Third Time Lucky For Walsh!

October 31 2012

MARK WALSH defeated Steve Beaton 6-5 in the final of Championship League Darts' Group Eight to claim the last spot in Thursday's big-money Winners Group of the internet-streamed tournament.

Walsh has lost in two previous group finals this season but sealed his place alongside the likes of Phil Taylor, Simon Whitlock and Wes Newton with the narrowest of victories over Beaton.

In another dramatic day of action, Dutchman Michael van Gerwen finished at the top of the league table following the round-robin group stage only to lose in the semi-finals - although he did create a piece of history along the way.

Van Gerwen averaged an incredible 121.86 in a 6-0 whitewash of Beaton during the league phase which took only eight minutes and 15 seconds to complete as he restricted the former World Champion to just one dart at a double.

However, Beaton would gain revenge with a superb semi-final display to claim a 6-5 win, finishing 94 on the bullseye to progress to the decider.

Walsh defeated Robert Thornton in the other semi-final, with the Scot - who finished second to van Gerwen on leg difference in the league stage after taking six wins from seven games - sharing the first four legs before the Hertfordhire man took four in a row, including an 11-darter, to take victory.

Walsh then overcame Beaton in the tighest of finals which saw the lead change hands three times.

Beaton took the opener on tops before Walsh hit the same bed to lead 2-1, only for Beaton to add a 180 and double five to edge a tense fourth and level.

Walsh finished 78 to win the fifth and punished four misses from Beaton to move 4-2 up, only for the Warwickshire thrower to finish double 18 and double eight to level and then take out 100 for a 14-darter to lead 5-4.

Beaton then missed double 12 for a 141 finish for the match as Walsh posted double 16 to force a decider, in which he was first to a finish when needing 161.

Although he could not take out the combination, he left 24 and when Beaton missed the bull to take out 121, Walsh returned to hit double 12 for the win to seal his Winners Group place.

"It's been a very hard week but I've been playing good darts and luckily enough I got through," said Walsh.

"I've always got belief in myself that came through. It's very hard in the group games, and [yesterday] there was only leg difference between going out or being in the semis, so I'm happy with what I've done.

"It's a fantastic tournament and it would be a great title to win on Thursday."

Van Gerwen lost just one of his seven league games on the day, going down 6-5 to Thornton in his opener, while the Scot was only defeated by Beaton in the round-robin section.

The race for semi-final places went all the way to the dramatic final round of games, with Walsh's win over Peter Wright opening the door for Beaton to defeat Paul Nicholson and jump above the colourful Scottish World Cup star.

Wright won three of his league games, while Nicholson and Dolan claimed two victories apiece, but UK Open semi-finalist Denis Ovens lost all seven matches on the day.

The Winners Group will give Walsh the chance to atone for his defeats to Phil Taylor in the Group Four final and Dave Chisnall in the Group Six final when he lines up to contest for the £10,000 first prize.

Group One winner Wes Newton, Group Two champion Justin Pipe, Group Three victor Ronnie Baxter, Group Five conqueror Simon Whitlock and Tuesday's Group Seven champion Jamie Caven are also in action.

Prize money increases to £100 per leg in the league phase and £200 per leg in the play-offs, with additional prize money of £2,500 for the losing semi-finalists, £5,000 for the runner-up and £10,000 for the eventual winner paid out.

The finalists would also qualify to compete in the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhamton from November 10-18, giving a final chance for Pipe, Chisnall, Baxter and Caven to win through to that event.

Championship League Darts is screened exclusively live worldwide through LIVEPDC.TV and a series of 50 bookmakers' websites worldwide.

All LIVEPDC.TV Subscribers will be able to watch live coverage from Championship League Darts, featuring play in the league stage simultaneously on two boards.  Highlights are also available in LIVEPDC.TV.

