Gary Anderson struck a magnificent nine-dart leg in his thrilling 19-17 victory over Joe Cullen in the quarter-finals of the BetVictor World Matchplay.
A memorable night at the Winter Gardens saw Anderson raise the roof at the Winter Gardens in the fourth leg, scooping a £45,000 bonus in the process, but had to survive two match darts to win a gripping contest.
Anderson hit double top to stop the match going to a deciding leg as he moved one step closer to claiming the Phil Taylor Trophy and set up a semi-final clash with Jeffrey de Zwaan.
“I fancied hitting the nine-darter, I told my wife I thought I would do it,” said Anderson, who won through to the semi-finals for a third time.
“Hitting the nine-darter so early was actually the worst thing I did because it gave me time to think about it and I missed a lot more darts at tops than I normally do.
“Joe played well, he’s been playing well for the last few games so it’s great to get the win over a top player.
“Next up it’s Jeffrey who has been the player of the tournament for me. Whoever wins this tournament will have to beat him.”
There was never more than a leg to separate the pair throughout the game, with Cullen growing in belief as the tie unfolded.
Cullen found double top with his last dart in hand to break and go 15-14 up and then missed two match darts, at double 18 and double nine, the second of which saw a fly go across the eyeline of the Bradford star.
Anderson capitalised, hitting double top to level once again at 15-15 before the pair exchanged two holds of throw each to leave the tie finely poised at 17-17.
The two-time World Champion found a way to win the next two legs, hitting double top once again to seal a famous win.
Giant-killer De Zwaan’s dream Blackpool debut continued with a magnificent 16-8 win over Dave Chisnall which saw the Dutch youngster throw a stunning 103.22 average.
De Zwaan reeled off nine of the final ten legs to accelerate away from Chisnall and continue his dream week.
The quarter-finals conclude tonight, as 2017 finalist Peter Wright plays Simon Whitlock and Austria’s Mensur Suljovic takes on Darren Webster.