Pipe Claims First Blood In 2012
JUSTIN PIPE won the opening Players Championship of 2012 with a 6-0 whitewash of Paul Nicholson in Saturday's Spanish Darts Trophy final in Benidorm.
Pipe continued the form which saw him reach six of the last ten Players Championship finals in 2011 by claiming his fourth ranking title and a £6,000 prize at the Melia Hotel.
The 40-year-old from Taunton showed strong form throughout the event as he picked up seven victories, having begun the day by seeing off Eduardo Sales Lopes, Michael Barnard and Michael Smith.
He then defeated Mark Webster 6-4, saw off Shaun Griffiths 6-2 in the quarter-finals and Ian White 6-4 in the semis, but saved his most convincing display for the decider.
Having hit a 180 in the final's opening leg, Pipe also took the next two to lead 3-0 before finishing 81 in two darts for a four-leg advantage.
Nicholson missed two darts at double 18 in the fifth as Pipe hit a tricky tops with his third dart to move a leg away from the win, which he sealed by following a 180 with an improvised 26 finish of double six and double seven.
"It's a brilliant way to start the year," said Pipe. "Paul's always a tough opponent so I'm delighted to have won the final, and it wasn't as easy as the scoreline might suggest.
"I couldn't have asked for anything else today and it's fantastic to have carried my form from the latter part of last year into 2012.
"It was my first competition using my new Cosmo Darts set-up of barrels, flights and stems, so it´s a further boost to do so well with them."
He added: "I´d like to dedicate the win to my wife Claire - it´s her birthday on Sunday so this will help to buy her a nice present!"
Nicholson, meanwhile, picked up £3,000 as he enjoyed a run to the final, which included a high-quality 6-2 victory over Magnus Caris in the semis.
He also overcame Co Stompe, Steve Beaton and Mark Walsh in his run on the day in a strong start to the year.
White hit the first nine-dart finish of 2012 during his run to the semis, and receives a £2,000 bonus for the feat, which he hit during a first round victory over Mark Hylton.
The Stoke ace also whitewashed Matt Clark, defeated newcomer Keith Stephen and Terry Jenkins 6-5 and came from 2-0 down to see off Darren Whittingham 6-2 in the quarter-finals.
Sweden's Caris reached his maiden PDC ProTour semi-final, picking up wins over Richie Burnett, Dave Smith, Arron Monk, Darren Webster and Wes Newton in picking up £2,000 prize money.
Whittingham followed up his success in winning a Tour Card on the first day of Qualifying School with his best-ever finish on the PDC ProTour as he saw off three-time World Champion John Part, Dutch youngsters Toon Greebe and Jerry Hendriks and Steve Brown on the day.
Manchester youngster Shaun Griffiths joined Whittingham in the last eight, seeing off Dave Chisnall, Belgian Kurt Van De Rijck Colin Lloyd and Adrian Gray, while the ever-consistent Wes Newton and Mark Walsh also reached the quarters.
Norfolk's Darren Webster made a successful return to the PDC circuit by reaching the Last 16 alongside another of last weekend's Tour Card winners, Sussex's Adrian Gray.
There would be no fairytale debuts on the PDC ProTour for Ted Hankey, Dean Winstanley and Tony West, who all failed to reach the Last 64.
Hankey was knocked out in the preliminary round by Matthew Edgar, who hit back from 4-2 down to win 6-4, while Winstanley lost to Kim Hubrechts in round one and West was defeated by Andy Smith.
Both Co Stompe and Michael Smith went close to sharing the nine-dart finish bonus with White, but missed double 12 for perfect legs during the tournament in games against James Hubbard and Justin Pipe respectively.
