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Luke Humphries makes 'elite' Ryan Searle verdict after sealing Grand Slam quarter-final

Luke Humphries sealed his place in the last eight at the Grand Slam of Darts with a superb 10-7 victory against Ryan Searle.

Cool Hand Luke overcame three ton-plus checkouts from the Somerset star to triumph with a 105 average and nine 180s.

Searle, who landed a sensational nine-darter to seal his last 16 berth on Monday, remarkably led 3-2 at the first interval, despite averaging 15 points less than Humphries in the opening session.

However, the World Grand Prix champion won six of the next seven legs to assume control at 8-4, with a magnificent ten-darter in leg 12 typifying his relentless scoring power.

Searle – featuring in the knockout stages at the Grand Slam for the first time – prolonged the contest with 115, 112 and 94 combinations in the closing stages, but Humphries kept his cool to prevail.

“That was a really tough game to play,” reflected the world number four, who is eyeing his second televised ranking title in as many months.

“I felt really good there. I probably could have been 8-2 up but I wasn’t, and that’s just testament to how good Ryan is, because he pushes you.

“Ryan is one of the elite players in my opinion. I know what he is capable of, so when he started coming back at me there, I started to get a little worried!”

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