Melbourne Qualification 2
Tim Pusey qualified for his second successive Melbourne Darts Masters with a 6-2 win in the final of qualification two, joining his team Misfits team mate Robbie King at the tournament.
The quarter finals of this event had seen Koha Kokiri defeat Brad Thorp, who had made his second quarter final in successive events, whilst Mick Lacey of Team Rebel defeated Steve Powell. Tahuna Irwin was defeated by a resurgent Barry Jouannet Junior and in an all West Australian affair Tim Pusey progressed past Anton Soc.
The first semi final saw Kokiri hold throw before he broke the throw of Lacey having watched his opponent miss converting tops on the previous visit. Lacey then broke straight back in 13 darts and held throw to move the match back into equity. Each player then held throw until the eighth leg where Lacey was aiming to hold throw. He missed a double 16 for the leg and Kokiri took his chance on the next leg, thereby winning the match five legs to three.
The second semi final saw Tim Pusey win the opening four legs, progressively getting better each leg, before Jouannet Junior could hold throw. It was all too little too late as Pusey held his throw in the next leg, although he made hard work of it, needing four darts from 28.
In the final Pusey took an early lead in the first leg with a maximum on his second visit and a double nine to break the Kokiri throw. Both players held throw across the next five legs to move the scoreline to 4-2 in Pusey’s favour. The seventh leg saw Kokiri fail to convert 48 on throw and Pusey checked out a ton for his second break of the match. In the next leg Kokiri failed to convert 92 with nine darts and Pusey came from a long way back to throw double 16 for the match. Pusey had lost just five legs across the whole of this event.
In what has been a difficult season for Pusey, this was a clear highlight. “I can’t wait. I did not want to stop playing last year and had a pretty rough start this year so this is a feeling I can’t explain, I can’t put it into words. I will be more comfortable this time around, I know what to do and what happens. This time around I will put a lot more practice in and look forward to being back on the big stage in Melbourne.”
Brisbane Qualification 2
Koha Kokiri put the disappointment of losing the final earlier in the day to qualify for the Brisbane Darts Masters by defeating young star Ryan Lynch in the final of the second qualification event. The Team Kiwi DPNZ DPA player won the match by six legs to two.
In the quarter finals former World Youth Championship player Ryan Lynch took an early 3-1 lead against Mick Lacey before the Team Rebel man took two legs in succession. Lynch held throw and then broke for a 5-3 win. Koha Kokiri also moved to a 3-1 lead over Brad Thorp as did Robbie King over Brendon McCausland. Kokiri extended his lead to 4-1 but McCausland moved back to parity at 3 all in his match. Kokiri went on to win 5-1 whilst King took out his match in a deciding leg. The fourth quarter final was all even after four legs between Raymond O’Donnell and John Bunyard in an all NSW resident affair. O’Donnell then won three legs on the trot to qualify for the semi finals.
The first semi final saw Koha Kokiri play Raymond O’Donnell. Kokiri broke his opponent and then held throw to take an early two leg lead. Both players then held throw before a 13 dart leg put Kokiri further in front. O’Donnell then put some concern in his opponent by breaking him in the sixth leg but Kokiri then had three 140 visits in a row to open the next leg and eventually won the leg, taking the match five legs to two.
The second semi final was a match up between Robbie King and Ryan Lynch. King broke Lynch in the first leg of the match but then took the break straight back. King broke for a second time to regain the lead only for Lynch to again get the match back on parity. This time Lynch held throw to move 3-2 up before both players held throw. In the eighth game Lynch broke King for a third time to take the match out 5-3.
In the final Kokiri once again broke his opponent in the opening leg and then held throw, Lynch unable to check out 112 for the leg. A double 18 gave Lynch his first leg, the third of the match. Kokiri then was unable to convert 78 and with two darts Lynch made the most of his attempt at 56 to move the match back into parity after four legs. Lynch then produced a poor leg on throw and Kokiri was able to break once again to move back into the lead. A 131 opening visit on throw gave Kokiri the impetus in the next leg and he quickly built on the opening to win the leg comprehensively and regain a two leg lead. A 100 check out against the throw meant Kokiri moved one leg away from victory and he opened with the same score on his next two visits in the eighth leg. A 99 check out was enough to put Kokiri into the Brisbane Darts Masters.
Kokiri was pleased to have put the loss earlier in the day behind him and get back on the World Series of Darts stage for the fourth time. “I am excited to be back on the big stage once more. It has been a very busy day for me but to win tonight after the disappointment of earlier in the day is brilliant. I wont change anything from what I have done in the past on the big stage because I know I have the game to be able to compete