Missed doubles cost Brendan Dolan dearly as he exited the £1m Ladbrokes.com World Championship at the last 32 stage at the Alexandra Palace in London last night.
The Northern Ireland number one will be kicking himself all the way back to Belcoo, County Fermanagh, after missing a spate of chances against England’s Wes Newton, who was flattered by the 4-0 scoreline.
Dolan, a surprise 3-0 winner against Kevin ‘The Artist’ Painter in the last round, raced out of the blocks last night, leaving ‘Fleetwood Flyer’ Newton stranded.
The 37-year-old was so dominant in the opening exchanges that he had five darts at a double to wrap up the first set before Newton stunned the Ulster arrow ace with a superb 135 finish to nick the opener.
That appeared to knock some of the wind out of Dolan’s sails and, in what seemed like no time, he found himself 3-0 down and staring down the barrel of a disappointing loss.
But Dolan, a painter and decorator by trade, almost took the gloss off Newton’s display by pinching the fourth set only for his old double trouble to crop up yet again.
The normally reliable Dolan had two darts at double 16 to save the match but his accuracy deserted him and Newton stepped up to the oche to secure a 4-0 victory that he scarcely deserved.
Last year’s beaten finalist Simon Whitlock — defeated in the decider by Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor as he clinched world title number 15 — last night hammered Denis Ovens 4-0.
The Australian will face Vincent van der Voort in the next round.
The Dutchman impressed with finishes of 148 and 116 in defeating England’s Wayne Jones 4-3.
Mark Walsh won through to the last 16 for the first time with a thrilling 4-3 tie-break win over Alan Tabern.
Walsh, who has battled his way back into the world's top 10 since overcoming a bout of dartitis, saw Tabern miss six match darts during a dramatic contest.
The Hertforshire thrower then edged the seventh set 5-3 in a tie-break to secure his place in the third round where he will take on Terry Jenkins.
Jenkins progressed with a |4-1 win over Steve Brown, who threatened a fightback after losing the opening eight legs before the number seven seed took the fifth.
That man Taylor tonight continues his quest for his 16th world title when he tackles Lowestoft’s Peter Wright, shock conqueror of Paul Nicholson in the last round.