The 22-year-old rebounded from a 2-0 and a 5-3 deficit to prevail in the first round of Friday’s World Series of Darts event at the Globox Arena and became the only Oceanic representative to advance to the quarterfinals reached.
Sherrock led from the start, landing 94, 83 and 72 finishes to put her on the cusp of victory, though she was denied a second win in the Treble header in August after losing her reach in the final stage.
Milne bounced back from a slow start – leveling at 2-2 with a 109 finish – and after surviving a match dart on double 16 in the final leg, he set the same target to complete a landmark win.
“I’m so happy,” said Milne, who becomes only the third New Zealander in World Series history to triumph on home soil.
“Just playing on stage is a great experience for me. I never expected to win this game.
“I was definitely nervous at first, but the audience was incredible. I can’t wait until tomorrow. I want to play again now!”
The 22-year-old meets third-seeded Michael Smith in Saturday’s quarter-finals after the US Darts Masters champion fought veteran New Zealander Warren Parry in an ambivalent affair.
Smith continued his bid for the first World Series title Down Under with a 6-3 win despite missing 22 darts in doubles.
Michael van Gerwen put on an impressive performance on his return to New Zealand as he began defending his NZ Darts Masters title with a 6-3 win over Bernie Smith.
The Dutchman defied three 180s and two 12-darters from Smith to prevail with a 99 average and landed a great ten-darter in the seventh leg before ending the win with a clean 70-kill.
Van Gerwen now faces Jonny Clayton in a heavyweight semi-final showdown after the Welshman began his bid for back-to-back World Series titles with a stunning 6-1 win over Mal Cuming.
Clayton, winner of last week’s NSW Darts Masters in Wollongong, reeled off five straight legs to claim a stunning win and blasted an 11-darter in the penultimate leg to start Friday’s action in style.
Gerwyn Price, however, showed the performance of opening night in Hamilton, averaging 104.95 to defeat DPNZ number one Ben Robb in a high-class affair.
World No. 1 Price followed up a sensational ten-dart hold after a 14-dart break as he stormed 4-0 up, but Robb was undeterred and put in a spirited comeback.
New Zealand’s number one followed up 126 and 94 finishes with a 13-dart break to reduce the deficit to 5-3, only for Price to follow his sixth 180 with a wonderful 124 finish to seal the deal in style.
Price now meets fourth seed James Wade in a repeat of last weekend’s NSW Darts Masters semi-final after the left-hander survived a match dart to edge out Gordon Mathers in a gripping final leg shootout.
Wade, who was 4-1 down at the time, equalized after eight legs of the contest with a terrific 145 checkout before completing a 16-dart hold on tops to triumph in a dramatic finale.
Elsewhere, top seed Dimitri Van den Bergh pulled off a stunning late surge to edge out Australian icon Simon Whitlock in the evening’s final in a nine-high contest.
The pair traded four consecutive breaks in an upside-down start, but on four points each, Van den Bergh won the last two legs in just 23 darts and advanced with a 100.37 average.
Despite consecutive 180s from Whitlock to open the penultimate leg, Van den Bergh followed up an 11-dart break with a 123 finish in the bullseye to keep his hopes of a third World Series title alive in Hamilton in 2022.
The Belgian meets Joe Cullen for a semi-final spot after the Masters champion doomed Australia no. 1 Damon Heta to a third straight elimination in the opening round Down Under.
Cullen converted a stylish 120 combination in the fourth leg to open a 3-1 cushion before ending an emphatic 6-2 win with a third maximum and an 11-darter.
The TAB New Zealand Darts Masters ends on Saturday with a blockbuster session with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals in Hamilton.
New Zealand Darts Masters: schedule and results
First round (Best of 11 Legs)
Evening session (1900 local time, 0800 BST)
- Jonny Clayton cuming 6-1 times
- Joe Cullen 6-2 Damon Heta
- James Wade 6-5 Gordon Mathers
- Fallon Sherrock 5-6 Kayden Milne
- Michael Smith 6-3 Warren Parry
- Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Bernie Smith
- Gerwyn Price 6-3 Ben Robb
- Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Simon Whitlock
Evening session (1900 local time, 0800 BST)
- Dimitri Van den Bergh vs. Joe Cullen
- James Wade vs Gerwyn Price
- Michael van Gerwen versus Jonny Clayton
- Michael Smith vs. Kayden Milne
- Winner SF 1 vs. Winner SF 2