Harrows DPA Pro Tour Update

The Harrows DPA Pro tour hit the border country this weekend as Barooga Sporties hosted the tour for the very first time. After keen interest from locals and the media over the previous week the events finally kicked off on Friday night and delivered on the promise of world class darts.
Weekend Event One
Surprise packet Peter Sutton made it all the way through to the quarter finals where he met Pro Tour leader Damon Heta. Heta had to fight hard as he lost the opening leg on his own throw before breaking back immediately. There were then two more breaks before Heta hit double 16 with his opponent sitting on 156 to hold throw for the first time in the match. Sutton then held throw with a 14 dart leg before Heta upped the ante with a 12 dart leg. The 8th leg was critical as Sutton moved from 177 to 40 before Heta hit double 10 to grab the leg. Heta was in for a shock as on throw in the next leg both players failed to take darts for the leg before Sutton broke the Heta throw and move within a leg of his opponent. He was unable to hold his throw in what would be the last leg of the match though, the final score 6-4 to Heta.
In the last events at Dubbo Ben Robb and Steve Fitzpatrick had gone head to head on several occasions and it was to continue in this event. It was Robb who took the early leads, 2-0 and then 4-2, and with wins in the 8th and 9th leg he was able to move through to the semi finals of the competition. The match between Queenslanders James Bailey and Robbie King was a classic, and a tight affair at that. After five legs the players had held throw throughout but in the sixth leg King was able to break Baileys’ throw before collecting a 12 dart leg where he averaged 125.3 to lead 5-2 and be just one leg away from the semi finals. However Bailey is not someone to ever think himself defeated and in the next three legs he averaged 100.2 and hit 15 dart legs each time to move the match back into parity. He still had a lot to do though as King had the darts in the deciding leg. King started strongly but followed up with two poorer visits and then watched as Bailey hit a maximum (only The Bull’s second and the fourth of the match in total.) A 140 left King needing tops which he had a shot at after Bailey was unable to convert 62. King failed to make his target and left himself requiring 20 but he did not have another throw at it as Bailey secured the match on his next visit with last dart in hand.
The final quarter final saw two players from Team Kiwi DPA / DPNZ face off as Koha Kokiri put the cleaners through Haupai Puha six legs to one with Puha unable to secure a leg after holding his throw in the very first one. Leg five was completed by Kokiri in 11 darts, with visits of 100, 180, 145 and a 76 conversion in two darts.
The semi finals saw three players from Team Kiwi and one from Team Misfits. James Bailey and Koha Kokiri had an inter team play off with Bailey seeing his opening throw broken and his opponent holding his throw to move to an early two leg lead. In a theme reminiscent of the previous round Bailey then went unbeaten for the rest of the match, turning a 0-2 deficit into a 6-2 victory. He started the run with a 121 check out and hit the highlight reel with a 12 dart leg to take the lead for the first time in the match (100, 125, 180 and a 96 check out.)
In the other semi final Robb took out the table topping Heta by the same scoreline. Heta actually broke the Robb throw in leg one but his Kiwi opponent returned the favour in leg two before moving ahead with a ten dart leg (visits of 180 and 177 leaving Robb on a nine darter which he was unable to convert, instead leaving himself 24 which he took with his next dart.) Robb then broke once more in leg four and held his own in five to lead 4-1. Heta then did what he had to by holding throw but a 15 dart leg from Robb moved him just one away from the win and with Heta unable to take his chance in the next leg Robb took the break and the match, with 6-2 being the final scoreline.
The final saw Robb break the Bailey throw immediately and he held his own throw to take an early lead. After 13 and 14 dart legs the third leg went to 16 darts but it was Robb who once again threw the last one, thus getting half way to his target after just three legs. He was aware of his opponent, and Team Kiwi DPA DPNZ team mate’s reputation though, and knew the job was not done yet. Robb held his throw to go 4-0 up before Bailey had a leg finally go his way to move the scoreline to 4-1. Just in case there were thoughts of bigger things from his opponent Robb then threw an eleven dart leg with visits of 100, 177 and 180 before hitting the required 44 in two darts. Bailey then did hold throw once more and in the next leg threw at tops to get a break back (his first darts at a break all match.) He managed only 35 and Robb went back to the oche to chase tops for the match at his next visit. With last dart in hand Big Rig collected the required double to win the match and event 19.
Robb was ecstatic to take the win, “Against such a quality field you can’t put in a poor performance at any time. It really challenges my game to play such quality players throughout this tournament and I am pleased that my game continues to stand up to the pressure.”
