KEELAN Kay won a JDC Tour event for the second time in his fledgling darts career, when he claimed the winner’s cheque and maximum order of merit points, winning Modus Tour Seven at Rileys, Solihull, yesterday.
He opened up with a 3-0 defeat of Thomas Bentley, taking legs in 17, 18 and 24 for a 76.4 three-dart average but raised his game in the next when facing Nathan Care for a place in the last eight.
The Lord of the Board opened up with a win 17 only for the Blackburn thrower to level when finishing an 18-darter with a kill of 104.
Keelan edged in front again with another win in 17 but Care took it to a deciding fifth leg when winning the fourth in 19.
Kay did not disappoint though and checked out in 16 darts to finish with an 88.50 average.
His form dipped in the last eight, but still managed to dispose of Derbyshire’s Henry Coates 3-0, another rising star who won on his county debut at just 10 years old.
Sixteen-year-old Lennon Craddock was Keelan’s opponent in the semi-finals and the Oxford thrower took him the full distance but at 3-3, and aided by his first maximum of the day, Keelan needed just 17 darts to progress into the final.
Waiting for the Plymouth marksman in the final was the current England Open Youth champion Connor Arberry, who had won his quarter-final match with an average of 100.20, but that form counted for nothing against Keelan Kay, who produced his best performance of the day.
The final was played over the best of nine legs and Kay made the most of the early exchanges to move 2-0 ahead.
The Cambridgeshire marksman took the next in 18 and although Keelan, aided by his second maximum of the day had darts to move 3-1 ahead, it was Arberry who clinched it in another 18-darter to level at 2-2.
Keelan then took the fifth in 21, before he won the next in 15, aided by a checkout of 116, to move to within one leg of victory.
And that came in his very next game when he hit his fourth maximum score in as many legs to win in 15 and emerge a 5-2 winner with an 83.9 average.
Keelan has now automatically qualified for the JDC World Championship in Bristol in December and has pushed his ranking into the top four where he needs to finish in order to represent England in the inaugural Youth World Cup in December.
Everything will be decided in just two weeks’ time, when the final Modus UK Tour event takes place in Wolverhampton.