The Queensland Darts Masters, to be played at Townsville, saw a West Australian join fellow WA player Damon Heta in the event with just turned 20 year old Bailey Marsh defeating another WA star Koha Kokiri 7-3 in the final. In the Townsville qualifier Bailey Marsh lost his opening leg on throw to Russell Northey and then Northey held throw to make it 2-0. Marsh then held throw to make it 2-1 before two visits of 134 set him up for the break and with Northey unable to secure 106 a double eight was enough to draw Marsh level. Marsh opened with a 93 and then a visit of 140 whilst Northey opened with a 100 and 116 in the fifth leg. A 100 left Northey needing 80 later in the leg but he was unable to convert and Marsh punished him to hold throw. Marsh then broke Northey for a second successive time when the NSW player failed to convert 20 for the leg. Marsh then held throw in 17 darts. Visits of 140, 131 and 140 from Marsh and 100, 140 and 100 from Northey demonstrated the quality of the match in the next leg as Northey checked out 101 to break the run of 5 straight legs. Both players then opened with 140 on the Marsh throw but two visits of 100 in the next four legs saw Marsh require 36 and it was the double 18 that was Marsh’s friend to secure his second semi-final of the day, with the final score 6-3 in his favour. In the second quarter final Queensland youngster Matthew McLellan held throw and then broke the throw of Joe Comito before a 140 visit in the third leg left him requiring 156 before a visit of the same from Comito left him needing 98. It was McLellan who managed to secure the leg on throw and thus move to a 3-0 lead. Comito held throw in the fourth leg in after McLennan let 40 chasing an 80 check out. McLennan did hold throw himself in the next leg. In the sixth leg McLennan hit a maximum on his third visit but a 140 in response from Comito left him in the leg and two visits later a check out of 64 meant he held throw and moved within two legs of McLennan once again. Comito then threw a 140 against the throw in the next leg to leave him on 169 only for McLennan to exactly replicate that. A 137 after that and McLennan was firm favourite but then busted and then spurned another chance as Comito pounced to make it 4-3 to McLennan. Comito then opened with 180, 95 and 140 leaving 86 and secured the leg in 12 darts to make the match 4-4. With McLennan on 119 Comito threw tops to break the McLennan throw again, lead 5-4 and move to one hold of throw for the match. The drama was not done there, however, as McLennan opened with 140 in the next leg, only to get a 136 response from Comito. Later visits of 100 and 139 helped McLennan get into a strong position although from 62 he took three visits to put the leg away and tie it at 5-5. In the final leg a 180 visit in the fourth visit set the leg up for Comito and tops two visits later he secured the match 6-5. The third quarter final saw Koha Kokiri eliminate Dave Hall Senior. Both players opened with a break of throw, Hall’s being in 13 darts. Then a 14 dart leg from Kokiri secured the lead with yet another break. This time Hall was unable to break straight back although he did hold throw in leg five (Kokiri leaving 18 after his attempt at 155.) Hall had his chance in the next leg but left 12 chasing 78 as Kokiri went 4-2 up before he broke the Hall throw again, this time in 17 darts. Despite great throwing from Hall in the next leg Kokiri had an outside chance at the leg and took it with a 132 check out to take the match and move into the semi finals. The last quarter final was between Dave Charnock and Tim Pusey in a second all Western Australia affair. Pusey broke the Charnock throw in the opening leg (although his opponent spurned a couple of chances.) Remarkably it would be Pusey’s one and only leg win as Charnock broke straight back in 15 darts (starting with a 180), held throw in 15 and then broke once more (again opening the leg with a maximum.) He then held throw in 13 legs to give Pusey no chance in the leg before Pusey missed multiple chances for leg six and Charnock pounced to be a leg away. Once again Charnock was powerful on throw and 17 of his darts later the match was his 6-1. Koha Kokiri lost his throw in the opening leg of his semi final against Joe Comito. Comito missed the bull to hold throw in the next leg but with Kokiri only able to score 76 from 108 it looked like the leg was his only for him to bust at 25. 32 then gave Kokiri his first leg. Two openings of 100 in the next leg and a follow up 140 from Kokiri helped him gain a good lead only for three poor visits and a 113 from Comito move his opponent into the front. However, Kokiri regained the momentum and took the leg. Comito then opened on his own throw with 100 but that was matched by Kokiri. Two visits of 140, then a couple of 100s and a 112 check out from Comito and the match was even once more at 2-2. Kokiri then opened with 180 and 140 and was able to hold the throw to lead 3-2 on throw. After Comito opened with 58 in the sixth leg there were three successive visits of 100 from the players before Comito threw 136 and Kokiri 140. A 48 check out from Kokiri secured him the first break of the match and a 4-2 lead. Kokiri then threw two 100s and a 140 before a 70 check out moved him a leg away from the final. Comito opened with 137 on throw in the next leg but two ton visits from Koha left him still fighting in the leg. A 94 from Kokiri left him needing 124 whilst a 120 left Comito on 28 and with Kokiri not converting Comitos’s next dart gave him a third leg in the match. A 125 opening from Kokiri was then countered by 100 from Comito in what turned out to be the final leg. Kokiri drove hard through that leg and a 100 visit left him requiring 96. 