Former Masters Champion Joe Cullen included 8 180s to reach the 2023 World Grand Prix Quarter Finals in Leicester, beating Ross Smith 3-1 to set up a Last 8 clash against reigning Masters winner Chris Dobey.
Luke Humphries and Peter Wright set up an all-Red Dragon Quarter Final earlier in the night, with Cool Hand Luke opening the session with a 3-0 victory over another Luke in Woodhouse. Peter gained revenge on Ryan Searle for the World Matchplay defeat earlier in the year, coming from a set down to beat Heavy Metal 3-1 at the Morningside Arena.
Cullen started his Last 16 match with a 100% checkout rate in the opening set and didn’t give opponent Smith an opportunity on the outer ring. The Rockstar included a 160 checkout to break the throw in the 2nd leg, before wrapping up the set with a 74 finish.
Smudger hit back in the 2nd set, clinching a 5th and final leg decider to level the contest at 1 set a piece, with four out of the five legs being break of throws.
Joe found 8 of the 17 180s hit in the final 2nd Round contest of the tournament, with both players also hitting 17 140s in Leicester. The Bradford born player found double 4 with his fourth dart at the target to take the third set, breaking the throw crucially in the 2nd leg.
The 2022 Masters winner wrapped his place in the Quarter Finals on double 8 with his last dart, averaging 94.64 to secure a 3-1 sets win over compatriot Smith, going through to face another Englishman in Chris Dobey who stunned defending champion Michael van Gerwen 3-2.
Mighty Mike can count himself unlucky in relation to missing the bullseye twice for 9 dart legs, with the last perfect leg in double start format coming back in 2014 when Robert Thornton and James Wade both found perfection in the same match.
Peter Wright remains on course for his first major televised title of the year, defeating Ryan Searle 3-1 in the night’s second match including a 167 finish on the bullseye to take the 2nd set 3-1 in legs.
Snakebite hit the only maximum of the contest, following on from the 167 checkout with another roof raiser, this time a 158 checkout on double 19 in the first leg of the third set. The former 2 Time World Champion moved into a 2-1 lead, before taking the fourth and final set without reply from Heavy Metal including 2 breaks of throw.
“I struggled with my throw throughout the whole match, I’m happy with the result, not the performance, but if I can get through a scrappy game like that against a world-class player like Ryan Searle, I will take it!”
Luke Humphries opened Night 4 at the 2023 World Grand Prix with a 3-0 victory over Luke Woodhouse, taking a chapter out of Gerwyn Price’s book in winning last leg deciders in all three set wins at the Morningside Arena.
No ton plus finishes were hit in the contest, with Humphries moving into a 2-0 lead in sets with a crucial break of throw in the deciding leg of the 2nd set.
The World Number 6 survived a missed dart at double 12 from Woodhouse for the third set but returned to the oche to finish 25 on double 8 in 2 darts, wrapping up a place against World Number 3 Wright in Friday’s Quarter Final lineup.
“It was a flattering scoreline because it could easily have been 3-0 to Luke [Woodhouse]. My scoring performance wasn’t up to scratch, but if I can keep doubling-in like I have been and I find my scoring power, I am definitely going to be tough to beat.”
The action returns at 7pm on Friday live on Sky Sports with 2020 winner Gerwyn Price opening the action against Martin Schindler. Joe Cullen faces Chris Dobey in the night’s final match after an all-Red Dragon Last 8 clash between Nordic Darts Masters winner Peter Wright and 2 Time European Darts Matchplay winner Luke Humphries in Leicester.
By Harry Masterson
2023 Boylesports World Grand Prix: Results
Luke Humphries (6) 3-0 Luke Woodhouse
Peter Wright (3) 3-1 Ryan Searle
Chris Dobey 3-2 Michael van Gerwen (2)
Joe Cullen 3-1 Ross Smith
Gerwyn Price (4) v Martin Schindler
Michael Smith (1) v Andrew Gilding
Peter Wright (3) v Luke Humphries (6)
Chris Dobey v Joe Cullen