Gary Anderson landed a magical nine-darter as he edged out Joe Cullen in one of the greatest games ever seen on the Winter Gardens stage to book his spot in the World Matchplay semi-finals.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ became the sixth different player to register a perfect leg at the Matchplay, and his nine-darter was the seventh in the tournament’s 25-year history.
Here we take a look back at each of them…
Phil Taylor, 2002
2:03 Phil Taylor hit 11 televised nine-darters in his career, but his first came in the 2002 World Matchplay
Phil Taylor hit the first ever nine-darter in World Matchplay history in his 2002 quarter-final against Chris Mason.
‘The Power’ fired in back-to-back maximums before dispatching the 141 outshot to spark jubilant scenes in Blackpool, before he went on to defeat Mason 16-7.
This was the first live televised nine-dart finish on British television and Taylor received £100,000 as a result. He went on to lift the title with victory over John Part, but incredibly he pocketed more for the nine-darter than he did for winning the entire tournament.
Raymond van Barneveld, 2010
1:40 This was the third major tournament in succession where Van Barneveld had produced a nine-dart finish
Raymond van Barneveld sent ‘The Barney Army’ wild in Blackpool as he conjured up the perfect leg in his first-round clash against Denis Ovens in 2010.
Van Barneveld had taken some time off prior to the World Matchplay to spend time with the Dutch football team in South Africa, but he returned refreshed and reinvigorated.
Barney produced the nine-darter in the penultimate leg of his 10-1 victory, and the legendary Dutchman went all the way to the final before losing to Phil Taylor, but this remains RVB’s best showing at the Winter Gardens.
John Part, 2011
1:06 John Part landed a dream nine-darter in a battle of the world champions against Mark Webster
The following year, John Part produced a moment of magic in Blackpool, hitting his first and only ever televised nine-darter in his first-round tie against Mark Webster.
The three-time world champion endured a torrid start and trailed the Welshman 7-3, but he rallied himself during the interval and on his return fired in successive maximums before converting the 141 checkout to complete the perfect leg.
Part almost pulled off a remarkable comeback as he reduced the arrears to 9-8, but Webster kept his cool to prevail and send the Canadian crashing out, but this was a moment that Part won’t forget in a hurry.
Michael van Gerwen, 2012
1:27 Van Gerwen's nine-darter came in the ninth leg of his clash against 'The Bronzed Adonis'
Michael van Gerwen’s rise to prominence started in 2012, as he lifted his first PDC major at the World Grand Prix in October. However, he also made a lasting impression at the Winter Gardens back in July.
‘The Green Machine’ had dumped out Simon Whitlock in round one, before producing the fourth nine-darter in the competition’s history in his 13-9 victory over Steve Beaton in round two.
Cricketing legend Andrew Flintoff had joined Rod Harrington and John Gwynne in the Sky Sports commentary box for this match and ‘Freddie’ couldn’t contain his excitement after MVG’s nine-dart heroics.
Wes Newton, 2012
1:57 Newton's nine-darter was a magical moment, although it was hit in a losing cause
We didn’t have to wait long for the next World Matchplay nine-darter, as home favourite Wes Newton sent the Winter Gardens crowd wild by registering the perfect leg less than 24 hours after Van Gerwen.
‘The Warrior’ was taking on Justin Pipe for a place in the quarter-finals, and with the scores locked at five apiece, Newton followed up a maximum with a 177, before converting a sensational 144 finish to send the crowd into raptures.
Newton, who was seeded fifth in Blackpool, was eventually beaten 13-10 by ‘The Force’, and he’s only the second player in World Matchplay history to lose a match having posted a nine-dart finish.
Phil Taylor, 2014
1:20 Taylor's the only player in history to have hit multiple nine-darters at the World Matchplay
Phil Taylor achieved his second World Matchplay nine-darter in his last-16 clash against Michael Smith back in 2014.
The 16-time world champion stormed into a 6-2 lead, before landing the nine in the ninth leg. He kicked off the leg with a maximum and after five successive treble 20’s, he successfully switched down to the treble 19.
This left 144 and ‘The Power’ delivered the goods in emphatic style. He went on to defeat Smith 13-6 and memorably thrashed Michael van Gerwen 18-9 in the final to secure his 15th World Matchplay crown.
Gary Anderson, 2018
1:13 Gary Anderson created more World Matchplay history on a stunning night of darts on Thursday
We had to wait four years for the next World Matchplay nine-darter, but Gary Anderson obliged in his quarter-final clash against Joe Cullen, and it was certainly worth the wait.
Anderson crashed in back-to-back maximums in the fourth leg before effortlessly dispatching the 141 checkout to register his third televised nine-darter – and his first since the 2016 World Championship semi-finals.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ remarkably converted another 141 checkout in the very next leg – this time for a 12-darter – before surviving two match darts to prevail 19-17 in a Winter Gardens classic.
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