Back to Back wins for Bailey

On Sunday another 84 players took part in the third event of the Pro Tour Series. As well as points towards the Alexandra Palace the Sunday tournament results go towards representative honours towards the end of the year. James Bailey went head to head with Steve Macarthur for the second time in two days and the result was the same as he defeated him with the match going to a deciding leg before Bailey won out once more.
With so many players the round robin format was cut throat once more with only two coming off each of the 16 boards. It meant that there was no room for error from the start all the way to the end of the day. The first completed table saw Simon Black (1st) and Dayleo Heta (2nd) qualify through to the round of 32. Young Kiwi superstar Tahuna Irwin and Team Devil’s John Riley made it through. Pat Molloy had a 1001 play off to finish first in his group with Tim Pusey runners up.
Local Jerry Weyman won his group with Liam McClennan bettering some big names to also make it through. Craig Prizeman (1st) and Team Danger’s Matt Leahy (2nd) as well as Justin Thompson (1st) and Ryan Lynch (2nd) made it through their groups. GG Mathers and Rhys Mathewson went through as expected, with GG coming out on top undefeated. Raymond Smith continued his fine form over the weekend by topping his group with Riverina Dart’s Daniel Sim finishing runners up.
Youngster Kalani Hillman demonstrated his talent progressing through a tough group although Mark Colbongen finished in front of him. Kerry Allen and Ray O’Donnell progressed through their group. Shire’s own Dave Marland came through a 1001 play off to qualify in first with Lucas Cameron runners up in an extremely difficult group. Dennis Sario in second behind Zac Bartlett in his group after a three way play off. NSW’s Mike Bonser also won his group with Steve Powell just behind him.
Billy Aitken rolled back the years by winning his group with another veteran in Loz Ryder coming second. Steve Macarthur won the second last group to finish with Dave Hanel also qualifying through there. James Bailey won the final group with Western Australia’s Anton Soc also progressing to the next round.
GG Mathers, Loz Ryder, Steve Macarthur and Mark Colbangen progressed through the round of 32 with early whitewashes over Liam McLennon, Jerry Weyman, Anton Soc and Lucas Cameron respectively. Kerry Allen’s match was a little closer as he moved past Dave Hanel by defeating him four legs to two. Dave Marland defeated Bubba O’Donnell by the same scoreline and John Riley defeated Zac Bartlett 4-1. Ryan Lynch had to go to a deciding leg to overcome Bill Aitken in the last of the earlier games.
In the later games Raymond Smith, Denis Sario, James Bailey and Tahuna Irwin secured four nil wins over Steve Powell, Simon Black, Daniel Sim and Daleo Heta repectively. Justin Thompson bundled out Friday finalist Tim Pusey 4-1. Kalani Hillman won three consecutive legs at the end of his match to defeat Mike Bonser 4-3. Pat Molloy defeated Mat Leahy 4-2 and Rhys Mathewson won the final leg of seven to sneak past Craig Prizeman.
At the round of 16 stage the quality of the tournament shone through again with massive head to head battles at each board. GG Mathers defeated Loz Ryder 6-2 in a match up that had two former World Championship players face off against one another. In another big clash Raymond Smith defeated Australian team mate Justin Thompson 6-3. James Bailey continued his form of Saturday by defeating Rhys Mathewson 6-3 whilst the other finalist, Steve Macarthur, overcame an impressive Dave Marland 6-4. John Riley lost 6-2 to Ryan Lynch. Youngsters Kalani Hillman (6-2 over Pat Molloy) and Tahuna Irwin (6-2 over Dennis Sario) also went through to meet up in the next round. In the final match the deciding leg saw a 104 checkout from Kerry Allen take the last quarter final position.
