Justin Thompson played just one day of qualifiers but left his mark by securing the final spot for the debut of the PDC World Series of Darts events in Brisbane. Another elimination leg was required to separate two protagonists as Thompson defeated fellow Victorian Rhys Mathewson 6-5.
The board winners were Rhys Mathewson (over Jeremy Fagg), Mark Smyth (over Ray O’Donnell), Chippy Miller (over Jerry Weyman), Alex Evans (over Matt Clarke), Mike Bonser (over Mick Lacey), Steve Macarthur (over Darren Wolter Gumley), Justin Thompson (over Koha Kokiri) and Jake Devries (over Mark Taafe.)
In the final eight Mathewson returned to some good form, defeating Smyth 5-1. Alex Evans upset a very consistent Chippy Miller 5-3. Steve MacArthur defeated Melbourne bound Mike 5-3 and Justin Thompson showed his class in a 5-1 win over Devries. Mathewson continued his good for in the semi finals with a 5-2 win over Alex Evans and set up a final clash against fellow Victorian Justin Thompson who defeated MacArthur 3-5, preventing the Queenslander from being on stage at his local event.
The final started well for Thompson as he won the bull to throw first forcing Mathewson to break him to take the match. Thompson opened with a 100 but on his second visit Mathewson hit a maximum. A 125 response from Thommo had him well and truly in the leg although it was Mathewson who had first shot at a check out. With Thompson needing 50 Mathewson was unable to convert 121 (leaving 32) and Thompson took out the leg.
A poor start of 59 for Mathewson was pounced on by Thompson with a 140. Thompson scored 100 when chasing 148 but with Mathewson far behind on the leg he got another visit to the oche but missed his check out. Mathewson could not convert 100, leaving tops, and Thompson was able to hit the required target with his last dart in hand. 2-0 to Thompson.
The next leg started well for Mathewson with a 135 and two 140 visits but Thompson threw good consistent numbers to stay in the leg. Both players required 86 but Mathewson got it at the first attempt to get the break back off his opponent. Mathewson then opened with 100 which was matched by his opponent. Thompson then moved ahead by 75 points but missed a chance to leave a check out after his next visit. A 140 left 80 for Thompson as Mathewson moved from 180 to 80. Thompson left twenty as Mathewson held throw with last dart in hand. 2-2.
Thommo opened the next leg with 45 whilst a 134 demonstrated a mini momentum shift to Mathewson. Thompson had to do something to stifle this and he did so by throwing a maximum. A second 180 in consecutive visits set Thompson up for the leg but he failed to convert 96. With Mathewson unable to take out a huge 167, missing the bull, Thompson hit tops with his next dart.
The sixth leg started out close but mid leg a maximum to Mathewson left him on 128. He had six darts to complete the score and used them all to do so. The match was tied at three legs each.
Thompson and Mathewson traded some big visits midway through the seventh leg but a 171 from Mathewson left him with a 132 checkout. He was unable to convert this and then had to watch as Thompson checked out 105 to hold throw. After nine darts of the next leg Mathewson was on 127 and with a 95 visit left himself 32. He secured it with the last dart in hand on his next visit. 4-4 and both players had to hold their nerve.
Thompson showed all his experience by opening the next leg with a 140 and then backed it up with another. Eventually he took the leg out (it did take another 16 darts and along the way Mathewson missed the bull to steal the leg.) A 60 opening from his opponent gave Thompson a chance to take the match in this leg and he took it by scoring 140. His next visit was not as comprehensive but a 136 left him on 170 as Mathewson sat on 101. 134 from Thompson left the pressure on Mathewson but he showed great character in converting it to move the match into an elimination leg.
Thompson started with an 83 and Mathewson opened with 140. Thompson then hit two maximums in a row to leave 58 and he hit it in style with the first two darts of his next visit.
Justin Thompson therefore secured the last place in the Darts ANZ World Series of Darts Brisbane event.