Gary Anderson has reached his first World Matchplay final in Blackpool with a sensational display on Saturday night.
He won a thrilling all Unicorn semi-final 17-12 against an inspired Jeffrey de Zwaan but this time ‘The Black Cobra’ bit off more than he could chew.
Anderson hit an incredible 16 x 180s and averaged a brilliant 106 and he will face Mensur Suljovic in the Winter Gardens final after the Austrian beat an out-of-sorts Peter Wright 17-13.
“I had to play as well as that to beat Jeffrey,” the Scot said. “The kid is going to be a star long after I’ve stopped playing. His attitude is spot on and we will be hearing a lot more about him for sure!”
“I won the important legs in the middle of the game and that was the difference. The longer games seem to be helping me. Hopefully one more big big push.”
It was a cracking semi-final between the two Unicorn stars. De Zwaan was terrific again but Gary was extra special.
He led 5-3 after a second 11 darter, but back came the young Dutchman with three legs on the spin. He’d started the match with a 122 finish and that gave him bags full of confidence.
But after Anderson cracked in a magnificent 10 dart leg to level at seven legs apiece, he put his foot on the accelerator. He broke throw to lead 8-7 and it was a lead he never relinquished.
A second 11 darter from De Zwaan kept in him it, only for Anderson to break again for a 12-9 advantage. That 21st leg was crucial because both missed several chances to take it.
Anderson won four big legs on the spin, producing one of the big moments of the semi-final as he hit yet another maximum and nailed a massive 152 check-out. Then back-to-back 180s and a two dart 100 finish for another 11 darter and he was one away at 16-10.
De Zwaan managed to take another couple of legs but Anderson wrapped it up on D5 after just missing D10 for a 140 finish.
As Gary said, one more big push is needed!
Peter Wright 13-17 Mensur Suljovic
Jeffrey de Zwaan 12-17 Gary Anderson
Story from STUART PYKE
Images courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC