Halford wins second title with accomplished showing

GLENN Halford added to his singles title that he won at the end of the Plymouth City Super League season when he defeated a quality field at the home of the league sponsor Maritime Social Club, when it hosted the Players Championship finals.

But Halford was up against it as early as his first match when he trailed Neil Holder 2-0 before clawing back the deficiency and taking the next three on the bounce to be the first player into the quarter-finals.

Anna Johnson caught the eye in the preliminary round when, against Compton’s James Duke, she went 2-0 up in 16 and 17, aided by a 180.

CHAMPION: Player's Champions winner Glenn Halford (left) receives his winner's rosebowl from league secretary Steve Rice.

Duke won the third leg, but the St Levan Inn thrower made no mistake in the next and progressed by a 3-1 margin.

John Mann was one of the pre-tournament favourites, but he bowed out in five legs in what was one of the best matches in the round of 16.

Mann took the opener in 17, only for John Donald to equalise in 19 before Mann edged in front again with a 19-darter of his own.

Donald drew level for the second time with a win in 16 and after Mann had missed the first opportunity in the decider, Donald hit his double at the first time of asking for a 3-2 victory.

Last year’s champion Dave Collins began the defence of his title with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Gary Eaton before Dave Johns ended the hopes of Jon Easterbrook.

Anna Johnson’s hopes of causing another upset were dashed when she was defeated 3-0 by Marc Cresswell who was the last player into the quarter-finals.

Halford progressed to the semi-finals with a 3-0 win over Collins with his best leg being won in 14 and he was followed by Fred Goldsmith, who defeated Matthews 3-1, aided by a 14-darter which included back to back 180s.

Donald went out to Dave Johns, despite leading on two occasions before Cresswell defeated Neil White 3-1 in 17, 19, 20.

The first semi-final brought together Halford and Johns and it was The Bluebird marksman who was first to strike when he took the opening leg in 18 when checking out from 138.

Johns pulled one back in 20 only for Halford to edge 2-1 in front when winning the third leg in 17.

Johns levelled for the second time in 18 but was outscored in the deciding fifth leg and it was left for Halford to win it in 16 and take his place in the final.

Goldsmith went out 3-1 to Cresswell in the other semi, due to missed opportunities, despite hitting his fourth maximum of the evening.

Cresswell took his chances well. After taking the opening leg in 20 he went 2-0 up in 18 with a bull finish.

Goldsmith pulled one back but in a clinical fourth leg, Cresswell took it in 15 after checking out from 116.

The final was played over the best of seven legs but only five were needed for Halford to clinch the Players Championship title.

The first two legs were shared before Halford took the next three in 20, 16 and 18 for a comprehensive victory by a popular winner.

Results

Preliminary Round: Jon Easterbrook 3, Paul Lamerton 1; Gary Eaton 3, Rob May 0; Shane Roberts 3, Mike Nancholas 2; Anna Johnson 3, James Duke 1.

Last 16: Glenn Halford 3, Neil Holder 2; Fred Goldsmith 3, Paul Tackle 2; John Donald 3, John Mann 2; Dave Collins 3, Gary Eaton 0; Dave Johns 3, Jon Easterbrook 0; Reg Matthews 3, Shane Roberts 1; Neil White 3, Andy Pengelley 0; Marc Cresswell 3, Anna Johnson 0.

Quarter-finals: Halford 3, Collins 0; Goldsmith 3, Matthews 1; Johns 3, Donald 2; Cresswell 3, White 1.

Semi-finals: Halford 3, Johns 2; Cresswell 3, Goldsmith 1.

Final: Glenn Halford beat Marc Cresswell 4-1.

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