VAN GERWEN, TAYLOR AND WRIGHT ALL SHOW TITLE CREDENTIALS ON ROUTE TO QUARTER-FINALS


MICHAEL VAN GERWEN, Phil Taylor and Peter Wright all progressed safely through to the last eight of the William Hill World Darts Championship with impressive performances at London's Alexandra Palace on Thursday. 

James Wade, Dave Chisnall and Daryl Gurney all also enjoyed victories as Friday's quarter-final line-up was completed with the remaining six games from round three in the £1.65 million tournament. 

Top seed Van Gerwen hit a brilliant 170 finish and averaged over 104 in a 4-1 victory against the tenacious Darren Webster, who threatened to take the game into a sixth set with a late rally.

The world number one and odds-on favourite to win the title with sponsors William Hill has averaged over 100 in all three of his matches so far and will now take on Gurney in the quarter-finals. 

"I feel good," said 2014 World Champion Van Gerwen, who hit eight 180s in his defeat of Webster.

"I struggled at times and Darren played really well but I know I can play under pressure and I showed I can do anything at the right time.

"I'm the winning man and that is what matters. The only thing that counts for me is winning this tournament and I'm now one step closer."

Taylor, meanwhile, also averaged over 100 in a 4-2 success over Kim Huybrechts to set up a tasty last eight encounter with his long-standing rival Van Barneveld.

The number four seed missed darts to seal a whitewash win but eventually saw off his Belgian opponent in six sets to keep his bid for an incredible 17th World Championship title on course.

"I put Kim under tremendous pressure and it paid off," said Taylor, who shared 14 180s with his opponent during the contest.

"My game against Raymond will be the game of the tournament. It's going to be buzzing in Alexandra Palace.

"I'm going to relax and enjoy it and, if I get through it, I think I can win another World Championship title."

2014 finalist Wright continued his impressive progress as he also averaged in excess of 100 for the third consecutive match, having only dropped three legs in two previous straight sets victories.

Number three seed Wright won nine out of the first ten legs to open up a three set lead before eventually seeing off Ian White 4-1, defying six 180s from his opponent.

"I feel happy," said Wright, who will take on Wade in Friday's quarter-finals.

"Ian started to show what he could do towards the end of the match but I've got a strong mind-set and that saw me through.

"I've been playing well and averaging over 100 but that is the standard you need to hit in every match for it to be possible to become World Champion."

Wade had earlier produced an amazing comeback to defeat Michael Smith, winning seven straight legs to overturn a 3-1 deficit in sets as he kept on course his bid to be crowned as World Champion for the first time.

The three-time semi-finalist produced two 121 finishes in the fightback, and admitted: "I'm so happy that I won.

"It was a strange game, where neither of us reflected our true abilities but the crowd were brilliant and gave me an extra 20 percent."

Number seven seed Chisnall fended off the threat of 2016 semi-finalist Jelle Klaasen, hitting a dozen 180s as he reached the last eight at Alexandra Palace for the first time in his career.

Chisnall, who has reached three televised finals in 2016, moved a step closer to another after coming back from two legs down in the sixth set to deny Klaasen a decider.

"I'm scrapping hard and I'm glad to win," said Chisnall, who faces reigning champion Gary Anderson in Friday's quarter-finals.

"I played okay and that was good enough so I'm over the moon. I want to play better and I know I can. I'll have to step it up against Gary but I know I can do it."

Gurney became the first Northern Irish player to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship by coming through a nail-biting encounter with two-time semi-finalist Mark Webster.

The number 24 seed, who also reached the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix in October, squandered six match darts - including five for a 4-2 triumph - before finally prevailing in a deciding set.

"I'm just really relieved," admitted Gurney, who is the last man to defeat Van Gerwen, 25 matches ago in a European Tour event in October.

"I should've won it earlier but my doubles for the match were dreadful. In the end I won, I'm through and that's the most important thing." 

Friday sees the quarter-finals played out over two sessions, with Wright and Wade kicking off the afternoon's action before defending William Hill World Champion Anderson takes on Chisnall.

Van Gerwen returns to the Alexandra Palace stage in the evening to face off with Gurney and the showdown between Taylor and van Barneveld will see the field reduced to the final four.

