.Night 1 5th August 2023 at the Globox Arena in Hamilton New Zealand
Match 1 Rob Cross 6 Warren Parry 3 The opening match of the night saw Rob Cross take on last minute entry Warren Parry. Parry got to the first shot at a check out with 160 and had 6 darts at it. He was unable to make it with those darts but Cross missed two darts at the leg and Parry finally got the leg with a double 12. Cross then struggled to hold throw before he threw a 140 to leave 44. Parry responded with the same to leave 70 but a double 16 tied things up for Cross. Parry then found himself a mile in front before a 177 moved Cross to 160. Chasing 82 Parry threw the bull but then missed two at double 16 and Cross cleaned up behind him. With Parry on 116 Cross tried to check out 148 in the next leg but could only leave 90. Parry left 56 and got a shot at an immediate break back only to miss double 20 and double 10 for the leg. Cross gave him another three chances at the leg before double 1 put a poor leg to bed. A 140 in the next leg left Parry on 116 and with Cross only moving to 52 from 121 a double 19 gave Parry the leg and move the match score to 3-2 to Cross. The next leg was comfortable for Cross but a 138 from Parry left himself on tops on throw and at his next time of asking Parry was back within a leg of the match. Cross had a shot at 170 in the next leg but after his first treble 20 his next two darts went astray. He then cleaned up 106 at his next visit to move a leg away from the match. Cross got to the first check out on the Parry throw with a go at 134 and left tops. Parry needed to throw 112 to stay in the match but could not find the treble and a 20 and double ten for Cross was enough to get him through 6-3.
Match 2 Damon Heta 6 Darren Herewini 2 Damon Heta entered the arena as an All Black against local mate Darren Herewini. Herewini started well on throw but Heta hit the first maximum to leave 166. Six darts later he had the break. Heta threw a 140 on his second visit on throw and followed it up with a maximum to leave 81. With his 15th dart Heta was 2-0 up. Herwini had a shot at a 129 check out but missed the bull, knowing that he had another visit in hand. Herewini then missed two more darts at the leg before Heta missed two of his own for the leg. Herwini then missed three more at the leg and a double ten gave Heta a double break. In the next leg Herewini celebrated a maximum visit but it was Heta first to a check out. He missed the 117 but then Herewini was unable to collect 152. Three missed darts at double 12 gave Herewini three darts at the leg and he only needed two darts to collect the break of throw. Heta than held throw but missed multiple chances at the leg before a double four gave him a 4-1 lead. In the next leg Heta was well in front but Herewini threw 140 to leave 191. Herewini missed the bull for the leg but only landed in the 25 bed and Heta stepped up to collect the leg and move within one of the match. Herewini led in the next leg all the way to 170 but was unable to take it out. Heta also had a shot at 170 for the match but failed to take it and Herewini took out tops to check out 72 and move the match scoreboard to 5-2. On throw Heta kept in front of his opponent and was especially aided by Herewini having a bounce out with his last dart, leaving a non-check out total of 166. Heta had six darts but a treble 20, 18 and double 16 in his next visit gave Heta the 6-2 win. Afterwards both players celebrated together on the Hamilton stage demonstrating the spirit this match was played in.
