Dave Chisnall produced the performance of day two at the 2019 Unibet European Championship, averaging 109.75 to see off Jonny Clayton in a 10-4 win.
The victory sets up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash with Daryl Gurney who survived a late Simon Whitlock comeback to progress.
The star of the night was Chisnall though, as he fired in 11 maximums to blow away his Welsh opponent.
It was Clayton who started the better of the pair, hitting two 121 finishes in the opening two legs to begin in style.
This seemed to inspire Chisnall, who at 3-2 down put together a run of four straight legs, which included a 142 checkout to wrestle control away from Clayton.
Despite averaging over 101 himself, Clayton was no match for his opponent as the World Grand Prix runner-up went on to seal a 10-4 victory.
“Once I got in my stride that treble 20 was like a magnet, they were all going in,” said Chisnall.
“Jonny started well and he brought the best game out of me, so this result is a bit tough on him.
“We all know my scoring game is there, it’s just doubles that have let me down over the years but I’ve been practicing hard on my doubles and it’s been working for me.”
Chisnall will now face Gurney in Sunday’s quarter-final after the Northern Irishman survived a late comeback from former European Champion Whitlock.
Gurney began the match in scintillating form taking the opening five legs, with an average of over 117.
The 2018 Players Champion continued his form after the break, racing in to a 9-2 lead and looking certain to progress to the quarter-finals.
Whitlock had other ideas though and began a fightback that threatened to derail Gurney’s quest for a third televised PDC title.
The Australia managed to win five consecutive legs to put the pressure on Gurney but an 11-dart hold of throw in leg 17 secured a 10-7 win for the 33-year-old.
“I was in the zone for the first five legs, I would’ve been 5-0 up against anybody in the world.
“In the break I told myself ‘don’t let your standards drop and don’t give him a chance’ but unfortunately that’s exactly what I did!
“Fair play to Simon, he’s a fantastic player and he had the crowd behind him, so I was mighty relieved to see that winning double go in.”
Former European Championship finalist Rob Cross secured his place in the quarter-finals with a 10-7 victory over Joe Cullen.
The pair were evenly matched through the majority of the game with the contest tied at 5-5 at the second break. The world number two then took control of the game stringing together a run of three consecutive legs to put him in control.
Cross would go on to win the required to legs to claim the victory and move into the last eight.
“I’m just happy to get over the line really, I missed chances early on and so did Joe,” said Cross.
“We weren’t at our best but I think the best player won a bad game and sometimes that’s what you need to do.”
Cross will now face Ricky Evans after the Englishman overcame Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror, Ross Smith 10-7 in the final match of the night.
An average of 92.22 and 34% on the doubles was enough for Evans to progress in to his first televised quarter-final.
“I’m just so happy to get the win, I was just thinking ‘please let me win the last leg’.
“When I got to 9-4 I knew I was getting close but he did well to fight back to 9-7,” said Evans.
“I’ve got to get ready to face Rob on Sunday, he’s in the same stable as me and we get on very well but I believe I can beat him.”
Earlier in the day, the afternoon session saw the final eight first-round matches take place, as rising Dutch prospect Jeffrey de Zwaan heaped further misery on Champions League runner-up Peter Wright.
Former World Matchplay semi-finalist De Zwaan, who ended the match with a 101.78 average, defied a Wright comeback to advance to the last 16.
“You know you have to play well against Peter and I think I played really well,” said De Zwaan, who is making his first European Championship appearance since 2015.
“If you want to win the tournament you have to beat them all.
“I want to be in the final and win the tournament, and with the world number one that helps my chances of course.”
The most impressive performance of the afternoon saw Michael Smith average 106.09 to blow away second seed Ian White 6-1.
Nathan Aspinall landed a 170 checkout on his way to a 6-3 victory over Steve Beaton, while World Grand Prix semi-finalist Chris Dobey defeated Krzysztof Ratajski by the same scoreline.
Vincent van der Voort enjoyed a thumping 6-1 win over a below-par Mensur Suljovic, and there were also 6-1 successes for Stephen Bunting and Jermaine Wattimena against Keegan Brown and Jamie Hughes respectively.
Gerwyn Price was pushed hard by debutant Ted Evetts but the Welshman held his nerve in the closing stages to claim a 6-4 win.
The 2019 Unibet European Championship will continue on Saturday with the remaining second round matches taking place in Göttingen, Germany in front of a packed out crowd.
Friday October 25
Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Jamie Hughes
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Keegan Brown
Chris Dobey 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Steve Beaton
Vincent van der Voort 6-1 Mensur Suljovic
Michael Smith 6-1 Ian White
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Ted Evetts
Rob Cross 10-7 Joe Cullen
Daryl Gurney 10-7 Simon Whitlock
Dave Chisnall 10-4 Jonny Clayton
Ricky Evans 10-7 Ross Smith
Saturday October 26
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Second Round x4
Vincent dan der Voort v Chris Dobey
Michael Smith v Stephen Bunting
Gerwyn Price v Nathan Aspinall
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Jermaine Wattimena
Sunday October 27 (1245 local time, 1145 GMT)
Afternoon Session – Order of Play TBC
Ricky Evans v Rob Cross
Dave Chisnall v Daryl Gurney
M Smith/Bunting v De Zwaan/Wattimena
Van der Voort/Dobey v Price/Aspinall
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 GMT)
Semi-Finals & Final