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Article: Scotty 2 Hotty For Quality Field

Scotty 2 Hotty For Quality Field

A strong field attended the first Grand Finals of the Blue Bell Hotel Darts Championship were four Professional Darts players joined sixteen qualifiers to take to the oche in a bid to win the £1,500 first prize in the Fosters and Heineken sponsored event organised in Association with Red Dragon Darts.

The day started early for the sixteen qualifiers, who played down to the last four, in the afternoon session, the standard improved as the day progressed. The pick of the first round ties saw York^s John Quantock and Graham Usher (Scarborough) had a battle royal in the best of 3 legs, best of 3 set match. Usher opened his account with a 180 and 12 dart leg which was immediately cancelled out by Quantocks 15. Another 180 and 14 darts saw Usher take set One. Quantock added 2 x 16 dart legs to win set two 2-0. The first leg of set three was very nervy but a 14 dart second leg gave Usher the match with an average of 90.25, Quantocks losing average being 88.20.

Travel companions, Huddersfields Darren Hale (Av 84.18) and Pontefracts Mark Lawrence (Av 87.00) went head to head with the latter taking Set One with 19 and 15 darts. Hale returned with 14 darts but despite high scoring lost to Lawrence in 21 and 16 darts going down two sets to nil.

Terry Temple (Whitwell-on-the-Hill) (Av 88.41) whitewashed Bridlington^s Andy Wheeler (Av 65.20) winning in legs of 20-17 then 14 plus 180 for 17.

Bridlington^s Steve Rice took Set One 2-1 with 110 finish for 15 and 20 darts against Pickering^s Bill Hague (21) and then follwed that with 20 and 17 to win two sets to nil averaging 88.41 against Haughes 80.20.

Other first round results were:
Harvey Rodgers (Hornsea) (Av 60.11) 0 Sets Rich Corner (York) (69.91) 2 Sets 2-0, 2-0 (18 and 17 darts).

Jamie Ellam (Humberside) (Av 79.63) 2 Sets 2-0, 2-1 (13-21-16 darts) Daniel Lidgett (Humberside) (70.60) 0 Sets.

Kevin Samuels (Hunmanby) (Av 66.91) 0 Sets (115 finish for 18) David Copley (Thurnscoe) (Av 76.22) 2 Sets 2-1, 2-0 (20-16-20).

Wayne Woodhouse (Ferrybridge) (Av) 2 Sets 2-1, 2-1 (18-20-18-20) Kenny Dobson (Cleveland) 1 Set 2-0 (17-15-21 and 180 for 17).

The first of the second round matches saw Ellam fly out of the blocks hitting a 138 finish for 18 and a 154 finish for 15 to go one set up against Corner with a 21 dart leg. In reply, Corner added a 21 dart leg in winning set two 2-0 before closing the match with 2 x 17 darts (Av 78.76) winning set three 2-1. Ellams 18 and an closing Av 76.23 not enough for the win.

Lawrence (Av 90.99) defeated his local league team mate Copley (Av 78.22) two sets to nil in match two. Copley started the match with a 19 dart leg which inspired Lawrence to throw a 180 for 15, 2 x 180^s for 16 to win Set One then 17 and 16 darts to win the match.

Three 19 dart legs along with a 17 saw Rice, (Av 82.75), win 2-0 to put and end to Woodhouse^s hopes (Av 71.77) of progressing to the evening session despite him adding a 101 finish for 15 darts.

The last match was an eagerly awaited contest between Usher and Temple which did not dissapoint. Temple opened with 15 which was cancelled out by a 180 for 16 and 180 plus 125 finish for 12 to put Usher one set up. Temples 104 finish for 15 and 20 darts took the match to the deciding set. A 180 for 13 put Temple one leg in front, this followed by 16 darts, gave Temple a 2 Set to 1 win averaging 88.90 with Usher on 83.77 Av.

The evening session saw the introduction of four professionals, who had been in the venue all day following the qualifiers progression and realised things may not quite go their way.

The opening match saw BDO World No.1 James Wilson take on Mark Lawrence whose averages during the day had put him on line to pressure the 2014 BDO World Trophy Champion and it proved that way. Wilson started the match with 17 darts only to see Lawrence respond with 18 and 17 to take Set. The two players shared 3 x 14 dart legs which saw Wilson take Set Two 2-1. Eleven darts and 102 finish for 18 put Wilson 2 Sets to 1 up in the best of 3 Legs best of 5 Set match. Lawrence then added 12 and 15, sandwiched between a 17 from Wilson, to move the match to the deciding set. Wilson set off with 14 then closed the match with 20 darts. Wilson hit 4 x 180^s and finished with an average of 92.39 with Lawrence matching his 4 x 180^s and a match average of 88.45.

