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Darts News: Priestley takes Aussie crown

 Dennis-Priestley Sky Ozzie Winner

Two-time world champion Dennis Priestley claimed the Australian Open Players Championship crown after a 6-3 win over Mark Hylton.

The 60-year-old veteran took the 5,000 title at the Revesby Workers Club in Sydney on Sunday, securing a place in October's World Grand Prix in the process.

Priestley opened his challenge in Sydney with a whitewash of David Clegg and a 6-3 victory over Heath Daley, before scraping past Steve Hine in a deciding leg in the third round.

He then defeated top Australian Simon Whitlock 6-3 in the quarter-finals and edged out defending champion Paul Nicholson in another 11-leg tussle at the semi-final stage.

Priestley then ended the hopes of Rugeley-based left-hander Hylton in the final to edge back towards the world's top 16.


Hylton, who was competing in his first PDC ProTour decider, opened with wins over Australian pair Pat Orreal and Peter Asmussen before battling past Robert Thornton and Mark Walsh and overcoming Sean Reed 6-5 in the last four.

Although he was defeated in the final, Hylton's run will almost certainly win him a World Darts Championship debut as a Players Championship Order of Merit qualifier, as well as boosting his hopes of winning a World Grand Prix spot.

Nicholson had defeated current DPA Order of Merit leader Rob Modra in the quarter-finals but his bid to retain the title came unstuck at the semi-final stage.

Former world champion Steve Beaton and Welshman Mark Webster were first-round casualties, while Tony Eccles and Richie Burnett went out in the last 32.

The 22,000 Players Championship was the culmination of a series of events in Australia, with Whitlock winning last Sunday's Oceanic Masters and Thornton and Eccles taking Australian Grand Prix victories.


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25th August 2010, 11:14
Page updated 25th Aug 2010, 11:14
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