Newtown Darts Player causes major upset to become Champion of Champions
Newtown darts player Steve Degville woke up this morning as the first Coinspinner and Red Dragon Darts Champion of Champions and with £1,500 in his pocket.
Steve, 39, who plays in Newtown Premier Darts League, caused a major upset by ‘burying’ Professional Darts Corporation player Kevin Thomas, 34, of Swansea, nicknamed The Undertaker, in an exciting grand final, which went to the third and final leg.
Failing to hit a treble 20 to set up an out shot, Thomas left the door open for Degville who duly landed a bull’s eye and double 16 for an 82 out shot and victory at The Hi-Tide, Porthcawl, which was packed for the grand final.
Degville, a former county player who was representing The Monty Club, Newtown, collected a trophy and the £1,500 winning prize money to the delight of his supporters.
"I’m so chuffed that I could explode,” he said "To become Champion of Champions in Wales means everything to me because I beat some cracking players. All I had to do was to get up there, stand my ground and do my best.”
Thomas, representing the Globe Inn, Swansea, had thrown a flurry of 180s to reach the final and declared: "I’m absolutely gutted because I would have loved to have won this brilliant competition. There were a lot of good players competing but it’s all down to the best player on the day.”
He praised Degville for his calmness under such pressure.
To reach the final, Degville beat Lee Drummond, Red Dragon Premier League, Cardigan in the semi-final, Mitch Butler, Cock Hotel, Forden, near Welshpool in the quarter final, Gerwyn Price, Ty Mawr Hotel, Pontypridd in the last 16 and David Powell, Empire Club, Pontlottyn in the last 32.
Thomas beat David Powell, Brewery Club, Rhymney in the semi final, Gareth Ashley from The Talbot, Welshpool in the quarter final, Simon Stainton from Marine Boathouse, Skegness in the last 16 and Kurt Parry, The Caeffatri, Bridgend in the last 32.
A total of 128 players qualified for the final by winning competitions in pubs and clubs across Wales and the borders and there were also invited qualifiers from Yorkshire.
Using the same rapid fire shoot-out format as the hugely popular former News of the World Championship, the competition brought together the best pub darts players in the best of three, 501 legs matches.
The competition is the brainchild of Bridgend-based darts specialist Red Dragon Darts and Coinspinner, a Wales-based international company that specialises in supplying pay-to-play entertainment equipment to pubs and members clubs.
The event, which had a prize fund of £4,200, was a sell out with all 200 tickets quickly snapped up.
Simon Hall, Red Dragon Darts’ Head of Marketing declared the new competition, which he described as a "celebration of Welsh darts”, a huge success and said the co-sponsors would be aiming to expand it UK-wide next year.
"It’s fantastic that a relatively unknown pub player like Steve can come through and win this competition against some of the biggest names in Welsh darts,” he said.
"That’s the beauty of the rapid fire format that pub players love and the professionals hate. Great players can be eliminated by unfancied opponents before they even have a chance to warm up.
"We have achieved our aim of establishing a new, free event for recreational darts players, rather than professionals, that is as exciting as the unrivalled former News of the World Championship was between the 1930s and ‘90s.”
Lee Hammond, Coinspinner’s Operations Manager, said the competition was designed to generate new business for the 128 competing pubs and clubs involved whilst also promoting the products and brands of the co-sponsors.
"The exciting grand final was well worth all the hard work that went in to establishing this new competition,” he added. "We are increasing our customer base and presence across Wales and the borders and an important part of the company’s ethos is reinvesting in the communities that we serve to support pubs, sporting clubs and the leisure industry.”
With offices across the UK and Europe, including a new hub in Ebbw Vale, Coinspinner - www.coinspinner.co.uk - specialises in supplying gaming and skill with prizes machines, jukeboxes, table play and video games, boxing machines to the pubs and members clubs.
There were prizes for the top 32 players. Losing quarter finalists were: Mark Beynon, Central Club and Institute, Blackwood and Terry Temple, York Dart Promotions, York. The other players who reached the last 16 were: Lee Hughes, Cwmparc Legion, Cwmparc; Carl Abbiss, Marine Boathouse, Skegness; Kevin Lane, Dynevor Arms, Nelson; Leyton Jones, Gelli Hibs, Gelli; Robert Benn, Cambrian Arms, Neath and Michael Rowlands, The Ivy Bush, Lampeter.
Losing players in the last 32 were: Corey Evans, Cwmfelinfach Working Men^s Club, Cwmfelinfach; Darren Page, Aberavon Quins, Aberavon; Ryan Rawlinson, The Hope and Harp, Newport; Graham Brookes, Dunraven Hotel, Treherbert; Rhys Griffin, Ynysddu Hotel, Ynysddu; Wayne Duffy, The Llwyncelyn, Abedare; Sean Fisher, Sea Horse, Porthcawl; Cavan Phillips, Brownies Bar, Aberdare; Grant Howells, White Lion, St Clears; Gareth Goode, RAFA Club, Brecon; Steve Haman, Bali Glass, Merthyr Tydfil; Danny Dyer, West Memorial Club, Merthyr Tydfil; Lee Chenery, Stone Mason^s Arms, Haverfordwest and David Neads, Brownies Bar, Aberdare.