Alan Tabern just misses out on famous win at Players' Championship
Take your hat off to Alan Tabern who came within a whisker of beating on-song Jonny Clayton in the opening round of the Ladbrokes Players' Championship of Darts Finals at Minehead on Friday night.
The St Helens left-hander, who was strutting the oche much earlier than his current day local counterparts, Michael Smith, Dave Chisnall and Stephen Bunting, gave the Welshman a proper scare.
Tabern - a world championship quarter finalist in 2007 - had a chance to square the match at 5-5 but missed his opportunity and Clayton, who won the World Grand Prix and the Premier League title earlier this year, crossed the line to win 6-4 after trailing 3-1.
It was a bad night all-round night for the boys from St Helens with Scot Gary Anderson defeating Bunting 6-5 after losing the first four legs - and Ritchie Edhouse of Essex getting the better of Chisnall 6-4.
Only Smith cleared the first hurdle, thanks to a 6-3 victory over Scot William Boreland