Wes Newton and Ronnie Baxter completed a Dublin double for the Fylde coast with first-round victories in the partypoker.com World Grand Prix last night.
Fleetwood’s world number eight Newton enjoyed a straight sets win over in-form Peter Wright to progress to tomorrow’s second round at the Citywest Hotel, where players have to hit a double to start each leg as well as to win it.
Newton took the first set 3-2, having finished 128 in the opening leg and led 2-0 before Wright hit back to force a decider, which the Fleetwood ace took on double five.
The 36-year-old also led 2-0 in the second set, and although Wright won the third leg, Newton posted double14 to complete an impressive victory. He hit 43 per cent of his finishing doubles and 40 per cent of his opening doubles.
“It might have looked easy but it wasn’t, and I was pretty nervous going into the game,” said Newton. “With it being such a short format, and playing a good player like Peter Wright, I put myself under pressure to win.
“I’m happy with that. It was a solid performance, and though it was nothing too special, you can’t do much better than to win 2-0. I managed to kick on after losing the first set, and the pressure was on Peter after that.”
Blackpool’s Baxter won his first game in the World Grand Prix since 2006 with a 2-0 victory over former champion Colin Lloyd. Baxter came from 2-1 down to edge the opening set 3-2, and also took the second in the same manner as he progressed to the last 16.
“I’m delighted that I’m through,” said Baxter. “It’s a long time since I’ve won here in Dublin, so it’s great for me, and though my average wasn’t brilliant it’s good to get a ‘dirty’ win sometimes. I was hitting the treble pretty well and a win like that sets me up for the rest of the week now.”
The pair had prepared for their opening games in Dublin with a pre-match practice session together and Newton revealed: “That probably helped us both because we were pushing each other and it was a good night for us both.
“I’m glad he won too because he won £84 from me in a practice game, so I get my chance to win it back on Wednesday!”