The Flying Scotsman put on a fantastic game with Nathan Aspinall, but The Asp won 11-9 to make the last eight of the tournament for the first time.

Dunvegan Darts’ Gary Anderson lost a sensational round two tie at the Betfred World Matchplay.

Both started slowly, before The Asp held in the opening leg. After a break and a hold, he took a 3-0 lead. However, Anderson got going in the fourth, hitting a 67 to get on the board. He then followed it up with three 140s in the fifth leg, before pinging an 81 checkout to trail 3-2 at the first interval.

The sixth leg saw both players miss multiple darts to take it, before Anderson eventually squeaked over the line to level up. An 85 checkout followed to break Aspinall’s throw and take the lead for the first time, before he then squandered a chance for tops tops and a 100 checkout. The Asp took advantage, hitting a 79 checkout to level at 4-4. Back to back 14 darters followed, giving him a 6-4 lead at the second interval.

Although Anderson held, he could not take the opportunities he carved out on the Aspinall throw. It meant that the game was 8-6 after 14 legs. The former Matchplay champion broke in the 15th leg, hitting double 10 to get the game broke on throw. However, Aspinall regained the break in the next leg, hitting double nine to go 8-7 in front.

The Asp missed a 111 outshot in the next leg, and Anderson punished, hitting an incredible 149 outshot to cut the game back to one again. However, tables turned, as The Flying Scotsman missed double eight for a 136 in the next leg. Aspinall then found a 117 checkout to go within one.

Anderson found double 14 to regain the break, before setting himself on double 12 to send the game to extra time. However, Asp hit a 96 checkout to win a stunning game.

It’s a heartbreaking loss for Anderson, who could not go one better than last year, having reached the final. We’ll next see him in action at the Super Series from Monday 2 August, along with the rest of the Dunvegan team.

Words: Jarleth Eaton
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC