It was a case of so near, but yet so far once more for Wes Newton as Dutch ace Michael van Gerwen swept to victory in the Players Championship 8 tournament in Birmingham.
For the second consecutive day, Newton lost out in the PC semi-finals – this time a 6-3 loser to Simon Whitlock.
The Australian was then walloped 6-1 by an inspired Van Gerwen in the final....it was his second Pro Tour win of the year and rounded off a series of outstanding performances.
The young Dutchman saw off UK Open winner Robert Thornton in the semi-finals and averaged a brilliant 109 in demolishing Justin Pipe 6-1 in the quarter-finals, before accounting for Whitlock in the final.
Unicorn man Newton beat Stephen Hardy, Michael Barnard and John Henderson, before a dramatic last leg victory over Darren Webster in the quarter-finals, thanks to a 95 bull finish!
Two Team Unicorn stars reached the last 16.....Raymond van Barneveld averaged 100 but still lost 6-4 to Steve Beaton, while Kevin Painter went down 6-3 to Justin Pipe.
Gary Anderson was again left cursing missed doubles, because he averaged 98 – a full 10 points more than Robert Thornton – but lost 6-4 to his fellow Scot after a lot of chances went begging.
That was in round three, where Andy Hamilton lost by the same score against Whitlock, with the Aussie averaging a terrific 106.
It was a real struggle for the rest of the Team Unicorn stars in action in Birmingham on Sunday.
In the 2nd Round, Colin Osborne lost 6-3 to Dean Winstanley, Terry Jenkins was beaten by the same score against John Henderson, Devon Petersen went down 6-4 to Steve Beaton and Joe Cullen was again hugely disappointed after losing another last leg decider.
We remember his heartbreaking last leg defeat to Denis Ovens at the UK Open in Bolton....well, on this occasion, he lost in a deciding leg to Adrian Lewis....Cullen averaged 97 but he missed three darts to win it in that decider.
In the 1st Round, Jamie Caven lost 6-4 to Brian Woods, Keegan Brown was also a 6-4 loser to Scott Rand and Arron Monk was beaten 6-2 by Colin Lloyd.
Team Unicorn’s Paul Nicholson was forced out of the tournament.....his long-standing shoulder problem flared up again and he didn’t play on Sunday.
PC 8 results – Quarter-Finals:
Robert Thornton 6-2 Steve Beaton
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Justin Pipe
Wes Newton 6-5 Darren Webster
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Mervyn King
Losers - £1,000
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Robert Thornton
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Wes Newton
Losers - £2,000
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Simon Whitlock
Winner - £6,000
Runner-up - £3,000
By STUART PYKE
Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC