Welshman Gerwyn Price had a brilliant Blackpool night as he defeated fourth seed Adrian Lewis 13-10 to reach the quarter-finals of the BetVictor World Matchplay.
Price, a former rugby professional at both codes, stormed into a 7-3 lead and missed doubles for the match at 12-8 before sealing an outstanding victory three legs later in front of a spellbound Winter Gardens crowd.
The winner was clearly delighted at his unusual sporting switch when he said: “I sort of messed up my rugby career but I’m not letting this one go.
“My game came together a bit more and I’m chuffed to bits. I didn’t know if I could go so are but I’ve proved I can.
“Adrian kept putting me under pressure , and if he had won that last leg (in which two-time world champion Lewis missed six doubles) I’d have really been under the cosh.”
Price’s quarter-final opponent tomorrow will be Peter Wright, who defeated Andrew Gilding 13-7 in the first of last night’s second-round games.
World number one Michael van Gerwen showed he is determined to go one better than last year’s runner-up spot in Blackpool with a 13-2 rout of Jamie Lewis. The Dutchman’s three-dart average of 111 was the fourth-highest in the 21-year history of the Blackpool event.
The player with the unenviable task of toppling Van Gerwen in the quarter-finals is Ian White, who defeated Australia’s Simon Whitlock 13-9 in last night’s other second-round tie.
White trailed 9-6 before reeling off seven successive legs to progress beyond the last 16 for the first time. The second round continues tonight, when champion Phil Taylor will be in action against Andy Hamilton.