A record Friday field of 84 played the ALH Blue Cattle Dog Harrows World Series of Darts Qualifier 1. With a spot in the PDC limelight on offer through the whole series there was plenty of competitive matches Raymond Smith came out on top eventually, having defeated Tim Pusey 6-4 in the final.
Earlier in the night at the round of 32 stage Tahuna Irwin continued his good form in the Prodarts series with a 6-4 win over Mike Bonser. Loz Ryder showed that he still has it by comfortably getting past Dave Chrenock six nil. It was the same scoreline for Mick Lacey, who has recently returned from NZ and is playing the DPA circuit full time this year, over Jake Howie. The Shire’s Dave Marland defeated John Riley 6-2 whilst Perth’s Tim Pusey defeated local Kevin Luland 6-2. Brendan Porter defeated Brisbane Pro Darts Series representative Lewis Kirk 6 - 5 as another player from that event, Raymond Smith defeated Dennis Sario 6-0. Raymond O’Donnell continued to make waves at the oche as he defeated Alan Hunter 6-0. Youngster Tremaine Gallagher defeated Dave Hanel 6-4 whilst top four players from last season, GG Mathers, Rhys Mathewson and Lucas Cameron, all won through (over Graeme Lowe 6 – 5, Matthew Leahy 6 – 2 and Mark Colbongan 6 – 5 respectively.) Justin Thompson, back from his efforts at Lakeside, defeated Ryan Lynch 6-2, whilst Annan McDevitt closed that quarter of the draw with a 6-3 win over Steve Powell. Another highlight match of this round saw James Bailey, back from trying his hand at Q school in England, beat Mark Taafe 6 – 4. Scott Johnson defeated Paul Hill 6-3 in the other match for this round.
In the round of 16 two of the four players who had won 6-0 lost out, as both Loz Ryder and Mick Lacey were tumbled out, by Tahuna Irwin and Scott Johnson respectively. The closest match of the round saw Dave Marland get edged out by young WA superstar Tim Pusey 6-5. There were more comprehensive wins for Raymond Smith and Justin Thompson (both 6-1 over Brendan Porter and Annan McDevitt respectively.) James Bailey won 6-2 over Raymond O’Donnell in one of the big match ups of the round. Tremaine Gallagher continued his momentum with a ferociously fought win over Rhys Mathewson 6-4. The big clash of the round saw GG Mathers take out Lucas Cameron 6-3.
The quarters demonstrated the quality of the field with a field of exciting youth and experienced players left. Tim Pusey represented the young brigade by defeating fellow youngster Tremaine Gallagher 6-0 whilst Scott Johnson slowed the walk of the youngsters through the tournament by defeating Tahuna Irwin 6-4. Justin Thompson defeated GG Mathers 6-4 and Raymond Smith beat James Bailey 6-3 in two big head to heads. Pusey then got revenge for the youngsters as he laid Scott Johnson low 6-2 in the first semi final. In the second semi final Raymond Smith defeated another Australian team mate (as he had in the previous round) this time in Justin Thompson, 6 – 3.
The final was therefore set between Raymond Smith and Tim Pusey.
A 140 start from Smith was not matched by his opponent as Smith hit another 100 on his second visit. He then improved on it on his next visit with 118. With 142 needed Smith threw 60 to leave 82 which he collected on his next visit.
Having held throw Smith opened up with a maximum in the next leg and it was he who first chased a check out, of 115. He only got 43 and his opponent chased 65 which he collected in two darts.
A poorer opening visit from Smith was punished by Pusey with a 140 start in leg three but it was Smith who had first go at a check out. Requiring 78, Smith got the leg with last dart in hand.
A 60 opening from Pusey was then punished by Smith in the next leg with a century opening visit. Neither player could make the most of their next visit but a 134 from Pusey then put him in the box seat although his next visit of 28 threw the leg wide open once more. Pusey had 108 for a check out but missed the double for the leg. Smith then missed a double for a check out of his own but Pusey gave him a shot at ten, which he took, after the WA player left five chasing 20. Smith was now up a break and leading 3-1.
With a break in his pocket Smith opened up with 98 only to be out thrown by Pusey with 140. A consistent 100 at his next visit was bettered by a 139 from his opponent. 140 from Smith kept the pressure on but Pusey matched it exactly on his next visit. Requiring 82 Pusey only scored 62. With 98 needed Smith scored 74. This time requiring twenty Pusey did it with his second dart to immediately grab the break back. 3-2
A 41 start was corrected with a 140 on Pusey’s next visit. His opponent continued to be more consistent on his visits. A maximum put Pusey well ahead and requiring 114 on his next visit he left 14 which he was able to get with his last dart in hand. 3-3
The next leg needed Smith to stop the momentum of his opponent and he got to a check out first, requiring 160. He left 60 but was unable to get it on his next visit. His opponent needed the same and did it with his second dart to go a break up at 4-3.
Trying to tie things up Pusey opened with a poor 40 but Smith could not make the most of it, scoring 85 of his own. A visit of 26 second time around was again not punished by his opponent. A 60 visit from Pusey was followed up by 100 from his opponent. Pusey could not convert 116 but was well enough in front to chase the 56 next visit, which he did with two darts. 4-4
The match was back on throw and Smith opened with 97 and then 100. Another 140 helped Smith take a good lead. Smith collected 24 for the leg. 5-4
On throw Pusey required 89 for the next leg but only collected 39. Smith then required 100 for the leg himself and secured it for a 6-4 win.
Smith was ecstatic with the win “It is great to secure the first event of the season. Tim is a quality opponent and challenged me through the middle but I was pleased to be able to turn the match around back in my favour. It came as a great relief to throw that final 100.”
Tahuna Irwin 6-4 Mike Bonser
Loz Ryder 6-0 Dave Chernock
Dave Marland 6 – 2 John Riley
Tim Pusey 6 – 2 Kevin Luland
Scott Johnson 6-3 Paul Hill
Mick Lacey 6-0 Jake Howie
Brendan Porter 6-5 Lewis Kirk
Ray Smith 6-0 Dennis Sario
Tremaine Gallagher 6-4 Dave Hanel
Rhys Mathewson 6-2 Matthew Leahy
Lucas Cameron 6 – 5 Mark Colbongan
GG Mathers 6 – 5 Graeme Lowe
Justin Thompson 6-2 Ryan Lynch
Annan McDevitt 6-3 Steve Powell
James Bailey 6 – 4 Mark Taafe
Raymond O’Donnell 6 – 0 Alan Hunter
Tahuna Irwin 6 -3 Loz Ryder
Tim Pusey 6 - 5 Dave Marland
Scott Johnson 6 – 5 Mick Lacey
Raymond Smith 6 - 1 Brendan Porter
Tremaine Gallagher 6 - 4 Rhys Mathewson
GG Mathers 6 - 3 Lucas Cameron
Justin Thompson 6 – 1 Annan McDevitt
James Bailey 6 – 2 Ray O’Donnell
Tim Pusey 6-0 Tremaine Gallagher
Scott Johnson 6-4 Tahuna Irwin
Justin Thompson 6 – 4 GG Mathers
Raymond Smith 6 – 3 James Bailey
Tim Pusey 6 -2 Scott Johnson
Raymond Smith 6 – 3 Justin Thompson
Raymond Smith 6 – 4 Tim Pusey