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Lakeside 2016 : Mens Championship Match Reports - Day 5
Larry Butler 0-4 Glen Durrant
World Number One Glen Durrant breezed through to the quarter-finals at the Lakeside, after thrashing Larry Butler 4-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Frimley Green.

Durrant and Butler memorably contested October’s World Masters Final, but Durrant outclassed his veteran opponent today, dropping just one leg en route to the last eight.

Butler threatened an instant break of throw in the opening leg, after some scratchy scoring from Durrant, but the World Number 1 rectified matters superbly, and held throw courtesy of a stunning 141 finish, culminating on D12.

‘Duzza’ found his scoring power in the second leg, posting his first maximum, before pinning D16 for a 13-darter and a break of throw. 

The pair then kicked off the third leg with maximums apiece, but after Butler wired the bull for a 126 checkout, Durrant dealt a crushing blow to the American, converting a fantastic 104 finish, to seal the opening set without reply.

The Teessider was throwing fabulous darts and he kicked off the second set by hitting his third 180 to again pressure Butler’s throw. The veteran American was being completely outscored, and Durrant secured his fourth consecutive leg by taking out D10 in 14-darts.

Glen posted his worst leg of the match on his throw moments later, but the 58-year-old from Ohio couldn’t capitalise. Larry required 135 to open his account, but for the second time in the contest, he wired the bullseye and Durrant stepped in and took out 48 in two darts to extend his lead.

Durrant, the current holder of six ranking titles, was throwing with relentless precision, and he delivered his fourth maximum of the encounter to secure the initiative in the third leg.

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Butler was unable to take out 123, and Duzza converted D16 with consummate ease for a stunning 13-darter and a sixth straight leg, to establish a two-set cushion.

The 45-year-old from Middlesbrough kicked off proceedings in set three with his fifth maximum, before converting 47 in two darts on D16, to secure the early initiative. 

Butler appeared poised to finally stop the rot in the eighth leg of this tussle, but he was again denied by an inspired Durrant, who took out a majestic 148 finish on D14 to continue his proficient finishing.

Larry continued to battle and fashioned out a potential break opportunity virtue of successive 140’s, eventually leaving 57 after 12 darts. However, his misery was almost compounded by the number one seed, who wired D20 for a sublime 125 checkout.

This was just the second double missed by Durrant, and Butler took advantage of a rare chance, by pinning D10 with his final dart to register on the scoreboard.

The 1994 World Matchplay Champion seized control of the fourth leg, and seemed destined to force a fifth and deciding leg in the set. 

Nevertheless, Larry demonstrated uncharacteristic frailties on the doubles, missing five chances to hold throw, and the clinical Durrant exploited this reprieve. Glen hit D10 to complete a regulation 60 checkout for an 18-dart leg, to move one set away from a quarter-final place. 

The pair both enjoyed a brief intermission, however, Durrant’s dominance continued after the interval. Durrant was sat on 101 and missed D16 for the first time today. However, he was well ahead in the leg, and posted D4 for an instant break in set four.

Butler produced his best scoring leg of the encounter to threaten an instant break back. The American posted his third maximum followed by a 136, to set up D20 after just 12 darts. 

After Duzza failed to take out 74, Butler had three clear darts to draw level, but he spurned this chance. Durrant once again pounced on the American’s profligacy, hitting D5 with his last dart in hand to move to the cusp of victory.

Butler is usually clinical in the latter stages of legs, but Durrant’s relentless pressure had taken its toll. 

The favourite for the Lakeside crown hit his sixth maximum to set up a possible 124 shot for the match, and he wired the bullseye for a roof-raising finish moments later. However, the unflappable Teessider returned to convert D8 for a 14-darter, to ease through to the last eight.

It was virtually a complete performance from Durrant. He still has more gears to go through, but he hit six maximums, averaged 95.49 and boasted an impressive checkout ratio of 57%. 

Butler is a quality campaigner, but he didn’t produce his best darts this afternoon; largely due to the pressure placed on him by last year’s World Championship semi-finalist.

Jim Williams 3-4 Wesley Harms
Two-Time Lakeside finalist Wesley Harms recovered from 3-2 down to edge past Wales’ Jim Williams in a nail-biting last 16 clash at the Lakeside on Wednesday afternoon.

