MVG’s conqueror John Henderson reels off three straight sets to beat Alan Norris in World Grand Prix last 16

John Henderson backed up his surprise win over top seed Michael van Gerwen with a comeback 3-1 victory against Alan Norris to reach the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix.

The world number 32 ended his 700+ day drought without a win on TV to knock out the world number one van Gerwen in the first round on Sunday, and is now through to the last eight in Dublin for the second time after reeling off three straight sets to see off Norris in the last 16.

Former World Championship finalist Norris had earlier capitalised on an edgy start from the Scot to claim the opening set 3-1, but Henderson settled his nerves with a 96 checkout and a 13-darter to lead 2-0 in set two before hitting double 16 to level the tie.

Henderson punished two missed doubles from Norris to lead in set three and then took out 124 on the bull to double his advantage, with Norris replying to force a decider, only for double 12 to give the Scot a key 2-1 cushion in sets.

Finishes of 60 and double ten moved Henderson clear in set four, before he landed a 180 and tops to seal his quarter-final place, matching the achievement he enjoyed on his debut in the double-start tournament back in 2011.

“To get through a hard game like that is fantastic,” Henderson said. “After beating Michael there was a lot of pressure on me tonight but I think I played better tonight.

“Alan missed a lot of doubles to start and you’ve got to punish these top players for that and luckily I did.

“I believe I’m a far better player than I was in 2011 but other players will say the same so I’ll have to play outstanding darts in every round.

“I’m playing steady darts and I’m still in the competition so let’s hope I can go all the way. I’m enjoying it – I’ve not been in a quarter-final here since 2011 and hopefully I can take that one step further.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC


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