Cheers and tears for Wes

Wes Newton celebrates his nine-darter and (below) Ronnie Baxter salues opponent Dean Winstanley.
Wes Newton celebrates his nine-darter and (below) Ronnie Baxter salues opponent Dean Winstanley.
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WES Newon hit a stunning nine-dart finish in his Betfair World Matchplay in Blackpool but went on to lose his second-round tie to Justin Pipe.

On a night which saw Blackpool’s Ronnie Baxter, defending champion Phil Taylor and Andy Hamilton all win through to today’s quarter-finals.

Ronnie Baxter salues opponent Dean Winstanley.

Ronnie Baxter salues opponent Dean Winstanley.

Fleetwood’s Newton delighted a capacity crowd at the Winter Gardens by matching Michael van Gerwen’s perfect leg from the previous night.

With the scores tied at 5-5 against Pipe, the PDC world no.5 hit 180 and 177 to start the 11th leg, then finished 144 on double 12 to land his first televised nine-dart finish.

Newton went into a 10-8 lead only to be denied a second successive quarter-final appearance in his ‘home major’ as Pipe rattled off five successive legs for a 13-10 victory

Newton said: “To do the nine-darter on TV is fantastic. It was an amazing feeling and I’ll never forget it.

“But at the moment it means nothing to me because I’m so disappointed I lost the game. I’ve got to take my hat off to Justin – he played really well and hung in there, and he did what he had to do.

Pipe, who has risen to 12th in the PDC Order of Merit after winning five ranking events in the past year, will now play Baxter in his first televised quarter-final on Friday.

Baxter, the 1998 World Matchplay runner-up, won through to his eighth quarter-final in 14 attempts in the event with a 13-8 defeat of Dean Winstanley.

The Yorkshireman hit nine 180s in a heavy-scoring match but was punished for landing only eight of 32 darts at a double, with Baxter’s more clinical finishing – which included checkouts of 116 and 110 – seeing him through.

“It’s great to be back in the quarter-finals,” said Baxter. “At times I struggled to find the treble 20 but Dean made a few mistakes and let me back in, and overall it was good.”

Taylor’s bid to win a fifth successive World Matchplay title, and a 13th since the event began in 1994, continued as he defeated Ian White 13-3 in an all-Stoke battle. Despite the one-sided scoreline and a 170 checkout from the world no.1, Taylor insisted afterwards that he must improve after recording his lowest average in the event for nine years, 91.71.

“It was a real struggle, a scrappy game,” said Taylor, who now faces another all-Stoke battle against Andy Hamilton tonight.

“I really like Ian and I couldn’t get that aggressive streak in me. I know it will be a different kettle of fish in the quarter-finals and I’ll have to be ready for Andy. He’s more of a grinder and a determined player.”

Taylor has been using a new set of darts this week but shrugged off any suggestions contributed to his disappointing average.

Hamilton shared the first 12 legs against Welshman Mark Webster before taking seven in a row to storm into the last eight for the second successive year.

Baxter and Pipe will kick off today’s quarter-finals at 1pm, followed by the clash between World Champion Adrian Lewis and two-time Blackpool finalist Terry Jenkins.

Taylor and Hamilton’s meeting will open the evening session before 2007 champion James Wade takes on nine-dart hero Van Gerwen in the final match over the best of 31 legs.