Richardson champ in a Spiller thriller

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NEIL Richardson defeated last year’s winner Spiller Henderson 6-2 in the Seaham Knack Premier League’s bottom 12’s finals night to take the title.

Richardson started his run to the final by coming from 3-1 down to beat Alan Smith 5-3 in the preliminary round, followeing up with two more 5-3 wins over Eddie Guy and Neil Mather as he edged his way to the final.

Henderson triumphed 5-1 in his opener against John Squire before an excellent performance in a 5-3 win over Ronnie Gill. He then convincingly beat Barry Rutherford 5-1 in the semi-final.

Rutherford and Mather produced possibly their best darts of the season until they reached the last four as Rutherford recorded wins over Anthony Gale and Steve Skinner, while Mather beat a much-improved Ray Malarkey in his first game before shocking the favorite Anth “Banjo” Skelton 5-2 with some heavy scoring and clinical finishing.

H Neil Rose, the defending champion of the Cath Rose Memorial event, was no match for the league winner, Paul Williams, as Sunderland’s number one ran out a 2-0 winner in the final of the 20 doubles format competition.

Preliminary round: Neil Mather 5 Ray Malarkey 3, Spiller Henderson 5 John Squire 1, Neil Richardson 5 Alan Smith 3, Barry Rutherford 5 Anthony Gale 4

Quarter-finals: Anth Skelton 2 Mather 5, Eddie Guy 3 Richardson 5, Ronnie Gill 3 Henderson 5, Steve Skinner 2 Rutherford 5

Semi-finals: Mather 3 Richardson 5, Henderson 5 Rutherford 1

Final: Richardson 6 Henderson 2

H The grand finals night is on Tuesday (7.30pm start), with the draw already made.

Quarter-final line-up: (1) Paul Williams v (8) Martin Price, (4) Graham Mullen v (5) Davey Thompson, (2) Kevin Guy v (7) John Redpath, (3) Eddie Ashman v (6) Neil Rose