He may have fallen at the first hurdle but Sutherland’s Dave Marland still produced plenty of excitement during his television debut at the Melbourne Darts Masters.
Marland was drawn against Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney in the first round on opening night on Friday.
In front of a vocal home crowd at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Marland scored 180s in the opening two legs to give his fans something to shout about. But he couldn’t stop Gurney from sprinting to a 6-0 victory with a brilliant display of finishing, hitting six doubles from seven attempts to set up a tie with Gary Anderson.
Marland, who owns a real estate business in the shire and qualified through the DPA qualifiers, missed five doubles to level in the second leg with Gurney, the US Darts Masters finalist from last month, punishing Marland with a trio of 100-plus checkouts including finishes of 132 on the bull, 110 and 100 to finish.
Sixteen-time world champion Phil Taylor won his eighth World Series of Darts title and seventh in Australia as he overcame Peter Wright 11-8 in the final of the inaugural Melbourne Darts Masters.