Peter Wright and Simon Whitlock will clash in the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship semi-finals following dramatic tie-break victories over Wes Newton and Ian White as the quarter-finals kicked off at Alexandra Palace last night with two thrillers.

World Darts ChampionshipScottish-born Wright, the number 16 seed in the £1 million event, continued his dream run in the event by edging out Newton in a classic at Alexandra Palace which saw the pair swapping sets like prize boxers trading blows.

Newton took the first two sets to lead before Wright hit back to level, but the Fleetwood ace, seeded eighth, took the fifth in a deciding leg to regain control – only to be punished for missing two darts to lead 4-2 as the Scot again hit back to level.

Wright then won the seventh set 3-1 as he moved ahead for the first time, only to see Newton take the eighth without reply to hit back and level to force a decider.

Wright initially missed four match darts as Newton hit back from 2-0 down to take the final set into a tie-break, but prevailed 5-3 as he continued his incredible year.

“I need someone to pinch me to see if I’m not dreaming!” said Wright. “It was very tight and it was enjoyable that I could battle it out even if I wasn’t on top form.

“It was a battle, a scrap but I’ve learned a lot in the past five or six years on the PDC circuit and I’m making my game strong all round, so that the bad games are not really that bad.

“The 121 was the shot of my life. I was thinking about the double 12 that I’d missed before and I was willing the bullseye to go in.”

Wright now has a day’s break before returning for his semi-final, and admitted that he will enjoy the rest following two successive games which have gone the distance, meaning he has played 16 sets in his past two wins.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWt4JgL5cH0&feature=c4-overview&list=UURvCwDp_1DwOlOpnlJf9iYw

“There’s another two games left to win now in this tournament and I’ll be very grateful for a day’s rest,” he added. “The third round game against Michael Smith took a lot out of me and I played again over a long distance tonight.

“It’s been a learning process; changing my darts, getting used to the TV and the fantastic crowds and enjoying yourself up on stage, not putting yourself under pressure.

“I’m doing that and I’m enjoying myself, and to reach the semi-finals of the biggest event in the game shows that all the practice I’ve put in and the changes I’ve made have paid off.”

Wright now meets Whitlock for the right to win through to the final, after the Australian – who lost in the 2010 decider to Phil Taylor at Alexandra Palace – overcame a magnificent Ian White comeback before winning the deciding set of their game 4-2 in a tie-break.

Whitlock won the game’s opening set 3-1 before punishing one miss from White to level in the second set by winning the decider on double four, and he then finished 136 in taking the third 3-1 to take control at three sets up.

White replied to win the fourth set in a deciding leg, and though the Australian took the fifth 3-1, the Stoke ace won set six in the same manner to pull back to 4-2.

White defied a 134 finish from Whitlock in set seven as he continued his revival before winning the eighth set 3-1 to claim a third successive set and level another enthralling contest.

White then led with a 13-darter to open the deciding set, but Whitlock punished a miss on double 11 by levelling before hitting a maximum in moving 2-1 up.

The Stoke star again levelled in 13 darts to send the game into a tie-break, but Whitlock took a dramatic fifth leg as White missed two darts at tops, before the Australian posted a 15th 180 of the game and hit double eight to finally taste victory.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5hbq4hH5k0&feature=c4-overview&list=UURvCwDp_1DwOlOpnlJf9iYw

“I’m lost for words because I had so many chances and I thought I’d lost it,” admitted Whitlock. “That was so nerve-wracking and I don’t know how I got through it, but I kept fighting all the way and believed in myself.

“Ian played some fantastic darts to get himself back into the match and he’s a class act. I feel a little bit lucky – but I did come up with some good darts when I had to at the end of the match.

“That was so tough but it’s great to get through the tough games because I’ve lost a few of them recently, mostly to James Wade, who is probably the best player in the world under pressure. I was thinking about him when I was playing then – that if he could do it to me, I can do it to someone else.”

Whitlock added: “I’ve never lost a quarter-final in a World Championship and it would mean the world to me to go on and win this.

“I’ve got the biggest chance ever to win a World Championship title, but Peter Wright is playing the best darts of his life right now.

“Peter’s a confident player and I think he’s got more confidence than anyone I know – for someone to get up there and change his darts completely shows that he’s very talented.”

