Finals thrill at Australian Champs

It was a huge day of action at the finals day of the 2023 Australian Darts Championship with new national champions crowned.

DA President’s XI v Indigenous XI 2023

Michael Cassar opened against throw of Indigenous XI player Aaron Morrison with a 125 but both players showed nerves starting this event. Morrison did throw 134 to leave 124 but both players took time to get to a check out with Cassar eventually breaking the throw of Morrison. Morrison then returned the favour after Cassar left 40 trying to check out a ton. Cassar then became the first player to hold throw after Morrison threw 132 to leave 12 only to bust that attempt on his next visit. Cassar stepped up and check out 90 to put his team up 1-0.

Maureen Homer then took full advantage of Melina Van Den Kieboom’s missed leg darts to take an early break only for her opponent to break straight back in the second leg. Homer then busted an attempt at a 78 check out after both players had thrown some good darts previously (Homer a 140 and Van Den Kieboom a 133) and Van Den Kieboom gave her side a 2-0 lead thanks to her check out.

Scott Hallett and Chris Riley then held both their throws in the third game only for Hallett to break the Riley throw with a 112 check out in the third and final leg to move the President XI to a 3-0 lead.

Janine Cassar followed that up with a fourth game victory as she held throw in 18 darts before breaking the throw of Morrison in 19 darts. She was aided by visits of 135 and 103 leaving her in need of double 9 for the win whilst Morrison fought hard, scoring 124 to leave 65 on what would ultimately be her final visit.

Danny Porter then continued the run for his side although he did not have it all his own way against Stewart Smith. Porter checked out 62 to break the Smith throw in their first leg only to throw away match opportunities in the second. He had comfortably led after a 140 left him needing 119 but struggled to get to a check out and Smith pounced with his own 140 leaving him needing 92. Two visits later and the score was 1-1. Against the throw Porter started with visits of 12 and 140 before a penultimate visit of 134 left him needing 31. Smith threw a ton to leave 118 but never had darts at it as Porter cleaned up 31 with his next three darts.

Sarah Harrison then stepped up and made it 6-0 with a 2-1 win over Angela Clarke. It was Clarke who took the lead despite a visit of 118 on Harrison’s third last visit. Harrison broke straight back though, thanks in part to a visit of 140 on her second time to the oche, and a 135 leaving her needing just 24 to tie things back up. Harrison then threw 140 in the next leg to leave 112 and although it took three visits (and Clarke putting the pressure on with a visit of 140 leaving her needing 91 which she was unable to do at her next visit) she finally secured the 50 required to take her game. The Presidents XI had locked up the event after six legs, but the darts kept flying.

Colly Craig then stepped up to win the first game for the Indigenous XI. He held throw comfortably before Mick Mullaney checked out 112 to hold throw himself. Colly then held throw for the win but when he threw 140 to miss the 148 check out by only eight he probably did not expect to take another eight darts to take out the leg and win the game 2-1 which is what occurred. Still, he took the leg and the game for his side.

Kayleigh Pickett was coming off a role from the day before and when Lyn Morrison missed two visits at 28 Pickett pounced, first by scoring 131 and then by collecting the 33 she had left herself for the leg. Morrison then missed more leg darts in the next leg but was able to check out when Pickett missed three darts at double 16 for the win. Morrison then threw 100 to leave 99 before Pickett put some pressure on the next Morrison throw with 88 leaving her on 24. Morrison left double 20 after her next visit and with last dart in hand Pickett took out the leg, and thus the game 2-1. 6-2 to the President’s XI.

Wayne Egan then made it three legs in a row for his side as he defeated Royce Faulkner 2-0. Faulkner and Egan both missed multiple darts at a check out in their first leg before Egan held throw. Faulkner then threw 121 on throw in the next leg only for his opponent to collect 274 with six darts mid leg to leave just 68. It took six darts but Egan was comfortably in front to be able to do so.

Amanda Loch then stepped up to stop the mini revival. In the first leg she held throw but only after some nervous moments. She had thrown 132 to leave double 16 for the leg but then missed three darts at it and had to each as Tammy Wilson failed to check out 20 for the break. Loch then collected her target with her next dart. 7-3 to the President’s XI.

In the final match up Desean Allen left Brody Klinge on three when he finally checked out the first leg to hold throw. Klinge then opened with 100, 140, 140 and 83 to be able to afford to miss out on his next visit before checking the leg out with his 16th dart. He then had a roller coaster last leg, scoring triple figure visits at every second time at the oche up until when he checked out double four with his 19th dart to secure the final leg and game.

