Public enemy number one Peter Manley produced a top-class display to clinch his place in the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes.com World Championship at the expense of Keith Deller today.
The Circus Tavern crowd made their feelings known to Manley following his stinging attack on Phil Taylor in the British newspapers.
But ‘One Dart’ enjoyed the whole experience and sealed a four sets to two success over the 1983 world champion.
The first two sets were shared before Manley edged the third, which included a superb 161 checkout from the Cumbria-based player.
Manley also took the fourth before Deller stopped the rot in the next, producing 11 and 12-dart legs to close the gap.
However, Manley took the first two legs of the fifth and eventually closed out the match with a shot at double top.
“The match was surprising,” said Manley. “It took me a 94 average to beat him because he was superb.
“He showed that there is life in players other people write off. To say these guys are finished, like some people do, is stupid.
“Unfortunately Keith came up against someone who has been thrashed in two finals by Phil Taylor and has learnt from those defeats. That was the slight difference between us two today.”
Speaking about the reaction of the crowd, he added: “The crowd were nowhere near as bad as what I expected. People were laughing when they were shouting things at me.”
Simon Whatley was the first man to book his place in the last eight with a 4-1 win over Lionel Sams.
Sams, who proposed to ex-wife Caroline following his second-round win over Alex MacKay, was favourite going into the contest after defeating world number four Roland Scholten on Tuesday.
However, Whatley bounced back from losing the opening set with a 3-2 success in the second.
The man from Yeovil then won six of the next seven legs to close within one set of victory.
Sams showed his quality with a superb 127 checkout in the fifth, but Whatley nailed double 19 to progress.
“My doubles were all over the place at the start, but I settled down and the scoring came in the end and I was more aggressive.
“I know that on my day I’ve got the game to match or beat anyone, but it’s all about doing it on the televised stage.
“I played better towards the end today and I’ll be looking to build on that in my next game.”
Alan Warriner was involved in another tense battle against Alex Roy before clinching his place in the quarter-finals with a 4-3 success.
The Lancaster thrower looked in complete control after reeling off the first six legs.
But Roy won his first leg at the start of the third set and he eventually sealed it with a 102 checkout. He also took the next set by the same 3-1 scoreline to level the match.
The next two sets were shared but it was Warriner who took out three successive double 16s to progress.
“It was a completely different game to yesterday,” said Warriner, who fought his way back from three sets down against John Lowe to prevail 4-3. “I started off like a train.
“However, there is always a point in the game where your opponent will have a good spell and he fought back.
“I just kept plugging away and I always knew I’d have a throw to win the game. I’m just glad to get through it.”