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Darts enthusiasts converge on Echuca

Lakeside World Championship competitor Harley Massingham-Kemp won the Echuca-Moama Darts Association’s open tournament.

LUKE MCMANUS June 4, 2014 3:02am

Harley Massingham-Kemp.


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Echuca’s Darren Manners was just one dart shy of claiming a mammoth victory at the Echuca-Moama Darts Association’s open tournament on the weekend.

After cruising through the preliminary rounds of the men’s singles, Manners reached Sunday’s final against Harley Kemp, a 19-year-old Australian representative who this year competed in the British Darts Organisation World Championship.

In front of onlookers inside the betting ring at Echuca Harness Racing Club, the 11-game final came down to the last throw, with Manners needing 40 and Kemp needing 32.

The local hope threw too high chasing a double-20, handing Kemp the floor who made no mistake, hitting a double-16 to claim the title.

Echuca-Moama Darts Association president Mike Boslem said Manners was devastated but ‘‘quite chuffed with his achievement’’ in what was the association’s first open tournament in more than a decade.

‘‘Harley’s ranked something like 40 in the world, so Darren did a fantastic job,’’ Boslem said.

‘‘It was such a great final...the whole tournament was great across both days.’’

Corinne Hammond, from Newcastle, claimed the women’s singles title from Jo Hadley, just a day after taking out the women’s doubles with playing partner Melissa Sinnott.

The men’s doubles was claimed by Mal Cuming and Wayne Weening.

Boslem, who was already looking forward to next year’s tournament, was pleased with the calibre of participants despite the Victorian Premier League’s impromptu competition in Geelong which impacted numbers.

‘‘We had about 88 players compete across the weekend,’’ Boslem said.

‘‘Some were from all parts of Victoria and some from interstate, including South Australia and NSW, even one from the Northern Territory.

‘‘Some have already said they’re coming back next year...no doubt it’s going to get bigger and better.’’

With many seasoned players taking part, Boslem made particular note of the five junior players who competed in the singles competition.

‘‘The youngest was about nine and the eldest was 15,’’ Boslem said.

‘‘There was a 14-year-old who played and let me tell you, in about five or 10 years time he’ll be a formidable player.’’

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