Thus, the President’s XI overcome the challenge of the Indigenous XI by eight games to three.

                                    Australian Championships Final

Mixed Doubles Final

Melina Van Den Keiboom / Rob Modra 5 Michael Cassar / Janine Cassar 4

Rob Modra’s dream of a full set of trophies came true as he and Melina Van Den Keiboom defeated mother and son pair of Michael and Janine Cassar by six legs to two. The first leg saw Modra start with 140 and 100 visits with Van Den Kieboom scoring 124 in between. Although Modra left 20 chasing a 100 check out they were far enough in front that Van Den Kieboom came back to throw the double ten for the leg. The second leg saw Janine Cassar bust a chance at 33 after Michael had set it up with a visit of 96. Modra stepped up to deny the Cassars another chance at the check out when he put away 45. The Cassars then held throw aided by 140 and 180 visits from Michael and a busted visit from Van Den Kieboom when trying to check out 32. The pair then combined to get down to 176 after three visits although a maximum from Modra put his team back in the conversation for the leg. Van Den Kieboom did not convert 20 for the leg and Janine Cassar stepped up to check out on her next visit to tie things back up after 4 legs. The next leg saw both teams spurn multiple chances but it was the Cassars who gave away one to many opportunity as Modra eventually secured the break and the match lead once more. Having taken the impetus, they were soon hit with a reality check after Michael Cassar opened against the throw with a 140 before backing it up with a 96, his mother scoring 95 in between. Michael busted a chance at 5 but with 170 going astray for their opponents Janine stepped up and converted to tie things at 3-3. The next leg was a consistent but not spectacular affair with Van Den Kieboom checking out 35 for the leg. As with so much of this game another break followed as neither Van Den Kieboom nor Modra could convert their chances and eventually Michael Cassar took his with a double 16. The final leg was the Cassar’s to start and a 140 from Michael Cassar on his team’s third visit to the oche seemed to set them on their way. However, scores of 100 (Modra), 117 (Van Den Kieboom) and 123 (Modra) pushed them in front and when Michael Cassar left 32 chasing 60 for the match Modra pounced and secured the match with his side’s 21st dart of the match.

 Ladies Doubles Final

Natalie Carter / Angela Clarke 5 Amanda Loch / Melina Van Den Kieboom 1

The Ladies doubles final was a clearer affair. Natalie Carter opened the match with a 140 to move well ahead but on Melina Van Den Kieboom’s first visit she dragged the deficit back with a 133. A140 from Loch set her partner a target of 82. She was unable to take it and Carter stepped up to check out 40 with her 19th dart. The following leg saw scores of 121 (Van Den Kieboom) and 140 (Loch) move their team into a strong lead. At the back end they struggled to check out but eventually Loch moved the match score to 1-1. The next leg saw Angela Clarke check out to hold throw and move the gap back out to two legs. Amanda Loch opened with a 140 in the next leg but higher consistent scoring from Carter and Clarke kept them in the leg and a 56 check out from Carter gave her team the leg. A hold of throw in the next leg moved Carter and Clarke one leg from victory. A run of three 100 scores from Clarke, Loch and Carter mid leg helped move both teams within grasp of the leg. Natalie Carter came with ten points of a 130 check out but the Clarke was unable to get those point on her next visit. Loch then left 10 chasing 40 to stay in the match and Carter stepped up and threw 25 to give her side the win.

Mens Doubles Final

Laurie Loch and Anthony Shreeve came away with the men’s doubles final thanks to a 6-3 win over Rob Modra and Brendon Masters. Modra opened with a 134 which was bettered by Shreeve at the first attempt with a 140. Visits of 100 and 123 from Modra and a 40 check out after Loch left 6 chasing 56 meant a hold of throw for Modra and Shreeve. Shreeve then opened with another 140 which was matched by Modra, Loch then threw 135 and Masters 125. Shreeve hit another 140 with Modra responding with 58. Loch then checked out 86 with the 12th dart of the leg for his team. For the third successive time Shreeve opened with a 140 and another visit of the same and a check out of 106 had his team secure the break, That was despite a maximum from Modra leaving his team needing 108. The fourth leg saw Shreeve open with 100 and this time Modra more than matched him with a 140. However, that was about as close as they would come in the leg, although a 100 from Masters left some interest in the leg with Modra needing 106 but Shreeve stepped up and put away 32 to give his team a 3-1 lead. The next leg saw Shreeve return to the 140 starts and he backed it up with 100 and 99 visits. He missed the bull for the leg and with Loch busting and Shreeve then only scoring one left Masters with the opportunity of 32, one that he took. In leg six Laurie Loch scored a maximum at his first visit before Shreeve checked out 100 to win a hold of throw. Modra and Shreeve then opened with 125s before Masters had visits of 100 and 134 to move well ahead in the leg and with Modra collecting 73 Masters cleaned up the remnant 24 on his next visit to move the match score to 3-4. Shreeve and Loch then held throw build on openings of 100 (Shreeve) and 135 (Loch.) A 140 from Masters left his side needing 111 but Modra could only leave tops and Loch, who had seen Shreeve leave five when chasing tops previously, cleaned up to move his side a leg away from the match. Shreeve then opened with his poorest opening of the match, a 41 but Loch stepped up with visits of 100 and 121 and a 102 check out to complete the match.

