The 2022 Oceanic Masters was held at the Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club on Sunday with the winner taking a position at the PDC World Championships. Neither Ben Robb nor Ray Smith were eligible as they had won their respective country championships. 24 players from Australia and 8 from New Zealand lined up at the oche, all having had to have played a minimum number of domestic events to qualify for this final day. The round robin section of the day saw two players come off each of the boards and head into the knockout phase. In the round of 16 opening matches Haupai Puha defeated compatriot Stu Irwin 6-1, GG Mathers eliminated Tim Pusey by the same score whilst Mark Cleaver eliminated fellow Kiwi Darren Herewini 6-2 and Mal Cuming came from 3-4 down to defeat Brandon Weening 6-4 in an all-Victorian clash. The second group of matches saw Jamie Browne defeat Mark Wortley 6-0, David Platt eliminate fellow Western Australian Howard Jones 6-1, Joshua Walters defeat Jamie Roberts 6-2 and Bailey Marsh take out David Cairns 6-4. The next round, the quarter finals, saw 6-2 wins to Puha (over Walters), Cleaver (over Browne), and Mathers (over Marsh) whilst the last quarter final went Cuming’s way, 6-3 over Platt. Thus, the semi-final match ups were set. The first match was Mathers v Cleaver and it was the Kiwi who held throw in the opening leg. Mathers did the same in leg two before missed opportunities from both players gave their opponent chance after chance, Mathers finally taking the leg with a double one to lead 2-1. He consolidated the lead with a 15 dart hold of throw, including a 156 check out. He then broke again as Cleaver missed bull for a 145 check out and Mathers took his second chance at 36 for the leg. At 4-1 down Cleaver started a comeback, visits of 180 and 140 helping him to a 14-dart break of throw. In the next leg a 180 start and later visit of 140 set Cleaver up for a 36 check out only for Mathers to check out the big fish, 170, before Cleaver had darts at double 18 and thus GG took a 5-2 lead and stopped the comeback in its tracks. The Aussie then threw for the match and it was a close affair throughout the leg until a 140 put Clever 87 points ahead against the throw. With Mathers getting a ton to move to 188, Cleaver was able to move to 101 with a ton visit of his own. Cleaver was unable to put away the target over his next two visits and Mathers finally checked out 76 for the match securing the semi-final 6-2. The other semi final saw both players hold their first two legs on throw. Cuming was unable to collect 121 over three visits in the next leg and with visits of 125 and 131 Puha left on 24, which he took out with his 16th dart. Cuming demonstrated his fortitude by breaking straight back to leave the match at 3-3. Puha broke again in the next leg with a 96 check out with Cuming standing behind him needing 36. In leg 8 Puha left 56 chasing a ton for the leg and his opponent threw tops with his 16th dart to move the match back to 4-4. Cuming then held throw in 14 darts to put Puha on the edge of elimination. Puha opened on throw with a 59 and with Cuming throwing a ton it was the Team Rebel player who was on the front foot for the rest of the leg. Tops was once again Cuming’s friend as he secured the tenth game in 13 legs. Thus, Cuming set up a Final showdown against his Team Rebel colleague GG Mathers. The Final was best of three sets and it was Cuming who bit first, holding throw comfortably in 13 darts. Mathers then threw a 13-dart leg of his own to tie things up (including a perfect six darts but more was to come in the chase for a nine darter.) The Bull held throw once again before two 140 visits and another ton set the leg up with Cuming needing 121. It took him seven darts but with Mathers unable to make the most of his visits to the Oche the Victorian was able to throw that double 16 to take the leg and the first set. The second set saw Mathers hold throw in 16 darts before Cuming held throw in 14. Cuming then threw a 161 check out to take the break in 12 darts and move a leg away from the match, however he spurned multiple chances on his own throw for the leg and Mathers, also wayward with his doubles in this leg, was able to finally take the break. He now had the throw and he almost took the set in the most dramatic of fashions. He threw 8 perfect darts before just missing the double 12. Cuming threw a 180 to leave 100 after nine darts but with his tenth dart Mathers threw the double 12 for the leg and a 3-2 win in the second set. It came down to a deciding set and Cuming opened the set by holding throw after Mathers had missed the bullseye for the leg. On throw Mathers was then unable to convert 16 and Cuming pounced with a double 18 to take the break and move a leg away once more. A 140 on his third visits gave Cuming a lead in the next leg and eventually he left himself needing 48. Mathers was only able to move from 152 to 95 and with his final dart in hand Cuming was able to secure the match on his next visit. Cuming was delighted to have capped off a highly successful year with this win, “We planned to go to England at the end of the year to see what was next in my career but we had not booked anything yet just to see how today played out. This is a very exciting period in my life both personally and in darts, I am sure this win will start to sink in when I get home.” Mal Cuming joins Raymond Smith and Ben Robb at the World Championships having qualified through Oceanic events this year.