Peter Wright made it through to his first-ever PDC World Darts Championship semi-final in a thriller against Wes Newton at the Alexandra Palace last night.
The Lowestoft-based Scot was taken to a deciding set in the best-of-nine match and then had to beat his English foe by two clear legs.
And “Snakebite” did it in style, taking out a 121 finish with a bullseye to leave “Warrior” Wes bereft at going out 5-4 in the quarter-finals for the third year running.
Afterwards, Wright was asked how he’d felt after missing four darts to win the match in the eighth set and replied: “I forgot about it, you’ve just got to forget about it and get on with the next leg.”
And on his brilliant bullseye checkout, he joked: “I closed my eyes when I threw it."
Earlier Scotland’s Gary Anderson narrowly failed in his bid to upset tournament favourite and No.2 seed Michael van Gerwen in the third round.
The Dutchman needed seven sets to book his place alongside Mark Webster in the last eight after 2011 finalist Anderson pulled two sets clear by hitting double one with a pressure third dart in the fourth set.
Van Gerwen rallied to force a deciding set and finally squeezed over the line to win 4-3 by hitting a brilliant 174 before closing on double eight at the first attempt.
After keeping his hopes of winning a first world title alive, the 24-year-old told pdc.tv: “I’m delighted with the way I came back to win this really tough game.
“I was very disappointed not to win the fourth set to level at two all, but I never lost belief that I could make a comeback and win.”
Anderson hit 12 maximums in defeat and admitted: “I’ve let Michael off today, at 3-1 up I should have got the job done. Winning that tight fourth set to go 3-1 up felt really big, but my scoring dropped slightly at the business end of sets and you can’t really afford to do that against a player of Michael’s class. The crowd gave me fantastic support today and it added to a great game. ”
Adrian Lewis booked his place in the quarter-finals and a tantalising match against James Wade with a 4-1 victory over Mervyn King.
The Stoke player won nine of the first 11 legs to build a 3-0 lead before surviving a fightback from King to wrap the game up in the fifth set.
Two-time world champion Lewis, who ousted Vincent van der Voort in the second round, said: “I certainly didn’t reach the standards of my last game but my finishing was good once again.
“There are a lot of good names still left in this event, but I’m the only one who has got to a final and crossed the finishing line twice.”
Lewis will meet Wade in the last eight for what will be a repeat of their dramatic 2012 semi-final face-off after the seven-time major champion ended Devon Petersen’s fine run with a 4-0 victory. Wade had only scraped past Andy Smith and Darren Webster while South African Petersen had surprised Justin Pipe and Steve Beaton in earlier rounds, but yesterday afternoon the Aldershot world No.6 was rarely threatened and hit his seventh 180 in the deciding leg and took out double six to ease through to the quarters.
“That wasn’t as easy as the 4-0 scoreline suggests, and I’m just glad to get past Devon, who is very dangerous on his day,” Wade said.