Aussies knock off big guns at Brisbane Darts Masters
BEST mates Kyle Anderson and Damon Heta were the stars on the first night of the Brisbane Masters darts tournament at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday.
The West Australians, who came through the junior ranks in Perth, turned on the style in Queensland as Anderson defeated Scotland's Peter Wright 6-5 and Heta recorded the same score against England's James Wade.
Anderson, 31, squandered a 3-0 lead and survived five match darts against Wright before setting up a quarter-final clash with Australian No.1 Simon Whitlock.
"I always enjoy playing Simon and at least there will be an Aussie in the semi-final," Anderson said.
Ahead of his 32nd birthday on Saturday, Heta set up a repeat of last year's game with Gary Anderson at the same event in coming from behind to beat Wade.
The Australian Open champion fought back from 4-2 and 5-3 down, and missing 27 shots at a double.
Just as it appeared the victory would slip through his hands, Heta hit a magnificent 164 finish on the bull to level the scores at 5-5. He then held his nerve to win the deciding leg.
"There was a lot of missed doubles," Heta said.
"I don't know whether that was me trying too hard, knowing that I am playing well."
Anderson set up the clash with Heta by beating another rising Aussie star, Corey Cadby, prevailing 6-1.
Brisbane's James Bailey almost secured a third upset of the night, losing out to reigning Brisbane Masters champion Rob Cross 6-5.
Englishman Cross had to fight back from 5-4 down to take the win.
Whitlock made the last eight with a comfortable 6-1 win over former practice partner Brendon McCausland, and three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen eased past Kiwi Ben Robb 6-0.
Earlier, Raymond van Barneveld rolled back the years with a comfortable 6-2 victory over New Zealand qualifier Haupai Puha, and Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney survived a mid-match wobble to beat Kiwi Koha Kokiri 6-4.
The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will be held at Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre on Saturday night.
Quarter-final line-up: Kyle Anderson v Simon Whitlock, Damon Heta v Gary Anderson, Rob Cross v Raymond van Barneveld, Daryl Gurney v Michael van Gerwen.