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Lakeside 2016 : Mens Championship Match Reports - Day 7
Wesley Harms 1-5 Jamie Hughes
Jamie Hughes cruised through to his maiden World Championship semi-final after dismantling two-time semi-finalist Wesley Harms 5-1, in the last eight at the Lakeside on Friday afternoon.

Hughes, seeded fourth for this event, had only averaged 83 in his opening two matches, but he raised his game considerably against Wesley, averaging over 94 and recording nine maximums en route to a comprehensive victory.

Harms made a tremendous start to the contest, breaking Hughes in the opening leg courtesy of a tremendous 122 finish, culminating on the bullseye. The Dutchman extended his lead after posting his first maximum and converting D20 for a 16-darter; however ‘Yozza’ rallied impressively.

He opened his account on D8, before producing a tremendous fourth leg to break Harms’ throw. Hughes delivered his second maximum and pinned D20 for a fine 13-dart leg, to wrestle back the advantage.

The Tipton star had the throw in the fifth leg and took full command; hitting his third maximum in as many legs, before producing a majestic 81 checkout on D12, for an 11-darter and the opening set.

Harms had the opportunity to halt Hughes’ momentum in the opening leg of set two, but he spurned one dart at D4 for a 76 checkout. 

This proved to be an expensive miss, as Hughes converted 52 on D20 for a 14-darter and a break of throw. The Englishman kicked off the following leg with an exquisite 177, before nestling D18 for a fifth consecutive leg.

‘Sparky’ finally stopped the rot in the third leg, hitting his second maximum and taking out D2 for a 17-dart hold. Yet, this didn’t quash Hughes’ momentum. Jamie hit 6 perfect darts, and whilst the 9-darter wasn’t forthcoming; the fourth seed effortlessly took out 76 in two-darts for a terrific 11-darter to establish a two-set lead.

‘Yozza’ made an excellent start to the third set, holding throw in 15-darts, courtesy of a clinical 64 finish culminating on D16.However, Wesley responded magnificently, posting his third maximum to leave 41 after 9 darts, before pinning D16 for a 12-darter to draw level.

Hughes demonstrated some fallibility for the first time in the contest, missing five darts at D10 to reclaim the initiative. Harms capitalised on a rare reprieve, nailing D10 to secure the edge in the third. 

Despite this, Hughes delivered an instant riposte to claw back the advantage. The former Zuiderduin Masters winner recorded his seventh maximum and took out 88 on the bullseye for a brilliant 12-dart break of throw. 

Jamie was throwing for a commanding three-set lead, but he produced arguably his worst leg of the match at a critical juncture. He left 139 after 15 darts and after he was unable to conjure up the ton-plus checkout, Harms stepped in to pin D8 and reduce the arrears to 2-1.

The first three-sets had been a terrific spectacle, although both men took their foot of the gas slightly in the fourth. Harms had the advantage of throw in the set, but he was instantly broken after posting a scrappy leg. 

Jamie extended his advantage with an accomplished 15-dart hold, by virtue of a clinical 82 checkout culminating on D20. Harms completely monopolised the third leg, but he spurned a multitude of darts at double, enabling Hughes to hit D10 for a 20-dart break of throw, to regain his two-set cushion.

The players enjoyed a brief intermission after the fourth set, but Hughes dominance continued. Harms had a chance to break throw in the opening leg, but he narrowly missed D8 for a 96 kill. The 29-year-old punished Harms’ profligacy, hitting D3 with his last-dart for an important hold.

Harms appeared poised to draw level in the fifth set, before a moment of sheer class from Hughes. He converted a majestic 136 outshot on D8, after posting his eighth maximum in the preceding visit. 

The following leg was virtually a carbon-copy. Jamie again left 136 after 9 darts, but on this occasion he wired D8 for a second successive 12-dart leg. Nevertheless, he returned with minimum fuss to pin D2 for a 14-darter and an emphatic 4-1 lead.

