Westby Claims Super 16 Title

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Joe Westby took victory in the JDC Super 16 final in Milton Keynes on Sunday, as the 14-year-old defeated Cayden Smith 5-2.

Westby succeeds two-time winner Luke Littler and Irish talent Keane Barry as winners of the JDC Super 16, which sees the final played on stage annually during the PDC’s Cazoo Masters.

The 14-year-old progressed unbeaten through November’s early rounds in Coventry, which saw a groups stage followed by knockout rounds from the last 16 onwards.

Despite having only been playing darts for two years – mainly in the JDC’s Blackburn Academy – Westby showed no nerves to open up a 4-0 lead over Smith in Sunday’s final, landing a 14-darter to break throw and two 180s.

Stourport-on-Severn’s Smith – a 16-year-old who competes alongside Westby on the JDC’s Advanced Tour – won back-to-back legs to hit back.

Westby, though, sealed victory in style by landing his fourth 180 of the game in a 13-darter as he secured the title.

“It feels amazing,” said Westby. “To have my name on the same trophy as Keane Barry and Luke Littler is phenomenal.

“It’s been really good experience for me. I didn’t feel any nerves, I was focused on the job that I needed to do and I’m pleased with myself.

“I practice every night, I go to multiple leagues and play in different tournaments, locally and JDC, and I think I’m doing really well.”

Littler won back-to-back JDC Junior World Championship titles before his stunning run to the World Darts Championship final recently, which has sparked a surge of interest in the sport from young players.

“Every Academy across England has had a massive boost in people wanting to join up because of Luke,” added Westby. “It’s amazing what he’s done, so hopefully I can follow in his footsteps.”

The JDC’s 2024 activity will be headlined by their 32-player Advanced Tour – which will include both Westby and Smith as well as Travis Cullen, the son of PDC star Joe.

The second-tier Foundation Tour will be accompanied this year by a new Girls’ Series of 16 events across four weekends.

The next JDC Super 16 will expand to feature 64 players in the final stage, while the JDC Junior World Championship and European Open will also take place during 2024.

The JDC currently operates 64 Academies globally, with plans in place to introduce a further 20 during 2024.

For more details about the JDC, please visit www.juniordarts.com.


Images: Taylor Lanning

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