Fleetwood darts ace Wes Newton saw his BetVictor World Matchplay dream shattered.
He suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Phil Taylor in the concluding quarter-final of the tournament at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
There had looked a glimmer of hope for Newton as he led 4-2, but Taylor dominated for the remainder of what developed into a one-sided contest.
Taylor will now meet in-form Gary Anderson in Saturday’s semi-final.
Taylor took the first two legs in the opening session, but Newton struck back with a vengeance.
The Fleetwood man, who had struggled in his matches against Ronnie Baxter and Paul Nicholson to reach the last eight, unsettled Taylor by taking the next three legs to lead 3-2 at the first interval.
Newton surrendered that advantage in the second session as Taylor, who started the match as 20-1 on favourite, hit back to take the lead 6-4, boosted by an 13 dart leg in the eighth and a superb 160 check-out in the ninth leg.
By now the contest had reached a critical stage as Newton’s confidence began to evaporate.
Having being behind 4-2 at one stage, Taylor, bidding for his 15th Matchplay title, heaped the pressure on his rival by rattling off seven legs in a row.
Newton stopped the rot at last to claim a leg at last, but Taylor struck to take the 15th to lead 10-5.
Taylor continued his relentless way by taking the next two legs, but there was some consolation for Newton in the 18th leg - the Fleetwood man showed precision with a 149 check-out to pull the score back to 12-6.
Newton passed up a clear chance to reduce the gap to five in the next, and Taylor needed no second invitation to make the most of his opponent’s lapse to progress to 13-6 and with victory very much in sight, a fact emphasised by a 148 check-out in the next leg as he moved even further clear.
Taylor needed two more legs, which he duly delivered, the second with a 67 finish, leaving Newton thoroughly demoralised and well and truly vanquished.
In Saturday’s other semi-final, Holland’s Michael Van Gerwen takes on Australian Simon Whitlock for a place in Sunday’s sell-out decider.