Wes Newton won his second UK Open qualifier of the year in Birmingham on Sunday.
On a day when Unicorn young gun Joe Cullen maintained his top form by reaching the semi-finals, it was Newton who took the honours to win the final UK Open qualifier ahead of the main event in Bolton next month.
Newton was in great touch as he beat Justin Pipe 6-2 in the final.....Pipe had ended Cullen’s day with a 6-0 semi-final win.
But there was no stopping the Fleetwood man on his way to the £6,000 prize.
He kept focused all day....seven wins and seven top performances....job done!
In the final, Newton averaged well over the 100 mark.
He started with a 146 finish to break the throw and certainly didn’t panic after Pipe took the next two legs.
The Unicorn star responded brilliantly by reeling off five straight legs....the run included a 61 finish, a 12 darter with an 81 check-out to break Pipe again, then a 14 darter and an 86 finish to clinch the win.
Newton’s victory makes him second seed for the finals at the Reebok, behind Raymond van Barneveld....and Team Unicorn will make up the top four seeds, with Phil Taylor and Terry Jenkins following on.
But defending champion James Wade will have to enter the tournament in the 1st Round on the opening night.
Cullen ran out of steam in the semi-finals, but what a week it’s been, with this terrific performance coming just seven days after his great run to the quarter-finals of the Austrian Darts Trophy.
In Vienna, he lost 6-4 to Pipe and pocketed £3,000....this time the precious prize money of £2,000 will mean that Cullen is edging ever closer to a qualifying place for the World Matchplay through the Pro Tour Order of Merit.
And Cullen claimed some notable scalps including Vincent van der Voort 6-1 in the last 16, followed by an impressive 6-4 quarter-final victory over Mark Hylton.
Elsewhere in Birmingham, Colin Osborne was beaten 6-4 by Pipe in the last 16, while four Team Unicorn players lost out in the 2nd Round.
Paul Nicholson’s disappointing run continued as he was beaten in a last leg decider by Richie Howson, Kevin Painter went down 6-3 against Andrew Gilding, Michael Rosenauer lost 6-1 to Andy Jenkins and Andy Hamilton was a 6-5 loser against Jelle Klaasen.
In the 1st Round, Gary Anderson was a surprise 6-2 loser to Steve Brown and Saturday’s winner Terry Jenkins was beaten in the 11th leg by Gilding.
The other four Unicorn players on show fell at the first hurdle.....Steffi Luck ran Antonio Alcinas close before being edged out 6-4, Devon Petersen missed chances as he lost in the last leg to Nigel Heydon, Jamie Caven was a 6-4 loser to Michael van Gerwen and Arron Monk went down 6-1 to Michael Barnard.
UK Open 8 results – Quarter Finals:
Joe Cullen 6-4 Mark Hylton
Wes Newton 6-3 Robert Thornton
Andy Smith 6-4 Peter Wright
Justin Pipe 6-3 James Hubbard
Losers - £1,000
Wes Newton 6-3 Andy Smith
Justin Pipe 6-0 Joe Cullen
Losers - £2,000
Wes Newton 6-2 Justin Pipe
Winner - £6,000
Runner-up - £3,000
By STUART PYKE
Photo courtesy PDC