It was a topsy-turvy encounter, but Harms ultimately delivered the goods in the crucial moments. The contest began in dramatic fashion. Harms missed D20 for a spectacular 160 finish, but he returned to clinch the leg on D10, after Williams himself missed D20 for a 102 checkout.

The pair both scored well in the second leg, but after the Welshman squandered two darts at double for a 64 checkout, Harms extended his advantage, pinning D20 for a clinical 78 finish and a 15-dart break of throw. 

Williams was struggling in the scoring department, and the Dutchman cruised to the opening set without reply, posting D8 for a 20-dart hold of throw.

The opening leg of the second set was a similarly scrappy affair. Harms had the chance to seal his fourth straight leg courtesy of a 74 checkout, but his solitary dart at D20 was pulled; affording Williams an opportunity to open his account. The 12th seed made no mistake, completing a regulation 52 checkout on D16.

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This clearly provided Williams with some inspiration as he doubled his tally moments later. Harms posted his first maximum, yet the Welshman was unperturbed and converted D12 for a 13-darter and a valuable break of throw. 

Williams, a semi-finalist at last month’s Zuiderduin Masters, failed to replicate such darts in the following leg and Harms secured an instant break back with an assured 52 checkout. 

Wesley forced a nerve-jangling fifth and decisive leg in the set courtesy of a clinical two-dart 84 checkout on D12, and suddenly the Welshman was under considerable pressure.

Fortunately for Williams, Harms produced his worst leg of the match at a critical stage, leaving 140 after 15 darts. Williams took full advantage and restored parity in the contest by hitting D12 for a 17-darter.

The third set was an error-strewn affair. Harms appeared in cruise control of the opening leg, before busting 65 by hitting D7 rather than the single. He had another opportunity to convert the checkout but spurned darts at D20 and D10, and Williams pounced, taking out 64 in two darts to secure the lead for the first time in this contest.

The pair missed a multitude of doubles in the following leg, as D10 continued to plague Harms. Williams eventually converted D1 to edge towards a 2-1 lead, but Harms preserved his hopes of winning the set by hitting D10 for a modest 24-dart leg. 

The Dutchman wasn’t throwing with conviction however, and Williams sealed his second successive set with a fine two-dart 82 finish (Bull, D16).

Nevertheless, Harms emerged from the interval with renewed vigour and produced two fantastic finishes to establish command of the fourth set. After Williams failed to take out 101, Wesley secured a pivotal break, pinning D8 with his final dart for a 96 checkout. 

He extended his lead in the set with a fine 81 checkout culminating on the bullseye, but Williams prolonged the set by taking out D8 at the third time of asking.

The fourth leg of the set provided a huge turning-point. Williams missed D16 for a 103 checkout which would have put him in the ascendancy for a 3-1 advantage. However, Harms capitalised on his reprieve, converting 48 on D16 for a 17-darter to level up proceedings at two apiece.

Harms missed darts at D20 and D10 for a 97 checkout in the opening exchanges of set five, but Williams was unable to take advantage, and the two-time Lakeside semi-finalist eventually pinned D5 with his 21stdart of the leg for a valuable hold. 

Williams responded by hitting D8 to level up, but Harms reclaimed the initiative with a quality two-dart 79 finish, culminating on D11.The crowd were engrossed in this unpredictable tussle and Williams forced another fifth and decisive leg in the set, holding throw in 14 darts courtesy of a tremendous 100 finish.

Harms had the advantage of throw to establish a 3-2 lead, but the Welshman produced a terrific leg against the throw; posting successive 140’s to leave 64 after 12 darts. 

Harms was poised on D10 to take the lead, but Williams demonstrated admirable composure, converting D16 with his solitary dart at double to wrestle back the initiative, and move one set away from the quarter-finals.

Having clinched the fifth set with consecutive 14 and 15 darters, Williams kicked off the sixth set in similar fashion, taking out D16 for an accomplished 62 finish and another 15-dart leg.

The Welshman’s scoring had improved immeasurably and he placed himself on D16 after 12 darts to crank up the pressure on ‘Sparky’. Nevertheless, Harms showed tremendous character, hitting D9 with his last dart to complete a 96 finish and remain in contention.

