Keelan qualifies for PDC World Youth Championship

THE last four events in the PDC Development Tour calendar were concluded at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan, over the weekend and despite this being his first year on the Tour, Keelan Kay finished the Order of Merit in a very respectable joint 39th place which has enabled him to compete today for the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship crown.

He had a sensational start to Tour 17 when he defeated Billy Warriner 4-1 in 16, 13, 17 and 14 before coming from 2-0 and 3-1 down to edge out Oxfordshire’s Robert Adnams 4-3, winning the last three legs in 14, 19 and 21.

In the board final he faced Scotland’s Andrew Davidson, a finalist in Development Tours 4 and 7 earlier in the year and after the first two legs were shared, Kay edged in front for the second time when a checkout of 102 enabled him to take the leg in 15.

The next two were also shared to bring the two marksmen into a deciding seventh leg and it should have gone to Kay. After his second maximum of the match he left 68 after 12 darts but despite two further visits, it was the Scotsman who prevailed when he won in 18.

The Lord of the Board put that disappointment behind him at the start of Tour 18 and dispatched New Zealand’s Erik Pu 4-0 in 18, 18, 16 and 15, which began with an outshot of 107 before having to meet James Beeton.

Keelan won the first two legs in 17 and 16 only for Beeton to reel off the next three in 20, 19 and 18 and despite winning the sixth in 17, it was Beeton who moved into the last 64 when winning the decisive seventh leg in 14.

A 4-1 win over Thomas King in the opening round of Tour 19 augured well and he replicated that result against David Leonard.

Seventeen-year-old Adam Gawlas from the Czech Republic stood between Kay and a place in the last 32 and the two marksmen shared the first four legs in a well contested tie.

Keelan edged in front 3-2 with a win in 19 and after hitting his third 180 of the morning had six darts to win it before Gawlas took it in 20.

In the deciding leg, Keelan could not have wished for a better start when, he needed 94 after just nine darts, but not for the first time the doubles eluded him, and the rising Czech star took advantage to finish in 13 for a 4-3 win.

Tour 20 was competed for on Sunday afternoon and Keelan opened up with a 4-2 victory over Jitse Van der Wal in 17, 16, 16, 13 before losing to Ben Cheeseman.

Cheeseman has been playing the Development Tour since 2015 and his experience showed as he defeated Keelan 4-1 with a 98.4 average.

But this was an encouraging performance from Keelan none-the-less and over the four events he scored nine maximums and finished with a single dart average of average of 28.97.

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