A huge night of action at the 2023 Australian Darts Open saw 12 cracking matches of darts take place and finals match-ups set at the pointy end of the event being held at the Moama Bowling Club.
All of the big names progressed through to the final day of competition which is set to take place at midday on Saturday (AEST).
In the opening match of the night Kiwi Jonny Tata put in a commanding display against local hope Michael Cassar to take the spoils in convincing fashion.
Tata won the match 5-2 to back up his impressive performance on the opening night, and head through to the final day of the competition on Saturday.
Australian Joanne Hadley faced off against compatriot Maureen Homer and backed up her 4-1 win on the opening day of competition with another convincing performance to win 4-1 once again.
Aussie Robbie King got off to a great start to lead Danny Porter 3-2 through three legs, before a Porter fightback saw him win the next three legs in a row to claim a stirring 5-3 win.
Haupai Puha of New Zealand was far too good for Australian David Platt – winning their match 5-3 to advance through to the quarter finals.
Last year’s runner up nailed three 180’s and looked in control up on the oche in Moama.
International visitors Aileen de Graaf and Neil Duff made light work of their opponents on Friday night, making short work of Australian Amanda Loch (4-2) and Scott Hallett (5-2) respectively.
Both players are looking forward to their quarter finals and have settled in after taking some time to adjust their body clocks having travelled so far.
Australian Brad Thorp pushed out to a 2-1 lead against fellow Aussie and Port Hedland local Ronald Nakata in their Friday night match-up.
But it was all Nakata from there winning four legs on the bounce to steamroll through to the quarter finals with a 5-2 victory.
One of the tightest matches for the night say Aussie Kym Mitchell taking on her Trans Tasman rival Desi Mercer.
Mitchell worked hard to give herself opportunities to win the match, but unable to capitalise on a number of match darts proved the difference as Mercer made her pay with a 4-3 win.
Australian Laurie Loch took advantage from an early lapse in concentration to take the opening leg against World number one Andy Baetens, taking the opening leg.
But Baetens showed just why he is so highly regarded and one of the favourites to win the tournament in Moama, going on a five leg streak with all five legs being won with 15 darts or less, enroute to a 5-1 victory.
Reigning champion Raymond Smith looked in ominous form against his countryman Gordon Mathers, winning the opening leg before Mathers levelled the match at one leg apiece.
From there it was a Guru show – winning the next four legs in succession including a huge finish in the sixth leg with a triple 16 and double 8 to win it with 14 darts.
The Lancashire Rose Lisa Ashton was up next on stage and she only needed 15 darts to set her intentions by taking the opening leg against Victorian Janine Cassar. Ashton backed it up and was clinical – checking out a 102 on the next leg with her 15th dart once again.
From there the match was a formality with Ashton sweeping the match 4-0 and heading into the final day of competition in terrific form.
In the final match of the evening, Stuart Coburn got off to a great start against countryman Peter Machin – moving out to a 3-1 leg lead. Machin hit back taking the next two legs to level the match at 3-3 and all of a sudden it was game on.
Coburn then hit back winning the seventh leg with the leading dart, before Machin matched it to bring the score back to 4-4.
The final leg was a tpsy-turvey affair – Coburn wasting 13 match darts before Machin – who had several of his own, capitilsed t move through to the next rounf.
Don’t forget you can watch every minute of action from the final day of the 2023 Australian Darts Open via the Darts Australia event hub.
You can also stay up to date with schedules, results, news and more by heading to the hub via: https://dartsaustralia.com/2023-australian-darts-open/
Friday Group Stage 3 Results:
Jonny Tata (NZ) beat Michael Cassar (AUS) 5-2
Joanne Hadley (AUS) beat Maureen Homer (AUS) 3-1
Danny Porter (ASU) beat Robbie King (AUS) 5-3
Haupai Puha (NZ) beat David Platt (AUS) 5-2
Aileen de Graaf (NED) beat Amanda Loch (AUS) 4-2
Neil Duff (N.IRE) beat Scott Hallett (AUS) 5-2
Ronald Nakata (AUS) beat Brad Thorp (AUS) 5-2
Desi Mercer (NZ) beat Kym Mitchell (AUS) 4-3
Andy Baetens (BEL) beat Laurie Loch (AUS) 5-1
Raymond Smith (AUS) beat Gordon Mathers (AUS) 5-1
Lisa Ashton (ENG) beat Janine Cassar (AUS) 4-0
Peter Machin (AUS) beat Stuart Coburn (AUS) 5-4