During the third week of November, 358 participants took part in the 29th edition of the Malta Open which has seen some top quality darts played over the three-day event and to top it all up we witnessed a Maltese pair being crowned champions in the doubles competition which was a feat missing in the last couple of editions.
In the men`s singles competition the final was contested between two British players –Dave Prins and Paul Williams with the latter crowned champion in a 6-2 final victory. During this match Williams averaged (94.80) which is elite quality level. On the route to the title, Williams eliminated Maltese player Gordon Stanmore 4-3 in a deciding leg in the round of 128 and WDF ranked number 1 player – Darius Labanauskas of Lithuania 4-2 at the quarter final stage. From the same competition a mention has to certainly go to two local players which performed exceptionally well, Andy Keen which was eliminated at the quarter final stage by Dutch player Carlo Van Cleff 4-3 and Albert Scerri who went a step further and reached the semi-final stage where he was eliminated by Dave Prins with a 5-2 score line. In the two previous round Scerri eliminated two seeded players – Sven Wens of Belgium which was the 3rd seed and Barry Zander of the Netherlands the number 11 seed.
In the ladies singles competition the pre-tournament predictions suggested that the 2015 winner, Ann-Kathrin Wigmann of Germany would be a main contender once again but she fell at the last 16 stage against British player, Sas Bode. The title was claimed by Christine Readhead as she comfortably saw the challenge of Kaz Kirkby in a 4-0 victory. Also, for the first time in a long while we saw a Maltese player reaching finals night as Tracy Chambers made the last 16 stage but was eliminated by finalist Kirkby by a 3-1 score line. The ladies’ pairs event saw British pair of Lorraine Woodrow and Sarah Chick claiming the honour as they eased to a 4-1 finals victory against Kaz Kirkby and Kaytee Bispham.
Finally, but not least the Men`s Pairs event which for the local followers was the cherry on the cake with brothers Norbert and David Attard crowned champions. Throughout the tournament they played exceptionally well and did not disappoint in the final as they defeated Dave Prins and Wayne Halliwell of Cyprus 4-1 with Norbert Attard checking out 94 and 154 in the process. After the final we took the comments of David Attard on what this achievement means to them: “It’s an exceptional achievement for us as players but also a proud moment for all the Maltese people. When you play against World renowned players which you have watched over and over on TV events it’s an indescribable feeling and considering that we are a small island and to some extent limited in certain aspects makes it even more special but the best feeling of all is winning this award with my brother!”
On behalf of the Malta darts association, would like to thank everyone who has contributed to another successful event from committee members to players to fans and we promise that next year`s event will be even more special. To conclude would also like to thank everyone who donated money to the Community chest fund foundation with this event supporting the great cause through the “Solidarity through sports” program.
Labanauskas, Darius-LIT 4-1 Littlecott, Colin-ENG; Williams, Paul-ENG 4-0 Upton, Greg-ENG; Attard, Norbert-MLT 2-4 Keen, Andy-MLT; Davis, Joe-ENG 0-4 Van Cleff, Carlo-NL; Wens, Sven-BEL 1-4 Scerri, Albert-MLT; Zander, Barry-NL 4-2 Jackson, Charlie-ENG; Head, Sam-ENG 3-4 Prins, Dave-ENG; Stoner, Craig-ENG 0-4 Hogan, Paul-ENG
Labanauskas, Darius-LIT 2-4 Williams, Paul-ENG; Keen, Andy-MLT 3-4 Van Cleff, Carlo-NL; Scerri, Albert-MLT 4-2 Zander, Barry-NL; Prins, Dave-ENG 4-2 Hogan, Paul-ENG
Williams, Paul-ENG 5-4 Van Cleff, Carlo-NL; Scerri, Albert-MLT 2-5 Prins, Dave-ENG
Williams, Paul-ENG 6-2 Prins, Dave-ENG
Wigmann, Ann-Katrin-GER 2-3 Bode, Sas-ENG; Johnson, Gerry-ENG 1-3 Smith, Sue-ENG; McLoughlin, Cheryl-ENG 3-2 Paine, Mary-ENG; Kirkby, Kaz-ENG 3-1 Chambers, Tracy-MLT; Readhead, Christine-ENG 3-1 Collins, Paula-ENG; Perkins Robbins, Carol-ENG 1-3 Chick, Sarah-ENG; Kallen, Nathalie-SUI 1-3 Thame, Stacey-ENG; Hogan, Angela-ENG 1-3 Byo, Kirsten-DEN
Bode, Sas-ENG 0-3 Smith, Sue-ENG; McLoughlin, Cheryl-ENG 1-3 Kirkby, Kaz-ENG; Readhead, Christine-ENG 3-2 Chick, Sarah-ENG; Thame, Stacey-ENG 2-3 Byo, Kirsten-DEN
Smith, Sue-ENG 0-3 Kirkby, Kaz-ENG; Readhead, Christine 3-1 Byo, Kirsten-DEN
Kirkby, Kaz-ENG 0-4 Readhead, Christine-ENG
N.Attard/D.Attard 3-0 B.Milkins/Z.Quinn; D.Prins/W.Halliwell 3-0 S.Head/C.Jackson
N.Attard/D.Attard 4-1 D.Prins/W.Halliwell
S.Goebel/A.Wigmann 0-3 L.Woodrow/S.Chick; K.Bispham/K.Kirkby 3-1 B.Gabriel/S.Moldenhauer
L.Woodrow/S.Chick 4-1 K.Bispham/K.Kirkby