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Warm-up win for Wade

 JamesWade

Both Wade and Whitlock win warm-up matches for crucial premier League ties

 James Wade warmed up for his crucial Premier League match on Thursday by winning the eighth UK Open Qualifier in Wigan on Sunday - his first tournament victory for seven months.

The world number three and defending Premier League champion needs to beat Terry Jenkins in Nottingham on Thursday to make the play-offs, and his Wigan win will give him a big confidence boost ahead of that match.

Wade defeated Gary Anderson 6-2 in the final at the Robin Park Tennis Centre, brilliantly reeling off five straight legs to come from 2-1 down to take the 6,000 title.

Anderson started well to hold throw in two of the opening three legs, hitting scores of 140 and 137 to set up a double top finish in the latter, while Wade had opened his account on double ten.

Scotland's Anderson missed double top for a 107 finish in the next as Wade levelled on double ten, before dishing out the same punishment to break throw in leg five and take the lead for the first time.

Finishes

Anderson started the sixth with a 180, but a fine 120 checkout from Wade put him 4-2 up, and he then produced finishes of 144 and 104 for back-to-back 12-dart finishes in wrapping up the win.

"It's very pleasing and I'm delighted to get the win under my belt," said Wade. "I've played well in a lot of the ProTour events this year without getting over the finishing line so it's good to do it at last."

Simon Whitlock faces Mervyn King on Thursday in another crucial Premier League match, and the Australian got the upper hand on Saturday as he won their dress rehearsal in Wigan.

The Wizard of Oz claimed his third Players Championship title in a month with a whitewash over Andy Hamilton in the final in Wigan.

With Whitlock and King meeting in the Premier League on Thursday though, it will be his 6-4 win in the last 32 that will give the Australian the upper hand before their titanic struggle coming up.

Strong run

Whitlock's win over King followed up earlier wins over Anthony Urmston-Toft and Nick Fullwell, before he then edged out John Part in a deciding leg to reach the quarter-finals.

He then defeated Jamie Caven 6-4 in the last eight, powered past Gary Mawson 6-1 before finishing superbly to whitewash Hamilton in the final.

Hamilton enjoyed a run to his second final of the year before running out of steam against Whitlock, but he hit a superb nine-dart finish - his second of 2010 - in reaching the decider.

Welshman Mark Webster, a former Lakeside champion, made the semi-finals on both Saturday and Sunday to increase his chances of qualifying for the summer's StanJames.com World Matchplay.

The Welshman enjoyed wins over Colin Lloyd, Paul Nicholson and Wade on the day, while he was joined in the semi-finals by American ace Gary Mawson.

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11th May 2010, 11:25
 
Page updated 11th May 2010, 11:25
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