2012 Championship League Darts
Group Eight Results

Board One

Board Two

Mark Walsh 6-4 Paul Nicholson

Peter Wright 6-2 Steve Beaton

Brendan Dolan 6-3 Denis Ovens

Robert Thornton 6-5 Michael Van Gerwen

Steve Beaton 4-6 Mark Walsh

Paul Nicholson 6-4 Peter Wright

Michael Van Gerwen 6-5 Brendan Dolan

Denis Ovens 1-6 Robert Thornton

Steve Beaton 6-2 Robert Thornton

Mark Walsh 6-1 Denis Ovens

Michael Van Gerwen 6-3 Peter Wright

Paul Nicholson 1-6 Brendan Dolan

Robert Thornton 6-4 Mark Walsh

Steve Beaton 6-2 Denis Ovens

Paul Nicholson 3-6 Michael Van Gerwen

Peter Wright 6-3 Brendan Dolan

Peter Wright 5-6 Robert Thornton

Brendan Dolan 4-6 Mark Walsh

Denis Ovens 2-6 Paul Nicholson

Michael Van Gerwen 6-0 Steve Beaton

Brendan Dolan 3-6 Steve Beaton

Paul Nicholson 2-6 Robert Thornton

Denis Ovens 3-6 Peter Wright

Mark Walsh 3-6 Michael Van Gerwen

Michael Van Gerwen 6-3 Denis Ovens

Robert Thornton 6-4 Brendan Dolan

Peter Wright 3-6 Mark Walsh

Steve Beaton 6-5 Paul Nicholson

Semi-Finals

 

Michael van Gerwen 5-6 Steve Beaton

Robert Thornton 2-6 Mark Walsh

Final

 

Steve Beaton 5-6 Mark Walsh

 

League Table

 

Pl

W

L

Won

Lost

Leg +/-

£Won

Pts

£Total

Michael van Gerwen

7

6

1

41

23

+18

£2050

12

£2550

Robert Thornton

7

6

1

38

27

+11

£1900

12

£2100

Mark Walsh

7

5

2

37

28

+9

£1850

10

£3050

Steve Beaton

7

4

3

30

30

0

£1500

8

£2600

Peter Wright

7

3

4

33

32

+1

£1650

6

 

Brendan Dolan

7

2

5

31

34

-3

£1550

4

 

Paul Nicholson

7

2

5

27

36

-9

£1350

4

 

Denis Ovens

7

0

7

15

42

-27

£750

0

 

Match Information
First Round of Matches

Mark Walsh came from 3-1 down to defeat Paul Nicholson 6-4 in their Group Eight opener. Nicholson, Tuesday's Group Seven runner-up, made a superb response to losing the opening leg by winning the next three with legs of 13, 11 and 14 darts to take command. He also hit a 180 in the next, but Walsh produced a killer bullseye finish on 76 to pull back to 3-2 - only to miss doubles to level as Nicholson fired in a 180 and double four to lead 4-2. Walsh finished 86 on the bull in the next and then levelled, before punishing missed doubles from Nicholson to lead 5-4. Walsh then landed a 180 to leave 84 and took out the finish to seal the points.

Peter Wright made a winning debut in Championship League Darts with a 6-2 defeat of Steve Beaton . The pair shared the first two legs before Wright took the next three, including double top to break, as he moved 4-1 up. Beaton won the sixth, but Wright finished double 18 to restore his cushion and won the eighth leg to seal the win with an average of 98.41.

Brendan Dolan made a winning start to Group Eight with a 6-3 defeat of Denis Ovens . Ovens broke in the first leg, but Dolan took the next three to take command of the game. The Northern Irish ace missed three darts at tops to extend his lad in the next as Ovens hit double ten to pull back to 3-2. Dolan hit a 180 and a 116 finish to win the sixth and also took the seventh with a break of throw, and although Ovens finished 156 to hit back, the former World Grand Prix finalist landed double eight to wrap up the win.

Robert Thornton edged past Michael van Gerwen in a high-scoring contest with a 6-4 win. Thornton took the first on tops but paid for misses in the next despite hitting a 180, with van Gerwen replying with a 177 and double four. Thornton finished double eight and an 11-darter to take the next two, before van Gerwen levelled at three-all. The next two were also shared before Thornton hit double four for a 5-4 cushion. He missed three match darts in the next as the Dutchman hit tops to force a decider - but van Gerwen would miss his chance to snatch the win with a miss at double 16, and Thornton took out 58 to seal the win.

Second Round of Matches
Mark Walsh came from 3-1 down to take a 6-4 win for the second successive game to continue his unbeaten start to Group Eight with a win over Steve Beaton . Beaton responded to losing the opener by winning the next three, beating throw in the middle of that run as he took command. Beaton also opened the fourth with a 180, but Walsh finished 64 to hit back and 161 to level. Walsh also took leg seven before finishing 103 to lead 5-3, and though Beaton finished 88 to stay in the game, Walsh won leg ten to claim the win.

