Lewis OUT! Mighty Mike hits Jackpot as he sends the reigning champion packing after a classic at Ally Pally
23:28 GMT, 29 December 2012
Adrian Lewis’s quest for a third straight world title came to a shuddering halt on Saturday night as he lost 5-4 to an inspired Michael van Gerwen.
The Dutchman showed why he was the pre-tournament second favourite as he overcame some early double problems and withstood everything ‘Jackpot’ threw at him in an astonishing tussle at Ally Pally.
Van Gerwan will play James Wade in the semis after ‘The Machine’ edged past West Newton 5-4 in a classic first match of the evening.
Thriller: Van Gerwen won a classic contest to move into the semi-finals
‘Mighty Mike’ wasted no time in taking
the opening set as he pounced on Lewis’s double trouble to win it 3-0.
The Dutchman broke throw in the second leg after the reigning champion
missed six darts at a double.
But ‘MVG’ had problems on doubles himself and Lewis took advantage to win the second set 3-1.
Van Gerwen’s troubles continued in the
third set as he almost threw away a 2-0 lead with a hatful of missed
doubles. The Dutchman had chances in legs three and four to take the set
but eventually hit double 10 in the deciding leg to move 2-1 ahead.
‘Jackpot’ quickly levelled, though, as
he won the fourth set 3-0 thanks to a 136 checkout on Van Gerwen’s
throw in the second leg.
But Van Gerwen responded with a 3-0
set of his own as he upped his game in the fifth set. The Dutchman came
close to a nine-dart finish but settled for an 11-dart leg to break
Lewis’s throw and move back ahead.
Lewis didn’t back down, though, and he
took the sixth set 3-1 as Van Gerwen’s double trouble returned. But
just when the reigning champion seemed to be taking control of the
match, the Dutchman came roaring back.
Gallant: Lewis played his best match of the tournament but it wasn't enough against the impressive Dutchman
The two-time winner broke throw to
lead 2-1 in the seventh set with a chance to move 4-3 ahead and just one
set away from the semis. But Van Gerwan checked out 120 to break
straight back before hitting double top in the deciding leg to take the
Then, as expected, it was Lewis’s turn
to strike back as he hit an 11-dart leg to break Van Gerwen’s throw to
take the set 3-1 and force a decider.
The gripping contest continued to
excite in the final set and it was Lewis who struck first. ‘Jackpot’
broke Van Gerwen’s throw to lead 2-1 but, typical of the contest, Van
Gerwen pulled off an incredible 83 checkout to level at 2-2 as Lewis
missed two darts at tops.
The Dutchman then checked out 108 to hold and move 3-2 ahead before breaking throw in the next leg to seal a brilliant win.
Mighty Mike: Van Gerwen came out on top in a final-set thriller
Van Gerwen told Sky Sports: ‘We played
a very good game. I was struggling on my doubles but he played so well.
This is my biggest year ever and I’m playing so well at the moment.’
A despondent Lewis said: ‘That is
probably the best game we’ve seen on TV. It was better than Barney and
Taylor’s match (in 2007).’
‘Mighty Mike’ will look to avenge his
World Matchplay defeat to Wade, who was cruising towards victory at 4-2
before a determined fight-back from Newton.
Newton raced into a 2-0 lead before Wade broke in the first leg of the third set before reducing his deficit to 2-1.
Machine: Wade prevailed in a final-set thriller
The fourth set proved to be pivotal as Newton missed three darts at tops which would have taken him 3-1 ahead. Wade pounced to force a deciding leg in the set before hitting double 10, albeit at the fourth time of asking, to level at 2-2.
‘The Machine’ then won five out of the next six legs to go 4-2 up as he looked set for an easy ride into the semis.
But Newton wasn’t finished yet and he won the seventh set 3-0 before levelling at 4-4 to force a decider.
But it was Wade who prevailed as he broke Newton’s throw before sealing the set 3-1 and the match 5-4.
The semi-final clash will take place on Sunday night along with the mouth-watering showdown between Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld.
Determined: Newton pushed Wade all the way with a spirited effort