Good showing from Keelan in JDC's top tourneys
PLYMOUTH’S rising protégé took another big step in his darting education when he competed in the Junior Darts Corporation’s two biggest tournaments of the year.
The Plymouth Studio School pupil participated in both the European Darts Open and the WDS Associates Junior World Darts championship over two days at the Action Indoor Sports Arena in Bristol.
Kay did not have the best of starts in the Euros and in round one, against Buster Turner, had his back to wall when trailing the Hampshire thrower 5-1.
But showing composure above and beyond his tender 15 years of age, Turner was pegged back to 5-5 to set up a decisive 11th leg.
QUARTER FINAL SPOTS: Keelan Kay gave a good account at the European and World
Youth darts championships and reached the last eight of both competitions, the Junior
Darts Corporation's two biggest tournaments of the year.
The Plymouth marksman scored 374 points from his first three visits, a lead he was never to relinquish as he checked out to great applause from his admiring supporters.
His next opponent was Gian van Veen, a semi-finalist at the Denmark Youth Open back in April, but that form counted for nothing as the Dutchman was swept aside 6-2.
Dutch International Levy Freunfelder was next in line of Kay’s progress and he went the same way as his Holland compatriot, also by a 6-2 margin.
Now into the quarter-finals, Kay was pitted against the winner of Modus Tour Four, Alfie Jacques, and although he gave a good account of himself, Kay bowed out of the Euros 6-4.
The following day, Kay was in the line-up as one of the 40 young players from around the world, who had qualified by right to contest the WDS Associates Junior World Darts Championship.
A Round Robin was the format for the most prestigious tournament of the year and comprised of eight groups with five players in each.
All five legs had to be played for every game in the group and Kay could not have wished for a better start in group four than a 5-0 defeat of Canadian Hayden Brown.
This was followed by a 4-1 victory over his Devon team mate Pacey Large before Kay was surprisingly defeated 3-2 by Staffordshire’s Ross Gilder who topped the group.
In round two, Keelan drew group winner Jack Vincent and in his best performance of the weekend he ousted his fellow England international in five straight legs with an awesome display of first time finishing.
Playing in a tournament which consisted of the world’s best youth players, up to the age of 21, the 15-year-old was now into the last eight where he came face to face with Owen Roelofs.
The Dutchman had good pedigree, after having won the Antwerp Youth Open earlier in the year, and was good enough on the day to end Kay’s dreams when beating him 5-3.
This was not one of Keelan’s better performances and he admitted afterwards: “the doubles let me down and you have to hit them against these players”.
Although extremely disappointed not to have advanced into the semi-finals the Plymouth teenager should still be very proud of his achievements.