whitlock it was just the kind of preparation to help him moving forward, “I have loved my time out here and to win in front of my family again is awesome. Kyle was great tonight and together we are going to win the World Cup this year. I am really looking forward to what the next few months hold for my darts now.”
QF1 Lucas Cameron 7 Robbie King 4
QF2 Simon Whitlock 7 Andy Hamilton 4
QF3 Phil Taylor 7 Steve Macarthur 2
QF4 Kyle Anderson 7 Brad Thorp 4
SF1 Simon Whitlock 7 Lucas Cameron 1
SF2 Kyle Anderson 7 Phil Taylor 5
F Simon Whitlock 7 Kyle Anderson 4