Damon Heta 6 (89.54 average 6/21 28.57% check out) Darren Herewini 2 (80.95 average 2/9 22.22% check out)
Match 3 Haupai Puha 6 Dimitri Van den Bergh 2 The Belgian started strongly on throw in the first leg although a 121 Puha visit put pressure on the Van den Bergh throw. The professional he is, Van den Bergh collected the 86 to lead 1-0. On throw Puha collected three three digit visits, including a maximum to leave 98. Puha did not collect that but double 8 two darts later gave him the hold of throw. Van den Bergh started with two maximums in the next leg and although he did not get a shot at the nine darter he left 16 for the leg. He collected a double 4 with his 11th dart to lead 2-1. At the next leg Van den Bergh could not collect 142 and left 82. Puha stepped up to throw at 110 and scored triple 20 but then hit the double 18 rather than the fat 18 leaving double 7. He recollected himself and threw the double and with a smile drew level in the match at 2-2. Van Den Bergh then was only able to throw one treble in six darts to give Puha an early lead only for the Belgian to throw 177 to leave 167. A maximum from Puha moved him to 106 and with Van den Bergh unable to take out his large check out Puha stepped up only to miss out on his check out. The Belgian then busted 72 and the Kiwi pounced with double ten on the wire to take the break and lead 3-2. A maximum from Van den Bergh on his first visit gave him a good lead against the throw and 134 backed that up after six darts. Van den Bergh then moved to 88 as Puha moved from 205 to 112. A missed bull meant the Kiwi step back up to the oche and with a treble 20 he then threw a double again (this time double 12) when looking for 12 but remarkably he collected himself again and threw the double 14 required to lead 4-2. Both players opened the next leg with 140 and stayed very close throughout the leg. Van den Bergh left 48 and Puha stepped up for a shot at 126. He threw to two double 19s and a double six to check out 126, collecting his fourth straight leg including three ton plus finishes. He then opened his throw with a 140 and backed it up with the same, throwing for the match on home soil. He then left 141 after his next visit and teed up 32 after his next three darts. On his next visit Puha let his opponent have an outside chance at 141. Van Den Bergh left 51 before Puha missed his fourth, fifth and sixth match dart. The Belgian missed a double eight to stay in the match but the mad house was no match for Puha as he hit the double one with last dart in hand on his next visit to win 6-2.
Haupai Puha 6 (96.27 average 6/17 35.29% check out) Dimitri Van den Bergh 2 (98.66 average 2/9 22.22% check out)
Match 4 Jonny Tata 6 Peter Wright 3 Jonny Tata started with pairs of 140 to leave 221 on throw and later in the leg threw for 120 only to hit treble 20, then miss with the next dart before busting with another treble 20! He left 60 on his next attempt at Shanghai but with Wright not getting a dart at check out he stepped up again and threw a 20 and tops to take the first leg. Wright held throw comfortably before Tata left a shot at 141 in the next leg. He left 41 but Wright could not take out 135. Tata could not collect it at the next attempt and then failed when Wright gave him a further chance. Wright steeled the leg with a double 8 to take a break. The former World Champion then opened with 140 before his Kiwi opponent threw a maximum. Tata had a shot at 136 after two treble 20s went in but he left 8. Two of his darts later he collected double 4 to hit straight back. In the next leg a 140 from Tata left him needing 121. He left 50 but with Wright not on a check out he returned to the oche. Wright was still not on a check out and finally a double 5 gave Tata a 3-2 lead. A maximum from Wright in the next leg left him on 124 but then missed double eight for the leg. 139 then left Tata needing 62. Wright missed three darts for the leg and with last dart in hand Tat won his third leg in a row. Tata was comfortable on throw in his next leg and left 62 for the leg. A treble 10 left him needing double 16 but he failed to collect either it or a double 8 but Wright then failed to throw tops to take the leg. A double 8 with his next dart gave Tata a 5-2 lead. Both players opened with 140 in leg eight and he had first shot at a check out but left 70 chasing 170. Wright put the pressure on with a 137 visit leaving him needing double eleven and Tata missed his chance as he left tops. Wright stepped up to the oche and took the leg. Tata had six darts from 123 on throw in the next leg. A treble 14 with the fifth of those darts left Tata needing double eleven for the match. He stopped, checked what he needed, and stepped up to throw the dart into the correct bed and collect himself the win 6-3.
