World Number 65 Callan Rydz reached his first professional darts final on Friday in the form of a Players Championship final against Master’s Champion Jonny Clayton.
With the North East not being known for its darting ability it was a breath of fresh air to see a player from Newcastle in the final of a ranking tournament.
Rydz was faced with a difficult task as Clayton had been in great form in 2021 reaching the final of every tournament so far this year beating Michael Van Gerwen in this tournament.
Having already demolished his targets Rydz had nothing to lose going into this final but does the sudden emergence of Rydz cause a threat to Chris Dobey’s reign as the highest ranked player in the North?
The man from Newcastle – who walks out to fellow Northerner Sam Fender’s song ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ – beat Nathan Aspinall, Ian White Jeff Smith on his way to the final which he won 8-7.
Having won the bull – Rydz had the advantage from the get go winning the opening leg before losing the next three before bringing the game back to level terms at 3-3.
Rydz then took the lead before winning another two in the next three putting him 6-4 up and throwing with the chance of putting himself within one of the title.
Clayton had other ideas breaking Rydz’s throw then holding and breaking again with some brilliant darts.
Facing defeat in the face – Rydz had to do something magic.
Under pressure in his first ranking final Rydz took out a 127 on the bull taking the match all the way to a deciding leg – which left a confused whilst impressed smirk on the face of Clayton.
Now throwing for his first title Rydz played well and won with an 87 checkout using all three of his darts in hand splitting the double 18 but making up for it with a superb, pressurised dart into the double nine securing the win and £10,000 ranking money.