Two-time world champion Gary Anderson clinched his maiden UK Open title with a brilliant 11-7 victory over Australian sensation Corey Cadby on a dramatic day of action at Butlin’s Minehead on Sunday evening.
The extreme weather conditions caused by Storm Emma meant that the tournament had to be held behind closed doors, but world number four Anderson triumphed; scooping the £70,000 winner’s prize and claiming his first televised ranking title since the 2016 World Championship.
Anderson defeated current world champion Rob Cross 10-5 in the quarter-finals; reeling off six consecutive legs to defeat ‘Voltage’; averaging 98.31 and converting three ton-plus checkouts. The Scot then defeated David Pallett 11-7 in the last four, to book a place in his first UK Open final since 2010.
Pallett, who doesn’t currently hold a PDC Tour Card, defeated Robert Thornton, James Wade, Kim Huybrechts and Steve West to record his best ever showing in a PDC major, but he was unable to topple Anderson; as the 47-year-old averaged 95.31 and fired in four maximums to prevail.
Cadby saw off last year’s finalist Gerwyn Price in the quarter-finals; averaging 99.32, landing five maximums and dispatching 48% of his attempts at double to prevail 10-6; gaining revenge for his defeat to ‘The Iceman’ in last year’s World Series of Darts Finals.
The 22-year-old Tasmanian then thrashed Welsh star Robert Owen 11-3 in the last four, after ‘Stack Attack’ was unable to replicate the display that saw him end the fairy-tale run of three-time world champion John Part earlier in the day.
Cadby has only held a PDC Tour Card for six weeks, but he was denied a first televised ranking title by an imperious Anderson. Despite this, the Aussie’s sensational start to life in the PDC continues. He’s up to 53rd on the PDC Order of Merit and has broken into the world’s top 64 eight weeks earlier than Rob Cross did last year.
Anderson made the perfect start to the final, breaking Cadby’s throw inside 13 darts, but the Aussie responded superbly. He reeled off four legs in succession to establish a 4-1 cushion, in legs of 15, 14, 11 and 14 darts.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ stopped the rot with a clinical 110 kill, before registering consecutive 14-darters to level up proceedings at four apiece. Anderson then claimed his fourth straight leg after Cadby missed two darts at double, but the former World Youth champion completed a classy 13-darter on tops to level up proceedings at 5-5.
Anderson then regained the initiative to lead 7-5, but Cadby closed out a 14-dart hold to reduce the arrears to 7-6, having wired the bull for a 170 outshot in the preceding visit. However, the two-time world champion restored his two-leg buffer with a clinical 108 checkout, before Cadby dispatched a nerveless 68 finish to stay in contention.
The Scot had the crucial break of throw, but Cadby produced a brilliant scoring leg to leave 28 after just 12 darts in the 16th leg, as he attempted to level at eight apiece. Nevertheless, Anderson’s experience paid dividends; as he held throw with a pressure 70 checkout to move 9-7 ahead.
Cadby continued to battle valiantly, but he was unable to clinch the title on his UK Open debut. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ converted a majestic 91 finish to move to the brink of victory, before closing out a dominant 14-dart hold on D18 to round off a magnificent victory.
Anderson reflected: “It’s fantastic for me. I’ve come here to win the tournament and managed to do it, and it’s great. In the last three games I’ve been lucky – it’s been a struggle. Corey is good and I’ve got a lot of time for him, he’s a class act.
“I knew exactly what to expect and he’s going to be about for a long, long time. It’s getting harder every year with all the youngsters coming through and they’ll take it in their stride,” the Scot added.
Cadby, who pocketed £35,000 as runner-up, was disappointed to lose at the final hurdle, but is already setting his sights on further success throughout the year. He will return home to Melbourne ahead of his wedding to fiancé Breana in a fortnight, and admitted: “What a year 2018 has been and I’m looking forward to the rest.
“I’m only young, I’ve got a lot to learn and I’m pretty happy to make the final. I’m not happy to be runner up but I’ll take it. I gave everything but you’ve got to hit the doubles at crucial times, you can’t afford to miss and Gary came through and won.”
Photo Credit: Chris Dean/PDC
2018 Coral UK Open
Sunday March 4
David Pallett 10-5 Steve West
Robert Owen 10-3 John Part
Corey Cadby 10-6 Gerwyn Price
Gary Anderson 10-5 Rob Cross
Best of 19 legs
Gary Anderson 11-7 David Pallett
Corey Cadby 11-3 Robert Owen
Best of 21 legs
Gary Anderson 11-7 Corey Cadby
Best of 21 legs