It was good to see James Wade playing well and showing very encouraging signs for the future after a disappointing year.
The Unicorn pair of Wade and Gary Anderson made it through to the quarter-finals of the German Darts Masters World Series tournament in Düsseldorf on Friday night.
But Kyle Anderson was unlucky to lose a final leg decider with Mensur Suljovic.
Wade took the first steps on his road back to the top with a brilliant performance against German qualifier Kevin Munch.
The Unicorn ace was perfect on the doubles....6/6 and an average of 102 as he set up a quarter-final against Michael van Gerwen.
"I have a big hill to climb," admitted Wade. "But it is a battle that I'm ready for and this was a good sign. I felt very comfortable up there."
He raced into a 4-0 lead, winning every leg on 'tops' including a 120 finish. Munch hit back with a 102 check-out which included double double 'tops' but Wade was running hot and after hitting a first 180, he won the match on D12 to maintain that 100% record on the doubles.
Gary Anderson was a little rough around the edges but still far too good for German No.1 Max Hopp. The Team Unicorn star hadn't picked up a dart for five weeks after the birth of his daughter.
Rusty maybe, but there were still flashes of brilliance from Anderson, including a superb 11 darter which started with a 159 and included a maximum! He did though miss six darts to win 6-2 before wrapping up a comfortable 6-3 victory. He now plays Raymond van Barneveld in the quarter-finals in a repeat of the Perth Darts Masters Final from August, which of course Anderson won.
Kyle Anderson came agonisingly close but lost a dramatic last leg decider to Suljovic.
He trailed 5-2 but mounted a superb comeback.....back-to-back 12 darters saw him level at five apiece. In the deciding leg, Kyle was sat on 'tops' to win it but Suljovic nailed D16 with the last dart in hand to pinch it.
Elsewhere, Peter Wright survived a scare to edge through with a 6-5 victory over Dragutin Horvat. The German came from 1-5 down to force the decider.
German Darts Masters 1st Round:
Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 Stefan Stoyke
Daryl Gurney 6-0 Maik Langendorf
James Wade 6-2 Kevin Munch
Kyle Anderson 5-6 Mensur Suljovic
Gary Anderson 6-3 Max Hopp
Peter Wright 6-5 Dragutin Horvat
Phil Taylor 6-2 Robert Marijanovic
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Martin Schindler
Q/Finals - best of 19 legs:
Peter Wright v Mensur Suljovic
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor v Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
By STUART PYKE in Düsseldorf
Photo courtesy PDC