Paul Williams, Sunderland’s number one darts player, showed why he is the favourite for the John Smith’s sponsored Knack Premier League with two top draw performances.
First up for Williams, pictured, was Eddie Ashman who could count himself unlucky after missing many darts as Williams came out on top 5-1 with a 180 and winning his legs in 17, 18, 16, 17 and 15 darts.
Kevin Guy was next up for Williams and despite pushing him all the way to a deciding leg it was a 5-3 success for Paul and another maximum and legs of 14, 15, 16.
Guy hit 20-ton plus scores and legs in 23, 18 and 16 darts.
Guy did manage three points earlier in the night with a comfortable victory over newcomer John “squizzy” Squire with 15, 18 and 20 darts, including a 120 checkout.
In a repeat of last season’s final, reigning champion Graham Mullen had to dig deep to grab a draw against Davey Thompson.
Thompson hit 22-ton plus darts, including a tremendous 121 checkout to complete an excellent 12-dart leg.
Mullen replied with legs of 15, 19 and two 21-darters, including a 180 and a 108 finish.
Spiller Henderson produced another fine performance against Ray Malarkey which included a maximum and a 16-dart best leg.
Ray Malarkey had more success later in the night with a 5-0 hammering of Neil Richardson.
Richardson dropped to second bottom after two defeats with Barry Rutherford’s deadly finishing seeing him leapfrog Richardson after a 5-3 win.
Steve Skinner had a hard-fought 5-3 win against Mark Robinson.
Ryhope’s John Redpath was pushed hard by Alan Smith, but came out on top with a 5-2 win, despite a maximum by Smith.
Jimmy Ashett remains in second place after a 5-1 win against an impressive Phil Dunn, but it was Ashett who proved too strong, winning legs in 19, 18, 17, 18 and 19 darts.
Anthony Gale took advantage of Martin Price’s poor finishing to scrape a draw, despite Price hitting two maximums.
Anth Skelton defeated Neil Rose, who continues to struggle this season, with Anth hitting a maximum and best legs of 16, 17 and two 21-darters in a 5-3 win.
Rose’s only highlight was two maximums in another poor showing.