Simon Whitlock won through to the final of the PartyPoker.net European Darts Championship with a 11-9 triumph over Kim Huybrechts in Germany.
“That was an absolutley brilliant match,” said Whitlock, who moved a giant step closer to clinching his first PDC major.
“Kim played absolutely brilliantly and I had to sneak a bull in to beat him. I’m going to enjoy the final now and I’ll be going all out to win it.”
‘The Wizard’ hit a maximum in the opening leg, which he won against the throw before holding, hitting double top on both occasions.
He slotted in his second 180 on the way to another break, winning the third leg with a 92 checkout.
Huybrechts stopped the rot with back to back checkouts of 104 & 102, to pull the score back to 3-2 at the first break.
The Belgian hit double ten to break Whitlock’s throw and draw level, before taking out 86 to take the lead for the first time.
‘The Wizard’ ended a run of four consecutive legs for his opponent by taking out 58, but ‘The Hurricane’ took out 122 on the bull to restore his lead.
The players exchanged 180s in the tenth leg, which Whitlock won on double ten to make it five legs apiece.
Huybrechts held to regain the lead but ‘The Wizard’ responded with a 180 before hitting double eight to level.
Both players held their throw in the next three legs, meaning Whitlock went into the second break trailing his opponent by eight legs to seven.
The Australian star came back out fighting, opening the 16th leg with a 180, before hitting double ten to go level once more.
Whitlock also kicked off the next leg with a 180, and he grabbed a vital break of throw on double four.
The world number seven hit another 180 before hitting double four again to move just a leg away from the final.
Huybrechts kept himself in the match with a brilliant bull, bull, double 16 combination to finish 132.
But it was a Whitlock’s shot at the bull that won the match, as ‘The Wizard’ held his nerve to take out 95.
By Chris Murphy
Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC