SIMON WHITLOCK 8 – 6 Adrian Lewis
Simon Whitlock clinched second place in the McCoy’s Premier League after a brilliant fight back in Newcastle, which eliminated World Champion Adrian Lewis, ahead of next week’s Play-Offs.
‘The Wizard’, who trailed 5-2 at one point, produced some brilliant darts, including five 180’s and two ton-plus finishes, on his way to an 8-6 triumph at the Metro Radio Arena.
“When I was 5-2 down it took a lot of bottle to come back,” said Whitlock. “It’s very important to finish second because nobody really wants to play Phil Taylor in the semi-final.
“The McCoy’s Premier League this year has been the hardest ever so I am delighted to be part of, and very proud to be in the semi-finals. The next step is to win it.”
Lewis held his throw in the opening leg and ‘The Wizard’ responded in style, hitting his first 180 before taking out 92.
Whitlock missed double 16 for a 112 checkout in attempt to break the throw, allowing ‘Jackpot’ to regain the lead.
The Australian ace slotted in his second maximum in leg four, but Lewis hit the bullseye to double his advantage.
Lewis held his throw again to go 4-1 up, before ‘The Wizard’ took out a brilliant 130 finish on the bull to pull a leg back before break.
Lewis restored his three leg lead with an 81 checkout in the seventh leg, and looked set to win the eighth before Whitlock rescued it by hitting his third 180, followed by a two dart 77 checkout.
That proved to be a real turning point in the match, as the world number six grabbed a crucial break back to reduce Lewis’ lead to 5-4.
‘The Wizard’ then restored parity, hitting his fourth maximum in the process, before ‘Jackpot’ hit double top to edge back in front.
Whitlock’s fifth maximum helped him on his way to clinching the twelfth leg, before grabbing a break of throw with a magnificent 140 checkout.
That stunning finish meant Whitlock would take at least a point off the World Champion, confirming a second place finish in the league, but ‘The Wizard’ wasn’t finished there and claimed the victory on double 16.
By Chris Murphy