Grand Slam of Darts: Ted Hankey rallies from 6-1 down to stun Simon Whitlock
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 18/11/13 1:37pm
Ted Hankey storms into last eight
Ted Hankey produced a remarkable comeback from 6-1 down to dump Simon Whitlock out of the Grand Slam of darts with a thrilling 10-9 victory in Wolverhampton.
The Count, who is only the World No 86 in the PDC after a difficult year, was blown away early on by the Australian World No 4, but he came storming back to level at 7-7 before going on to take the win as Whitlock crumbled.
"I was so aggressive, I was 6-1 down and I'm just hitting myself on the head and saying I'm better than this - Simon's played well but I was pathetic," Hankey told Sky Sports after the match.
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"But I never ever give up, Simon's played brilliant there but I just knew I could play better, I threw some sloppy darts, some of the fans were screaming and doing my head in but I just found a place in my head and then I was alright."
Hankey now faces former Grand Slam champion and current BDO world champion Scott Waites as he also moved into the quarter-finals of this year's event with a 10-6 victory over Mark Webster.
Current BDO champion Waites had a ding-dong battle with fellow Lakeside winner Webster as no more than a leg separated the two until the closing stages of the contest.
Yorkshireman Waites hit his eighth 180 to help go 8-6 ahead and that coincided with left-hander Webster losing his scoring touch, enabling 'Scotty Too Hotty' to clinch a place in the last eight.
The man Waites beat in this year's lakeside final, Tony O'Shea, also made it into the last eight as he came out on top against former PDC World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton 10-7.
'The Silverback' O'Shea has lost three World Championship finals at Lakeside but is hoping to make a name for himself on the big stage in Wolverhampton this week.
O'Shea was always on top against 'The Hammer', but every time he broke the throw he could not follow it up with a hold until he kicked clear into a 6-3 lead.
Last 16 Results:
S Waites 10-6 M Webster
T O'Shea 10-7 A Hamilton
R Thornton 10-8 M King
T Hankey 10-9 S Whitlock
After hitting the Bull for an 81 finish to go 7-4 ahead, O'Shea missed four darts for 8-4 to let Hamilton drag it back again to 7-5.
Although he kept on fighting, Hamilton was always just too far behind to get back into the contest and O'Shea finished off a 10-7 victory to book his place against Robert Thornton, who finished in spectacular style against Mervyn King.
Thornton raced into a 4-1 lead and was cruising at the first break, but King came flying back after the interval with two 12 darters in a spell of five straight legs when he was averaging almost 109.
Thornton stopped the rot at 6-5 and then found his form again, although he looked like he'd rue three missed darts for a 9-7 lead when King pulled it back to 8-8.
With a 9-8 lead but with King's throw, it looked like Thornton would have to settle for a final leg shootout- but the Scot had other ideas as he nailed a brilliant 161 finish on the Bull to seal a place in the last eight.