Stevenson denied starting spot in two Euro tourneys

PLYMOUTH’s only PDC Pro Tour Card holder, Simon Stevenson, was cruelly denied a place in the German Darts Grand Prix and the German Darts Open when he lost in the final match of both qualifiers yesterday afternoon at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan.

His opening tie was against Michael Barnard and the 42-year-old from Romford was never in it as Stevenson swooped to a 6-1 victory in 16, 16, 14, 20, 15 and 16.

Simon kept the momentum going in his next encounter when, against Devon Petersen, he went 5-0 up in 16, 16, 14, 20 and 15, aided by two maximums in the second leg.

The African Warrior halted his demise by taking the sixth in 18, then hit two 180s to clinch the next in 15.

He then took the next in 19, but Stevenson held his nerve to checkout in 16 for a 6-3 victory which put him into the board final against Josh Payne, a player who has risen to 48 in the PDC Order of Merit.

The 25-year-old opened up with a win in 15 and was then on a nine-darter following back to back 180s but had to be content with a win in 13.

Stevenson pulled one back in 16 only for the Gravesend thrower to open up a 4-1 advantage when taking the next two both in 15.

Stevenson then hit two 15-darters of his own to move to within just one leg at 3-4 but Payne had the last word and qualified for the German Darts Grand Prix when taking the next two in 14 and 18 respectively.

Stevenson never had time to dwell on what might have been as he took to the oche to contest European Tour UK Qualifier 4 and was drawn against the former BDO high-flyer Scott Baker.

The Mod showed his pedigree as early as the opening leg when finishing a 15-darter with a kill of 157 before Stevenson levelled in 14.

Two maximums from The Mirror Man enabled him to edge 2-1 in front with a win in 11 only for Baker to level with an 18-darter which he claimed with a checkout of 105.

The next two were shared to tie the match at 3-3 before Stevenson took the next in 18, followed by his second 11-darter of the match when he scored 100, 121, 180, 100 in two, before progressing with a win in 18.

Despite going 2-1 down against Mark Barilli, Simon moved 4-2 ahead with legs in 14, 15 and 15.

He should have gone 5-3 in front but missed doubles cost him as the Scottish marksman drew level at 4-4.

But Stevenson kept his resolve and took the next in 12, followed by a win in 13 to progress to the board final for the second time.

Steve Lennon was the man who stood between Stevenson and a place in the starting line-up of the German Darts Open and despite Simon winning a leg in 14, Lennon went 3-1 up in 17, 15 and 12.

The Plymouth marksman pulled one back in 13 and then levelled in 18, but sadly that was the last leg he was to win as the Irishman won three on the bounce in 15, 15 and 16.

Despite his overall disappointment of missing out on two European events, this was another accomplished performance from the Mirror Man as the stats show.

Over the two events he hit 10 maximums and finished with an overall average of 92.35.

His best performance came in the win over Scott Baker with a 94.7 average and a checkout percentage of 60%.

Simon will be hoping to replicate that form when he contests Players Championship 7 later today followed by Players Championship 8 tomorrow.

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