Williams had the opportunity to reclaim the lead in the sixth set by converting 60, but his dart at D20 was misdirected into the single five bed. This presented the 31-year-old Dutchman with a wonderful break chance and he delivered, posting D20 with his first dart. 

Just as Harms appeared poised to force a seventh and deciding set the pendulum swung once more, as Williams took out his second ton-plus checkout of the contest, 102, to ensure he’d throw for the match. 

However, the momentum shifted once more. Williams posted a poor leg on throw and Harms set up D16 after just 12 darts, with Williams well adrift on 231. Wesley made no mistake, hitting D16 for a 13-darter to force a decisive set.

Although in darting terms Harms is a mere youngster, he has an abundance of experience on the Lakeside stage, which paid dividends in the final set. Harms left D14 after just 12 darts and held throw emphatically in 15 to win the opening leg. 

Williams then squandered two darts at D16 for an imperative hold and Harms illustrated his class with a magnificent two-dart 80 checkout, to move one leg away from victory.

With the Dutchman throwing for the match, he posted his second maximum at the most opportune moment. He was in cruise control of the leg, but spurned five match darts to simply heighten the tension. However, the fifth seed eventually crossed the finishing line, hitting D1 to reach the last-eight for the third time in his career.

Dennis Harbour 4-1 Martin Phillips
The unseeded Dennis Harbour continued his World Championship fairy-tale at the Lakeside, prevailing 4-1 against two-time semi-finalist Martin Phillips in a battle of the veterans on Wednesday night at Frimley Green.

Harbour’s previous best appearance at Lakeside came in 2003, when he reached the second-round. Now he’s overcome that particular hurdle, he will look ahead to a quarter-final clash against either Jeff Smith or Brian Dawson.

Harbour made a positive start to the contest, posting his first maximum and following that up with a fine 96 finish on D8, for a solid 15-dart hold. He had the opportunity for a 14-darter in the next leg, but despite missing three darts at double he eventually pinned D10 to extend his lead.

Phillips bounced back in the third leg to keep the set alive. The Welshman delivered his first maximum and left 91 after just 9 darts, before eventually converting a 17-dart leg on D5 to break back. Martin appeared poised to force a fifth and decisive leg, but he missed three darts at D16 and Harbour capitalised on D20 for a 13-darter and a one set advantage.

Harbour retained the initiative early in the second set, capitalising on misfortune for Phillips. The left-hander required 120 to hold throw and after securing the requisite T20, his dart at single 20 bounced out and he was denied a shot at double. The ‘Harbour Master’ compounded Phillips’ misery by pinning D5 with his final dart to break.

The Cambridgeshire ace had been clinical thus far and his proficient finishing showed no signs of wavering. Phillips left himself on D18 after 15 darts to threaten an instant break back, but he wasn’t afforded an opportunity as Harbour converted D18 for a 42 kill and a 17-dart hold. 

Phillips was struggling to maintain any semblance of consistency, whilst Harbour was producing a very professional performance. He posted three successive 140’s before nailing D20 for a 13-darter, to seal the second set without reply. 

Harbour produced a sloppy leg on throw on his return from the interval, but he wasn’t punished by Phillips, who relinquished control of the leg as Dennis converted D16 with his solitary dart at double, for a fine 68 checkout.

Harbour won his sixth consecutive leg moments later as Martin again faltered in the latter stages of a leg. Dennis posted timely back-to-back 140’s to leave 43, and after the Welsh stalwart was unable to take out 97, the unseeded 54-year-old took out D13 with his final dart in hand to extend his lead.

Martin’s scoring power was evading him and Harbour cruised to the third leg of the set. He wired the bullseye for an 86 checkout, but returned to post D8 for a modest 21-darter to open up an emphatic three-set cushion.

However, Phillips made an excellent start to the fourth set, hitting his second maximum and subsequently dominating the leg. His doubling vulnerabilities continued, but at the eighth time of asking the 10th seed hit D4 to stop the rot. 

