James Wade and Michael Smith hit nine-dart finishes and were among eight players to reach the quarter-finals of the Cazoo UK Open at Butlin’s Minehead Resort on Saturday.
Reigning champion Wade raised the roof on the Main Stage with a perfect leg in his 10-8 defeat of Boris Krcmar in the sixth round, having defeated Ron Meulenkamp in the afternoon’s fifth round.
Wade, who moves up to world number three after Michael van Gerwen’s round five exit to Damon Heta, said: “It was never in doubt in my mind, I was never not going to hit that nine-darter.
“Every dart was middle of the bed; when they’re going in like that you feel like you can’t miss.
“It’s nice to be world number three but it’s not the be all and end all, we play a lot of darts so the rankings change all the time.”
Minutes after Wade’s nine-darter, Smith replicated the feat on Stage Two in his 10-9 win against Mensur Suljovic, Smith’s second tight tussle of the day after a 10-8 triumph over Gabriel Clemens in round five.
Following the conclusion of round six, the draw was made live on stage for Sunday afternoon’s quarter-finals, with Wade pitted against Irish teenage sensation Keane Barry, who impressed in wins over Ricky Evans and Niels Zonneveld.
Smith’s last eight opponent will be Gerwyn Price, who laid down a marker with a 106.66 average in his 10-3 demolition of Callan Rydz in the last 16.
Although the Welshman was taken to a deciding leg against Jamie Hughes in round five, Price is feeling confident of lifting the title for the first time.
“It’s going to be a tough game against Michael, but I’m playing well and looking forward to it,” said Price.
“That’s the joy of this tournament, the big names fall and you never know who you could be playing next.
“But it doesn’t matter to me who’s gone out because I felt confident of going all the way regardless.”
While the afternoon session saw five-time winner Van Gerwen suffer an early exit, Peter Wright followed him out in the sixth round as he went down 10-7 at the hands of William O’Connor.
Despite the loss, Wright remains in line to become world number one for the first time in his career unless Price were to reach the final on Sunday.
O’Connor’s victory sees two Irish players reach the quarter-finals of the UK Open for the first time, where he will face 18-year-old Pole Sebastian Bialecki.
The tournament’s surprise package, whose weekend began in the first round, Bialecki took the scalps of Ian White and Ryan Searle to continue his fairytale weekend.
“I am really happy to be in the quarter-finals of this difficult tournament,” said Bialecki, who becomes just the third non-Tour Card Holder to reach the quarter-finals.
“I’m trying to play my best and take the opportunities that my great opponents have given me.”
The quarter-finals will also see Damon Heta take on Danny Noppert.
Heta enjoyed two of the biggest wins of his career, backing up a 10-4 victory over Van Gerwen victory with a 10-8 win over Jonny Clayton to become the highest ranked Australian on the Order of Merit.
Meanwhile, Noppert survived a comeback from Devon Petersen in round five before dominating fellow-Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode to win 10-2 in the last 16.
At the conclusion of Sunday’s quarter-finals, the draw will be made for the semi-finals, ahead of the semi-finals and final being played in the evening session.
Sunday’s matches will be broadcast live on ITV4 for UK viewers, through the PDC’s international broadcast partners, including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.
Click here for all match stats from Day Two.
2022 Cazoo UK Open
Schedule of Play
Saturday March 5
Ryan Searle 10-8 Dimitri van den Bergh
Damon Heta 10-4 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 10-5 Simon Whitlock
Gerwyn Price 10-9 Jamie Hughes
Danny Noppert 10-8 Devon Petersen
Michael Smith 10-8 Gabriel Clemens
Jonny Clayton 10-1 Jose de Sousa
James Wade 10-3 Ron Meulenkamp
Boris Krcmar 10-4 Dave Chisnall
Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-4 Martin Schindler
Keane Barry 10-9 Niels Zonneveld
Callan Rydz 10-2 Vincent van der Voort
Ricky Evans 10-8 Scott Waites
Mensur Suljovic 10-8 Geert Nentjes
Sebastian Bialecki 10-9 Ian White
William O’Connor 10-9 Stephen Bunting
Danny Noppert 10-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
James Wade 10-8 Boris Krcmar – Wade hits nine-darter in leg eight
William O’Connor 10-7 Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price 10-3 Callan Rydz
Keane Barry 10-5 Ricky Evans
Sebastian Bialecki 10-6 Ryan Searle
Michael Smith 10-9 Mensur Suljovic – Smith hits nine-darter in leg seven
Damon Heta 10-8 Jonny Clayton
Sunday March 6
Afternoon Session (1245-1700 GMT)
Keane Barry v James Wade
Sebastian Bialecki v William O’Connor
Danny Noppert v Damon Heta
Michael Smith v Gerwyn Price
Evening Session (1900-2300 GMT)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
Semi-Finals (Best of 21 legs)
Final (Best of 21 legs)
Last 16: £7,500
Last 32: £4,000
Last 64: £2,000
Last 96: £1,000
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