White had defied a nine-darter from Kyle Anderson in the first round and then sneaked past both Kim Huybrechts and Richie Burnett with 4-3 wins to reach his first World Championship quarter-final, and was proud of a run which will move him into the world’s top 16 for the first time.

“I was dead and buried but I pulled it back, and when I went 1-0 up in the last set I thought I had my chance,” he admitted. “I missed two darts at double top in one of the legs and I thought then that it might not be my day.

“To get to the last eight is a great achievement, and to push Simon – the number four in the world – shows that I’m up there with those guys. I just missed a couple of doubles and otherwise I could have been into the semi-final.

“Simon played well and it was a good game for the crowd, and I’m glad to have been a part of it.”

Newton’s defeat means that he has lost three times in the past four years at the quarter-final stage – in a deciding set on each occasion – and the number eight seed said: “It just didn’t happen for me tonight.

“I tried to keep calm and tried to keep going but I knew deep down that it wasn’t happening and it was very patchy. I felt the best I have during the tournament going into the game and I’m disappointed to lose.

“I’ve got to take the positives and getting to the quarter-finals of the World Championship isn’t too bad, but I know inside that there’s a lot more that could have happened.”

The other two quarter-finals will be played on Sunday night, as number two seed Michael van Gerwen – last year’s runner-up – takes on resurgent Welshman Mark Webster before three-time semi-finalist James Wade faces 2011 and 2012 World Champion Adrian Lewis.

Ladbrokes World Darts Championship Results

Saturday December 28
Evening Session
2x Quarter-Finals
Peter Wright 5-4 Wes Newton
Ian White 4-5 Simon Whitlock

Sunday December 29 (7pm)
2x Quarter-Finals
Michael van Gerwen v Mark Webster
James Wade v Adrian Lewis
Best of nine sets

2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship Links

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MATCH INFORMATION
PETER WRIGHT 5-4 WES NEWTON
(1-3, 2-3, 3-2, 3-1, 2-3, 3-2, 3-1, 0-3, 5-3)
PETER WRIGHT secured his first Ladbrokes World Darts Championship semi-final appearance by overcoming Wes Newton 5-4 in an epic quarter-final encounter at Alexandra Palace on Saturday night.

A fascinating contest saw Newton establish a two set lead early on and also hold a 3-2 advantage before seeing two chances to move 4-2 up go begging, as Wright levelled the game by claiming the sixth set.

Wright then won the seventh to move 4-3 up, only for Newton to draw level by claiming the eighth – but the Scot held his nerve in the final set tie-break to condemn the number eight seed to a third narrow quarter-final exit in the space of four years.

“I’m so pleased to come through that, it was such a tough battle,” said Wright, who secured his second televised semi-final appearance in the space of six months after also reaching this stage in the UK Open.

“I could have made it easier for myself in the final set, but I forgot about the mistakes I made and just got on with things, and that attitude worked.

“To reach the semi-finals of the biggest event in the game shows that all the practice I’ve put in and the changes I’ve made to my darts have paid off.”

Newton started the better of the two players as he won the opening set by a 3-1 margin, before Wright made a good start to the second by taking the opening two legs.

Newton, though, roared back as he hit a 13-darter to take the third leg and followed that with a 140 checkout to force a decider.

The Fleetwood ace hit a 180 in the fifth leg before Wright nearly stole the set with a 170 checkout, but his attempt at the bullseye was just off-target to allow his opponent in to land double top at the first attempt.

After dropping the first leg of the third set, Newton hit a 13-darter to level before Wright replied in kind with a 13-dart finish of his own to regain the lead.

Newton converted an 86 finish in the fourth leg, but Wright held his nerve in the decider as he hit double two with a pressure third dart to win the set.

Wright made a good start to the fourth set by taking the opening two legs, which featured a 12-dart finish in the first, before Newton converted a 75 checkout to claim the third.

The fourth leg saw Wright hit a maximum before he took the set with a brilliant 164 checkout to square the game at two sets apiece.

The players shared the opening two legs of the sixth set before Newton converted an 80 finish to take the third leg, but he was guilty of four missed darts at doubles to win the set in the next, and Wright capitalised on those errors by hitting double 16.