Weekend Event Two
Saturday saw two knockout competitions played. Damon Heta made the quarter finals once more in event 20 with a 6-4 win over team mate from Team Misfits, Brendan McCausland. In the quarters he matched up against Mick Lacey, of Team Rebel, and took early leads at 2-0 and then 3-2 before a 12 dart leg put him two clear once more. Both players then held throw before a long ninth leg saw Heta miss chances to take the match but he eventually hit double ten for the match.
Steve Fitzpatrick (another member of the Team Rebel family) and Ben Robb (of Team Kiwi DPA DPNZ) went head to head once more and the Tasmanian got his revenge on his young Kiwi opponent in full. He broke his opponent in the first leg and soon moved to a four nil lead. Robb held in the fifth leg before Fitzpatrick held his own throw and then broke his opponent with his 14th dart in the seventh and final leg to win 6-1. Robbie King was just as comprehensive in his quarter final match with 2018 World Youth Championship player Ryan Lynch. Lynch held throw in the opening leg but it was the only success he would enjoy in the match as King hit six in succession (including a 12 darter in leg three) to get a semi final position he had missed out on the previous night.
The final quarter final saw another inter Team Kiwi DPA DPNZ match with Puha and Kokiri going head to head. Kokiri held the opening leg and broke Puha in the next leg for an early 2-0 lead. He then repeated that performance over the next two legs to lead 4-0 before Puha finally held his throw in leg five. With Kokiri holding throw in the sixth leg it looked a matter of course for him to take the match. A 15 dart leg from Puha had him hold throw before he hit another one to take his opponents throw. He backed it up by holding throw in leg nine and moved just one leg from parity and a final leg decider. Before that he had to break his opponent’s throw once more but requiring 80 to do so he had to stand back and watch his opponent visit the oche where Kokiri hit 20 and double 20 to secure the leg and a 6-4 victory.
The semi final match ups saw both games finish in a deciding leg. In a Team Misfits v Team Rebel clash Damon Heta took an early break off Steve Fitzpatrick with a 102 check out. He then held throw in 13 darts before his Team Rebel opponent held throw. Heta then moved two legs clear once more before a leg where both players secured ton plus averages (Fitzpatrick 107.4 and Heta 115.3) saw Fitzy hold throw in 14 darts. Legs six to nine were held by the respective players before Heta stood on the oche in the tenth game just needing to hold throw for the match. He counted the cost after being unable to put away 32 as Fitzpatrick stepped up and scored double ten for the break, the leg, and drew the match back to parity once more. Fitzy had the throw for the final leg and with a 161 attempt unsuccessful he left himself 31 to win. He busted his first attempt but with Heta only scoring 99 when trying to convert 167 Fitzpatrick had another chance only to bust once more. Heta was not so charitable on his next visit and secured the required 68 in two darts to take the match 6-5. For Heta it was a huge break whilst for his young opponent it was a bitter pill to swallow.
The second semi final was a Team Misfits v Team Kiwi DPA DPNZ affair. King broke Kokiri and then held throw in the opening two games before the next three legs went on throw. Kokiri broke King in the sixth leg before a 15 dart leg from King gave him back the break straight away. Kokiri responded with a 15 dart leg of his own and this time he held throw to lead 5-4. Another 15 dart leg from King saw him hold throw and put the match into a deciding leg. With a couple of ton visits early on in the leg Kokiri held the leg comfortably and secured the 32 required to progress through to the final.
The final saw two WA residents face off with Heta holding throw in 15 darts to take the opening leg. His opponent would hold throw before Heta did the same to lead 2-1 on throw. In the fourth game Heta chased the first break but busted chasing 80 and Kokiri stepped up to throw 47 for the leg. Heta then held throw before taking the break he thought he had two legs previous. He did not have it for long through as Kokiri took 15 darts to take the break back at the first attempt. However with Kokiri failing to check out 124 in the next leg Heta took the lead once more and then held his throw with 14 darts (an average for that leg of 107.4) in the ninth and final leg of the match. The 6-3 scoreline giving Heta another win on this year’s tour. “Obviously I am pleased to have taken out another title. It is great to lead the way but you want to be winning events, not just be consistently in semis and finals, so I am pleased to have secured another event victory today.”
Weekend Event Three
That afternoon Damon Heta made it three semi final victories from three starts at Sporties Barooga. He took on Mick Lacey for the second time in the quarter final stage that day and both players won their opening two throws before Heta hit four legs in a row to win the match 6-2. If Steve Fitzpatrick had got revenge earlier in the day then Ben Robb showed him how it was really down with a 6-0 white washing of the young star. The other two quarter finals were almost as comprehensive with James Bailey winning 6-1 over Robbie King (King winning only the fourth leg when he held throw) and Haupai Puha conquering a resurgent Lucas Cameron by the same scoreline (Cameron holding throw in the third leg.)
