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Hankey seals dramatic comeback against Whitlock

ESPN staff
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Ted Hankey came back from 6-1 down to beat Simon Whitlock © PA Photos
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Ted Hankey pulled off a remarkable comeback to beat Simon Whitlock 10-9 from 6-1 down, sealing his place in the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts.

The match looked all but over as Whitlock stormed ahead, before Hankey regrouped, finishing 76 on tops to level at 7-7 and then holding throw to lead for the first time. The Australian levelled twice more to force a decider, with Hankey hitting tops to seal a dramatic victory.

Earlier in the night, Tony O'Shea held off a late fightback from Andy Hamilton. O'Shea pulled away to 7-4 before Hamilton hit back in the following leg. Three-time BDO world finalist O'Shea then hit double ten for 8-5, with Hamilton responding again with a 180 and double 16 to take the next leg. But O'Shea moved to the brink of a last-eight place with double 16 for 9-6. Back came Hamilton again though, landing his eighth maximum and taking out 136 to make it 9-7 and keep his hopes alive. But it was O'Shea who triumphed, hitting double ten after initially missing three match darts at double top and ten.

Reigning BDO champion Scott Waites saw off a stern early challenge from Mark Webster to seal his place in the quarter-finals. Webster landed his fourth maximum of the match to set up double top to level at 6-6, before Waites pulled away to reel off the next four legs, finishing the match in style in 13 darts on double 16 in the decider.

Robert Thornton edged out Mervyn King 10-8. The 2012 UK Open champion led 4-1 before King made a remarkable turnaround to win the next five legs and move two clear. Thornton responded in kind by taking the next three legs for a 7-6 lead. King hit a 180 and finished on a 14-darter on double ten to level. Double two saw Thornton edge ahead once again but King hit tops to finish 54 and square things up. However Thornton also landed tops to move one leg away from the win before holding his nerve to finish a 12-darter with a 161 checkout.

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