Paul Nicholson fought back from a 3-0 deficit to win 6-4 against Peter Wright in their second game of the day. Wright made a fine start by finishing 67 in the first leg, and took out tops and double two to punish misses from Nicholson as he won the next two for a 3-0 lead. Nicholson hit a 180 as he got off the mark in the fourth, and an 81 finish saw him kick-start his challenge. Nicholson then levelled and took the next two to make it five in a row as he led 5-3. Tops from Wright kept the match alive, but Nicholson finished 120 to seal his fightback.

Michael van Gerwen edged out Brendan Dolan 6-5 in a deciding leg, coming from 5-3 down to take his first win of the day. Van Gerwen led 1-0 before Dolan finished double eight and then finished 100 with two double tops to lead 2-1. The Dutchman took out 160 to level, but Dolan took the next two for a 4-2 lead. Double five saw van Gerwen hit back, but Dolan finished 143 to move to the brink of victory - only for his opponent to win the next two and force a decider before pinning double eight to take the win.

Robert Thornton raced past Denis Ovens 6-1 to maintain his winning start to Group Eight. Thornton made a fine start, finishing tops for a 13-darter in the first leg and 74 in the second, before Ovens took out 78 to hit back. The pair traded 180s in the next as Thornton hit double 12 to move 3-1 up, and after winning the next two legs he finished double four to complete the win.

Third Round of Matches
Steve Beaton picked up his first win of Group Eight, defeating Robert Thornton 6-2. Beaton won the game's first three legs before Thornton hit a 180 and took out 40 to get off the mark. Thornton missed tops in the next as Beaton finished 108 before then taking out 133 to lead 5-1. Double eight kept Thornton in the contest, but Beaton sealed the win with a 114 finish, hitting treble 20, double 14 and double 13 for an unconventional finish.

Mark Walsh remains unbeaten following his 6-1 win over Denis Ovens, who is still without a victory. Walsh took the first three legs to assume command, finishing 54 and 56 in the process, before Ovens returned from missing double seven for a 122 finish to win his first leg. Walsh, though, took out 20 and double four to move 5-1 up, and when Ovens missed tops to stay in the game, Walsh hit the same bed to seal the win.

Michael van Gerwen won his second game of Group Eight, defeating Peter Wright 6-3. Van Gerwen won the opener before Wright levelled and then hit a 180 and double eight to lead 2-1. The Dutchman took the next three to lead 4-2 before Wright finished 72 to pull back a leg, but van Gerwen finished double ten and then sealed the win by taking out 79.

Brendan Dolan powered in a superb 109.39 average to race past Paul Nicholson with a 6-1 victory. Dolan won the opening leg with a 92 finish and then took out 161 for a 12-darter before Nicholson hit double four to pull back the third leg. Dolan then hit a 180 in an 11-darter, hit double 18 for a 14-dart finish and then landed another 11-dart leg before finishing double ten to complete a superb performance.

Fourth Round of Matches
Robert Thornton ended Mark Walsh's unbeaten record with a 6-4 triumph to earn his third win of the day as both players averaged over 100 in a high-quality game. The first three legs went with throw before Walsh took out 101 to lead 3-1, but Thornton finished 140 to break back and 40 to level. An 81 finish edged Walsh back ahead, but Thornton levelled, finished 124 on the bull and punished four misses from Walsh to keep the game alive by sealing the win on double six.

Steve Beaton won his second successive game, defeating winless Denis Ovens 6-2. Beaton made a fine start, opening with a 180 and finishing 96 for a 12-darter before hitting two 140s in the second. Ovens landed double 18 to get off the mark in the third and hit two 180s in the fourth, but was punished for missed doubles as Beaton pinned double 16 to move 3-1 up. Beaton then finished double eight and double seven to move 5-1 up, and although Ovens hit a 180 and double 18 to reply, Beaton fired in a maximum and double 16 to seal the win.

Michael van Gerwen held off Paul Nicholson's challenge to win his third game of Group Eight with a 6-3 triumph. Van Gerwen won the first three legs of the game in 14, 13 and 13 darts, before Nicholson fired in a 14-darter to reply. Double ten and double eight gave the Dutchman two of the next three as he edged 5-2 up, and although Nicholson replied on double eight, van Gerwen posted a maximum and double ten for a 14-darter as he sealed the points.

Peter Wright won his second game of Group Eight, defeating Brendan Dolan 6-3. The game's first four legs were shared before Wright fired in a 180 and double eight for a 13-darter to win the fifth, double ten in and next and double nine as he took a 5-2 lead. Dolan took out 83 in two darts to hit back, but another 13-darter for Wright sealed his win.

