Day Three of the Harrows DPA Pro Tour event at the ALH Macquarie Inn Dubbo held two further straight knockout events.
Event 17 saw Steve Fitzpatrick do a job on Ben Robb jumping ahead 5-1 before taking the match 6-2 whilst Damon Heta won his match 6-0 for the second game in a row (having won his first match 6-1.) The other quarter finals were also one sided affairs with James Bailey and Koha Kohiri beating Dave Marland (6-2 – with a 138 final check out) and Dave LIttleboy (6-1) respectively.
In the first semi final the match was level after two legs. A check out of 111 with his opponent on 87 saw Heta return to the lead after three legs. Fitzpatrick then hit a 14 dart leg to take the match back to parity after four. Heta then took three games in a row, including breaking Fitzpatricks’s throw in the second of those games. Heta then had a shot at the match but missed and his opponent secured the leg with his next but one dart. In the next leg Heta missed match darts and saw the Team Rebel man win against the throw. Fitzpatrick then threw a 146 to go to a deciding leg against his Team Misfits opponent. He then broke the throw of Heta with 17 darts to take the match 6-5.
In the other semi final Koha Kokiri won the first leg before breaking the James Bailey throw to go two up. Bailey then broke the Kokiri throw to get back into the match and then, despite his opponent having a shot at the leg, held throw. Both players then held throw to move the match to 3-3. Kokiri then held throw and broke his Team KIWI DPA DPNZ team mate’s throw to lead 5-3. Bailey then missed three check out darts in the next leg and watched as Kokiri took full advantage to win 6-3.
The Final of event 17 saw Team Kiwi DPA/DPNZ’s Koha Kohiri take on Team Rebel’s Steve Fitzpatrick.
Kokiri won the throw for the first leg and it was he who had first shot at the leg, leaving 32. With his opponent failing to convert 141 he was able to take the leg with his next dart. A 137 in the next leg saw Kohiri leave himself 50 and Fitzpatrick had to chase an unlikely 152 for the leg. He failed to do so and Kohiri had a 2-0 lead after two more darts.
After five visits in the next leg each player had scored 100 or over (and the sixth was a 97 from Fitzpatrick to leave 170). Both players then missed leg darts with Fitzpatrick scoring 25 in two darts to break his opponent. A 139 start was followed up by a maximum and then a 140 from the Tasmanian (Kohiri had also had three ton plus visits.) In 11 darts Fitzpatrick had tied the match back up after four legs.
Kohiri was unable to hit a 170 finish in the next leg but was far enough ahead to get it on the next visit anyway. Fitzpatrick was unable to convert 70 on his own throw and watched as Kohiri put away tops to take a 4-2 lead. Kokiri attemped to check out 136 on the next leg with his opponent standing behind him on 110. Both players failed to check those totals out and it was left to Kohiri to convert on his next visit and move within a leg of the match.
A 140 start from Fitzpatrick was matched by Kohiri on his second visit to the oche in leg eight. A 115 then left Fitzpatrick requiring 89 as Kohiri moved from 176 to 76. Fitzpatrick missed the bull for the leg and Kohiri was good enough to take full advantage and win the match by six legs to two.
Kohiri was delighted to win “It was a good statement of intent and my first win of this season so I am obviously happy. It is great to have a team around me like Team Kiwi for support and this win was important to me.”
Event 16 on the DPA calendar saw Steve Fitzpatrick comprehensively defeat Ben Robb 6-1. Robb had some tough matches all morning whilst Fitzpatrick had felt he should already have beaten Robb in on one of their other titanic struggle of the previous days. Damon Heta started strongly in his match and went to a 4-0 lead before Paul Cotton took a leg. In the end Heta won the match 6-2. Robbie King was one leg away at five legs to three before Lynch held throw to put King’s throw under some pressure. King was able to hold his nerve though and took the match 6-4. Haupai Puha went 3-0 up and had his chances in the fourth leg but Raymond O’Donnell took his chance to get back in the match. In the seventh leg O’Donnell held throw to move back to within one leg of his opponent. He was then able to finish off the stronger of the two players and won 6-5.
