Rose blooms to finish top

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THERE was a dramatic ending on the last week of the season as the league’s top spot, in the Knack Darts League, changed position one last time.

After finally knocking Neil Rose off top spot for the first time all season last week, Eddie Ashman went into the final game only needing a point to secure first place and be top seed for the finals night.

However, he came up against an excellent performance by fourth-placed Davey Thompson, who ran out a 5-2 winner to give Neil Rose, pictured right, the chance to reclaim his position at the top.

Davey stormed into a 3-0 lead in 18, 16 and 20 darts before Ashman threatened a comeback by taking the next leg with a 120 checkout in 18 darts.

Davey then took the next leg in 20 darts before Ashman pulled another leg back in 18.

However, a determined Davey won the next leg and the three points to leave the title race wide open.

Not to waste his chance, Neil Rose put on a nerveless display against the vastly improved Alan Smith to capture the title by winning 5-1.

After last week’s setback, Rose opened up a three-leg lead in 17, 19 and 21 darts and despite losing the next leg he wrapped up the match and first place, winning the next two legs in 22 and 19-darters.

Kevin Guy continued his fine form with a comfortable 5-2 win against Spiller Henderson.

Guy, who reached the last 16 at the Teeside Open in Middlesborough out of a field of 185, cemented fifth place with 14, 19, 20 and 21-darters, including a 180.

Ryhope’s John Redpath started the night outside the top eight, with only a victory good enough to leapfrog his opponent Steve Skinner to a Grand Finals Night spot.

However, he duly obliged in a nervy 5-2 win, both players hitting 17-darters, which saw Skinner drop out of the top eight for the first time.

Paul Gillibrand also booked his place in the finals night by overcoming John Allan 5-1.

Gillibrand, knowing a win would be enough, hit a couple of 18-darters in a commanding win which sees him finish seventh.

Graham Mullen hit two 180s in a 5-1 win against Neil Richardson to overtake Rose and finish top of the 180s table.

Mullen also hit best legs of 15, 16, 17 and 18 darts, Richardson replying with an 18-darter of his own.

Phil Dunn finished the season on a high with a 5-3 win against Anthony Gale, with 20-darters being both players’ best performances.

Martin Price and sixth-placed Anth Skelton shared the points in a high-scoring contest, both players hitting 19 and 21 dart legs and Price also hitting a 180.

Week 30 results: Eddie Asman 2 Davey Thompson 5; Martin Price 4 Anth Skelton 4; Paul Gillibrand 5 John Allan 1; Graham Mullen 5 Neil Richardson 1; Kevin Guy 5 Spiller Henderson 2; Phil Dunn 5 Anthony Gale 3; John Redpath 5 Steve Skinner 2; Neil Rose 5 Alan Smith 1

Grand Finals Night Draw: Neil Rose v John Redpath; Davey Thompson v Kevin Guy; Eddie Ashman v Paul Gillibrand; Graham Mullen v Anth Skelton

Bottom eight finals night: Steve Skinner v John Allan; Anthony Gale v Spiller Henderson; Martin Price v Neil Richardson; Alan Smith v Phil Dunn.