Darryl Fitton won his first major title on British soil with a hard-fought 13-9 victory over Australian qualifier Peter Machin in the BDO World Trophy final at the Lakeside on Monday evening.
Fitton, a Zuiderduin Masters winner in 2009, reeled off four straight legs to defeat the dogged Aussie, who had claimed a number of notable scalps to reach his first ever major ranking final. ‘The Dazzler’ averaged 87.84 in Monday’s curtain-raiser, posting three maximums and converting 35% of his attempts at double.
Fitton made a perfect start to the final by breaking Machin’s throw with a clinical 115 finish culminating on D18. ‘The Dazzler’ then extended his lead on D10, despite the Australian posting a timely 174. Machin repeated the dose in the third leg, posting a 174 before eventually converting D2 to open his account.
Fitton regained his two-leg cushion via D10, but an edgy fifth leg ensued as Daryl spurned seven darts at double to break, before Machin reduced the arrears on D1. Fitton responded strongly however, registering his first maximum and taking out 88 to head into the interval with a 4-2 advantage.
Fitton spurned an opportunity to establish a three-leg cushion after missing tops for a 111 checkout and Machin held his throw with a crucial 66 finish. The Australian levelled up proceedings moments later, hitting D10 with his last dart in hand, after successive visits of 180 and 140.
Machin had the throw to go ahead for the first time, but Fitton broke back instantly, following up his second maximum with a 52 finish culminating on D10. The Stockport ace forged into a 6-4 lead by hitting D16, but Machin reeled off consecutive legs to restore parity at 6-6, finishing on D15 and D7 respectively, as Fitton’s scoring wavered.
Darryl made a strong start after the interval, breaking Machin’s throw with a classy 13-darter on D20, before moving 8-6 ahead with an important 25 finish. The Australian was struggling to produce his A-game, but he remained in contention with a clinical two-dart 77 outshot.
The Australian qualifier missed the bullseye for a 164 checkout which would have seen him draw level at 8-8, and Fitton exploited this reprieve, hitting D10 once more to re-establish a two-leg cushion at 9-7.
Nevertheless, Machin benefitted from his opponent’s profligacy in the following leg, after Fitton squandered four darts at D16 for a double-break. This proved decisive, as Machin held throw before capitalising on a mediocre scoring leg from ‘The Dazzler’ to level up proceedings at 9-9 heading into the final interval.
Machin again made a sluggish start after the interval as Fitton edged ahead once more on D20. Machin left 224 after just six darts as he searched for an immediate break back, but Fitton posted successive 140’s before taking out D18 for an impressive 14-darter.
Darryl was beginning to throw with greater conviction and for the first time in the encounter, he opened up a three-leg cushion by virtue of a clinical 61 checkout, to move to within a leg of victory. Fitton then saved his best leg until last, following up his third maximum with a fine 97 finish for a 12-dart match-winning salvo.
Fitton struggled to deliver his best after being plagued with a hip-problem, but his tenacity and experience paid dividends, as he produced the goods in the critical junctures of the contest to clinch his 16th ranking title, and just his second major TV crown.
Earlier in the day, Fitton produced an inspired comeback from 5-2 down to edge out Glen Durrant’s conqueror, Darius Labanauskus in a pulsating quarter-final clash. Fitton converted a sublime 106 checkout on the bullseye to begin the fightback, and the 54-year-old closed out an 8-7 win with a 14-darter in a deciding leg.
‘The Dazzler’ also came through a pulsating last-four clash against fourth seed Jamie Hughes to reach his first ever World Trophy final. Hughes had dismantled Mark McGeeney 8-1 in the last eight and he appeared on the verge of reaching the final by breaking Fitton’s throw to forge 9-8 ahead.
‘Yozza’ hit eight maximums and took out magnificent 161 and 124 finishes on the bullseye, but Fitton drew level at nine apiece with a wonderful 121 checkout culminating on D14. This was a painful blow for the Tipton star, who was sat on D20 for a 10-8 lead, and Fitton won the remaining two legs to seal his progression.
