Reigning BDO world champion Glen Durrant has confirmed that he’s now ‘a BDO player for life’, after producing an inspired fightback from 4-1 down to defeat Jim Williams in a pulsating quarter-final tussle at the Lakeside on Friday afternoon.
Durrant’s title defence appeared to be on the verge of collapse as the Welshman stormed into a commanding advantage, but twelve months on from his stirring comeback against Paul Hogan, ‘Duzza’ did it again; reeling off four successive sets to keep alive his hopes of retaining the crown.
Nevertheless, this also dispels speculation about Durrant’s darting future. Ahead of his second-round tie against Darryl Fitton, the 47-year-old revealed that if he failed to make it beyond the last eight this week, he would have a crack at joining the PDC.
However, the Teesside star signed a pre-tournament contract which prevents him from entering next week’s PDC Qualifying School when reaching the Lakeside semi-finals, therefore he is expected to remain in the BDO for the foreseeable future.
As a result, the top seed’s sole focus is now on joining an elite list of names who have retained the BDO World Championship, as he prepares to take on two-time world champion Scott Waites in the semi-finals.
Durrant admitted: “I’m so emotional. Jim is fantastic, he should have won this match, so it’s bittersweet in that sense. But I can’t believe how happy I am.
“I’m the best friend of Jim Williams and he’ll be hurting now but he’ll be world champion one day. I’m a BDO player for life now.”
It was an absorbing quarter-final, with Durrant averaging 100.92 and crashing in 15 maximums as he won twelve of the remaining 13 legs to triumph. ‘Duzza’ kicked off proceedings with an eye-catching 132 checkout, but Williams landed three maximums in as many legs to clinch the opening set with a ton-plus average.
‘The Quiff’ continued his blistering start to double his lead in the second, before the Middlesbrough ace responded to halve the deficit in the following set. Despite this, as he aimed to level up proceedings at two apiece, Durrant was ruthlessly punished for his profligacy in the fourth as Williams restored his two-set buffer.
The recent Finder Darts Masters finalist then dispatched a classy 121 kill on the bullseye en route to establishing a commanding 4-1 cushion, but with his back firmly against the wall, Durrant produced some inspired arrows. He crashed in a spectacular 158 checkout in the sixth set, which he clinched to nil with a stunning 118.7 average.
The defending champion then continued his resurgence by winning set seven without reply, before converting an effortless 92 kill to secure his seventh straight leg. Williams stopped the rot with a tidy 64 outshot but Durrant was unfazed; conjuring up a crucial 116 checkout to wrap up the eighth and force a ninth and final set.
Durrant had the momentum, having won nine of the last ten legs and this was reflected in the final set. Williams was unable to fend off the rampant Teessider, averaging just 84.5 in the decider, as ‘Duzza’ averaged 107.4 to win the set in three consecutive legs in one of the most dramatic matches seen at the Lakeside in recent memory.
‘Duzza’ will now take on Scott Waites for a place in Sunday’s final, after ‘Scotty-2-Hotty’ also recovered from 4-1 behind to defeat Belgian debutant Andy Baetens. Baetens missed six match darts across two sets and the Yorkshireman capitalised to prevail with a 92.77 average, 14 maximums and a 30% checkout success rate.
The other quarter-finals also went the distance. Second seed Mark McGeeney came from 3-1 and 4-3 behind to defeat Welsh veteran Wayne Warren, whilst German qualifier Michael Unterbuchner continued his fairy-tale debut at the Lakeside, recovering from 2-0 behind to edge out 11th seed Richard Veenstra.
In the women’s section, Lisa Ashton and Anastasia Dobromyslova will both be bidding to win their fourth world title in Saturday’s final. Dobromyslova has dropped just two legs en route to the final, dispatching ten-time champion Trina Gulliver in the last four, whilst defending champion Ashton defeated top seed Deta Hedman in straight sets.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC