Shropshire's David Pallett shocks the darting world at UK Open

Shropshire’s David Pallett shocked the darting world by overcoming the odds to reach the semi-finals of the UK Open in Minehead.

David Pallett
David Pallett

The Newport thrower failed to secure his PDC tour card In January, but reached his first major in 12 months through the qualification tournaments in Wigan, writes Josh Green.

The world number 75 defeated two former UK Open champions – Robert Thornton and James Wade – en route to the semi-finals, where he lost 11-7 to three-time world champion Gary Anderson as he bowed out of the competition.

After his final four clash Pallett said: “Looking at the stats I’m gutted, I know Gary wasn’t playing as well as he could have at the start of the match. We went into the second break at 5-5, I thought if I could have kept it up I may have been able to sneak ahead.

“You’ve got to take advantage of your chances. And when you don’t take advantage of it you know that he’s going to come back and hit you, because that’s what he does.”

Many players struggled to reach the Somerset venue because of the dreadful conditions, with the PDC not allowing fans into the arena. But 28-year-old Pallett was delighted with his performance in a competition known as the FA Cup of darts.

“I couldn’t have imagined this would happen this weekend with all the snow,” he said. “So to end up losing against Gary Anderson, there’s no shame in that. At the start of the weekend I would have snapped your hand off if I’d been offered the chance of a semi-final. It’s been incredible.”

Pallett will next be action at the European Tour qualifiers next weekend and the Challenge Tour later in the month as he looks to pick up the ranking points needed to regain his tour card.

The clash with Anderson started with the first three legs going against the throw. Pallett was the first to hold to claim a two-leg advantage which he was able to hold until Anderson reeled off three straight legs to take a 6-5 lead.

Pallett was able to keep the deficit at one as legs continued to go with the throw until, in the 16th, Anderson took a 105 checkout to move into a 9-7 advantage.

On the brink of defeat, Pallett then missed three darts at a double to claim the 18th leg and prolong the match, Anderson eventually hitting double 10 to seal victory.

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