The semi finals were contrasting affairs. In the first one Heta continued the run of 6-1 results with a comprehensive win over Ben Robb. Having opened the match with a 12 darter on throw, Heta broke Robb in 15 darts before holding throw. A 14 dart leg broke Robb again and then 15 darts later Heta was 5-0 up. It took a 15 dart leg of his own for Robb to finally hold throw but the same amount of darts gave Heta the match after seven legs.
Semi final two was a shoot out between the players ranked second and third on the Pro Tour table. Puha broke his Team Kiwi DPA DPNZ colleague straight away before holding throw. Bailey then held throw in 14 darts before Puha took back his two leg lead. A poor leg from both players saw Bailey just hold his throw before Puha held throw once more. Leg seven went Bailey’s way before Puha upped the tempo with a 14 dart leg to move two legs clear at 5-3. Bailey did what he had to by holding throw in the next leg and was looking to throw for the match if he could break his opponent in the next leg. However a second visit to the oche of 140 by Puha put the Kiwi ahead in the leg and he held onto his throw by securing the 32 required for the match.
The final was an even tighter affair with Puha taking the first leg on throw in 15 darts. He then broke his opponent but a 68 check out in 15 darts saw Heta take the throw back at the first attempt. Heta then held his own throw to bring the match back to even terms. Puha then held throw in 15 darts before his opponent did the same but with one less dart. Remarkably both players then repeated these feats to move the match to four legs each. After ten legs the scoreline was five all and thus it came down to a decider with Puha having the throw. Puha opened with 100 before Heta hit a maximum. Puha’s class was demonstrated in his response, hitting a maximum of his own. Heta scored 60 as Puha secured another ton. Heta then moved to 161 as his opponent failed to convert 121. Heta could only move to 96 and may have contemplated his match being over but chasing 38 Puha scored just six. Heta then only scored 56 of his own to leave tops but he never had a shot at it as Puha collected 32 with a dart left in his hand. The deciding leg, match and event 21 were Puha’s, “This was my second last competition before heading off to Germany to represent New Zealand with Cody Harris at the PDC World Cup. I could not be happier with this win and the momentum it gives me going into such a prestigious tournament.”
Weekend Event Four
The final day saw a round robin format followed by eliminations from the final 32 onwards. The quarter finals saw some regular names appear alongside players who have enjoyed success previously this season. In the first semi final GG Mathers returned to the quarter final stage as he took on a man who had previously won three from three at this stage over the weekend. Things were not to change for Heta as he took out the match 5-2. An early break gave Heta the momentum and he soon led 2-0. Mathers then held throw with a 14 dart leg before Heta held throw in 13. A 15 dart leg from the Team Rebel man moved Mathers back to within a leg of his Team Misfits opponent but 15 darts later from Heta and he had moved away once more. A 14 dart hold of throw and then 15 dart break gave Heta the match by five legs to two. From the second leg until the end each player had won each leg with an average over 100.
Quarter Final two saw Steve Fitzpatrick unable to serve more revenge in his hit outs with Robb as he instead faced Robb’s team mate Haupai Puha. Puha was chasing second spot on the Pro Tour table but it was the former PDC World Youth Championship player who took out the match, by five legs to one. Things had started well for the Kiwi as Puha broke the throw of his Tasmanian opponent at the first attempt but that was to be his last joy in the match. Consistent, rather than spectacular, scoring from Fitzpatrick saw him win five legs on the trot, including breaks of throw on three occasions. James Bailey was the player that Team Kiwi DPA DPNZ team mate Puha was chasing for second spot and early on in his quarter final Puha might have thought things would go his way, for whilst he was up a break after one leg Bailey was down three legs to nil to the ever consistent Mick Lacey. Leg four saw the Bull finally secure a leg and he was right back in the match when he secured a 15 dart break of throw in leg five. Bailey then held throw to move the match back to parity before a 13 dart break of throw moved him in front for the first time in the match. His opponent was not done yet, however, as a 14 dart leg saw Lacey break Bailey and move the match back to all square. Lacey now had the throw for the match and opened with a ton. Bailey responded with a 131 before two poor visits from Lacey gave his opponent the momentum in the leg. Despite being unable to collect 36 in one visit Bailey was far enough ahead to visit the oche once again and this time he made no mistake to collect the ninth and final leg, and the match 5-4.
