EMOTIONAL Benito van de Pas produced a fine William Hill World Championships but admitted he was close to QUITTING after a horror year.
The lanky Dutchman eventually lost out to Brendan Dolan in the fourth round but delivered excellent wins over Jim Long and Toni Alcinas.
The classy star revealed: “I was emotional on stage because I’ve had a really bad year and I won a really close game. Two years ago when I was playing really well, I also won close games. Now I’m doing it again.
“Maybe it is because finally I am winning, that’s why I’m emotional.
“My son is 12 weeks old. When I’m not playing good I think of him and I hope that he will get me through that game and he did yet again.
“I was thinking of quitting at one stage, it’s been such a tough year. All the time I am thinking ‘what are you doing’.
“Over the last three months I have been playing better but was losing all the time despite average 103 or 104.
“But I think in this tournament I have changed. I am not playing what I am practising but still I won two games and that’s real important.
“I’ve had so many problems, this is why I was emotional on stage.
“But I have changed my darts six weeks ago and I’ve improved and not had so many bounceouts.
“After the Players Championship my sponsor was at my house for three days and we sorted these problems.
“I was so depressed with all the bounceouts. I played terrible all year so I knew I had to change something quickly.”
DARYL GURNEY’S Alexandra Palace misery continued with an unexpected early exit to Jamie Lewis.
The Northern Irishman was the form man arriving in London having won the last major of 2018 at the Players Championship.
But Superchin, like the previous year, struggled to find his A game on the Ally Pally stage against the Welshman and lost out 4-3.
It was even more of a shock as Gurney had been one of the more impressive seeds in the second round, disposing of Ross Smith 3-0.
Gurney said: “Obviously that’s not what I wanted. I felt good going into the tournament. I think I just needed to get through that game but it wasn’t to be.”
JAMES WILSON saw his hopes of Worlds glory ended in a nail-biting clash with William O’ Connor at the Ally Pally.
The Jammy Dodger had enjoyed an excellent 2018 year but couldn’t stop the on-form Irishman in the second round, going down narrowly 3-2.
Wilson said: “Fair play to William because he played so well on the day. I’m very disappointed I felt I could have a really good run.”
KEVIN BURNESS lived up to his nickname of Iron Man by producing his mettle with two outstanding displays.
The Irishman thrashed Paul Nicholson 3-0 in his first round clash and then pushed Gary Anderson all the way in their next tough tie.
Burness managed to keep the Scot on his toes by levelling the match at 1-1 before the Flying Scotsman pulled away.
He said: “I’m happy with the way I played. It’s obviously disappointing that I couldn’t pull off a shock but I’m delighted to have beaten Paul.”
By Phil Lanning