Daryl Gurney says he is ‘over the moon’ after defeating second seed Gary Anderson 11-9 to win through to his first World Matchplay quarter-final last night.
The Northern Irishman has been one of the circuit’s leading performers so far in 2017, with a run to the semi-finals of the UK Open in March followed by a narrow defeat to Michael van Gerwen in the final of the US Darts Masters earlier this month.
Gurney had defeated the two-time world champion Anderson on route to the final in Las Vegas, and the world number 16 claimed the scalp of the world number two for the second time this month as he edged through in a second-round thriller on the Winter Gardens stage.
“I play darts to play in games like that and I’m over the moon,” said Gurney, who will face seventh seed Mensur Suljovic in the quarter-finals tomorrow night.
“It was going to take a big performance to beat Gary and I know I played well.
“I’m very happy with the way I coped under the pressure. I’m glad I won that game but I’m here to win and hopefully I can do the same in the next game and progress even further.
“Everything I’m doing in practice, the dedication I’m trying to put in and trying to better myself as a dart player and not turn up and make the numbers up, it means a lot to me to beat Gary over a longer format.”
Gurney, who averaged 103 against Anderson’s 105, hit nine 180s and hit 55 per cent of his doubles, as he battled back from 3-0 down to reach the last eight in Blackpool for the first time in his career.
Anderson had raced into a 3-0 lead, taking out 76 and 68 in the opening two legs, but Gurney finished 104 to get off the mark and then stole the fifth leg following four misses from the Scot.
Anderson moved 4-2 up with a 12-darter which featured seven perfect darts, but Gurney responded again with a 10-darter and a 70 finish to level after eight legs.
After Anderson edged back ahead, Gurney finished 121 on the bull, an 11-darter and double four to put himself ahead for the first time at 7-5.
A 104 finish from Anderson stemmed the tide, but he was unable to find the break of throw to level again – missing double 16 for a 152 finish at one stage – as Gurney held out to seal the win by taking out 70.