The Englishman had won six successive legs and Harms was looking dejected. ‘Yozza’ had the opportunity to win a seventh straight leg in 14 darts, but he surprisingly missed two darts at D16, enabling Harms to pin D8 and stop the rot. 

The Dutchman had a fantastic chance to win consecutive legs and establish command of the sixth set, but he was unable to take out 41 and Hughes punished; hitting D8 to complete a scrappy 21-dart leg.

This proved to be decisive. In the next leg, Harms missed the bull for a fine 121 outshot and Hughes broke throw on D16 in 15-darts, to move to the cusp of victory.

‘Yozza’ missed D20 for a 107 match-winning finish, affording Harms a chance at 120 to prolong the contest. However, the 31-year-old Dutchman couldn’t threaten the outshot, allowing Jamie to post D10 and seal his routine progression.

Glen Durrant 4-5 Scott Waites
Scott Waites produced another astonishing comeback to stun World Number One Glen Durrant in a classic World Championship quarter-final clash at the Lakeside on Friday afternoon.

Waites, who came from 3-0 down to defeat Geert de Vos on Thursday evening, trailed Durrant 4-2 in sets and 2-0 in legs, before remarkably winning 9 of the last 11 legs to seal a semi-final place. 

Durrant averaged 95 and recorded twelve maximums, but his hopes of winning a maiden Lakeside title were crushed by the 2013 winner.

Waites completely outscored Durrant throughout the opening set and eventually got his just rewards. Duzza converted 45 in 18-darts to claim the opening leg, before Waites responded by pinning D16 after missing bull for a 164 in the preceding visit. Durrant reclaimed the lead with a fine 117 checkout, but Waites forced a fifth and decisive leg by taking out D12 for a 16-dart hold.

The Teessider wasn’t scoring at his prolific best and he was ruthlessly punished by the 2013 Champion. Scott posted his first maximum to leave 81 after 9 darts and subsequently converted the checkout in two-darts, culminating on D12, for a quality 11-darter to seal an early lead.

Both men squandered opportunities in the opening leg of set two, but it was Durrant who stole the leg via D16. Waites recorded his second maximum to threaten an instant break back, but Glen maintained his composure, converting a 67 checkout on D8, for an assertive 14-dart hold.

The current World Master posted his second 180 as he sought to clinch the second set without reply, but Waites remained in contention, pinning D18 for a 56 finish and a 15-dart hold. 

Durrant left 40 after 15 darts to restore parity, but he wasn’t afforded an opportunity, as ‘Scotty-2-Hotty’ delivered a superb 104 checkout on D16 to draw level, and throw for a two-set lead.

Waites had a wonderful opportunity to open up a two-set cushion, but his scoring power evaded him at a critical stage. Durrant wired D16 for a 143 checkout, but he returned to take it out in 14-darts to level up proceedings.

It was a high-quality set, but Waites will have been frustrated to relinquish his throw in the final leg. The Yorkshireman had an opportunity to make amends with a 116 checkout, but he wired D18 for the break. 

Durrant pinned D16 to edge ahead, but Waites responded strongly, hitting D10 to complete a 100 checkout to draw level.

Durrant’s scoring had improved significantly from the opening set and he regained the initiative after completing a clinical 100 checkout for an 11-darter; after posting his fourth maximum in the preceding visit. 

Waites took out 56 on D18 to force a third consecutive fifth and deciding leg in the set, before a nervous leg ensued. Neither player scored particularly well, but after Scott failed to threaten a 135 checkout to snatch the set, the number one seed held his nerve to hit D5 to edge ahead 2-1 in sets.

Durrant made a commanding start to the fourth set, capitalising on an indifferent leg from Waites to break throw in 14-darts, via D10. Glen was certainly beginning to find his best form, and extended his lead in the set, with a fabulous 12-darter courtesy of a magnificent 140 checkout.