140 left Comito needing 100 before his opponent left tops. Comito left the same and was given a shot at it after Kokiri left 20 with the match dart. Comito then missed and left 5 as Kokiri threw the required 20 with his second dart on his next visit, to secure the semi final 6-3. In his semi final Bailey Marsh won against the Dave Charnock throw and then threw 140, 125, 100 and 116 to take a strong lead on his own throw and leave 20 after 12 darts but he missed his first visit at that score only to return to the oche and secure a 2-0 lead. The next leg was a much closer affair, with both players struggling to finish off the leg until Charnock finally secured his first leg of the match. Charnock then opened with visits of 100 and 99 although Marsh responded with 99 and 97 of his own before Charnock threw 140. Another 97 left Marsh on 148 and a couple of visits later he was back in front by two legs at 3-1. Against the throw Marsh threw 120 and 135 to gain a large lead in the fifth leg before securing a maximum to leave 66 for a 4-1 lead, which he secured two visits later. A 122 on his fourth visit in the sixth leg and Marsh had Shanghai for a 5-1 lead. He didn’t secure it then but did so on his next visit. A 180 against the throw from Marsh put him in prime position for the match but two 140s in succession later in the leg gave Charnock an opportunity. He did not take that chance on his next visit to the oche though and a 35 check out in two darts gave Marsh his position in another final on the same day. The final saw Kokiri throw 140 and 100 in the first leg as Marsh hit 140, 140 and 100 and a 46 left him on 16. Kokiri failed to punish the youngster, leaving change from 52 and Marsh hit the 16 with last dart in hand on his next visit. The next leg saw both players struggle with three visits from each not securing a single treble. Marsh finally snapped into the leg with a 180 leaving him on 84. Kokiri left 167 and was able to have a go at it as Marsh left 24 with a visit of 60. 127 left tops for the Kiwi come WA resident and left the Marsh visit under pressure but Marsh stood tall and two darts later was 2-0 up in the best of 13 leg final. Kokiri threw a 121 on throw next leg but that was surrounded by two ton visits from Marsh. A 131 left Marsh on 170 and although he did not get it four darts later he was 3-0 up with two breaks of throw. A 140 against the throw was backed up with a 134 visit from Kokiri and a visit later he had another go at 167. A 139 left 28 and with Marsh well behind (although 140 left 118) Kokiri was able to pounce and get one of the breaks back. Kokiri then opened with two 140s as Marsh opened with 121. Two poorer visits was followed up by a 134 from Marsh before 165 from Kokiri left him needing 16. He busted on his next visit but Marsh failed to make the most of the chance as Kokiri then made it 3-2 with his second dart. The next leg went 100 (to Marsh), 100 (to Kokiri), 100, 140, 180, 100, 57 and 137 with Marsh unable to secure the required 64 and Kokiri throwing double 12 to return the match to parity at 3-3. Kokiri then opened with 85 in the seventh leg before Marsh hit 100 and then threw 134 and 140 to leave 127 after nine darts. Soon after Kokiri left tops after trying to check out 131 but did not get a dart at is as Marsh secured 50 for the leg. Marsh then opened with 140 and 139 on throw to leave 222 in the next leg. A 137 left Kokiri requiring 40 but with his next dart Marsh threw a double 16 to go back out to a two leg lead at 5-3. A 91 from Kokiri on throw in leg 9 was more than matched by a ton from Marsh. A 180 on his fourth visit and Marsh needed 77 to move within a leg of the match. 100 from Kokiri left him needing 150 and he had a shot at it as Marsh could only leave 16 on his previous visit. However Kokiri left 72, and one dart later Marsh was that leg away from Townsville, and he was on throw in the next leg. He opened with 140 but this was matched by Kokiri. Marsh threw 99 and Kokiri a ton to continue to make things tight. 134 from Marsh then demonstrated all his class as he left 128 despite the enormous pressure only for Kokiri to remarkably almost match it with a 131 and leave 130. Neither player got their target on their next visit. Marsh had a shot at double 12 for the match but failed to convert before Kokiri left 20 after his next visit. Again Marsh was unable to put the match away at his next time of asking. Kokiri thought he had the leg with his second dart but had to check up as he failed to score with it or the darts either side of it. Double three with his second dart and Bailey had secured the final and a position in the Queensland Darts Masters in Townsville by seven legs to three. The 20 year old was delighted with the win, “I was not going to lose two finals in one day, and I learnt a lot from the first one. The match was sensational and we both threw great darts but Koha gave me a chance when he missed a couple of darts at a check out and I knew I had to pounce as he does not give you much. As for the World Series of Darts in Townsville I say Go Aussie (I would actually love to play an Aussie on stage at some point in the competition) and Bring It On!”
Qualifier Two: Koha Kokiri
Koha Kokiri locked in a return to Queensland’s World Series of Darts (he played in the last Brisbane Darts Masters in 2019) with a 7-1 victory in the final of the Tuesday night qualifier at the Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club. The first quarter final’s first leg saw Joe Comito unable to score on an attempt at tops after Brenton Lloyd had scored 165 to leave tops himself. Against the throw Lloyd pounced to take the first leg. The second leg saw Lloyd bust an attempt at 36 and this time it was Comito who punished with a double ten to move the match to 1-1. The third leg saw Comito hold throw with tops, although Lloyd failed to score in chasing 16 for the leg. In the fourth leg a visit of 140 helped Comito take a lead against the darts only for Lloyd to throw the same to leave 87 later in the leg. He made the most of it two visits later to hold throw and draw level at 2-2. Comito then held throw in 15 darts, including a maximum on his second visit, to move a leg ahead once more. Two visits of 100 and late visits of 90 and 86 left Lloyd on tops which he took to move the match back into parity at 3-3. Comito then opened with 174 on throw for Lloyd to respond with a 140. 137 from Comito was enough to leave him needing 190 and by his next visit he was aiming for 130. He was unable to take it though and Lloyd pounced to grab the break (thanks to a 119 score two visits prior to an 80 check out) and lead 4-3. Both players scored strongly in the next leg but Lloyd failed to collect 117 for the leg and handed Comito a shot at 110 (having set that up with visits of 177 and 99.) Comito missed tops for the leg only for Lloyd to miss out on his next visit. This time Comito made Lloyd pay and secured the break back immediately turning the match into a best of three affair. 