It has been a whirlwind year for darts player Chris Dobey and he concluded 2016 with two fantastic performances in the World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, writes Andrew McDonnell.
Bedlington-born Dobey made it through to the last 32 of the competition before he suffered defeat against the experienced Dave Chisnall in a hard-fought match.
The 26-year-old made the quarter-finals of the German Masters earlier in the year and finished runner-up behind Australian Simon Whitlock at the PDPA Players Championship round 19 in October.
His best performance of the year arguably came in November when he reached the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts.
He was in Group H with Dutchman Benito van de Pas, former world champions Adrian Lewis and Scott Mitchell.
Dobey lost his first match 5-4 against van de Pas before beating Lewis and Mitchell to progress out of the group in second place.
This set up a tie with fellow Englishman Jamie Hughes, and Dobey came out of the thrilling encounter with a 10-9 victory.
James Wade, the two-time World Grand Prix winner, was standing in the way of a semi-final berth and Dobey ended up exiting the competition after a 16-5 defeat.
At the PDC World Darts Championship, which started on December 15 and finished on Monday evening, Dobey produced a brilliant debut to beat 26th seed Justin Pipe in the first round.
He did extremely well to withstand a fightback from a very experienced challenger.
Dobey told Rod Studd of Sky Sports: “The atmosphere was brilliant. I enjoyed it more by getting the win.
“I knew it was going to be tough up there, playing Justin (Pipe), but I just had to keep my cool and get it done.”
He pushed Chisnall all the way in a high-quality affair in the last 32 of the competition and despite levelling the sets at 1-1, he ended up bowing out after a 4-2 defeat.
Dobey added: “Experience is second to none – the more experience I can get on the big stage, the more I am going to get out of it.
“I’ve just got to do what I can do and just enjoy it.”