Adam Smith-Neale: Winmau Championship Tour (5) Winner
Adam Smith-Neale spared no feelings in winning his first ADC Championship Tour, beating Simon Preston 6-0 to reach number 18 in the rankings and pick up the £1000 winner’s prize. The Englishman reached the Quarter Finals in Tour Event 3 where he lost out to Steve Brown 5-3 at the Thornbury Conference Centre last month.
However, revenge will be sweet for Big Dog after beating the Bomber 5-2 in the Semi Final at the Forum Hall in Manchester averaging 89.38, finishing 80 to break in the seventh leg and reach his first Tour Final.
The former World Masters champion earnt a spot at the Red Dragon Champion of Champions which will take place in Cardiff at the end of the month after his win on Saturday.
Adam spoke to Darts World straight after winning the Final and said he’s “Over the moon buzzing, I’m not playing a hundred percent but I’m playing ninety percent which is good, so the results were improving and that’s all I need to do”
The Coventry born thrower becomes the first player to win a Final by a whitewash score line averaging over 87 across the six legs against Sidders. “It’s not amazing, I’ve got a better game than that, but he didn’t turn up and I took advantage, that’s what I do”
Smith-Neale included an impressive 95.72 average in beating Luke Littler 4-2 to reach the Quarter Finals before beating Adam Warner the Terriers Title holder 5-3 in the Last 8. “Two very good players, but same goes again they gave me the chances and I had to take them, Luke was 2-0 up Adam was 3-1 up, I’ve got to take my chances and that’s what I did all day.”
Simon Preston despite defeat in the Final had a fantastic day at the office in Manchester, winning two last leg deciders against Harry Gregory and Raymond Marshall in the Quarter Finals, eventually finding double ten for a 5-4 win as both players missed darts for the match in the crucial ninth leg of the Last 8 tie.
The 55-year-old is up to fourteenth in the rankings entering the top 16 for the first time in his darting career, behind Ricky King in thirteenth by just eight points with another Championship Tour on its way tomorrow.
An entertaining match occurred in the Quarter Finals with Steve Brown the ADC Number 2 facing Adam Atkinson the ADC Number 3, with the Winmau man finding his second consecutive 104 checkout to win his final leg claiming a 5-4 victory to reach another Semi Final on the main stage.
Before a dart was thrown, the Bristol man was full of confidence having won two tournaments in the last week including the Bar501 Kingswood Round Robin on Thursday. Victories over Adam Halsall, Chris Wickenden and Adam Bell ensure he sits on 830 points, 90 clear of the Pooler in 3rd.
Tony Newell returns to the top 16 in the ADC Rankings after reaching the Semi Finals including a fantastic 5-1 victory over Scott Taylor, who had averaged 97.11 in beating ADC Number 10 Lee Budgen 4-2 in the previous round.
The Bear has enjoyed a strong spell in the Online Live League and brought that form with him to Manchester on Saturday, averaging 91.73 and breaking throw three times over the course of the tungsten tussle.
The Englishman whitewashed Darren Hale before beating Matty Clark 4-1 in the Last 16 as he earnt 64 points to return to 12th in the rankings, only behind Kevin McDine on legs difference.
The 6th Championship Tour returns on Sunday in Manchester with another Champion of Champions spot on the line as well as another £1000, with just three tournaments to go now until the line-up for the Grand Finals is confirmed for the end of October.
Winmau Championship Tour 5 Results:
Simon Preston 5-4 Raymond Marshall
Tony Newell 5-1 Scott Taylor
Adam Smith-Neale 5-3 Adam Warner
Steve Brown 5-4 Adam Atkinson
Simon Preston 5-2 Tony Newell
Adam Smith-Neale 5-2 Steve Brown
Adam Smith-Neale 6-0 Simon Preston
Matt Jackson: 1065pts
Steve Brown: 830pts
Adam Atkinson: 740pts
Tony Wood: 699pts
Lloyd Pennell: 539pts
Adam Warner: 508pts
Graham Hall: 484pts
Phil Borthwick: 397pts
Geoff Murray: 385pts
Lee Budgen: 373pts
Kevin McDine: 340pts
Tony Newell: 340pts
Ricky King: 334pts
Simon Preston: 326pts
Paul Nesbitt: 325pts
Kevin Garcia: 324pts
Images: Main: ADC In Piece: PDC