119 from Comito was bettered with a 140 from Lloyd only for Comito to score the same in leg nine. 99 on his next visit left Comito needing 143, eventually securing the leg with his 17th dart to lead 5-4. A 119 and 140 from Comito in leg nine put him ahead on throw and soon after a 38 check out gave him the leg and moved him to 5-4 up in the match. Lloyd opened with 140 on throw in this critical leg for his survival only for Comito to throw the same on his second visit. A 174 left Comito needing 69 for the match and three darts later he had taken the break, and the match, by six legs to four. The opening leg of the second quarter final match went the way of Koha Kokiri on throw before David Cairns opened with a 121 in the second leg. Kokiri responded with a 100 and set himself for a 100 but missed out on it only for Cairns to spurn a chance at a 97 check out. Two darts later and Kokiri was 2-0 ahead. A 121 on throw and then alternate visits of 100 and 105 left Kokiri needing tops in leg three and although he missed out at the first attempt Cairns busted 96 to give him another shot. Kokiri missed twice more and Cairns hit tops to secure his first leg and move the match back to on throw. That was not for long as 15 darts later (including two 140 visits) Kokiri was back to a two leg lead. Cairns then threw 100 on his first visit against the throw in leg five but both players struggled through this leg. A 140 later in the leg left Cairns requiring 65 which he secured soon after to move within a leg of his opponent once more. Both players opened up with tons in the next leg but a 138 and 98 afterwards left Kokiri in a better position but he left 20 when trying to take out 72. Cairns was given a shot at tops and double ten but missed both before Kokiri finally took the double 5 required for the leg and a 4-2 lead. A 140 on his second visit helped Cairns take a formidable lead in the seventh leg. He failed to take down 22 though and gave Kokiri a chance at bull at the end of his next throw but Kokiri missed it. A double 4 later and there was yet another break as Cairns moved back to within one leg of Kokiri. The next leg went Kokiri’s way early as whilst Cairns did have a 140 visit Kokiri had been more consistent. Kokiri had a go at 164 but left 104 before Cairns (who had hit a ton to set it up) left 75 chasing 115. Cairns left tops after his next visit as Kokiri had left 70 in the previous visit and got a chance at it as the WA player only scored 30 next time around. Tops from Cairns with his next dart and the match was 4-4. Kokiri then opened his throw with two visits of 140 and a 100. Requiring 121 Kokiri left 32 and was well enough in front to have a shot at it on his next visit. He missed out twice to leave Cairns with a shot at 74 which he failed to put away. Kokiri missed out once again and this time Cairns took full toll to lead 5-4 and have the throw in the next leg. Both players struggled in the opening of the tenth leg but Kokiri still managed to take the darts mid leg, a 180 leaving him with 82 to score. He took this out on his next visit. Kokiri opened with 95 in the deciding leg and then backed it up with 97, 117 and 100 to leave 92 for the match. He secured 52 on his next visit to leave tops but was unable to get that at his next visit to the oche and proceeded to struggle to do so for the next few visits. Two 100 visits later from Cairns and the New South Welshman needed 95. He left 16, but never got a dart at it as Kokiri finally secured the double required to win the match 6-5. The third quarter final saw Blake Hatchett take on Jonathon Kabay, the nephew of darting legend Greg Major. It was Kabay who made the most of poot finishing from Hatchett in the opening leg to secure the early break. He then held throw as more poor finishing cost Hatchett another leg. Hatchett then held throw, thanks in a big way to a 140 visit at the second time of asking, and then broke the Kabay throw with another 140 visit and a 124 check out. He held throw comfortably in leg five before missed opportunities for Kabay gave Hatchett the chance to win a fourth leg in a row, which he took. Another hold of throw and Hatchett was one leg away from a semi final appearance. Kabay held throw comfortably though but solid visits of 100, 98 and 99 and a 114 visit leaving 32 was too much for Kabay and Hatchett held throw in 16 darts to take the match 6-3. The final quarter final was all James Bailey early in his clash with Jamie Browne as he broke the Browne throw in 15 darts before securing his throw (although Browne missed a shot at the bull to go 1-1.) Browne bounced back to hold throw for himself in 15 darts until three 100 visits helped Bailey to hold throw once more and take a 3-1 lead. He then threw consistently to break the Browne throw once more before a visit of 133 and check out of 58 had him a leg away from the match at 5-1. Browne then held throw after Bailey could not check out 82 and left tops but then had to watch as Browne got that target first. Visits of 100, 129 and 130 helped Browne to break throw in the eighth leg of the match and move to 5-3 before he opened up with 140 on his own throw and a 32 check out later moved him within a leg of a decider. In leg ten Bailey opened with a 140 on throw only for Browne to match it at his second visit. The problem was Bailey had thrown 100 and 125 to leave 136. Browne was not down and out though and threw 180 to leave 138. Bailey left tops for the match but Browne could not take out the big check out and Bailey stepped up to take out the match 6-4 on his next visit to the oche. In the first semi final Joe Comito held throw early before breaking the throw of Koha Kokiri in 14 darts (including a maximum to open the leg and a 132 setting up a shot at 32) to go quickly 2-0 up. A 102 from Comito in the next leg left him on 40 and with Kokiri unable to convert 20 he made the most of it in two darts to lead 3-0. On throw Kokiri opened with 120 in the next leg and a 140 left him requiring 44. He did not put it away at first so Comito left 40 as a test for his opponent but Kokiri showed his bottle by collecting 16 to hold