For the second leg in succession, Phillips kicked off with a maximum and left himself on 61 after 12 darts. Harbour failed to convert 64 and Phillips exploited this, coolly dispatching his finish, followed by D8 for a 14-darter to take command of the set. 

The Welshman was throwing with greater purpose and claimed his first set courtesy of a clinical 56 checkout, culminating on D20.

Harbour halted the slide by nailing D6 to hold throw, but Phillips drew level moments later as he converted D20 for an impressive 13-darter. Harbour produced a tremendous scoring leg moments later, leaving 100 after just 9 darts before sealing the leg on D20 in 14 darts.

Nevertheless, the typically tenacious Phillips posted his fifth maximum and took out D14 for a 13-darter to preserve his slender hopes.

Dennis had the opportunity to throw for the match, but Phillips pressured his fellow veteran by posting his sixth maximum. The 55-year-old Welshman had a shot at 126 to steal the set, but he agonisingly wired the bulls-eye. This allowed Harbour to return and post D16 in 16 darts to seal a place in his first ever World Championship quarter-final.

Harbour was solid if unspectacular, averaging just under 88; Phillips vastly improved in the final two sets, although he was ruthlessly punished for his lacklustre opening salvo. 

Jamie Hughes 4-1 Madars Razma 
Jamie Hughes won through to his first World Championship quarter-final after prevailing 4-1 against Madars Razma in an attritional battle at the Lakeside on Wednesday evening. 

Neither player showcased their genuine potential, but the fourth seed showed fighting qualities to progress to the last eight.

Neither player performed particularly well in the opening set, however it was the unseeded Razma who claimed it without reply. He converted D8 for a 17-dart opening leg, before capitalising on two missed darts from Hughes in the next, to extend his advantage.

The Englishman had failed to settle in the opening stages and missed five clear darts at double to open his account in the third leg. Razma pounced on Hughes’ wastefulness, pinning D20 for a 19-dart hold to seal the set.

The Latvian had the opportunity to win his fourth straight leg by taking out 77, but he missed his solitary dart at D20 and after posting two 140’s; ‘Yozza’ opened his account on D8, for a 16-dart break. 

Nevertheless, to Hughes’ immense frustration, he was unable to consolidate this break of throw, missing a further five darts to extend his lead as Razma levelled up on D2.

Razma kicked off the third leg with a fine maximum to set up a potential 14-darter, but he missed darts at D20 and D10 respectively, affording Hughes an opportunity to convert 117 for the third successive break in the set. Yozza found the required treble, but his dart at D20 was slightly pulled and Razma returned to post D10 to regain the initiative.

The fourth seed continued to battle away and produced a solid 16-dart hold, courtesy of D16, to force a critical fifth and decisive leg in set two. Razma had the advantage of throw and left 90 after 15 darts, but a timely 134 from Hughes left him on D12.

The Latvian hit T20 with his first dart, but came inside on D15 and was unable to finish. ‘Yozza’ held his nerve and nailed D6 with his last dart in hand to restore parity heading into the interval.

Razma almost broke throw instantly after the break; missing D20 for a spectacular 135 checkout. He seemed destined to level up proceedings moments later, before an extraordinary sequence of missed doubles ensued. The 27-year-old qualifier missed eleven darts at double before ‘Yozza’ eventually hit D8 to clinch the leg.

However, after a leg of distinct mediocrity, Razma showed his class to break back. He posted successive scores of 180 and 177, before nailing D16 for an accomplished 14-dart leg. Hughes posted a maximum of his own, but missed two set darts at D18 and D9 respectively.

Both men missed opportunities in the fourth leg, but Razma hit D16 to force a decisive fifth leg in the set. Hughes had the advantage of throw and he enjoyed an emphatic hold to edge ahead. Razma’s scoring deserted him at a critical stage and the 29-year-old from Tipton hit D18 for a 2-1 set lead.

Jamie was growing in confidence considerably, as he posted his second 180 to create a break opportunity. He took full advantage, completing a clinical 66 checkout to secure a valuable break. 

Razma had the chance to deliver an immediate riposte after he hit his third maximum, but he missed two darts at D20 for a 55 kill, enabling Hughes to step in and convert D4 with his final dart for a 25 checkout.

