Michael Smith defeated Jonny Clayton at the PDC World Championship to set up a Quarter Final with Gerwyn Price.
Bully Boy defeated The Ferret in an Alexandra Palace classic to move in to the last 8. He will face off with Gerwyn Price on New Years Day after the Iceman defeated Dirk van Duijvenbode.
The day saw only 5 of a scheduled 6 matches completed, as Dave Chisnall became the latest player to withdraw. Chizzy returned a positive covid test meaning Luke Humphries received a bye into the last 16. Danny Noppert also announced via social media he had tested positive as he prepared to return to the Netherlands, an identical situation to Raymond van Barneveld earlier in the week.
Chisnall and Noppert are subsequently the 4th and 5th players to test positive from this years field so far.
Elsewhere on Day 12 of the PDC World Championships:
Gerwyn Price beats Dirk van Duijvenbode to stay in the hunt for back to back titles.
Alan Soutar defeats 7th seed Jose de Sousa.
Callan Rydz blows away Nathan Aspinall in a whitewash win.
Gary Anderson recovers from 3-0 behind to beat Ian White.
Smith and Clayton play out classic
An encounter being dubbed as the match of the tournament, Michael Smith and Jonny Clayton closed out day 12 with an epic encounter. The duo went toe to toe with each other over all 7 possible sets, with the Englishman emerging on top in extra legs.
Clayton started the match as the slight favourite given his prowess in 2021. The Ferret has won 4 televised titles in 2021, a haul match by only a handful of players in the past.
The Welshman jumped out to the early lead, winning the opening 2 sets.
Smith responded by winning 9 of the next 13 legs. Taking 3 sets on the spin to lead the match for the very first time.
Clayton won the 6th set to take us all the way, and fittingly, the match went to the tie-breaker it so richly deserved.
The early advantage went to Michael Smith as he took a 2-1 lead in set 7. Clayton made a hash of a set up visit from 138 to leave 99, and Smith hit a 112. Clayton broke back immediately in leg 4 with a ton plus checkout of his own. Smith was sat on 67 when The Ferret pinged 120.
The usual rule clarification that the match must be won by 2 clear legs up until 5-5 followed, and it stayed neck and neck until leg 9. Smith showed his calmness under pressure in back to back legs, after checking out 72 in the previous leg. This time 65 was the target, and it went in 3. The all important break belonged to the Englishman.
One leg later the match was over, yet another combination finish picked off by Smith, 68 for the match.
Price keeps title defence alive
World number one Gerwyn Price keps his hopes alive of lifting the Sid Waddell trophy once again.
The Iceman defeated Dirk van Duijvenbode in a repeat of the 2019 Grand Prix final.
Despite winning the first set, The Aubergenius never really got going in this encounter. Price missed plenty of darts at the outer ring to allow the first set to go Dirk’s way.
In what can be described as a professional job, Price upped his level in set 2, winning 3 straight legs. A theme that would continue for the rest of the match, as the Welshman reeled off 12 straight legs to wrap the match up in extra quick time!
Day 12 roundup
Soutar vs De Sousa
Alan Soutar extended his superb debut season in the PDC, by beating number 7 seed Jose de Sousa. The Scott has been one of a number of players that has struggled with the Alexandra Palace crowd throughout this years event. But he once again got the better of them, and his opponent.
De Sousa started the match as the favourite, and for the first time in his career, took the opening set in a World Championship match. That was the last time he would lead until the end of set 5, as Soots fought back in to the match.
Missed doubles was very much the tale of the tape in this one throughout, De Sousa missing 25 darts at the outer ring comfortably being eclipsed by the 45 Soutar didn’t connect with.
The full time fireman still had enough to defeat his opponent though. Rather Ironically ending the match in set 7 with a 136 checkout.
Rydz vs Aspinall
Callan Rydz rounded out the afternoon session with a mature thumping of Nathan Aspinall. The 23 year old Geordie dropped just 4 legs to the former UK open champion on his way to the Last 16.
The Riot hit 41.4% of his attempts at doubles and fired in 7 180’s en route to victory, as the Englishman set up a match against Alan Soutar on Thursday.
After winning 2 pro tours earlier this year, Rydz could be sneaking into the Dark Horse territory for the tournament.
Anderson vs White
Gary Anderson played his get out of jail free card for this years tournament in a 4-3 win over Ian White.
The former 2 time, back to back champion started very slowly against White, dropping the first 3 sets to Diamond. He became the first player in 8 years to recover from a 3 set deficit to progress at this stage. It also extends his run of reaching the last 16 at the PDC World Championship to 8 straight years.
Anderson has used a new set of darts for this tournament, moving away from his traditional straight barrel dart that has bought him so much past success. The Scot hinted he may revert back to his old set ahead of his match up with Rob Cross.
Day 12 results
Wednesday December 29
3x Third Round
Alan Soutar 4-3 Jose De Sousa (R3)
Luke Humphries bye Dave Chisnall (R3)
Callan Rydz 4-0 Nathan Aspinall (R3)
1x Third Round, 2x Fourth Round
Gary Anderson 4-3 Ian White (R3)
Gerwyn Price 4-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode (R4)
Michael Smith 4-3 Jonny Clayton (R4)
Thursday December 30
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Fourth Round
Raymond Smith v Mervyn King
Alan Soutar v Callan Rydz
Chris Dobey v Luke Humphries
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Fourth Round
James Wade v Martijn Kleermaker
Gary Anderson v Rob Cross
Peter Wright v Ryan Searle
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