Championship League Darts: Ian White wins Group Six; Mervyn King and Colin Lloyd eliminated
Ian White marked his Championship League Darts debut with victory in Group Six on Thursday.
Last Updated: 18/10/13 4:13pm
White saw off Peter Wright 6-4 in an all-English final to qualify for next Thursday's Winners Group in the internet-streamed tournament.
Newcastle-born Australian Paul Nicholson topped the Group Six table with five wins, while Stoke's White was among four players to claim four victories in one of the tightest groups so far.
Kim Huybrechts and Peter Wright finished second and third respectively, while White narrowly qualified for the semi-finals on leg difference ahead of Gary Anderson, who missed out by one leg after losing his final league game 6-4 to Colin Lloyd.
White defeated Nicholson 6-4 in his semi-final, averaging 100.55 before winning the decider by the same margin against Wright.
The pair hit 180s in the final's opening leg as White held throw with a 97 finish, before Wright levelled with scores of 180 and 171 in a 12-darter.
A 14-dart leg gave White the third before double 16 saw Wright level, with the same bed coming to his rescue in leg six - to complete a 13-darter - after his opponent had claimed his third leg on double 18.
Wright, seeking a break of throw to move ahead, hit another maximum in leg seven, only to miss two darts at double 16 as White posted the same bed to hold - only for the roles to be reversed as the Stoke ace wasted three chances to break as double 16 saw his opponent take the eighth leg.
Wright then missed the bull to win the ninth as the tension mounted, with double eight putting White 5-4 up before he hit a 177 in leg ten, sealing victory by finishing 89 in the middle of the bullseye.
White said: "It was a pretty hard day and the standard's quite high, often you're throwing nine darts and not getting another throw in the leg because of the players you're up against.
"I couldn't have imagined coming here for my first day and winning - I'd have been happy just to survive and come back to play in Group Seven, but I can forget that now and get ready for the Winners Group."
White won his first Players Championship event in Barnsley in September and will now challenge for the biggest title of his career next week, with a £10,000 first prize plus double-money available in the Championship League Darts Winners Group.
Wright's defeat meant that he suffered the disappointment of losing in the final for a second successive day, after being edged out by Michael van Gerwen 24 hours earlier.
The Mendham-based thrower, who has risen into the world's top 16 following two ProTour wins this year, made semi-finals in all three of this week's groups, but will now return on Tuesday to compete in Group Seven.
He had sealed his place in the final with a 6-3 victory over Kim Huybrechts in the last four, while the Belgian had landed a nine-dart finish during the round-robin.
Huybrechts' perfect leg, achieved in a narrow win over Nicholson, was the fourth hit so far in this year's Championship League Darts, with Phil Taylor hitting a nine-darter in Group One before two were landed in Tuesday's Group Four, by van Gerwen and Mervyn King.
King was eliminated alongside Colin Lloyd in Group Six after the pair won only two of their seven league matches, while Jamie Caven and Anderson survived to progress to Group Seven.
The five survivors from Thursday's play at Crondon Park GC in Essex are joined in next Tuesday's Group Seven by a trio of former world champions: John Part, Richie Burnett and Steve Beaton.