WES Newton recorded a career first in the 2011 Championship League Darts in Essex – he defeated world No.1 Phil Taylor.
The Fleetwood star reached the final on the opening night of this year’s championship at Crondon Park Golf Club, losing out 6-1 to Gary Anderson.
But Newton, now ranked No.7 in the world in the Professional Darts Corporation rankings, will always have fond memories of the event following his brilliant defeat of Taylor in the semi-finals.
Newton took the first two legs only for the Stoke supremo to level and then move within a leg of the match at 5-4.
He missed a bull for a 164 finish and Newton seized his chance, landing double three to force a decider.
Newton’s 140 checkout for a 12-darter secured a superb 6-5 win.
Taylor had earlier beaten Newton in the round-robin group, in which the Lancastrian qualified for the semis in fourth place after winning four of the seven matches.
However, the 34-year-old couldn’t follow his landmark win over Taylor with victory in the final as Scot Anderson took the first four legs.
Newton got off the mark with a double three in the fifth but Anderson duly followed that with the two legs he needed to become the first player through to the big-money winner’s group on October 20.
Newton said: “I meant a lot to me to defeat Phil because I’ve been a professional for ten years and I’d never done it before, but it was hard to stay focused for the final after that. Gary deserved to win the final and it’s up to me to knuckle down again.”
Taylor bounced back to book his place in the winner’s group with victory in last night’s second group. He again topped the round-robin and went on to beat Simon Whitlock 6-5 in the final. Newton finished fifth after winning three of his seven games.
He has six more chances to qualify for the winner’s group, starting tonight. Each time the eight-man round-robin will contain three new players (based on the PDC world rankings). They replace the previous winner and the two who finished bottom of the league table (who are eliminated).
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