THE quarter-finals of the World Darts Championship were just out of reach for Wellington Darts League star Ryan Searle, as he was beaten 4-1 by Michael Smith at Alexandra Palace on Friday night.

Smith is only the fourth member of the top 16 to reach the last eight amid a heap of shocks – the latest seeing defending champion Rob Cross dumped out by Luke Humphries.

Smith had too much for world no. 61 Searle on the night, with 10 180s and an average just under 100 in his victory.

The 10th seed won the opening set, and then fought back from 2-0 down in the second, with a superb 130 sealing the third leg.

Searle didn't have much of a look-in in the third set, but after Smith had missed two darts for the match, the Wellington man pinned double 10 to get a set on the board.

And Searle then raced into a 2-0 lead in the fifth, only for Smith to once again reel off a three-leg burst and end his opponent's brilliant run in the competition.

His fellow Somerset competitor Gary Anderson had already booked his place in the quarter-finals, and he faces Dave Chisnall this afternoon.

The other last-eight ties see Humphries take on Smith, Michael van Gerwen play Ryan Joyce and Nathan Aspinall meet Brendan Dolan.