John Scott and Darryl Pilgrim both booked returns to Butlins Minehead to compete at the UK Open after battling through a field of 162 players at Rileys Victoria.
Both aren’t strangers to the FA Cup of Darts and the pair both drew on their experiences from previous wins at the venue.
Middlesex’s John Scott, will be joining good friend (and UK Open ever present) Alex Roy, just two years after the pair qualified for the same tournament at 2am at the same venue.
The now four time UK Open attendee, kicked off his campaign with a thrilling win over Downham’s Paul Wells. Scott raced into a 3-0 lead before Wells rattled off three sensational 100+ checkouts (including a 158) to level and take the game into a last leg decider. But it was Scott who prevailed, eventually averaging 81 inlcuding a 15 darter, and he kicked on from there.
He proceeded to dispatch Grant Billings, before whitewashing Stuart Wells and Nick Holman.
Welsh international Mike Gillet was the next to fall which setup a Final with Ireland’s Francis Carragher.
It was difficult scenario for pair, as both are good friends and play pairs together on the BDO circuit. Carragher himself is an Italian Grand Masters semi-finalist, and has a further four BDO tournament last eight appearances to his name in the past 12 months. In the last eight at Victoria, he battled past Wood Green’s Craig De Alemeida with an impressive 100+ average for first nine darts.
But it was the former Tour Card holder who would come through a tense final, averaging 50% on doubles, to return to the UK for a fourth time.
Over the moon to win the Rileys Victoria Qualifier to get to Minehead again… and this time I didn’t have to run for the last train home! #GnasherOnTour
— John Scott (@JohnScott180) 18 February 2018
Croydon’s Darryl Pilgrim triumphed in the other half of the draw taking his unbeaten run in this venue up to twelve games after also winning through 12 months ago.
The Surrey player didn’t drop a leg in his opening two games against Cathal Moran and Leigh Casling, before being pushed all the way by Q-School participant Aaron Beeney in a last leg decider. He then breezed past Dan Perren 4-0 in the Board Final.
A 4-1 victory over London Super League player Henry Murphy followed to setup a finale against Kent’s Terry Dunford.
Dunford had come so close to qualifying at the last Qualifier at Victoria, when he was edged out by Michael Burgoine at the final hurdle. The Kent County player had dispatched Paul Godding in the opening round in arguably one of the matches of the day. He had defeated former Lakeside competitor Sam Head in the Board Final shortly before as he bid to return to the UK Open for the first time since 2013.
But it would be heartbreak for Dunford once again, as Pilgrim ended his hopes 4-1.
Elsewhere, Icelander Aegir Bjornsson, reached the last 32 before falling to Ben West. Bjornsson has performed at the World Masters on seven occasions. Unicorn’s Shane Reidy was hoping to join good friends Dan Read and Luke Humphries in the main draw but missed out in the last 32.
Mackenzie Cadman, who Lakeside fans will recognise after fronting their YouTube coverage in January, bowed out in the opening round.
Darryl Pilgrim 5-2 Terry Dunford
John Scott 5-3 Francis Carragher
Darryl Pilgrim 4-1 Henry Murphy
Terry Dunford 4-3 Robert Collins
Francis Carragher 4-1 Craig de Almeida
John Scott 4-2 Mike Gillet
Darryl Pilgrim 4-0 Dan Perren
Henry Murphy 4-0 Scott Machin
Terry Dunford 4-0 Sam Head
Robert Collins 4-0 Craig Everest
Francis Carragher 4-2 Jim Needham
Craig de Almeida 4-2 John Patten
John Scott 4-0 Nick Holman
Mike Gillet 4-2 Ben West
Darryl Pilgrim 4-3 Aaron Beeney
Dan Perren 4-1 Ashley Rudge
Henry Murphy 4-2 John Hall
Scott Machin 4-1 Simon Parsons
Terry Dunford 4-2 Dan Cross
Sam Head 4-2 Roy Lancashire
Robert Collins 4-1 Nathan Webb-Jones
Craig Everest 4-2 Justin Bradshaw
Francis Carragher 4-1 Sandor Farkas
Jim Needham 4-0 Chas Barstow
Craig de Almedia 4-2 Fateh Deen
John Patten 4-1 Mark Thorne
John Scott 4-0 Stuart Wells
Nick Holman 4-1 Darren Collins
Mike Gillet 4-1 Brian Green
Ben West 4-2 Aegir Bjornsson
With thanks to…
162 players. 8 boards. 8 hours playing time. Job done.
Thanks to @thedartingnerd for helping do the draw and his excellent updates all day.
Congratulations to John Scott and Darryl Pilgrim on qualifying for the #UKOPEN
— Paul Butler (@PB_IDL_Darts) 18 February 2018
A massive thanks to Paul Butler who organised the tournament with his usual effective rigour.
With thanks to everyone who has participated in the UK Open Rileys Qualifiers this year, in total we’ve had nearly 4,000 entries across the events way up on 2017’s figure.