In the semi finals Damon Heta took an early break to lead 2-0 against Steve Fitzpatrick before the Tasmanian broke back and levelled the match at 2-2. Heta then won two legs in a row to take back a two leg lead before Fitzpatrick broke his opponent in the seventh leg and then held throw to move the match back to 4-4. The next two legs went on throw to move the match to a single deciding leg which was won by Fitzpatrick as he broke the throw of Heta to lock up a 6-5 win.
Raymond O’Donnell won the first leg of his match before Robbie King took three games in succession to gain the upper hand in the match. O’Donnell held the next leg to move back within one of parity. King then moved to another two leg lead and ended up winning the match by six legs to three.
The final was a battle of a previous world youth championship player verse a 2018 Australian representative in the same competition. Robbie King of Team Misfits won the bull to throw first but a poor first visit and a 140 from Steve Fitzpatrick gave the Team Rebel player the early momentum. A maximum on his third visit moved King closer but it was Fitzpatrick who set up a first opportunity for the leg by leaving 125, which he completed with his 12th dart to take an early break. On throw Fitzpatrick threw 90 and then 100. King was unable to get a treble in three successive visits and a 60 from Fitzpatrick left him requiring 134 (and at least six darts to get it.) A 134 from King put his opponent under pressure but in the end Fitzpatrick took the leg with a double 18.
Leg three saw Fitzpatrick get his first maximum on his initial visit to the oche but his following visits were inconsistent. A 140 moved King to 100 whilst Fitzpatrick could not convert 108. King missed double ten for his first leg and with two darts the Tasmanian had a three nil lead in the match. King hit a maximum on his second visit against the darts in leg four but could only follow up with a 42. A ton visit from Fitzpatrick left him needing 147 as 125 from King left him requiring just 71. Neither player could convert on their next visit and King eventually took the leg with a double eight. He then threw first in leg five but a 180 from Fitzpatrick gave him a good lead in the leg. King stood needing 89 when his opponent missed tops for the leg. King then missed five darts to hold throw and Fitzpatrick finally took his chance to lead 4-1.
Leg six was critical to King but Fitzpatrick got to a check out first, requiring Nelson (111). He missed and King then converted 115 to get back into the match. Having had three breaks in a row it was vital that King held throw for him to get back into the match effectively. He left Shanghai as his opponent moved to 137. Neither player converted their high check outs with King finally hitting double 8 for the leg.
Leading by only one leg Fitzpatrick looked to regain the impetus by holding throw. King pounced on a poor visit from his opponent to move ahead in the leg but his 140 was matched by Fitzpatrick on his next visit. King missed tops for the leg as he chased 154 but was able to return to the oche and secure it with his next dart.
With the match at parity after eight legs King hit two visits of 137 to leave 136. Both players chased the same check out but neither could convert and it was left to King to hit double two and lead the match for the first time. King had won four games in succession and to stay in the match Fitzpatrick had to hold throw. He moved his way through the leg to leave 170 but was unable to convert it. His opponent failed to convert the second biggest check out possible and Fitzpatrick converted the 74 required to move the match to a final deciding leg.
Neither player could hit a treble with their opening six darts of the final leg but King scored 100 on his third visit and followed it up with the same. With Fitzpatrick well behind King chased 105 for the match and missed a double for the match. Fitzpatrick required 142 but also missed a match dart. King then hit the double 16 with his next dart to take his second final in successive days.
King was ecstatic with the win once again “With the quality of the field to win two tournaments in successive days is a real buzz. I am aiming for consistency but my win yesterday has given me real confidence that I can win tight finals.” For Fitzpatrick there was obvious disappointment but also pride in his result. “I have beaten players of the calibre of Ben Robb and Damon Heta to make the Final today and Robbie and I had a cracking match so it is hard to be too disappointed but obviously at this stage of my development in the game I am here to win finals.”