Howson Goes Fourth as Champion of Champions

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RICHIE Howson finally lifted a World Senior Darts TV trophy on Saturday after triumphing in a war of attrition with event debutant, and former World finalist, Andy The Hammer Hamilton.

Both men were attempting to win a major television tournament for the first time with Hamilton having lost out in BDO and multiple PDC major finals at Worlds, Grand Slam and UK Open.

Howson, nicknamed The Owl, finished second at last year’s Senior World Championship, the World Senior Masters and the Champion of Champions tournament.

The two latter events saw Richie lose out to the USA’s Leonard Gates. This year, however, Howson dealt with the Soulger in the first round. In the semi-finals, he proved too strong for Martin Adams in an 13-11 win.

Hamilton reached the final with victory over qualifier Richard Eirig-Rowlands in the second semi-final. Hamilton took advantage of his greater experience as the Stoke-on-Trent native raced into a 5-0 lead. Credit to Eirig-Rowlands refused to fold although he was 8-3 and 12-7 behind, a superb rally saw the Welshman come surging back to 12-11. Hamilton, often the comeback star himself, held his nerve to run out 13-11 victor.

It was Hamilton who started the final the stronger, winning the first three legs and seeming to find his range. But, Richie is now an experienced operator and captured five of the next six legs went to Howson who led for the first time.

Hamilton staged a trademark bounce back and seemed ready to take the game by the scruff of the neck again, taking an 8-6 lead. The Owl was not prepared to let a fourth major opportunity go easily and he again dug deep and produced, perhaps, the best spell of the match.

Richie Howson lifts the Jennings bet Champion of Champions 2024 at Viva, Blackpool, United Kingdom on 24 March 2024.

The Essex man produced two 14-darters and a 13-darter and surged into a 12-9. Hamilton pegged back another , before Howson decided the match with another sub 15 dart leg.

After his 12-10 victory Howson expressed his feelings:

I didn’t know if this day would actually come. As much as I believed it, it’s still hard to do it. Andy give me such a great game there but I got over the line and I’m so happy.

Richie Howson


Images: WSDT / Chris Sargeant

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