James Wade made a winning start in the 2013 McCoy’s Premier League, claiming a 7-4 victory against Wez Newton.
The 2009 winner fought hard to see off Newton, who was making his debut in the competition, as ‘The Machine’ capitalised on missed doubles from his opponent.
“I was very grateful for Wez missing a lot of opportunities,” admitted Wade, the seven-time major winner.
“I have been practising very hard so I wasn’t pleased with the way I played but it has paid off in some ways because I won.
“I think winning darts when you’re not playing well is an art. It easy to win when you’re playing well but not so easy when you’re not so I am very pleased to get the points.”
The first four legs all went with the throw, with ‘The Machine’ taking out 60 in the first.
Wade narrowly missed the bull for a spectacular 167 checkout in leg five before pinning double five to go 3-2 ahead.
He then punished his opponent for missing several darts at his double, when he pegged double ten to grab the games’ first break of throw.
Wade bedded tops to make it 5-2 before ‘The Warrior’ pulled a leg back.
Newton then broke the throw to cut Wade’s lead to a single leg.
But the world number three restored his two leg lead, pegging double two to guarantee himself a point.
And he sealed an opening night triumph, finishing on 24 after setting it up with a brilliant 177.
Wade takes on Andy Hamilton in Aberdeen next week.
By Chris Murphy