Jonny Tata 6 (84.06 average 6/19 31.58% check outs) Peter Wright 3 (84.02 average 3/10 30% check outs)
Match 5 Nathan Aspinall 6 Kayden Milne 2 Kayden Milne opened the match and had a shot at 83 only to leave 45. He had two darts at double 16 but was unable to convert but got another visit and this time took it out to take the early lead. Aspinall was comfortable in the next leg but with his opponent needing 78 there was some pressure on his 64 check out. He took it out with last dart in hand. Milne had a host at 170 in the next leg but left 74. Aspinall could not convert 160 and left 60. Milne had one dart for a check out but it just missed and the World Match Play champion snapped up the leg on his next visit. Aspinall then had a comfortable leg but left Milne an outside chance with a 145 check out as he left 16. Both Milne and Aspinall then missed opportunities for the leg before Milne missed the bullseye for the leg. Aspinall finally took out the double two with a remarkable dart splitting his previous two darts that looked to have blocked the required bed. Three one soon became four one as Aspinall checked out 46 against the throw. He then held throw comfortably to move within a leg of the match. Milne had a go at 170 on throw in the next leg but left 36. Aspinall missed out on 138 before Milne missed three darts at the leg. Aspinall then missed two darts at double 16 to give his Kiwi opponent another chance. Both players then missed three more darts for the leg before Milne finally took the leg to move the match to 5-2. On throw Aspinall missed the chance to take out 124 before Milne left 20 chasing a 116 check out, missing tops with his last dart for the leg. It would be his last dart of the match as Aspinall stepped up and threw treble 20 with his first dart and double four with his third to win the match 6-2.
Nathan Aspinall 6 (92.63 average 6/20 30% check outs) Kayden Milne 2 (87.38 average 2/14 14.29% check outs)
Match 6 Gerwyn Price 6 Simon Whitlock 1 Gerwyn Price looked comfortable on throw in the first leg of the match but a maximum from Whitlock left both players on 104. Price left tops but Whitlock was more effective and collected the break at the first attempt. Price struck straight back with a 92 check out before he checked out 149 with Whitlock standing behind him needing 68. In the next leg he missed the 105 for his third straight big check out as Whitlock fired in two treble 20s in an attempt to check out 152. He missed the double 16 and Price stepped up to and hit tops with next dart in hand. A visit of 133 from Price left him needing 101 in the next leg and he would get a shot at it as Whitlock was not on a check out. Price left tops again but Whitlock could not check out 138 and left the same as his opponent. Price took all three darts to grab the leg but did so to lead 4-1. Against the throw Price set up another check out chance by moving to 170. He got the first two treble 20s but did not have a go as Whitlcok was not on a check out. With Whitlock leaving 126 Price then may have doubted his choice as he failed to collect the 40. Whitlock missed the double six for the leg and Price threw double five with his next dart to move one leg away from the match. On throw Price opened with a 140 and stayed comfortably ahead throughout and left tops for the leg, which he took with his 13th dart as his opponent was still 200 behind.
Gerwyn Price 6 (97.21 average 6/12 50% check outs) Simon Whitlock 1 (84.66 average 1/3 33.33% check outs)
Match 7 Michael Smith 6 Darren Penhall 5 Darren Penhall set up the first chances for a check out with a 152 but left 52. Smith was well behind on 176 as Penhall threw five, seven and then tops to take the break. On throw Penhall was unable to check out 94 and instead left himself 40. Smith chased 160 but missed tops for the break before Penhall hit his second double 20 in a row as a check out to lead 2-0. Smith moved comfortably ahead in the next leg and had a shot at Shanghai, doing much better at it than other players earlier in the night, holding throw to win his first leg of the match. He then stole the darts in the next leg and checked out 55 to draw level at 2-2. He then held throw with a double 2, although a 21 dart leg had both players shaking their heads. In leg six and on 193 Penhall moved to 70 as Smith was unable to secure 150. Penhall missed tops for the leg but Smith missed his second double 18 on his next visit and Penhall secured the 3-3 scoreline with his next dart. He then opened with a 140 against the Smith throw and followed it up with the same. Another ton moved him to 121 as Smith left 143. The Australian number one was unable to convert on his next visit but with Smith leaving 44 Penhall returned to the oche but failed to take the leg and Smith returned to take a leg he was not really in until that point. On throw Penhall then had a chance at 113 and with his opponent standing behind him needing 104 he was under pressure. Penhall was good enough to take it and return the match to parity. On throw Smith then attempted a 136 check out but was able to leave tops as his opponent was a long way behind. Smith missed at his next visit giving his opponent an outside chance at 144. Penhall had a second wayward dart and was unable to get a dart at the leg and Smith stepped up to take the leg and lead 5-4. On throw Penhall opened with two consecutive tons before throwing a maximum to leave 121. Penhall missed and presented Smith a chance to take out 132 for the match. Smith missed the bull for the match having previously thrown 25 and treble 19 and his opponent threw double 12 with his 13th dart to tie the match up. The final leg was disappointing for Penhall as Smith led the leg comfortably, even leaving 32 when chasing 106. With his 17th dart Smith threw double eight to take out the deciding leg.
