PDC World Championship - QFs afternoon round-up
JAMES WADE defeated John Part in a sudden-death leg to win one of the greatest games in the World Darts Championship's history at Alexandra Palace on Friday, as Andy Hamilton joined him in the semi-finals by seeing off Kim Huybrechts.
World number three Wade, seeking his maiden World Championship title, held off a thrilling fightback from the Canadian as he set up a last four clash with either reigning champion Adrian Lewis or Terry Jenkins on Sunday.
The left-hander led 3-1 after winning 11 of the game's first 14 legs, with Part claiming the second set with a 167 checkout before fighting back to win three in a row and edge ahead in the match.
Wade won the eighth set to sent the match into a decider, which Part led 4-3 before Wade won two of the next three to send a classic game into a sudden-death leg which he won with a clinical 85 finish.
"That was probably one of the toughest games I've ever come through," admitted Wade. "At stages there I could have lost it, but I hit the 85 when it counted.
"I had a great start to the match and felt like I had established control, but before I knew it, John was 4-3 ahead and I was struggling. I did recover and I'm delighted to be in with a chance of becoming World Champion."
Part joked: "That's the greatest game I've lost!
"I couldn't get going early on and James lived up to his nickname because he was like a machine. It's a game of sets and I played really well, and just one dart here or there proved the difference."
Earlier in the day, Andy Hamilton won through to the semi-finals for the first time since 2007 by seeing off Belgium's Kim Huybrechts 5-2.
The Stoke star hit 11 maximums, three ton-plus finishes and averaged over 102 in an impressive display as he continued his challenge to win his first major title.
"I feel so comfortable on stage and I'm proving how well I can play on stage," said Hamilton. "I'm believing in myself now and we'll see how far I can go in this.
"In the middle of the game, he wasn't pressurising me enough and I lost my concentration but I won't do that in the semis.
"I'm prepared for Gary Anderson or Simon Whitlock - I beat them both in the World Matchplay so they'll be as scared of me as I would be of them, and it will be a great game."
The evening session sees the last two years' beaten finalists, Simon Whitlock and Gary Anderson, clash before reigning champion Adrian Lewis plays Terry Jenkins.
World Darts Championship
Friday December 30
Andy Hamilton 5-2 Kim Huybrechts
John Part 4-5 James Wade
Evening Session (7.30pm)
Simon Whitlock v Gary Anderson
Adrian Lewis v Terry Jenkins
Best of nine sets
ANDY HAMILTON 5-2 KIM HUYBRECHTS
(3-1, 3-2, 0-3, 3-1, 3-0, 1-3, 3-1)
ANDY HAMILTON reached his second World Championship semi-final courtesy of a 5-2 victory against Belgium's Kim Huybrechts in the first quarter-final of the World Darts Championship.
The Stoke ace produced a fine display to reach the last four, which included 11 maximums, three ton-plus finishes and a three-dart average of over 102.
Hamilton took early command by taking the first two sets before Huybrechts won the third without reply to get back into the contest.
The number 17 seed, though, pulled away again by taking the next two sets to lead 4-1 and, after Huybrechts kept fighting by taking the sixth, hit three maximums to end the newcomer's spirited challenge.
"I played a good game again today and I still feel incredibly focused and relaxed," said Hamilton, who will now face either Simon Whitlock or Gary Anderson for a place in the final.
"It's been a childhood dream to win this title, and I have visions of picking it up on Monday night.
"If I keep producing the good averages that I have achieved in my previous couple of matches then I have nothing to worry about."
Hamilton, who overcame Dave Chisnall in the third round, hit a two-dart 98 finish to take the first leg before Huybrechts landed double three to win the second.
The Stoke ace broke Huybrechts' throw for the second time in the set with a 100 checkout, and a 13-darter in the fourth leg gave Hamilton the first set.
Both players held throw at the start of the second set, before Huybrechts won the third leg against the darts with an 84 finish, completed on double 11.
Hamilton hit back immediately with a 14-dart finish in the fourth leg, and a 180 from the 2007 World Championship semi-finalist, followed by a 67 finish, secured a two-set lead.
Huybrechts, who defeated Paul Nicholson with a fine display to reach this stage, won the first leg of set three after Hamilton was guilty of wasting several chances at doubles.
The Belgian then hit double eight to claim the second, and took the next with the aid of two maximums to win the set and reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Huybrechts took his fourth successive leg by converting an 84 finish to take the first leg of the fourth set, before Hamilton hit double ten to level.
Hamilton then hit a two-dart 80 finish to take the third leg, and won the set in style with a superb 122 checkout to restore his two-set advantage.
Hamilton broke throw at the start of the fifth set by hitting double eight, after Huybrechts was off-target with a dart at bullseye for a 167 checkout.
The second leg also fell the way of the Stoke thrower before he fired in two 180s in the next, followed by an 84 finish, to move 4-1 ahead.
Both players hit maximums in the first leg of set six, but Huybrechts won it against the darts with a 128 checkout, and then landed double 20 to take the second.
Hamilton hit double 16 to take the third leg but Huybrechts took out 62 to win the set and reduce the deficit to 4-2.
