Home hero Heta celebrates (credit:PDC/DartsPlace)
Damon Heta continued his inspired run of form by knocking James Wade out of the Brisbane Masters in the opening round on Friday, as Kyle Anderson edged out Peter Wright.
Day One of the season’s third World Series event saw two of the eight PDC seeds crash out and the defending champion survive a scare.
Heta, who has taken the domestic circuit by storm in Australia this year, held his nerve to oust the reigning World Series Finals champion in a last-leg decider.
Heta had darts to win the opening four legs but missed doubles let Wade off the hook to make it two-all, and it looked as though the left-hander had rode the storm as he went on to establish a 5-3 advantage.
Heta, however, held throw to stay in touch before producing a tide-turning 164 checkout to break and force a decider – which he clinched on double ten.
“That  was mental, it was one of the best finishes I’ve ever done,” said Heta. “I was missing doubles and really down on myself but I just relaxed and I’m over the moon.
“I have put the hours in and I think the world is my oyster and I am just going to go for it.
“There’s no two ways about it, I consider myself to have a chance against anyone.
“At the moment I feel like I am playing well and I think there’s more to come.”
Heta will now face Gary Anderson in Saturday’s Quarter-Finals after the Scot thrashed Corey Cadby 6-1 in a repeat of last year’s UK Open final.
It was Cadby who claimed the opening leg, but that was as good as it got for the 24-year-old as Anderson kicked in to reel off six on the spin for victory, missing just one dart at a double in the process.
“The back feels good, the arm feels good and I’m practicing really well,” said Anderson.
“The first leg was poor from me which was strange because I was hitting 180s for fun in the practice room, but I managed to find the form in the end.”
Kyle Anderson continued his love affair with the World Series by dispatching Peter Wright after surviving five match darts from the Scot.
Anderson raced in to a 3-0 lead, taking out 110 and 156 as Wright struggled to find his form early on.
The German Masters champion, however, hit back to win five of the next six legs and take charge, before missing two darts to seal the deal in leg ten.
After forcing a decider, Anderson then survived a further three match darts from his opponent before finishing 86 to snatch victory.
“That’s a great win for me tonight,” said Anderson. “I started really well and nearly let it slip away but I kept focused and got the job done.”
Defending champions Rob Cross survived a huge scare as he came from 4-2 down to defeat James Bailey in a last leg decider, taking out 110 to seal the win.
Cross, who paid the price for missing 21 darts at a double throughout the match, could have been home a lot earlier but every time he missed Bailey moved in to punish the former World Champion.
A dramatic final leg saw the Englishman take out 110 on double 16 to progress.
Despite those misses, Cross still averaged over 101 for the match and will face Raymond van Barneveld in the Last Eight after the five-time World Champion began his final competitive trip to Australia with a 6-2 win over New Zealand World Cup star Haupai Puha.
The Dutch legend averaged 90, mainly due to a poor start to the game where he found doubles hard to find, but eventually got over the line.
“It’s been a whilst since I’ve been on stage and I started a bit slowly but for me I’m happy with the win and I’m really happy to be here in Australia,” said Van Barneveld.
World number one Michael van Gerwen made light work of Ben Robb as he whitewashed the New Zealander 6-0 to send out a clear statement of intent.
“I made a few mistakes but to be fair I can’t really complain because I won 6-0 and that’s all you can do,” said Van Gerwen.
“I played with confidence and that is good so now I have to get ready for tomorrow against Daryl.”
Daryl Gurney will be looking to stop the Dutchman after survived a late mini comeback from Koha Kokiri to confirm his place in the Quarter-Finals with a 6-4 victory.
Leading 5-2, the Northern Irishman then missed four match darts to give Kokiri hope.
The Australian then won back-to-back legs to put the pressure on his opponent but Gurney managed to hold throw and wrap up the win.
“I started really well but got a bit nervous and let him back in so I’m just pleased to get over the line,” admitted Gurney.
Friday August 9
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Haupai Puha
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Koha Kokiri
James Wade 5-6 Damon Heta
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Brendon McCausland
Rob Cross 6-5 James Bailey
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Ben Robb
Gary Anderson 6-1 Corey Cadby
Peter Wright 5-6 Kyle Anderson