throw and move the match score to 3-1. A 96 and then 180 followed by 94 and 91 left Comito needing tops in leg five which he got in 2 darts to lead 4-1. Against the throw Comito then opened with 120 but Kokiri threw consistently to stay in the leg. Kokiri threw for 140 but left 10 as Comito once again left tops. Yet again Kokiri held his nerve, this time throwing double five to hold throw. Two 140 throws in three visits had Kokiri on 176 against the throw in leg seven but Comito had a chance at the big 170 check out. He missed the chance but then Comito missed the bull for a 126 check out and Kokiri pounced with a 71 check out in two darts to put the match back on throw at 4-3. A 140 from Kokiri’s third visit on throw in the eighth leg had him in front and later in the leg he had a shot at 32 for the leg and collected it to tie things up at four all. A 174 start from Comito, and follow up scores of 100 and 140 on his third and fourth visit, left him needing 28 which he gratefully accepted to move a leg from the final. On throw Kokiri started slowly and Comito pounced with 100, 115 and 97. A 135 left him needing 54 and with Kokiri unable to convert 161 Comito had a shot at the match but missed to leave 20. Kokiri hit the 64 he required to create a deciding leg. Koha secured a 140 visit to leave 138 in that deciding leg as Comito scored 100 to leave 184. 122 then left Kokiri requiring 16 for the match as he watched Comito throw a ton to move him to 84. Kokiri put it away the double eight required with his next dart to win the match 6-5. James Bailey held throw in the second semi final before his opponent, Blake Hatchett, threw three 100 totals from four visits to leave 106 in leg two. Hatchett failed to take his chances over the next two visits, however, and Bailey pounced with a 58 check out to lead 2-0. Both players opened with tons in the third leg but Hatchett backed it up with two more. A 133 left Bailey needing 158 only for Hatchett to leave 62, having thrown 139, a target he got on his next visit to break the Bailey throw. 140 from Bailey against the throw in the next leg handed him the momentum in that leg, reinforced by the same on his second visit. Later in the leg a 171 left Hatchett needing 84 but a third 140 had Bailey needing 8. Hatchett left tops but double 4 from Bailey saw him never have a dart at it. 140 on his second visit gave Hatchett a strong lead in the fifth leg and despite inconsistent scoring at the end of the leg he managed to break the throw of Bailey once again. He then opened with a 140 on throw as he tried to hold throw for the first time in the match only to see Bailey do the same. He fired in 100 but Bailey hit two 140s in a row to leave 81. 133 from Hatchett left 74 as Bailey missed a check out chance on three successive visits and Hatchett pounced to tie the match up at three all. Hatchett threw 134 after Bailey opened with a maximum in the next leg. Visits of 100 (Bailey) and 93 (Hatchett) had Bailey in front and a 99 had him leaving 122. Both players spurned chances on their next visits with both finally sitting on 16 when Bailey collected the leg with last dart in hand to lead 4-3. Hatchett then opened with 134 on throw in the eighth leg and threw 171 at his third visit to the oche in the leg before checking out 48 to leave the match score at 4-4. Bailey opened his next throw with a pair of 140s, with Hatchett collecting a 134 to open his throw. An 82 check out from the Queenslander gave Bailey a 5-4 lead. Hatchett started slowly in the next leg and 140 from Bailey looked to punish only for Hatchett to match it. Two ton visits later and Bailey required 161 for the match. Visits of 104 and 12 finally gave Bailey a 6-4 win. Koha Kokiri opened the final with a maximum before a 110 later in the leg left him needing 32 which he quickly secured to move a leg up. James Bailey then faced more pressure as Kokiri opened against the throw with a 140. Three visits in and Bailey threw his own 140 to stay in the leg. With Kokiti unable to check out 105 Bailey had three darts at 96 but missed the double 18 for the leg. Kokiri busted but had another throw and for the second time in the match double 16 was his friend. Kokiri opened with a ton in the third leg, matched by his opponent. Bailey secured a 140 on his second visit to take a good lead against the throw of his opponent, backing it up with a 125 to leave 136. A maximum from Kokiri left him on 104 which he had a chance at taking as Bailey left tops after his next visit. Bailey busted and Kokiri then punished him to lead 3-0. The next leg was a close affair but a 140 broke things wide open for James Bailey as he left 141. Three visits later and Bailey had secured his first leg of the match although it was nerve racking as a 137 had left Kokiri standing behind him requiring 36. Both players then opened the next leg with successive tons before Kokiri threw 100 and Bailey 140. A 139 from Kokiri left him on 62 and on his next visit he went 4-1 up. Kokiri then threw 98 and 140 on throw in the sixth leg to take the darts before a 96 left a 167 opportunity. A 135 left him needing 32 (again) and he got it to go 5-1 up. Two visits of 100 was countered by visits of 140 and 100 by Bailey in the next leg. Bailey was unable to put away 122 after Kokiri threw 133 to leave 50. Kokiri then left 16 and was given the opportunity to return to the oche by Bailey’s subsequent misses, converting the 16 to move one leg from the match. Kokiri opened with a 140 against the throw in leg eight and then backed it up with a 125. A 100 left him on 136 to win and a 112 left him needing double 12. With his opponent well behind Kokiri got to return to the oche but busted. He then had a second go and also missed, this time leaving 6. Bailey left himself requiring tops to put pressure on his opponent but yet again Kokiri helped his nerve and one dart landing in the double three bed was enough to win him the final seven legs to one and make the stage at the Queensland Darts Masters in Townsville. “I am ready for this. It was nice to knock off the young blokes this morning. I really enjoy there rise, and they are great guys, but it is nice to remind them I have not gone anywhere yet. I will proudly represent both my country of birth and my adopted country at these events.”