The quarters were all high quality affairs. Killani Hillman overcame an early break of throw against him to take a lead mid match 5-2. Tahuna Irwin was not about to quit though and came from well behind to take the match into a deciding leg. He still had to break the throw of Hillman though but had first shot at a check out which he was unable to convert. Hillman then left eight on his own throw and Irwin left 4 on his next visit. Hillman then missed his check out and Irwin finally got the job done with the first dart of his next visit. GG Mathers went to an early lead but Ryan Lynch, newly signed to team Maximum, was able to turn the tide and took the match out 6-5. Ray Smith and James Bailey was a tight affair but in the end Bailey broke clear to win 6-3. Steve Macarthur broke Macarthur in the eighth game to go 5-3 up in what was a tight affair but Kerry Allen of Team Tups broke straight back and then held his throw to take the match into a cut throat leg. Macarthur was able to hold out under the pressure and took the match 6-5.
After three legs Steve Macarthur held a break of throw and consolidated with a confident fourth leg on throw. In the fifth leg Macca missed a double for another break and Ryan Lynch takes the leg with his next dart. Macarthur then missed another two chances at tops for the next leg but in this case seemed to go unpunished only for him to spurn another three opportunities. With his opponent unable to get over the line on his next visit Macca finally threw it on his next visit. It was all the momentum needed as he won the last two legs to take the match 6-2, although Lynch had darts at the seventh leg but failed to convert.
In the other semi final both players won their opening throw. James Bailey then moved well ahead in the next leg and tops gave him the break. With a 140 start in the next leg he was then able to consolidate his break by holding his own throw. Irwin then had multiple opportunities in the next leg, even though Bailey had started with yet another 140 but was unable to take them and Bailey was able to collect a second break. In the final leg Bailey finally had a poorer first visit and was punished by Irwin but Bailey was able to put scoring pressure through the middle of the leg and finally checked out 68 to win the leg, and the match 6-1.
The final was a repeat of the final the night before and it was James Bailey who won the throw. Both players started slowly but on his second visit Bailey scored 140 which was then matched by Steve Macarthur. A 137 from Bailey left him on 142 as the General moved from 176 to 131 with a 45 visit. Neither player was able to check out the big number (Macca missing tops) and then the Bull left 20. Macca then did not capitalise as Bailey held his throw with double 5.
A 66 start from Macarthur was punished with a 140 from Bailey. Macca then got a 140 of his own late in the leg and a pair of poorer scores from his opponent gave him the upper hand. Macarthur chased 152 and left 52 for the leg with Bailey well behind (although 140 put some pressure on.) Macca did not convert the required score but neither did Bailey and Macca took full advantage to draw the match level after two legs.
The next leg saw consistent early scoring from both players until a poor third visit from the bull handed the general the opportunity to take advantage, one that he did not really take. 65 left Bailey on 170 as Macarthur could only get 45 and left 141. Again neither player converted the big numbers and failed to do so again on their next visits. Requiring 20 to hold Bailey did so with his first dart at his next visit.
A 43 start from the General gave his opponent another chance to move away early but 60 was not enough from Bailey. A solid 125 gave momentum back to the player with the throw but Bailey almost matched it with a 121. Poor visits from both players over the next two visits left neither near a checkable score until at 188 Macca halved his target. With Bailey on 138 Macarthur took the fourth leg in two darts to once again hold his throw and tie the match up at 2-2.
The first 180 of the match opened up the leg for James Bailey in leg five and he followed it up with a solid hundred. 81 then left him on 140 with Macarthur well behind. He left himself 50 on the next visit but he failed to collect. A 134 left the general on 84 and Bailey could not convert yet again. Macarthur left 24 as Bailey got the fifth leg with a double ten. 3-2 on throw.