Waites desperately needed to respond, which he duly did, holding throw with a 13-darter on D16. Durrant required 48 to win his third successive set, but he was unable to take advantage, and Waites hit D4 to wrestle back the advantage. 

Waites had the opportunity to restore parity by converting 62, yet he wired his solitary dart at D16. ‘Duzza’ exploited this reprieve, clinically dispatching 79 by hitting D11 for a 14-darter. 

Glen had established a commanding 3-1 advantage heading into the interval, but the scoreline didn’t reflect how evenly-contested this quarter-final clash had been.

Waites desperately needed to respond after the interval, and he did so magnificently. Durrant kicked off with a maximum, but the former Grand Slam winner was undeterred, taking out 121 on D14 for a 12-dart break. 

Scott usurped this in the following leg, checking out 122 on the bullseye to cement his advantage. Durrant missed chances to reduce the arrears and Waites took his opportunity, claiming the set without reply by virtue of hitting D8.

Durrant had the chance to halt Waites’ growing momentum early in the sixth set, but he missed one dart at D16 for a 110 checkout, enabling Scott to pin D20 to secure his fourth consecutive leg. 

The 48-year-old Middlesbrough man did stop the rot by pinning D18 for a 13-darter, but Waites delivered an emphatic riposte, converting 87 on D18 for a stunning 11-darter.

Durrant held his nerve to complete a regulation 51 checkout to force arguably the most important leg in the match. Waites had the throw to level up proceedings at three-apiece; he knew that any mistake and he’d be facing a 4-2 deficit. 

Scott posted a timely 140 to set up a shot at 67, but once again, the Yorkshire ace was extremely unfortunate, coming agonisingly inside the D16 bed. Duzza required 25, having wired the bull for a 126 showpiece in the preceding visit. It was a critical shot, and Glen showed his champion’s resolve, nailing D8 with his last dart in hand to re-establish his two-set lead.

Durrant is renowned for being a tremendous front-runner and this was evidenced in the opening exchanges of the seventh set. He held throw on D12 with a 13-darter, before moving within a leg of the semi-finals with a quality 95 checkout, culminating on D5.

However, Waites replicated his heroics from Thursday evening, by producing another inspired fightback to win the seventh set. 

He delivered fantastic 79 and 80 finishes in 14 and 15 darts respectively to force another set-decider, but on this occasion he prevailed; hitting D8 with his last dart to complete a 38 finish, to reduce the deficit to 4-3 in sets.

Waites was throwing with tremendous belief and was being roared on by the Lakeside crowd. The ninth seed won his fourth straight leg on D10, and the seemingly unflappable Durrant was rattled. However, ‘Duzza’ halted Scott’s charge, albeit temporarily, with a clinical 70 outshot on D4.

Yet, Waites was displaying astonishing resolve; he regained the lead in the eighth set with a fine 83 finish culminating on the bullseye, before forcing a ninth and deciding leg, courtesy of a superb 110 finish on D16. Suddenly, this match was into a deciding set, which seemed distinctly unlikely just twenty minutes previously.

It was an immense test of character of Durrant, but he made a strong start to the decider by converting a crucial 70 checkout on D16. However, both men wavered in the second leg. Waites missed a plethora of doubles to draw level, but Glen missed 6 clear darts for a 2-0 lead.

‘Scotty-2-Hotty’ finally hit D9 to draw level, and this sparked another mini-surge from the Yorkshireman. Waites posted back-to-back 140’s to gain command of the leg against throw, and he secured a pivotal break on D20 in 16-darts.

The character and resolve demonstrated by Waites was absolutely tremendous, and when throwing for the match, he produced a leg of sheer quality, producing visits of 140, 125 and 140, leaving 96 after just 9 darts. Durrant was helpless, and Waites held his nerve admirably, hitting his favourite D18 for a superb 13-darter to complete the comeback.

