IT took the world’s best player to stop Stuart Kellett during his best showing of the season at a Professional Darts Corporation event on Sunday.
The Northwich ace reached the quarter finals of the latest Players’ Championship at Coventry before bowing out 6-1 against reigning world champion – and World Cup winner – Michael van Gerwen.
The 32-year-old had beaten two men above him in the rankings, Belgian Kim Huybrechts (6-2) and Dutch master Vincent van der Voort (6-4), to reach the last eight.
It marks the first time he has beaten either of that duo since graduating to the PDC in 2012.
Wins against Terry Temple and Jamie Lewis, both by 6-2, ensured a £1,500 pay day.
He had produced his best form on Saturday too, sending out world number 15 Justin Pipe after a deciding leg in the first round and recently-crowned Unicorn World Youth Championship winner Keegan Brown (6-4) before losing 6-3 to Ronnie Baxter in the last 32.
Kellett moves closer to a top 32 place in the Pro Tour Order of Merit as a reward, a target if he wishes to compete in the Players’ Championship finals at the end of the year.
He also needs to make up ground on those above him to secure a spot at next month’s BetVictor World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
A chance to do that arrives on July 4 at a qualifying competition for places at the European Grand Prix and European Trophy.
The only blemish on his weekend was a 6-5 defeat against Jay Foreman on Friday in the second round of a UK qualifier for next month’s European Open in Dusseldorf.