Wright bites back to win thriller

Congleton Guardian: Michael van Gerwen, pictured, will play Mark Webster in the next round Michael van Gerwen, pictured, will play Mark Webster in the next round

Peter Wright overcame Wes Newton 5-4 in a dramatic quarter-final encounter at Alexandra Palace to reach the last four of the PDC World Championship.

The colourful Scotsman was chasing the game after Newton built a quick 2-0 lead, but rallied to take the seventh set and move 4-3 ahead.

It was a third quarter-final exit in four years for world number eight Newton as Wright held his nerve in the final set tie-breaker to convert a 121 checkout, finishing on the bull.

"I'm so pleased to come through that, it was such a tough battle," Wright told pdc.tv.

"I could have 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 all the practice I've put in and the changes I've made to my darts have paid off in a big way."

Earlier on Saturday, Michael van Gerwen avoided a shock exit by edging a thrilling encounter with Gary Anderson to progress to the quarter-finals.

The Dutchman needed seven sets to book his place alongside Mark Webster in the last eight after 2011 finalist Anderson pulled two sets clear by hitting double one with a pressure third dart in the fourth set.

Van Gerwen rallied to force a deciding set and finally squeezed over the line to win 4-3 by hitting a brilliant 174 before closing on double eight at the first attempt.

After keeping his hopes of winning a first world title alive, the 24-year-old said: "I'm delighted with the way I came back to win this really tough game.

"I was very disappointed not to win the fourth set to level at two all, but I never lost belief that I couldn't make a comeback and win.

"It's a great feeling to be involved in brilliant fast-flowing games like this, and the crowd added to it by making a great atmosphere."

Adrian Lewis booked his place in the quarter-finals and a tantalising match against James Wade by clinching a 4-1 victory over Mervyn King.

The Stoke player won nine of the first 11 legs to build a 3-0 lead before surviving a fightback from King to wrap the game up in the fifth set.

Two-time world champion Lewis, who ousted Vincent van der Voort in the second round, said: "I certainly didn't reach the standards of my last game but my finishing was good once again.

"Mervyn was on a little bit of a roll at one stage and the 115 finish I managed to take out in the fifth set stopped him in his tracks, and got me through.

"There are a lot of good names still left in this event, but I'm the only one who has got to a final and crossed the finishing line twice."

He will meet Wade in the last eight for what will be a repeat of their dramatic 2012 semi-final face-off after the seven-time major champion ended Devon Petersen's fine run with a 4-0 victory.

Wade had only scraped past Andy Smith and Darren Webster while South African Petersen surprised Justin Pipe and Steve Beaton in earlier rounds, but on Saturday afternoon the Aldershot man enjoyed far easier passage.

The world number six took the first two sets with relative ease before Petersen threw away his shot at taking the second when missing one dart at double 16.

Wade hit his seventh 180 in the deciding leg and took out double six to ease through to the quarters.

Wright will face Simon Whitlock in the last four after the Australian held off a spirited fightback from Stoke's Ian White to win 5-4.

White battled back to 4-4 to force a ninth-set tie-break, having trailed 3-0 and 4-1, but Whitlock maintained his composure and closed out a dramatic match on double eight to move within one victory of a second final at Ally Pally.

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