World Darts results: Michael van Gerwen earns semi-final date with Nathan Aspinall; Gerwyn Price to face Peter Wright

Michael van Gerwen shakes the hand of Darius Labanauskas
Michael van Gerwen shakes the hand of Darius Labanauskas

A review of Sunday's action at the William Hill World Darts Championship as all four favourites won their respective quarter-final matches.

World Championship schedule and results

EVENING SESSION

Van Gerwen gets the job done

Michael van Gerwen booked a semi-final date with Nathan Aspinall thanks to a 5-2 victory over Darius Labanauskas.

The three-time world champion was not at his best, losing two sets and escaping in at least one more, but nevertheless left the impression that there's plenty more in the locker.

Van Gerwen, who needed 21 darts to close out the match at the end of the seventh set, averaged 99.5 and hit 45 per cent of doubles, but he was outshone in the maximums department and switched off more than once.

"I had a couple of really good patches, but also a couple of really bad patches," assessed van Gerwen.

"After (leading 3-1) I fell asleep - at this stage of the tournament you're not allowed to do that. It's a bit embarrassing for myself to be fair.

"I'm in the semi-final now. I've still got so much more in the tank, I know that for sure. A win is a win and that's the most important thing.

"I'm looking forward to playing Nathan. He never gives up, he's always there; it's going to be a phenomenal game."

Labanauskas started the match superbly, throwing a maximum and ultimately hitting double 16 to take the leg.

Van Gerwen levelled twice, first in regulation fashion and then with a brilliant 158 finish, but Labanauskas held firm to take the set by checking out 80 on double 10.

Another smart finish, this time 81, kept the Lithuanian in with a puncher's chance in the second set, and he in fact missed bullseye for it before van Gerwen stepped in to level the scores.

From there, Mighty Mike produced some of his best darts of the tournament, winning the second leg of the third set in 11 darts and moving into a 2-1 lead without allowing his opponent a look-in.

When he then took out 137 in showboating fashion - treble 19, and then tops twice - all looked in place for a cruise through the gears, and after hitting double 12 for a 72 finish he was 3-1 in front.

Labanauskas found extra, through, taking advantage of some shoddy finishing from MVG to take the fifth set, only to lose the next without taking a leg from his opponent.

Still, the underdog threw jabs, moving ahead in the 180s count with seven in total as he edged 2-1 in front in the seventh set, but a 76 finish from van Gerwen forced a decider and it went to the Dutchman after Labanauskas missed six darts for the set.

That was very much the tale of the match - Labanauskas scored heavily enough to give the tournament favourite a real fright, but 35 missed darts at double proved fatal as a slightly lacklustre van Gerwen remained on course.

Price is right

The Gerwen versus Gerwyn final remains on after Price beat Glen Durrant 5-1 in the most one-sided of Sunday's quarter-finals.

The Welshman averaged just a tick under 100 in a display which was at times clinical and always consistent, taking another big step towards a breakthrough world title at the end of a breakout campaign.

Durrant fired in all four of the game's 100-plus finishes, but none of them came against the throw as he struggled to lay a glove on his in-form opponent.

Only the first set went down to the wire, after finishes of 126 and 105 had given Durrant a chance.

But as was the case throughout the match, Price dominated the decisive leg, opening with throws of 134, 100 and 180 and ultimately taking the set on double 10.

An 11-dart leg followed by an 87 finish on bullseye put Price in command of the second set, and again it took fireworks on his own throw for Durrant to hold with a brilliant 146 finish.

Like most of his flourishes, though, it proved in vain as Price wrapped up the set in 13 darts to move into a 2-0 lead.

Durrant managed to halve the deficit thanks to an overdue break of throw which came on the heels of a 136 finish before he closed out the set, but he gave back his advantage immediately in losing the fourth set despite having the darts.

With their averages similar and finishing percentages likewise, there was perhaps less between the players as the scoreline suggested, and Durrant went on to win the opening leg in sets five and six to confirm that this was a match won and lost on serve.

Each time, Price rallied to rattle off three legs in succession, latterly taking out 61 for a place in the last four.

"I played decent, I was clinical when it mattered," said Price. "I was finishing alright when he was hitting big scores to set it up. I'm happy, I'm just confident now, and I'm happy to get through this game.

"It was a free-flowing game. Glen didn't play his best, but he played alright; I didn't play my best but I won and I'm happy.

"Peter (Wright) thought I was going to lose 5-2 - I'm going to smash him 6-0!"

AFTERNOON SESSION

Aspinall in semi-finals again

Nathan Aspinall dug deep to fend off Dimitri Van den Bergh and reach the semi-finals of the PDC World Championship.

Aspinall looked to have things in control before his Belgian opponent rallied bravely, threatening to take the match the distance.

But from 2-0 down in the eighth set, Aspinall found reserves of class and toughness to win the following three legs to complete a 5-3 victory.

It was Van den Bergh who started brightest, winning the first three legs to race through the first set as his opponent missed six darts at double.

