Daryl Gurney is through to the World Darts Championship quarter-finals after a 4-2 win over Vincent van der Voort.
The Derry native, who had beaten Willie O'Connor and Chris Dobey in the previous rounds, was largely in control against the Dutchman, and finished with a 93.65 average that included eight maximums and 32.5% on doubles.
It’s just the second time Gurney, seeded 11, has reached the last eight at Alexandra Palace and he will meet the winner of Gerwyn Price and Mervyn King on New Year's Day.
"I think I was terrible; I was very lucky in the first set," the 34-year-old, who won 14 legs to his opponent’s 11, told Sky Sports.
"I need to improve; I was putting myself under pressure. I had maybe two hours’ sleep last night.
"The mindset is going to change now. Once I can get a day off, I’ll be refreshed."
Gurney took the opening set 3-1 against the throw as 45-year-old Van der Voort missed four darts at double but a failure to clean up 40 with two darts cost Gurney the second set.
The Ulster man wired double 12 for what would have been the tournament’s second nine-darter following James Wade’s perfect leg yesterday, but did enough to claim the third stanza 3-1.
Gurney, the 2017 Grand Prix champion, established a two-set lead in the fourth, taking out 120 to clinch the fourth leg.
Ranked 27 in the world, Van der Voort hit back, winning the fifth set without losing a leg, while Gurney needed seven match darts to seal the deal in the sixth to book a quarter-final date for the first time since 2016.
Two-time champion Gary Anderson roared into the last eight with a 4-0 whitewash of Devon Petersen.
Anderson will face Dirk Van Duijvenbode, who knocked out 12th seed Glen Durrant in a final-leg shootout.
Premier League champion Durrant led 2-0 and 3-1 but Dutchman Van Duijvenbode pegged him back and sealed a dramatic 4-3 win on double six.
Third seed Gerwyn Price powered past Mervyn King 4-1 and Dave Chisnall earned a last-eight meeting with top seed Michael Van Gerwen after beating Dimitri Van Den Bergh 4-2.
Stephen Bunting edged past Ryan Searle 4-3.
GURNEY WINS!— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 30, 2020
Daryl Gurney is into the Quarter-Finals as he beats Vincent Van der Voort!
A late revival in 2020 at the right time for the Northern Irishman pic.twitter.com/RCyy3N5uJm
Meanwhile, two-time winner Gary Anderson is also through following a 4-0 win over Devon Petersen, while Stephen Bunting edged out Ryan Searle 4-3 after a last-leg decider.