Darts: Warriner's comeback secures thrilling victory

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Alan Warriner lived up to his "Ice Man" nickname as he fought back from three sets down against John Lowe to clinch a place in the fourth round of the PDC World Championship here yesterday.

Lowe, who has won world titles in three separate decades, looked in cruise control at one stage before Warriner staged a stunning comeback to edge the contest 4-3. "Lobo" won the first two sets by the same three-legs-to-one scoreline and also took the first two legs of the third set. Warriner took it to a deciding leg with two successful attempts at double top, but Lowe increased his lead in the contest by nailing the same double.

However, the Lancaster thrower managed to edge the fourth set 3-2 before reeling off six straight legs to take the match to a deciding set. The momentum was now with Warriner and he took out double eight and four to move within one leg of a famous victory. But Lowe is a gritty performer and he followed up an 11-darter with a superb 138 checkout.

With the score tied at 2-2, it was Warriner who took out double 16 twice to prevail. He said: "The first thing I said to John afterwards was that I felt absolutely drained - it was just one of those games. When I went 3-0 down I thought I would be going home in 10 minutes. I thought I'd lost the game so I just wanted to win a set.

"After that I averaged over 100 in the four sets I won. It was probably the most exciting match of my career," he added.

Warriner also revealed that he was forced to borrow a dart from Al Hedman, who played at the Circus Tavern last year, after losing one of his own two days before the tournament.