That`s all folks! The 2019 Ladbrokes UK Open is over for another year and we have a new champion in Nathan Aspinall.
The day starts with a nice lie in for most darts fans with the afternoon session not starting till 1:00 pm. So after a fry up and a few orange juices, fans braves the wind and rain and headed to the big tent. Jacqui Oatley even had a date on the beach!!
— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) March 3, 2019
The afternoon session saw Rob Cross opened the session with a 95.8 average against Josh Payne, in a less than convincing 10-7 win. Michael Smith managed a 101 average, despite being in pain, against Steve Beaton. Although Steve has been an ever present in the PDC the gulf in class really showed through. The Mirror finally cracked for Plymouth darter Simon Stevenson, has Gerwyn Price powered his way to a 10-5 victory with a worthy average of 100.2. The Semi Final line up was complete Nathan Aspinalls 10-6 win over Ross Smith.
On to the evening session where it really was anyones to win, was Rob Cross able to drag himself over the line? Could Michael Smith get through the pain barrier after another trip to the hospital for “packing”? Would Nathan Aspinall win his first ranking title? Or Could Gerwyn Price follow his Grand Slam success up with a first title of the year?
The Semi Finals really showed the fatigue the players were suffering from a long weekend, with averages for all four payers down in the mid 90s. Rob Cross coming through against Michael Smith, who was visibly in some pain and discomfort, 11-7. Nathan Aspinall reached his first ranking final with a 10-6 victory over Gerwyn Price.
The final saw Nathan Aspinall average 88.7 and Rob Cross 84.8, 2 of the lowest averages we have seen in a PDC final for many a year. A clearly fatigued Rob Cross who said afterwards “he had no more to give” was throwing wayward darts throughout the match. Cross went 2 up and it looked like a first UK Open victory would come his way, but Aspinall led 3-2 at the first break and soon powered on. Aspinall secured his first Ranking Title and the cheque for £100,000 in the best possible way – THE BIG FISH!
ASPINALL IS THE 2019 @LADBROKES UK OPEN CHAMPION!!!!
A 170 checkout to win the title… ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! pic.twitter.com/DHDo224BKq
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) March 3, 2019
At the end of the night I think grandad Aspinall may be more famous than Nathan, if only for being a cheap skate when buying Butlins tickets!!
Aspinall has started the year in excellent form, following his Semi Final in the World Championship at Christmas, with this £100k win moving him up to the edge of the Top 16 for the first time in his career.
Photo credit to Lawrence Lustig, PDC.