Dave Chisnall dodged a hail of bullets to reach the third round of the William Hill World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, London, yesterday afternoon.
The St Helens-born ace of the oche clawed his way to a 3-2 victory over Gravesend rival Josh Payne in a match described later as 'the best of the championship so far.'
Chizzy looked to be heading for the exit door when he trailed 2-1 in sets and was one leg adrift in the third, but he rallied strongly and his big match experience told in the end.
He said later: "Josh played phenomenal in those first two sets, I wasn't playing badly myself and thought during the interval that he couldn't possibly play at that level throughout.
"He then made a few mistakes which I was able to capitalise on."
Michael Smith will make his first appearance on Wednesday night when he faces either Brazil-born Diogo Portela or Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp, who meet on Tuesday, and Stephen Bunting then takes on Newbury's Luke Humphries on Thursday afternoon hoping to extend St Helens interest in the next stage of the competition to three players
Alan Tabern was one of the central figures at the heart of a disgraceful incident at the World Darts Championship in London on Saturday.
The 52-year-old St Helens ace was left waiting patiently on stage for at least 10 minutes ahead of arguably the biggest match of his career against world no. 1 Michael van Gerwen.
It eventually transpired that the delay had been caused by a fan throwing beer at the Dutchman as he made his way to the oche, forcing him to return to the dressing-room area to put on a new shirt and also compose himself.
Sky TV commentator and former darts professional Wayne Mardle said: "It was deplorable what happened but I have got to take my hat off to Alan for being so patient as he awaited Michael's entry.
''He showed great professionalism and should be applauded for that.''
As expected, a tearful and emotional Van Gerwen progressed to the third round of the competition with a 3-1 victory but not before Tabern had give him one or two scares.
The former world champion missed just three doubles as he raced into a two set lead before Tabern battled back to 2-1 and then piled ton the pressure in the fourth, but the world no. 1 won the deciding leg to quash any possibility of a major upset..
"I didn't really know how to react after the incident because nothing like this has ever happened to me before," said Van Gerwen, who will face Max Hopp in round three.
"I got a bit emotional about it at the start but I recovered well and I can't really complain with how I played after that, and I had to be at my best because Alan played a phenomenal game.
"My section of the draw is tough and I will have to beat some great players to win this title but I know if I play well I will do it."