The catalyst for Razma’s first-round victory against Gary Robson was his clinical finishing, yet the roles were reversed this evening, as his uncertainty on doubles was his undoing. Nonetheless, he preserved his hopes in set four with a classy 66 checkout for a 15-darter and an imperative hold. 

Despite this, Madars’ profligacy re-emerged in the fourth leg, as he squandered three clear darts to wrestle back the advantage in the set. Hughes gratefully pounced on his opponent’s error, hitting D8 to win his third consecutive set and establish daylight in the score-line.

Hughes had the darts in set five and was intent on closing out victory with minimum fuss. He made a strong start, converting D18 for a quality 13-dart leg before Razma endured more toils on the doubles. 

Madars missed five darts to draw level and was almost punished as Hughes wired D12 for a majestic 141 finish. The Latvian eventually took out D5 at the sixth time of asking, but he was trailing again moments later as Yozza pinned D2 to move a leg away from victory. 

Razma almost kept his hopes alive with a spectacular 170 checkout, but his dart at bull was wayward and Hughes returned to take out 25 via D8 to seal the win.

Brian Dawson 1-4 Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith cruised through to the quarter-finals of the World Championship thanks to a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Brian Dawson on Wednesday night. 

Smith, who whitewashed three-time World Champion Martin Adams in round-one, maintained his consistent level throughout, whilst Dawson was unable to produce the heroic comeback that he delivered against John Walton last night.

Smith made an assertive start and raced to the opening set without reply. He converted an 87 finish on D5 to hold throw in the opening leg, before doubling his lead on D8, after earlier missing the bull for a 110 finish.

Dawson appeared poised to break back in the third leg after producing a fine 171 to set up D12, but ‘Doggy’ missed three clear darts at double, allowing the Canadian to confidently convert D16 for a 64 checkout and 18-dart leg.

Smith’s dominance continued in the opening stages of the second set. ‘The Silencer’ converted 120 to break Dawson; the finish he also produced to beat Adams in the opening round. Jeff was scoring solidly and despite failing to take out 96, he pinned D14 to extend his lead and secure his fifth consecutive leg. 

The experienced Yorkshire ace was being completely outscored and Smith claimed his sixth straight leg to cement a 2-0 advantage, nailing D6 for a fine 72 checkout and a 15-darter.

After the interval, Smith maintained his flawless start, taking out D9 for a 16-dart hold. Nevertheless, Dawson finally opened his account moments later, hitting D20 to complete an accomplished 73 finish to draw level. 

Despite this, the 15th seed’s joy was short-lived; Smith posted another 15-darter courtesy of an impressive 66 checkout, before he established a three set lead after nailing D18 for a 72 finish, to record another 15-dart leg. 

Dawson had missed D16 for a 108 checkout which would have forced a deciding leg in set three; yet he was essentially living on scraps against the relentless Canadian.

Nonetheless, Dawson, who launched a valiant comeback from 2-0 down to defeat John Walton 3-2 yesterday, sparked hopes of another turnaround by clinching the fourth set without reply. Smith’s level dipped slightly, but the 49-year-old improved his game immeasurably. 

‘Doggy’ hit D10 to claim the first leg of the set, before extending his advantage on D8 for a 14-darter. Smith dominated the third leg, but uncharacteristic missed doubles from Jeff enabled Dawson to convert D10 for a 56 kill.

Smith halted Dawson’s growing momentum early in the fifth set, holding with a fine 13-darter by virtue of hitting D12. Brian continued to battle however, and took out D20 for a 17-dart hold to remain in contention.

The Canadian, who reached the semi-finals on his Lakeside debut last year, moved to within touching distance of the quarter-finals after pinning D2, having wired the bull for the maximum 170 checkout moments earlier. 

Jeff missed one match dart at D18 after failing to take out 76, but he was handed a reprieve, as Dawson missed two darts for a 78 finish. On this occasion, Smith grasped his opportunity, pinning D18 with his first dart, to seal his progression to the last eight. 

Smith averaged 92 and delivered another professional performance, taking out key shots under pressure and maintaining a consistent level of scoring. ‘The Silencer’ will face Dennis Harbour for a place in the last four, and on this evidence, Smith will be confident of eclipsing his run to the semis last year.
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