Champs Glory Awaits At Victory Inn

Eighty-three competitors have been whittled down to just sixteen who will face off on an epic night of darts at the Victory Inn this coming Sunday with the hope of being crowned the 2021 Champion of Champions.

The charity event, which is raising money for the Devon Air Ambulance Trust this year, has already raised well over £1,000 with organisers hoping to reach a £2,000 target with raffles, auctions and collections on the night.

The most recent champion left in the event, Neil White, who won the competition back in 2018, looked in good nick for a second title in the last round of fixtures.

White chalked up ten ton plusses, including a 180, in the Octagon man's 3-1 and 3-0 wins over St Johnston's Kevin Evans and Fawn's Alan Brady respectively.

The only other former winner left in the event, King Billy's John Mann, put out Alan Masters of the Bluebird and Sam Moyse, representing the London Inn, without dropping a single leg.

Mann put two 180s on the scoreboard along the way and secure his place in the hat for the Last 16 with legs of 11 and 13 darts.

Victory's Andy Bates, put away outshots of 117 and 121 in his two outings against Queens Dock's 2013 champion Dan Johnson and Hyde Park's James Duke.

Bates took the ties 3-1 and 3-0, which included a fine 15 dart leg in the match; all of which cemented his place amongst the favourites for the crown.

Victory stablemate Scott Cook notched two 180s in 3-1 and 3-0 successes to end the interests of King Billy's Anthony Pearn and Kevin Lofthouse.

Scott's brother, Andrew Cook, who is also a Victory player, took two major scalps with Fawn's Fred Goldsmith going down 3-1 before a win by the same scoreline over fellow Victory player Paul Gavican.

Cook took a leg in 13 darts and notched two 180s as well as a 140 checkout on the night, which helped seal passage through the tricky last 64/32 stage.

Mark Gilbery, who also represents the Victory Inn, had a more challenging night with a 3-2 win over teammate Quinton Taylor before dumping out King Billy's Jason Pinkerton by the same scoreline.

Gilbery showed his prowess by notching fifteen three figure scores, including a maximum, and helped himself to a 16 darter in the process of booking his place amongst the elite.

The final Victory player, Danny Allen, looks to have hit form at the right time to mount a challenge for the trophy.

This showed with 3-0 wins over Devon's Daniel Belsten and Dylan Webb of the King Billy, who did very well to make it this far in his first outing in the event.

Torpoint Cons' Andrew Walters sneaked through with two 3-2 wins over Raffles' Ewan Johnson and Cherry Tree's Marc Webber to give himself a shot at the title.

Octagon's Lee Hellings edged Cornwall A team player Kevin Dunstan 3-2 before coming through against Stephan Jones of the King Billy 3-1.

Danny Bull, who will be looking to go a couple of stages further than recent semi final appearances, came through after receiving a bye in the last 64 stage before winning a close battle with Fawn's Kyle Burden 3-2.

Kings Arms only representative left in the draw, Paul Palmer, produced a 104 checkout and a maximum in his 3-2 win over Fawn's Steve Brocklesby and Indian's Stephen Hopley by a 3-0 scoreline.

The oldest player left in the competition, Fawn's Mike Nancholas, ended the hopes of Hyde Park's Lee Hunter 3-0 before beating his Hyde Park colleague Ross Paxton-Denny 3-0.

Nancholas reached the semi finals in the last event in 2019 so will be eager to advance further this time around.

At the other end of the age scale, youngsters Kieran Burns, Jaden Whitting and Frankie Stout all put their names amongst the very best around with impressive performances.

St Johnston's Burns defeated Indian's Kev Bridgman and King Billy's Bayleigh Webb with two 3-0 victories.

Stout, who represents Devon Youth and Firkin Scholar locally, received a bye before winning by a 3-2 score against his much more experienced campaigner Steve Ebsworth, in which the former put a maximum on the board.

The Fawn and Cornwall Youth star, Whitting, also received a bye before ending the hopes of Bluebird's Wayne Oddie 3-0 in the last 32.

All three youngsters will be looking to add their name to the famous trophy as the youngest ever player to win the event.

One draw will be done promptly at seven o'clock on the night before the best of five legs matches start with the Last 16 phase played over two matchboards.

The remaining eight will then face off on stage over the same format until the final two playoff for the trophy over the best of seven.

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