Peter Wright goes the distance before beating Krzysztof Ratajski in Blackpool

Peter Wright prevailed over Krzysztof Ratajski in a thrilling tie-break to keep his World Matchplay Title defense on track by reaching the quarter-finals in Blackpool.

Wright, wearing a t-shirt with hypnotic swirls and matching head paint, opened in great form with a nine-dart chance in the fifth leg but hit single 20 on his seventh throw before checking out in 11.

‘Snakebite’ seemed in total control after going into the break with a 4-1 lead which – after a 125 checkout around the bullseye – was soon extended to 7-3 for only the world No. 16 , Ratajski to regroup with a set of legs just pulled him.

The fight remained on the ball, both players trading highs in the 18th leg before Ratajski – a semifinalist 12 months ago – missed three darts on 36 that would have given him the lead for the first time that night.

With a chance to secure the win against the throw, Wright landed two 180s – but failed to convert three chances to win himself when the Polish Eagles equalized 10-10, forcing the tie break.

Wright once again moved within a winning lap and pulled out 58 to eventually defeat Ratajski 13-11 and fall by the wayside for another win at the Winter Gardens.

However, James Wade’s hopes of another World Matchplay title are dashed after he was edged out 11-9 by Nathan Aspinall.

Wade, fifth in the PDC Order of Merit, had started brilliantly, moving to a 2-0 lead with an early break before Aspinall, two-time World Championship semi-finalist, won the next four.

Little remained between the two, with ‘The Machine’ Wade picking up some momentum at 7-5 before a 13-darter from Aspinall decided the match again.

With a third maximum and an 82 checkout, Aspinall was 10-8 to within one leg of the win before finishing the job on his next throw.

Dimitri Van Den Bergh wants to reach the final again (Adam Davy/PA)

(PA Archive)

In Tuesday night’s opening game, 2020 champion Dimitri Van Den Bergh ended Austrian debutant Rowby-John Rodriguez’s run with an 11-6 win.

Rodriguez had achieved a shock result by knocking out eighth-seeded Jonny Clayton of Wales in the opening round, but was denied by friend Van Den Bergh.

The Belgian averaged 98.62, set six highs and landed a fine 146 checkout to seal his victory and a place in the last eight where he will face Wright. Peter Wright goes the distance before beating Krzysztof Ratajski in Blackpool

Fry Electronics Team

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