- BDO World Championship
Hankey fightback stuns No. 2 seed Waites
Two-time champion Ted Hankey stayed on course for a third world crown after dispatching second seed Scott Waites 4-3 in a compelling encounter at the BDO World Championship.
The Count showed dogged determination throughout, coming back from 2-1 and 3-2 down before taking out 144 to seal a magnificent victory and a place in the quarter-finals at Lakeside.
"The breaks in the match came at the wrong time for me," he told ESPN. "I decided to speed up my game and Scott couldn't handle it. At one point in the match I thought Scott was trying to slow me down. Scott is naturally a fast thrower and I practised with another fast thrower - Dutchman Willy van de Wiel so that I was ready for the match.
"I hate the first round but once that's over I feel comfortable. I think this is my 10th quarter-final and I've won three. Every time I've won them, I've been in the final.
"I am here to win it. I am happy with the way I am playing. I just need a little bit more to get through the quarter-finals now. Rock and roll baby."
The fast-throwing Waites surged into a 2-0 lead in the opening set, but Hankey clawed his way back as his opponent failed to hit his doubles at the crucial times. Waites missed seven doubles to claim the opening set, with Hankey grabbing the initiative against the throw. Waites continued to put himself in positions to strike but poor finishing kept Hankey afloat. However, Waites' superior scoring took the pressure off and he eventually levelled the match with double two.
Waites, still struggling to land his doubles, went ahead for the first time in the match when sealing the third set, before Hankey snatched the fourth as both players suffered a huge dip in form. The fifth set went the distance - Waites missing tops for 120 only for Hankey to repeat the feat, allowing the Halifax man back in and this time he took his chance.
A 12-darter at the start of the sixth sent the Count on his way and he never looked back as he whitewashed Waites to set up a thrilling finale. A fourth successive leg put him in command and he soon found himself a leg away from victory as Waites' game began to crumble under the pressure. Hankey was feeling the tension too: he missed five-match winning doubles but he closed the show with a spectacular 144 checkout, finishing on double 12.
Alan Norris overcame a two-set deficit to oust number three seed Dean Winstanley 4-3. Martin Atkins got the better of Willy van de Wiel as he progressed to the final eight with a 4-2 win, while in the final match, Christian Kist continued his fine form of late to stun compatriot Geert de Vos by the same scoreline.