Qualifier 3: Dave Marland
Dave Marland won a place in the Queensland Darts Masters after taking out the third qualifying position on Monday evening at the Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club. In the first quarter final of the day Joe Comito and Matthew McLennan faced off. Comito opened the match with the first visit to the oche and secured a 135 after which he threw a ton and soon had the score whittled down to needing 40. His 18th dart secured a one nil lead. Two 140 visits in succession from McLennan on his own throw and a 125 visit at third time of asking left the young man needing 96. He was unable to convert it in two visits and Comito punished him with an 88 with his 13th and 14th darts. Comito then opened his throw with visits of 131 and 140 and left a big fish exit with a 60. Comito missed a 32 check out twice but McLennan failed to take advantage on either occasion and Comito punished at the third time of asking. McLennan then opened the next leg with visits of 100 and 140, although Comito was not far behind with 97 and 139. A 97 left McLennan on the third highest check out possible and Comito left no finish for himself. McLennan left 83 on his next visit and Comito left 97. Neither player took their chance on their next visits with Comito finally securing 40 to take a four-nil lead. McLennan secured a maximum on his third visit in the next leg but failed to check out 50, leaving 16 and having to watch as Comito checked out 40 for a 5-0 lead. The next leg was close with McLennan leaving himself on 170 but then leaving Shanghai. Comito put some pressure on at that point after a visit of 96 left 48. Both players spurned chances until Comito threw double 16 for the match, winning 6-0. Peter Willmott broke the throw of Ray O’Donnell in the opening leg of their quarter final with a 15-dart leg that included visits of 180, 137 and 140 from Willmott. He then opened with 137 on throw but O’Donnell threw 133 and 145 mid leg before securing 16 to get the break straight back. A maximum in his fourth visit of the next leg helped O’Donnell secure a fairly comfortable hold of throw before Willmott opened with a 100 and then backed it up with a 121 three visits later. He checked out 81 to draw level at 2-2. In leg five O’Donnell opened with two visits of 100 before a 140 left him needing 20 which he secured with his next dart to lead 3-2. Willmott opened with 140 and backed it up with 90 and 121 in the next leg to leave 150. With O’Donnell powering home behind him Willmott held his nerve to hold throw with his 17th dart. Both players collected a visit of 140 through the next leg but on throw O’Donnell left his opponent a chance at 82. Willmott missed it and Ray threw 32 for a 4-3 lead. A 125 on his third visit of the eighth leg gave Willmott a lead that was consolidated with a 123 leaving 97. Eventually he checked out to hold his throw and move the match to even stakes at four all. O’Donnell then opened with a 134 which was exactly matched by his opponent. O’Donnell added a ton kicker and then threw 140 and eventually checked out to take a 5-4 lead on throw. The next leg was a tight affair, but Willmott was the first to a check out after he threw 96 to leave 100. Willmott left 40 and was able to come back and check it out with his next dart. The deciding leg had O’Donnell throw first and he scored 81. Willmott then scored 96 on his visit backing it up with a 121. That second visit gave Willmott impetus in the leg but a 180 from O’Donnell took the wind out of that momentum. 81 then left O’Donnell requiring a ton for the final position in the semi-finals. Willmott put pressure on O’Donnell with 133 leaving him on 62 after O’Donnell had left 66 but two darts later from O’Donnell and he had secured the leg and a 6-5 victory. The third quarter final saw Mal Cuming utilise all his experience to eliminate WA star Brenton Lloyd. Cuming opened the match with two 100s and then a 121 on his fourth visit, closing out the leg in 17 darts. He then broke the throws in the same number of darts, both players throwing 140’s on their second visit with the difference an 83 check out from the Victorian. Cuming then held throw in 17 darts for some symmetry. It was Lloyd who would break that run by improving up on it and holding throw in 16 darts in the fourth leg. Both players had uneven visits in the next leg, but Cuming held throw with a 32 to take a 4-1 lead. With his last three visits being 100, 140 and a 116 check out Cuming then held throw in 15 darts. A 93 check out from Lloyd in the next leg delayed Cuming’s progress but 13 darts later (including visits of 140, 140 and 138) and Cuming was one of the four semi-finalists with a 6-3 win. The fourth quarter final saw Dave Marland take on Team Rebel’s Stuart Coburn of Victoria. Marland opened the match with visits of 118, 100 and 140 before checking out with his 14th dart. He had Coburn sitting on 16 behind him after Coburn had scored 140, 180 and 105 with his last three visits to the oche. Neither player hit those heights in the second leg until Marland threw a 140 and 125 to leave a 53 check out, one that he duly took. The next leg was a bit of a struggle on the Marland throw but a 54 check out meant he held throw. Coburn then gained his first leg comfortably, thanks in main to a 180 third last visit. Marland then checked out 40 to take the fifth game and lead 4-1. Visits of 140, 140 125 and a check out of 96 gave Marland the break in the sixth leg in 11 darts. He then secured the match in the next leg with visits of 100, 78, 140 and 100 to start the leg, and seeing off the challenge of Coburn in the leg built around his opening 140 and visit of 180 third time of asking, Marland winning 6-1. In the opening semi final Joe Comito opened the match with a 106 check out against Raymond O’Donnell. He then secured visits of 100, two 140s and an 81 and yet did not get a shot at 40 as O’Donnell checked out 76 in 15 darts. With a start of 100 and 140 and a 60 check out Comito was back in front after three legs, with the match still on throw. O’Donnell then finished the next leg with 100, 121 and a check out of 75 to move the match to 2-2. Leg five and Comito stepped up once more. He opened with 80 and then hit two successive 180s before throwing 81 to secure an 11-dart leg (O’Donnell right behind him needing 86 after visits of 140, 140 and 135.) Comito then threw a 134 and back it up three visits later with a 140 to put pressure on the O’Donnell throw and he secured the break with a 68 break. He was unable to maintain the advantage though as O’Donnell hit a 72 check out in leg 7 to move to within one leg of parity at 4-3 down. A 140 visit and then a 100 visit was how O’Donnell opened the next leg on throw, but Comito equalled those scores on his second and fourth visit to the oche and checked out 62 after O’Donnell missed out on checking out 100 by leaving 16. Again, the throw was broken in