THE long summer lay-off took its toll on Plymouth marksman Simon Stevenson as he failed to qualify for either the Dutch Darts Championship or the International Darts Open at the Barnsley Metrodome tonight.
In the opening qualifier for a place in the Dutch Darts Championship, which will be held this coming weekend in Maastricht, Stevenson lost 6-4 to Eddie Dootson, despite holding a 3-1 advantage.
The Liverpudlian took the first leg in 21 only for The Mirrorman to level in 18, when checking out from 129, before moving 3-1 ahead when taking the next two in 16 and 15.
Dootson won the next in 15 when checking out at the first time of asking from 120 and followed it up with a 13-darter, aided by a maximum, to level at 3-3.
The man from St Helens then edged in front again when winning in 16 before moving just one leg away from victory at 5-3, when he finished a 12-darter with a kill of 145.
Stevenson (pictured left) halted the slide when winning the ninth leg but despite having six darts to level at 5-5, it was Dootson who took his chance to win 6-4 and progress to the next round.
He received a bye in the round of 144 for a place in the Interrnational Darts Open which will take place from September 14-16 in Riesa, Germany and played a lot better to defeat the 52-year-old Yorkshireman, Darren Johnson.
The man from Mexborough, who had never played Stevenson before on the PDC circuit, opened up a 2-0 lead in 18 and 17 and although The Mirrorman took the third in 16, Johnson’s two-leg advantage was restored when winning the fourth leg in 15.
Back to back 13-darters brought Stevenson level at 3-3 and then he moved 5-3 in front with further wins in 15 and 17.
The ninth leg was taken by Johnson before the Plymouth marksman clinched the match with a win in 18.
He now faced James Wilson in the board final but sadly could not repeat his winning performance and crashed to a 6-1 defeat.
But Stevenson will soon have to put that disappointment behind him as his next PDC appearance comes as early as tomorrow morning when he competes in Players Championship 17.