James Wade reached the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix by knocking 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor out of the competition in Dublin on Friday.
Wade took out four finishes of over 100 en route to a 3-1 victory, which ended Taylor’s title defence.
The seven-time major winner, who followed up wins against Andy Smith and Robert Thornton, will take on Gary Anderson on Saturday for a place in the final.
“Phil is the best in the world and nobody has ever even been close to doing what he has done,” said Wade, who has won the prestigious tournament twice before.
“I’ve probably shown him a little bit too much respect over the years but tonight I think I’ve unblocked a big mind block.
“I feel a little bit sorry for Phil because the crowd played their part, which was unfair but I’ve got bundles more ability and I get the chance to show that in the next game.”
The first two legs were shared before Taylor took out 128 on the bull for a break of throw.
Wade punished ‘The Power’ for three missed set darts with a clinical 108 finish and a further three went begging for Taylor, allowing ‘The Machine’ to clinch the first set on double ten.
Taylor took a 2-1 lead in set two but Wade hit back with a sensational 142 checkout.
He then missed a dart at the bull for a 161, but returned to clean up the remaining 25 to lead the defending champion by two sets to nil, needing just one more for a place in the semi-finals.
The world number seven pegged tops to move ahead in the third set before Taylor levelled.
Wade went within a leg of victory by hitting double twelve but Taylor kept his hopes alive by bedding double four.
And ‘The Power’ produced a twelve-darter to cut Wade’s lead to 2-1.
The Aldershot ace took the first two legs of the fourth set, firing in a fine 104 finish to again move one leg away from triumph – but this time with a two-nil cushion.
And he duly delivered, producing five perfect darts to kick off the leg and a fabulous 101 checkout to win it, ending a twenty-match winless run against Taylor.
By Chris Murphy