By Phil Lanning
GARY ANDERSON blitzed his way into the reckoning for the Unibet Grand Prix title with a awesome show against Aussie Kyle Anderson.
The Flying Scotsman was in sensational form to smash the Oz ace 3-1 at the City West Hotel in Dublin last night.
Ando breezed into an early two-seat lead, dropping just two legs. Although he threw away the third set, he soon booked his place in the quarter-finals thanks to five maximum 180s and a clinical night on the doubles.
He admitted: “It’s a good win but I actually gave him three legs as well. But I’m happy because Kyle’s a classy player, so it’s important to get through.
“I’m getting better by the match and I need to go away and tidy up a few things and I’ll be ready for Kim Huybrechts in the next round.
“I like it here in Dublin. I’ve spent a lot of time over here doing things and I always feel right at home.
“Let’s face it, the weather is the same, but the people are the same, too.
“The folk are just like the Scottish, good natured and like a bit of a laugh and a carry-on, so it suits me just fine.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick around for a few more days as I like being here.”
Huybrechts made his way into the quarter-final against Anderson with an equally top quality performance against Stephen Bunting.
Anderson added: “Kim has a good record against me.
“He’s done me about the last seven times we have played, but these records have to come to an end at some point and we’ll see what happens.”
Anderson was in mean mood right from the off against his Aussie namesake. The Flying Scotsman immediately took control of the first set with clinical double eight and eighteen kills.
Although the Oz star hit back with a leg, 96 with a two-dart finish gave the Scot the opening set.
Ando recovered from an early wobble to move through the gears in the second set. He missed chances to take the opening leg and the Aussie swooped to take the lead.
But the Musselburgh marksman roared back with double 16, double five and a classy 118 with tops to move two sets clear.
A clearly relaxed Ando then took an early grip of the third set with double six. The Oz ace hit back with a quality bullseye finish to go level but another double six left the Scot within a leg of taking a very swift win.
Remarkably the world champion then missed seven match darts to allow his rival to move level at 2-2. Then a stunning 82 bull and double 16 finish from the Aussie meant he grabbed a set back to keep the match alive.
But that appeared to irk the Scot. He then reeled off three powerhouse legs with tops, tops and double 12 to breeze through to the quarter-finals in impressive style.