Glen Durrant continued his dream debut at the World Matchplay to dump out former champion James Wade, as Daryl Gurney ended Peter Wright’s remarkable run on a dramatic two days of quarter-final action.
Wade was the solitary former champion left in the tournament after Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson bowed out in the second round, but ‘The Machine’ misfired against Durrant, which ensures that there will be a new name on the trophy on Sunday night.
Gurney and Wright contested one of the greatest games ever staged at the Winter Gardens, while Rob Cross survived a remarkable fightback from Stephen Bunting to prevail in another Blackpool belter.
Elsewhere, World Championship finalist Michael Smith continued his pursuit for a first major televised title with a battling victory against 2009 semi-finalist Mervyn King.
Ahead of more inevitable tungsten tension on semi-final Saturday, we’ve picked out the best bits from two enthralling days of quarter-final action…
Cross produced the second 170 checkout of this year’s tournament and it came at a pivotal juncture, with Bunting poised to break throw in leg nine.
Wright reeled in the big fish during his second-round demolition of Simon Whitlock but ‘Voltage’ almost repeated his heroics later in the contest, wiring the bull with his second attempt.
Moment of the round
Durrant’s remarkable debut has been one of the stories of this year’s tournament and having dumped out Adrian Lewis and Michael van Gerwen in the last eight, Wade became the 48-year-old’s latest victim.
‘The Machine’ malfunctioned in Blackpool and the three-time Lakeside champion closed out an emphatic 16-7 success, securing the win with a sensational checkout.
Wright was the form man heading into the last eight and he underlined that with another ton-plus average – his ninth in succession.
However, his hopes of adding a maiden Matchplay title to his collection were curtailed by a brilliant Gurney, who defied a 104.57 average from the Scot to seal a spot in his second semi-final at the Winter Gardens.
The funny bit
Michael Smith and Mervyn King contested an entertaining quarter-final clash on Thursday. There were some sublime moments but the 23rd leg fell into the ridiculous category, as the pair missed an astonishing 22 darts at double between them.
King squandered 14 darts to close out the leg before eventually pinning double one, although both men saw the funny side and the Blackpool crowd certainly enjoyed the drama.
Following Wade’s defeat to Durrant, we are guaranteed a new name on The Phil Taylor Trophy.