Josh Payne narrowly lost out on a place in the last 16 of the German Darts Championship in Hildesheim as he was edged out 6-4 by the no.5 seed Joe Cullen on Saturday afternoon. It was a closely contested battle between the pair, and every missed opportunity from both players was crucial in this one.
It was a nervy exchange from both players in the opening leg as Cullen eventually closed it out with a 20-dart leg to move 1-0 ahead with the throw. But, Josh responded in a superb manner as he fired in a sensational 11-dart hold of throw as he took out 70 for a level game at 1-1. The pair continued to hold onto their throws strongly as Payne responded to Cullen’s 13-darter with a 17-dart hold to level the match up once more at 2-2.
Cullen produced another 13-dart leg on throw, and then the Bradford man produced a break of throw as Payne missed 5 darts to see the leg off. Cullen moved within a leg of the match as he produced a 17-dart hold, but Payne refused to give in as he remain focused on the task in hand and extremely composed as the Gravesend ace produced a 15-dart hold which was backed by a break of throw to reduce the deficit to 5-4 as he had the darts to force a last-leg decider. However, Payne’s scoring wasn’t at it’s peak in the tenth leg as Cullen took out an 87 checkout on the bull to secure a 6-4 victory.
Next up for Josh, It’s back-to-back midweek Players Championship events in Barnsley, and the Euro Tour qualifiers for events 11 & 12.
Photo – Stefan Strassenburg / PDC Europe