Spanish Darts Trophy Players Championship (PC1, Saturday)
Jose Garcia Ruiz 6-1 Christof Leurs
Nick Fullwell 6-3 Martin Marti
John Bowles 6-0 Jose Luis Torres
Matthew Edgar 6-4 Ted Hankey
Roland Scholten 6-3 Christian Kallinger
Jesus Noguera 6-1 Jesus Gonzalez
Sam Hill 6-4 Eric Basullas
Chris Thompson 6-1 Dennis Smith
William O'Connor 6-2 Boris Krcmar
Devon Petersen 6-4 Paul Rowley
Rudy Van Der Zande 6-2 Justin Broton
Alex Roy 6-0 Jose Antonio Alvarez
Peter Manley 6-2 Mark Stephenson
Darren Webster 6-3 Steve Hine
Michael Mansell 6-0 Darren Johnson
Kirk Shepherd 6-1 Peter Hudson
Gino Vos 6-2 Dylan Duo
Dean Winstanley 6-2 Paul Barham
Kim Huybrechts 6-0 Simon Craven
Justin Pipe (1) 6-1 Eduardo Sales Lopez
Michael Barnard 6-2 Barrie Bates
Michael Smith (32) 6-0 Dyson Parody
Jose Garcia Ruiz 6-4 Steve Grubb
Mark Webster (16) 6-3 Joe Murnan
Prakash Jiwa 6-1 Chris Mason
Denis Ovens (17) 6-0 Jose Luis Rodriguez
Nick Fullwell 6-4 John Bowles
Shaun Griffiths 6-4 Dave Chisnall (8)
Kurt Van De Rijck 6-5 Chris Aubrey
Colin Lloyd (25) 6-4 Antonio Alcinas
Matthew Edgar 6-2 Ross Smith
Adrian Gray 6-2 Simon Whitlock (9)
Mick Todd 6-3 Brian Woods
Alan Tabern (24) 6-3 Stefanie Luck
Steve Evans 6-4 Roland Scholten
Vincent van der Voort (5) 6-3 Steve Maish
Julio Barbero 6-1 Manolo Vilerio
Terry Jenkins (28) 6-0 Jesus Sanchez
Jesus Noguera 6-0 Jon Archer
Colin Osborne (12) 6-1 Mareno Michels
Keith Stephen 6-0 Oleg Schuwalow
Ian White 6-4 Mark Hylton (21) - Ian White hits nine-dart finish
Matt Clark 6-1 Sam Hill
John Part (4) 6-1 Carlos Rodriguez
Darren Whittingham 6-2 Toon Greebe
Jerry Hendriks 6-5 Michael van Gerwen (29)
Chris Thompson 6-1 Ignacio Basullas
Steve Brown (13) 6-0 Armando Jesus Frias
Jose Antonio Justicia 6-0 Guillermo Corella
Andy Smith (20) 6-4 Tony West
William O'Connor 6-2 Jacinto Nieto
Wes Newton (2) 6-0 David Jiminez
Antonio Jiminez 6-0 Manuel Fernandez Josende
John Henderson (31) 6-4 Jose de Sousa
Kevin McDine 6-5 Devon Petersen
James Wade (15) 6-3 Terry Temple
Jelle Klaasen 6-0 Abel Alvarez
Kevin Painter (18) 6-2 Adam Smith-Neale
Alex Roy 6-0 Rudy van der Zande
Mervyn King (7) 6-2 Jyhan Artut
Arron Monk 6-1 Tomas Cristobal
Magnus Caris 6-3 Richie Burnett (26)
Dave Smith 6-2 Peter Manley
Jamie Caven (10) 6-5 Sergio Garcia
Javier Caurel 6-2 Rafael Leon
Wayne Jones (23) 6-1 Stefan Schaffer
Darren Webster 6-0 Michael Kraemer
Ronnie Baxter (6) 6-5 James Richardson
Mark Dudbridge 6-5 Bernd Roith
Raymond van Barneveld (27) 6-0 Juan Carlos Albaldejo
Michael Mansell 6-4 Diego Rufo
Mark Walsh (11) 6-4 Mensur Suljovic
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Nigel Heydon
Scott Rand (22) 6-2 Reece Robinson
Joe Cullen 6-4 Kirk Shepherd
Paul Nicholson (3) 6-1 Jairo Galcera
Toni Munoz 6-2 Simon Barker-Davies
Co Stompe (30) 6-3 Carlos Jiminez
James Hubbard 6-4 Gino Vos
Peter Wright (14) 6-2 Kevin Munch
Andy Hamilton 6-0 Bernd Schmidt
Steve Beaton (19) 6-1 Jamie Lewis
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Dean Winstanley
Justin Pipe 6-2 Michael Barnard
Michael Smith 6-3 Jose Garcia Ruiz
Mark Webster 6-2 Prakash Jiwa
Nick Fullwell 6-1 Denis Ovens
Shaun Griffiths 6-2 Kurt Van De Rijck
Colin Lloyd 6-4 Matthew Edgar
Adrian Gray 6-4 Mick Todd
Alan Tabern 6-4 Steve Evans
Vincent van der Voort 6-1 Julio Barbero
Terry Jenkins 6-0 Jesus Noguera
Keith Stephen 6-5 Colin Osborne
Ian White 6-0 Matt Clark
Darren Whittingham 6-2 John Part
Jerry Hendriks 6-2 Chris Thompson
Steve Brown 6-3 Jose Antonio Justicia
Andy Smith 6-5 William O'Connor
Wes Newton 6-1 Antonio Jiminez
John Henderson 6-2 Kevin McDine
James Wade 6-1 Jelle Klaasen
Alex Roy 6-4 Kevin Painter
Arron Monk 6-5 Mervyn King
Magnus Caris 6-3 Dave Smith
Jamie Caven 6-0 Javier Caurel
Darren Webster 6-5 Wayne Jones
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 Mark Dudbridge
Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 Michael Mansell
