PDC Home Tour: Coffee-fuelled Damon Heta tops Group 17 while dialling in from Australia

Australia’s Damon Heta found himself celebrating in the early hours of the morning in his Perth games room as he topped Group 17 on the PDC Home Tour at 5am local time.

Heta, who claimed his PDC tour card for the first time in January’s Qualifying School, prevailed to the second phase of the innovative Home Tour at the expense of favourite John Henderson, Poland’s Krzysztof Kciuk and Gary Blades.

The reigning Brisbane Darts Masters champion expressed earlier in the evening that he was staying awake thanks to four cups of coffee and a Berocca, but the Aussie performed superbly in the Home Tour’s first visit down under.

After winning his opening two matches, Heta needed only three legs in his culminating clash with Kciuk, and converted those despite his unbeaten streak being scuppered.

“On my day I feel like I’m unbeatable for sure,” Heta said. “I do see myself being up there with the very best and I’ll give it 100 per cent to get there.

“I know I’ve got a good life here [in Australia] but I’m pursuing my dream of becoming a top eight dart player in the world.

“I am stoked [to win the group]. I think I just woke up the whole household!”

Heta pipped Scotland’s Henderson to top spot on leg difference, with the latter commencing the evening’s action with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Kciuk.

Henderson opened up a 2-0 advantage against the Pole with an impressive 11-darter, but Kciuk battled back to level proceedings at three-a-piece.

The Scotsman then threatened the nine-darter before pinning his favoured double tops to move on the brink of victory, only for Kciuk to rock Henderson back on his heels and send the match to the distance.

‘The Highlander’ produced a nerveless deciding leg, finishing a breathtaking 15-darter with a clutch 65 checkout whilst denying his Polish opponent a shot at double.

Subsequently, eventual table-topper Heta entered the fray with by far and away the best performance of the night. The Aussie clocked a scintillating 96.35 average in a 5-0 whitewashing of Blades, despite squandering 12 darts on the outer ring.

Lincolnshire’s Blades remained for the third match of the evening and endured a second successive defeat in a below-par encounter with Poland’s Kciuk – who kept his slim hopes of progressing alive.

Heta then returned with his second victory in a top-of-the-table clash with Henderson. Checkouts of 160 and 121 for the match helped the Australian come through a closely contested clash.

The Perth roofer proceeded to clinch top spot in his following match as he executed the three legs he needed against Krakow-based Kciuk, despite falling to the former World Championship qualifier in a 5-3 defeat.

There was zilch on the line in the evening’s concluding battle other than the pride of both Henderson and Blades, with the Scotsman sealing a comfortable 5-1 win.

Heta becomes the first man from down under to progress to the second phase of the Home Tour following Simon Whitlock’s early departure at the hands of Alan Tabern.

The PDC Home Tour resumes on Monday evening with another four worthy contenders entering the field.

Former world champion Stephen Bunting headlines Monday’s Group 18 line-up, joining Kim Huybrechts, Nathan Derry and Austria’s Harald Leitinger.

PDC HOME TOUR


Group 17
Sunday May 3
John Henderson 5-4 Krzysztof Kciuk
Damon Heta 5-0 Gary Blades
Krzysztof Kciuk 5-3 Gary Blades
Damon Heta 5-3 John Henderson
Krzysztof Kciuk 5-3 Damon Heta
John Henderson 5-1 Gary Blades

 

Group 18
Monday May 4
Stephen Bunting v Harald Leitinger
Kim Huybrechts v Nathan Derry
Harald Leitinger v Nathan Derry
Stephen Bunting v Kim Huybrechts
Kim Huybrechts v Harald Leitinger
Nathan Derry v Stephen Bunting


(Photography: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

About The Author

Ben Hudd Ben is a dedicated sports writer and aspiring sports journalist, covering all aspects of darts for the ever-growing Darts Planet TV. He has a passion for sport, particularly darts, cricket and football.

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