Gurney falls over line to set up clash with World No 1
Daryl Gurney has confessed he was about to hit boiling point in his 4-3 win over Mark Webster at the World Darts Championship. But his venom wasn't directed at his Welsh opponent, rather at himself.
The Londonderry thrower will face the world number one, Michael van Gerwen, in the quarter-finals, after holding his nerve in a tense last-16 clash with Webster, but knows he'll have to manage any frustration which may threaten to overspill.
"I was losing my temper with myself," Gurney admitted. "When you've so many darts at a double to win a match, especially one of this importance, to reach the last eight of the World Championships, you start to become furious with yourself from within.
"I doubt anyone has blown that many chances to get over the line as I did, so I am very lucky to say "I am here and I've made it to the last eight.
"It could be much worse, I could be on a flight home."
As double after double went awry, the fans at London's Alexandra Palace started to jeer Gurney, which the 30-year old admits started to have an effect.
"The crowd turned against me, I know that. I was getting a few gestures from boys in the crowd, so I decided not to take any notice, and to concentrate more on what I had to do. I looked at the floor, I looked at my feet, and reminded myself it was me against him, not me against the crowd.
"I refocused, and eventually fell over the line.
"I was trying to keep my heart rate down, but my hand wasn't listening to my heart or my head, and seemed to have a mind of its own, which is why I was so far away from doubles. I was trying to tell myself to calm down all the time and to just hit trebles where I could.
"Mark was still scoring well, and still hitting doubles. When he missed a crucial 45 after I missed D8 twice, I finally landed it, and that was a changing point in the game."
Now in the quarter-finals for the first time in his career, Gurney at least will not be short on motivation.
"If I were to tell you I could beat Michael van Gerwen over a long format in sets, I would have to be absolutely at the top of my game. I have never played him over such as long a format.
"Something switches on in me when I play Michael, I don't know what it is, but something makes me come alive when I play him.
"Michael is playing exceptionally well (he defeated Darren Webster 4-1 last night). I'm looking forward to playing in a quarter-final, that's what is so important to me, but I have to improve on what I did against Mark."
James Wade lost the first two sets and had to win the last three against Michael Smith to reach the quarter-finals where he will meet third seed Peter Wright who knocked out Ian White 4-1.
Dave Chisnall held off Jelle Klaasen to earn a 4-2 victory and a last eight clash against second seed Gary Anderson while Phil Taylor won by the same margin against Belgian Kim Huybrechts to set up a meeting with Raymond van Barneveld.