Darts: Lloyd stays cool as 'Ice Man' melts

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Colin Lloyd said his 6-4 win over top seed Alan Warriner at the Skol World Championships was the best of his career.

Lloyd held his nerve as the second-round match went into the early hours in Purfleet to book a quarter-final place against either Richie Burnett or Denis Ovens.

The Essex player, who defeated Alex Roy in the first round, made a tremendous start, edging the first set by three legs to two. He also won the second set 3-1 before holding his nerve to take the deciding leg of the third.

However, Warriner is known as the 'Ice Man' with good reason and showed coolness under pressure to win his first set of the night. The World Grand Prix champion also reeled off the next two sets to level the match, clinching the sixth with a 13-dart finish. Warriner won the seventh set to take the lead for the first time in the match, but Lloyd refused to give in and clinched the eighth set to make it 4-4.

Not many people would have tipped Lloyd to cause an upset after conceding such a healthy lead, but he regained the initiative to move 5-4 ahead. And, against the darts, Lloyd finished with double top to take the opening leg of the 10th set before winning the second with double 19. Warriner fought back to take the set to a deciding leg, but Lloyd hit his first attempt at double 16 to clinch victory.

"I'm very happy because I've had to dig deep in both games," Lloyd said. "It's one of the best performances of my career. I've played Alan twice on TV and twice I've had big results against him."

The veteran player, John Lowe, has described this year's tournament as the best that he has been involved in. The 56-year-old, who has won world titles in three different decades, has played some of the game's all-time greats such as Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson, but rates the current crop of players as the best he has faced.

"It's the best field I have ever seen," he said. "I just hope I can hold my position for a while. I'll get better but I need to or I will be going home."

However, Lowe, who won a place in the second round with a 4-1 win over Les Fitton, feels the competition would be even stronger had Martin Adams not opted to play in the Embassy World Championship. He said: "It's a pity Martin Adams stayed with the British Darts Organisation because, if he had been here, it would have made it even better."

One man Lowe would love to see back in the big time is Bristow, who failed to qualify for the tournament. "It's just a shame that Eric Bristow is in that commentary box and not playing because it would have been like dynamite."