Tournament favourite Glen Durrant will take on third seed and Lakeside debutant Danny Noppert in Sunday’s BDO World Championship Final after the pair defeated Jamie Hughes and Darryl Fitton respectively in the last four, whilst Lisa Ashton won the women’s world title for a third time at the Lakeside Country Club on Saturday.
Top seed Glen Durrant stormed into his maiden World Championship Final with a comprehensive 6-1 victory over Jamie Hughes on Saturday evening. After some nervous recent displays, ‘Duzza’ was back to his clinical best against the fourth seed, averaging 96.27, landing seven maximums and taking out a magical 170 to prevail.
Hughes enjoyed the perfect start; breaking Durrant’s throw with a confident 80 checkout. However, ‘Duzza’ pinned D8 to break straight back, before hitting D5 to lead. Hughes defied Durrant’s first maximum to hold throw with a 75 finish to round off a 14-darter, but the top seed held his nerve to clinch the opening set with a commanding 13-dart leg.
The second set was a case of missed opportunities for ‘Yozza’. He spurned four darts to hold in the opening leg, before missing D8 for a 136 kill as Durrant extended his cushion with a 14-darter on tops. Hughes landed his second maximum and registered a 13-darter to fightback, but ‘Duzza’ dispatched a clean 72 kill on tops to double his lead.
The Teessider produced a vintage showing in the third set. He began the set by following up a visit of 174 with a stunning 132 checkout on the bull for a 12-dart hold. He then posted his second successive 12-darter after conjuring up a majestic 170 finish, before nailing D10 to establish a commanding three-set cushion.
The top seed was flowing and broke early in set four with a 13-darter, having left D8 after just nine darts. Durrant then clinically converted a 117 outshot on tops to register his sixth straight leg and although Hughes halted his slide with a 14-dart hold, ‘Duzza’ dispatched a 74 kill with consummate ease for his fourth consecutive set.
‘Yozza’ bounced back strongly in the fifth set however. He sank D8 for a 15-darter, before hitting the same target to double his tally despite Durrant firing in his fifth maximum. Hughes failed to convert a 92 kill which would have clinched the set to nil, but he returned to land his fourth maximum and peg D3 to finally open his account.
This gave the Tipton ace confidence, as Hughes moved 2-1 ahead in the sixth with two quality 13-darters. Nevertheless, the Teessider heaped the pressure on Hughes by forcing a set decider and the Black Country ace wilted, following up five perfect darts with five missed set darts as ‘Duzza’ established an almost unassailable 5-1 cushion on D10.
The world number one sensed blood and kicked off the seventh set with a nerveless 117 finish. Hughes squared the set with an impressive 14-darter but it proved to be his last act. Durrant wired D18 for a 147 kill but returned to pin D18 and move to the brink of victory, before he sealed his emphatic progression with another 13-darter via D16.
Danny Noppert’s dream Lakeside debut continues as he stormed into Sunday’s final with an impressive 6-3 victory over Darryl Fitton in a high-quality semi-final. ‘The Dazzler’ averaged 95.73 and landed eleven maximums but Noppert’s consistency won the day, as the 26-year-old averaged 93.57 to condemn Fitton to a third Lakeside semi-final loss.
The first set was a relatively tepid affair, as Noppert clinched it without reply. The Dutchman held throw in a scrappy opener, before Fitton responded with his first maximum. However, ‘The Dazzler’ spurned five darts at double as ‘Noppie’ converted a routine 56 kill to extend his lead, before wrapping up the opener by pinning D10.
Fitton kicked off the second set in style, landing a quality 127 checkout for a 12-darter. Nevertheless, Noppert squared the set with an effortless 72 finish, before converting a 61 kill for a break of throw and his second successive 15-darter.
Fitton crashed in his second maximum to leave 24 after 12 darts but he wasn’t afforded an opportunity at double, as ‘Noppie’ produced a nerveless 79 finish on tops to double his lead heading into the first interval.
Noppert drew first blood in set three with a 15-dart hold, before Fitton levelled inside 14 darts. The 26-year-old regained the lead on D10, before Fitton forced a set decider with a nerveless 90 finish. Noppert seemed destined to surge 3-0 ahead, but ‘The Dazzler’ followed his third 180 with a spectacular 156 kill, to finish 476 in nine darts to steal the set.
