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Simon Whitlock Defeats Dennis Priestley in Dublin

SIMON WHITLOCK won his fifth Players Championship title of 2010 with a 6-1 defeat of Dennis Priestley in Saturday’s event at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.

The Australian, who picked up four wins in just over a month earlier this year, prepared in ideal fashion for next week’s Bodog.com World Grand Prix with the triumph over Priestley.

He was made to battle throughout the day, with three of his six contests going the full 11-leg distance, firstly against Hampshire’s emerging Arron Monk, secondly against Dutchman Roland Scholten in the last 16 and then against Justin Pipe in the semis.

Whitlock also overcame Tony Eccles and Andy Hamilton in his progression to the final, where he proved too powerful for Priestley.

Whitlock hit two 180s in a 12-darter to open the final, and missed the bullseye for a 170 finish in the second leg as double ten got the two-time World Champion off the mark.

However, Priestley was left waiting on 40 as Whitlock took the third, and the Aussie defied a 180 from the veteran to hit three 140s in a 12-darter to break and move 3-1 up.

Priestley missed two darts to steal the next and a further dart in leg six as Whitlock opened up a 5-1 lead, before landing a fourth 180 of the final in a 13-darter to seal the win.

“I’m delighted to win again and it’s a big confidence boost ahead of the World Grand Prix,” said Whitlock. “Dennis is a great competitor – I hope I’m playing as well as him when I reach 60!”

Priestley had been bidding to claim his second title inside six weeks, having defeated Whitlock on his way to the Australian Open Players Championship in August.

He saw off Nick Fullwell, Paul Rowley, Vincent van der Voort and Louis Blundell in winning through to the quarter-finals, before edging out Ronnie Baxter 6-5 and then defeating Ian White 6-2.

That victory denied Stoke-based White a first PDC ProTour final after his best run yet, which included wins over world number three James Wade, Brendan Dolan, Paul Nicholson and Alan Tabern.

Pipe’s run to the semis was his second of the year, following his success in Barnsley in June, and saw him whitewash Mark Lawrence and Matt Clark as well as see off Adrian Lewis and Dutch pair Michael van Gerwen and Co Stompe.

Runs to the quarter-finals for Hamilton, Stompe, Baxter and Tabern saw them warm up nicely for the World Grand Prix, which begins on Monday night.

Sunday sees a second £31,600 Players Championship held at the Citywest Hotel, with 105 players in competition.

Dublin Players Championship (PC29)
First Round

Simon Whitlock (1) Bye
Arron Monk 6-1 Robbie Newland
Tony Eccles (32) 6-0 Jon Archer
Wayne Mardle 6-0 Martin Carvill
Andy Smith (16) Bye
Steve Hine 6-3 Adrian Gray
Mark Dudbridge (17) Bye
Roland Scholten 6-3 Chris Thompson
Jamie Caven (8) Bye
Colin Monk 6-5 Par Riihonen
Steve Brown (25) 6-0 Mareno Michels
Andy Jenkins 6-3 Kevin McDine
Andy Hamilton (9) Bye
Tony Ayres 6-5 Darren Johnson
Nigel Heydon 6-4 Terry Jenkins (24)
Mark Hylton 6-2 Stephen Hardy
Gary Anderson (5) Bye
Mark Jodrill 6-3 Chris Iedema
Mark Webster (28) 6-1 Henry Zapata
Mick McGowan 6-2 Peter Manley
Denis Ovens (12) Bye
Michael Barnard 6-3 Dylan Duo
Co Stompe (21) Bye
David Coyne 6-0 Jim McKevitt
Adrian Lewis (4) Bye
Justin Pipe 6-0 Mark Lawrence
Michael van Gerwen (29) 6-5 Martyn Turner
Alex Roy 6-0 Manuel Croskery
Steve Beaton (13) Bye
Paul Williams 6-4 Simon Burt
Kevin Painter (20) Bye
Matt Clark 6-4 Andy Relf
Colin Lloyd (2) Bye
Andy Pearce 6-3 Felix McBrearty
Robert Thornton (31) 6-3 Ali Powell
Steve Evans 6-3 John MaGowan
Mervyn King (15) Bye
Dennis Smith 6-3 Dave Ladley
Ronnie Baxter (18) Bye
Joe Cullen 6-4 John Part
Vincent van der Voort (7) Bye
Nigel Birch 6-3 Gary Eastwood
Dennis Priestley (26) 6-3 Nick Fullwell
Paul Rowley 6-4 Michael Mansell
Mark Walsh (10) Bye
Kirk Shepherd 6-4 Richie Burnett
Louis Blundell 6-2 Barrie Bates (23)
Kevin Dowling 6-4 Geoff Whitworth
James Wade (6) Bye
Tony Randell 6-5 Matt Padgett
Brendan Dolan (27) 6-5 Scott Rand
Ian White 6-0 Ian McFarlane
Wayne Jones (11) Bye
Wayne Atwood 6-2 Tomas McGrath
Paul Nicholson (22) Bye
Mark Frost 6-5 Peter Hudson
Wes Newton (3) Bye
Michael Rosenauer 6-2 Denis McCarthy
William O’Connor 6-5 Jelle Klaasen (30)
Steve Maish 6-0 Mike Roberts
Colin Osborne (14) Bye
Aodhagan O’Neill 6-3 Steve Grubb
Alan Tabern (19) Bye
Peter Wright 6-1 Glen Fitzpatrick