Laurie Loch / Anthony Shreeve 6 Rob Modra / Brendan Masters 3

Men’s Singles Final

Blake Hatchett started his throw slowly but in the space of six darts dropped 239 points to take out the leg, finishing with a ton checkout. Klinge then opened with a 123 as Hatchett started slowly once more but again he warmed up through the leg and scores of 135 and 140 left him needing tops for the leg. He secured the break of throw with his 17th dart. Klinge then had a shot at a 164 in the next leg and made a good effort of it, leaving 37. He failed to take it out and Hatchett stepped up to check out 73 and lead 3-0. 15 darts later Hatchett was 4-0 up with a 137 second visit and a 74 check out the highlights of the break of throw. Klinge had to do something and a 105 visit against the throw left him needing 80. In response Hatchett threw 133 to leave 60 and he would get darts at it as Klinge left 20 at his next visit. Hatchett failed to put it away and Klinge finally pounced to get his first leg of the match. He then backed it up with a hold of throw. The revival was put to bed in the next leg as visits of 139 and 140 and a check out of 70 gave Hatchett a 14 dart hold of throw and move him to within a leg of the title. A poor start from Klinge in the next leg put him behind the eight ball but visits of 140 and 121 left him requiring 160. Hatchett had been more consistent but with Klinge missing the 80 to leave 40 Hatchett missed out on a 110 check out and instead left 20. Klinge was unable to check out that amount on his next visit but two darts later Hatchett had done the job and was crowned Australian men’s singles champion.

Blake Hatchett 6 Brody Klinge 2

Ladies Singles Final

Jackie Marks was crowned Australian Ladies singles champion after a 6-4 victory over Kayleigh Pickett in the final. Pickett started the first leg strongly, with a ton visit on her first throw and when Marks left nine chasing 40 at the end of the leg Pickett stepped up and took a leg that had seen marks throw visits of 140 and 100. Despite busting an attempt at six in the next leg Marks was able to come back to the oche and take the break of throw straight back. Another 100 visit from Pickett and a 99 two visits later put her in a good position until Marks threw 100, 118 and 100 to leave 40 to hold throw. On her next visit she took it to lead 2-1 having been a leg down initially. Pickett then held throw comfortably, highlighted by a visit of 134 although Marks put her shot at a 48 under pressure with a 140-visit leaving her needing 56 but Pickett prevailed to draw level with her opponent. Marks started the next leg with two 100 visits but at the backend a 139 left Pickett on 70. Marks could not convert 100 on her next visit only for Pickett to bust the attempt at 70 and Marks to step up and take the leg after all. Pickett then held throw to tie things up once more at 3-3. Marks opened the seventh leg with a 140 and then a 100 followed by a blip on the radar before another 100 put her in prime position. A 46 check out after Pickett left 36 chasing 88 gave Marks the leg. The following leg was a slog for both players until a 140 left Marks needing 117. Four darts later and she was 5-3 up and had the next throw for the match. It did not work out that way as Pickett opened with 100 and threw 100 and 165 at the end of the leg to leave ten. She was well ahead and hit the ten with her 16th dart to move back within a leg of her opponent and she had the throw in the next leg to tie things up. It was a tight game throughout but things heated up towards the end with two 100 visits from Pickett and score of 85 and 99 for Marks. Pickett had the chance to draw level but left ten on the board chasing 60 and Marks stepped up to the oche and checked out a total of 72 with last dart in hand to give her the win in the final by six legs to four.

Jackie Marks 6 Kayleigh Pickett 4