The final quarter final saw Raymond O’Donnell lose a leg on throw in the opening of his match against Koha Kokiri. O’Donnell struck straight back though before being broken for a second successive time. Yet again O’Donnell responded straight away with another break and this time he held throw, which Kokiri did for the first time as well in the following leg. Both players then repeated this feat to push the match into a deciding leg. It was O’Donnell who threw first but it was Kokiri who moved well ahead in the leg. In six darts Kokiri was unable to put 91 away and in the meantime O’Donnell scored a 140 to move to requiring 18 which he did on his next visit to secure his position in the semi finals of the final event of the weekend.
In the semi finals O’Donnell faced Bailey in yet another Team Misfits verse Team Kiwi DPA DPNZ showdown. Bailey held throw in his first two legs and in between broke his opponent to lead 3-0. He then broke O’Donnell a second time before the man from Broken Hill was able to secure a break of his own in the fifth leg with a 15 darter. It was too little too late though as Bailey broke once more in the sixth leg (with 14 darts) to take out the match 5-1.
Bailey (at number two in the Pro Tour table) would face Heta (number one) in the final after Heta saw off a huge challenge from Team Rebel’s Steve Fitzpatrick in the other semi final. It had been all good news for Fitzpatrick early as he held throw and then broke the Heta throw on the first attempt. In such a short format it was critical he maximise this break by holding throw but he was unable to do so in the next leg. He seemed to regain the momentum, though, as he broke Heta once more in the fourth leg. However 15 darts from Heta later and he was back within a leg of his opponent. The next leg saw the Tasmanian secure another break, this time in 14 darts, and the number one was on the back foot. A poorer leg saw Fitzpatrick bust when chasing match darts and having already missed the bull for the leg Heta came back to the oche and put away 25 to break back once more. Finally Heta held throw in leg eight, not giving his opponent a chance at a check out. Thus it was down to the final leg, where Fitzpatrick would visit the oche first. The Team Rebel man had to put any thoughts of their last leg decider the previous day out of his mind, but a maximum on his second visit gave Heta the opportunity to take the lead in the leg and would have put fear through his opponents body, especially with the Tasmanian knowing he had already missed one match dart. Heta was in no mood to give his opponent a second chance and secured a 14 dart leg to take the match five legs to four.
The final was appropriately the match the locals deserved as the current number one player took on number two (and as a side note Team Misfits took on Team Kiwi DPA DPNZ one last time this weekend.) Damon Heta took an early lead by holding his throw and then breaking the Bailey throw. Despite three consecutive tons from Heta in the next leg Bailey had a shot at the leg with Shanghai. He failed to collect it but cleaned it up on his next visit to get the break back on the first attempt. Five visits under 100 handed Heta back the darts in the following leg and despite not converting 160 he did hit the 60 required at his next visit to take the lead out to two legs once more. A 78 check out in the next leg (with Bailey on 167) gave Heta his first three leg lead of the match at 4-1.
A 140 start from Bailey in the next leg was upped by Heta with a maximum at his first visit. Follow up visits of 97, 100 and 140 from Bailey left him requiring just 24 whilst 134 left Heta on 42. Bailey hit the required target with his next dart to double his legs won tally and move the match that little bit closer. He then opened with a maximum against the Heta throw and a follow up 100 put him well ahead in the leg. A 139 left Heta on 167 though as Bailey could only secure a 96 to leave 126. Heta sensationally converted the 167 finish to take the seventh leg and put a halt to Bailey’s mini revival, moving the West Australian to within a leg of victory.
A 137 left Heta needing 160 in the next leg but Bailey chased the same score first. Bailey left 60 after a ton visit with Heta then replicating that visit. Bailey secured the leg in two darts to move the match into a ninth leg. He now had to break the Heta throw to remain in the match and took an early lead in the leg, punishing a 58 visit from Heta with a 125 score. Heta then hit a 140 to regain tilt but Bailey still hung in there with another ton. A 136 left Heta requiring another 167 as Bailey hit 140 to leave 136. Heta left 68 after his next visit as Bailey left himself 54 after his own visit. With last dart in hand Heta was able to hold his throw and take out the match by six legs to three.
“James is a great opponent and we are having a great tussle this year. To win again this weekend is fantastic as I continue to chase the number one position at season’s end. Thanks to the Team Misfits crew for their support, as ever, and congratulations to Barooga Sporties for hosting such a great weekend.” The Harrows DPA Pro Tour was a great success at Barooga with a quality field entertaining the locals throughout the weekend.
In other news out of the weekend a couple of places for PDC competitions were secured with Tremaine Gallagher and James Rundle securing places in this year’s PDC World Youth Championships and Emma Watkins securing a place in the female playoffs for positions in this year’s PDC World Championships. Congratulations to all of them and best of luck as they head overseas towards the end of the year for these competitions.