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Nic Ladds 30th Dec 2012 - 8:51

Van Gerwen & Wade Win Thrillers To Set Up Semi-Final

Michael Van Gerwen ended Adrian Lewis' reign as the World Darts Champion with a thrilling 5-4 victory in their quarter-final on Saturday night, as James Wade overcame Wes Newton by the same scoreline to join the Dutchman in the last four.

Lewis, who has claimed the title for the past two years at Alexandra Palace, missed two darts to take victory in his see-saw clash with van Gerwen as the 23-year-old took a brilliant win to reach his first World Championship semi-final.
Van Gerwen hit 15 180s and averaged 102.73 in a brilliant display, but was pushed all the way as Lewis replied with 11 maximums and a 100.80 average - with both players setting up a potential nine-darter during the game.
Lewis never led in sets but led 2-1 in the decider, only to miss two darts at tops to take victory as van Gerwen took out a pressure 83 to level, 108 to hit the front and double four to edge a brilliant victory.

"I'm so happy because this is my first World Championship semi-final and it's amazing for me," admitted van Gerwen, who continues to defy the pain of injuries to both feet.
"It was a great game and I'm delighted that I won. The job's not done though and I know I've got to play well for two more games, but if I can carry this game on then I can get to the final.
"James Wade's a different player to Adrian and he's very difficult to beat, and I can't afford to miss many doubles because he will punish me, but I'm looking forward to it."
Lewis had won 15 successive matches on the Alexandra Palace stage in taking his two World Championship titles and reaching this year's last four, and admitted: "I'm disappointed but I have it my all and I thought I played really well.
"I know I've lost but I loved the match and it's probably one of the best games you'll ever see.
"I kept up with Michael's scoring but he showed what bottle he's got, a if he keeps playing like that I think he'll win the title because he's been the best player in the world for the last six months.
"I'm kicking myself for missing the two darts at double top but I can take a lot of positives from this and I'll be back. I'm only 27 and I've still got my best years ahead of me."

World number three James Wade won through to his third World Championship semi-final in similarly thrilling style, coming from two sets down to edge out number six seed Wes Newton. Newton made a flying start by winning the first two sets in deciding legs, but after Wade took the third it was the Fleetwood ace who paid the price for missed doubles which would have given him a 3-1 cushion.
Wade levelled and then won six of the next seven legs to move 4-2 up in sets, only for Newton to reply in the same fashion to force a decider.
Newton led 1-0 in the ninth set, but Wade took the next three legs to claim a fine victory.
"Wes was the better player for much of the early stages and should have gone 3-1 up," admitted Wade. "I thought I was going to play brilliantly tonight and I'm disappointed that I didn't but I won and I'm happy.
"I was given the chance to come back and I managed to take the opportunity, but I went asleep after going 4-2 up. I can't do that again in the semi-finals but I managed to win the final set and hit a couple of double fives under big pressure at the end.
"I certainly haven't played my best in this tournament yet but I'm into another semi-final and if I take my opportunities tomorrow then I could go all the way. My darts are going straighter in every game and I'm growing in confidence in every game, so we'll see what happens."
Newton admitted: "I thought I had James beaten but I let him off with missed doubles. I did all the hard work getting back to four-all but it just didn't happen for me and maybe on another day I'd have come out the winner.
"I know I've definitely got the game and I've not played at my best all the way through this World Championship. I've got to take the positives because I put myself in a good position, and I'll come back fighting next year."
Van Gerwen and Wade will kick off the semi-finals on Sunday as they face off over the best of 11 sets, before Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld clash in a repeat of their classic 2007 and 2009 finals.
Van Gerwen's victory has seen his odds cut by tournament sponsors Ladbrokes to make him joint favourite at 13/8 alongside Phil Taylor to claim the Sid Waddell Trophy on New Year's Day, with Raymond van Barneveld 3/1 and James Wade 10/1.


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Saturday December 29
Quarter-Finals
Wes Newton 4-5 James Wade
Adrian Lewis 4-5 Michael van Gerwen
Sunday December 30 (7pm)
Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld
Best of 11 sets, best of five legs per set

Match Reports
James Wade 5-4 Wes Newton
(2-3, 2-3, 3-1, 3-2, 3-1, 3-0, 0-3, 1-3, 3-1)

JAMES WADE reached his third Ladbrokes World Darts Championship semi-final in the space of five years, after overcoming Wes Newton 5-4 in a titanic quarter-final tussle, on Saturday night.
Newton made a flying start by winning the first two sets in deciding legs, but after Wade took the third it was the Fleetwood ace who paid the price for missed doubles which would have given him a 3-1 cushion.
Wade levelled and then won six of the next seven legs to move 4-2 up in sets, only for Newton to reply in the same fashion to force a decider.
Newton led 1-0 in the ninth set, but Wade took the next three legs to claim a fine victory.
"Wes was the better player for much of the early stages and should have gone 3-1 up," admitted Wade. "I thought I was going to play brilliantly tonight and I'm disappointed that I didn't but I won and I'm happy.
"I was given the chance to come back and I managed to take the opportunity, but I went asleep after going 4-2 up. I can't do that again in the semi-finals but I managed to win the final set and hit a couple of double fives under big pressure at the end.
"I certainly haven't played my best in this tournament yet but I'm into another semi-final and if I take my opportunities tomorrow then I could go all the way. My darts are going straighter in every game and I'm growing in confidence in every game, so we'll see what happens."

