Can’t beat a bit of bully – Callan Rydz bang on target to take out Rob Cross

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Callan Rydz produced a stunning display of finishing to see off Rob Cross and book his place in the quarter-finals at the Betfred World Matchplay in Blackpool.

The 23-year-old hit four bull finishes including a maximum 170 check-out in the penultimate leg on his way to an 11-8 victory at the Winter Gardens.

He told Sky Sports: “Practice has been going amazingly. I didn’t start well, but I came into it and the finishing was spot-on tonight.

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“I lost my grandma – she used to come here every year – but that’s for her.”

Rydz led 2-1 after taking the third leg against the darts but with fifth seed Cross outscoring him, he trailed 5-2 until the 2018 world champion suffered a bout of double trouble, missing 18s and then nines to lose the eighth and failing with three darts at 16s to allow his opponent to take out 86 on the bull in the ninth.

The pair went into the second break tied at 5-5 but Rydz checked out on the bullseye once again after Cross had squandered two darts at double 16 and then extended his advantage to 9-6.

Former winner Cross hit back with a fine 132 finish – he hit 25, treble 19 and the bull – to reduce the deficit to just a single leg, but Rydz took out 170 as he won the next two to seal the win.

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He will face Krzysztof Ratajski in the last eight after he made Luke Humphries pay for missing doubles to race to an 11-5 win.

Humphries might have won each of the first two legs, but could not convert and to rub salt into the wound, the Pole hit treble 20 and two double tops for a 140 check-out to make it 4-0.

The Englishman responded to take four of the next five legs before Ratajski stopped the rot with back-to-back wins and although Humphries kept his hopes alive with a 121 finish, his opponent reeled off four legs on the trot to progress.

World number one Gerwyn Price ruthlessly dispensed with close friend Jonny Clayton after meeting his compatriot’s early resistance with an eight-leg winning streak.

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Price, who averaged 101 on the night, raced into a 3-0 lead in the all-Welsh encounter, launching his bid for victory with an 11-darter.

Premier League winner Clayton refused to lie down, going out on 100 to take the fourth leg and then adding the fifth after opening with a maximum with neither player needing more than a single dart at a double.

However, having levelled the match at 3-3, he saw the ruthless Price rattle off the next eight legs on the trot to cruise to an 11-3 rout.

Price told Sky Sports: “I played pretty decent today, I know I’ve got a lot more in the tank. I’m world number one, world champ, I’m here to win it, but you’ve just got to prove it on the board.”

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He will now face reigning champion Dimitri Van Den Bergh, who had to hold his nerve to edge past Dave Chisnall in a topsy-turvy battle.

The first nine legs all went against the darts with the Belgian in particular guilty of wasting opportunities on his own throw, but he took a 5-4 lead courtesy of a 121 finish on the bull and then added the next with the help of his eighth maximum of the match.

He faltered again in the ninth, however, missing double one after leaving himself on 141 after six darts, and Chisnall drew level at 6-6 by taking out 127 and then went ahead for the first time.

But Van Den Bergh, who scored 14 180s, finally found his touch on the doubles to win four successive legs – although having missed the bullseye for a 167 to take the match, he had to go again to eventually prevail 11-8.

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