Vincent van der Voort has apologised for his angry post-match reaction towards referee Kirk Bevins following his dramatic World Matchplay quarter-final defeat against Glen Durrant on Friday evening.
Having dumped out top ten stars Dave Chisnall and Daryl Gurney to reach the last eight, Van der Voort was bidding to reach his first major semi-final since November 2014 and he seemed poised to do so, after establishing a 10-5 buffer.
Durrant reduced the arrears to 12-9 before controversy struck in the 22nd leg. Van der Voort came inside on double nine and threw his third and final dart away in frustration. It landed in the single one but was disqualified by Bevins because it was thrown underarm.
The 44-year-old had more opportunities to close out the leg after Durrant’s doubling woes continued but the Dutchman spurned NINE darts on the outer ring for a 13-9 advantage, before eventually losing the leg.
The contest went to a tie-break but Durrant produced the goods in the latter stages, converting a clinical 115 combination on tops, before hitting the same target to take out 75 and close out a dramatic 18-16 success.
Despite reaching the 2007 UK Open final, victory for Van der Voort would have seen him earn his biggest payday as a PDC player and with emotions running high, he angrily rebuked Bevins before leaving the stage, pointing his finger towards the referee.
However, Van der Voort has issued an immediate apology for his reaction, claiming: “Having seen footage and spoken to people I need to apologise to Kirk [Bevins] the referee as I thought he complained that I stepped over the oche. This is why I reacted at end of the game.
“He actually complained that I threw the dart not correctly, which I now know. Also to Glen Durrant, he took advantage of my fall of concentration with the incident allowing him back into the game, for that he did well and best of luck in today’s game to him.”
Three-time world champion Durrant is featuring in his second consecutive Matchplay semi-final and he will take on debutant Dimitri Van den Bergh in Milton Keynes, with the Belgian having dumped out Nathan Aspinall, Joe Cullen and Adrian Lewis to reach his first major semi-final.
Saturday’s first semi-final will see last year’s finalist Michael Smith take on 2018 champion Gary Anderson. ‘Bully Boy’ is bidding to land his elusive first major title, whilst victory for Anderson will ensure that he retains his place in the world’s top ten.