Michael Smith 6 (89.65 average 6/18 33.33% check outs) Darren Penhall 5 (96.79 average 5/7 71.43% check outs)
Match 8 Danny Noppert 6 Ben Robb 2 In the final match of the night Ben Robb was unable to check out 164 to hold throw and Danny Noppert checked out 118 to go a leg up. Robb was then first to a check out on the initial Noppert throw but left 37 chasing 138 for the leg. He collected it on his next visit to the oche. Noppert was the first to a check out on the Robb throw in leg 3 but this time failed with the triple figure check out, leaving tops when chasing 126. Robb required a double nine to check out 83 but missed and Noppert gained the third consecutive break of throw with his 13th dart in response. Robb had a shot at 167 in the next leg but missed out on it before Noppert also missed his shot at a check out. Robb then failed to secure 110 and his opponent pounced to hold throw for the first time in the match and lead 3-1. On throw Robb left 80 chasing 124 before Noppert moved to 120. Robb failed to take the leg on his next visit and Noppert hit the Shanghai to lead 4-1. A maximum from Noppret left him needing 41 in the next leg. Robb did not have a check out but would get a chance for the leg as Noppert scored only 21. Robb attempted the 138 check out but missed the double 12 on the inside wire. Noppert took the chance and moved within a leg of the match. Noppert stole the darts in the next leg but left 180 after being on 264 before Robb then moved from 267 to 87 with a maximum at his next visit. Noppert then left 80 for the match and Robb gave him the opportunity by failing to take out the leg on his next visit. Robb gained another chance with Noppert missing a match dart and made the most of it with his second dart on his next visit to move the match scoreline to 5-2. On throw Noppert threw a 140 to moved to 204 and then a ton to leave 104. Robb put that under pressure by moving from 231 to 97. Noppert missed tops for the match but Robb then missed a check out double 12 inside the wire for the second time in the match. With his third match dart Noppert eliminated Robb by winning the eighth leg of the match.
Danny Noppert 6 (98.08 average 6/11 54.55% check outs) Ben Robb 2 (98.29 average 2/10 20% check outs)
Night 2 6th August 2023
Quarter Final 1 Gerwyn Price 6 Danny Noppert 1 Gerwyn Price opened with a 134 on throw and backed it up with a ton. A 127 led him needing 140 and whilst he failed to get it at his next visit his 14th dart lay in the tops bed to give him the first leg. Noppert opened up with a 135 and a ton on throw as well. He did not leave a check out but did leave 133 after the following visit. He left double 18 for a hold of throw and he hit it with his 16th dart. Price then opened with 25 as Noppert opened with a maximum but a 137 gave Price some hope in response. 96 left Noppert on 225 but a 140 moved Price to 199. Noppert then through the same to leave 85 as Price moved to 65. Noppert missed the bull for the leg as Price hit double 11 for a remarkable rescue on throw. Noppert then had a go at 110 but he left 56 before Price threw a 122 check out, treble 18 and the bull being his last two darts. Both players opened with 140 in the next leg but only Price backed it up with the same before hitting a third successive one. 133 left Noppert on 170 and he had a shot at it as Price missed double 12 for the leg. Noppert go the first treble 20 but not the second and double 6 with his 13th dart gave Price the leg. There was strong scoring in the next leg but a maximum from Price left him needing 47 after nine darts. Noppert moved to needing 109 after 12 but tops with his 11th dart gave Price a fifth leg. Price opened with 97 on throw and moved well ahead until a 140 moved him to 141. Price moved to 132 but Noppert could only score 81. Price hit 25, treble 19 and the bull for the 132 check out to win the match six legs to one.
