Luke Humphries edges out Gary Anderson while James Wade uses all his experience to defeat young Josh Rock in the quarter-finals; Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts at the WV Active Aldersley all this week – live on Sky Sports
Last Updated: 17/11/23 11:17pm
Luke Humphries edged out Scottish legend Gary Anderson in a Grand Slam of Darts classic as James Wade ruined Josh Rock’s Wolverhampton dreams.
Humphries beat ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson 16-14, while Wade defeated Rock 16-15 in dramatic fashion on an unforgettable night of action in Wolverhampton.
Grand Slam of Darts: Friday’s Quarter-Finals
|James Wade||16-15||Josh Rock|
|Luke Humphries||16-14||Gary Anderson|
An astonishing display from Humphries saw him average 103.56 to come out on top of a high-class encounter with Anderson.
Humphries, who lifted TV silverware for the first time at October’s World Grand Prix, came back from 1-5 and 4-8 down to reach the semi-finals for a second successive year.
“It was a pleasure to share the stage with one of the greats of the game at his best,” Humphries reflected. “It really meant a lot to me, we both played a fantastic game which was a privilege to be part of.
“I think I showed a lot of bottle at the end, Gary threw everything at me but I just kept digging in which is testament to the new temperament I’ve got.
“This has been a breakthrough year for me, it’s been the year I’ve always dreamed of, but I’m hungry for more.”
Despite a 170 checkout from Humphries in leg four, Anderson raced into a 5-1 lead as the two-time Grand Slam runner-up took control.
Back-to-back legs saw Humphries take a foothold in the contest, only for Anderson to respond with finishes of 150 and 128 to restore a four-leg cushion at 8-4.
Humphries took the next four legs, before taking the lead for the first time at 10-9.
A 132 checkout from Anderson saw him move back within a leg of Humphries at 11-12, and a 131 from the Scot saw him level the tie once again at 13-13.
Anderson then regained the lead at 14-13, before Humphries reeled off the last three legs to book his place in the final four.
Wade produced a stunning fightback to defeat Rock, winning the last four legs to battle back from 12-15 down.
Rock missed his first match dart at double top to win 16-14, as Wade dig deep to take the contest the distance.
A nerve-wracking deciding leg saw Wade miss double 14 for a 121 checkout, which gave Rock the chance to win it on tops.
However, the Northern Irishman went high with all three darts, allowing Wade a look at 28.
The drama continued as Wade slipped into the double 11 bed to leave six and after seemingly blocking double three with his first dart, he found a way through to the target to seal a memorable win.
“To hit the doubles like I did at the end, there’s not many players who can do that,” said a jubilant Wade.
“I got a bit lucky, Josh was way better than me tonight. I’m still not at my best but I’ll always keep fighting.
“I don’t think there’s anyone better than me in those high-pressure situations, but I have to be good in those moments because other players score better than me.
“When I got the chance at double 14 I thought Christmas had come early, then I hit double 11 and thought ‘you silly boy!’ Thankfully I hit probably the best double three of my life.
“I enjoyed the interaction with the crowd tonight, they were brilliant to me and I’m looking forward to coming back on Sunday.”
Wade was quickest out of the traps, racing into a 3-0 lead, before Rock warmed to his task and levelled at 4-4.
Rock, who averaged 101.31 and produced three ton-plus checkouts in his first televised quarter-final, took the lead for the first time at 11-10.
The World Youth Champion took four of the next six legs to lead 15-12 to seemingly take control of the tie, only for ‘The Machine’ Wade to show his trademark resilience in winning the final four legs.
What happens on Saturday at the Grand Slam?
Saturday at the Grand Slam of Darts sees the quarter-finals from the bottom half of the draw. Damon Heta’s reward for defeating Michael van Gerwen is a showdown against former World Champion Rob Cross.
Stephen Bunting, who is in the Grand Slam quarter-finals for the first time since 2014, will renew his rivalry with Stowe Buntz.
Debutant Buntz became the first American player to progress to the Grand Slam quarter-finals after defeating UK Open champion Andrew Gilding.
Grand Slam of Darts: Saturday’s Quarter-Final Fixtures
|Stowe Buntz||vs||Stephen Bunting|
|Damon Heta||vs||Rob Cross|
Live Grand Slam of Darts
November 18, 2023, 7:00pm
When are the World Championships?
The sport’s biggest event will be held from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 as 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace.
Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts at the Aldersley Leisure Village. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW