Dave Chisnall makes Matchplay quarters after thrilling win

Dave Chisnall beats Andy Hamilton in the World Matchplay Darts Championship. Credit  Lawrence Lustig/PDC.
Dave Chisnall beats Andy Hamilton in the World Matchplay Darts Championship. Credit Lawrence Lustig/PDC.

Morecambe darts star Dave Chisnall will face world champion Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals of the BetVictor World Matchplay Championship.

Chisnall beat Andy ‘The Hammer’ Hamilton 13-10 in a thrilling last 16 encounter on Tuesday night at the Blackpool Winter Gardens.

Now he faces the Dutch world number one on Thursday night for a place in the last four.

“It was a good game and a battle and I’m happy that I came out on top in the end,” said Chisnall.

“I knew it was going to be tough because I’ve played Andy before, at the World Championship, and he smashed me 4-0 in sets!”

‘Chizzy’ made an edgy start to the best of 25 duel with Potteries ace Hamilton, screened live on Sky Sports.

The Morecambe-based player’s jitters on the doubles came back to haunt him as he missed five chances, losing the first leg against the throw.

Chisnall steadied himself to break back and go 2-1, then 3-2 ahead at the break.

The yellow-shirted thrower then had chances to surge three legs ahead only to be pegged back to 4-4 after missing another five tries at a double.

But in leg 10 it was Hamilton’s turn to blow it when he missed an astonishing eight times at a double when far ahead in the leg.

Chisnall took advantage and surged ahead 8-5 before Hamilton found stunning form on his checkouts, finishing back-to-back legs with a 160 and 132 respectively.

‘Chizzy’ had to respond and did so with a magnificent 134 checkout to lead 9-7.

The drama cranked up in the closing stages, especially in an amazing 22nd leg when Chisnall, leading 12-9, had a chance for a nine-dart finish.

But after landing two maximums and a treble 20, he missed the treble 19 with his eighth dart to groans from the Winter Gardens crowd who were on the edge of their seats.

Incredibly, Hamilton still won the leg, narrowing the gap to 12-10 with a 12-dart finish.

Chisnall seemed to be affected by the near-miss at the start of the next leg as he fell far behind until a 180 got him back in it and 109 left him double 16 to win.

When ‘The Hammer’ missed his chance to finish on 72, ‘Chizzy’ made no mistake nailing double 16 with his first dart to fall over the line.

Chisnall said: “Andy’s a good finisher and I know what I can do, but after he hit the 160 and the 132 finishes I took out the 134 and that was a big shot because he was on a double to level the game.

“I like playing Michael and I’m looking forward to the quarter-final. He beat me last year but it was a good game and I had my chances, so hopefully this time I can take my chances.”