Adam Smith-Neale defeated two-time Lakeside world champion Glen Durrant 6-4 to secure the Winmau World Masters title on a thrilling day of darts in Bridlington on Sunday evening.
Smith-Neale, currently ranked 37th on the PDC Challenge Tour Order of Merit, was an 80/1 outsider prior to the tournament, but he produced a string of superb performances to secure the title and seal qualification for the BDO World Championship in January.
The 24-year-old kicked off his campaign with victories over Daniel Day and 2017 Lakeside finalist Mark McGeeney, before defeating the Welsh duo of Wayne Warren and Jim Williams to secure a place in the final.
Durrant was aiming to win a third World Masters title and he performed with outstanding consistency throughout the tournament. His average of 97.18 in his second-round tie against Gary Stone was his lowest of the event, whilst he posted a brilliant 101.99 average in his quarter-final win over Gary Robson.
Nevertheless, ‘Duzza’ was denied by an inspired Smith-Neale in a gripping final, as the Challenge Tour finalist fought back from 4-3 behind in sets to record the biggest victory of his career to date.
Durrant squandered two darts at D18 and D9 for a 5-3 advantage and this proved decisive, as Smith-Neale levelled, before he claimed the final two sets without reply to prevail with a 96.86 average, compared to Durrant’s 99.68.
This victory guarantees Smith-Neale a spot in the 2019 BDO World Championship in January, although it denies former Premier League star Wes Newton a spot in the tournament. However, ‘The Warrior’ was typically magnanimous and took to social media to congratulate the Coventry-based ace.
Well done to Adam Smith Neale, was superb to win @WinmauMasters and there fore fully deserves his place in lakeside world champs, every credit to you !! good luck 🎯👍🏻
— Wez Newton (@Warrior180) October 7, 2018
Meanwhile, in the ladies event, four-time world champion Lisa Ashton clinched her second World Masters title with a 5-2 win over Casey Gallagher, with Ashton having defeated two-time winner Deta Hedman in the semi-finals.
Photo Credit: The British Darts Organisation