After suffering semi-final heartbreak against Martin Adams twelve months ago, this will be a crushing blow for the World Number One. Nevertheless, he bounced back admirably this year, and the tenacious Teessider will undoubtedly galvanise himself going into 2016.

However, Waites continues to defy the odds. He has produced sensational fightbacks to defeat two top-quality players in De Vos and Durrant, which will only strengthen his belief that he can go the distance and clinch his second World Championship title.

Jeff Smith 5-2 Dennis Harbour
Jeff Smith secured a place in the World Championship semi-finals for the second consecutive year, after coming from 2-0 down to defeat the experienced Dennis Harbour, on Friday night at the Lakeside.

Smith endured a disastrous start, as he fell 2-0 behind without having won a leg, as his average dipped below 80. However, he recovered magnificently, winning 15 of the remaining 18 legs to reach the last four.

Harbour made a very assured start, clinching the opening set without reply as Smith struggled for any rhythm. Dennis converted 48 for a 17-dart to break throw in the opening leg, before cementing this break with another 17-darter, courtesy of an assured 58 finish culminating on D20.

Harbour scored superbly in the third leg, leaving 96 after 9 darts. After Jeff missed one dart at D20 for an 80 checkout, the 54-year-old capitalised, pinning D20 for a confident 60 checkout, to seal the opening set in 14 darts.

The ‘Harbour-Master’ was full of confidence, and made a blistering start to the second set, taking out a majestic 140 checkout on D10, for an impressive 12-darter. Harbour replicated this form in the second leg. 

Dennis left 83 after just 9 darts, before converting D16 for a 14-darter, to secure his fifth consecutive leg. ‘The Silencer’ was certainly subdued, but Harbour continued to maintain his high-level, posting his first maximum and taking out D20 for another 14-darter, to establish a two-set cushion.

The pair enjoyed a brief interval break, which galvanised the Canadian. Smith registered his first leg by virtue of hitting D10 for an 18-darter, before a high-quality second leg ensued. The pair traded maximums, but after Harbour missed chances for a possible 11-darter, Smith produced a tremendous 124 finish culminating on the bullseye to double his tally.

Harbour was maintaining a solid level, but Smith had improved his game immeasurably, and sealed the set without reply, converting a clinical 68 checkout on D10 for a 14-darter.

Harbour temporarily halted Smith’s resurgence in the opening leg of set four. Jeff had left D16 after 15 darts to break, but he wasn’t afforded a shot, as Harbour converted a fine 91 checkout on D20. 

The Cambridgeshire ace almost extended his advantage moments later, but he missed his solitary dart at D16 for a 64 kill. Smith punished this, taking out 37 in two-darts to draw level.

This proved to be a key turning point. Smith broke Harbour just moments later, taking out 75 on D12, for a fine 14-darter. Suddenly, last year’s semi-finalist was throwing to restore parity and he duly did so; posting D18 for a 16-dart leg, having scored a fabulous 150 in his preceding visit.

The pendulum had swung significantly, and Smith’s revival continued as he posted D16 for a 19-darter to secure the lead for the first time. Smith had won 7 of the last 8 legs, and his dominance was maintained throughout the fifth set. Jeff recorded his third maximum and established a 2-0 lead in the set by nailing D10 for a 13-darter.

‘The Silencer’ hit his fourth maximum as he aimed to clinch his third straight-set, but Harbour responded in kind, posting his third maximum of the contest to remain in contention. 

Dennis wired the bullseye for a 121 checkout, and he was punished for this unfortunate miss, as Smith converted a 66 finish on D16 for an accomplished 15-darter, opening up a 3-2 lead in sets.

The first interval completely altered the dynamics of the contest; Harbour was in control, but the brief intermission galvanised Smith. The second interval didn’t have the same impact. Smith’s charge continued, as he pinned D5 with his last dart in hand to secure an early break in set six.

