Fri, 28 Dec 2018
Luke Humphries (Picture: Lawrence Lusting/PDC)
NEWBURY ace Luke Humphries completed a stunning comeback to beat reigning world darts champion Rob Cross 4-2 at Alexandra Palace.
The 23-year-old missed a number of early opportunities to strike and found himself 2-0 down in the opening stages of the last-16 clash on Friday evening.
But two instrumental sets from the former Trinity school student - who averaged over 100 at times - had him level in the clash before he went on to upset the odds and beat Cross.
Cross, who won the championship last year [against Phil Taylor], suffered his first defeat at Alexandra Palace with Humphries progressing to the last-eight of the competition.
'Cool Hand Luke' will now play number 10 seed Michael Smith on Saturday evening for a place in the semi-finals of the showpiece event.
After the game, he said: "I felt that I could have made it 1-1 at the beginning, but I said to myself when I was 2-0 down that I couldn't give up.
"If you want to be world champion, you have to fight and two years ago I might have given up there. I believe in my own ability and I am hugely proud of myself for coming back and playing very well.
"I will prepare like normal, I will get on the board and practice. People don't think I can win this, but I know I can and it would change my life a lot," he added.
And despite finding himself in unfamiliar surroundings with a championship quarter-final, Humphries is confident against Smith.
"He is a very high scorer, but if I show the sort of resilience that I did against Rob, then I can make the semi-final or maybe the final.
"We have played each other once before, we both had over an average of 103 and there were 13 maximums too. Even though I played well against Rob, I know I will have to up my game," Humphries added.
For more reaction to this and Humphires' miraculous journey in this years competition, pick up a copy of next week's Newbury Weekly News, out Thursday.