The world title dream of Fleetwood darts ace Wes Newton is over.
He lost an epic battle at Alexandra Palace lasting the best part of two hours against Justin Pipe, who took a thriller 2-3, 1-3, 3-2, 3-1, 1-3, 3-1, 4-2.
United Kingdom Open finalist Newton won the first two sets and looked on course to record a place in the last 16 of the competition after taking command early on.
But Pipe won the next three sets to lead 3-2, and after Newton took the sixth to force a decider he emerged victorious by winning the final set 4-2 to the send the number seven seed crashing out of the tournament.
Newton admitted: “I was trying my best but the pace of the game killed me.
“I was frustrated with the pace of the game and it’s hard to take sometimes, but I’ve got to learn from that and get over it.
“I feel like I’m a better player than Justin and it’s the pace of the game that cost me that.
“He’s a slow player and it does affect you, I’m a quick player and like to get on with the game but you’ve got to keep your focus and concentration and it got to me sometimes.
“I’ve made big strides this year and I’ve got to take the positives from it and have another good year in 2012, and try and come back here next year and produce the goods.”
“I said to myself that I wasn’t doing a lot wrong when I was 2-0 down,” said Pipe, who was seeded 26 and now faces either Terry Jenkins or Co Stompe in the third round after Christmas.
“I sharpened up my doubles and Wes seemed to lose his way. It was tough, but I ground out the win, and I’m delighted to have done so.”
Pipe added: “It’s brilliant – after my match against Sean Reed I was just glad to win that match, which was my goal this year.”