DARTS: Super League singles

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The annual Warwickshire Super League Open Singles was held on Thursday at the Bishopgate Club in Coventry.

A very high standard of darts was played, with a number of professional players in attendance, ensuring any route to the final would be a test for all challengers.

Rugby entered 8 players into this years tournament, looking to better the success of last year, when three Rugby players reached the Semi finals.

This years tournament got underway with two Rugby team mates being drawn out to play each other in a preliminary round, which saw Luke Kennedy beat Chris Morgan 3.1.

Luke took leg 1 in 18 darts, with the game level when Chris came storming back in leg 2. The high scoring continued in leg 3, with Chris missing 3 darts at doubles which was the only opportunity Luke needed to take the lead. The 4th leg saw Luke take control of the game, winning in 15 darts with a 66 checkout. A good start to the night for Luke, and despite the defeat, Chris will be pleased to be back to form, throwing at such a good level.

In the next round Luke Kennedy faced Leamington Spa’s Andy Hodges, which turned into a 5 leg classic. Luke confidently took the 1st leg, but was left on 50 as Hodges won leg 2 in only 13 darts which included 180. The next two legs were shared, and a scrappy 5th leg was secured by Luke after a number of missed opportunities by both players at the winning double.

Round three for Luke was one of the games of the tournament. Luke was drawn against England International Mark McGeeney, who took an early lead, with leg 1 secured in 17 darts. Luke fought back in leg 2 with 140 & 180 which set him up for the leg in 19 darts. McGeeney took leg 3, but Luke showed his spirit, by levelling the match at 2.2 The deciding leg was won by McGeeney in 19 darts with Luke hitting a second 180, and was left wanting only double 7 as Mark made no mistakes hitting his double and taking victory.

Great overall effort from Luke who is now showing why he is a regular for the Rugby Super League side, and has continued to show he is ready for a Warwickshire County call-up.

Prakash Jiwa received a bye into round two where he faced Natalie Gilbert from Birmingham, with Prakash securing a 3.0 win. Jiwa was then drawn against Leamington Spa’s Martin Tonks.

The third round game saw Prakash go 2 legs behind, which seemed to kick-start him into winning a quick 16 dart 3rd leg, however Tonks kept up his good form and was able to take one of the pre-tournament favourites out, by winning the 4th leg in good style.

Carl Green got his tournament underway with a comfortable victory over Rich Liggins 3.1, but then got drawn against Rugby’s new signing Steve ‘Long-neck’ Pugh, in what turned out to be a really high standard match. Carl took leg 1 in 17 darts, and continued his good form in leg 2 winning in only 15 darts. Pugh, who is playing in his first season of darts at this level, did not give up, and was also scoring well with a 180 which helped him win leg 3 in 17 darts. Carl took the match, hitting double 10 in leg 4, which ended Pugh’s tournament on this occasion, however has shown he has the confidence and good form to warrant his place in the Super League side.

Green went on to round three and faced PDC regular Nigel ‘The Undertaker’ Heydon, who showed the form that is likely to see him secure qualification for the 2012/13 PDC World Championships. Nigel took the win 3.0, with Carl missing double top in leg 2, but Nigel was able to confidently take leg 3 in only 14 darts.

A good night for Carl, showing his form again, but unfortunately running into Heydon who is back to the top of his game.

Martin Bowley started his night with a hard fought 3.2 win over Barry Stephens, with Stephens taking leg 1 in only 13 darts. Leg 2 and 3 saw Martin take the lead, but Stephens levelled before Bowley found the winning double to snatch the win. Martin then faced Coventry Bishopgate local Jimmy Hill, with Bowley taking the opening leg, and Jimmy taking the second leg. Martin had the frustration of missing doubles in leg 3, which Hill managed to take, before then securing a place in the next round winning 3.1, taking leg 4 in only 15 darts.

Ricky Reed’s tournament was cut short when he was drawn in a preliminary round against Warwickshire County regular Mark Westgarth, who made no mistakes in securing a 3.0 win. Reed had one opportunity at double top in leg 1, but Westgarth took the lead and stayed there in leg 2, before quickly securing leg 3 in only 14 darts. Disappointment for Ricky, however he did show his experience on the night, by chalking the next game without making any mistakes.

Overall a tough night for Rugby’s players, with some being drawn against each other, and others who had to face some of the games top players.

The tournament standard continued into the semi finals which saw Nigel Heydon defeat Mark McGeeney 4.3 and Mark Westgarth defeated PDC regular Kevin Dowling 4.2.

The final saw Nigel Heydon take the title for the second year running winning the final 4.2, Nigel with 4 x 180’s and a brilliant average of 33.10. Mark Westgarth finished with an impressive average of 30.76, and narrowly missed out on a perfect nine dart finish in leg 6, having hit consecutive 180’s.

The next super league game is (Thursday October 4) at Rugby RADEA Club vs Coventry Railway