Rice wins Yorkshire Masters

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BRIDLINGTON’S Steve Rice put in a first class performance to win the first York Darts Promotions event, the Yorkshire Masters Darts Open held at Huntington WMC in York.

The event consisted of eight qualifying stages across Yorkshire whoch resulted in 64 players reaching The Grand Finals with an overall first prize of £1,000.

Rice beat York’s Mark Hartley in the first semi final which saw both players averaging over 90 a throw.

With the first five legs going with the darts Hartley went 3-2 up, as Rice recorded a 161 finish in a 12-dart leg.

Then a run of 15 and 17-dart legs, a 106 finish for 18, a 101 finish for 15 and a 15-dart leg saw Rice take the match, hitting 27 tons and one 180 in his 7-3 victory.

The second semi-final pitched Nottingham’s Matt Padgett against York’s Lutz Leutzsch where they contested a 13-leg thriller. Leutzsch went 2-0 up, only to see Padgett instantly repy.

The York man won four of the next six legs to open up a 6-4 lead but Padgett levelled at 6-6.

With both players showing nerves and throwing the odd lose dart, Leutzsch took the decider in 19 to book his Grand Final showdown with Rice.

The best of 15-dart leg final saw Rice open up a 3-2 lead over Leutzsch. In leg six Leutzsch left 140 after nine darts with Rice way back on 278 and then proceeded to burst the 140 score which seemed to distract both players leaving Rice to win the leg in 27 darts.

Leutzsch won two further legs, but clearly put off by his error, left the door open for Rice to win in 21, 16, 19 and 15-dart legs to take a well deserved victory winning the final 8-4.

The standard throughout the day was very high and prior to the quarter ffnals there was a total of 75 legs of 21 darts or less recorded and 22 180s with Jamie Ellam hitting three and doubles from Daz Twist, John Bowler, Jake Patchett and John Quantock.

In addition, there were nine finishes of over 100 with Sam Fordham 154, Wayne Woodhouse 146, Reece Robinson 144 and Daniel Lidgett 140 being the highest.

The furthest youth prize went to 17-year-old Jake Patchett and the prize for the furthest lady was won by York’s Denise Fowler.

The event will be run again starting at the back end of 2013 culminating in the Grand Finals in January 2014.