THE destination of the league title could be decided in one crunch game next week as rivals Neil Rose and Eddie Ashman go head-to-head.
After a three-week Christmas break, the league returned with a bang, with nine 180s hit on the night and four 100-plus checkouts.
Leader Rose accounted for two of those 180s as he fought off a quality performance by Anthony Gale.
Rose looked like he was cruising as he opened up a 2-0 lead, but Gale reeled off three great legs in 16, 17 and 20 darts to lead 3-2, only for Rose to take the last three legs in 13 and two 18-darters, including a 100 checkout.
Second-placed Eddie Ashman beat Martin Price 5-2 to remain one point behind Rose.
Eddie hit a 180 and won in best legs of 19, 21 and two 16-darters, with Martin winning both his legs in 21 darts.
Rose leads Ashman by just a point going into next week’s big clash.
Graham Mullen was pushed all the way against fellow finals night qualifier Kevin Guy.
Graham hit his 13th 180 of the season, plus best legs of 13, 18 and two 19-darters, Guy replying with 16, 20 and 21-darts legs.
Davey Thompson stays fourth after a 5-1 win against Spiller Henderson, with best legs of 17, 18 and 20 darts, including a 115 finish.
Alan Smith produced a fine display to earn a point against sixth-placed Anth Skelton, with Alan hitting two 180s and checkouts of 106 and 124 in four 21-dart winning legs.
Anth replied with a 180 of his own in a 20-dart leg.
Phil Dunn finally moved off the bottom for the first time since week 10 by beating John Allan 5-2. John now occupies bottom spot.
Ryhope’s John Redpath got three valuable points to keep his hopes of a place in the Grand Finals night alive as he beat Neil Richardson 5-1 with best legs of 19 and 20 darts, Richardson replying with a 180 in his 18-dart winning leg.
Paul Gillibrand secured three vital points as he beat Steve Skinner 5-3 to remain eighth with the help of 15 and 21-darters, including a 180, with Skinner replying in 19 and 20 darts.
In a catch-up game, Anth Skelton beat Anthony Gale, Anth’s best legs being in 19 and 20 darts.
Results: Davey Thompson 5 Spiller Henderson 1, John Redpath 5 Neil Richardson 1, Paul Gillibrand 5 Steve Skinner 3, Neil Rose 5 Anthony Gale 3, Graham Mullen 5 Kevin Guy 3, Alan Smith 4 Anth Skelton 4, John Allan 2 Phil Dunn 5, Martin Price 2 Eddie Ashman 5.
Week 29 fixtures: Neil Rose v Eddie Ashman, John Redpath v Anth Skelton, Paul Gillibrand v Graham Mullen, Kevin Guy v John Allan, Martin Price v Alan Smith, Steve Skinner v Neil Richardson, Davey Thompson v Anthony Gale, Phill Dunn v Spiller Henderson.