The start of the new BDO year kicked off with a bang at Bellini's in Newry, Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland Open, now in its 25th year, saw the addition of a new ranking event; The Northern Ireland Matchplay. Saturday played host to the Open, where Northern Ireland's own, Kyle McKinstry emerged victorious for the second time in front of a lively home crowd.
McKinstry's win came at the expense of Jason Heaver, who made his second appearance in a BDO ranked final in the space of a week. Once again, the Berkshire-thrower was pipped to the post with McKinstry winning 6-5 after Heaver missed two match darts to win, McKinstry stepped in to take his first title of 2019.
Ciaran Teehan and Brazil's Diogo Portela were semi-finals casualties, with McKinstry beating Teehan and Portela losing out 6-1 to Heaver.
The Matchplay saw a new champion crowned, as 17-year-old Irish sensation Keane Barry beat England International Paul Hogan 6-2 in the final to take his first senior BDO ranking title!
Former Welsh Open Champion Mike Warburton reached the semi-final sages, losing to eventual Champion Barry 6-2, with Hogan seeing off a strong challenge from Mick McGowanin his bid for a place in the final.
The Ladies events saw the number three seed Kirsty Hutchinson complete the double by winning both the Open and the Matchplay.
Saturday, Hutchinson played Finland's Kaisu Rekinen in the final, taking a confident 5-0 victory following the Durham throwers semi-final win 4-3 over Ireland's Denise Cassidy. Rekinen beat Surrey's Laura Turner in their semi-final, taking out 79 in the last leg against the darts to win 4-3.
Hutchinson continued her good form into the Sunday, beating Lincolnshire Ladies captain Paula Jacklin 4-2 in the semi-final before facing Denise Cassidy once again, this time in the final. Cassidy claimed her place in the final with a win over Northern Ireland's Anna Madigan. Hutchinson took the final 5-2 to compete a very successful weekend and a great start to the 2019/2020 season!
Special mention to both Warren Penney and Liam Gallagher who both registered nine dart legs this weekend! A first on Saturday from Penney in the history of the tournament, only for a second one from Gallagher in Sunday's matchplay!
Photo - Kyle Mckinstry - (c) TipTopPics