Glen Durrant, Nathan Aspinall, Dave Chisnall and Jermaine Wattimena were all victorious in Dublin on Wednesday to complete the quarter-final line-up at the 2019 BoyleSports World Grand Prix.
Day Four of the double-start event saw the final four last 16 ties take place at the Citywest Convention Centre as three players won through to the quarter-finals for the first time.
Durrant and Wattimena will meet in Thursday’s quarter-finals after the Lakeside Champion performed under pressure in a five-set thriller with Rob Cross and the Dutchman knocked out Peter Wright.
After a staccato start, the first ever meeting between former World Champion Cross and Lakeside Champion Durrant blossomed into one of the most memorable matches of the tournament so far this year.
The opening set’s decider was won by debutant Durrant, before the second set saw Cross land finishes of 144 and 134 to level with a 3-0 scoreline.
With Durrant being outscored, he relied on missed finishing doubles from Cross to stay ahead in the third set before a 109 checkout saw him regain his one-set lead.
Set four went to a deciding leg, but after Durrant took eight darts to get away, Cross landed a 138 checkout to keep his hopes alive at two-all in sets.
The deciding set began with both players hitting their stride as they exchanged 180s before Durrant found double 16 with his last dart in hand to go 1-0 up.
The third leg saw Cross miss three darts at double, before Durrant found double five to go within a leg of the match once again and this time he drove home the advantage, kicking off with a 152 and taking out 54 to bring the curtain down on a dramatic affair.
“I wish I could stand here being really happy but there’s something not quite right with the way I’m playing at the moment,” Durrant admitted.
“One thing I don’t lack is bottle and that’s what got me through tonight. I’ve come through a really tough section of the draw without playing well.
“I know I need to up my game in the next round if I’m to progress and that’s what I’m working towards now.”
Meanwhile, Wattimena was left in tears after beating Wright 3-1 to reach his first individual televised quarter-final – following June’s run to the World Cup semi-finals for the Netherlands.
Wright followed up an earlier 111 finish by taking out 148 in the set one decider, but Wattimena was not disheartened and replied by taking set two 3-0.
The third set also went to a fifth leg and after Wright missed three darts to regain his one-set lead, Wattimena pinned two double tops to take out 100 and deal a body blow to the World Cup-winning Scot.
Having gone two legs down in the fourth set, Wright fought back to 2-2, only for Wattimena to show great composure, hitting a huge 145 score and then making no mistake on double 12 to seal a memorable victory.
“I’m really happy with this win, now I have shown that I can play on stage,” said an emotional Wattimena.
“I am over the moon but I can’t get too carried away because now I have a huge game with Glen tomorrow – he is a great player and I think it will be a good match.”
UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall will face 2013 World Grand Prix finalist Dave Chisnall in the quarter-finals after Dublin debutant Aspinall twice came from behind to claim a 3-2 win over Danny Noppert.
Dutchman Noppert, who knocked out 2017 champion Daryl Gurney in round one, got off to the worst possible start, taking 17 darts to land a starting double in the opening leg.
However, Noppert recovered and after Aspinall missed three darts at double top to take the set, he found double five to go 1-0 up in the contest.
Aspinall stormed back, taking the second set 3-0, but found himself behind once again as Noppert took the third set 3-1.
An 88 checkout on the bullseye saw Aspinall win the fourth set 3-1 – a fourth consecutive set won against throw – to take the match to a decider.
After Aspinall held throw in leg one, the US Darts Masters champion showed his class, firing in a 180 followed by a 92 checkout to break throw, before wrapping up the win in the next leg.
It was a simpler passage into the last eight for Chisnall, who won in straight sets against Stephen Bunting.
After Bunting surrendered a 2-0 advantage to lose the first set 3-2, Chisnall seized the initiative and failed to drop another leg in a one-sided contest.
Doubling-in proved to be the main stumbling block for Bunting, who missed 43 darts at starting doubles to Chisnall’s 22.
Thursday’s quarter-finals will begin with the tie between Ian White and Chris Dobey, while reigning champion Michael van Gerwen continues his bid to win a fifth Dublin title against Mervyn King in a repeat of the 2012 decider.
BoyleSports World Grand Prix
Wednesday October 9
Nathan Aspinall 3-2 Danny Noppert
Dave Chisnall 3-0 Stephen Bunting
Glen Durrant 3-2 Rob Cross
Jermaine Wattimena 3-1 Peter Wright
Thursday October 10 (1900 BST start)
Ian White v Chris Dobey
Dave Chisnall v Nathan Aspinall
Michael van Gerwen v Mervyn King
Glen Durrant v Jermaine Wattimena
Friday October 11 (1900 BST start)
Van Gerwen/King v White/Dobey
Durrant/Wattimena v Chisnall/Aspinall
Saturday October 12 (2000 BST start)
Preceded by Tom Kirby Irish Matchplay final between Liam Gallagher & Keane Barry