Kai Fan Leung shines during late night display but Chris Dobey progresses
Chris Dobey booked his place in the next round of the PDC Home Tour on a night where Kai Fan Leung hogged the limelight by staying up until the small hours to compete in Group 14.
Dobey’s victories over Ciaran Teehan and Ron Meulenkamp meant a guarantee of top spot before the final match of the night against Leung, who was joining from Hong Kong where play did not get under way for him until 3am.
Leung would prop up the table but denied Dobey a clean sweep of round-robin wins, holding his nerve to prevail 5-4 after squandering a 4-2 lead.
While his family were understandably asleep for Leung’s big night in, he revealed he was being watched on by his pet poodle Bauble, who made a special appearance at the end of the match with Dobey.
“I’m happy to get one win in,” Leung said, holding his dog. “At least tomorrow morning if my wife asks me what I did yesterday, at least (I can tell her) I won one.”
Dobey warmed up for the event by throwing darts at a picture of friend and north-east rival Glen Durrant, and after overcoming some sound issues he proved a class above Teehan, winning the opening match of the night 5-2.
Teehan would rebound against Leung, the Irishman sailing to a 5-1 win after his Hong Kong opponent had been edge out 5-4 by Meulenkamp.
Dobey flew out of the traps against Meulenkamp and was on course for a nine darter with seven successive treble 20s.
He slipped up on treble 19 but a 107-checkout led to a commanding 5-1 win for Dobey, a semi-finalist last year in the World Grand Prix and Players Championship Finals.
Defeat for Meulenkamp meant he would be unable to finish top but the Dutchman then ended Teehan’s hopes, averaging 100.93 en route to a crushing 5-1 triumph.
Dobey, with top spot assured by virtue of a superior leg difference, battled back from 4-2 down in his dead rubber to force a decider against Leung, who made sure he had something to smile about with a final leg success.
Dobey paid tribute to Leung afterwards, saying: “He threw everything at me and played fantastic there. Fair play to him staying up till stupid o’clock in the morning to play a game of darts. He deserves all the credit.”