Shoot-out joy for Darren Webster as he holds nerve to secure second round spot at Grand Slam of Darts
- Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG
Darren Webster went from despair to joy as he won a nine-dart shoot-out against Mark Webster to qualify for the knockout stage of the bwin Grand Slam of Darts.
Norwich ace Webster had thought his chance to qualify from Group D had passed when he lost 5-1 to Daryl Gurney in their final round-robin match at the Wolves Civic.
However, Webster had finished level on points and leg difference with namesake Mark Webster, who lost out 5-2 to Danny Noppert as the Dutchman claimed a consolation win from their final group game.
The duo returned to the stage to compete in a nine-dart shoot-out, with Mark Webster scoring a 140 with his first three darts and 298 in total, only to see Darren Webster land a treble 19 with his final dart to total 301.
'I'm really chuffed to get through, over the moon,' said Webster, who will now face Phil Taylor in the second round on Thursday evening. 'It was hard for us both and to be honest I thought I was knocked out earlier on when I'd lost.
'I'm sorry for Mark because it was tough for us both. It's great to see him getting back to his best and he'll be back, but I'm pleased to have got through.
'I've got to refocus now for the second round but I know I can beat anyone and I've got to do something to take my practice game onto stage.'
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Gurney topped Group D with a third impressive victory of the group stage as he produced another strong performance.
'I wanted to get the win and to top my group and I'm delighted to have done that,' said Gurney, who averaged 99 and hit five doubles from eight attempts. 'I'm loving it and it's great to win my group in my first time here.
'My sole focus was getting the win and I had no idea of what had to happen in relation to Darren and Mark, Darren had some darts at a double that he didn't take and I hit some crucial finishes there.
'I'm very pleased with how I've been playing because I was nervous with the short format, but now I want to relax and play my best game.'
Two-time Grand Slam of Darts finalist James Wade secured qualification from Group C alongside Taylor with a 5-3 win over the six-time Wolverhampton champion in their decisive clash.