Paul Nicholson was denied victory in a dramatic final of the European Darts Trophy in Sindelfingen as he was edged out by Wes Newton on Monday evening after a brilliant run.
‘The Asset’ scooped the £10,000 runners-up prize but two missed darts at doubles proved the difference between winning the tournament, with Newton taking a 6-5 victory in Germany.
Nevertheless, Nicholson, who was also runner-up at the Dutch Darts Masters last year, can take great pride from his performances over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, which included an impressive semi-final victory over the new world number two Michael van Gerwen.
‘The Asset’ began his campaign in the PDC’s second European Tour event of 2013 with a 6-5 defeat of Belgian ace Ronny Huybrechts on Saturday.
He then went on to see off Colin Lloyd by the same score-line on Sunday after launching an incredible comeback from 5-1 down to reach the last 16.
There the Australian star fought off the challenge of Yorkshireman Dean Winstanley, winning 6-4, before progressing past Mark Webster in the quarter-finals.
Nicholson, the 2010 Players Champion, produced a fantastic performance in the last four to claim a 6-2 triumph against van Gerwen but narrowly missed out on victory in the deciding leg in the final.
“I’m so glad that I came to Germany,” said Nicholson, who is appearing at the Allstars of Andover later this year.
He told the PDC’s official website: “It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride this weekend but I set myself a goal when I came here and I put myself within touching distance of that.
“I’m very proud of myself but I’m feeling gutted right now because I had a shot to win the tournament, but I feel that this can kick-start my year now.”
van Gerwen’s run to the semi-final help him leapfrog Adrian Lewis in the Order of Merit to a career high second place.
Webster also enjoyed a fine run of results as he defeated the likes of Andy Hamilton and Ian White before losing out to Nicholson.
By Chris Murphy
Image courtesy of Carsten Arlt/PDC Europe
To celebrate its involvement in the fast-growing sport, Leyland Paints has created a Professional Darts Colour Card taking inspiration from the shirt colours of world number three, four and five players Michael van Gerwen, James Wade and Simon Whitlock, as well as Robert Thornton and Mark Webster.
That has prompted the quintet of oche favourites to agree to take to the stage at the UK Open at Bolton in June without their shirts, and instead cover their entire upper body in Leyland Paint, sprayed in their respective darts shirt colour.
“There are going to be some interesting sights with the five of us covered in sprayed on Leyland paint but it will be great fun,” said 44-year-old Australian Whitlock.
“I think my throwing arm will be freed up by replacing the shirt with spray paint so I’m convinced that all five of us will have a great tournament.”
The Colours of the Darts Scene card includes van Gerwen Green, named after the rising Dutch star, and Wizard Yellow for Whitlock.
Wade and Thornton will be represented by Machine Black and Thorny Blue, while former BDO world champion Webster – who is nicknamed Webby – will be sprayed in Red Back Spider for the UK Open.
Flight White and Oche Matt complete the card, which is called ‘Colours of the Darts Scene’.
“The inspiration for the colours came from the darter’s shirts and are all colours from the Leyland Trade colour range,” said Vicky Jones, stockist brand manager for Leyland Paints.
“We have given the colours special darts names for the occasion. After all, colour is highly emotive and these Colours of the Darts Scene certainly get the players in the mood for winning. You too could win with Leyland!”
*Please note – the above story was for the purposes of an April Fools joke… thankfully!