Gerwyn Price 6 (105.64 average 6/8 75% check outs) Danny Noppert 1 (97.19 average 1/2 50% check outs)
Quarter Final 2 Rob Cross 6 Jonny Tata 5 Rob Cross opened with a 140 on throw and this was matched by Tata. Cross threw another 140 and Tata was unable to keep up at a second visit. The first maximum of the match left him needing 41 but he missed it on two visits and Tata checked out 110 for the break of throw. The crowd shouted for Jonny but neither player got a treble on their first visits. It was Cross who got to a check out first with 140 moving him to 35 with Tata behind him on 106. Cross took it with a three and the double 16 that was so allusive the previous leg. On the Cross throw he was second to get to a check out but Tata could not convert 136 (although he did leave 24.) Cross left himself on 56 as Tata missed three at double 12 before Cross made mistakes to miss his only dart at the leg. Tata stepped up to break the Cross throw for a second time. Cross opened the better on the Tata throw and the Kiwi chased the leg for the remainder of the time. A maximum did get him to the first check out (at 133) but Cross put pressure on it, standing behind Tata needing 52. Tata left tops as Cross threw double 8 with last dart in hand to draw level once more. Both players started with triple figure visits in the next leg but both players found themselves on 220. Cross moved to 115 as Tata moved to 120. Cross left 20 as Tata missed tops high for the Shanghai finish. Cross could not convert and Tata pounced with his next dart for the fifth break of throw in the match. Cross threw a 123 to leave 60 in the next leg as Tata left 115 on throw. 20 and tops gave Cross yet another break. The Englishman then opened with a maximum as Tata responded with a 140. Cross had a shot at 150 with Tata behind him needing 161. A treble 18 with his last dart in hand left Cross needing 20 and he returned to the Oche and finally held throw with a double 5 with his 14th dart. Cross led 4-3. Tata then opened with 100 which he backed up with the same score on his next visit. A maximum from Cross on his third visit left him on 206 as Tata moved to 141. Cross threw 174 to leave 32 as Tata missed double 12 on the inside when trying to check out 141. Cross got the checkout with the second dart on his next visit to move a leg away from the semi finals. A 140 start from Tata was then matched by Cross on his second leg visit at the oche. Another 140 from Tata left him on 221 and after his next visit he was at a check out at 121. Cross threw a 140 to leave 44 and Tata missed the bullseye for the leg but Cross then missed three darts for the leg. 9 and double 8 (with his 14th dart) put Tata a leg away from his opponent at 4-5. Tata opened on throw with a 140 and backed it up with a 120. Cross was consistent but Tata continued on his way with another ton visit. Tata was on 141 with Cross on 164 behind him. Tata left 60 after his next visit as Cross left tops. The Kiwi then hit 20 before missing altogether but finally held throw in 15 darts with tops in his last dart in hand. Cross opened with a 140 and backed it up with a ton on throw. He was the first to a target at 110 but left 74. Tata moved from 177 to 94 but Cross stepped up and threw treble 18 to give him two darts at double ten, which he took with his last dart in hand.
