A SET from a historic victory, Keegan Brown let it slip to over the next three to get knocked out of the third round of the William Hill World Championships at Alexandra palace this afternoon (Sunday). 

Brown lost 4-3 to James Wade, with a last 16 place just out of his grasp in dramatic fashion, in front of a big crowd willing him on. 

Wade — a target for the darts boo-boys after his act of gamesmanship in his second round tie — somehow turned around the best-of-seven-set match with some top class darts.

It took everything Brown had to keep up with Wade on his own throw at times, as the pressure told.

Brown, a former World Youth Champion, who beat seeded Dutchman Jelle Klaasen in his second round match, certainly upped his game against Wade as he swept into a two-set lead, playing some of his best darts ever at times.

Wade pulled one back, but the Islander played superbly in the fourth to go 3-1 up, needing just one more set to clinch his place in the last 16.

But ninth-seeded Wade had other ideas as he stormed though the fifth to make it 3-2, leaving Brown starting to feel the nerves as he missed vital doubles on two of the legs.

Brown gained his composure in the first leg of the sixth set to take it.

He hit his fourth maximum in the second leg, but failed to stop Wade from winning it, to level up.

He got his nose back in front with a regulation double eight finish, needing one leg to take it, but Wade levelled again with a 111 finish.

Brown was trading tons with Wade until he cracked with a low score in the fifth, which Wade punished to level the match 3-3 against the darts.

In the deciding set, Wade started the first leg with a 140, but Brown responded with another maximum, then a 140.

As Brown left himself a double top, Wade, needing 76, bagged it to take a 1-0 lead.

Another Wade 180 and a double top for a superb ten-dart finish left Brown fighting for his championship life.

Resilient Brown kept the match alive, against the darts, to pull it back to 2-1.

But inconsistency in the fourth leg allowed Wade to complete an unlikely victory.

The Islander came up with some impressive numbers — hitting five maximums, 13 scores of 140 and 34 scores of 100 or more, with a 50 per cent success rate on the doubles.