Spiller in a thriller

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SPILLER Henderson grabbed the glory on the finals night for the bottom 12 players in the John Smith’s Seaham Knack Premier League.

But the night was a success throughout, showing the strength of the league with some excellent performances.

In the first round, Phil Dunn shared the first four legs with Barry Rutherford, with an 18-darter apiece. Dunn, though clinched victory with two 17-darters and a 20-dart leg to reach the last eight.

He was joined by Anthony Gale, who powered past Ray Malarkey 5-2, with a 17-darter and two 19-dart legs, Malarkey managing two 20-darters.

Neil Richardson produced his best performance for some time with a ruthless 5-0 victory over John Squire. with three 19-darters the highlights.

The tie of the round saw Alan Smith see off Martin Price 5-3 in a high-scoringh duel. Both had 15-darters.

In the quarter-finals, Dunn faced Tyne and Wear County player Anth Skelton and stormed into a 4-3 lead, helped by three 18-dart legs.

But Skelton, who finished ninth in the league, showed his class as he levelled and then clinched a tight 5-4 win with a fantastic 14-darter.

The other last-eight ties were more straightforward, with 5-0 whitewashes for the other seeds, as Steve Skinner, Henderson and Mark Robinson comprehensively defeated Richardson, Smith and Gale respectively.

Skelton came up against Robinson in the first semi, and he was on the wrong end of a nine-leg thriller this time, as Robinson’s impressive season continued with a 5-4 win. Both players had 15-darters in a thriller, plus 17-dart legs.

Henderson, meanwhile, edged a hard-fought battle 5-3 against Steve Skinner, with two 16-darters each the best legs.

The final had everything as Robinson and Henderson both finished off their season in style in an epic showdown.

Robinson moved into a 5-3 lead, but Henderson hit back to force a decider with the help of a maximum.

He then started the deciding leg with scores of 100, 140 and 140 to reach the double first and he made no mistake as he sank double top to secure the title with a 15-dart leg.

H The night also saw the final of the Cath Rose memorial competition in a 20 doubles format.

Rose took the first leg after a cagey start by both players, leaving Thompson stranded on double seven, before Thompson took the final to a deciding leg, with Rose on the same double seven.

Thompson looked set to be the first winner of the cup as he stormed round to double 17, but a determined Rose did not give in and came back to take the title with an emotional victory.

H Tomorrow sees the finals night for the top eight players, which also features England international Glen Durrant, who is currently ranked No.1 in the country. The night begins at 7pm at the Knack, with £1.50 admission.

Quarter-final line-up: Jimmy Ashett v John Redpath, Kevin Guy v Eddie Ashman, Paul Williams v Davey Thompson, Graham Mullen v Neil Rose