A poor start of 28 saw Bailey move a little ahead thanks to his own start of 85. A 140 visit and the Bull moved well ahead against the throw. A 140 from Macarthur and he was back in the match but a 135 from Bailey moved him to needing just 41. With Macca on a bogey score Bailey had six darts and he used all of them but left himself with 5. Now requiring 72 Macca was unable to pounce at his first visit. With double two at his last dart in hand Bailey took the break and led 4-2.
The next leg was critical as Bailey looked to consolidate his hard fought two leg lead and Macarthur aimed to bounce straight back. A 140 start helped the General in his cause but he could only follow it up with a 45. Mid leg and he still had a slight lead, but 100 left Bailey with a 160 big check out opportunity. 125 left Macarthur with amore achievable 110 check out and he had a shot at it as Bailey could only score 80 on his next visit. Macarthur scored the 110 required to break straight back and move the match score to 4-3, still in his opponent’s favour.
An early ton from Macarthur helped his cause in the next leg and although he fell behind slightly he had first shot at a check out score, albeit 170. He failed to convert but requiring 96 Bailey let his opponent in with a chance by leaving 40. 149 was not a score Macarthur could get, leaving 52 but Bailey hit the required double with his first dart on the next visit. 5-3.
Bailey had the throw and was one leg away from the title but there must have been thoughts of his previous attempt to hold throw as Macarthur opened with 140. Both players went through a malaise mid leg and it was the general who finally snapped out of it first as a 116 moved him to 86. His opponent was on 160 as Macarthur left tops to stay in the match. He left himself five after his next visit and got it with his last dart in hand.
With things back on throw Macarthur threw first and started with a solid 100 which was bettered by a 140 from Bailey. A couple of visits later and 100 moved the General to 260 as 58 left Bailey on 256. A 140 under pressure moved Macarthur to 120 as the same moved Bailey to 116. Macarthur then hit the 120 required to put the match into a final deciding leg.
Bailey started with 60, Macarthur 45. Bailey then got 45 of his own and his opponent 41. A 135 seemed to break the leg open for Bailey as Macca collected 60 to move to 355. Bailey moved from 261 to 161 with a century as Macarthur hit a great 140 to move to 215. Bailey missed Bull for the match but Macarthur could only then move to 175. Bailey then missed double two for the match as Macarthur scored 99 to leave 76. Requiring two Bailey hit the double one at his first attempt to win the match 6-5.
After the match Bailey was suitably ecstatic and exhausted all at the same time. “I learnt a lot at Q school this year and have got the passion and desire back. The competition is so strong this year it is an honour to have won again.”
Round of 32
GG Mathers 4 Liam McLennon 0
Jerry Weyman 0 Loz Ryder 4
Zac Bartlett 1 John Riley 4
Bill Aitken 3 Ryan Lynch 4
Kerry Allen 4 Dave Hanel 2
Mark Colbangen 4 Lucas Cameron 0
Steve Macarthur 4 Anton Soc 0
Dave Marland 4 Ray O’Donnell 2
Raymond Smith 4 Steve Powell 0
Justin Thompson 4 Tim Pusey 1
James Bailey 4 Daniel Sim 0
Craig Prizeman 3 Rhys Mathewson 4
Simon Black 0 Dennis Sario 4
Tahuna Irwin 4 Daleo Heta 0
Mike Bonser 3 Kalani Hillman 4
Pat Molloy 4 Matt Leahy 2

Round 16

GG Mathers 6 Loz Ryder 2
John Riley 2 Ryan Lynch 6
Kerry Allen 6 Mark Colbangen 5
Steve Macarthur 6 Dave Marland 4
Raymond Smith 6 Justin Thompson 2
James Bailey 6 Rhys Mathewson 3
Dennis Sario 2 Tahuna Irwin 6
Kalani Hillman 6 Pat Molloy 2

Quarter Finals

GG Mathers 5 Ryan Lynch 6
Kerry Allen 5 Steve Macarthur 6
Raymond Smith 3 James Bailey 6
Tahuna Irwin 6 Kalani Hillman 5

Semi Finals

Ryan Lynch 2 Steve Macarthur 6
James Bailey 6 Tahuna Irwin 1

Final

Steve Macarthur 5 James Bailey 6