Dave Chisnall exited the William Hill World Darts Championships after losing a classic with Peter Wright at the Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night.
The Morecambe ace came out on the wrong side of a seven-set thriller as Wright won a tie-break in an epic contest which saw both players miss darts for victory.
After a sharing six sublime sets in their third round clash, the pair continued to produce unbelievable quality in the decider, which saw Chisnall produce finishes of 143, 80, 78 and 130 and Wright take out 100, 68, 127 and 64 with the colourful world number four eventually prevailing 6-4 to set up a meeting with Adrian Lewis in the last eight.
Chisnall said: “It was a good game, I enjoyed it.
“He’ll enjoy it more because he won. The last dart for him every time was a double and fair play to him he played well.
“We both played well and there was a bit of everything in the game, missed doubles and good checkouts.
“It could have gone either way.
“It was a good game but there had to be a loser and it was me.
“I’m happy with the way I played so I’m not going to be distraught or anything.
“I’m just going to take it onto next year now.”
The result capped a nearly year for Chisnall who also came within a whisker of reaching the Premier League final.
The world number 13 said: “You need a bit of luck in darts and for me I’ve not had it.
“I’m not saying I should have won that game but I could have won that game.
“Like in the Premier League it’s a dart here or there. You get that bit of luck and you win.
“The luck for him was that I missed and he got the last dart.
“Fair play to him and I congratulate him.”
Both players averaged more than 102 with Wright delighted after prevailing in dramatic fashion.
The number four seed said: “I’m feeling over the moon.
“I always find it hard to beat Chizzy. He is a fantastic player but I managed to do it. What a game of darts.
“I’ve got no idea how I held my nerve under pressure but if I could bottle it I would sell it.”