the next leg as an opening 140 and a second last visit of 137 left O’Donnell requiring 20 and with Comito only able to score 16 chasing 48, O’Donnell was able to pounce with his 17th dart to move the match to 5-4. If he could hold his throw in the next leg it would go to a decider. O’Donnell had not held his throw since the fourth leg and things did not look great when Comito threw 140 on his second visit and then later a 130-visit left him needing 56 for the match. He threw that 56 with his next two darts and had made a final for the second time in two days, The second semi-final turned out to be a very close affair between Dave Marland and another Team Rebel stalwart in Mal Cuming. Marland broke Cuming’s throw in 12 darts in the first leg of the match after throwing 140, 125, 140 and checking out 96. He then held throw with yet another 96 check out before breaking the throw of Cuming in leg three which included visits of 125, 100 and 137 at the backend of the leg and a 58 check out. The next leg started slowly but after Marland threw 100 Cuming responded with a 96. Marland responded with a 140, which Cuming matched before Marland threw another 140 and Cuming 100. Marland left 36 chasing a 66 check out and Cuming then checked out 105 with his 15th dart. Both players then missed multiple opportunities in the next leg until Cuming finally held throw to move within a leg of Marland. His opponent then secured a 17 dart hold of throw, with a combined six visits being 100 or more. Cuming then rattled off three straight legs, holding throw twice (including visits of 100 and 123 in the seventh game and 100 and 180 with an 81 check out in the ninth game) and securing a break in the eighth leg thanks to two visits of 140 at the start of the leg and a 124 check out with his 15th dart. Marland then matched this with his own 15 dart leg as he threw 180 to set up a 102 check out which he took on the next visit. The deciding leg was Cuming’s walk and a 125 mid round seemed to help set him on the way, but he busted a shot at 86 and left Marland darts at double 16 which he took with his second dart on the next visit to win 6-5. Thus, the final was a reply of the semi final from the previous night between Dave Marland and Joe Comito. Marland won the throw and opened with a 100 and two 140’s to leave 121. Marland missed with six darts at it, presenting Comito an outside chance at 132, a chance that was spurned. Marland cleaned up on his next visit to secure the opening leg. In the second leg Marland opened with a 140 against the throw but a 99 and 84 moved Comito ahead three visits later. A 121 from Marland left him requiring 138 as Comito left 170. It took a little time, but Marland finally cleaned up with a double ten to take a two-leg lead. Visits of 100 and 140 on Marland’s second and third visit put him well ahead on throw in the third leg and another 140 left him needing 82. With Comito well back in the leg Marland left tops for his next visit and he took it with his next dart to lead 3-0. Comito opened on throw in the fourth leg with a 140 and Marland replied with a ton which he doubled up on at his second visit. Comito still had charge of the leg even though a 134 left him needing 168. It was an opportunity Marland would take, despite being behind for most of the leg Marland checked out 57 to lead 4-0. In the fifth leg Comito threw 174 against the throw on his opening visit and backed it up with a solid 82. Marland threw a 140 to get back into the leg before another one left him needing 85. Comito put pressure on that number by leaving himself requiring 96. It seemed to work as Marland missed the bull, but Comito failed to punish on his next visit and Marland cleaned up straight after to lead 5-0. The sixth leg saw Marland edge slightly ahead after two visits from each player, but things evened up after their third visit each. With Marland not leaving a finish, despite a ton, a maximum left Comito just requiring tops. He hit it with his last dart in hand to hold his first leg at 5-1. A 100 from Marland was backed up by a maximum and an 81 to leave 140 on his throw in the seventh leg. After Marland gave him a peak at the leg Comito threw 134 (after two-ton visits) to leave 90 but Marland scored 97 to win the seventh leg and move to within a leg of the match at 6-1. Comito opened throw in the next leg with a 140 and then a 174 to leave 187 after six darts. An 81 left Comito needing 106 and with Marland well behind (despite a 140 on the previous visit) Comito stepped up to take the leg with a 32 but missed. Marland missed the bull for a 121 check out but had the chance to clean the match up only to miss it. Comito then took the leg at the next visit. The score was 6-2 when Marland opened with a 180 and added an 83 kicker. Comito threw a 140 to leave 290. Marland had a shot at 156 for the match but left 96 as Comito left 144. Marland then left 16 for the match after his next visit and with Comito not finishing Marland stepped up to collect the required score for a 7-2 victory in the final and a position on the PDC World Series of Darts Stage in Townsville at the Queensland Darts Masters. “I am a bit in shock with this one. I love playing at Warilla, it has been very good to me. I don’t have words for all the success this week. I can take from this I have the ability to win one competition and then refocus and take out another. I am going to make the most of these opportunities but this feeling is incredible" Marland said post event.
Qualifier 4: Joe Comito
Joe Comito finally broke through with a win in a final to take up the last position of the Queensland Darts Masters field to be played in Townsville on August 12 and 13. The first quarter final had seen Josh Kime face Tim Pusey in a battle of Team Misfit colleagues. Kime had the throw in the first leg but Pusey secured one hundred to leave a shot at 86. Both players missed chances at check outs until Pusey final took his chance to win the leg. He then opened up with a 140 and backed it up with 100 and 140 to leave 121. He checked that out six darts later. Pusey then opened with 180 and then added a 100 kicker to his leg before checking out 40 later in the leg to lead 3-0. On throw Pusey then opened with 100 and 140 before checking out 54. The fifth leg saw three successive 100s and on his third visit Kime threw 140, followed up by 100 to leave 116. Pusey had a shot at 58 after Kime busted 65 but left 20 and this time Kime took the darts to get his first leg on the board, 4-1. Pusey opened up with 96, 140 and 100 in the next leg and a 133-visit left him needing double 16 for the leg. 140 left Kime on 118 as Pusey stepped up and missed the check out. With Kime unable to take the darts Pusey returned to the oche to check out and move within a leg of the match. Kime then opened with 100 on throw, only for Pusey to match it. Pusey then threw 140 on his second visit and eventually checked out 70 