FLEETWOOD darts ace Wes Newton is through to the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes.com World Championship, but he knows he will have to raise his game if he is to progress any further in the competition.
Newton prevailed by four sets to one (3-2, 3-1, 3-0, 2-3, 3-2) against Mark Walsh, but both men struggled in front of the packed Alexandra Palace audience in London.
The Fleetwood man went into the tournament as the number six seed, but in reality showed form worthy of that rating only fitfully.
Walsh’s game looked on the verge of meltdown in the third set as Newton rattled off six legs in a row.
Walsh was reduced to the role of bemused spectator, and even the normally enthusiastic crowd found it hard to appreciate the contest and got very restless as the two combatants struggled to find consistency on the oche.
Walsh broke the darts in the opening leg, but Newton hit back immediately to regain the arrows.
Newton took the opening two sets as Walsh toiled and looked on the verge of a whitewash as the Fleetwood man ran away with the third leg.
But this was the signal for a fightback by Newton’s rival.
Newton fired his first 180 in the fourth set, but it was Walsh, who went on to win it.
Then in the fifth, Newton diced with danger as he slumped to two legs down.
Walsh’s composure began to desert him again, however, and Newton made it 2-2 with his best flourish of the match, a 121 finish, which finally crushed his opponent’s resolve.
Newton then saw the match off in the next to book a place in the last eight of the game’s showpiece and two matches away from his third major Professional Darts Corporation final.
Newton now takes on number three seed James Wade who whitewashed Holland’s Vincent van der Voort 4-0 to book his passage.