Peter Wright admits his fitness is fine as long as he stays off the kebabs.
Snakebite had far too much venom for Alan Norris as he cruised to a 10-5 win in the Unibet Masters in Milton Keynes.
But new lean and mean Wrighty, who had a gallstones scare in December, has declared himself fully fit.
He said: “I was quite impressed at the way I handled myself on stage after being through everything that I have.
“I felt good but there’s loads to come. My health is fine now as long as I keep on the healthy diet.
“When you go to a kebab shop like at 11pm tonight, I’ll just order a salad instead of all the greasy meat and stuff like that!
“It’s now Barney in the quarters on Sunday and he’s not five-times world champion for nothing. He’s been playing some fantastic darts for the last couple of years.
“It’s going to be a very difficult match plus he’s a friend of mine but when we get on stage he will be my enemy.”
ROB CROSS romped to a stunning 10-3 demolition of Ian White and then admitted he felt rusty.
Voltage started his reign as World Champion in amazing form with a 167 finish and seven 180s in destroying Diamond.
But the Hastings battler still felt he was not match ready before the off in Milton Keynes. He revealed: “To be honest I felt rusty today, I really did. The three weeks off coming into it here I just felt a bit match rusty.
“You expect to hit the 100 averages but I felt that Ian never really got going to be fair. I think my 167 hurt and gave me an early foothold in the game straight away.
“I think if you win anything in the PDC you can’t fluke anything. Players now are practicing hard and playing well, anything can happen. Every game that I go into I won’t take it for granted.
“I still have to pinch myself sometimes. A year ago I was playing in the Eastbourne Open. It was alright I won on the Saturday, I can’t even remember what I won.
“It’s Mensur next and he’s a great player and I get along with him and usually practice with him, it should be a great game.
“I’m playing well in fairness but I still think I can do better. Mensur better keep practicing, he’ll need it!”
RAYMOND van Barneveld admits his thrilling win over Dave Chisnall has helped his World Championship HANGOVER.
The Dutch master looked his impeccable best, moving through the gears to lead Chisnall 7-3 on Friday night.
But then Chizzy left him dizzy with four legs on the spin before a thrilling finale as RVB sneaked over the line 10-9 in a decider.
Barney admitted: “It’s tough after the Worlds. It is like having a hangover. But the first match of the season being exciting really gets the adrenaline flowing again.
“In all my history, in all my games, it always has to be exciting.
“Why not have a win when leading 7-3. Then the first break I was leading 3-2 then 7-3 and then you lose concentration.
“Dave was playing really well, he came back fantastic with four legs on the spin. I thought wow I better keep winning my own legs here and that happened 8-7, 8-8 and I then missed a big chance at 9-9 and I felt ‘oh no’. But just happy with the win of course.
“I don’t know what happened mid-match. You just lose concentration, I was thinking at 7-3 if I hold my own throw, I’m through. But when I came back Dave was playing really good darts. In the last leg I had the luck
“Chizzy is a class player, he still belongs in the Premier League to me. In the second half of the Premier League last year he was amazing and he now has to fightback.
“He lost in the first round of the World Championship to Vincent van der Voort but he’s still a big hitter of 180s and 140s.
“But I was lucky tonight. It’s always exciting with Raymond van Barneveld, it went to 9-9 and I did enough thankfully.”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)
Photography courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC