Fleetwood’s Wes Newton missed out on a place in the knockout stages of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts in the most dramatic circumstances in Wolverhampton
‘The Warrior’ won his final group game 5-4 against Simon Whitlock to force a nine-dart play-off with Mark Webster for a place in the last 16..
But Newton never got going in the tie-breaker, scoring only 40 from his first three darts and a total of 199 from nine.
Welshman Evans had already scored 272 from his first six darts and so had no need to throw his final three.
Having lost his opening group game to Evans on Saturday, Newton had given himself a lifeline with victory over Ross Smith but still needed to beat Whitlock to have any chance of qualifying as group winner or runner-up.
The Fylde favourite started the match with a 180 and won the first two legs only for the Australian fourth seed to draw level. Eighth seed Newton was never behind in the match but three times Whitlock pulled level, forcing a decider at 4-4.
However, Newton sealed the 5-4 victory with three 180s and a 13-dart finish.
Last night’s other group G game saw Webster defeat Smith 5-3, leaving three players tied on four points.
Whitlock finished top of the group on legs won, while joint-second Newton and Webster finished with identical records, forcing the play-off.
Webster will face Scott Waites in the second round, which gets under way tonight;
There will be a different name on the trophy this year as 2012 winner Raymond van Barneveld failed to move beyond the group stage, losing his final group game to Mervyn King.