James Wade stunned by Ryan Joyce at PDC World Darts Championship
World number nine James Wade has suffered a shock fourth round defeat at the PDC World Championship at the hands of debutant Ryan Joyce.
Wade was the clear favourite to progress to the quarter-finals, but the 33-year-old newcomer battled hard against his vastly more experienced opponent, eventually winning 4-3.
In an unusual contest, Joyce finished with the lower average, a worse checkout percentage and fewer maximums, but crucially he took out the shots which mattered.
His dream debut in the tournament will continue, but it certainly wont get any easier as he goes on to face Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
Joyce started positively, winning the first set, but it was clear even then that Wade was nowhere near his best, averaging just 76.3 over those first four legs.
The Machine improved significantly to win the second set, pinging in two maximums and a 126 checkout along the way, then took the lead by claiming the third set needing just 11 shots at double to win those six legs.
That form deserted him in the fourth set, though, as Wade once again averaged below 80 to allow Joyce to comfortably claim all three legs despite only average 85 himself.
Wades topsy-turvy performance continued in the fifth, which he won 3-0, hammering home two 180s and three scores of 140+. At this point, the Aldershot man was the runaway favourite to win the match.
However, James doubles deserted him in the sixth set, hitting just to of 12 attempts, which allowed Joyce to steal in, surviving five match darts and keeping the match alive.
Wade was clearly deflated by his missed opportunity and his finishing had crumbled away as he hit just one of six shots in the final set, to lose it 3-1 and the match 4-3. The Machine missing three clear darts at double 18 in what turned out to be the final leg of the match.
Joyce will struggle to believe how he beat the multiple major winner with an average of 87.6 and a checkout ratio of 30% but he will hardly care as he has guaranteed himself £50,000 on his PDC World Championship debut.
Earlier in the afternoon Brendan Dolan booked his place in the quarter-finals with a 4-1 victory over Benito van de Pas, in what wont be remembered as a classic.
These two players have had shocking years on tour and it is a huge surprise either will make the last eight at Alexandra Palace, but Dolan thoroughly deserved the victory in a match that showed him to be the superior player.
The Northern Irishman needed just a 89.7 average to comfortably beat Big Ben who battled hard but is just not in good form at all.
Dolan won the first three sets, only conceding two legs in the process. The Dutchman notably improved to win the fourth but then slipped back into mediocrity as Dolan stayed steady to win the match and set up a quarter-final against Nathan Aspinall.
Friday afternoon PDC World Championship results
Ryan Joyce 4-3 James Wade
Benito van de Pas 1-4 Brendan Dolan
Nathan Aspinall 4-3 Devon Petersen