England’s Daniel Day produced a wondrous comeback to snatch the Romanian Classic title on Sunday night against a worthy opponent in the Netherland’s Wouter Vaes.
Day had managed to see off John Scott in the semi final with a 29.87 average with a convincing 5-2 score line, whilst also getting the better of Lakeside semi finalist Michael Unterbuchner and Wayne Warren on his route to the final. Vaes had looked strong throughout with victories over Conan Whitehead and Jeff Sparidaans on his journey to the final stage before his 25.21 average in the semi saw him through over Jim Williams also by 5-2.
Vaes was off the mark first, settling any early nerves, going one up with a 56 check out on double top. Day fought back instantly in the second leg clocking in a 180 maximum and racing away to square the contest. Another 180 from Day kicked off the third leg but a struggle on the doubles, missing three at double 12 allowed Vaes to move in front, taking out 8. Vaes gained some momentum and looked to be getting into his rhythm; firing home 73 on tops and an outstanding 152, collecting two treble 20’s and double 16 to go 4-1 up in the race to 6. Vaes nearly brought the Romanian crowd to its feet when he narrowly missed the bull for a 170 finish, landing just the wrong side of the wire in the 25 bed. Day stepped in and duly took the leg to make it 4-2.
Vaes looked odds on favourite for the match after a missed chance on 70 from Day, when he made 60 on tops to go one away from the title. Day looking disconsolate suddenly brought his game together with a mighty effort, winning a scrappy leg on double 2, and pulling another back on double 8 to bring the final to life.
Day was building up pressure on Vaes and another 180 and a 49 checkout restored parity at 5-5 and after the obligatory fist pump from the players the sudden death leg was a perfect example of the match so far. After building a lead Vaes was first to a finish but incredibly bust on his throw when needing 20 for the match. Day stepped up to the oche and took the match and the accolades, seeing off 72, ending the match with a 30.82 average and took home the trophy.
Men’s Open Final
The Men’s Open Final didn’t live up to any thrilling expectations but Wales’ Martin Phillips won’t care about that as he destroyed England’s Gary Thompson 6-0 over in Bucharest to become the 2018 Romanian Open Champion.
Thompson had an excellent semi final seeing off recent Lakeside qualifier and fans favourite Gary Robson 5-3 with a stunning 11 dart leg to ensure his progress and a 27.49 average but the final was one step too far. Phillip’s, a regular face in the final stages of the tour was far too strong for Thompson and the rest of the field, including a neat disposal of Daniel Day who had a fine weekend winning the classic final himself in the semi final.
Phillips promptly got to work on Thompson and took the opening leg on the bull before rampaging ahead in the second leg, with a 180 and needing only 41 after 9 darts, he eventually made it 2-0, then 3-0 on double 3 in an unusually scrappy leg for Phillips. Thompson had chances in the next leg but missed a hatful of doubles and Phillips made it 4-0 on an unlikely double 2. Phillips took the next two in quick succession with a double top for the championship, whitewashing a deflated Gary Thompson, who despite his loss can leave Romania with a sense of achievement.
Women’s Classic Final
Deta Hedman took on Renata Slowikowska in the Romanian classic final at the end of a gruelling weekend of darts. Hedman took the title to add to her doubles success with a five to zero score line and with some memorable darts for the crowd to absorb. Hedman had defeated Vivien Czipo, Alina Kourti and Sandrine Valverde on her way to the final, whilst Slowikowska had managed to get the better of Jana Kanovska and Anca Zjilstra amongst othesr on her passage to the big stage.
Hedman the senior pro on the tour produced a professional display to destroy Slowikowska and add yet another title to her list. Hedman went one up on double four although both players had chances to take the opener before quickly making it 2-0. In the third leg Hedman showed her brilliance, just skimming the wire on double 16 after hitting two bulls-eyes for a 132 attempt. She didn’t have to wait long to take the leg and extend the lead; the next throw put her three nil up. Hedman made it 4-0 in an uncharacteristic fourth leg, finishing on tops for 56 despite Slowikowska having chances but it was all to no avail as the ‘Dark Destroyer’ lived up to her nickname, closing out the match in the next for the 5-0 win, the cheque and the trophy.
Women’s Open Final
The Romanian Women’s Open Final saw Poland’s Karolina Podgorska take on England’s Julie Thompson, with the Pole coming out on top in a well fought final to make it her second Romanian title in a row.
Thompson started the brighter, going one up but Podgorska’s response was immediate, landing double 12 for a smart 42 finish. Another neat finish on doubles 16 and 8 put Podgorska 3-1 to the good but a confident double 5 pulled a leg back for Thompson and kept the match finely balanced at 3-2.
Podgorska quickly opened up a two leg cushion in the next on double 9 leaving her one away from victory, only to see Thompson rattle in 20 with Podgorska way back on 118 to make it 4-3. Leg eight was to be the final leg of the match; despite a 140 from Thompson, it was not enough to stem Podgorska’s attack and she duly finished off 66 on tops to take crown back to Poland, posting a final match average of 23.47.