On the other side of the draw, Peter Machin followed up victories over Jim Williams and Tony O’Shea by stunning world champion Scott Waites 8-4 in the last eight. The pair’s contrasting fortunes in the finishing department proved to be the decisive factor. Waites converted just 23% of his double attempts, whilst Machin hit 50% of his doubles.
In the last four, the 42-year-old Australian faced crowd favourite Dean Reynolds, who had claimed the scalps of Danny Noppert and Martin Adams in his previous matches. However, the Welshman was punished for some poor finishing in the opening stages; he missed his first 19 attempts at double, as Machin took out a magnificent 150 outshot to move 4-2 up.
The Aussie stormed into a commanding 10-6 lead, but Reynolds battled valiantly and won three successive legs to move just one leg behind. However, Machin eventually squeezed home with a fine 14-dart hold. Despite this, ‘Machy’, who became the fifth Australian to appear in a major TV final, was unable to claim the glory on this occasion.
In the women’s draw, Lisa Ashton retained her World Trophy crown with a 7-4 victory over Deta Hedman. Ashton, who produced a world-record televised ladies average on Sunday, continued her fine form to defeat three-time world champion Anastasia Dobromyslova 6-2 in the last four.
Hedman also progressed to the final in comprehensive fashion, reeling off six consecutive legs to defeat Rhian Griffiths 6-1. ‘The Dark Destroyer’ had dropped just two legs in the entire tournament prior to Monday’s final, and she made the perfect start by breaking Ashton’s throw on D20 in the opening leg.
Nevertheless, ‘The Lancashire Rose’ delivered an instant riposte, following up a fine scoring leg with D18 for a 13-darter. Hedman squandered two darts at double for the third straight break of throw, and Lisa converted 56 in two darts to edge ahead, before winning her third consecutive leg on D18.
Deta managed to stop the rot in the fifth leg, following up scores of 140 and 135 with a 48 checkout to bring the contest back on throw. Despite this, the 56-year-old was unable to restore parity, after Ashton registered her second maximum and converted D10 for a 14-dart break.
Ashton moved 5-2 ahead; following up her third maximum with D10 after Deta failed to take out 120. The two-time world champion then posted her fourth maximum to move to within a leg of the title. Lisa appeared on the verge of an emphatic victory, but she squandered five darts for the title, enabling Deta to maintain her slender comeback hopes.
Hedman refused to relent and she held her throw for the first time in the contest with a majestic 83 checkout on the bullseye, reducing the deficit to 6-4. Nevertheless, Ashton defied Hedman’s brave comeback by nailing D18 to retain her title.
SportsDirect.com BDO World Trophy 2016 Finals Day
Day 3 – Monday 30th May 2016 – Finals Day
Men’s World Trophy – Quarter Finals
12:15 Darius Labanauskas (30.67) 7-8 (29.06) Darryl Fitton
13:15 Mark McGeeney (27.99) 1-8 (31.69) Jamie Hughes
14:45 Scott Waites (29.59) 4-8 (30.73) Peter Machin
15:45 Danny Noppert (31.99) 5-8 (30.95) Dean Reynolds
Women’s World Trophy – Semi-Finals
14:15 Lisa Ashton (25.10) 6-2 (23.72) Anastasia Dobromyslova
16:45 Rhian Griffiths (24.43) 1-6 (28.46) Deta Hedman
Men’s World Trophy – Semi-Finals
18:00 Darryl Fitton (29.86) 11-9 (29.32) Jamie Hughes
19:00 Peter Machin (28.83) 11-9 (30.05) Dean Reynolds
Women’s World Trophy – The Final
19:45 Lisa Ashton (27.85) 7-4 (25.71) Deta Hedman
Men’s World Trophy – The Final
20:30 Darryl Fitton (29.28) 13-9 (27.06) Peter Machin