VAN GERWEN AND NOPPERT SET UP LAST EIGHT CLASH IN MINEHEAD
Michael van Gerwen and Danny Noppert will collide in an all-Dutch quarter-final at the Cazoo Players Championship Finals, while Dirk van Duijvenbode produced an astonishing display to secure his spot in the last eight.
Six-time champion Van Gerwen remains on course to claim a record-extending seventh Players Championship Finals title after coming through a marathon double-session on Saturday.
Four sessions of action were played across two stages on another action-packed day at Butlin's Minehead Resort, with the second round taking place in the afternoon, before the winners returned for the last 16 in the evening session.
Van Gerwen survived a scare to see off Cameron Menzies 6-4 in a topsy-turvy second round tussle, before producing an imperious display to dump out Dimitri Van den Bergh in round three.
The three-time World Champion averaged almost 106, landed ten 180s and converted 56 per cent of his attempts at double to continue his bid for a fourth televised title of 2022.
"I know what I'm capable of. I know I can do a lot more and that's what I believe in," admitted Van Gerwen, who celebrated a 10-6 victory against the Belgian.
"I haven't won anything yet, I'm only in the quarter-finals. Danny is a very good player, but he's not capable of winning this as he has to play against me," quipped the 33-year-old.
Noppert celebrated UK Open success at this venue in March, and he continued his unbeaten run in Minehead with wins over James Wade and Matt Campbell.
Fresh from his 6-1 win over Simon Whitlock in round one, Noppert defeated Wade by the same scoreline before recovering from 4-0 down to edge out Campbell in a last-leg shoot-out, taking out 116 and 156 finishes in the process.
Van Duijvenbode was the third Dutchman to progress to Sunday's quarter-finals, and the World Series Finals runner-up produced the performance of the tournament in his incredible 10-9 win against Ryan Searle.
Van Duijvenbode and Searle contested one of the greatest games ever seen at Minehead, with Van Duijvenbode recovering from 7-3 down to dump out last year's finalist in a gripping decider.
The pair traded 21 maximums in a captivating contest, but despite producing a trio of sensational 121 finishes, Searle was denied by the inspired Dutchman.
Van Duijvenbode crashed in 11 180s and posted a career-best televised average of 112.05 to seal his progression, having dispatched 2018 champion Daryl Gurney 6-1 in Saturday's curtain-raiser.
The 30-year-old will now take on fifth seed Rob Cross for a place in the semi-finals, after the former World Champion closed out a convincing 10-6 success against Martin Schindler to advance.
Earlier in the day, Cross survived a match dart in the penultimate leg of his 6-5 victory against 2014 champion Gary Anderson, taking out 288 in six darts to sink the Scot in a dramatic decider.
Elsewhere, second seed Luke Humphries continued his bid for a maiden televised title with statement victories over Mike De Decker and Krzysztof Ratajski.
The Grand Slam semi-finalist averaged 101 in his 6-4 success against De Decker, before running out a 10-7 winner against Ratajski in a high-quality encounter on the Main Stage.
Humphries raced into a 4-0 lead before Ratajski levelled the tie at six apiece, but the 27-year-old rallied in the latter stages to prevail with a 104 average, nine 180s and 53 per cent on the doubles.
"I've made three TV quarter-finals on the trot, but I want to go further this weekend. I know I've got the ability," insisted Humphries, who took out 103 and 143 outshots to topple Ratajski.
"I haven't produced my best game on the TV stages this year and a lot of people questioned my ability, but I've just proved again that I'm a good stage player."
Humphries will lock horns with Joe Cullen in a mouth-watering last eight clash, after the Masters champion dumped out debutant Scott Williams 10-7 in an entertaining last 16 tie.
Cullen conjured up a sublime tops-tops 137 finish to wrap up proceedings against Williams, having fired in six 180s in his 6-1 success against former finalist Kim Huybrechts in the second round.
Meanwhile, 2017 runner-up Jonny Clayton will play Callan Rydz in the quarter-finals, after registering wins over Ross Smith and Ryan Joyce across an action-packed day.
Clayton denied European Champion Smith in a last-leg decider in round two, before converting clinical 90, 96, 110 and 122 combinations to complete a 10-3 demolition of Joyce in the last 16.
Rydz accounted for Ricardo Pietreczko in the second round, before reeling off four consecutive legs from 8-6 adrift to complete an impressive comeback victory over UK Open semi-finalist Keane Barry.
The quarter-finals will take place on Sunday afternoon, before the tournament concludes with the semi-finals and final in a blockbuster evening session.
Sunday evening's action will also feature the 2022 Winmau World Youth Championship final, as Northern Irish sensation Josh Rock and Scottish star Nathan Girvan battle it out for the coveted title.
Statistics, Second Round
|93.33||0||6/15||Ratajski ||6:1||de Sousa||84.20||1||1/8|
|100.99||4||6/15||Humphries ||6:4||de Decker||93.38||2||4/17|
Statistics, Third Round