TWO Plymouth teenage darts players made the trip to the Bitterne Park Social Club, Southampton, yesterday to compete in the opening event of the England Youth Grand Prix and both should be very proud of their achievements.
Keelan Kay is hoping to main his high ranking to keep him in the eyes of the England selectors and he did those ambitions no harm yesterday with a sound performance that took him all the way to the final.
He started the day in Group D of the Round Robin stage and in his first match faced the defending 2018 Youth Grand Prix Champion Mitchell McCarthy, but the Bristol youth held no fears for Kay who won 3-1.
CHEQUE THIS OUT: England Youth Grand Prix finalist Keelan Kay receives his runners-up cheque from England Darts official, Lorrie King.
He then emerged a 3-0 winner against Buckinghamshire’s Alexandra Dorney, before repeating that scoreline against his International team-mate Shannon Reeves to top the group with only one leg dropped.
Another win in straight legs from Keelan against Holly Meadwell put him in to the last 16 where he defeated London’s Ellie Larsson-Brown, again by a 3-0 margin.
In the last eight he faced ex England captain Dan Perry, who he defeated 3-1, before coming face to face with Tavis Dudeney for a place in the final, and in edging him out 4-3, in one of the best encounters of the day, Keelan recorded a 26.60 average.
Sussex marksman Lewis Gurney was Keelan’s opponent in the final but in another well-matched contest the Lord of the Board, who hit a 24.24 average, was edged out 5-4.
Thirteen-year-old Frankie Stout was making his debut in an England Youth Grand Prix event and earned himself a lot of new admirers with a great run to the quarter-finals.
Drawn in Group A, he opened up with a 3-0 victory over Hampshire’s Ellie Smith before repeating that scoreline when ending the hopes of Ellie Larsson-Brown.
The Plymouth School of Creative Arts pupil then emerged a 3-1 winner against Hampshire’s Dylan Shanley.
In his group final, he faced Lewis Gurney, who went on win the event, but Frankie took him to 2-2, before being edged out 3-2.
But Stout (pictured right), was still in the mix and progressed to the last 32, as group runner-up and defeated Surrey’s Eddie Mills in three straight legs.
In the round of 16, young Frankie showed his potential once again with a 3-0 defeat of Hampshire’s Sam Smith, starting one of the legs with back to back 180s, before an appointment with Jason Collins in the quarter-finals.
Collins plays in the British Inter County Championships at senior level for the Isle of Wight but was taken to 2-2 by Stout, before the Plymouth marksman bowed out 3-2.
Keelan and Frankie will be in action again on Saturday February 16 when they both compete in Tours three and four of the Scott Farms International Junior Darts Tour which be held at The George Albert Hotel, Dorchester.