- Grand Slam of Darts
Webster through in shoot out, Van Barneveld out at Grand Slam
Mark Webster won a rarely seen nine-dart shootout against Wes Newton to seal his place in the last 16 of the Grand Slam of Darts, but defending champion Raymond van Barneveld tumbled from the competition at the group stage on a dramatic night in Wolverhampton.
Newton only scored 40 on the first throws while Webster hit 135. Newton then hit 100 but Webster made 137, and could only score 59 on the third throws, failing to pass his opponent's 272.
Webster had battled to a 5-3 win over Ross Smith earlier in the night. Smith hit double five with his third dart to square the game at 3-3, but Webster bounced back in the next leg before hitting double ten with his last dart to break Smith's throw and seal victory.
Newton narrowly saw off Simon Whitlock 5-4 with a trio of 140 scores in the decider, winning the leg on tops for a 13-darter. The victory set up the shoot-out against Webster to settle who would be runner up in Group G.
Despite his defeat, Whitlock still finished winner of Group G. He will play Ted Hankey, who saw off Michael Smith 5-1.
Webster will next play Scott Waites, who beat Dave Chisnall 5-1. Chisnall lost the first leg but hit back with a 12-dart finish featuring a maximum. However Waites reeled off the next four legs, winning the match on double 15 to progress to the knockout phase with a 100% record from Group H. Chisnall finished rock bottom with no points.
Defending champion Van Barneveld was knocked out after Mervyn King beat him 5-3.
King was pegged back from 2-0 to 2-2, and from 4-2 to 4-3 before taking victory with a two-dart 62 finish to complete a 14-darter. King had to settle for runner up spot in Group E despite the win, by virtue of losing to Tony O'Shea in their encounter.
O'Shea demolished Ricky Evans 5-1 to secure his place in the second round. O'Shea won the first three legs before Evans pulled one back. However O'Shea quickly got back into his stride, landing double 12 to finish the match.
Andy Hamilton edged a thrilling contest 5-4 against Robert Thornton, with both men progressing. Thornton took a 2-0 lead before Hamilton squared for 2-2. Thornton then regained his lead with a second 180 in as many legs before a double five, though Hamilton responded again, levelling on double 16 after his opponent fluffed four chances to go up by two legs. Hamilton then went in front for the first time before being pegged back, but hit double 16 to win after the Scot missed with one dart at tops for a 104 finish.
Mark Walsh saw off Justin Pipe 5-2 to seal a confidence-boosting win. Pipe levelled the match at 2-2 before Walsh stretched ahead, with Pipe missing one dart at tops for a 117 finish in what proved to be the final leg before Walsh hit tops at the first time of asking.
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