Last Updated: 25/07/19 12:11am
Highlights from Day Five of the World Matchplay in Blackpool.
Peter Wright extended his unbeaten run to 20 matches as he thrashed Simon Whitlock 11-2 to reach the World Matchplay quarter-finals, on a night which also saw Rob Cross and Daryl Gurney progress in Blackpool.
Wright came into this event having won three consecutive PDC titles over the space of the last week and he produced the performance of the tournament so far to sweep aside two-time semi-finalist Whitlock in a brutal display.
An epic night of action on Tuesday saw world No 1 Michael van Gerwen and defending champion Gary Anderson bite the dust, although the big guns progressed on Wednesday at the Winter Gardens.
Live World Matchplay Darts
July 25, 2019, 7:00pm
Cross eased past Krzysztof Ratajski to reach the last eight at the Matchplay for the first time in his career, while Gurney overcame a spate of double-trouble to edge out Keegan Brown in a nervy opener.
Ian White’s wait to reach a televised semi-final continued after he surrendered a sizeable advantage against Stephen Bunting, as ‘The Bullet’ continued his escapology act.
Peter Wright 11-2 Simon Whitlock
Peter Wright hits a 170 checkout against Simon Whitlock in the second round of the World Matchplay Darts
Wright produced the performance of the tournament so far to record another comprehensive victory over Whitlock on the Winter Gardens stage, following up last year’s 16-5 success with another devastating display.
The Scot, who averaged 103.74 and landed seven maximums, completed a clean sweep in the opening session, which also featured a magical 170 finish – the first of this year’s tournament.
Peter Wright makes short work of Simon Whitlock 11-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay Darts
Whitlock opened his account in leg six, but Wright responded by reeling off four straight legs in 14, 15, 15 and 13 darts to continue the procession.
‘The Wizard’ conjured up a 120 checkout to double his tally in leg 11, but Wright broke back immediately and almost sealed his progression with a nine-darter, firing in seven perfect darts before wrapping it up inside 11 darts.
Rob Cross 11-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
Ratajski made a flying start to his second round tie against the world No 2
Cross cruised into his first Matchplay quarter-final with a convincing 11-5 victory against former World Masters champion Ratajski.
‘The Polish Eagle’ made a blistering start, following up a 14-dart hold with a spectacular 160 checkout to lead 2-0, although Cross secured the lead at the interval, firing in an 11-darter in a key fifth leg.
Cross produced a clinical 124 checkout in leg nine
Ratajski’s consistency began to evaporate and Cross capitalised, taking out finishes of 100 and 124 as he extended his winning sequence to nine legs.
The Pole eventually stopped the rot and won three of the next four legs to cut the deficit to 10-5, but the second seed eased any fears of a fightback by pinning double 16 to prevail with a 98.47 average.
Stephen Bunting 14-12 Ian White
Bunting produced a brilliant 110 checkout en route to his dramatic comeback victory over Ian White
Bunting produced a stirring fightback from 9-4 down and survived five match darts to edge out White in another gruelling Winter Gardens tussle.
‘The Bullet’ led 3-2 following a scrappy start, but White rallied and posted 11 and 12-dart legs en route to establishing a 6-3 lead, before extending his cushion to 9-4.
Bunting responded with a four-leg sequence of his own, only to squander two darts at double to level at nine apiece, although he was handed a huge reprieve as White squandered five match darts across two legs – which saw Bunting restore parity at 10-10.
Bunting fought back from 9-4 down to defeat the tenth seed
The pendulum continued to swing as the pair traded breaks, but White incredibly bust his score on two separate occasions having left 16 after 12 darts in the 25th leg, straying into double 11 and then double 16.
Bunting exploited this stroke of fortune to break throw and at the second time of asking, the former Lakeside champion served it out to book a spot in his first World Matchplay quarter-final.
Daryl Gurney 11-9 Keegan Brown
Gurney missed 25 darts at double in his victory over Keegan Brown
Gurney battled through to his second World Matchplay quarter-final with a hard-fought victory over former World Youth champion Brown, in a contest dominated by missed doubles.
Brown had darts to win each of the opening five legs yet was unable to capitalise on Gurney’s profligacy as the Northern Irishman established a 4-1 cushion.
Gurney’s 109 checkout gave him an early cushion
Brown fired in a stunning 10-dart leg in the 10th but the pair traded holds until leg 15, when Brown reduced the arrears to 8-7 after Gurney had spurned two darts at tops for a 9-6 lead.
Gurney restored his buffer with an immediate break back but trailing 10-7, Brown showed great resolve to stay alive and reduce the arrears to 10-9, only for ‘Super Chin’ to follow up an eighth maximum with a 15-dart break to triumph.
Coverage of the World Matchplay continues on Thursday with the first two quarter-final clashes. Join us on Daily Week Sports Action from 7pm.