Rich Corner opened his account against Martin Atkins with a 16 darter only to see the former British Open Champion bounce back with 18 and 17 to go one set up. Missed doubles from both players saw the averages drop but 17 and 21 put Atkins 2 sets infront. Corner opened Set 3 with 20 darts but a swift response of 18 and 14 darts, despite Corner hitting a 180 and sat on 24 in the last leg, gave Atkins a 3-0 victory. The BDO 2013 World Champion Scotty Waites was next to the oche and yet again another fine performance from Terry Temple gave the audience alot to cheer about. Set One saw Waites win in 19 and 15 which only inspired Temple to a 12 and 20 dart second set win. Temple then added a 180 for 18 before double trouble let in Waites (20-21) to win set three 2-1. Temple bounced back with 18 and 17 darts to level the match. Waites 17, followed by Temples 180 for 21, saw the match go to a last leg decider and what a leg it was. Temple hit 2 x 180^s to then narrowly miss two darts at tops for the match as Waites won in 14 darts. Waites match average 81.23 with Temple on 82.95.

So three Professionals through and the next to the board was BDO World Ranked No.12 and 2014 German Open Champion Darryl Fitton taking on Steve Rice and what a crisp performance was to come from the Bridlington darts player. A 14 dart opener from Fitton was cancelled out by a 103 finish for 18 Rice only then to see a 180 for 18 from Fitton to go one down. A 16 dart leg from Rice, including a 180 then 18 put the match level despite Fittons 180 for 14 in leg 2 of set 2. Fitton won the next leg in 13 but Rice^s experience on the Lakeside Stage when winning the John Smiths People Darts Championship proved valuable as 3 x 180^s helped him in 18 and 15 darts to go 2-1 up in sets. Fourteen darts was all that was needed from Rice to win the first leg in set four but Fitton^s resillience held him in good stead as he took the next leg in 15. Scores of 140-140-100 and a 105 left Rice on 16 with Fitton sat back on 129. One dart for Rice was enough to see him move into the last four of the event winning the leg in 13 darts and a match average of 90.33, Fittons match average was 88.40.

The first Semi-final picthed England and Yorkshire teamates Wilson and Atkins facing off with both players finishing with a 90 plus three dart average. Wilson started with a 180 for 16 darts only to watch scores of 180-140-145 and one dart at double 18 for 10 darts to see Atkins level. Another 16 darter gave Wilson Set One. A 180 for 11 and 15 gave Wilson a 2-0 lead. Atkins returned with 15 and 180 for 16 to win set three 2-1, Wilsons reply being 15. The high standard continued into Set four, Wilson winning it 2-1 in 17 and 15 with Atkins responding with 180 for 15. A 180 for 12 and 18 got Atkins back within a set only to see Wilson win in 18 and 14 and take the best of 7 set match 4-2 with Atkins adding another 180 score before losing. Match averages were Wilson 91.27 and Atkins 95.20.

The second Semi-final scoreline certainly didn^t justify Steve Rices performance as Scotty Waites won 4 sets to nil. Waites won the first set in 17 and 14 darts with Rice taking leg two with a 180 for 13 also adding a further 180 in leg 3. Waites took the next 6 legs with 180 for 13-14, 18 and 14 then 14 and 18 for a very comprehensive victory . Rice was sat on a double in three of those 6 legs and missed 5 darts at a double after scores of 100-140 and 180 to level set 4. Scotts match average of 99.38 was the highest of the day with Rice averaging 93.85.

The final, the best of 9 sets, saw two of Yorkshires and Englands top darts players and very close friends James Wilson and Scotty Waites go head to head. Wilson who throws with Scotty Waites designed darts took no time in showing his intentions of winning the title by setting off with scores of 180-140 and 137 in 15 darts in the openning leg. Seventeen darts followed by a 180 and 127 finish for 12 soon changed the tone as Waites won set one 2-1. Two 15 dart legs closed on 120 and 141 gave Wilson set two. Waites scored a 180 in 15 darts to go one up in set three with Wilson hitting the magical 170 outshot for 15 to level. Heavy scoring from Wilson 180-100 and 171 gave him the set in 14 darts with Waites scoring 2 x 100 and 180. Both players went out in 14 darts to level set four, Waites taking the decider in 17 to level the match at 2-2. Set five had Wilson hitting 3 x 180^s with Waites adding two, the set going Wilsons way (15 and 17) 2-1 against Waites 17. Two 15 dart legs, in set 6, finished with 113 and 116 made the all square. Waites then moved 4-3 ahead with 18 and 21 only to see Wilson take leg one of set eight in 13 darts. Waites then recorded scores of 140-180-145 and 36 out for 12 followed by 16 darts to take the title of the 2014 Blue Bell Hotel Invitational Darts Champion. Waites match winning average was 94.87 whilst Wilson averaged 96.07.

The event was the created and funded by Blue Bell Hotel owner Alan Wilson who said, "We will be looking at re-running the event in 2015 with an increased prize fund and possible new structure to the tournament".

Event organiser Neil Hart of York Darts Promotions added, "It was dissapointing that the event wasn^t supported more locally and we appreciate the feedback and coments we have received from those attending and playing. The enthusiasm and commitment from Alan Wilson was there for all to see. A change in the event format may alter people^s perspective of the event and this will be discussed along with Alans views and feedback at a later meeting. The event on a whole was a success and the standard of play throughout was very high. The hotel and it^s staff made everyone welcome and we are already looking forward to our next event with Alan".

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