Beau Greaves became the youngest ever world darts champion on a historic night at the Lakeside, producing a stunning display to defeat Kirsty Hutchinson 4-0 and clinch WDF World Championship glory.
The 18-year-old has been touted as a future world champion since bursting on to the scene as an 11-year old, and she shattered a host of records en route to fulfilling her darting destiny at Frimley Green.
Greaves registered the highest average in a women’s World Championship final (92.05) to scoop the £25,000 top prize, and she subsequently becomes the youngest ever senior world champion, eclipsing Jelle Klaasen’s debut success as a 21-year-old in 2006.
At one stage, Greaves was threatening to obliterate Trina Gulliver’s record Lakeside women’s average of 95.97, but she still usurped the 90.12 posted by Mikuru Suzuki in 2019 – the previous record in a women’s world final.
The Doncaster darter relinquished the solitary set en route to Sunday’s showpiece, battling past Hungary’s Veronika Ihasz before easing past three-time major champion Aileen de Graaf and 2019 World Championship runner-up Lorraine Winstanley to set up a showdown against sixth seed Hutchinson.
Greaves could have been forgiven for displaying nerves on such a prestigious occasion, but she made a blistering start to proceedings, sealing the opening set with a remarkable 104 average.
‘Beau n’ Arrow’ drew first blood by following up an early maximum with a 15-dart hold, before doubling her tally with a majestic 128 checkout for a 12-dart break.
Greaves wrapped up a quick-fire set with a 16-darter, and although Hutchinson opened her account in the early exchanges of set two, the teenage sensation responded with an 11-darter – the best leg of the women’s tournament.
The fifth seed continued her charge by following up a sublime 165 set-up shot with a 17-dart break, and having crashed in a fourth 180, Greaves almost sealed the set with a 141 checkout, before returning to pin double six and extend her cushion.
The interval did little to halt Greaves’ momentum as she moved 3-0 ahead courtesy of 19, 16 and 18-dart legs, and she continued the procession with a classy 16-dart break to kick off set four.
Hutchinson was afforded a rare opportunity at double moments later when Greaves displayed some fallability on the outer ring, but she was unable to capitalise, and the 18-year-old sensation needed no further invitation, following up another two-treble visit by nailing tops to triumph in 16 darts.
Given the tournament was initially scheduled to take place in January, the teenager’s participation was in serious doubt due to her battle with dartitis, but she’s recovered magnificently, and following her exploits at last month’s Isle of Man Festival, her winning streak has been extended to a staggering 20 matches.
Comeback king Duff edges out Tricole in dramatic decider
In the men’s competition, Neil Duff edged out second seed Thibault Tricole in a dramatic deciding set to prevail on his World Championship debut.
Ahead of the tournament, Duff vowed that he would lift the title on his daughter’s 18th birthday, and he delivered on that promise to claim the £50,000 top prize in a topsy-turvy tussle.
The Northern Irishman, who fought back from 3-0 down to edge out pre-tournament favourite Jim McEwan in the quarter-finals, produced a similarly spirited fightback to defeat the Frenchman.
Tricole capitalised on a sluggish start from Duff to establish 2-0 and 3-1 cushions, but Duff began to find his range on the treble 20 to restore parity at three apiece.
The pair then exchanged the next two sets, before Duff recovered from 2-0 down in the ninth set to move a set away from glory, reeling off three consecutive legs in 14, 15 and 13 darts.
‘The French Touch’ responded superbly by wrapping up the tenth set without reply to force a decider, but he was unable to complete another act of escapology, having survived match darts against Shawn Burt and Andy Baetens earlier in the event.
Tricole was bidding to become the first French world darts champion, but the 32-year-old has certainly put darts on the map in his homeland, after defeating the highly-fancied Cameron Menzies in Saturday’s semi-finals.
However, Duff – who averaged 87.73, landed seven 180s and converted two ton-plus finishes, was the epitome of composure in the latter stages; firing in back-to-back 15-darters to become the first male debut winner at the Lakeside since 2012.
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