Fifth Round of Matches
Robert Thornton edged out Peter Wright 6-5 with a ten-darter in the deciding leg of their clash - after the Lowestoft thrower had hit back from 5-0 down to level a remarkable contest. Thornton produced some sensational darts in the first five legs, averaging 110 as he moved to the brink of victory. Wright, though, battled back with finishes of 40 and 65 before finishing double eight to pull back to 5-3. Three misses from Thornton for the game allowed him to continue the fightback on tops, and a 108 finish forced a deciding leg, and although the Lowestoft ace hit a maximum, Thornton hit 140, 180 and 165 to set up a ten-darter to finally edge the win on double eight.

Mark Walsh picked up his fourth win of the day, defeating Brendan Dolan 6-4. Dolan won the opener with a 116 finish, and the first eight legs were shared before Walsh finished 40 to lead 5-4. Dolan hit a 177 in the tenth as he strived to force a decider, but missed his chance to stay in the game as Walsh secured the win.

Paul Nicholson improved his chances of survival and ended the hopes of winless Denis Ovens with a 6-2 win over the Stevenage ace. The pair shared the first two legs, with Nicholson finishing double four in the opener and Ovens taking out 73 in the second before the former Players Championship Finals winner pulled away, winning the third, finishing double two in the fourth and 80 for a 4-1 lead. A 60 finish moved him four legs clear, and although Ovens took out double 16 to win a second leg, the two-time UK Open semi-finalist missed three darts two keep the game alive as Nicholson sealed the win on double ten.

Michael van Gerwen created history with a stunning 121.86 average in whitewashing Steve Beaton 6-0 in only eight minutes and 15 seconds. Beaton had only one dart at a double in a remarkable game, which van Gerwen won with legs of 15, 12, 11, 13, 12 and 11 darts. Van Gerwen took the opener on tops before hitting scores of 140, 180 and 165 in the second as he set up double eight. He then scored 137, 180 and 168 in the third as double eight for an 11-darter moved him three clear. Beaton missed a dart at the bull for an 81 finish in the fourth as van Gerwen mopped up double four for a 13-darter before finishing 130 on the bull for a 12-darter, and sealed the win in 11 darts after hitting his fourth 180.

Sixth Round of Matches
Steve Beaton picked up what could be a crucial victory as he defeated Brendan Dolan 6-3, moving himself onto six points in the race for Play-Off places. Dolan won two of the first three legs, with Beaton hitting an 82 finish of bulleye, double 16 in reply before taking four in a row, including a 104 finish to move 5-2 up. He missed the bull for a 126 finish as Dolan hit tops to stay alive, but Beaton finished double 16 in the next for a key win.

Robert Thornton secured a semi-final spot with a 6-2 defeat of Paul Nicholson . Thornton took the opener on tops and doubled his lead with a 12-darter, hitting a 180 and taking out 81. Nicholson finished 60 to get off the mark, but Thornton followed a 74 finish with a superb 170 to lead 4-1. He also took the next to move to the brink of victory, and although Nicholson hit double six in reply, the Scot pinned double ten to wrap up his fifth victory of the day.

Peter Wright moved into the Play-Off places with a 6-3 win over Denis Ovens . The pair shared the first four legs in a strong start, before Wright took out 40 in the fifth and then broke for the first time with a brilliant 154 checkout of two treble 19s and tops. He finished 96 to lead 5-2, and though Ovens hit back in the eighth Wright finished 101 to seal the points.

Michael van Gerwen sealed his semi-final spot with a 6-3 defeat of Mark Walsh . Walsh took out 121 on the bull for the opener and shared the next two before van Gerwen hit a 180 to set up a 109 finish as he levelled before taking out 110 to lead 3-2. Walsh levelled but then missed three darts to lead in the seventh as double two gave van Gerwen a 4-3 lead and he took the next two to seal a fifth straight win.

Final Round of Matches
Michael van Gerwen
secured top spot in the table with a 6-3 win over Denis Ovens, who ends the day without a victory despite his valiant efforts. Van Gerwen opened the game with an 11-darter, which featured a 180, before Ovens replied with a 177 in taking the second. The Dutch ace, though finished 36, 108 and tops - the latter to win legs in 12 and 13 darts - as he moved 4-1 up, before Ovens finished 83 and 100 in two-dart checkouts to pull back to 4-3. Van Gerwen, though, took out 81 for a 14-darter to reclaim his cushion before finishing tops to seal the win with a 103.51 average.

