Jenkins & Fitton the first men through to the World Seniors Darts Championship last 16

Terry Jenkins and Darryl Fitton have become the first players through to the last 16 at the 2023 World Seniors Darts Championship at the Circus Tavern thanks to 3-2 first-round victories over Chris Mason and Les Wallace respectively.

In the opening match, last year's beaten semi-finalist Terry Jenkins was up against Chris Mason, making his Seniors World Championship debut. It was Mace the Ace who began the brighter, holding in the opening leg on double top but Jenkins roared back with an 88 checkout on the bullseye before then breaking the Mason throw to go 2-1 up in the opening set. A ruthless 91 finish later and the opening set was the Raging Bull's.

After taking the first leg of set two, Jenkins let five darts for the second leg allowing Mason the chance to punish and mop up 25. for the steal. The momentum seemed to have completely turned and Mason's arm began to flow, picking off 3 straight legs to take the second set and level up a 1-1 as they went off stage for a break.

After they returned the momentum had seemingly left Mason's side to rejoin Jenkins as the Bull raced into a 2 leg lead in the third set. Mace would pull one leg back but ultimately it would be nothing more than a consolation as Jenkins coolly checked out 44 to restore his lead in sets at 2-1.

Refusing to give in, Mason pulled out his biggest checkout of the match with a 104 on the bullseye. After Jenkins missed a dart at tops in the next leg Mace would go even better with another bull finish thanks to a 127. Jenkins did pull one back in leg 3 but Mason would again level up the match at two sets apiece, sending us to a decider.

The opening leg of the decider would see Jenkins break throw on double 12 and after a hold of throw in the second leg, the Bull was just one away from the last 16. Mason would keep his hopes alive, nailing double 12 at the fourth time of asking but Jenkins would not be denied, taking out 52 to secure the win.

A resplendent Les Wallace in his trademark kilt took the opening leg of the second match of the afternoon. Fitton returned the favour, holding throw in the second leg although a pair of missed darts from the Dazzler in the third allowed Wallace to regain his lead on double 3. Two more missed darts at double from Fitton then gave McDanger a shot at 80 for the first set, one that he gratefully took to go 1-0 up.

With Wallace waiting on 40, Fitton overcame his double trouble by nailing double 6 to take the opening leg of the second set. A hold for the Scotsman was then followed by a comfortable hold of his own by Fitton. Wallace then turned down a shot at the bull for a 170 finish, drawing a few good-natured boos from the crowd before pinning tops on his return to send the second set to a deciding leg. The set would be Fitton's however as the Dazzler cleaned up 24 on double 6 to level up the match at 1-1.

Wallace would eventually take the opening leg of the third set on double 1 before capitalising on more double trouble for Fitton and moving two legs clear. Both players saw chances come and go in leg three, with Fitton eventually nailing double 3 to keep the set alive. Fitton would then hold throw, setting up a last leg decider for the third set. Both of them would miss set darts but the Dazzler was the man to seal the deal and securing a 2-1 in sets.

When Fitton then took the opening leg of the 4th set, it seemed as if the Dazzler had finally broken the spirit of Wallace but McDanger was not done yet and fired in a sumptuous 142 finish to get back on level terms in the set, then broke the Fitton throw to move one leg away from a level game before picking up the set on the double 10.

Stopping the rot, Fitton opened the deciding set with a break of the Wallace throw. Double top would then help the Dazzler move to the edge of the last 16. Fitton would miss his opportunity to kill off the match, missing three darts at double, allowing Wallace to stay alive for one more leg before Fitton would eventually finish his opponent off and secure the 3-2 victory.

by Kieran Wood 0 Comments

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