to win 6-1. Joe Comito opened up with two 140s against the Matt Mullen throw and secured a double nine for the first leg. He then scored 115 and 139 visits on the equivalent visits of the second leg and checked out 16 to lead 2-0. His favourite visits came up again in leg three with 100 and 140 and a 40 check out this time (Mullen had secured a maximum and thrown 116 to leave 24 during the leg but to no avail.) On throw Comito etched out a lead in the next leg with a 100 leaving him needing 100. Comito ended up checking out 20 to take a 4-0 lead and then opened with 100 against the throw before throwing a 180 to leave 45, eventually securing the break to lead 5-2. Comito responded to a 123 start from Mullen in the sixth leg with a 140 and moved clear in the leg, leaving 104 for the match. It took him a little while until with Mullen standing behind him on 40 Comito finally checked out four to win 6-0 and make another semi-final. Brenton Lloyd opened had first throw in his quarter final with Raymond O’Donnell and a 177 helped Lloyd win the first leg. A maximum from O’Donnell in the second leg helped him hold his throw to make the match at 1-1. O’Donnell then had visits of 140, 180 and 108 to leave 16 after 12 darts. Lloyd missed a chance at check out with a 131-visit leaving six. O’Donnell then secured his third leg in the row with a 134, 140 and 100 sequence of visits and a 46 check out helped him to a 3-1 lead. In the fifth leg Lloyd threw 140 and two 100s through the middle of the leg and checked out 56 before O’Donnell opened with a 140 in the next leg. Both players spurned multiple chances until O’Donnell threw double ten to lead 4-2. O’Donnell then threw away a lot of chances in the seventh leg and Lloyd finally secured 20 to move to 4-3. O’Donnell opened up with 140 and Lloyd then got 139 in response. Lloyd check out 52 for the break of throw before O’Donnell opened up with two tons and a 140 to leave 151 in the ninth leg against the throw. Visits of 100 and 95 left Lloyd on 137. O’Donnell spurned multiple chances and Lloyd secured 55 to hold throw and take a 5-4 lead on throw. In the tenth leg O’Donnell had visits of 140, 96 and 171 that left him on 94. He again missed multiple chances and Lloyd pounced with an 84 for the win, leaving O’Donnell on 4. Lloyd had progressed by winning 6-4. In the fourth quarter final a 140 from Manny Kato second up helped him set up a shot at the bull but he missed. Two visits later he was able to check out eight to lead 1-0. In the second leg Coburn threw 125 and 140 (with Kato throwing 125 in between) to leave 170. Although he was unable to get it, he did throw 105 to leave 65. He did not make the most of his opportunities until a double 5 helped him to tie the match back up at 1-1. The third leg was a struggle for both players but Coburn threw 99 to leave 80 only for Kate to throw 100 to leave 91. Coburn checked out 80 for a 2-1 lead on throw. The fourth leg was highlighted by a 140 from Coburn who eventually checked out for a 3-1 lead. Coburn threw 140 on his second visit in the fifth leg but it was a slow affair until he checked out 18 for his fourth leg (4-1.) Kato had two successive 100s on throw in the next leg before Coburn threw 100 to leave 180. A couple of visits later and Coburn secured 65 to move a leg away from the match. In the seventh leg Coburn opened with an 83 and pair of 99s followed by 100 left him needing Shanghai as Kato moved from to 32 with a 140 visit. Coburn missed match darts and Kato pounced to win a second leg. Kato then threw 125 on his second visit in the eighth leg and Coburn responded with 100 before throwing another later in the leg to leave 112 for the match. Kato moved to 99 with a 121 visit and Coburn gave him a shot at it after leaving 40. Kato then also left 40 and it was one opportunity too many as tops was Coburn’s path to a 6-2 victory. In the first semi final Joe Comito opened with a ton which was matched by Stuart Coburn. Comito then threw 180 and three visits later checked out 56 for a 1-0 lead. Coburn then opened with his own maximum only for Comito to score the same on his second visit to the oche. Coburn left 170 after three visits before a 105 left him needing 65. He would eventually check out 20 for the leg to go 1-1. Two visits of 100 from Coburn left 136 however he spurned opportunities and Comito took one eventually to secure the leg and lead 2-1. Coburn then held throw thanks to two late ton visits to make the score 2-2 before Comito threw 174, 100 and 99 to leave 128 in the fifth leg. With Coburn well behind Comito took five darts to put the leg away and lead 3-2 on throw. The next leg started slowly on the Coburn throw and things were exactly even after three visits. Comito broke through with a 140 leaving 101 and he then checked that out to lead 4-2. He then opened with a 140 on throw and backed it up with a 99, 128 and 94 to leave 40. He failed to convert but Coburn was far enough behind that he came back and this time he secured the leg to lead 5-2. Against the throw Comito threw 134 only for Coburn to respond with a 140. A ton two visits later left Coburn needing 108 to stay alive in the match and Comito could only move to 146 in reply. Coburn left double 16 and nervously waited for a turn, one he would get as Comito missed double 16 for the match to leave 16 with a visit of 130. Coburn got the check out with last dart in hand to move within two legs of his opponent. Comito opened with a 140 on throw in his chase for the final and on his fourth visit he threw 140 to leave 117. With Coburn well behind, Comito left 60. With a 145 Coburn put some pressure on his opponent’s throw by leaving 65. Comito was determined and threw the 60 with his last dart in hand to win 6-3. In the second semi-final Pusey held throw thanks to a start of 121 and two further ton visits at 1-0. Pusey then threw two 140s in succession in the second leg and a fourth visit of 140 set up a 40 check out which he took with his 15th dart to lead 2-0. Lloyd started the next leg against the throw with a 100 but it was Pusey who made the most of ton plus visits with 100 and then 141 setting up a 60 check out which he duly got. A 180 from his third visit gave Pusey a good lead in the fourth leg and despite a 100-visit leaving 45 from Lloyd Pusey looked to clean up his miss at the bull. He failed to do so, however, and eventually he would be punished by Lloyd with a double 10 moving the match to 3-1. Pusey then opened with 99 and then threw two tons. Lloyd threw 135 and 140 on his third and fifth visits respectively only to have to stand back and watch Pusey check out 68 for the leg to lead 4-1. A maximum on his third visit left Lloyd in the box seat on throw and a double 8 moved him to within two legs of his opponent. Pusey scored a 140 and 100 to match Lloyd’s opening two efforts in the seventh leg only for Pusey to then leave 89 with a 129. He secured the check out