In the deciding leg, the Scot failed with two attempts at double 18 to move ahead and those misses proved expensive as the Fleetwood star hit double 12 to move 3-2 up.

Newton established a 2-0 lead in the sixth set, before Wright took the third on double top after Newton had missed a dart at the same double to win the set.

Wright hit double ten to force a deciding leg, which he in dramatic fashion courtesy of a 120 checkout, after Newton had missed a second dart to win the set, this time on double 16.

Wright won the seventh set to move 4-3 up, with the aid of finishes of 107, 80, and 62, before Newton won the eighth without reply, rounding the set off with a fabulous 170 checkout to force a deciding set.

The world number 16 went 2-0 up in the ninth set, but lost his nerve in the third as four darts at doubles to win the match went begging, and Newton hit double 12 to stay in the game.

Newton then won the fourth leg in 14 darts to set up a tie-break situation, before Wright edged ahead once again by landing double five.

The world number eight won the sixth leg with a 15-darter, only for Wright to edge ahead once more as he hit double top at the first time of asking to lead 4-3.

Newton threw first in leg eight, but consecutive 140s from Wright saw him edge ahead and he converted a brilliant 121 checkout on the bullseye to end an absorbing contest.

Match Information
First Set
0-1 – Newton misses the bullseye for a 161 checkout, but returns to hit double eight for an early break of throw.
0-2 – The world number eight hits double ten with an accurate third dart.
1-2 – Wright hits a pressure double four with his third dart, with Newton waiting on 40 for the set.
1-3 – Newton hits a 180 to leave 12, and after Wright misses the bullseye for an 86 finish, the Fleetwood star hits double three to win the set.

Second Set
1-0 – Wright breaks throw on double eight for an excellent 14-darter.
2-0 – The number 16 seed takes the leg on double four, with his opponent waiting on 32.
2-1 – Newton registers a second 180 in a clinical 13-dart finish.
2-2 – The Fleetwood ace takes out a brilliant 140 finish to force a deciding leg.
2-3 – Wright just misses a dart at the bullseye for a 170 checkout, and Newton hits double top at the first attempt to move two sets clear.

Third Set
1-0 – Wright makes a good start to set three by holding throw on double eight.
1-1 – Newton hits a trio of 140 scores before hitting double 16 for a 13-darter.
2-1 – Wright lands double 16 at the first attempt to record a 13-dart finish of his own.
2-2 – Newton hits double seven to complete an 86 finish.
3-2 – Wright initially misses four opportunities to win the set, before landing double two with a pressure third dart.

Fourth Set
1-0 – Wright hits a second 180 before taking out a 90 finish for a 12-darter to break throw.
2-0 – Double two gives Wright the second leg, thanks to an accurate third dart.
2-1 – Newton hits double top for a clinical 75 finish.
3-1 – Wright converts a fantastic 164 checkout to restore parity at two sets apiece.

Fifth Set
1-0 – Wright hits double 16 to complete a 95 finish.
1-1 – Newton lands double six to draw level.
1-2 – Newton takes out an 80 finish, on double 12, to break Wright’s throw.
2-2 – The world number eight wastes four chances to end the set, and Wright hits double 16 to edge the leg.
2-3 – Three ton-plus scores give Wright the edge in the deciding leg, before Newton applies pressure with a 159 to leave 24. Wright fails with two chances at double 18 to win the set, and Newton hits double 12 at the first attempt to regain the lead.

Sixth Set
0-1 – Newton hits double top to hold throw.
0-2 – Wright misses two attempts at double top for a 100 finish, and Newton hits double six to break.
1-2 – Newton misses a dart at tops to win the set, and Wright takes out 60 in two darts to keep the set alive.
2-2 – Wright misses two chances at double top, but returns to hit double ten.
3-2 – Newton hits a timely 180, but a missed dart at double 16 – his second to win the set – sees Wright take out an excellent 120 to claim the set.

Seventh Set
1-0 – Wright takes out a 107 finish with his opponent waiting on 40.
1-1 – Newton hits his seventh 180, before finding double nine with an accurate third dart.
2-1 – Wright takes out an 80 finish on double five, defying a 180 from his opponent.
3-1 – An accurate attempt at double 16 gives Wright the set, as he takes out a 62 finish.

