A review of Thursday's action at the Boylesports World Grand Prix as Michael van Gerwen, Dave Chisnall, Chris Dobey and Glen Durrant all won thrillers to reach the semi-finals.
Michael van Gerwen and Mervyn King both hit 170 checkouts in an enthralling contest at the Boylesports World Grand Prix as the defending champion booked his place in the semi-finals.
MVG, who is seeking his fifth Dublin title, was given a real scare by the evergreen 53-year-old and it could so easily have gone to a fifth and final set had the Dutchman failed to take out 60 after King had piled on the pressure by leaving 16 in the deciding leg of the fourth.
Considering the Norfolk thrower dumped van Gerwen out of the UK Open earlier this year and then did the same to Gary Anderson at the World Matchplay, the fact he gave another sterling account of himself on the big stage will have come as no surprise to anyone.
Fresh from upsetting smaller odds against Dimitri Van den Bergh and James Wade earlier this week, King looked a man on a mission in the opening set when a stunning 10-dart leg made up of visits of 152, 140, 177 and 32 put him 2-1 ahead but after MVG levelled in 14, he spurned three attempts at a double in the decider and was made to pay.
The pair then brought the Citywest Convention Centre crowd to its feet in a thrilling second set when Van Gerwen nonchalantly landed a 170 checkout to complete a 15-darter only for King to repeat the feat two legs later to level the match at 1-1.
A keenly fought third set was taken by MVG 3-1 thanks to legs won in 15, 13 and 16 darts but King raised the roof again at the start of the fourth with a stunning 132 checkout going bullseye, treble 14, double tops.
The 2012 finalist here, who has also been runner-up in four other PDC majors, then blew two chances for a 2-0 leg lead and although he edged ahead at 2-1, he'd miss a set dart that MVG would punish before wrapping up the match with a 14-darter.
The world champion has never successfully defended the World Grand Prix trophy since lifting it for the first time when beating King in the 2012 final but should he manage it this week then he'll claim an 11th title of the season - and fifth on TV having also scooped the Masters, Premier League, Melbourne Masters and New Zealand Masters.
"I think it was a phenomenal game from both of us, but I proved why you should never write off MvG," said Van Gerwen. "He pushed me through the roof, he never gave up and I think we saw Mervyn at his best tonight. He's a top class player with an incredible talent."
MVG will now meet Chris Dobey, who fittingly produced a 'Hollywood' display of finishing as he inflicted more quarter-final heartache on Ian White to reach the last four of a televised tournament for the first time.
The 29-year-old was the slight underdog against in-form 'Diamond', who has enjoyed a superb season so far and was chasing a maiden major semi-final of his own following seven previous quarter-final defeats on the big stage, including once before in Dublin back in 2015.
But in a topsy-turvy encounter so typical for this unique double-start event, it was Dobey who claimed the landmark victory in his career, raising the roof along the way with five 100+ checkouts.
The Northumberland thrower, who knocked out his mentor Gary Anderson in the previous round, blitzed his way through the opening set 3-0 against the darts in emphatic fashion with an average of 95 - the best part of 34 more than his struggling opponent - and finished it off in style with a 134 checkout on the bullseye.
His cause was helped by White missing 11 starting doubles and failing to reach a finish in any of the three legs but Diamond finally got off the mark when levelling the second set up at 1-1, causing a real momentum shift.
The 49-year-old, playing in his 21st quarter-final out of 46 tournaments this season, was beginning to grow in confidence as his opponent went off the boil, and scraped through the next to legs in 19 and 21 darts to restore parity overall.
Dobey's slump continued when missing 12 darts at an opening double at the start of the third set and that gifted it to his opponent in a sloppy 24 darts.
White then punished him for spurning four darts from 40 in the next before completing a whitewash set with a much better 16 darter as he moved to the brink of a maiden televised semi-final.
The 29-year-old was not done yet and at 1-1 in the fourth set, he checked out from 120 to complete a superb 12-darter and followed it up with another from 100 in the very next leg to go out in 15.
Dobey maintained the momentum in the deciding set, which he won 3-0 thanks to another pair of big checkouts from 156 and 100 to complete the job.
White, who has won two titles on the stage environment of the European Tour in 2019, will have to go and lick his wounds and prepare for his assault on the next big televised major - the European Championship.
"It's great to go out there and show what I can do. I felt great up there, I was a bit patchy at times but I finished well," said Dobey. "It's put me into my first semi-final and to beat the number ten in the world is great, especially after beating Gary [Anderson] too.
