Number one seed Glen Durrant began his assault for a maiden World Championship title in impressive fashion, as Darryl Fitton, Ryan Joyce and ten-time women’s world champion Trina Gulliver also tasted victory on the opening session of action at the 2017 BDO World Championship at the Lakeside Country Club on Saturday afternoon.
Glen Durrant kicked off the 2017 BDO World Championship in style with a high-quality victory against impressive Lakeside debutant Nick Kenny. Durrant prevailed after posting an excellent 96.95 average and landing three maximums, as Kenny was dumped out despite averaging 92.64 and crashing in six maximums.
The contest began in spectacular fashion, as Durrant clinched the opening leg of the tournament with a majestic 167 checkout to break throw. Kenny responded superbly however; landing his first maximum and taking out 56 for a 12-darter and an instant break back.
‘Duzza’ missed tops for a 111 outshot and a third successive break moments later, as Kenny nailed D18 to complete a 56 kill for the second straight leg. The Welshman was oozing confidence and crashed in his second maximum, before converting a two-dart 80 finish for a 14-darter to clinch the opening set.
Durrant responded strongly however. He pinned D18 for a solid 15-dart hold to kick off set two, before firing in six perfect darts to set up a potential 9-darter. The perfect leg wasn’t forthcoming, but the top seed rounded off the leg in 13 darts.
‘Duzza’ spurned two set darts at D8 as Kenny pegged D16 to stay alive in the set, but moments later the Welshman returned the favour, spurning three clear darts at D16, as Durrant hit tops with his last dart in hand to restore parity at one apiece.
The 23-year-old Welshman held throw early in set three by hitting D10, before Durrant won a nervy leg on D2 after both players had earlier wired the bull for 124 finishes. Nevertheless, ‘Duzza’ upped the ante; nailing a clinical 82 kill to break, before moving 2-1 ahead after defying Kenny’s fourth maximum with a commanding 14-dart hold.
Durrant won his fourth consecutive leg on D5, before moving to within a leg of victory with an 84 finish to complete a brilliant 12-dart leg. However, Kenny battled valiantly and remained in contention after following up his sixth maximum by pinning D9.
Yet this wasn’t the start of a heroic fightback for the Lakeside debutant. Durrant posted a sensational visit of 150 to leave 32 after just 12 darts and the reigning World Master pegged D16 for a 14-darter to round off an accomplished triumph.
Defending champion Trina Gulliver began the defence of her women’s world title with a convincing straight sets victory over Claire Brookin on Saturday afternoon. The ten-time world champion struggled in the early stages, but her scoring vastly improved in set two, as she prevailed with a 72 average and twenty ton-plus scores.
Gulliver clinched the opening leg on D5 after Brookin missed six darts to break throw, but the British Classic winner drew level on D7, before breaking throw on D4. However, ‘The Golden Girl’ broke back in 17 darts, before hitting three ton-plus scores in the set decider; eventually wrapping it up on D5.
Brookin responded with a solid hold in the opening exchanges of set two, registering three ton-plus scores before pegging D5 to hold. Gulliver left 25 after just 12 darts in the following leg, but endured a nightmare on the doubles, before eventually wrapping it up on D4.
Nevertheless, the final two legs were the best of the contest by some distance. Brookin posted the first maximum of the match, but ‘The Golden Girl’ was unperturbed and broke throw in 14 darts to move within a leg of victory. She then registered three successive 140’s, before sealing her progression with a classy 13-darter culminating on tops.
Ryan Joyce enjoyed a dream Lakeside debut as he defeated Sweden’s Dennis Nilsson in straight sets to set up a first-round tie against three-time world champion Martin Adams on Sunday. Joyce was very impressive, particularly in the finishing department, as he averaged 90.18 to prevail in emphatic fashion.
Joyce won the opening leg of the match on D8, but Nilsson levelled with a clinical 101 checkout. Joyce regained the lead with a tremendous 13-dart hold via D16, before hitting the same target to seal the opening set.
Nilsson found tops to round-off a 16-dart hold early in set two, but Joyce squared up the set with a nerveless two-dart 70 kill. The man nicknamed ‘Relentless’ then punished a mediocre scoring leg from the Swede to break throw on D8, before Joyce doubled his advantage after following up his opening maximum by nailing D10.
Nilsson started set three strongly by reeling off back-to-back legs. Joyce remained unflappable however. He reduced the arrears with a magnificent 10-dart leg, before levelling the set after ‘The Ironman’ spurned two set darts at tops. This ultimately proved decisive, as the North East star returned to wrap up victory with a clinical 109 outshot.
Darryl Fitton cruised into round-two after an emphatic straight sets victory against Dutch debutant Wouter Vaes. ‘The Dazzler’ averaged 85.26 and landed two maximums en route to victory, with Vaes winning just two legs after enduring a horror-show on the doubles.
Fitton started strongly, registering maximums in the opening two legs as he clinched them both in 16 darts respectively. Vaes was struggling for fluency on his Lakeside debut and spurned four darts to open his account, as ‘The Dazzler’ won a scrappy leg on D2 to seal the opener without reply.
Fitton won his fourth consecutive leg via D18 after Vaes endured further double-trouble, before the World Trophy champion defied a first maximum from the Dutchman to extend his lead with a 13-dart hold on D8.
Vaes finally opened his account on D16, before doubling his tally with a 17-dart break of throw after Fitton was unable to take out 144. The Dutchman had suddenly established control of the set and appeared poised to square up the contest, but Fitton produced an inspired visit of 171 before converting a clinical 92 kill on D16 to snatch the set.
Fitton was in assured mood and kicked off set three with an accomplished 62 finish. The tenth seed then rounded off a decent scoring leg by hitting D1 to move to within a leg of victory, before capitalising on seven missed darts from Vaes to round-off a comprehensive victory via D8.
Photo Credit: David Gill
Saturday January 7
First Round (best of five sets)
Afternoon session (1300-1600)
TV Coverage: Channel 4
Glen Durrant (1) 3-1 Nick Kenny
Trina Gulliver (6) 2-0 Claire Brookin
Dennis Nilsson 0-3 Ryan Joyce (P)
Darryl Fitton (10) 3-0 Wouter Vaes