Mixed fortunes for Keelan in opening JDC Tour events

KEELAN Kay suffered mixed fortunes when he competed in the first two competitions of the Scott Farms International Junior Darts Tour 2019 yesterday at Rileys, Wolverhampton.

He began well with a 3-0 defeat of former tour winner Alfie Jacques, aided by a leg in 18 which he finished with a kill of 106.

Harry Gregory was Keelan’s next opponent and despite leading on two occasions, the Plymouth thrower could not capitalise and missed doubles cost him dear as he disappointingly bowed out.

But good players can turn bad form around and that is exactly what he did in the afternoon session when competing in JDC Tour Two.

Keelan began with a confident 3-0 defeat of Jaydon Harper and then had to dispose of Nathan Care for a place in the last 16.

Care had got to the final of Tour One in the morning, only to lose to the new BDO World Youth champion Leighton Bennett, but that form counted for nothing as Keelan won 3-0 in 19, 18 and 19 for a single dart average of 26.83.

Kyle Manton was another former Tour winner who stood in the way of Keelan’s progress and took the opening leg, the first one that Kay had lost in the afternoon.

The Lord of the Board levelled in 18 before edging 2-1 in front.

He had darts at double tops to win 3-1 but did not take his chance and let Manton in to level at 2-2 before he redeemed himself by winning the decisive fifth leg in 18.

Ben Carr, Keelan’s Glamorgan team mate in the Southern Counties Youth League was his next opponent and Carr laid down the gauntlet on his first visit to the oche when he hit a maximum.

Kay hit a 180 of his own before going on to take the opening leg in 16 and then doubled his advantage when taking the second in 18, aided by a checkout of 118, before Carr came back to level at 2-2 with two legs in 21.

But in a nip and tuck deciding leg, Keelan won it in 20 to progress to the semi-finals.

He began the best of seven encounter with another maximum to take the opening leg in 17, only for James Beeton to win the next two on the bounce.

Keelan levelled in 20 but two more in succession from Beeton, including a 14-darter last leg saw him through 4-2.

Beeton went on to lose the final 5-0, against Harry Gregory (97.60). The same player that Keelan narrowly lost to in the morning.

Keelan, who will celebrate his 17th birthday on Friday, was disappointed with his morning performance but valuable ranking points were gained overall, and doubles practice is now his criteria before he heads to The George Albert Hall Dorchester in February to compete in JDC Tours Three and Four.

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