Winstanley’s Grand Slam dream ends

Dean Winstanley (right) congratulates Mark Walsh on winning their 10-9 thriller in the Grand Slam of Darts second round. Picture: Lawrence Lustig.
Dean Winstanley (right) congratulates Mark Walsh on winning their 10-9 thriller in the Grand Slam of Darts second round. Picture: Lawrence Lustig.
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CONISBROUGH darts ace Dean Winstanley exited the Grand Slam at the first knockout stage after a thrilling 10-9 defeat to Mark Walsh.

The 30-year-old was one of the top performers at the Wolverhampton event as he won each of his three group games.

And he carried his good form into the clash with Walsh, registering a superb three dart average of more than 103 in what many deemed the match of the tournament at that point.

But missed doubles cost Winstanley dear and former UK Open finalist Walsh won the last two legs to seal a quarter final spot.

After Walsh won the opening leg, Winstanley won the next three including an 11 darter.

But Walsh won five legs on the bounce, punishing wayward darts at double top from his Swinton-born opponent.

The back and forth nature continued with Winstanley battling back to level at 8-8, including a 138 finish.

And the momentum seemed firmly with Winstanley as he moved a leg away from victory with a 12 darter.

But he missed bull for a 130 checkout plus two other match darts as Walsh levelled.

Winstanley put two darts at double top on the wire in the decider, allowing Walsh in to land double 18 to secure his place in the last eight.