Angus teenager Nathan Girvan has been hailed as a future arrows ace despite losing his second junior world darts final in three years.
The 16-year-old Forfar Academy pupil was defeated by 13-year-old Leighton Bennett from England 3-0 in the final of the BDO World Youth Championship at Lakeside on Thursday afternoon.
13-Year Old Leighton Bennett is the 2019 BDO World Youth Champion! 🏆
Leighton defeated Scotland’s Nathan Girvan in straight sets 3-0 , he won the match in style with a 121 finish on the bull to lift the trophy and win £5,000.
Congratulations Leighton! 👏 pic.twitter.com/Fis0VkR5ew
— Darts News (@DartsNewsStats) January 10, 2019
Leighton rose to fame in the darting world last summer after winning his first senior event aged 12 and he dominated throughout with an 86 average and a 121 checkout to clinch the title.
Nathan scored well throughout the fast-throwing five-set battle but was simply overpowered by his younger opponent who has already been dubbed ‘the next Phil Taylor’.
Former Players Championship winner Paul “The Asset” Nicholson predicted a big future for both players in a sport which now produces multi-millionaires.
Nicholson said Leighton and Nathan could go on to have a rivalry similar to Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson during the golden age for the sport in the 1980s.
“Nathan was here a couple of years ago when he was given a darting lesson from Justin Van Tergouw,” said Nicholson.
“Nathan has got to be thinking: ‘Every time I come here I run into some sort of superstar’.
“Leighton and Nathan could turn into a rivalry for the ages very much like Eric versus Jocky.”
#TeamDarts @ProstateUK Nathan Girvan & Leighton Bennett in the Youths final at Lakeside today Bossing their #ManofMen awareness badges. Education is key to a future without Prostate Cancer 🎯🎯 pic.twitter.com/RvJw2B0dgs
— TEAMDARTS for PROSTATE CANCER UK (@tracypcukfletch) January 10, 2019
The match started on throw before Nathan broke Leighton in the third leg but he couldn’t capitalise and lost the first set.
Nathan won four legs, registered 10 tons, nine ton-plus scores and one maximum 180, but he couldn’t stop Leighton becoming the youngest-ever BDO World Youth Champion.
Four-time World Championship semi-finalist and Sky Sports commentator Wayne Mardle said both players performed on the big stage without fear and described the standard as “magical stuff”.
“Let’s hope we see these two players perform in the men’s event in the coming years,” he said.
“All sportsman want to do is just play and Leighton and Nathan look at home on the big stage.”
Nathan started to take the game seriously when he joined the Angus Darts Academy which is based at the Café Project in Arbroath.
He was unbeatable from the time he started playing every week at the academy which is run by Arbroath and Scotland international darts player Alan “Soots” Soutar.
“I don’t ever set goals and targets but let our academy players set their own goals and targets,” he said.
“If they are hungry for success then I am happy to give them the platform to pursue each goal. Nathan has this hunger.”