KURT Mathews put Halton Stadium on course for victory in round 16 of Widnes & District Darts League's Karalius Bros RTB Section.
Alan Moran tasted doubles success with Joe Price and then singles victory to seal the points for Stadium - just as well, as the hosts won the last two games to reduce their final deficit to 5-4.
RAOB came up trumps at Widnes Bowling Club where anchorman Brian Dutton won the decider in another tight contest.
Peter Bowles (17 darts) had struck first but Buffs retaliated to win the next four games with Ray Dutton (11 darts), Tez Gallagher (19 darts) and JJ Geoghagen & Tez Gallagher (14 darts) leading the way.
Steve Jones won in 17 darts but Bowler's fightback was in vain.
Mill Brow's 6-3 win at Widnes RUFC was spearheaded by Alan Friar who won the opener in 15 darts before combining with Paul Linger to go out in 14.
Greg Lawrenson chipped in with an important 18 darter to leave the Wids helpless.
Division Two's St Michaels took the first two games, the last three and one in between for a 6-3 verdict over visiting Cricketers.
Their winners were John Davies, Andrew Davies. J Morgan & Mick Sinclare, Ian Johnson, Mark Lunt and Simon Davies.
Widnes Rec's Paul Van der Merve, George Plumpton and Wayne Bedford produced a strong finish to see off their Corpy hosts 7-2.
Highlights of the RAOB Cup first round were a 19-dart finish from RAOB's Dave Batty & Damian Eustace and a 17 darter by Steve Jones & Dave Houghton for WBC, as both teams went through.