WATCH LIVE 
The William Hill World Darts Championship will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Darts channel.

Worldwide coverage is also available through a record number of live broadcasters, and online for PDCTV-HD Subscribers (outside of UK, Ireland & Netherlands) through www.LIVEPDC.TV .

TICKETS 
A very limited number of tickets are still available for the William Hill World Darts Championship and can be ordered online by CLICKING HERE  or for the Hospitality Area via THIS LINK .

For full ticket information, click here .

LIVE STATS 
Follow live stats & see match stats throughout the event via the official PDC Live Scores website - CLICK HERE 

William Hill World Darts Championship 
Thursday December 29
Afternoon Session

Mark Webster (25) 3-4 Daryl Gurney (24)
Dave Chisnall (7) 4-2 Jelle Klaasen (10)
James Wade (6) 4-3 Michael Smith (11)

Evening Session 
Peter Wright (3) 4-1 Ian White (14)
Phil Taylor (4) 4-2 Kim Huybrechts (13)
Michael van Gerwen (1) 4-1 Darren Webster

Third Round - best of seven sets

MATCH UPDATES 
Mark Webster (25) 3-4 Daryl Gurney (24) 
1-0 (3-0)
Webster landed double 16 before taking out finishes of 78 and 103 to seal a first set whitewash.

1-1 (2-3)
Webster pegged double 12 to break but a 78 finish, after a 180, helped Gurney level. He then moved ahead by landing tops but Wester responded with a maximum and a 60 finish. The Welshman, though, missed five darts to double his lead and Gurney pinned double one to level the match.

1-2 (1-3)
Webster took out 78 but Gurney won the following three legs to take the lead.

1-3 (0-3)
Gurney made it six legs on the spin, punishing Webster for a string of missed darts a doubles, as he moved within a set of victory.

2-3 (3-2)
Webster took out 49 before Gurney levelled on double ten. The Welsh ace then pegged double five but Gurney forced a deciding leg, in which Webster hit a 180 and landed double two to keep his title hopes alive.

3-3 (3-2)
Gurney pegged tops but missed five darts to break in the following leg as Webster nailed double 12. Gurney then took out 82 before missing three match darts, allowing Webster to take out 76. The Northern Irishman also missed two darts for the win and Webster pinned double two to take the tie to a seventh and deciding set,

3-4 (1-3)
Webster pegged double ten before 180 Gurney hit a 103 finish. He then moved ahead with the help of a seventh 180 and finally sealed the match on double top.

Dave Chisnall (7) 4-2 Jelle Klaasen (10) 
1-0 (3-1)
Chisnall hit a 180 in the opening leg but Klaasen took out 96. Chisnall won the next three, though, adding a second 180 as he took the first set.

2-0 (3-2)
Four legs were shared, including a 12-darter from Klaasen, before Chisnall took the decider with the help of his third 180.

2-1 (2-3)
Chisnall pegged double eight before Klassen levelled. He then kicked off the following leg with back-to-back 180s and went on to take out 78 to edged ahead. Chisnall levelled up on double 18 but Klaasen won the set with a stunning 140 checkout.

3-1 (3-0)
Chisnall moved within a set of the quarter-finals as he won three straight legs, upping his 180 tally to eight.

3-2 (2-3)
Chisnall took the first two legs with the aid of his 11th 180 but Klaasen fired back, winning three legs on the spin to seal the set.

4-2 (3-2)
Klaasen broke immediately and then took out 72 but it was Chisnall's turn to produce a great escape, as he reeled off three straight legs to finally seal victory, upping his 180 count to 12. 

James Wade (6) 4-3 Michael Smith (11) 
0-1 (0-3)
Smith kicked in with back-to-back 11-darters and even threatened a perfect opening leg, firing in six perfect darts before finishing on double ten. He found the same bed in the following leg and then landed double five to win the set after Wade had missed a dart at double 20.

0-2 (1-3)
Wade took the first leg on double 16 but Smith hit a third 180 to spark another three-leg surge in order to double his lead.

1-2 (3-1)
Wade fired in his second maximum and then took out 96. Smith levelled on double 18 but Wade finished 101 and 80 to halve the deficit. 

