NEIL Rose produced the performance of the night in the John Smith’s Knack Premier League, after he fought off Ray Malarkey to finish a 5-1 winner.
Rose, after struggling for form in recent months, raced out of the blocks to win the first three legs.
Malarkey took the fourth in 20 darts, but Rose completed the win with 17- and 18-darters.
Kevin Guy showed all his battling qualities to remain second as he edged out Steve Skinner in an eight-leg thriller.
Skinner’s confidence seemed to be sky high after the previous week’s stunning victory over Paul Williams, when he opened up a 2-0 lead, but Guy showed his class to take the next four legs.
In leg seven, Guy missed tops for a 114 checkout which allowed Skinner to force a decider, but an excellent 112 finish for a 15-darter gave Guy a 5-3 win.
Sunderland’s number one, Paul Williams, bounced back from his shock defeat with a 5-0 win over Spiller Henderson, including legs of 15, 17 and 18 darts.
Davey Thompson inflicted a first defeat of the campaign on Dawdon’s Martin Price in another eight-leg thriller.
Price twice led, but Thompson came back again to go 4-3 up. Price missed doubles in the decider and Thompson made him pay to snatch victory.
Neil Mather suffered another whitewash, this time against Eddie Ashman, while John Squire missed the chance to upset Graham Mullen.
Squire looked in control when leading 2-1, but missed doubles in the next two legs denied him the opportunity of a stunning result. A superb 14-darter helped Mullen go 3-2 up, and he finished a 5-2 victor.
Anth Skelton defeated Barry Rutherford 5-1, while another improved display by Anthony Gale saw him draw 4-4 with Mark Robinson, with both players hitting a couple of 21-darters.
League leader Jimmy Ashett cruised 4-0 up, but Neil Richardson took the next two legs before losing the seventh. John “Boy” Redpath enjoyed a hard-fought 5-2 win over Alan Smith, with a 20-darter and two legs in 21.
Results: John Squire 2 Graham Mullen 5, Spiller Henderson 0 Paul Williams 5, John Redpath 5 Alan Smith 2, Jimmy Ashett 5 Neil Richardson 2, Neil Rose 5 Ray Malarkey 1, Steve Skinner 3 Kevin Guy 5, Eddie Ashman 5 Neil Mather 0, Mark Robinson 4 Anthony Gale 4, Davey Thompson 5 Martin Price 3, Anth Skelton 5 Barry Rutherford 1.