Rob Cross 6 (91.14 average 5/12 42% check outs) Jonny Tata 5 (95.03 average 6/21 29% check outs)
Quarter Final 3 Michael Smith 6 Damon Heta 5 Damon Heta and Michael Smith opened up with ton visits. Heta moved to the first check out of 127 but Smith put pressure on it by leaving 74. With Heta unable to check out his total Smith stepped up but missed darts to take the leg only for Heta to miss double six twice for the hold of throw on his next visit. One dart later and Smith had made him pay. For the second consecutive leg Heta was the first to a check out (164). Heta threw two treble 19s but put his dart under the bullseye only for Smith to miss over the top of the double 18 bed for the hold of throw. Heta moved the match back to level terms with his next dart. Heta threw the first maximum in his next leg to leave 101. He missed tops for the leg but Smith was unable to take out the big fish. Heta then missed two darts at double ten before Smith missed a leg dart. Two more darts later and Heta had a 2-1 lead. Heta started with a 125 against the Smith throw and backed it up with an 85. Both players exchanged tons before a 140 moved Smith to 78 and 95 then moved Heta to 96. Smith missed a dart at tops for the leg but Heta had no dart at the leg on his next visit and Smith cleaned up. Heta was unable to convert 170 in the next leg but secured 74 in two darts on his next visit to lead 3-2. Smith opened his throw with a 120 before scoring 140 and although he was unable to convert 141 he was so far in front he secured the leg four darts later with a double five. With the score at 3-3 Smith moved to another check out opportunity and was able to move to 44 with a 93 visit. Smith scored double ten with last dart in hand to take a break in throw and move 4-3 ahead in the match. He then opened with a ton on throw and backed it up with the same. Smith collected a 71 check out with his 15th dart to move a leg away. Smith then opened with a 140 against the Heta throw only for the Aussie to match it. Smith threw another 140 to leave 221 as Heta moved o 161. With Smith needing 164 Heta moved to 24 and on his next visit his 13th dart landed in the double 12 bed to hold throw. Smith then started poorly and was punished by Heta with a 140 visit. Heta had the darts and threw 140 to leave 221. Heta threw 134 to leave 87 after nine darts. Smith stood behind Heta on 150 as the Aussie number one missed double nine. Smith left himself 112 before Heta threw nine and then hit double one to not be able to win the match that visit. Smith then missed tops for the match before Heta stepped up and put the match into a deciding leg in which he had the throw. The final leg was a tight affair. Heta had darts at a 131 check out but left tops. 140 left Smith needing eight and he probably thought that would be it but the Heat missed all three at tops (going high on the first two and low with the third) and Smith stepped up and threw four and double two to take the match 6-5.
Michael Smith 6 (90.07 average 6/15 40% check outs) Damon Heta 5 (87.18 average 5/20 25% check outs)
Quarter Final 4 Nathan Aspinall 6 Haupai Puha 1 Nathan Aspinall opened the first leg strongly and despite a maximum from Puha it was Aspinall who took the leg, leaving 25 after a shot at 170. Puha then left 71 and had a shot at it as Aspinall failed to put away the 25. Puha just missed tops for the leg, putting it just under the wire, and Aspinall finally pounced to lead 1-0. 136 from Aspinall in the next leg took him to needing tops and without Puha taking out 154 (he left 60) he was able to put it away to lead by two legs. He then had another shot at 170 to hold throw but missed the bull once again. This time he collected the leg at next time of asking. Aspinall then took control of the next leg and requiring 132 he went bull, tried it again but got 25, and then threw 25 once more to get a very unique ton score. With Puha not taking out the 152 (he scored a ton) Aspinall cleaned it up with last dart in hand to lead 4-0. Aspinall left himself on 170 for a third occasion in the match but this time missed the first treble 20 and had to be satisfied with leaving 72. He missed it to leave 20 and Puha threw a 122 check out with the bull giving him his first leg, a break of throw. Aspinall was not in a very giving move though and against the throw he found himself needing 170 once more. He left 112 this time but cleaned it up on his next visit. Apsinall then opened with a 60 but Puha could not even get that. Later in the leg Aspinall moved from 241 to 61 with his first maximum of the match. On his next visit he threw 15, 14 but missed a match dart by landing his dart in the 16. Aspinall blocked himself on his next visit so Puha came back to try and throw an unlikely 154. He left 66 as Aspinall repeated his first two darts in the previous leg but this time his view was not blocked and he landed his last dart in hand in the double eight bed.
