Winstanley wows Winter Gardens crowd at World Matchplay

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BUXTON-BASED darts player Dean Winstanley made a winning debut at the PDC Betfair World Matchplay.

In front of the Sky Sports cameras at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Winstanley wowed the crowds with a thrilling 13-11 first-round win over Gary Anderson.

Winstanley initially fought back from 5-0 down, before hitting a ‘blind’ bullseye under immense pressure to get back to 9-9 - a shot hailed in some quarters as ‘the greatest dart ever thrown’.

His luck, however, changed in the second round as too many missed doubles proved costly against Ronnie Baxter.

Despite hitting nine 180s in the match - and scoring at an average of 93.6 - Winstanley eventually went down 13-8 to the Rocket.

Winstanley is now expected to climb into the top-60 in the official Order of Merit - not bad for a player only seven months into a two-year rolling ranking table.