1-3 (1-3)
Smith took out 98 before Wade levelled with the help of his third 180. Smith then punished Wade for missed darts at doubles as he landed doubles 18 and 15 to reclaim a two set cushion.

2-3 (3-2)
The pair both landed tops before Wade took out a brilliant 121 finish on the bull. Smith pinned double 18 but Wade kept his hopes alive by checking out 64 for the set.

3-3 (3-0)
Wade landed double ten and then hit his fourth 180, followed by a 56 finish. He then took out 121 for the second time to level the match, forcing a seventh and deciding set.

4-3 (3-0)
Wade nailed double ten, a 96 checkout and double top to complete a run of seven straight legs as he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Peter Wright (3) 4-1 Ian White (14) 
1-0 (3-0)
Wright hit a 180 in the opening leg, which he won on double ten. The 2014 finalist then landed double 12 to break before sinking double eight.

2-0 (3-1)
Wright pegged tops in the first two legs before White finally got a leg on the board with an 83 checkout. Wright doubled his lead in the match, producing an 11-darter, which included his second maximum.

3-0 (3-0)
Wright pinned doubles 16, 20 and 18 to make it nine out of ten legs won, as he moved three sets clear.

3-1 (1-3)
Wright's third 180 helped him break White's throw immediately but the Stoke ace fired back. He landed double four before a 180 and a 68 checkout saw him edge ahead. White then rattled in another maximum and took out 82 for the set.

4-1 (3-2)
Four legs were shared before Wright took the decider with a 65 finish on tops. 

Phil Taylor (4) 4-2 Kim Huybrechts (13) 
1-0 (3-2)
Huybrechts kicked off with a 180 and took out 106 and a second maximum helped him break. Taylor charged back, though, taking out 68 and then tops after Huybrechts had missed a dart for the set. The 16-time World Champion then finished 72 to move ahead.

2-0 (3-1)
Huybrechts broke Taylor's throw by bedding double eight but Taylor took out 101 to respond immediately. He then pinned double 16 and tops to move two sets clear. 

3-0  (3-1)
Huybrechts again won the first leg but Taylor replied with a 12-darter as he hit 180s in three consecutive legs and moved three sets clear.

3-1 (3-2)
Huybrechts took out 54 on tops before Taylor landed two at that target to complete an eye-catching 100 checkout. He then took out 64 to move within a leg of victory but Huybrechts levelled with a 104 finish. Taylor missed two darts for the win and the Belgian ace punished him by landing double 16, having missed the bull for a 170 in the previous visit.

3-2 (1-3) 
Taylor took out 70 to break but Huybrechts fifth 180 helped him level. The pair then both hit their sixth maximums before Huybrechts took out 109 and he pegged double eight to take another set.

4-2 (3-1)
Taylor took the first two legs before Huybrechts took out 80 to keep his hopes alive. The pair both missed a string of darts at doubles in the following leg before Taylor finally pegged double seven to progress.

Michael van Gerwen (1) 4-1 Darren Webster 
1-0 (3-2) 
Van Gerwen took the first leg on double 18 before Webster levelled with 100 checkout. He then hit a 180 but missed three darts to break the Dutchman, who landed double eight. Webster's second 180, followed by a 68 finish saw him level but he missed two darts for the set and Van Gerwen pinned double one to edge ahead.

2-0 (3-1) 
Van Gerwen hit his first 180 and took out 81 to break. Webster hit double six to break back before the pair exchanged maximums as Van Gerwen took out 47. He then hit his third 180 and landed tops to move two sets clear.

3-0 (3-0)
Webster hit a fourth 180 but Van Gerwen took out 74 and then landed double eight in both of the next two legs to move within a set of victory,

3-1 (3-2)
Van Gerwen hit a fourth 180 and produced a stunning 170 finish but Webster took out 96 to level. He then finished 81 after his fifth 180. Van Gerwen levelled but a sixth 180 from Webster helped him edged the set and keep his hopes alive.

4-1 (3-2)
Webster took the first two legs on double ten. Van Gerwen took out 88 before throwing back-to-back 180s as he went seven darts in to a perfect leg before landing double ten, and he sealed the win with a 62 finish.