Sam’s Heading for the big stage

Sam Head
Sam Head
From left: Pairs winners Lee Smith and Les Rance, with runners-up Darren Barnes and Darrell Manchip

Portsmouth individuals final is a Barnes-stormer

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SAM HEAD toasted his BDO televised tournament debut and declared: I’m aiming for the World Championships.

The teenager, from Southsea, reached the last 16 of the BDO’s Winmau World Masters in Hull.

He was narrowly edged out by Phill Nixon in a thrilling tie – losing the deciding leg after having a shot at a double to win it.

Once the disappointment of missing out on the last eight subsides, Head, 19, is determined to get moving on his aim of reaching the 2014 World Championships at Lakeside.

He said: ‘My target was to get on the telly, and I did that, but it’s disappointing to have a go at a double to win it and not hit it.

‘At the moment I feel I should’ve played better, but I’ll probably look back in a few weeks and realise what an achievement it was to get there.

‘Next year I’m playing the whole BDO circuit and hopefully I can do well enough to reach the Lakeside World Championships in 2014.’

The match started well for Head as he fired in a 180 in a 15-darter to take the first set without dropping a leg.

The tempo dropped slightly after that, with Nixon going 2-1 up but Head pulled himself level, before missing darts for the match in the last two legs.

Nixon then held his nerve to take the five-set contest 3-2.

Head said: ‘It’s a massive competition so the adrenaline was pumping.

‘Winning the Teenage Open is probably my biggest achievement in darts so far but this has got to be up there.’

It was Head’s British Teenage Open success that gave him a route into the BDO’s second most prestigious tournament.

He then had to come through five matches to reach the televised stage, beating former BDO number one Tony Eccles and Belgian international Geert de Vos on the way.

Head added, ‘Earlier in the tournament, I didn’t play my A game, I just played steady darts and finished well.

‘The match against Geert de Vos was good, though, I averaged 30.27 and the longest leg was 18 darts.’

Head’s performance has earned him £1,000 and 24 BDO ranking points.

He’ll hope that is just the start as he sets out on the road to achieving his ambition of claiming a place at the home of world darts.