Dave Chisnall overcame a fine display from Northern Irish newcomer Daryl Gurney with a 4-1 victory in the last 32 of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship on Friday.
In a match which saw 21 maximums hit between the two players, Gurney missed chances to win the second and third sets, as the Morecambe man built a 3-0 lead.
Gurney won the fourth set, but a missed dart at double 16 in the fifth proved costly as Chisnall closed out the game to move into the last 16.
“I’m very relieved to get through that match as Daryl played some great darts,” said Chisnall, ranked 12th in the world.
“Daryl was scoring so well but he let me in a few times and I managed to take the chances that were on offer to me.”
Gurney, who recorded a fine victory over Andy Smith in the first round, started the match brightly with a 13-dart finish before Chisnall hit back to take the second leg in just 11 darts.
Gurney edged ahead again thanks to an accurate third dart at double ten before Chisnall took the fourth on tops.
The Morecambe ace then hit a timely 180 in the fifth leg before going on to win the set with a 15-dart finish to establish an early lead.
Gurney hit a 180 in the process of taking the first leg of the second set before Chisnall posted double ten to level.
The Irish Matchplay champion hit back-to-back 180s in the next leg before posting double eight, but one missed dart at double 19 in the fourth allowed Chisnall an opportunity at double top, which he duly took.
The fifth leg saw Chisnall hit a fourth maximum, and last year’s conqueror of Phil Taylor hit double ten to move two-sets clear.
Gurney broke his opponent’s throw at the beginning of the third set and continued the good form in the second leg as he hit scores of 180 and a 145 in an 11-darter.
Chisnall took out 72 to win the third leg after Gurney missed a dart at double 16 to win the set, and in the next the 26-year-old from Northern Ireland was guilty of three more wasted opportunities to win the set.
Chisnall capitalised on those errors by hitting double top to force a deciding leg for the third successive set, which he won with another successful attempt at tops.
Chizzy hit double top for a third leg on the spin to make a winning start to the fourth set before Gurney won the second with the aid of back-to-back maximums.
Gurney took out 68 to claim the third leg but Chisnall moved a leg away from victory as he took the fourth with a clinical 107 finish.
The fifth leg saw Gurney miss one dart at the bullseye, but Chisnall was unable to convert 112 and the Northern Irishman returned to hit double eight.
Gurney won the first leg of the fifth set against the darts on double 16, and hit the same bed to win the next after both players had kicked off with 180s.
Chisnall converted a two-dart 72 finish to win the third leg and took the fourth with a 64 checkout, completed on double top after Gurney missed a dart at double 16 to wrap up the set.
Gurney hit a 180 in the fifth leg, but Chisnall completed a 13-dart finish to win the match and end Gurney’s brave challenge.
Chisnall will face Simon Whitlock in the last 16 on Thursday, December 27.