Canada’s Jeff Smith used his big-game experience to overcome a strong field and win the 2021 Championship Darts Circuit Continental Cup. Smith defeated Jacob Taylor 8-6 in the finals. An early break in leg four, followed by another hold of throw, opened up a 4-1 lead for Smith. The pair then traded legs on throw, putting Smith on the cusp up 7-4. Taylor followed with a hold, and then his first break of throw, to pull within one, but Jeff Smith would go on to win the fourteenth leg and win his first Continental Cup championship.
The first round, which pitted the top 8 US players vs the top 8 Canadian players, saw 4 players from each country emerge victorious. American players Danny Lauby Jr, Gary Mawson, Adam Sevada, and Leonard Gates, and Canadian players David Cameron, Jeff Smith, Kiley Edmunds, and Jacob Taylor, earned victories to advance.
Jacob Taylor, who led 4-1 over Jules Van Dongen, fought off a furious comeback to win a last leg decider and move on with a 5-4 score. Gary Mawson, who trailed 3-1 against Jim Long, was able to complete the comeback and win 5-4. Canada’s #1 seed, John Norman Jr, was upset 5-4 by US #8 seed, Adam Sevada, who put in a strong performance in his victory.
The second round would see victories by all 4 remaining Canadians, which ensured the Continental Cup champion would reside North of the border for the first time.
Defending champion, and US #1 seed, Danny Lauby Jr, failed in his bid to become the first repeat champion with a hard-fought 6-3 loss to Kiley Edmunds in the quarterfinals. Edmunds jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Lauby reeled off the next three on the spin to close the gap. Missed darts in the eighth leg would cost Lauby, as Edmunds converted his doubles to win the leg, and would win the ninth leg as well to finalize the victory.
David Cameron put in a brilliant display against 2017 champion Leonard Gates. Cameron opened up by winning three of the first four legs, and after Gates battled back to win the fifth leg, Cameron won the final three on the spin to seal the 6-2 victory.
Adam Sevada came out gunning for a second consecutive upset, this time against Jeff Smith, and opened up a 4-2 lead. Smith who answered back, winning four of the next five, including a last-leg decider, to end Sevada’s night and advance to the semi-finals.
Jacob Taylor won the last quarterfinal, against Gary Mawson, in another last-leg decider. Mawson again found himself trailing the match, rattled off three straight to force a winner-take-all leg. Taylor would produce a 15-darter to seal the match, in what would end up being the match of the night.
The all-Canadian semi-finals didn’t fail to deliver. The first match saw Kiley Edmunds come out running, winning five of the first six legs before Jacob Taylor turned it on. Taylor would erase the deficit with brilliance, winning the final six legs for a 7-5 victory and a spot in the finals.
The second semi-final, between two competitors who have each appeared at multiple World Championships, saw Jeff Smith defeat David Cameron 7-6 in a streaky contest. Cameron would win the first two legs, before Smith took the next five in a row. Not to be outdone, Cameron would come back to
win the next four on the spin to move within a victory of a berth in the finals. Jeff Smith dug deep and won the twelfth leg to force a last leg decider, which he also won, to advance to the finals.
With the victory, Jeff Smith will qualify for the 2022 William Hill World Championship as the CDC Continental Cup champion. His qualifying spot earned via the PDC Pro Tour will revert to the next highest player on the Pro Tour Order of Merit. He has also qualified for the 2022 Professional Darts Corporation US Darts Masters and North American Darts Championship to be held at Madison Square Gardens.
Championship Darts Circuit players Danny Lauby Jr, John Norman Jr, and Matt Campbell, who all qualified prior to today, will join Jeff Smith at the World Championships in London.
Danny Lauby Jr 5-1 Ben Garner
Kiley Edmunds 5-3 Seth Steffano
Jacob Taylor 5-4 Jules Van Dongen
Gary Mawson 5-4 Jim Long
Adam Sevada 5-4 John Norman Jr
Jeff Smith 5-2 Chuck Puleo
Leonard Gates 5-1 Shawn Brenneman
David Cameron 5-3 Kevin Luke
~ Article by Brian Fraser
November 20, 2021