Machin downs Fagg to win second Darts Australia ISO Challenge
Former BDO World Trophy winner Peter Machin survived four match darts to defeat Jeremy Fagg in the final of the second Darts Australia ISO Challenge.
Fagg had defeated Machin in the round-robin stage and breaks of throw in the first and third legs of the final helped him open out an early 3-1 lead, with the Queensland throwing seven perfect darts to start the fourth leg. ‘Machie’ fired back though, taking out successive legs in 18, 17 and 16 darts respectively to make it 4-3.
Fagg held throw in a nervy eighth leg to set up a decider and a superb 140 in his fourth visit of the ninth left him on 68 with Machin back on 172. Fagg missed a dart at double 16 to take the title before Machin missed a shot at tops to win it with a 114 out. His miss gave Fagg another three shots at 16s but he was to miss all three, with Machin then making no mistake at the second time of asking as he wrapped up the title.
It was a sweet return to the competition for Machin, who defeated Justin Thompson in the first semi-final of the evening to book his place in the final. Thompson had actually defeated Machin to win the inaugural ISO Challenge and the Victoria ace raced out into an early 2-0 lead before ‘Machie’ broke back with a 130 out and from there he kicked on, moving 4-2 ahead. Thompson reduced the deficit to 4-3 but Machin landed double 16 to take out 106 for a 5-3 win.
For Fagg, it was a complete change of fortunes from the first competition, where he finished bottom of the group. The Queenslander is also currently dealing with a house move but he was able to produce his best on the virtual oche, beginning the competition with three consecutive wins against Machin, Stuart Coburn (5-3) and Mal Cuming (5-2).
Victoria’s Cuming, who topped the group in the first tournament, faced Fagg again in the semi-finals and on this occasion it was the Queensland native who benefitted from missed match darts. Unlike the group game, where Fagg recorded a tournament-best 96.99 average, this was a tense affair, with Cuming leading 3-1 and 4-2 only to be forced into a last-leg decider after missing two darts to win the match at 4-3. Fagg, who currently sits third in the Darts Australia men’s singles rankings, then took out tops first time for a 16-darter to win 5-4.
The third Darts Australia ISO Challenge begins on Wednesday and will feature new participants, with Mitchell Clegg and Tori Kewish entering the fray.
Photo: British Darts Organisation