Dunvegans’ Gary Anderson is into the last 16 of the World Darts Championship for the ninth straight year.

The Flying Scotsman beat Mensur Suljovic 4-3, in a hard fought game. Anderson was trailing 3-2, but reeled off six straight legs to turn the match in his favour.

The first set was won by Anderson the hard way. He missed darts to win the first and third legs against the throw, but finishes of 130 on the bull and 45 saw him force a deciding leg. There, Suljovic missed four for the set, and the Flying Scotsman pounced to hit a 73 finish on the bull and go 1-0 ahead.

Anderson then raced into a two leg lead in the second set, but then missed nine to wrap it up in straight legs. The Gentle would then find double 16, before a 133 levelled the set at 2-2. The two time World Champion missed tops for a 64 shot to double his lead, and the Austrian responded by hitting double eight to level at one set all.

The third set, which included a 102 outshot from Anderson, once again went to a decider. There, the Scot took advantage of four missed darts at double for the set from Suljovic, as he pinged a 69 outshot to go 2-1 in front. The Austrian though would respond with a 51 dart whitewash fourth set, punishing more missed darts at the outer ring from Anderson to level at 2-2.

Suljovic then came out of the final interval and found his best spell of the match, taking just 40 darts to wrap a second straight whitewash set and lead 3-2. However, the Flying Scotsman is made of strong stuff, and showed his class to reach round four. An excellent 106, followed by an 11 darter and a brilliant 156 checkout for a 12 darter, saw Anderson get his own whitewash set and level the contest at 3-3.

That set up a seventh and deciding set, in which Anderson continued to use the momentum from the sixth. After both players missed darts to win the opening leg, he eventually found double one to break the Suljovic throw. The Flying Scotsman then wrapped up the match in 29 darts, denying the Austrian another shot at double in the process, for his second straight whitewash set and a 4-3 come from behind win.

It was a tough test for Anderson, but he is once again into the last 16 of the World Darts Championship. Jason Lowe or Devon Petersen await The Flying Scotsman next, but he’ll have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to find out who he’ll play. Team Dunvegan’s other remaining player, Chris Dobey, will take on Daryl Gurney in the last 32 as well in the same session.

Words: Jarleth Eaton

Photos: Lawrence Lustig/PDC