Humphries averages 104 denying McDine to win North East Darts Lockdown Knockout II
Luke Humphries recorded a stunning 104 average as he defeated Kevin McDine to claim the North East Darts Lockdown Knockout II title on Thursday evening.
The Lockdown Knockout series allows players to participate from their homes during the coronavirus pandemic, keeping darters of any level competing despite competitions not being allowed to take place in person.
Following Chris Dobey’s success in the inaugural knockout, Humphries came through a 128-man field to claim the spoils.
The reigning world youth champion whitewashed recent Gwynedd Open finalist Ben Smith in the first round, before overcoming four-time PDC Development Tour event winner Adam Hunt and fellow tour card holder Richard North.
Wins over Tommy Lishman and Matt Packham followed for ‘Cool Hand Luke’ as he sealed his place in the semi-finals – where he edged past Bedlington’s Callan Rydz.
Meanwhile, former Grand Slam of Darts semi-finalist McDine defeated Thomas Tams, Dmitry Zhukov, tour card holder Gary Blades with a 96.21 average and John Kippen to reach the last eight.
He then overcame Freddy Still and Wales’ Rhys Davies to set up a mouth-watering final with Humphries, hitting a magnificent 164 outshot along the way.
Humphries pinned four maximums and registered a world class 104.16 average in final, with McDine holding his worth in a 6-4 defeat at the hands of the back-to-back World Championship quarter-finalist.
Elsewhere, the inaugural Lockdown Knockout champion, Dobey, endured a disappointing quarter-final exit against his fellow Bedlington-based thrower, Rydz.
Dobey produced a scintillating standard up until the final, averaging a faultless 113.86 in his opener against Joe Usher, before pinning a 109.39 in a 5-1 thrashing of Graham Usher in the fourth round.
‘Hollywood’, who was set to grace the Premier League stage in Newcastle last month, missed double 12 for a nine-darter in his emphatic victory over the reigning Lincolnshire Open champion, Usher.
Richard North averaged over the 105 mark in his second round win over Jamie Lewis, before departing at the hands of Humphries, while James Richardson, Arron Monk and World Masters quarter-finalist Carl Hamilton endured first round exits.
Nick Kenny and Carl Wilkinson joined North in falling at the second hurdle, while Andy Boulton suffered a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Welshman Davies.
Croatia’s Romeo Grbavac embarked on an inspired run to the fourth round, becoming the furthest overseas player since the introduction of the innovative Lockdown Knockout series.
Lockdown Knockout II
Thursday, April 9
Kevin McDine 5-1 John Kippen
Freddy Still 5-4 George Jones
Rhys Davies 5-2 Curtis Turner
Andy Boulton 5-1 Romeo Grbavac
Chris Dobey 5-1 Graham Usher
Callan Rydz 5-1 Scott Williams
Matt Packham 5-1 Dave Calvert
Luke Humphries 5-2 Tommy Lishman
Kevin McDine 6-5 Freddy Still
Rhys Davies 6-3 Andy Boulton
Callan Rydz 6-5 Chris Dobey
Luke Humphries 6-2 Matt Packham
Kevin McDine 6-5 Rhys Davies
Luke Humphries 6-4 Callan Rydz
Luke Humphries 6-4 Kevin McDine
(Photography: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)