^Mile High^ in Round Europe Darts 2011 Part 3
After or few days with family and friends in Benidorm or in Ian^s case being reunited on his return to the UK. It was time for the last and longest weekend of the Round Europe Darts venture. It had been a very long couple of few weeks and Mile High was not quite himself still he was to tough it out and finish the weekend with his usual do or die spirit. Diamond had been due a break or too and the timing could not have been better!
Grand Slam of Darts Qualifier
After his success here last year all eyes were on Mile High early on and his draw was none too pleasant, two PDC professionals in the first two rounds, Steve^s Grubb and Steve Farmer. Mr Grubb played very well early on and Mark did well to step up and claim a 4-2 victory playing solidly considering he was not at his best.
Diamond was given an equally tough group but somewhat quieter start and proceeded quietly through the early stages. Mile High and The Train (Mr Farmer) did not fire on all cylinders and Mark went through comfortably. Next up was Reece Robinson, the youngster has tremendous talent but did not show his true form in being defeated. A long day from the youth world championships may be behind that. Finally for Mile High Colin Lloyd had played superbly to win his board without dropping more than a leg! Despite a late raly from mark Jaws went some way to avenging his world champs defeat by inflicting a 4-2 last 16 defeat upon Mile High.
We had been aware since the draw that Mark and Ian would have to meet in order that at least one of them would go through and also that a play off for third could be vital with the injury to Simon Whitlock and other recent problems meaning it was likely to be an additional place!
Meanwhile Ian Diamond was getting stronger and stronger, convincing wins over Jimmy Mann & James Richardson were signs of good things to come, then a tough 4-3 win over Colin Osborne and again over Peter Hudson, both of whom have been playing very well recently, led to his last 4 place (the wildcard match) against The Undertaker. Nigel is a quality player and a great guy who has lacked a little luck during his 2 years or so on the PDC Pro-Tour.
The Undertaker played very strongly, especially in the middle section of the game to take a 6-3 win from 1-2 down. Diamond was obviously very disappointed to lose at the final stage. However in a superb show of professionalism and team spirit Mile High and other supporter helped to lift Ian for what we suspected was a vital game, the 3rd place play off.
The playoff turned into a strong sign of Ian grit with a fine 6-1 win over Keith Rooney who had shocked many in getting that far. (It was confirmed on Monday that Ian had been awarded the spot due to Simon^s withdrawal.) Some night then, finishing after 12 midnight it was time to rest up for the final legs of the European Tour.
Pro Tour Crawley 1
Mixed day here, superb run from Diamond to capitalise on his superb recent form and a better than usual draw, only the world number 3 and UK Open Champion in round 2 this week! Mile High was suffering and went down to our old friend Mick Todd, who then went ton to claim a useful £600. Diamond proceeded on through Chris Aubrey 6-4 and James wade 6-4 to then take on resurgent Richie Burnett, the second time in recent weeks.
These games always have a little edge due to Richie^s phenomenal intensity, this as the previous game went all the way with Ian claiming a 3 dart 74 to win 6-5! Last dart Whitey as Richie has christened him! The Diamond then appeared to run out of steam a little and Matt Clark toughed it out in the Qtr with a superb 12 dart last leg on throw to claim a semi place. Still £1000 appeared to help Ian cause no end!
Pro Tour Crawley 2
Diamond was running on empty, 9 comps in 3 weeks or so and little time at home and a extra long weekend was taking its toll. Mile High was in better shape than the Saturday but still not firing fully. So a highly entertaining game between Mark and Alex Roy was first up, Alex opened with 9, laughed it off and proceed to win the leg with three scores of over 120 including a max and then opened the next with 2 more of 140+.
Mile High Rode out the storm and sealed a good win 6-3 in order to move on to game with former practice partner Slugger Brown.
Diamond began his day with a game against Barrie Bates, Barrie played the best I have seen him for a long time with barely a score under 100 for the first 5 legs and ended 4-1 up. Diamond showed great courage and pulled back to 5 all. Suddenly all seemed to catch up with him and a horror last leg together with a timely max from Barrie ensured Ian would take no further part.
Mark & Slugger then battled away, Slugger raced into an early lead but Mile High had more about him and produced some great darts in the middle section to go 4-2 and then 5-3 up. Slugger did not cave though and fought back with a 132 finish x50 x50 x32 to claim leg 9 and then had 4 darts at tops in the next leg to force a decider.
However, Mark checked out to prevent what would have been a very tough last leg.
Next came Chizzy, who is on fire at the moment and despite playing some pretty good stuff at times and two narrow misses on 164 check outs Mile High was not in shape to give of his best in that encounter.
Congrats to Chizzy on his 1st Pro Tour win.