Fitton continued his resurgence in set four; hitting the front with a 16-dart hold, before breaking inside 13 darts after the pair traded maximums. Noppert stayed alive with a 76 finish and a 14-darter, before squaring the set via D3. However, the Dutchman spurned one set dart at tops as Fitton pegged D12 to restore parity at two apiece.
The Stockport ace had the momentum but the Lakeside debutant fought back in set five. The pair kicked off with maximums, before Noppert registered a 14-darter on D8 to hold. The Dutchman extended his lead on D5, before cleaning up the set without reply on D9 after Fitton missed tops for a Shanghai finish.
The topsy-turvy nature of this content continued in the sixth set. Fitton drew first blood with his fourth 180 and a sublime 12-darter, but Noppert levelled after Darryl spurned three darts at double. The 54-year-old wasn’t perturbed however; regaining the lead with a classy 14-darter, before dispatching a nerveless 67 kill on tops to level once again.
Noppert had yet to trail in sets in the entire tournament, and he maintained that record to storm 4-3 ahead. The 26-year-old defied a brilliant 174 from ‘The Dazzler’ to hold inside 14 darts, before doubling his tally after claiming a nervy leg via D6. Fitton posted an eighth maximum but it proved immaterial as Noppert took out 56 on D10 to seal the set.
The eighth set was a real high-quality affair, with all five legs going against throw. Noppert landed his fourth maximum and found tops for a 15-dart break, but Fitton fired straight back with his ninth 180 and a 14-darter via D8. However, Noppert registered a third successive break by crashing in a 121 checkout on the bull for a 12-darter.
Despite this, Fitton responded once more; dispatching an 81 finish for a 12-darter of his own to wrestle back the initiative. ‘The Dazzler’ had the advantage of throw to level up at four apiece but failed to convert an 82 finish on tops, as Noppert took out a magnificent 101 to move within a set of the final.
Fitton had fought valiantly throughout the contest, but the third seed sensed blood. Noppert hit the front in the ninth set with a brilliant 81 finish to complete a 12-darter, before moving to the brink of victory by hitting D10. ‘Noppie’ showed no signs of finishing line nerves and converted a quality 14-darter via D10 to seal his place in the final.
Lisa Ashton was crowned women’s world champion for a third time after recording a comprehensive straight sets victory over eighth seed Corrine Hammond in Saturday’s final. Hammond battled valiantly, but Ashton was always in control and recorded an impressive 3-0 victory with an 81.81 average.
‘The Lancashire Rose’ stormed to the first set without reply. She began by nailing a 51 kill with her first dart at double, before extending her lead after following her first maximum with a clinical 14-darter. The second seed endured some double-trouble as she attempted to close out the set, but she eventually pegged D1 to wrap up the opener.
The second set was a much more even affair. Hammond registered her first leg via D16 after both players missed darts at double, and the Australian then posted her first maximum as she attempted to make inroads into Lisa’s throw. Ashton responded superbly however, levelling with a 64 finish to complete a 15-dart hold.
Hammond regained the initiative with a tremendous 107 kill after Ashton wired the bull for a 121, but the second seed responded. Lisa forced a set decider after nailing D8 to round-off an 18-dart hold, before clinching a nervy leg on D2 to double her advantage after the Australian produced her worst leg of the match at an inopportune time.
The eighth seed was faced with an uphill task but left D18 after 15 darts as she attempted to battle back after the interval. Nevertheless, she wasn’t afforded a shot as Ashton dispatched a two-dart 52 kill to draw first blood in set three.
Hammond levelled with a scrappy hold on D16, but ‘The Lancashire Rose’ converted a clinical two-dart 77 checkout for a 14-dart hold to move to the brink of victory. The Australian continued to battle but it was no to avail, as Ashton sank tops to scoop the £12,000 winner’s cheque and secure her third World Championship crown.
Photo Credit: David Gill
Saturday January 14
Semi-Finals (Best of 11 sets)
Afternoon session (1430-1700)
TV Coverage: Channel 4
Corrine Hammond (8) 0-3 Lisa Ashton (2) (final, best of five)
Daryl Fitton 3-6 Danny Noppert (3)
Evening session (1900-2100)
TV Coverage: BT Sport
Glen Durrant (1) 6-1 Jamie Hughes (4)