And Then There Were Eight

Red Dragon Darts

96 players came into the Alexandra Palace with the dream of becoming the latest PDC World Champion, and now only 8 remain in the race for the Sid Waddell trophy and £500,000.

Brendan Dolan has been the giant killer at this year’s PDC World Darts Championship, defeating 2 former World Champions in Gerwyn Price and Gary Anderson to reach his 2nd Alexandra Palace Quarter Final.

The History Maker’s real test though came in the opening round, taking on spirited friend Mickey Mansell who played one of the games of his life on the World Stage despite defeat. Brendan came through a deciding sudden death leg to book his place in the 3rd Round, in one of the matches of the tournament so far.

Dolan will face the talk of this year’s World Championship in Luke Littler, with the 16-year-old continuing to defy expectations in reaching the Last 8 on his Ally Pally debut. The Nuke has included averages of 105+ and 106+ in defeating former Dutch World Champions Raymond van Barneveld and Christian Kist.

A pair of matches, so far in the 2024 World Darts Championship, have gone to a last leg decider, with the Final Last 16 contest between Luke Humphries and Joe Cullen being considered by many to be the match of the tournament so far.

Cool Hand Luke fired a 12-dart leg against the darts to win the sudden death decider, in a contest that didn’t deserve a loser. Both players hit 12 180s and both also found 7 perfect darts in an attempt to find the tournament’s first 9 darter.

The Rockstar hit the highest finish of the match after taking out 116 in the 5th leg of the final set, before coming so close to a roof raising 132 finish after wiring double 16 following on from 2 bullseyes.
Luke has shown real character to still be fighting in this year’s World Darts Championship, clinching deciding set victories in his last two games on the world stage.

The recent 3 Time PDC Major winner recovered from 3-1 down to beat Ricardo Pietreczko 4-3 and survived match darts in beating Cullen by the same scoreline.
The Englishman threw his highest average of the tournament (99.23) to secure a place in a 4th Ally Pally Quarter Final, returning on New Year’s Day to face Dave Chisnall with the pair facing each other in numerous finals on the Pro Tour and Euro Tour already.

Both have been arguably the most inform in 2023 and there is no real surprise what they have achieved so far in North London.

Michael van Gerwen remains the tournament favourite and having not dropped a set so far, you can see why that’s the case. Stephen Bunting had a tournament average of 103+ after his opening wins over Florian Hempel and Ryan Joyce but was brought back down to earth ruthlessly by MVG, who averaged 99.80 in whitewashing the former Lakeside World Champion 4-0.

Mighty Mike lost in the World Darts Championship Final at the start of the year, ruthlessly dispatching everyone in his path to reach the Grand Finale. Van Gerwen didn’t drop a set-in beating Chris Dobey in the Quarter Finals and Dimitri van den Bergh in the Semi’s last year, knowing what it takes to succeed in this competition having won the event 3 times.

The Dutchman’s form on the outer ring has been fantastic all through the competition, hitting 2 checkout rates above 60% in his opening 2 wins against Keane Barry and compatriot Richard Veenstra.

The Green Machine will face Scott Williams who will be appearing in his first PDC World Championship Quarter Final, defeating World No 7 Danny Noppert and World No 10 Damon Heta in his run so far in the Capital.

Shaggy has come the closest to hitting a 9-dart leg in this year’s World Championship, missing double 18 for perfection in his match with the Freeze before Christmas.

It’s a repeat of the Masters Final in the other Quarter Final as Chris Dobey, who whitewashed reigning World Champion Michael Smith takes on 2018 World Champion Rob Cross.

The Quarter Finals will commence on New Year’s Day as 8 players remain in the hunt for the Sid Waddell trophy, with 2 former World Champions, the pre-tournament favourite, and the reigning World Youth Champion all still in the mix.

2024 PDC World Darts Championship:

Quarter Final Order of Play

Afternoon Session:

Chris Dobey (17) v Rob Cross (8)
Luke Littler v Brendan Dolan (28)

Evening Session:

Michael van Gerwen (2) v Scott Williams
Luke Humphries (3) v Dave Chisnall (11)


Images: PDC

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