Eighth Set
0-1 – Newton hits a 180 before Wright replies with a maximum to leave 24, only for Newton to take out double ten.
0-2 – Wright misses two shots at doubles to draw level, allowing Newton to hit double eight and break throw.
0-3 – Wright hits a fifth 180, only for Newton to win the set in style with a fantastic 170 checkout.

Ninth Set
1-0 – Wright defies a tenth 180 from Newton to win the leg on double top.
2-0 – Newton fails to hit a treble with his first six darts, before Wright hits a 180 and goes to break throw on double top with a 15-dart leg.
2-1 – A dramatic leg sees Wright miss four chances to win match, before Newton hits double 12 with a pressure third dart.
2-2 – Newton hits double eight to complete a 14-darter and send the game into a tie-break.
3-2 – Wright keeps his composure to hit double five with his third dart and edge back ahead.
3-3 – Newton wins the leg in 15 darts, completed on double five.
4-3 – Wright hits double top at the first attempt to move a leg away from victory once again.
5-3 – Wright posts back-to-back 140s to edge ahead before taking out a 121 finish, on the bullseye, to end an epic contest.

SIMON WHITLOCK 5-4 IAN WHITE
(3-1, 3-2, 3-1, 2-3, 3-1, 1-3, 1-3, 1-3, 4-2)
SIMON WHITLOCK edged past Ian White in another dramatic quarter-final encounter at the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship, which saw 27 maximums hit between the two players before the Australian prevailed in a ninth set tie-break.

Whitlock appeared to be coasting into the last four as he built leads of 3-0 and 4-1, only for White to show his battling qualities to come back and level the game at four sets apiece.

The final set proved to be a dramatic affair, which was eventually decided in a tie-break as Whitlock hit double eight in the sixth leg to come through.

“I’m pretty emotional right now as I thought I had blown my opportunity, having led 4-1,” said Whitlock, who will now play Peter Wright, who was another 5-4 winner on Saturday night.

“In recent times I’ve lost quite a few games when I’ve held big leads and that was definitely on my mind as Ian kept coming back at me.

“Ian really pushed me and he kept battling, and he showed real character to come back to four each, so I take my hat off to him.

“I’m proud of the way I recovered and got through that final set in the tie-break. I hadn’t really been tested before in this tournament but tonight’s game should really sharpen me up for the semi-finals.”

Whitlock won the first set by 3-1 margin, with the opener rounded-off with a clinical 14-darter, and the second set also fell the way of the 2010 runner-up, who edged it in a deciding leg on double four, after White had missed one chance at double top to level.

Whitlock hit a brilliant 136 checkout to begin the third set, but wasted opportunities for a 2-0 lead as White took the second leg on double two.

The Australian hit a 14-darter to break White’s throw in the third leg before landing double top in the next to move three sets clear.

White hit back to lead the fourth set 2-1, thanks to a break of throw in the third leg with a 14-darter, before Whitlock hit double 18 to win the fourth against the darts and level.

The Stoke ace, who had seen off Kyle Anderson, Kim Huybrechts and Richie Burnett in the earlier rounds, hit a timely 180 in the deciding leg before an accurate attempt at double eight saw Whitlock concede his first set of the tournament.

Whitlock opened a two leg lead in the fifth set thanks to a 118 finish and a 13-darter, and after dropping the third leg, the Australian wrapped up the set with a two-dart 70 checkout to restore his three-set lead.

White broke throw at the start of the set six to hit back, only for Whitlock to take a 111 finish in the second to level, but the Stoke ace won the third leg against the darts with a 65 checkout, before an accurate attempt at double eight gave the emerging star the set.

Whitlock started the eighth fantastically with a 134 checkout, but White continued the comeback as he won the next three legs as he took the set with a two-dart 68 finish.

White maintained the momentum as he established a 2-0 lead in the eighth set in a run which featured a 108 finish in the first leg.

Whitlock won the third leg, but a 12th maximum from the Australian was not enough in the fourth as White hit double four to level the game at four sets apiece.

White took the opener of the final set to incredibly lead in the game, but a missed dart at double 11 for an 84 finish allowed Whitlock to level on double eight.

Whitlock moved a leg away from triumph by taking the third leg in 14 darts, before White showed great character to win the fourth with a 13-dart finish and send the game into a tie-break.