Nathan Aspinall 6 (88.65 average 6/21 29% check outs) Haupai Puha 1 (77.84 average 1/2 50% check outs)
Semi Final 1 Rob Cross 7 Gerwyn Price 3 On throw Gerwyn Price threw a maximum to set himself nicely in the opening leg and left 80 from 140 soon after. Rob Cross left 54 when trying to check out a big number (146) and thus Price seemed set to take out the leg. He missed tops for the leg and Cross stepped up to take an unlikely break of throw which he did with tops at his 14th dart. Price then got to the first check out against the Cross throw but the 131 did not go his way, leaving twenty. Cross then had a dart at 124 and hit the double eleven to lead 2-0. On throw second time around Price missed two darts at tops trying to take out 0. This time Cross was too far behind to cause damage and Price moved to within a leg of his opponent with his next dart. On throw Cross moved to 89 with a maximum only for Price to match it and move to 28. Treble 19. 16 and double 8 was the way Cross went to secure a 3-1 lead. Price then started with a 26 and this time he did not escape the pain it caused, despite moving from 182 to 82 with a ton to put pressure on Cross’s attempt at 20. Cross ended up throwing double five with last dart in hand to move three legs clear of the Welshman at 4-1. Price then missed a chance of a break, leaving double 12 after throwing at 117. Cross missed double 15 for a 110 check out himself. Price roared after throwing double 6 to break the Cross throw and move the match to 4-2. A 140 start also fired Price up on throw and a 96 follow up was solid. Later in the leg Price failed to secure a 170 check out and instead moved to 112. Cross then put pressure on by moving from 182 to 86 on his next visit. Price missed tops for the leg with his 15th dart and a treble 16 gave Cross two darts again. He failed to take it on his next darts and Price returned to the oche to win the leg and move within one of his opponent, having to break the Cross throw in the first leg after the break. Cross threw comfortably in the next leg and a 140 left him needing 130. With Price on 185 Cross left 32 and got it to move to 5-3. Price then opened with 177 and followed it up with a 121. Price had a go at a 144 check out but left 86. At 260 Cross threw a 140 to leave Shanghai. Price then missed tops for the leg and his opponent pounced with treble 20, a single 20 and tops to move within a leg of the match. Cross threw for the first Final position and opened with a 140 which was matched by Price. Cross backed it up with another 140, as did Price. Cross left 164 as Price moved to 100. Price did not have a dart at a check out after Cross left 124. On his return to the oche the bullseye was the Englishman’s friend as he checked out the 124 to take the match 7-3 and progress to the Final.
Rob Cross 7 (99.35 average 7/14 50% check outs) Gerwyn Price 3 (99.86 average 3/10 30% check outs)
Semi Final 2 Nathan Aspinall 7 Michael Smith 3 Michael Smith opened up with a 12 darter and checking out 95 to hold throw. Aspinall and Smith then threw three successive 140s before a 90 put Smith behind. Another 140 left Aspinall needing 81 but double 13 did not go. With Smith missing the big fish Aspinall missed two darts at a finish only for Smith to leave 30. Asp took out the leg with his next dart. Smith opened the next leg with a 134 before his opponent hit the maximum. Smith then matched it before Aspinall secured a ton in a fast affair. 129 left Smith on 58 as a maximum left Aspinall on 41. Smith cleaned up on his next visit as Aspinall was left needing 41 after nine darts! On the Aspinall throw both players struggled a little until a 140 left Asp on a 145. It took five darts but he soon had the match back on level terms. Smith then opened with a 140 as did Aspinall. A 180 left Smith on 181 as 140 left Asp 40 behind. Smith moved to 53 as Aspinall moved to 164. Smith cleaned up with his third 12 dart hold of throw after his first three first turns at the oche. The big numbers continued in the next leg before a 180 left Aspinall on 164. Smith had a bounce at for a maximum and thus Aspinall could set up 24 which he took with his 13th dart. At 3-3 Smith opened with another 140 and doubled it through on his second attempt. A 180 left Aspinall equal before Smith moved to 87. Smith missed double five to complete another four visit hold but he then missed out on ten at his next visit and Aspinall took his chance to take a remarkable 4-3 lead at the first break. After that break both players started with maximums before a bounce out yet again denied Smith another maximum. Aspinall then threw 140 to leave 88 and he completed the leg with a treble 20 and double 14 on his next visit. At 5-3 Aspinall threw 140 against the Smith throw. Smith then had another bounce out denying a 180 but this time it took out another dart and left him with 60. Asp then threw 140 to leave 221. A sixth 180 for Asp left him needing 41 as Smith threw 140 to leave 160 but with his eleventh dart Aspinall moved to within a leg of the Final. Aspinall opened with a ton on throw and then scored 134. A 140 had him requiring 127 for the match but he could only leave tops. Smith stood behind him also needing 40 but with his next dart Aspinall took out the match 7-3.
