NEWTON DENIES NICHOLSON A DOUBLE!
WES NEWTON hit back from 3-0 down to defeat Paul Nicholson 6-4 in Sunday’s Players Championship final, denying the Geordie a PDC ProTour double in Crawley.
Nicholson had claimed his first victory in almost 14 months by winning Saturday’s £35,000 tournament at the K2 Centre, and battled through to a second final 24 hours later.
He looked on course to claim a second £6,000 first prize by taking a 3-0 lead, before Newton took six of the next seven legs for his first win of 2011.
Fleetwood’s Newton had enjoyed some brilliant wins earlier in the day, notably overcoming Andy Smith, Vincent van der Voort and World Championship runner-up Gary Anderson in the latter stages with outstanding displays – missing double 12 for a nine-darter against the Scot.
Nicholson, though, punished a slow start in the final with two 14-dart breaks of throw in the opening three legs, also landing double ten in leading 3-0.
He was also waiting on a finish in the fourth as Newton finished 64 to get off the mark and then checked out 97 to pull back to 3-2.
Newton then broke again to level in the sixth, following a 180 with double 12 after Nicholson missed two darts at doubles, and the Lancastrian hit two 140s and a 180 in winning leg seven in 15 darts to lead for the first time.
Nicholson hit a brilliant 13-darter to level in the eighth and opened the next with a 180, but Newton posted double 16 to edge back ahead and then sealed victory with a 13-darter, finished on double top.
“I’m delighted,” said Newton. “Paul started the final brilliantly but I hung in there and clawed my way back into the game.
“It’s fantastic to win and now that I’m in the top ten I want to keep pushing up the Order of Merit.”
Nicholson, who claimed £3,000 as runner-up and £9,000 for the weekend in Crawley, came from 2-0 down to win his semi-final with Justin Pipe 6-4, and also defeated Mark Walsh, Robert Thornton and Roland Scholten in the latter stages.
The prize money nudges Nicholson closer to a return to the world’s top 16, and also strengthens his challenge for a qualifying place in the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and European Championship later this year.
World number three Anderson reached his second ProTour semi-final of the month before losing to Newton, having come from 3-0 down in the quarters to see off Wayne Jones.
Van der Voort, Walsh and Peter Wright joined Jones in reaching the quarter-finals, while Dutch youngster Mareno Michels won through to the last 16 alongside World Champion Adrian Lewis.
Players Championship Six (Crawley, Sunday March 27)
Simon Whitlock (1) Bye
Mareno Michels 6-4 Nick Fullwell
Nigel Heydon (32) 6-2 Brian Woods
Jimmy Mann 6-1 Andy Relf
Denis Ovens (16) 6-5 Michael Rosenauer
Peter Wright 6-2 Andy Jenkins
Shane O’Connor 6-3 Steve Beaton (17)
Colin Monk 6-3 Adam Smith-Neale
Adrian Lewis (8) Bye
Chris Aubrey 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Kirk Shepherd 6-5 Jelle Klaasen (25)
Terry Temple 6-5 Steve Hine
Mark Webster (9) Bye
Darren Whittingham 6-0 Michael Venton
Justin Pipe (24) 6-1 Steve Grubb
John Henderson 6-2 Gary Mawson
Mark Walsh (5) Bye
Michael Mansell 6-1 Chris Thompson
Dennis Smith (28) 6-4 Joe Cullen
Magnus Caris 6-5 Adrian Gray
Mervyn King (12) 6-1 Matt Padgett
James Richardson 6-0 Michael Barnard
Kevin Painter (21) 6-4 Stephen Hardy
Scott Rand 6-3 Kevin Dowling
Jamie Caven (4) Bye
Matt Clark 6-4 Peter Hudson
Mark Dudbridge (29) 6-4 Mick Todd
Robert Thornton 6-4 Steve Evans
Paul Nicholson (13) 6-1 Dave Ladley
Reece Robinson 6-2 Wayne Atwood
Colin Osborne (20) 6-5 Shaun Griffiths
Roland Scholten 6-2 Paul Rowley
Wes Newton (2) Bye
Andy Brown 6-2 Adam Hunt
Mark Hylton 6-3 Steve Brown (31)
Gary Welding 6-0 Jimmy O’Regan
Andy Hamilton (15) 6-2 Kevin McDine
Alex Roy 6-0 Nicky Bache
Andy Smith (18) 6-2 Adrian Bolitho
Peter Manley 6-4 Tim Hope
Colin Lloyd (7) Bye
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Simon Jones
Terry Jenkins (26) 6-3 Jason Crawley
Tony Ayres 6-4 Dave Smith
Vincent van der Voort (10) Bye
