Northern Ireland’s teenage darts star Nathan Rafferty reached the last 16 of the PDC Pro Tour yesterday and played what can only be described as fantastic darts – all this without a Pro Tour Card and the fact that he is still a teenager…
Nathan in the Pro Tour due to some Pro’s such as MVG, Gary Anderson, Richard North and John Goldie withdrawing from the event – was able to gain entry due to his Development/Challenge Tour ranking.
He started off the off day with a match against Jose de Souza and smashed him 6-1. Once it got to 1-1 he reeled off five legs in row to send the Portuguese man home.
Next on the hit list was PDC World Semi Finalist Luke Humphries, who went down 6-4 in a thriller – in the winning leg Nathan hit a 180, which sealed the leg for him – coolness under pressure.
In the last 32 stage he played Christian Bunse a 24 year old from Germany who in 2019 won his Q-School Tour Card. A tough match but Nathan beat Christian Bunse 6-5. In the last leg decider Nathan kicked off with a 180 and was on sixteen required after twelve darts. Nathan duly finished off the leg with a 15 darter and at this stage had reached further than all the other Irish lads on the day.
SO into the last 16 and to the winner a place in the quarter finals. Next up a hard opponent (aren’t they all?!) – Michael Smith.
Nathan was just edged out by Michael Smith 6-4. In the winning leg Michael kicked off with 180 followed by 177 and 128 to leave sixteen required after nine darts! and out for a 10 dart leg to win.
Nathan had left 121 after twelve darts himself and had hit a 180 in the last leg too. It really could have went either way. Hold the head up high Nathan. Great future ahead.
Well played Nathan Rafferty – a great talent – keep it up!