The 40-year-old from New Brunswick came agonisingly close to conjuring up a majestic 152 checkout, but his dart at D16 was just inside the wire. However, he wasn’t punished, as Harbour spurned darts at D18 and D9 respectively for an 87 checkout, enabling Smith to return and post D8.

Harbour’s consistency had somewhat diminished and he was being completely outscored. He had an opportunity to quell Smith’s charge with a 91 outshot, but he missed his solitary dart at D16. ‘The Silencer’ pounced, converting 60 in two-darts, to open up a commanding 4-2 advantage.

Jeff had the throw in the seventh set and he established an early cushion, courtesy of completing a 57 finish on D10 for an 18-darter. However, Harbour finally stopped the rot, winning just his second leg out of the previous 15, by virtue of back-to-back 140’s, followed by a clinical two-dart 91 finish culminating on tops.

However, this didn’t translate to an inspired fightback, as Smith reclaimed the initiative with a 56 checkout, to move within a leg of victory. Nevertheless, Harbour was handed a major reprieve in the fourth leg, as Smith showed uncharacteristic profligacy by missing three match darts at D20, D10 and D5 respectively. 

Harbour gratefully accepted the invitation back into the match, taking out 52 on D20 to remain in contention. Jeff is a notoriously unflappable campaigner, but he handed Harbour a chance to steal the set after failing to register a shot at double after 15 darts. 

Harbour was sat on 66, but after hitting single 2 with his first dart, he could only register a shot at bullseye, which he narrowly missed. Smith returned to the oche requiring 48 for a place in the last four; on this occasion, ‘The Silencer’ sealed it, converting D16 for a 17-dart leg, to complete a fine comeback.

Scott Mitchell 3-5 Richard Veenstra
Lakeside debutant Richard Veenstra dumped out reigning Champion Scott Mitchell to reach the semi-finals of the World Championships at Frimley Green on Friday evening.

Veenstra, who had defeated Jeffrey De Graaf and Martin Atkins to reach the last eight, led Mitchell 4-1, before ‘Scotty-Dog’ fought back valiantly to reduce the arrears to 4-3. However, Veenstra held his nerve, to set up a semi-final clash against Canada’s Jeff Smith on Saturday evening.

The first set was an extremely error-strewn affair. Mitchell missed multiple darts at double to win the opening leg, enabling Veenstra to break by pinning D3. ‘Scotty-Dog’ delivered an emphatic riposte however, converting a fabulous 141 checkout on D12 to draw level.

The third leg proved to be a comedy of errors; Mitchell was in cruise control of the leg, but left 15 after attempting to convert D20. He then bust 15 by hitting single 16, before missing two darts at D4 in the following visit. 

Veenstra was bemused, but hit D2 to reclaim the initiative. He spurned two-set darts in the fourth leg, but after Scott missed D16 for a 102 checkout, ‘Flyers’ returned to hit D6 and claim the opening set.

The 34-year-old Dutchman held throw in the opening leg of the second set, pinning D16 for a 16-darter, before capitalising on a poor leg from Mitchell to take out 48 and extend his lead in the set. The reigning Champion remained in contention by completing a regulation 60 checkout in two-darts, yet this didn’t spark a revival of his fortunes.

Scott posted a mediocre leg on his own throw, leaving 389 after 9 darts, and Veenstra, who was also throwing considerably below his best, took advantage. He coolly converted a 100 finish for a 17-dart break, to establish a 2-0 lead heading into the interval.

Mitchell emerged from the break with renewed purpose and broke Veenstra’s throw immediately, taking out 52 in two-darts. The Dutch debutant sensed an instant break back after posting his first maximum, but Scott held his nerve, converting a fine two-dart 62 kill for a 14-dart hold. 

Veenstra recorded his second maximum in as many legs, but it was to no avail, as Mitchell pinned D4 for a 17-darter, to seal the set without reply.

Scott’s finishing was imperious in the early stages of the fourth set, as he established a 2-0 advantage. He took out 101 for a 15-darter to break throw, before cementing his break with a fine 96 checkout and a second consecutive 15-dart leg. 

