Stevenson denied Euro spot with defeat in final leg

SIMON Stevenson was cruelly denied a qualification place in the Austrian Darts Championship, due to be held at the Multiversum, Schwechat, Vienna, from August 30 to September 1, when he was defeated in the deciding leg of the final qualifying round at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan.

The Mirror Man was drawn against Welshman Jamie Lewis in the opening round and despite winning the opening leg in 17, the 27-year-old from Cardigan, went 3-1 up in 13, 13 and 16.

But Stevenson rallied well and took the next four, including a 13-darter, to progress with a 6-3 victory.

Berkshire’s Gary Eastwood was Simon’s next opponent, but he was swept aside 6-1 with Stevenson winning in 21, 15, 17, 19, 14 and 16.

Stevenson had now arrived at the final qualifying round and standing in his way of a trip to Austria was rising PDC star Luke Humpries who, at 22 years of age won five PDC Development Tour titles and only last year, reached the last eight of the PDC World Championship.

But it was the Plymouth thrower who got in first and took the opening leg in 19.

Humphries levelled in 18, only for the Mirror Man to restore his advantage when taking the third leg in 12.

They were level at 2-2 when the 24-year-old won the next and they were still all square at 3-3 before Humphries took two on the bounce to lead for the first time at 5-3.

Stevenson then put in two 15-darters to bring the two marksmen level and in the deciding leg Simon scored 165 to leave 40, only for Humphries to check out in three for a win in 15 and cruelly deny The Mirror Man a place in the Austrian Tourney.

Simon was defeated 6-1 by Ryan Meikle in the opening qualifying round of the 2019 Czech Darts Open but still finished the day with a single dart average of 29.04.

Today and tomorrow, 128 Tour Card holders will contest Players Championship 17 and 18 and Simon will again be in the mix hoping to improve his standing in the PDC Order of Merit.

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