WES NEWTON booked his place in the Winners Group of Championship League Darts with a comprehensive 6-1 win over Co Stompe in the Group Five final on Wednesday.
Newton, the world number 20, entered the internet-streamed tournament in Group Five and produced a fine display in the play-offs to take victory.
Having won four of his seven league games in the round-robin phase, Newton found himself fourth in the table on leg difference, but routed league leader Adrian Lewis 6-1 in the semis.
Newton led 3-0 as Lewis, for the second successive day, paid for a slow start to the semis before the Fleetwood ace took the win.
He then came from a leg down against Stompe to reel off six in a row in the final, taking two breaks of throw in establishing a 4-1 lead before sealing victory with finishes of 116 and 118.
Newton now progresses to October’s big-money Winners Group alongside Phil Taylor, Simon Whitlock, Alan Tabern and James Wade, with a £10,000 first prize on offer alongside places in the Grand Slam of Darts for the finalists.
“I’m really pleased to have won through to the Winners Group at the first attempt,” said Newton. “I felt fresh coming into the day and, after losing my first game, I felt I played well throughout the league stage.
“In the semis and final my opponents didn’t play as well as they had earlier on, but all I could concentrate on was my own game and I’m delighted with how I played.
“I can look forward to the Winners Group now and I know that there’s a place in the Grand Slam up for grabs too, but most of all I’d love to win this title.”
Stompe will now return on Thursday to compete in a fifth successive group, having entered in Group Two after Mervyn King withdrew through injury.
Lewis will continue an ever-present record this year, having finished top of the league table for a second successive day with five wins from his seven league games only to fall in the play-offs.
Veteran two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley missed out on a play-off place on leg difference having won four games – the same as Stompe, Newton and the other semi-final loser Wayne Jones, who went down 6-3 to Stompe.
Vincent van der Voort avoided elimination in dramatic circumstances in the final round of games, hitting finishes of 139, 111, 153 and 164 in a win over Stompe to end Gary Anderson’s hopes in the event.
Kevin Painter also drops out of the competition, having won just one of his seven matches, while former World Champions Steve Beaton and Jelle Klaasen are joined by Jamie Caven in entering for Group Six.
Championship League Darts is streamed exclusively live around the world through 16 bookmakers’ websites, as well as to PDCtv subscribers at the PDC’s official website, www.pdc.tv.