The sixth seed posted his first maximum as he left D20 after 12 darts as he attempted to restore parity. However, Veenstra posted a fine 78 checkout culminating on D12, for a 15-darter of his own, before pouncing on a lacklustre leg from Mitchell to break back on D20. 

The fifth leg of the set was absolutely pivotal, but ‘Flyers’ retained his composure to regain his two-set cushion, courtesy of a tremendous 110 finish on D16. Mitchell appeared bemused, as for the majority of the set, he was monopolising play.

Mitchell had the darts in the fifth set, but he relinquished this advantage by missing multiple doubles to hold throw. Scott’s doubling woes continued in the second leg, as he missed two darts at D8 and D4 for a 64 checkout, and Veenstra pinned D5 to establish a 2-0 lead. 

‘Scotty-Dog’ is renowned as being one of the most clinical finishers in the game, but his doubling was his downfall this evening. Mitchell missed two darts at D18 and D9 respectively and Veenstra took full advantage, converting a 74 finish on D20 for a 15-darter, to win his sixth consecutive leg and establish a commanding 4-1 cushion.

Veenstra had the darts in the sixth set to secure a place in the semi-finals on debut, but he produced a poor leg on throw, allowing Mitchell to pin D19 and break in 21 darts. The World Champion produced a stunning second leg, posting 6 perfect darts, before hitting D16 for an 11-dart hold. 

Veenstra remained in contention by taking out 56 on D18, yet Mitchell sealed the set in sumptuous style, converting a magnificent 142 checkout on D11 to reduce the arrears to 4-2.

The seventh set was an extremely high-quality affair, with the five winning legs consisting of 15, 13, 13, 14 and 14 dart-legs. Mitchell kicked off proceedings by holding throw in 15 darts, but Veenstra responded by pinning D16 in 13-darts to draw level. 

Mitchell was throwing extremely well, and reclaimed the lead by producing a 13-darter of his own, via D12, but Veenstra forced a fifth and decisive leg by converting 60 for an assertive 14-dart hold.

The sixth seed was under significant pressure, throwing to maintain his hopes of defending his title. However, Scott showed tremendous resilience and composure to produce a quality leg on throw. He left 96 after 12 darts, with the 34-year-old Dutchman trailing behind on 205. Mitchell finished with aplomb, pinning D18 for a fantastic 14-darter, reducing the deficit to 4-3.

This was a considerable test of character for Veenstra, but he passed it with flying colours. The Dutchman held throw majestically, courtesy of a 121 finish for a 12-darter (25, T20, D18.) Mitchell responded by hitting D16 for a 16-dart leg, before Richard showed admirable composure to hold throw in the third leg. 

Mitchell had left 40 after 12 darts for a break opportunity, but Veenstra converted 80 with his solitary dart at tops, to move one leg away from the last four. 

This left Mitchell dejected and Veenstra stormed ahead in the fourth leg. He spurned three match darts, but with Mitchell sat on 60 to prolong the contest, the Dutchman pinned D8 to seal the biggest victory of his career.
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So is Durrant switching to PDC or staying at BDO?
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I'd wager Durro and Mitchell will switch now. Don't think you're obliged to stay unless you make the semis?
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"And the devil did grin; for his darling sin is pride that apes humility." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Current setup:

Cosmo Juggler Queen 2nd 400 (18g) + One80 Reflex conversion points
Cosmo Carbon #8 locked stem
Cosmo Fit Flight Juggler yellow (ocean design)

High checkout: 124 (T20, T14, D11, steeltip)
Best 501 leg: 20 darts
(01-09-2016, 01:38 PM)jo$handaz Wrote: I'd wager Durro and Mitchell will switch now. Don't think you're obliged to stay unless you make the semis?

They can't be obliged to stay either way, Klaasen successfully sued their asses some years ago and entered the PDC.

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