Chris Dobey produced the performance of his life but just fell short as mentor Gary Anderson battled his way into the World Championship quarter-finals.

In a dramatic all Unicorn last 16 showdown, Anderson edged a thriller 4-3 in a tie-break, despite Dobey equalling the record for 180s hit in a last 16 World Championship match. He banged in an incredible 15 maximums!

There were 28 x 180s in 33 legs of darts. It was an incredible hour-and-a-half at the Ally Pally on Thursday night. Anderson was superb as he battled his way back time and time again. A lot of his 13 x 180s were timed to perfection.

Dobey led 2-0, 3-2 and twice he was in front in the final set but he was denied by the brilliance of Team Unicorn’s two-time World Champion.

“He was brilliant wasn’t he?!” Gary said. “I have always known what he can do. And he picked tonight to do it! I am sure this will be the catalyst for him to go on and do big things. But I kept on fighting and I will keep going.”

Dobey was understandably hugely disappointed. “I am gutted yes, but it was a privilege to play in a match like that with Gary. He has done a lot to help me and I will never forget this experience. It is now up to me to take this performance with me into 2019.”

After Anderson missed one at ‘tops’ for the opening set, Dobey stepped in and he broke the Scot early in set two and won it with a superb 11 darter after back-to-back maximums.

Anderson had to act, and he did as he won the third set without reply, then he levelled the match after a dramatic fourth set, hitting ‘tops’ with the last dart in hand but only after Dobey had wired the bull for a three sets to one lead.

Dobey was getting better. Anderson looked to be heading for the lead when he went two legs clear in set five, only for an astonishing burst from the 28-year-old saw him win three legs on the spin in 14, 13 and 11 darts. He was three sets to two in front.

It really was a wonderful watch. Gary drew level again as he won the 6th set in another decider with a brilliant 13 dart leg.

So we were into a deciding set.

A 14th 180 and magnificent 148 finish for Dobey....Anderson’s 11th maximum made it one leg apiece....Dobey hit six perfect darts and was 2-1 in front....Gary hit another 180 and nailed ‘tops’ with the last dart when Dobey was sat on 50 to win it.

So onto the tie-break and it was Dobey who blinked first as he missed three darts at doubles and Anderson punished. The Scot then took control and finally hit D6 with his sixth match dart to seal the win by four legs to two in the tie-break.

But there is a worry for Gary ahead of his quarter-final on Saturday because his troublesome back has flared up again. He was struggling at times during the match and the problem got worse after the game.

It was a phenomenal display from both. They gave us an Ally Pally Classic.

Thursday 3rd Round results:

Devon Petersen 4-2 Steve West

Luke Humphries 4-1 Dimitri van den Bergh

Michael Smith 4-2 John Henderson

Benito van de Pas 4-2 Antonio Alcinas

4th Round:

Gary Anderson 4-3 Chris Dobey

Michael van Gerwen 4-1 Adrian Lewis

By STUART PYKE at the Alexandra Palace.

Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Posted in Unicorn Darts