PAUL Paice triumphed with Danny Aplin to claim his first ADC title as both the Premier League and Championship combined for a blind mixed division pairs competition.

Players going through rounds were drawn blindly from a Premier and a Championship pot, meaning each round the pairings would change.

Three out of the four eventual finalists would start the competition in the preliminary rounds, making their way through to the final.

Paice, who was one of the preliminary entries, claimed his first maiden ADC title by partnering current ADC champion Aplin, to what became a one-sided final with the pair eventually winning 5-1 against Premier League player Simon Churchill and Championship leader Shaun Lampard. who also opened up the evening together in their 4-0 whitewash of Chris Burton and Nige Davis.

The other prelim game saw Paice and Drew Tweedy race into a 3-0 lead against Stew Masters and Eddie Knell before the latter pair came back strong, winning the next two legs and missing doubles in the sixth to set up a deciding leg.

Tweedy then took advantage to sink tops and claim the 4-2 win.

The game of the quarter finals came in the 4-3 win for Simon Churchill and Matty Betts over Mel Burton and Terry Tucker.

Burton and Tucker hit a 14 dart fourth leg that also saw Burton hit two 180s in the leg, before Tucker wired the bull when on a 170 to win the match. Betts then sunk double eight at the first time of asking to advance to the semi finals.

Another great match saw Danny Aplin and Billy Short defeat Mark Samways and Simon Sharpe 4-3, where the decisive moment came in the very first leg.

Samways and Sharpe were on a double after 12 darts, but double trouble saw Aplin and Short chip away and snatch the first leg from what seemed destined to go the other way.

Both pairs would then hold throw to take it to a decider where a couple of 100-plus scores saw Aplin and Short gain a healthy lead and eventually win.

Eddie Knell could not prevent a second loss of the evening as he won a nine-dart shoot out with Nigel Davis to see who would take the spare Championship spot for re-entry to the competition, as he partnered Arnie Quinn in their 4-2 loss to Tweedy and Lampard.

The winning pair raced into a 3-0 lead before Quinn and Knell fought back, taking the fourth leg and then the fifth in 17 darts. Some loose darts from both pairs in the sixth leg eventually saw Lampard win the match and book a semi-final spot.

Paice was the dominant player when he partnered second-placed Premier League player Andrew McDermott, as they over came a depleted pairing in Trevor Honnor and Scotty Gannon.

Bottom of their respective leagues, Gannon and Honnor put up a spirited performance but ended up losing out 4-0 to Paice and McDermott.

The first semi-final pitted the top two of the Premier League against each other, as Aplin paired up with Paice and McDermott partnered Short.

Some high quality scoring from both pairs would eventually come down to the high scoring between Aplin and McDermott.

There was 140 followed by 140, but cover scoring to leave single dart finishes is what made the difference in the final result. Clinical doubling from Paice and Aplin saw the two progress to the final 4-2.

It was all about the double finishing in the other semi-final as for the second time Churchill and Lampard paired together and hit four doubles out of six attempts to seal an emphatic 4-0 win over Tweedy and Matty Betts. Inconsistency from Tweedy and Betts let Churchill and Lampard control the whole contest and book a place in the final.

The final saw both semi-final teams pair up again. Paice and Aplin dominated from the off and took a 3-0 lead before Churchill and Lampard stopped the rot and claimed the fourth.

Aplin stepped up a gear in the scoring stakes to put his pairing in full control to what would be the final two legs of the contest. Paice hit double two to win the fifth leg before Aplin sealed the win by sinking double 10.

Speaking about his first ADC title, Paice said: “No matter what standard you play darts at you always get that buzz from winning competitions, I know my league positioning isn’t a real reflection of what I know I can do and after this win I’m hoping to push on and seal a spot in the Premier League for the second half of the season.”

After claiming his fourth ADC title, Aplin added: “For me I wanted to win it more for Paice, don’t get me wrong I love winning things and its a good habit to have at the moment but being best mates with Paice this one was for him.”


t: 01305 830990

e: sport

twitter: @Dorsetechosport