- World Darts Championship
Nicholson crashes out as Part outlasts Painter
Paul Nicholson was dumped out of the World Darts Championship in London after Belgium's Kim Huybrechts showed nerves of steel to claim a 4-1 win to reach the quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace.
Nicholson looked firmly on course for victory after taking the opening set in clinical fashion, but an inspired Huybrechts battled back, winning 12 of the last 14 legs to claim the scalp of the Australian, as Nicholson joined Phil Taylor in making an early exit.
Huybrechts, meanwhile, will face either Dave Chisnall or Andy Hamilton in the quarter-finals after becoming the first Belgian to reach the last eight of the competition.
"I'm on such a high right now, I feel like the happiest man in the world," Huybrechts told Sky Sports. "The crowd were really behind me today and the energy they gave me was a real driving force throughout the match."
John Part won the battle of the old guard by taking out Kevin Painter 4-2 to reach the last eight. Three-time world champion Part has looked like a player on the slide in recent years and arrived at the Alexandra Palace in no sort of form. But he impressed in his opening two matches and scrapped to victory over Painter.
Painter came into the World Championship with real belief after victory in the Players Championship and he opened the match with a 180. Part kept in the hunt and had a shot at the first set, but hit double-16 when he wanted double-8 and Painter cleaned out 36 to take the lead.
The second set went the distance, with Part taking out double-16 to level. Park took the third to move ahead and checked out 127 at the start of the fourth set. He had a shot at double-top to secure a 3-1 cushion, but left it above the wire and Painter stepped in for double-8 to level the match at 2-2.
Painter took the fifth set, but Part kept his nerve to close out the match and with it a place in the last eight.
"It was not easy, but I made shots when I needed to," Part told Sky Sports. "There was a lot of good darts and it was a good fight. We both made mistakes. But I am still here, in the quarter finals. I missed a whole host of shots but made my doubles. I am happy and relieved."
James Wade will be up next for Part and the Machine will pose a stern test of his credentials, as he was in imperious form in disposing of Steve Farmer 4-0.