Hamilton started set seven in positive fashion, as he recorded checkouts of 110 and 96 to move a leg away from victory.
Huybrechts hit double top at the first time of asking to win the third, only for Hamilton to fire another maximum, before taking out an 84 finish to triumph.
Huybrechts, who has made his breakthrough in 2011, said: "These last couple of weeks have been a great experience for me.
"It's the biggest achievement of career to date and I am extremely happy, despite today's loss.
"Andy was the better player today. He's had some tough games in the previous rounds and deserves to go all the way in this competition.
"I hope to be back on the big stages again very soon. I have new sponsors and I'll be playing the whole circuit for the next two years, so I hope to improve and possibly go further in this event."
JAMES WADE 5-4 JOHN PART
(3-0, 2-3, 3-0, 3-0, 2-3, 0-3, 2-3, 3-1, 6-5)
JAMES WADE came out on top against John Part in one of the greatest games ever seen in the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship with a 5-4 triumph in the quarter-finals.
The match was a repeat of their classic quarter-final encounter back in 2008, which Part won 5-4 before going on to claim his third World title, and lived up to its billing throughout a dramatic two hours
Wade led the match 3-1 in the early stages, taking nine of the first eleven legs of the match to establish early control.
However, Wade missed a chance to move 4-1 ahead, and the three-time World Champion threw superb darts to take the next three sets and lead 4-3.
Wade won the eighth set before edging a dramatic deciding set in a sudden-death shoot-out, which he won with an 85 finish to reach the World Championship semi-finals for the first time since 2009.
"The 85 finish was fantastic, and I'm delighted to have hit that treble 15 under pressure to leave the opportunity at double top," said a delighted Wade, who will now face either Adrian Lewis or Terry Jenkins.
"I had a great start to the match and felt like I had established control, but before I knew it, John was 4-3 ahead and I was struggling.
"I did recover from that and I'm delighted to be in with a chance of becoming World Champion."
Wade, who had dropped just one set in his previous three matches, made a quickfire start to the game by taking the first set without reply.
The seven-time major champion hit double ten at the first attempt to take the opening leg, and followed that by breaking throw in the second.
Wade took the third leg to claim the set before Part managed to get off the mark at the start of set two by landing double top to hold throw.
Wade hit double top to claim the second leg, but missed two darts at the same double in the next, which Part edged on double five.
The world number three hit an 82 finish to win the fourth leg before the Canadian ace took out a fantastic 167 checkout to win the set and the match.
Wade won the first leg of set three on double ten, and then claimed the second against the darts by taking out 65.
The Aldershot star then produced a confident 13-dart finish, which was completed by hitting double ten for the second time in three legs, to lead 2-1.
Wade made an excellent start to the third set by taking out finishes of 108 and 140 to claim the opening two legs.
Wade continued the high standard by landing double top at the first attempt to win his sixth successive leg and move 3-1 up.
Wade, who won a second UK Open title in June, hit a 103 finish to take the first leg of set five, before Part landed double ten in the next to win his first leg in eight.
Wade took out 84 to win the third leg, but missed a dart at the bullseye to take the set in the next, with double five from part forcing a fifth leg.
The deciding leg saw Part hold his nerve to convert a 97 finish, landing double top with a pressure third dart whilst Wade was waiting on the same double.
The Canadian made an excellent start to the sixth set by taking the first leg and then hit a 116 checkout, capitalising two missed darts at double ten from Wade.
Part kept up the momentum by taking out 75 to win the set and leave the match finely balanced at three-all.
The opening two legs of the seventh set where shared after both players hit double top, before Wade won the third with an 82 finish, which included a maximum.
Part hit a 180 of his own in the process of taking the fourth leg, before a dramatic deciding set saw both players miss a dart for the set, before the Canadian returned to hit tops to lead the match for the first time.
Wade made a good start to the eighth set by taking the opening two legs, which included an 81 finish in the second.
Part hit double top to win the third, but the Canadian missed two darts at double 16 in the fourth, and Wade took the chance to hit double top to send the match into a deciding set.
Wade missed two darts at doubles to win the opening leg, but Part missed one chance at double 16, allowing him to return and hit double five.
Part hit double 16 to claim the second before a tense third leg saw the three-time World Champion miss four chances to break throw and Wade hit double two.
Part posted back-to-back maximums in the process of taking the fourth leg, before Wade hit a fantastic 124 checkout to win the fifth.
The sixth leg saw Wade agonisingly off-target with two darts to win the match, and Part kept his composure to hit double two.
The Canadian secured a vital break of throw by taking out 64, only for Wade to hit back superbly and take the eighth leg with a 108 finish.
Wade fired in back-to-back 180s in a 12-darter to move a leg away from the match, but Part hit double top at the first attempt to force a sudden-death shoot-out.
Wade won the advantage of throw but consistent scoring from the Canadian saw him 40 after 12 darts, having left the double when he was unable to finish 128.
Wade, though, stepped up to take out 85 for a 14-dart finish to end an enthralling contest and seal a place in the last four.
"It was a great standard from both of us, said Part. "I live to play games like this and I give great credit to James for the way he played.
"Without question, this is the greatest game I've ever lost!"