PHIL TAYLOR continued his pursuit of a 17th William Hill World Darts Championship with a 4-0 win over Keegan Brown to set up a huge quarter-final showdown with Gary Anderson at Alexandra Palace.

Legendary star Taylor rolled back the years at times during his 133rd World Championship match, especially with some big finishes at key moments as the occasion initially got the better of Brown.

Taylor is looking to end his career with what would be an incredible 17th World Championship title, and seeing an improvement in form against Brown has the 57-year-old – who has only lost 15 legs in the tournament so far – growing in confidence.

“I am starting to believe I can win,” said Taylor. “It’s weird. I said today that I think I can actually have a go at this; whether I can or not, I don’t know, but I feel like I can.

“If my confidence is up and I can play properly then I think I can give them a game. I can win it.

“I’m going to go out with a big smile on my face, and if I start losing the crowd will get on my side and if I start winning the crowd will get on my side, so I’m going to enjoy the next game.”

Two-time World Champion Anderson came through a tough battle with Steve West 4-2, with the Scot’s missed match darts allowing his stubborn opponent to extending the match to a sixth set.

Anderson averaged 95 and at one stage looked to be struggling with a back injury before he eventually put West away to secure another mouth-watering contest on quarter-final day in a repeat of the classic 2015 final.

A day at Alexandra Palace usually comes with an upset and Thursday saw the turn of fifth seed Mensur Suljovic, who was on the wrong end of a 4-0 thumping by World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh.

The Champions League winner was never in the contest as the 23-year-old Belgian took control from the start and showed a maturity beyond his years to make the last eight.

“Winning 4-0 against the number five in the world, a 23-year-old dreams of things like that,” said Van den Bergh, who has no intention of resting on his previous goal of reaching the last eight.

“That was my goal, and it’s fantastic that I’ve got to the quarter-finals, but I’m not finished yet.

“Even though I’m playing in the quarter-finals, I’m capable. I believe and I’m a dream maker so who knows, my dreams might be coming true this time.”

Next up for Van den Bergh is new darting sensation Rob Cross, who was watching the tournament at home last year waiting to turn professional but is now amongst the title favourites on his Alexandra Palace debut.

Cross overcame a sticky patch to produce some more heavy scoring that proved too much for John Henderson as the Hastings man progressed 4-1 to move his focus on to Van den Bergh.

“He’s another fantastic player and I won’t be able to take anything for granted,” said Cross. “But as long as I come out and do my bit and I’m myself with no switching off, it’s all good.”

Jamie Lewis continued his fairy-tale run as he’s now gone from qualifier to quarter-finalist after a 4-1 win over James Richardson in what was his 11th match in the tournament all told.

Understandably, Lewis could not reach the stratospheric heights of Wednesday’s performance against Peter Wright, but after a sticky start he produced some superb darts – including a 170 finish – to dominate Richardson.

“I’m so chuffed to get through that game,” said Lewis, who now meets Darren Webster. “It was a bit of a tough one because we both probably didn’t play as well as we could.

“I didn’t really play like I did yesterday but I’m so happy to just get through it.”

Webster lived up to his “Demolition Man” nickname as he did overcame Toni Alcinas with a convincing 4-0 victory to return to the quarter-finals after an 11-year absence.

“I’m really pleased with my performance,” said diminutive Norwich thrower Webster. “I’m chuffed with that.

“I’ve got no taller but I’m rolling back the years, what I lack in height I make up for in heart and passion.”

Friday’s other quarter-final sees Dutch rivals Michael van Gerwen, the reigning World Champion, and five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld clash as the pair bid to win through to the last four.

William Hill World Darts Championship

Thursday December 28

Toni Alcinas 0-4 Darren Webster

Mensur Suljovic 0-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh

John Henderson 1-4 Rob Cross

Jamie Lewis 4-1 James Richardson

Phil Taylor 4-0 Keegan Brown

Gary Anderson 4-2 Steve West


Friday December 29

Afternoon Session (12.30pm)

Jamie Lewis v Darren Webster

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Rob Cross

Evening Session (7pm)

Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld

Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson

Draw Bracket Order

Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Rob Cross

Jamie Lewis v Darren Webster

Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson

Quarter-Finals – Best of nine sets