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  • Jamie Chick

Damon Turns on The Heat at The Right Time

Australian Damon Heta claimed the Players Championship 14 title after defeating Luke Woodhouse 8-2 in the final, finishing off his preparations for the defence of his countries World Cup title in style.


Heta claimed his first title of the year comfortably against the Englishman, who was appearing in his first ever ProTour final. After storming into a 3-0 lead, The Heat only dropped 2 legs on his way to victory in Hildesheim. Woodhouse can hold his head high, despite being beaten in the final by the number three seed. He took major scalps on his route to the final, including wins against Jose De Sousa, Danny Noppert and

Mensur Suljovic, before missing out on the chance to gain a maiden PDC title. With his success today, Luke has pulled himself back into the fight for a Matchplay spot but will need a good run at the next EuroTour event to have a chance at gaining a coveted spot in Blackpool.


Heta was on fire throughout a sweltering day in Germany, even though he was given a slight scare in his opening match, having to come through in a last leg decider in a high-quality affair against Dutchman Owen Roelofs – both players averaging over a ton. A comfortable win against Vladimir Andersen was followed by a superb 106.09 average in a whitewash against Martijn Kleermaker. He went on with an impressive win against youngster Bradley Brooks, who had hit a nine-darter earlier in the day, before sweeping aside Mickey Mansell and Christian Kist to secure a place in the final.


Brooks wasn’t the only player to achieve perfection on Tuesday, as Josh Rock pinned a nine-dart leg in his first-round success over Jurjen Van Der Velde. Elsewhere, there was more disappointment for Peter Wright, who exited at the first hurdle averaging just 75 in a 6-3 defeat to Jarred Cole. The Scotsman was also followed out by fellow Premier League star Dimitri Van Den Bergh, who lost out in a last leg decider to Welshman Nick Kenney. PC13 winner Michael Smith was shown the exit door in round two, alongside his World Cup partner Rob Cross, losing 6-4 and 6-1 respectively.


Reigning European champion Ross Smith was the pick of the bunch in the last 32, as he edged out yesterdays runner-up Gary Anderson in a last leg decider, averaging 104.70 along the way. Portuguese number one De Sousa followed suit, beating a much improved Ricky Evans in the 11th and final leg – also averaging over a ton.


Finalist Woodhouse produced the performance of the round in the last 16, with a 101.24 average in his 6-3 success over De Sousa. Suljovic was the man to beat in the quarterfinals, averaging a touch under 104 in a 6-4 victory against UK Open champion Andrew Gilding, whilst another surprise package in Cristian Kist also claimed a spot in the semi-finals.


The race for Matchplay spots will come down to the last European tour event before the cut off date, with a few players still in with a realistic chance of taking the last remaining spot through the ProTour Order of Merit, which is currently held by Brendan Dolan, who is hanging on by just £2,000.


The PDC roadshow will now roll into Frankfurt for the eagerly anticipated, revamped, World Cup of Darts. With defending champion Heta finding form at the right time, along with other countries stars having mixed amounts of success in their preparations, it is bound to be a very interesting weekend – but who will have what it takes to become the World Cup champions?


Players Championship 14 – Hildesheim, Germany Results:


Quarter Finals:

Luke Woodhouse 6-4 Danny Noppert

Mensur Suljovic (103.93) 6-4 Andrew Gilding

Christian Kist 6-2 Mario Vandenbogaerde

Damon Heta (100.20) 6-0 Mickey Mansell


Semi Finals:

Luke Woodhouse 7-2 Mensur Suljovic

Damon Heta 7-4 Christian Kist


Final:

Damon Heta 8-2 Luke Woodhouse

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