Keegan Brown forced out due to technical issues as Max Hopp cleans up on PDC Home Tour
Keegan Brown returned to the oche after taking a well-earned break from his duties as a key worker in an NHS laboratory, but a glitch in the system put an end to his night
Last Updated: 28/04/20 11:46pm
Keegan Brown proved irretrievable due to technical problems on the Isle of Wight as Max Hopp took full advantage of a three-man mini-tournament to make it into the knockout stages of the PDC Home Tour.
NHS worker Brown was on a rare night off from working in a testing laboratory, but he ran into technical issues after his first match and he was irretrievable for the rest of the night.
That left the PDC with some quick thinking to do and Brown's match - where he lost to Conan Whitehead - was voided to make it a three-man group with Whitehead, Max Hopp and Mike De Decker playing each other twice to decide who made it through from Group 12.
Dialling in from Idstein, Germany, Hopp proved his class after the restart with some quality darts to see off De Decker and Whitehead to top the table.
PDC Home Tour - Tuesday's results (Group 12)
|Max Hopp 5-3 Mike De Decker|
|Max Hopp 5-2 Conan Whitehead|
|Mike De Decker 5-1 Conan Whitehead|
PDC Home Tour - Group 12 Table
|1. Max Hopp||6||+5|
|2. Mike De Decker||4||+1|
|3. Conan Whitehead||2||-6|
In-form Belgian De Decker had made a stunning start to the evening by defeating former European Tour event winner and top-ranked player Hopp.
After losing the opening leg of the opening match, 'The Real Deal' led 3-1 and 4-3 before keeping his cool to take out 50 in two darts for a superb 5-3 success.
World No 30 Brown, who is on call for his job in the NHS, then faced Whitehead in an all-English battle. Both players impressed in a high-level contest before 'The Barbarian' playing from his bedroom, broke for a 3-2 lead.
He pinned tops to hold throw in the next, but Brown responded with an outrageous 154 checkout in a 12-dart leg to apply some pressure. However, Whitehead kept his cool to secure victory thanks to a fine Shanghai 120 finish.
The two winners then went head to head as Whitehead took on De Decker. The Rainham thrower was on the brink of falling 3-1 behind but he won three legs on the spin for a 4-2 advantage.
The world No 76 averaged well over 100 once again, before finishing off the Belgian to take control of the group.
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With Brown having technical issues, Whitehead ended up playing three matches in a row. He took on Hopp knowing that a win would hand him a spot in the knockout round.
The 2019 BDO world championship quarter-finalist nailed a 116 for an early 2-0 lead as he continued his rampant form. But Hopp responded at 3-3 to break his opponent for the first time before throwing for the match.
The German took out 86 to keep his hopes of winning the group alive, while Whitehead was forced to rely on other results going his way.
But Brown was proving irretrievable, leaving the PDC to hastily come up with a new format to complete the night. Whitehead's win over Brown was voided, with each remaining player playing each other one more time to decide who wins the group.
Hopp faced De Decker in the first of them and it proved to be a tight tussle. After going 2-1 down, De Decker hit two 15-dart legs to move in front, but the German No 1 restored parity before breaking for a 4-3 lead. And he avenged his defeat from earlier in the night by landing tops for maximum points.
Top-ranked Hopp then took on Whitehead knowing that victory would assure him of topping the group. He surged into a 3-0 lead and that 23-year-old soon secured his second win on the night against 'The Barbarian' to top the table with a 5-2 win on the bullseye.
De Decker won the dead rubber in comprehensive fashion, thumping Whitehead 5-1 to seal second spot in the group.
PDC Home Tour - The Winners
|Group One||Jamie Lewis|
|Group Two||Luke Woodhouse|
|Group Three||Dave Chisnall|
|Group Four||Geert Nentjes|
|Group Five||Nick Kenny|
|Group Six||Ryan Searle|
|Group Seven||Jelle Klaasen|
|Group Eight||Jonny Clayton|
|Group Nine||Martijn Kleermaker|
|Group Ten||Nathan Aspinall|
|Group 11||Alan Tabern|
|Group 12||Max Hopp|
PDC Home Tour - latest confirmed groups
|Steve Beaton||Chris Dobey||Darren Webster||Ricky Evans|
|Callan Rydz||Ciaran Teehan||Bradley Brooks||Martin Atkins|
|Matthew Edgar||Ron Meulenkamp||Scott Baker||Christian Bunse|
|Carl Wilkinson||Kai Fan Leung||Andy Hamilton||Jeff Smith|