MICHAEL VAN GERWEN produced a thrilling comeback to defeat Adrian Lewis 9-6 in the second round of Cash Converters Players Championship Finals on Saturday night, as Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld set up another Anglo-Dutch clash in the quarter-finals at the Butlins Minehead Resort.
Van Gerwen and Lewis produced yet another thrilling contest as the Dutch ace showed a return to his brilliant best by averaging 107 and winning the game's final six legs without reply.
Lewis, who hit seven 180s in the game and average led 2-0 and 6-3 as he put himself in pole position, only for a miss at double top in the tenth leg to prove crucial.
Van Gerwen stepped in to finish 77 on the same bed, hit double ten, levelled with an 11-darter and then moved ahead for the first time with double top, before taking out 124 and 112 in the next two legs to complete a superb fightback.
Raymond van Barneveld will hope to replicate van Gerwen's success in a great Anglo-Dutch rivalry when he plays Phil Taylor in Sunday afternoon's quarter-finals, after they both progressed through the last 16 to thrill a capacity crowd in Minehead.
Van Barneveld was again taken all the way to a deciding leg before he prevailed against Robert Thornton - although the Scot almost produced a dramatic comeback of his own.
Van Barneveld led 6-4 and 8-6 only to miss three match darts in each of the next two legs as Thornton took the game all the way, but the Scot missed three match darts of his own in the decider as tops put the Dutchman through.
Reigning champion Taylor, meanwhile, was back to his imperious best as he defeated number three seed Peter Wright 9-3, averaging 107.85 and dominating the game from the start.
He won the first three legs without reply, and thought Wright hit back to trail just 4-2 at one stage, Taylor pulled clear before sealing victory with a sensational 143 checkout.
Gary Anderson was the night's other winner as he defeated Jelle Klaasen 9-5 to win through to the quarter-finals in Minehead for a second successive year, where he will play Justin Pipe on Sunday afternoon.
The Scot opened up a 2-0 lead early on and never relinquished the advantage, with Klaasen cutting the gap to one leg with a 135 checkout in the seventh leg, but Somerset-based Anderson pulled away to progress to a clash with his Taunton rival.
Pipe, the world number 11, remains on course to at least match last year's run to the semi-finals in Minehead following his 9-4 win over Jamie Caven earlier on Saturday.
Pipe led 2-0 before Caven hit an 11-darter to get off the mark, but the world number 11 led 4-1 and 7-2 as he defied a 127 bullseye finish from the Derby ace with a 120 checkout of his own in taking command.
A 76 finish on the bullseye from Pipe was sandwiched between legs for Caven as he fought to stay in the game, but the local favourite landed a fourth 180 before double eight sealed the win.
Newton continued a memorable week, following the home birth of his second son in the early hours of Monday, by claiming a 9-3 win over Steve Beaton in their second round clash in Somerset.
The Fleetwood ace hit five 180s and took out a 141 finish on his way to victory in a game he dominated, with a 145 finish from Beaton his brightest moment in the clash.
Stoke's Andy Hamilton followed up Friday's miracle comeback - as he hit back from 5-1 down to defeat John Part 6-5 with a 158 checkout in the deciding leg - with a 9-3 win over Brendan Dolan.
Dolan was punished for missing 19 darts at a double in the contest, with 12 coming in the first three legs as Hamilton took leads of 3-1 and 8-2 before completing victory with a sensational 160 finish.
Hamilton will play his local rival Ian White in the last eight in Sunday's afternoon session, after the 43-year-old raced past Terry Jenkins 9-2 to reach the first major quarter-final of his professional career.
White took the game's first six legs without Jenkins having a dart at a double, and capitalised on two misses from the seven-time major winner to move 7-0 up.
Jenkins hit 180s in taking two of the next three legs, but double ten saw White complete a comprehensive victory.
Sunday afternoon's quarter-finals will be followed by the semi-finals and final at the Butlins Minehead Resort on Sunday evening, as the winner of the event's £60,000 first prize is found.
Cash Converters Players Championship Finals
Saturday November 30
Brendan Dolan 3-9 Andy Hamilton
Terry Jenkins 2-9 Ian White
Jamie Caven 4-9 Justin Pipe
Steve Beaton 3-9 Wes Newton
Best of 17 legs
Jelle Klaasen 5-9 Gary Anderson
Robert Thornton 8-9 Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright 3-9 Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen 9-6 Adrian Lewis
Best of 17 legs
Sunday December 1
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Michael van Gerwen v Wes Newton
Ian White v Andy Hamilton
Gary Anderson v Justin Pipe
Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
Best of 17 legs