Andy Hamilton’s remarkable resurgence in this year’s McCoys Premier League just goes to show the kind of rewards that dedication to practice and a ner-say-die attitude can achieve.
Always an outsider with the bookies to make the four play-ff places, this year’s runner up at the World Championship found himself at the bottom of the table after six weeks of matches. Since then Andy has only lost once in eight matches – and even then he had the chance to claim a draw with Mr. T.
In Newcastle Andy knew that victory over Kevin Painter would secure him that coveted play-off spot and he duly delivered a decisive 8 – 1 result over Kevin Painter.
Prior to his match Andy watched his opponent in the final at Alexandra Palace, Adrian Lewis, crash out of this competition when he allowed a lead of 5 – 2 to be “Whitlocked” away by The Wizard. Although the Aussie had already landed a place in the play-offs his motivation for victory in Newcastle was that a win ensured he missed a certain Mr Phil Taylor in the semi-finals!
The remaining play-off spot depended on the outcome of the Wade-Barneveld match with Barney having to win to secure the place at the expense of James. However, James only needed a draw to clinch his place.
The match see-sawed with the outcome in doubt right up to the final dart. Barney was leading 7 – 6 and, with the play-off spot in touching distance, he could only watch as James produced a thirteen darter to claim the draw that meant elimination for Barney.The final encounter of the night in Newcastle saw reigning champion Gary Anderson regain some much-needed confidence by taking Phil Taylor all the way to secure a draw.