Brendan Dolan made Iceman Gerwyn Price sweat every step of the way in their dramatic World Championship top of the bill clash last night at Alexandra Palace.
The Fermanagh arrow artist was a massive outsider but gave darts' newest star - among the title favourites - a real grilling, despite the Welsh Wizard edging a 4-3 victory.
Number 30 seed Dolan, who beat Japan's Edward Foulkes 3-1 in his World Championship opener and reached the quarter-finals two years ago, lost the opening set against the throw but came alive in the second set to level the scoring with three quickfire legs without reply.
Price, who felt the heat in an unconvincing 3-2 win over Jamie Lewis last time out, battled back to take the opening leg in the third with a 99 finish. He followed that with a 13-dart break of throw and quickly took the third leg to make it 2-1.
Dolan got off to a flyer in the fourth set to take the opening leg before Price levelled. Dolan went 2-1 up with a double nine finish, but Price then made it 2-2 in legs. Crunch time. And Dolan responded in style to finish on double eight and make it 2-2 in sets.
Price won the fifth set on his own throw but Dolan fought back to win the deciding fifth leg in the sixth set as a thrilling match went to a deciding set.
And it seemed apt that the pair were soon level at 2-2. The next leg would decide it. Unfortunately for Dolan, that leg went to Price with a 72 finish.
Price will face the experienced Mervyn King in the last 16 after the No.19 seed hammered No.14 Jose de Sousa 4-0.
Price, a former professional rugby player, has his eye on the global No.1 ranking, and needs to better current kingpin Michael van Gerwen's feats in the £2.5m behind-closed-doors showpiece to make that happen. Van Gerwen bids for a place in the quarter-finals against England's Joe Cullen tonight.
Northern Ireland No.1 Daryl Gurney saw his section of the draw open up yesterday with defeat for Nathan Aspinall, the No.6 seed, as he was defeated 4-2 by the seasoned Vincent van der Voort.
"I don't think I played that well, but I knew he was struggling and I'll take the win," said Van der Voort.
"I was very good at the beginning of the match and maybe that did the damage."
The Dutchman, seeded 27th, awaits Gurney if the man affectionately known as 'Superchin' - who beat Limerick's Willie O'Connor 3-2 in his opener - can overcome England's Chris Dobey today.
Two-time champion Gary Anderson had a 4-3 win over Mensur Suljovic - whose controversial attempts to slow the game down failed to pay off - to book a last 16 showdown against either Jason Lowe or Devon Petersen who meet today.
King produced an eye-catching display to see off Grand Slam champion De Sousa in straight sets.
"He didn't hit big at the right time and I took advantage," said King.
"I take each game as it comes and if I play well I win and, if not, I won't. That's the way I've always approached it.
"I'm a lot more confident than I have been because of the way I'm playing. There's no reason that I can't go on and win this."