Robert Thornton finishes second in the league table after he defeated Brendan Dolan 6-4, ending his opponent's chances of claiming a semi-final place in a high-quality game. Thornton opened with a 14-darter before Dolan levelled on tops, while Thornton hit a 180 in the third as he moved 2-1 up despite his opponent landing two maximums. Thornton then took the next two to lead 4-1 before Dolan hit back with a 132 checkout, but the Scot finished 20 to move to the brink of victory at 5-2. An amazing eighth leg saw Thornton open with back-to-back 180s in seven perfect darts, only to lose the leg as Dolan hit two maximums of his own and finished 81 on double 16 for a 12-darter. Dolan added another maximum as he pulled back to 5-4, but his hopes of victory were ended as Thornton finished 64 on tops.

Mark Walsh sealed third place with a superb 6-3 comeback win over Peter Wright . The pair shared the first two legs before Wright took the next two to lead 3-1. Walsh finished tops to win the fifth leg and punished misses from Wright to take the next two and lead 4-3, before landing tops for another leg and double five to seal a win which ensured his top four finish but left Wright out of the semi-finals.

Steve Beaton edged out Paul Nicholson 6-5 by hitting a 12-darter in the deciding leg as he takes fourth place ahead of Wright. Beaton had to take victory to win through to the semi-finals, but looked set to throw away a lead before sneaking through. Beaton took the opener and hit seven perfect darts in leg two, only for Nicholson to finish 82 for a 12-darter to level. The next four were also shared before Beaton took out 87 on the bull to punish a miss at the same bed from Nicholson and move 4-3 up. Nicholson, though, levelled on double four and punished four missed doubles from Beaton to lead 5-4. Beaton, though, took out 81 to force a decider, in which he scored 139, 140 and 140 to set up a 12-darter in securing his last four place.

Semi-Finals
Steve Beaton edged a remarkable semi-final against Michael van Gerwen by finishing 94 on the bull in the deciding leg, avenging his whitewash to the Dutchman earlier with a 104.69 average. The pair shared the first two legs, with Beaton hittin two 180s in the second, before van Gerwen finished 61 on double 18 to win the third. Beaton then hit a 180 and a 100 finish to level in the fourth and posted seven perfect darts in the fifth, hitting two 180s and a treble 20 but missing treble 19 for a nine-darter - returning to win the leg on double 16 and the next on the same bed for a 14-darter to lead 4-2. Van Gerwen finished 130 for a 12-darter to reply and landed tops in the next before firing home an 11-dart finish to lead 5-4. Beaton hit a 171 to leave tops as he hit a 13-darter to force a decider, and the pair traded blows before Beaton hit a 139 to leave 94, and with van Gerwen waiting on 68 the former World Champion took out 94 on the bull to win through to the final - condemning the Dutchman to defeat in the semis for a second successive group.

Mark Walsh won through to the Group Eight final with a 6-2 defeat of Robert Thornton , averaging 101.80 in a superb display. The pair shared the first four legs before Walsh finished double four to edge the fifth and tops for a 14-darter to take the first break and lead 4-2. He then produced an 11-darter to move a leg away from the win, which was sealed as he landed tops.

Final
Mark Walsh defeated Steve Beaton 6-5 in the final of Championship League Darts' Group Eight to claim the last spot in Thursday's big-money Winners Group of the internet-streamed tournament.
Beaton took the opener on tops before Walsh hit the same bed to lead 2-1, only for Beaton to add a 180 and double five to edge a tense fourth and level.
Walsh finished 78 to win the fifth and punished four misses from Beaton to move 4-2 up, only for the Warwickshire thrower to finish double 18 and double eight to level and then take out 100 for a 14-darter to lead 5-4.
Beaton then missed double 12 for a 141 finish for the match as Walsh posted double 16 to force a decider, in which he was first to a finish when needing 161.Although he could not take out the combination, he left 24 and when Beaton missed the bull to take out 121, Walsh returned to hit double 12 for the win to seal his Winners Group place.

Final Match Stats

Steve Beaton 5-6 Mark Walsh
12 100+ 22
9 140+ 9
0 170+ 0
1 180 2
89.48 Average 93.18
3 Breaks of Throw 3
100 High Finish 78

Group Eight Player Stats

Name Daily Average 180s High Finish
Michael van Gerwen 99.02 19 160
Robert Thornton 97.32 16 170
Mark Walsh 94.71 18 161
Steve Beaton 92.95 20 133
Peter Wright 93.65 9 154
Brendan Dolan 93.07 12 161
Paul Nicholson 95.18 18 120
Denis Ovens 87.19 9 156

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