SIX OF THE BEST OF DEBUTANT BEATON
Red Dragon’s STEVE BEATON took debut glory in Group Six of Championship League Darts, defeating Vincent van der Voort 6-3 to book his place in October^s Winners Group in the internet-streamed event.
The former World Champion entered the £200,000 tournament on Thursday for the first time, but adapted superbly to the behind-closed-doors event, winning five of seven league games.
Having finished second to van der Voort on Leg Difference after the eight-player group phase, he defeated Wayne Jones 6-3 in the semi-finals and repeated the scoreline in the final.
Beaton made an electric start to the final, hitting a 13-darter in the opening leg, a 161 finish in the second and an 11-darter to win the third.
Van der Voort took out 98 to get off the mark, but double eight restored Beaton^s cushion and a 78 finish moved him 5-1 up.
The Dutchman hit a 114 finish to stay in the game and also took the eighth on double six, but Beaton^s scoring pulled him clear in the next and double 15 gave Beaton the win.
He will now return to Crondon Park GC in Essex on October 14 to compete in the Winners Group, with Phil Taylor, Simon Whitlock, Alan Tabern, James Wade and Wes Newton already having book their place in the big-money final day.
Van der Voort will now return for Group Seven on October 12, but takes home £2,700 prize money from a memorable day on Thursday, as he battled against a back problem to finish top of the league table.
He had been whitewashed in his opening game by Dennis Priestley, but won five of his remaining six matches to edge out Beaton for top spot, before being denied in the decider.
Van der Voort and fellow Dutchmen Co Stompe and Jelle Klaasen will return for Group Seven, alongside Jones and Priestley, but there was disappointment for Jamie Caven and Adrian Lewis, who were eliminated.
Caven^s debut in the event saw him win three matches and finish level on six points with Klaasen and Priestley, only to lose out on Leg Difference, while Lewis^ incredible run of playing in 15 successive days of the tournament is now over.
The Stoke ace played in all nine groups last year and had been an ever-present this time around, but won just one of his seven league games as he ran out of steam, being whitewashed by van der Voort and Klaasen in his final two games.
Denis Ovens, Mark Dudbridge and Andy Smith will all come into the event in Group Seven, while Mark Webster, John Part and Michael van Gerwen will be the three entrants for Group Eight.
Championship League Darts is streamed exclusively live around the world through 16 bookmakers^ websites, as well as to PDCtv subscribers at the PDC^s official website, www.pdc.tv.