The two tournament favourites Gary Anderson and Rob Cross will clash in the UK Open quarter-finals, as three-time world champion John Part reached his first major TV quarter-final since 2012 on another dramatic day of action at Butlin’s Minehead on Saturday.
There were a number of incredible stories, but the biggest saw three-time world champion John Part continue his remarkable run at this year’s UK Open to reach his first major quarter-final for six years. ‘Darth Maple’ is appearing in his first individual TV tournament since 2015, but he rolled back the years to keep the fairy-tale alive.
Part dropped just four legs across his opening three matches on Friday; dispatching John Morris, Paul Whitworth and David Evans. The Canadian then fought back from 9-7 behind to edge out Ron Meulenkamp in round-four on Saturday afternoon; surviving four match darts and converting a nerveless two-dart 93 combination to triumph.
Incredibly, this was the first time Part had won four matches in one televised tournament for over a decade, but he wasn’t done there. He faced his fellow veteran Mervyn King in the last sixteen, after King had followed up his third-round win over Raymond van Barneveld by beating Jonny Clayton 10-8.
Nevertheless, King was denied a spot in his first major quarter-final since July 2016, as Part fought back from 6-3 behind to prevail 10-8. ‘The King’ dominated the scoring stakes but missed 27 darts at double and Part capitalised; averaging 86.14 and converting finishes of 112, 109 and 118 to book his place in the last eight.
Tournament favourite Gary Anderson produced an imperious display to secure a spot in his first UK Open quarter-final since 2010. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ recorded two quick-fire victories on Saturday; easing past Ricky Evans 10-3 in the afternoon, before throwing some sensational stuff to defeat the equally pacy Jermaine Wattimena 10-6.
The Dutchman started very strongly and fired in an 11-darter to secure a 5-3 lead. Nevertheless, the two-time world champion responded magnificently. He averaged 104.72, piled in nine maximums and dispatched 33% of his attempts at double; winning seven of the remaining eight legs to remain on course for a maiden UK Open crown.
World champion Rob Cross is through to his first ever UK Open quarter-final after recording impressive victories over Kyle Anderson and Krzysztof Ratajski on Saturday. ‘Voltage’ made his name at this tournament as a Rileys Amateur Qualifier two years ago, but now he’s highly-fancied to lift the title on Sunday evening.
Cross fended off a valiant fightback from Kyle Anderson to triumph 10-7 in his fourth-round tie, before easing past off-colour World Masters winner Ratajski in the final match of the fifth-round. ‘The Polish Eagle’ struggled, but Cross was majestic; averaging 103.88, firing in four maximums and boasting a brilliant 63% checkout conversion rate.
Steve West dumped out Premier League leader Michael Smith to secure a place in his maiden TV quarter-final. West dispatched two 170 checkouts to defeat Matthew Edgar 10-7 earlier in the day, and he produced another impressive display to oust ‘Bully Boy’ in a dramatic last-leg decider.
West averaged 93.90 and landed six maximums en route to victory, in what was a topsy-turvy affair. Smith established an early 4-1 cushion, but West won eight of the next ten legs to lead 9-6. ‘Bully Boy’ then reeled off three legs on the spin to take it all the way, but West followed up three consecutive 140’s with a 14-darter on tops to seal his progression.
Last year’s finalist Gerwyn Price edged through to the last eight with a thrilling deciding-leg win over Rileys Amateur Qualifier Paul Hogan, in the game of the tournament thus far. Price defeated Hogan 10-6 at the same stage here twelve months, but he was forced to produce some sublime darts to progress.
Hogan, who defeated Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror Jeffrey de Zwaan earlier in the afternoon, stormed into an early 4-1 lead with a 107 average. Nevertheless, Price crashed in an incredible TEN maximums; averaged 101.38 and dispatched three ton-plus finishes to triumph, having missed D12 for a nine-darter in the fourth leg of the match.
Corey Cadby’s impressive UK Open debut continues, as the former World Youth champion became the latest man to seal a spot in their first major televised quarter-final. Cadby fought back from 4-1 behind to defeat Martin Schindler earlier in the afternoon, before winning an entertaining last 16 clash against Chris Dobey.
Dobey had secured his place in round-five with victory over Jason Lowe – sealing it with a majestic 10-dart leg. However, he was beaten 10-7 by the young Aussie in a high-quality contest. Cadby averaged 98.80, fired in six maximums and took out finishes of 124, 98, 94, and 72 (x2) to secure his place in Sunday’s last eight.
David Pallett claimed two more high-profile scalps to secure a place in his first ever major PDC quarter-final. The Shropshire ace endured a difficult 2017 which saw him relinquish his PDC Tour Card, which he was unable to regain at Q-School. Nevertheless, he has bounced back in sensational style at Minehead.
Pallett defeated Robert Thornton in round-three on Friday evening, before dumping out two-time UK Open winner James Wade 10-6 on Saturday afternoon, averaging 98.40 in the process. After the multitude of shocks on the opening night, Wade was the only remaining player to have lifted this title, but he became the latest big name to tumble.
Pallett then defeated Kim Huybrechts in a scrappy fifth-round affair, after ‘The Hurricane’ was unable to replicate the display that saw him defeat Daryl Gurney earlier in the day. The Belgian fought back from 9-3 behind to reduce the deficit to 9-7, but the Shropshire star eventually closed out victory on D2.
Yet another man into his first ever televised quarter-final is Welshman Robert Owen. Owen survived three match darts in a pulsating fourth-round tussle against 18-year Irishman Nathan Rafferty, who had dumped out Peter Wright in round-three.
This set up a fifth-round tie against last year’s quarter-finalist Ian White, who had the highest tournament average heading into this tie. However, ‘Stack Attack’ recovered from 6-5 behind to win five of the final six legs; averaging 92.80 and crashing in three maximums to secure the biggest win of his career thus far.
Photo Credit: Chris Dean/PDC
2018 Coral UK Open
Kim Huybrechts 10-5 Daryl Gurney
Gary Anderson 10-3 Ricky Evans
Rob Cross 10-7 Kyle Anderson
Corey Cadby 10-7 Martin Schindler
Chris Dobey 10-5 Jason Lowe
Mervyn King 10-8 Jonny Clayton
Michael Smith 10-4 Ryan Meikle
John Part 10-9 Ron Meulenkamp
Robert Owen 10-9 Nathan Rafferty
David Pallett 10-6 James Wade
Steve West 10-7 Matthew Edgar
Krzysztof Ratajski 10-5 Keegan Brown
Gerwyn Price 10-6 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Ian White 10-8 Jamie Hughes
Jermaine Wattimena 10-8 Stephen Bunting
Paul Hogan 10-8 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Evening Session (7pm)
John Part 10-8 Mervyn King
Gerwyn Price 10-9 Paul Hogan
Gary Anderson 10-6 Jermaine Wattimena
Rob Cross 10-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Robert Owen 10-7 Ian White
Steve West 10-9 Michael Smith
David Pallett 10-7 Kim Huybrechts
Corey Cadby 10-7 Chris Dobey
Sunday March 4th- Afternoon Session (12:30pm)
Corey Cadby v Gerwyn Price
Steve West v David Pallett
John Part v Robert Owen
Gary Anderson v Rob Cross