Ashman on fire for Knack opening night

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EDDIE Ashman stole the show on the first day of the new Coors and Collinson’s Jewellers Knack Premier League in Seaham, producing an excellent 6-1 win over Alan Smith.

Ashman’s victory included a maximum and winning legs of 14 and 15 darts, plus a tremendous 12-darter, which lays down the marker for the season.

Reigning champ Kevin Guy defied an impressive performance from Anthony Gale, who hit a 180 and had winning legs of 17, 19 and 20 darts. Guy showed his class as he ran out a 6-3 winner.

Paul Williams had the look of someone who wants his title back when he produced a fine performance to overcome John Redpath 6-3, featuring 146 and 101 checkouts as he won in legs of 15 darts (twice), 16 and 19 (twice). Redpath’s best legs came in 15 and 17 darts.

Steve Skinner showed no mercy as he beat Ray Malarkey 6-0.

Last season’s bottom-half winner, Neil Richardson, had to come from 3-2 down to defeat debutant Dan Gillibrand 6-3.

Gillibrand showed some fine darts at times, but Richardson proved too strong.

Paul Gillibrand marked his returns to the league by overcoming Spiller Henderson 6-4 in a thriller, powering home from 4-2 down to pick up three points John Allan was on the wrong end of a 6-2 scoreline on his return after an impressive display by Anth Skelton, who had best legs of 16, 17 and 21 darts.

Davey Thompson won four straight legs to defeat John Squire 6-2, while Neil Rose punished a few missed doubles by Neil Mather when he rallied from 2-1 down to win 6-2.