five darts later to move a leg from the final. Pusey scored a ton on his second visit in the eighth leg but a 125 on his fourth visit got Lloyd back into the leg. Pusey, however, chipped away at the score. Under pressure after Lloyd threw 131 to leave double 16, Pusey checked out 40 and won the match 6-2. The final position for the Queensland Darts Masters came down to a clash between Tim Pusey and Joe Comito. Comito opened on throw with a 124 visit, Pusey responding with a 140 on his second visit. A 125 and 99 from Pusey left him needing 56 against the throw. Pusey missed the chance and Comito had a throw at 106 but left 32. This time Pusey stepped up and took out the check out in two darts to take a 1-0 lead. He then opened with a 100 and backed it up with the same to leave 301. Comito through a ton himself to move to 341. A 180 two visits later left Comito needing a ton and then Pusey threw 81 to leave the same. Neither player scored the ton check out and it was Comito who cleaned up first to draw the match level at 1-1. Against the throw Pusey then started with a 140 before a maximum from Comito moved him to 237. A 97 and 100 later and Comito left tops for himself which he took on his next visit to lead 2-1. Pusey opened with a ton on throw in the next leg and a 125 on his third visit helped push home his advantage in the leg. Comito was being let in by Pusey’s inconsistent scoring but another big visit on his fifth visit left Pusey needing 40. Pusey had more issues with the check out and Comito threw an amazing 157 check out to take the leg, and a 3-1 lead. Comito then opened with a ton on throw in the fifth leg but Pusey responded with a 140 on his second visit. Comito threw 96 to move to 206 and stay in front in the leg. A 137 hammered home the advantage although a 138 from Pusey put pressure on the check-out opportunity for Comito. He left 20 and Pusey pounced to secured 72 with 2 darts and put the game back on throw at 2-3. The next leg started slowly but a 121 on his third visit aided the Pusey cause. 99 left him needing 140 and a ton left 40. Pusey had to score the tops as Comito stood behind him needing 77 and Pusey did so with last dart in hand to move the match to 3-3. Comito opened the next leg with a 98 and a 97 but in between Pusey threw a 140. A ton from Comito and 95 from Pusey had them both on 206 after three visits each. Comito then moved to 121 but Pusey bettered that visit to move to 68. Comito was up to the challenge and threw the 121 to hold throw and lead 4-3. This seemed to affect Pusey as he started slowly on throw in the next game and Comito pounced with a 140 on his second visit. By the third visit he had the darts and a ton left him needing 201. One hundred left Pusey on 121 and with Comito this time unable to make the big check out Pusey had a go at 121. After some nervous visits from both players Pusey cleaned up to tie the match back up at four sets all. Pusey threw another 140 against the throw in the next leg and three visits later he threw a 180 to leave 41. Comito stood behind him on 112 when Pusey threw the check out with last dart in hand to lead 5-4, the first time he had a lead since after the opening leg. Comito opened against the throw with a 180 and then backed it up with a 124. Pusey threw a 140 on his third visit as Comito moved to needing 114. Comito ended up checking out 56 to take the break of throw straight back and move the match to 5-5. A 140 from Pusey on his second visit had the players neck and neck and a follow up 99 moved Pusey into prime position in the leg. Pusey left 122 after the next visit but Comito was just behind him setting up 123. It was Comito who cleaned up a 68 with last dart in hand to move a leg away from the match. Pusey had the walk in the next leg and opened with a ton. Comito responded with 97 but Pusey upped the ante with a visit of 140. A 140 on his third visit had Comito nipping at Pusey’s heals and a 125 left him with a shot at 80 for the match after Pusey left 36 after a visit of 105. Comito secured the 80 with his 15th dart, the final score being 7-5. Afterwards Comito was still trying to come to terms with the progress he has made, “The way I played this week it was great, I never expected to do this at all. Just to know that I can do it this is a stepping stone, I have nothing to lose at the end of the day. 18 months ago I was going through the motions then I headed to the PK Tavern and things went from there and look where I am now.”
NZ Qualifier - Haupai Puha
Haupai Puha had his name written on the list of Townsville qualifiers joining the likes of Bailey Marsh and Koha Kokiri at the DPNZ Black Horse Hotel Queensland Dart Masters Qualifier on Saturday evening in Chrisistchurch. There were 25 entrants vying for the one New Zealand spot and it was Puha who recovered from a shock early exit in the Hamilton qualifier earlier in the day. In the semi finals he had eliminated Kayden Milne with Milne only able to hold his opening throw and then winning the fifth leg as Puha won 6-2. The second semi final saw Ben Robb and Jimmy Samuels as Robb took an early 2-1 lead and then moved 3-2 ahead before Samuels secured legs six and seven to take a 4-3 lead. Robb brought the match back to parity after eight legs and then moved a leg away from the final at 5-4. Samuels held his nerve to move the match back onto even terms again and then won the deciding leg to move into the final against Puha. The final saw Puha win the Bull and collect three ton plus visits but it was not enough as Samuels took the early break. An opening of 140 followed by a visit of 134 on his third time at the oche in leg two helped Samuels to a 2-0 lead in the race to six legs. Puha then opened with two tons and a 140 to hold throw, despite a 140 visit from Samuels on his fourth visit. He then moved up a gear to take the break back, opening with visits of 137, 180 and 94 helping to move the match back to 2-2. Holding throw in the fifth leg Puha secured a 100 and two 140 visits and despite some difficulty checking out got the leg over the line to lead 3-2. Samuels then tied things back up after holding throw with a double 16 having hit a 180 on his third visit in the leg. With opening visits of 100, 14 and 100 Puha comfortably held the seventh leg to return to the lead at 4-3, a lead that he would not let go of as he went on to win the next two legs. In leg eight he remarkably threw three 99s in a row before throwing 95 and checking out 109 to break the Samuels throw once more. In the night leg it was Samuels who had the big visits but Puha did enough to stay in it and he checked out 20 to take the match by six legs to three. "The things that excites me the most about returning to both stages would have to be to see if my game has improved after the amount of work I’ve put in, and what better way to test it than against the best and on the world stage in Townsville." Puha said after his win.