Dave Chisnall will face Phil Taylor in the last eight of the World Matchplay in Blackpool after edging out Keegan Brown on Wednesday night.
The Morecambe-based ace struggled to hit top form but did enough to see off the World Youth Champion 13-11 at the Winter Gardens.
Chisnall started the better, finishing a 14 darter and a 136 checkout to move two legs up before Brown showed his talent with two 180s in a 14-darter as he got off the mark.
Chisnall took the fourth leg to lead 3-1, but the Isle of Wight youngster responded in style by landing 180s in the next three legs to move ahead before finishing double 18 and a 13-darter for a 6-3 cushion.
Chisnall’s 88 checkout on the bull was bettered by a 114 finish on the middle double by Brown as he moved 7-4 up, with Chisnall’s first 180 coming in the eighth leg as he reduced the gap once again.
Brown finished 82 on tops for an 8-5 cushion, but Chisnall capitalised on missed doubles to claim the next before taking the next four without reply - landing legs of 12 and 11 darts in the process - as he moved back ahead at 10-7.
Brown hit back but was crucially unable to claim the break to draw level as Chisnall added a 13-darter before double four sealed his spot in the last eight for a third successive year.
“It’s a very important win for me,” said Chisnall.
“Keegan’s a good player and he got into the lead but I wasn’t hitting my scoring and I missed a few doubles, but once I started hitting the 180s his head went down a little bit.
“I seem to panic early in games, but when it’s the best of 25 legs you’ve got more time to get into the game and I always feel like my game will come through in the later stages, and it does.”
The meeting with Taylor on Friday night will be a repeat of the 2013 World Grand Prix and 2014 Grand Slam of Darts finals.
Chisnall said: “I’ve played Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals for the last two years and even though I lost I’ve played really well against him, so it’s nice to be playing a different player - even though it’s Phil!”