Payne Advances to Finals Day in Maastricht

Josh Payne booked his place in the last 16 of the Dutch Darts Championship in Maastricht on Sunday afternoon as the Kent-based star completed a fantastic 6-3 victory over the no.11 seed Darren Webster. Payne was up against it early on as Webster was left waiting on D8 before the Kent ace pulled out a roof-raising 126 checkout to hold throw and level the contest up at 1-1. Then, Payne produced yet another fantastic 100+ finish under extreme pressure as he fired in a 106 finish just as Webster produced a maximum to leave 60.

Over the next two legs, Webster fired everything at Payne as he produced a 15-darter to level up at 2-2 and break straight back, the fifth leg was arguably the most important leg of the match despite it still being relatively early on in the piece. Webster missed seven darts to take the leg as Payne produced a moment of brilliance as he fired in a 171 visit to set up D20 in which he pinned in the next visit. Webster was left to dwell on those missed opportunities as Payne carried the momentum from that break of throw into the next leg. Payne doubled his lead as he produced a terrific 14-dart leg to move 4-2 ahead,

In response, Webster produced a 13-dart hold to reduce the deficit to 4-3, but Payne remained focused as he provided another moment of world-class composure to set up D10 with a marvellous 174 visit as Webster was breathing down his neck. The Gravesend-based star pinned D10 for a 14-dart leg to once more open up a two-leg advantage. Payne almost wrapped things up perfectly as he missed a dart at the bull for a monstrous 170 checkout, but the two-time PDC ranking title winner took out 25 to confirm his place in the final day of action in Maastricht.

Payne saw off Dirk van Duijvenbode on Friday afternoon prior to today’s success over the no.11 seed Darren Webster.

An average of 90.45 & double success of 46.15% (6/13) sums up a decent afternoon’s work for Payne. This comes on the back of his 6-3 victory on Friday afternoon over Dirk van Duijvenbode. Much like this afternoon, Josh had to dig in deep at times, and remain focused and composed. Over the past few years, Payne has really developed his game both mentally and the way that he approaches the game and deals with things mid-match.

Josh will take on Adrian Lewis tomorrow afternoon for a place in the Quarter-Finals in Maastricht. Josh has fond memories of the Netherlands as he reached the Quarter-Finals of the Dutch Darts Masters in Venray back in 2015 after seeing off the likes of Wayne Jones, Stephen Bunting & Michael Smith.

Photography courtesy of Kelly Deckers / PDC Europe

Story by
Tom Beresford Sports Journalist