Both players showed signs of nerves in an edgy opening leg as Newton eventally posted double 12 to lead, with Wade taking out 109 to level before a 13-darter from the Fleetwood ace put him back ahead.
Wade hit double 12 to win the fourth leg, but a timely 180 from Newton sent him clear in the decider, which he won in 13 darts to take the opening set.
Wade held throw at the start of the second set on double top, before cashing in on three missed darts at double 16 from Newton to break his opponent's throw for the first time.
Newton, playing in his second World Championship quarter-final, hit back to take the third leg against the darts with an excellent 12-dart finish, which included his third 180 of the match before winning the fourth in 13 darts to level.
He then took a third successive leg by hitting tops for a 14-dart finish to secure the set and double his advantage.
Newton took charge of the opening leg of set three, but four missed darts at doubles proved expensive as Wade landed double two to secure a break of throw.
Wade, who defeated Newton to win the 2011 UK Open final, took out 69 to win the second leg before Newton won the third on tops, after Wade missed a dart at the bullseye for the set.
The world number three made no mistake in the fourth leg, as he hit double top at the first time of asking to reduce Newton's advantage to just one set.
Newton made an excellent start to the fourth set as he took out 102 to win the first leg before taking the second with a 14-dart finish.
Wade won the third leg on double ten after Newton missed one dart at double 18 for the set, and the Fleetwood thrower was off-target with three more opportunities in the next, which Wade managed to edge on double 16.
The fifth leg saw Wade initially miss four chances to win the set, but Newton was in no position to capitalise and the Aldershot ace returned to hit double ten to square the contest by winning a set which his opponent looked to have wrapped up.

Newton responded well at the start of the fifth set as he took out a 64 finish to win the opening leg, before Wade took out 67 to level in the second.
Wade landed double four to convert a 64 finish in the third leg, after Newton missed two darts at doubles, and the seven-time major champion then hit a 14-darter in the next to move ahead for the first time at 3-2.
Wade, who overcame Vincent van der Voort in the third round, won the first leg of the seventh set on double eight after Newton was guilty of missing three darts at doubles.
He then took out 70 to win the second and wrapped up the set without reply by finishing 65 on tops to move a set away from his third semi-final in five years at Alexandra Palace.
Wade missed three darts to win a seventh straight leg at the start of the seventh set, as Newton finished 68 on double two to stop the run before posting a 180 in a 12-darter to level and a 14-dart leg to win the set.
Newton's momentum continued as he opened the eighth set with a 102 checkout and then finished 82 with a bullseye, double 16 combination for an 11-darter in the second.
Wade hit double ten to win the third leg, but Newton won the next by hitting double top at the first time of asking for a 14-darter which sent the match into a deciding set.
Newton won the opening leg of the final set with a 13-dart finish before kicking off the second with scores of 180 and 140 to forge ahead.
Wade hit back by hitting a 180 of his own to pressure Newton and took the leg on tops, before landing double five with a pressure third dart to take the third and move 2-1 up to punish a pair of misses from Newton.
Wade missed two darts at double top to win the match in the fourth leg, but Newton was unable to take out 122 and the world number three returned to hit double five again to confirm his place in the last four.
Newton admitted: "I thought I had James beaten but I let him off with missed doubles. I did all the hard work getting back to four-all but it just didn't happen for me and maybe on another day I'd have come out the winner.
"I know I've definitely got the game and I've not played at my best all the way through this World Championship. I've got to take the positives because I put myself in a good position, and I'll come back fighting next year."
Michael van Gerwen 5-4 Adrian Lewis
(3-0, 1-3, 3-2, 0-3, 3-0, 1-3, 3-2, 1-3, 4-2)