Aspinall then got on the board with a 12-dart leg to begin the second set, and three maximums helped him to take it despite Van den Bergh firing in an 11-dart leg completed on double 18.

At a set apiece there was precious little in the game, but despite taking the first leg of the third set, there were signs that Van den Bergh was beginning to wobble when aiming at double - he missed four darts before hitting double four to edge back in front.

Aspinall pounced, firing in a 122 checkout - the highest of the match - and then taking the next two legs on double eight to move into a clear lead for the first time.

Again, Van den Bergh took the opening leg of the following set, but again he did so sloppily, this time missing five darts at double before eventually hitting double seven to break throw.

An 85 finish had him on the verge of parity, but two misses in each of the next two legs sent the set to a decider, one which Aspinall dominated in 12 quality darts to take a commanding 3-1 lead.

Set five began as each before it had - Van den Bergh taking it, this time with a 72 finish - but two missed darts at double 16 cost him the following leg.

The Belgian youngster moved back in front with a 15-dart leg - despite two more missed doubles - but Aspinall took the following two legs as the game got scrappy, which appeared to favour Asp more than Dancing Dimitri.

Leading 4-1, Aspinall finally took the opening leg of a set as he appeared ready to cruise over the line when taking the next, yet with his hopes all but gone Van den Bergh found some fluency, rattling off the following three legs to reduce the lead to 4-2.

From 1-0 down in the seventh set, Van den Bergh took out 79, 80 and 70 to get within a set, and back-to-back 76 finishes saw him move into a 2-0 lead in the next, with a deciding set now very much on the cards.

And yet, in keeping with the ebb and flow of an engrossing but at times scrappy encounter, Aspinall produced three 13-dart legs in succession to fall over the line and book a place in the last four - just as he did on debut 12 months ago.

"He let me off in the end," confessed Aspinall. "I don't know why I felt so nervous. It is something I need to address. The occasion got to me and I didn't play very well so I'm happy to get through.

"I showed some fighting spirit at the end and took my chances. I love being here and I want to put on a show for the fans, which is what I will aim to do tomorrow."

Nathan Aspinall reacts to reaching the semi-finals
Nathan Aspinall reacts to reaching the semi-finals

The Wright stuff

Peter Wright produced his highest ever World Championship average in a dominant 5-3 victory over Luke Humphries.

Snakebite averaged 105.86 in a fine front-running display which saw him hit the eighth 170 finish of the tournament early on and bag 12 maximums on his way to the semi-finals.

Humphries had never faced Wright before and, having averaged almost 99 in defeat, will perhaps hope not to see that colourful mohican again any time soon having played to a standard which would have won many a quarter-final.

Not this one, though, as Wright marches on.

"Luke's an awesome player, I wanted to go out and keep on top," said Wright. "Today I had a lot more focus (than previous match).

"I played that well because Luke was coming back at me. I've got to get more consistent, hit more 180s, but I feel really good - and when I feel really good, I'm hard to beat.

"I said (to darts manufacturer), 'thank you for making me a dart that I will win the World Championship with.'"

Peter Wright after a brilliant quarter-final display
Peter Wright after a brilliant quarter-final display

It's little wonder he was full of the joys of Christmas, after a performance which must rank among the best of his career.

Wright started the match in electric fashion, taking out 170 in the second leg and taking six of the first seven to race into a 2-0 lead.

To his credit, World Youth champion Humphries stuck at it, and after Wright missed double 12 to pinch the third set, Humphries mopped up double eight to halve the deficit.

Wright then came out firing in the fourth, taking out 81 for a 12-dart leg, 161 on bullseye for another, and then exchanging 11-dart legs with opponent to move into a 3-1 lead.

Those four blistering legs saw Wright average 123.83, the highest set average recorded by any player since December 2017, and three 14-dart legs in the following set put him within one of the semi-finals.

Humphries, though, was playing well, and followed a 12-dart leg with an 84 finish to close in on the fifth set, which he took with something to spare.

With Wright briefly losing focus, Humphries raced to the seventh set to suddenly close to within one, but Wright responded with a maximum to start the next and found solace in double four to stop the bleeding.

While Humphries soon levelled, Wright was back in the flow now and took out 68 to edge within one, and then capitalised on a missed dart at double from his opponent to close out the match.

World Darts Championship: Sunday results & remaining schedule

Sunday December 29
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 9 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Nathan Aspinall 5-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Luke Humphries 3-5 Peter Wright

Evening Session (1900)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 9 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Michael Van Gerwen 5-2 Darius Labanauskas
  • Glen Durrant 1-5 Gerwyn Price

Monday December 30
Evening Session (1900)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts
Semi-Finals (Best of 11 sets)

  • Michael van Gerwen v Nathan Aspinall
  • Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price

Wednesday January 1
Evening Session (1900)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts
Final (Best of 13 sets)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

CLICK HERE FOR FULL WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE AND GUIDE

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