Phil Taylor survived a scare to reach the quarter-finals of the Speedy Services UK Open in Bolton, while Raymond van Barneveld put out reigning champion Robert Thornton.
World No. 1 Taylor only got in front right at the end of his game with Brendan Dolan, who took out a 102 finish to establish a 2-1 lead and then 101 to go 3-2 up.
Dolan then broke Taylor with a 124 check-out to go 4-2 up and then led 5-3 but Taylor took the next two legs to level at the break.
At 7-7, the four times champion missed the bull to check-out 167 and Dolan hit 103 to go 8-7 up.
Both players then missed the bull to win the 16th leg before Dolan had two darts at double to win the clash. But he missed double eight and double four and Taylor took full advantage, sinking double eight to send the match into the decisive leg.
Dolan had the darts but Taylor was ruthless, finishing with an 11-darter - sinking 177, 140, 136 and then 48 - to seal the victory.
"Brendan, he had me dead and buried didn't he?" a relieved Taylor told Sky Sports afterwards.
"That was just luck - to go all through that and then he missed two darts at double (to win it), was sheer, sheer luck."
Dutch ace van Barneveld battled back from 4-1 down to establish an 8-6 lead against last year's champion Thornton, who hit back himself with an 80 checkout to reduce the deficit to just a single leg.
Barney then missed six match darts on his own throw, allowing Thornton a shot at bull to save the game, but the reigning champion missed and the Dutchman sunk double one to win the match 9-7, ending with a 101 average.
He said: "This was a crucial finish - double one - I was extremely happy because if I missed that and Robert went down (to win the leg) then he could start the last leg so I was really happy with that last double one."
In-form Michael van Gerwen raced into a 5-0 interval lead against Terry Jenkins but The Bull battled back to sit 7-3 behind and had a chance to make it 7-4 but missed double five.
Van Gerwen sunk double four and took the final leg with a tops - after Jenkins had missed double ten to stay in the game - to win 9-3.
Adrian Lewis also led 5-0 at interval against Kevin Painter, who fought back to sit just 8-6 behind before Lewis took out an 11-darter to win.
In other games, Ronnie Baxter defeated Jelle Klaasen 9-7 in a quick-fire 29 minute match to progress, Andy Hamilton thrashed Terry Temple 9-1 and Peter Wright came through 9-4 against Steve West, the same scoreline James Wade beat John Henderson.