Wes Newton is in the darts form of his life and landed his second runner-up prize of the month in Holland.
The proud new father from Fleetwood couldn’t have been closer to first prize at the weekend’s first Dutch Darts Trophy Players Championship, pipped 6-5 by Gary Anderson in the final in Nuland after missing two doubles for the title.
Anderson then followed Newton to become only the sixth player to win two Professional Darts Corporation Players’ Championships on the same weekend when he triumphed in yesterday’s event at the same venue.
In that final he was a 6-3 winner over Andy Smith, who will be Newton’s opponent in the first round of the World Matchplay at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens next month.
Newton was edged out in the fourth round 6-5 by Kevin Painter yesterday, following Saturday’s run to the final saw the world No.8 maintain the form which had made him a finalist in the Speedy Hire UK Open at Bolton a fortnight earlier.
He had opened his day with a whitewash win over Roland Kurok, before defeating Michael Mansell 6-2, Dave Chisnall 6-5, Roland Scholten 6-4, Michael van Gerwen 6-3 and semi-finalist Mark Walsh 6-3 en route to the £3,000 runner-up prize.
In the final, Anderson broke Newton’s throw immediately to take the opening leg and double ten to double his lead.
Newton, inpsired by a 101 finish, won three of the next four to level the game at 3-3 before finishing double 16 at the sixth time of asking to take the lead.
Anderson levelled with a 100 finish which featured two double tops but missed the bull to break in the ninth as Newton posted double ten to lead 5-4.
Anderson produced a brilliant 12-darter to level and send the game into a decider, which he opened with a 180.
Newton, though, was first to a double but missed darts at double 16 and double eight as Anderson stepped up to finish 75 on tops and triumph.
Newton said: “It’s disappointing to lose a second final in two weeks, and I don’t want to become known as ‘the bridesmaid’ by losing.
“I’m obviously pleased, though, to have done so well and everything’s going really well for me at the moment.”
Blackpool-born Ronnie Baxter was a fourth-round loser both days, defeated by Colin Osborne 6-1 on Saturday and by Steve Beaton 6-3 yesterday.
n Newton has never won a match in the World Matchplay but the formbook suggests he will do so in next month’s £400,000 Blackpool spectacular.
Fleetwood’s finest faces a first round test against fellow Englishman Andy Smith, the so-called ‘Pieman’ from Worcestershire who turns 44 on Wednesday.
Champion Phil Taylor begins his quest for a 12th World Matchplay title against emerging star Mark Hylton, while World Champion Adrian Lewis faces Painter.
Last year’s Winter Gardens runner-up Raymond van Barneveld meets Bristol’s Steve Brown, while Gary Anderson, who won his fifth and sixth PDC titles of the year in Holland over the weekend, meets Andy Hamilton and Blackpool-born Ronnie Baxter meets UK Open semi-finalist Denis Ovens.
The first-round ties will be spread over the first four days of the nine-day tournament (July 16-24), with the running order to be confirmed.
Tickets for some sessions are still available from the Winter Gardens box-office or via Ticketmaster on 0844 856 11 11.
World matchplay first round draw (with seedings, all players from England unless indicated): Phil Taylor (1) v Mark Hylton, Wayne Jones (16) v Scott Rand, Wes Newton (8) v Andy Smith, Mervyn King (9) v Justin Pipe, Simon Whitlock (5, Aus) v Peter Wright, Ronnie Baxter (12) v Denis Ovens, Gary Anderson (4, Sco) v Andy Hamilton, Colin Lloyd (13) v John Henderson (Sco), Adrian Lewis (2) v Kevin Painter, Vincent van der Voort (15, Holl) v Alan Tabern, Terry Jenkins (7) v Steve Beaton, Mark Webster (10, Wal) v John Part (Can), Raymond van Barneveld (6, Holl) v Steve Brown, Paul Nicholson (11, Aus) v Colin Osborne, James Wade (3) v Jamie Caven, Mark Walsh (14) v Dave Chisnall