Fleetwood’s Wes Newton is through to the second round of the William Hill world darts championship - to set up a post-Christmas meeting with one of the tournament favourites James Wade,
Newton beat Cristo Reyes at Alexandra Palace in London by three sets to one in a low-scoring encounter, avenging a defeat at the same stage of the competition against the Spaniard 12 months ago
And the Fleetwood man, nicknamed The Warrior, knows only too well that he will have to up his game considerably against Wade.
Newton won the first two sets against the bearded Spaniard, despite having meagre averages of 67 and 73 respectively.
Too often Newton strayed into the five-bed, but he still managed to put clear daylight between him and Reyes, who must have been bemused at the turn of events.
Reyes had taken the first two legs of the match in only 24 darts, but still he allowed Newton to come back.
Newton’s indifferent form was such that he was seen to mouth the word ‘awful’ to a spectator by the oche as the pair left the stage for an interval.
Reyes took the third set, winning three legs on the trot to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Newton, whose world ranking has slumped to 26 after what has been a wretched year for him in terms of his form, reserved his best display of a difficult evening in the fourth and deciding set.
He took the first leg and in the second threw some sensational darts to lift his spirits and send those of Reyes going in the opposite direction.
Newton belatedly produced his first 180 of the evening at the packed arena and then followed it up with a 161 check-out, finishing on the bull.
The Fleetwood man then closed out the contest, checking out on 36 for the match,
Newton nest takes on Wade, who enjoyed a three-set triumph against John Michael, of Greece.
The world number seven, Wade, seeking his first world title, is married to Blackpool model Sammi Marsh.