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MICHAEL VAN GERWEN ended Adrian Lewis' hopes of winning a third consecutive Ladbrokes World Darts Championship after taking 5-4 quarter-final victory in one of the finest games ever played on the Alexandra Palace stage.
The match proved to be a nip and tuck affair, as van Gerwen led on four separate occasions only for Lewis to peg him back each time in sending the match into a deciding set.
The Stoke star then took a 2-1 lead in the ninth set, only to miss a pair of match darts at tops in the fourth leg as van Gerwen hit a pressure 83 finish to keep the game alive, took out 108 to move ahead and double four to secure his place in a first World Championship semi-final.
Reigning champion Lewis hit 11 maximums and averaged 100 as he played his part in an incredible encounter, but van Gerwen posted 15 180s in reply and ended the game with an average of 102.73.
"It's a wonderful feeling to win such an unbelievable match against a superb player like Adrian," said van Gerwen, who will now face James Wade for a place in the final.
"My scoring was really high throughout the contest, but I kept missing doubles early on and that gave Adrian chances to pull back.
"I felt like my chance had gone when Adrian had those darts at double top, but when he missed and I took out the 83 finish, that felt really big and I think he knew that too."
Van Gerwen will meet world number three Wade in the semis, and he added: "The job's not done and I know I've got to play well for two more games, but if I can carry this game on then I can get to the final.
"James Wade's a different player to Adrian and he's very difficult to beat, and I can't afford to miss many doubles because he will punish me, but I'm looking forward to it."
Van Gerwen held throw in the opening leg before punishing Lewis for six missed darts at doubles in the second by finishing 100 in two darts, before completing a confident start by posting double eight to seal the opening set without reply.

Lewis won his first leg of the game at the start of the second set with a 15-darter, before converting a 91 finish to level, after van Gerwen was guilty of wasting six darts at doubles.
The 23-year-old Dutchman broke throw in the third leg on double top, but Lewis hit the same bed in the next to win the set and level the contest.
The World Grand Prix Champion kicked off the third set with a fabulous ten-darter, before claiming the second leg on double 18, after his opponent missed a dart at tops.
Van Gerwen missed five darts at doubles in the third leg and Lewis landed tops to reply, before converting an 84 finish on the bullseye in the fourth to level, after the Dutchman was guilty of wasting five more darts at doubles.
The Dutch ace, though, put those errors behind him in the fifth leg as he hit double ten to move ahead for the second time in the match.
Lewis won the first leg of the fourth set on double ten, before hitting a superb 136 checkout to win the second, with van Gerwen waiting on a two-darter.
Van Gerwen fired his seventh 180 of the match in the third leg, but two missed darts at doubles allowed Lewis an opportunity to win the set, which he took on double eight to level the match again.
Van Gerwen, who defeated Colin Lloyd in the third round, began the fifth set in incredible fashion as he won the first leg with an 11-dart finish before hitting back-to-back maximums to start the second.
The Dutchman's seventh attempt at treble 20 was high of the target, but he took the leg in 12 darts before hitting double eight in the next to move ahead for the third time by winning the set in only 38 darts.
The two-time World Champion hit a 138 checkout to win the first leg of the sixth set, before van Gerwen again set up a potential nine-darter with back-to-back 180s to open the second leg.
This time, van Gerwen hit the seventh treble 20 only to miss the treble 19 of the 141 combination, although he returned to win the leg in 13 darts only to see Lewis edge the next leg on double eight.
Van Gerwen registered his 13th maximum of the game in the fourth leg, but Lewis took out 102 to win the set in style and leave the game finely balanced at three sets apiece.
Van Gerwen hit a 180 in the process of taking the opening leg of the seventh set, before Lewis replied with a maximum of his own in second, which he won on double 16.
Lewis then hit double eight to break throw in the third leg and looked on course to win the set in the fourth after leaving 20 following 12 darts, only for van Gerwen to stun the defending champion with a brilliant 120 finish before winning the decider in 13 darts to move 4-3 up.
Both players held throw in the opening two legs of the eighth set, before Lewis hit a fanastic ten-darter - the second of the match - to move 2-1 up before winning the set in leg four, opening with back-to-back 180s of his own before finishing 84 for a 12-darter.
Van Gerwen hit a 104 finish to win the opening leg of the deciding set before the Stoke ace won the second with a 13-dart finish and then broke throw with a superb 11-darter to move a leg away from victory.
However, Lewis crucially missed two darts at tops for the match in the fourth leg, with van Gerwen holding his nerve to finish 83 with a pressure double 16 to level.

The Dutchman then took out a 108 finish to win the fifth leg, with Lewis waiting on a two-darter, before ending an enthralling contest thanks to an accurate attempt at double four.
A gracious Lewis admitted: "It was an amazing match to be involved in and I'm pleased that I produced a much better standard tonight than I did in any of my three previous matches.
"I know I've lost but I loved the match and it's probably one of the best games you'll ever see.
"I kept up with Michael's scoring but he showed what bottle he's got, a if he keeps playing like that I think he'll win the title because he's been the best player in the world for the last six months.
"I'm kicking myself for missing the two darts at double top but I can take a lot of positives from this and I'll be back. I'm only 27 and I've still got my best years ahead of me."

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