The crowd present at the Alexandra Palace and millions watching across the globe witnessed an enticing semi-final contest between Michael van Gerwen and Rob Cross that finished in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Deemed by experts as one of the greatest matches ever played in the history of darts, it was ultimately Cross who managed to triumph over his rival to book his place in the final, scheduled for January 1.
With the final scoreline 6-5, the Brit pulled off a major upset, outlasting his Dutch counterpart in London.
But, the highlight of the day has quickly shifted elsewhere, with former English darts player Wayne Mardle questioning the behaviour of the spectators present at the Ally Pally.
He believes the incessant boos and jeers towards Van Gerwen resulted in the reigning champion losing focus during the final moments of the clash.
The world number one missed at crucial junctures in the 10th set as well as the deciding leg, with the fans playing a major role in Cross’ victory.
Van Gerwen looked visibly unhappy with the turn of events, which was also echoed by Mardle, as he analysed the match as a pundit of Sky Sports.
Stuart Pyke, who was commentating during the game, said: “I'm not sure why people are whistling. We're watching one of the world's great PDC World Darts Championship semi-finals.”
Van Gerwen missed six darts at the double in the final set before Cross took out double eight in a sudden death leg to snatch a thrilling win.
Providing his analysis at the aftermath of the contest, Mardle, who was unsurprisingly livid with the reaction of the fans in the gallery, said: “It's because they [crowd] are stupid. It was one of the best semi-finals we've ever seen.
“It's quality, it was exciting and it was nip and tuck.”
The 44-year-old explained himself further for his statement and called for more respect towards the players and the sport in general.
He added: “In commentary I called them stupid, and I stick by it.
“Yes they pay their money and they want a good time but respect the players. They aren't up there to be booed and shouted at.”
The 2018 PDC World Darts Championship will see a new champion after the exit of Van Gerwen, with Cross set to battle it out with Phil Taylor in an all-British lineup in the final.
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