"I've got all the belief in the world and I'm playing well enough to go all the way but I'll just focus on the semis now, whoever I play. I will never look past my next game and I will prepare myself like I would for any other game."
Dave Chisnall came through a fantastic contest with Nathan Aspinall to reach his 10th major semi-final and his third at the World Grand Prix.
The 2013 runner-up, who also reached the last four here in 2016, is of course in pursuit of that elusive televised title that his career so richly deserves and tonight's display during a 3-1 victory was further evidence that this really could be his week.
Chizzy spurned two match darts in the deciding leg of the third set which would have been his second whitewash in as many days having followed up his gripping triumph over Gerwyn Price with a 3-0 crushing of St Helens rival Stephen Bunting.
But despite those late jitters being punished by the UK Open champion, he held himself together in the fourth to break his opponent's throw and close out a compelling dual that was much closer than the scoreline suggested.
The St Helens thrower is currently enjoying his best season in recent years, ending a two-year drought for a PDC title at the start of the season before winning a further two, including his first on a stage environment since 2013 while he's also managed a trio of nine-dart finishes in 2019.
And, on the back of his two previous displays in Dublin, Chizzy's confidence was clear to see when taking the opening two legs although he had to rely on the battling Asp spurning two set darts after he'd forced a decider to move 1-0 up.
Chisnall upped the ante when winning three legs on the trot from 1-0 down in the second, with two finished in 14 darts and the other in 12, while a 121 checkout in the third set edged him closer before fluffing his lines in a deciding leg.
It would prove only to delay his moment as the 29-year-old went on to clinch the fourth set 3-1 and finish the match with an average of 90, four maximums and a checkout percentage of 42.31%.
The result was also good news for followers of our darts tips, with our 50/1 each-way outright selection Chizzy also put up at 6/1 to win his quarter of the draw.
"I'm over the moon, I'm much happier with how I played tonight compared with my last game," said Chisnall, the 2013 World Grand Prix finalist.
"Nathan is a top player; I felt like I'd won the lottery to be 2-0 up against him - that's how good he is. But I dug in and I managed to get one over him today and now I'm feeling good about my game heading into Friday."
Standing in his way of a fifth major PDC final is Glen Durrant as the three-time BDO world champion continued his dream Dublin debut with a 3-2 victory over Jermaine Wattimena.
The Teessider, who also enjoyed a fairytale run to the World Matchplay semi-finals during the summer, is now just one victory away from a maiden televised PDC final in what is still just his first season after earning his Tour Card in January.
Having beaten Krzysztof Ratajski and Blackpool champion Rob Cross in the previous rounds, the former Lakeside king was a very warm favourite to end Wattimena's first ever venture to an individual major quarter-final but it ended up being quite some battle.
The Machine Gun was more like a sniper with four 100+ checkouts throughout, and his first from 154 came in the very first leg en route to taking the set 3-0.
Durrant had made Wattimena's life too easy but the roles were reversed in the second set, which he won 3-0 despite being well below his best.
The standard and drama cranked up a notch in equal measure during the third set as the Dutchman moved 2-0 up in legs thanks to a superb 104 checkout that completed a 15-darter before Duzza stormed back with three on the spin.
Wattimena, smarting from missing a dart at tops in the decider, responded in style with further checkouts from 107 and 115 to take the fourth set 3-1 before seizing the initiative by holding his throw at the start of the fifth.
Duzza hit back with a finish from 116 and followed that up with a 15-darter to go 2-1 ahead while a 92 checkout sealed his place in the semi-finals.
"It's crazy that I'm in the semi-finals," Durrant admitted. "I've got that will to win inside me and I somehow managed to find the knockout blow. I've got that fight and a will to win. I honestly don't know how I'm winning, I don't know where my scoring's gone.
"Hopefully on Friday I can settle, maybe winning the first set will help my performance so I'm not constantly battling to stay in it."
World Grand Prix: Thursday results & Friday schedule
Thursday October 10 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Quarter-Finals (Best of five sets)
- Ian White 2-3 Chris Dobey (0-3, 3-1, 3-0, 1-3, 0-3)
- Dave Chisnall 3-1 Nathan Aspinall (3-2, 3-1, 2-3, 3-1)
- Michael van Gerwen 3-1 Mervyn King (3-2, 1-3, 3-1, 3-2)
- Glen Durrant 3-2 Jermaine Wattimena (0-3, 3-0, 3-2, 1-3, 3-1)
Friday October 11 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Semi-Finals (Best of seven sets)
- Glen Durrant v Dave Chisnall
- Michael van Gerwen v Chris Dobey