Mark Walsh 6-2 Brendan Dolan
Joe Cullen 6-5 Scott Rand
Paul Nicholson 6-1 Toni Munoz
Co Stompe 6-4 James Hubbard
Andy Hamilton 6-3 Peter Wright
Steve Beaton 6-0 Kim Huybrechts
Justin Pipe 6-3 Michael Smith
Mark Webster 6-2 Nick Fullwell
Shaun Griffiths 6-5 Colin Lloyd
Adrian Gray 6-5 Alan Tabern
Terry Jenkins 6-5 Vincent van der Voort
Ian White 6-5 Keith Stephen
Darren Whittingham 6-5 Jerry Hendriks
Steve Brown 6-5 Andy Smith
Wes Newton 6-2 John Henderson
James Wade 6-4 Alex Roy
Magnus Caris 6-4 Arron Monk
Darren Webster 6-3 Jamie Caven
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Ronnie Baxter
Mark Walsh 6-2 Joe Cullen
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Co Stompe
Steve Beaton 6-5 Andy Hamilton
Justin Pipe 6-4 Mark Webster
Shaun Griffiths 6-2 Adrian Gray
Ian White 6-5 Terry Jenkins
Darren Whittingham 6-2 Steve Brown
Wes Newton 6-3 James Wade
Magnus Caris 6-4 Darren Webster
Mark Walsh 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Paul Nicholson 6-5 Steve Beaton
Justin Pipe 6-2 Shaun Griffiths
Ian White 6-2 Darren Whittingham
Magnus Caris 6-5 Wes Newton
Paul Nicholson 6-3 Mark Walsh
Justin Pipe 6-4 Ian White
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Magnus Caris
Justin Pipe 6-0 Paul Nicholson
Magnus Caris v Paul Nicholson
0-1 - Nicholson kicks off the match with back-to-back 180s and also hits a seventh treble 20, but misses the treble 15 to end his hopes of a nine-darter, although he takes the leg to lead.
0-2 - Caris misses two darts at tops and Nicholson steps in to double his lead.
0-3 - Caris opens with a 180 but misses double top and double ten to allow Nicholson back in, and he finishes double 16 for a three-leg cushion.
1-3 - Caris regains his range on tops to get off the mark.
1-4 - Nicholson finishes 65 with an outer bull-double top combination.
2-4 - Caris takes out 43 on tops for his second leg of the match.
2-5 - Nicholson opens the leg with a 180 and finishes 100 in two darts for an 11-dart leg as he moves one away from victory.
2-6 - Nicholson completes the win in style, finishing 78 with an improvised checkout of treble one, outer bull and bullseye.
Match Averages: Magnus Caris 102.72, Paul Nicholson 101.64
Justin Pipe v Ian White
1-0 - Pipe takes an immediate break of throw on double top.
2-0 - Pipe hits a 180 and double eight to take the second leg.
2-1 - White strikes back by hitting double 16 to win the third.
2-2 - The pair trade 180s before White superbly takes out 121 on double 14.
2-3 - Pipe hits two 180s in the leg but pays for missed darts at the bull, double eight and double four as White steps in on double eight to lead.
3-3 - Pipe levels after being handed a reprieve following three missed doubles as White failed to finish 138, allowing him back in on double six.
4-3 - Pipe breaks throw to regain the lead.
4-4 - White hits back to level by finishing 71 on tops.
5-4 - Double eight puts Pipe a leg away from a place in the final.
6-4 - Pipe misses double 18 for a 156 checkout to take the win, but returns to hit the bed and seal victory.
Match Averages: Justin Pipe 97.41, Ian White 91.98
Justin Pipe v Paul Nicholson
1-0 - Pipe hits a 180 in the process of taking the first leg.
2-0 - Pipe doubles his advantage with double six, having missed double 12 for a 144 finish in his previous visit.
3-0 - This time Pipe lands double 12 to move three legs clear with a second break of throw.
4-0 - Pipe finishes 81 in two darts to edge closer to victory.
5-0 - Nicholson misses two darts at double 18 for a 96 finish, and Pipe steps in to hit tops with a brilliant third dart, having partially blocked the bed with his first two darts.
6-0 - Pipe opens with a 180 and is handed a reprieve for a missed double 13 for the match as he returns to take out the combination with double six and double seven.
Match Averages: Justin Pipe 96.96, Paul Nicholson, 93.39