The drama continued as both players missed two chances to win the fifth leg before Whitlock posted double four to move back ahead at 3-2 and put himself a leg away from victory

White posted his12th 180 in the sixth leg, only for Whitlock to reply with his 15th maximum of the game before going on to land double eight to end his opponent’s brave challenge.

Match Information
First Set
1-0 – White hits double top at the first time of asking to convert a 100 finish.
1-1 – Whitlock draws level by taking out a 76 finish on double four.
1-2 – The Australian breaks throw by landing double ten.
1-3 – Whitlock wins the first set on double eight for a 14-dart finish.

Second Set
0-1 – Whitlock hits double 16 at the third attempt to hold throw.
1-1 – White lands double 16 to win just his second leg of the game.
1-2 – Whitlock hits a maximum before landing double top with an accurate third dart.
2-2 – White takes out an 84 finish in a leg which featured Whitlock’s fifth 180.
2-3 – Whitlock adds another 180 to his tally, but two missed darts to win the set gives White hope. However, the 21st seed fails with one dart at double top for a 117 finish, allowing Whitlock to return and hit double four.

Third Set
0-1 – Whitlock converts a fabulous 136 checkout.
1-1 – White breaks back on double two, after both players had missed chances to win the leg.
1-2 – The Australian breaks White’s throw for the second time in the set, as he hits double 18 for a 14-darter.
1-3 – Whitlock takes out 60 on double top to move further ahead.

Fourth Set
0-1 – Whitlock hits double eight at the first time of asking to make a positive start to set four.
1-1 – The Stoke ace manages to hold throw and draw level.
2-1 – White posts a sixth 180 before going on to win the leg in 14 darts, to break throw.
2-2 – Whitlock cancels out White’s advantage as he hits double 18 with his first attempt.
3-2 – White fires in a 180 before hitting double eight to reduce the deficit.

Fifth Set
0-1 – One missed dart at double top from White is punished by Whitlock, who hits a 118 finish.
0-2 – Whitlock produces scores of 140, 134, and 125 before hitting double top for a 13-darter.
1-2 – Both players record maximums before White lands double eight with his third dart.
1-3 – Whitlock hits a two-dart 70 finish, after White misses two opportunities to keep the set alive.

Sixth Set
1-0 – White starts the set well as he hits double four to break his opponent’s throw.
1-1 – Whitlock hits a 180 before landing double four to draw level.
2-1 – White wins the third leg against the darts with a clinical two-dart 65 finish.
3-1 – Both players hit 180s before each going on to miss a dart at a double to win the leg before White returns to hit double eight to keep in the game.

Seventh Set
0-1 – Whitlock takes out a brilliant 134 checkout to win the leg against the darts.
1-1 – White comes back again as he hits double two to break back.
2-1 – Despite two bounce-outs, White wins the leg on double four, after Whitlock misses double 19 for a 118 checkout.
3-1 – White converts a two-dart 68 finish, hitting double four for the second leg running, to continue the comeback.

Eighth Set
1-0 – Whitlock takes command of the leg as he starts with consecutive 140s. However, two missed darts at double 18 prove costly for the Australian, as White takes out a 108 finish on double 16.
2-0 – Whitlock fails to set up a shot at double for a 62 finish, allowing White to hit double four.
2-1 – An accurate attempt at double eight, sees Whitlock wins his first leg in six.
3-1 – Whitlock hits a 12th 180, but two missed dart at double 18 see White his double four once again, as he hits back to force a deciding set.

Ninth Set
1-0 – White hits double top for a 13-darter to lead the match for first time since the opening leg.
1-1 – The Stoke thrower misses double 11 for an 84 finish, and Whitlock hits double eight to level.
1-2 – Whitlock hits a 14th maximum before landing double eight for a 14-darter against the throw.
2-2 – White shows great character to win the leg on tops for a 13-dart finish to force a tie-break.
2-3 – Whitlock misses two chances to break throw, only for White to fail with two attempts at double top, and the world number four holds his nerve to hit double four.
2-4 – White hits a 12th 180 of the game, only for Whitlock to reply with his 15th before landing double eight to reach the last four.

2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship Links

Draw | Schedule of Play | Roll of Honour | Head to Heads | Beat The Tipster | 9 Dart Club | All Time Player Ratings | 2013 Results