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Article: Darts: Feather in the cap of Clwyd as Hankey regains world title

Darts: Feather in the cap of Clwyd as Hankey regains world title

MARK Webster may have been unable to bring the BDO World Professional Darts Championship back to Flintshire – but this year’s winner does have links to our county.

Ted Hankey lifted the men’s crown for the second time in his illustrious career when he beat Tony O’Shea 7-6 in a thrilling final at the famous Lakeside on Sunday night.

His first win in Frimley Green, Surrey, came nine years ago when he whitewashed Ronnie Baxter 6-0 in a showpiece that lasted just 46 minutes.

That memorable victory came when Hankey, 40, from Stoke-on-Trent, was living in Connah’s Quay and playing for the Clwyd County men’s team.

His latest triumph is another feather in the cap of Clwyd, whose home matches are staged at the Penyffordd Royal British Legion Club.

The county created history last year when Webster, from Denbigh, and Anastasia Dobromyslova, of Ellesmere Port, won the respective BDO world titles.

That meant Clwyd became the first county in the history of the championship to boast both of its champions.

Russian-born Dobromyslova, 24, who qualified for Clwyd by playing for the Tradesmans Arms in Flint, was prevented from defending her women’s title after signing a deal to compete alongside legends like Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor on the rival PDC circuit.

Second-seed Webster’s hopes of making it back-to-back victories were dashed at the second-round stage by 2001 champion John Walton, who romped home 4-0.

Webster, 25, who regularly plays in Flintshire pubs in the Clwyd Superleague, said: "As defending champion you are bound to feel more pressure and I have had it all year. I just haven’t played well.

"My main concern now is to start playing well again and return to Lakeside in 12 months."

Fifteenth-seed Walton’s run was ended by seventh-seed Hankey in the quarter-finals.

And he followed that 5-1 win with a 6-4 semi-final success over third seed and 2007 champion Martin Adams.

Hankey, nicknamed ‘The Count’, then withstood a fightback from ninth-seed O’Shea to be re-crowned world champion.

Hankey, now living in Telford, said: "When I won my first title it was great because I always wanted to win the world championship, but this win is special."

Webster will be in the Clwyd squad that travels to Northamptonshire this weekend for a BDO Inter-County Championship Division Three clash.

Story By:The Flintshire Chronicle

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