Nathan Aspinall 7 (110.22 average 7/11 64% check outs) Michael Smith 3 (107.45 average 3/10 30% check outs)
Rob Cross 8 Nathan Aspinall 7 Rob Cross opened the Final with an 12 dart hold of throw as he checked out 92. Cross then had a chance to check out 92 in the next leg but missed two darts at double 16, a bed that had given him pain and pleasure throughout the night. He would return as Aspinall missed double 18 for the leg but Cross was unable to take the leg and Aspinall threw double 9 with his 17th dart to draw level. Aspinall then had a shot at 170 to break the Cross throw but he had time to leave the leg set up and thus he left double 18 which he took with his 13th dart. Aspinall missed the double 16 for a 105 check out and Cross pounced with 46 moving the match back to level terms at 2-2. A visit of 134 from Aspinall left him needing 67 to break the Cross throw once more as Cross moved to 51 to put the pressure on and it worked as Aspinall missed double 16. Cross missed double 8 to hold throw and Asp secured the break again with his next dart to lead 3-2. Aspinall scored 171 on throw to leave double 18 as a ton left Cross needing Shanghai. Aspinall denied him a shot at it with his 14th dart landing in the double 18 bed. Another 171 moved Aspinall to 16 on the Cross throw but he could have been denied only for Cross to miss the double 16 once more, this time in an attempt to score 108. Aspinall’s 13th dart of the leg put him 5-2 up at the break. After the break a maximum from Cross on his third visit moved him to 81 Cand with Aspinall unable to check out 158 Cross took the chance with a double 12 with his 12th dart against the throw. Cross then held throw fairly comfortably, although Aspinall stood behind him needing 68 had he not thrown tops on his fourth visit to the oche. At 208 in the next leg Aspinall thought about his third dart having gained two treble 20s with his first two darts. He chose to leave 40 which he collected with his 13th dart. Cross then opened his throw with a maximum and later in the leg set up a chance at 48. Cross threw 16 and then the double 16 with his 14th dart. On throw Aspinall failed to check out 127 but with Cross failing to secure 161 the Asp had a dart at the leg but missed tops. Cross held his nerve and secured the break with last dart in hand to move the match to 6-6. Cross then opened with a 133 before Aspinall threw 140. Cross threw a maximum to move to 188 but then Aspinall did the same, moving to 181. Cross left 88 after his next visit whilst Aspinall left 121. Cross was unable to check out and left 14 but Aspinall then could only leave 64. Cross chose to split the target and threw a fat six only to bust with his next dart. Two darts later and Aspinall was throwing for victory having secured the leg and moving to a 7-6 lead. Aspinall opened with 97 and Cross 81 before Aspinall secured 96. Cross threw 140 to leave 280. Aspinall moved to 230 before Cross split his score in half with a 140. A ton left Aspinall needing 130 for the match as Cross could only move to 56. Aspinall could not put it away and Cross did so with his 14th dart, The Final was in a deciding leg in which Cross had the throw. He opened with a 134 and followed it up with a 96. Cross threw a ton to leave 171 before Aspinall just missed a maximum to leave a finish. Cross moved to 88 and returned to the oche for a fourth time in the leg with Aspinall behind him needing 150. Double 7 with his 15th dart handed Rob Cross the title of 2023 New Zealand Darts Masters champion.
Rob Cross 8 (98.04 average 8/22 36.36% check outs) Nathan Aspinall 7 (98.88 average 7/13 53.85% check outs)