Garton grabs chance to play against oche aces

Gary Garton (left) receives his tropy.
Gary Garton (left) receives his tropy.

Gary Garton has become the sixth darts player to book his place in September’s Pro-Am competition.

He won the Best of Three tournament qualifier at the Ex Service Club on Friday night and will now prepare to take to the oche alongside some of the game’s most colourful characters next month.

Friday’s preliminary round casualties included Justin Beasor​, Eric Hammond and Darrell Webb, despite his 180 against Garton.

The first round saw Rick Seaman throw some good darts as he quickly dispatched Ray Bettison 2-0.

His next opponent was to be Pete Evans​, who just edged his match 2-1 against Geoff Poulter.

Their quarter-final match was very close game and it was Evans who progressedd 2-1 to move into the semi-finals.

Chris Simpson​ enjoyed a close victory with a 115 finish over Gordon McQuillan to set up a clash with Ken Wilson​.

And in a tense affair, it was Ken that won through to set up a semi-final clash with Evans.

In the other half of the draw David Riley​ made short work of Mick Peech, defeating him 2-0.

His next opponent was Garton, who had beaten Lee Woods with a 17-dart leg.

Riley took the first leg, only to see Garton take the next two to progress to the semis, where Tony Holland​ awaited him.

Holland - playing with borrowed darts - beat Matt Reeson​ 2-0, hitting a 180 on the way, and then had a real tussle with Andy Markham, eventually beating him 2-1.

Garton made short work of Holland, beating him 2-0 to book his final spot.

The other semi saw Evans take on Wilson.

And it was the latter who won through 2-0.

The final saw Garton take the first leg, only to see Wilson hit a 180 and checkout on 72 in 18 darts to level things up.

Not to be outdone in the 180 stakes, Garton hit one in the final leg and checked out on 60 to record a 14-dart leg and win the match.

He will now join Lee Yates, Mark Forman, Martin Bell​, Brad Martin and Jass Smith​ as six of the eight Skegness-area players to book their places in the Pro-Am event.

The professionals taking part will be Jamie Caven​ (sponsored by Batemans Brewery​), Peter Manley (, Andy Smith (Kirks Quality Foods)​, Scott Waites (Windy’s Cafe),​ Ian Wight (Just Cuts)​, Alan Warriner-Little (, Tony O’Shea (Seaview Pub)​ and Steve Beaton (William Hill)​, along with MC John Fowler​ (DS Trophies).

The next qualifier will be a Last Man Standing competition, limited to 32 entries.

It will take place on Friday, August 14 at the Ex Service Club. Eighteen ochemen have already registered to take part.