Barrie Bates 6-3 Ian Jopling
Steve Farmer (23) 6-5 Louis Blundell
Andy Hutchings 6-3 Geoff Whitworth
Ronnie Baxter (6) Bye
William O’Connor 6-2 Simon Burt
John Part (27) 6-3 Gary Eastwood
Aodhagan O’Neill 6-3 Mike Gillet
James Wade (11) 6-2 Matt Jackson
Mark Frost 6-3 Devon Petersen
Wayne Jones (22) 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Ian White 6-3 Ryan Harrington
Gary Anderson (3) Bye
Darren Johnson 6-2 Jon Archer
Tony Eccles (30) 6-1 Michael Smith
Mark Jones 6-0 Dyson Parody
Alan Tabern (14) 6-5 Arron Monk
John MaGowan 6-3 Steve Maish
Prakash Jiwa 6-5 Co Stompe (19)
Wayne Mardle 6-1 Ashley Holgate
Mareno Michels 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Jimmy Mann 6-5 Nigel Heydon
Peter Wright 6-3 Denis Ovens
Colin Monk 6-4 Shane O’Connor
Adrian Lewis 6-0 Chris Aubrey
Kirk Shepherd 6-5 Terry Temple
Mark Webster 6-3 Darren Whittingham
Justin Pipe 6-4 John Henderson
Mark Walsh 6-4 Michael Mansell
Magnus Caris 6-2 Dennis Smith
Mervyn King 6-2 James Richardson
Kevin Painter 6-5 Scott Rand
Matt Clark 6-5 Jamie Caven
Robert Thornton 6-3 Mark Dudbridge
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Reece Robinson
Roland Scholten 6-4 Colin Osborne
Wes Newton 6-2 Andy Brown
Mark Hylton 6-2 Gary Welding
Andy Hamilton 6-3 Alex Roy
Andy Smith 6-5 Peter Manley
Colin Lloyd 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Terry Jenkins 6-0 Tony Ayres
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Barrie Bates
Steve Farmer 6-1 Andy Hutchings
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 William O’Connor
John Part 6-2 Aodhagan O’Neill
James Wade 6-3 Mark Frost
Wayne Jones 6-4 Ian White
Gary Anderson 6-3 Darren Johnson
Tony Eccles 6-5 Mark Jones
Alan Tabern 6-2 John MaGowan
Prakash Jiwa 6-2 Wayne Mardle
Mareno Michels 6-2 Jimmy Mann
Peter Wright 6-2 Colin Monk
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Kirk Shepherd
Justin Pipe 6-4 Mark Webster
Mark Walsh 6-3 Magnus Caris
Kevin Painter 6-2 Mervyn King
Robert Thornton 6-3 Matt Clark
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Roland Scholten
Wes Newton 6-4 Mark Hylton
Andy Smith 6-5 Andy Hamilton
Colin Lloyd 6-3 Terry Jenkins
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Steve Farmer
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 John Part
Wayne Jones 6-1 James Wade
Gary Anderson 6-4 Tony Eccles
Alan Tabern 6-5 Prakash Jiwa
Peter Wright 6-1 Mareno Michels
Justin Pipe 6-1 Adrian Lewis
Mark Walsh 6-5 Kevin Painter
Paul Nicholson 6-3 Robert Thornton
Wes Newton 6-1 Andy Smith
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Colin Lloyd
Wayne Jones 6-4 Ronnie Baxter
Gary Anderson 6-4 Alan Tabern
Justin Pipe 6-3 Peter Wright
Paul Nicholson 6-1 Mark Walsh
Wes Newton 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
Gary Anderson 6-4 Wayne Jones
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Justin Pipe
Wes Newton 6-3 Gary Anderson
Wes Newton 6-4 Paul Nicholson
Final – Leg-by-leg
0-0 – Wes Newton wins the bull and throws first.
1-0 – Nicholson opens with a 180 and breaks throw in 14 darts on double 16.
2-0 – Nicholson begins the second leg with two 140s and hits double ten for a 2-0 lead.
3-0 – Nicholson again breaks in 14 darts, hitting another 180 and finishing double six, after Newton missed two darts at double 18.
3-1 – Newton breaks back, hitting two 140s and finishing 64 on double 16 for a 15-dart leg.
3-2 – Newton cuts the gap to one leg by finishing 97 on double ten.
3-3 – Newton hits a 180 but misses two darts to break, only for Nicholson to give him another chance with a pair of misses at double 16 and eight, with the Fleetwood ace posting double 12 to level.
3-4 – Newton opens with scores of 140, 140 and 180 and finishes double five for a 15-darter to lead for the first time.
4-4 – Nicholson levels in 13 darts, hitting a 171 score on the way to setting up double six.
4-5 – Nicholson opens with a 180 and sets up double 16 to break, but Newton denies him a dart at the finish by hitting the same bed to move a leg away from the win.
4-6 – Newton hits tops for victory.