Second Round
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Arron Monk
Tony Eccles 6-3 Wayne Mardle
Andy Smith 6-4 Steve Hine
Roland Scholten 6-3 Mark Dudbridge
Jamie Caven 6-0 Colin Monk
Steve Brown 6-3 Andy Jenkins
Andy Hamilton 6-2 Tony Ayres
Mark Hylton 6-2 Nigel Heydon
Gary Anderson 6-1 Mark Jodrill
Mark Webster 6-1 Mick McGowan
Michael Barnard 6-5 Denis Ovens
Co Stompe 6-4 David Coyne
Justin Pipe 6-4 Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Alex Roy
Steve Beaton 6-1 Paul Williams
Matt Clark 6-4 Kevin Painter
Colin Lloyd 6-1 Andy Pearce
Robert Thornton 6-3 Steve Evans
Dennis Smith 6-2 Mervyn King
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 Joe Cullen
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Nigel Birch
Dennis Priestley 6-2 Paul Rowley
Kirk Shepherd 6-0 Mark Walsh
Louis Blundell 6-3 Kevin Dowling
James Wade 6-2 Tony Randell
Ian White 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Wayne Jones 6-2 Wayne Atwood
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Mark Frost
Wes Newton 6-3 Michael Rosenauer
William O’Connor 6-2 Steve Maish
Colin Osborne 6-3 Aodhagan O’Neill
Alan Tabern 6-0 Peter Wright
Losers £200

Third Round
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Tony Eccles
Roland Scholten 6-4 Andy Smith
Steve Brown 6-4 Jamie Caven
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Mark Hylton
Mark Webster 6-4 Gary Anderson
Co Stompe 6-2 Michael Barnard
Justin Pipe 6-2 Michael van Gerwen
Matt Clark 6-5 Steve Beaton
Robert Thornton 6-5 Colin Lloyd
Ronnie Baxter 6-2 Dennis Smith
Dennis Priestley 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Louis Blundell 6-5 Kirk Shepherd
Ian White 6-5 James Wade
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Wayne Jones
Wes Newton 6-4 William O’Connor
Alan Tabern 6-2 Colin Osborne
Losers £300

Fourth Round
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Roland Scholten
Andy Hamilton 6-1 Steve Brown
Co Stompe 6-3 Mark Webster
Justin Pipe 6-0 Matt Clark
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 Robert Thornton
Dennis Priestley 6-4 Louis Blundell
Ian White 6-1 Paul Nicholson
Alan Tabern 6-4 Wes Newton
Losers £500

Quarter-Finals
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Justin Pipe 6-5 Co Stompe
Dennis Priestley 6-5 Ronnie Baxter
Ian White 6-4 Alan Tabern
Losers £1,000

Semi-Finals
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Justin Pipe
Dennis Priestley 6-2 Ian White
Losers £1,500

Final
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Dennis Priestley
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

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