Darryl Fitton rocked up to the stage to his usual Madness anthem to compete against Pip Blackwell and instantly slotted a 140 but lost the first leg with some poor finishing on the doubles giving Blackwell a vital break of throw. He went further behind as he missed seven darts at a double to level up and Blackwell nicked the second leg in similar vein to the opening leg. Fitton was well ahead again in the third leg only to see his darts slip into the five bed giving Blackwell a chance. Blackwell left himself 72 to put on a bit of pressure but Fitton banged home tops to half the deficit. An unlucky bounce out for Fitton gave Blackwell a decent chance for the set with 101 left; he grazed the wire on tops but would be back; and in it went first dart, first set.
Blackwell hit a 140 and a magical 130 checkout on the bull to move one leg up in the second set. Fitton responded by crashing in a 180 with his opening throw in the next leg but Blackwell stayed on his tail edging to a tops finish. Fitton made double 10 for the leg though to make it one all. Blackwell with the darts started well but was soon pegged back as Fitton surged ahead to technically take the darts, leaving 78 then tops. Fitton was still allowed to miss seven darts before doubling 10 for a break of throw. A 180 from Fitton got the crowd on their feet in the next leg, he then added a 140 to open up a considerable gap, then a 165 gave him the chance of a 10 dart leg. Fitton missed double 8 then doubled 4 with his last dart for the set.
Fitton now had the throw in the third set but it was littered with loose dart scores in the fifties. Blackwell weighed in to take advantage leaving tops with Fitton back on 210. Blackwell pulled it off first dart to snatch the lead, 1-0. A nice 140 from Fitton left him 67 and a chance to break straight back but he missed the big single 17, had to change ideas then missed the bull. Fitton obviously relieved to return to the oche stepped up to double 16 for the leg. Another 140 and a 180 in the leg put Fitton in control leaving 60 but he was unable to convert his chance on the first visit, nor the second visit, nor the third visit but had a fourth visit and he managed to pick off double 1 last dart with Blackwell still struggling to leave a finish. Blackwell was struggling to hit anything of any note whilst Fitton was hitting steady ton plus scores. Fitton again struggled with his doubles but this time Blackwell punished him on tops to make it 2-2 and set up a vital decider for the set. Fitton had an opportunity for the set leaving 48 but hit the wrong double to give Blackwell a 135 chance; he missed out, Fitton returned and saw off 18 on double 4 for the set.
Fitton carried on with his heavy scoring in the opening leg of set four but again had double trouble missing another two at double 8. Blackwell let him off the hook again; Fitton missed another two darts at double but managed to squirm his last dart in the mad house for a break of throw. A fifteenth 140 left Fitton on 64 but again he missed two double chances. Blackwell narrowly missed tops for a 157 but it was Fitton who won the leg on double 2. Blackwell looked to be lacking in confidence as he watched game after game pass him by because of his inability to score anything like he is capable of. There was more woe for Blackwell when Fitton combination finished a 134 to take the set on double 16.
Needeing just one set to reach the quarter finals Fitton resumed after the break with the darts and produced a stunning 152 finish on double 16 to bring the house down. Blackwell missed 112 to level but Fitton had now found his doubling skills to make it 2-0. Both traded a 180 maximum first throw in the next before Fitton added another three darts later to set up a 41 but fell short. Blackwell needed to take out 152; unfortunately he wasn’t up to the task and Fitton secured a showdown with Geert de Vos in the quarters.
It was Wales versus England when Jim Williams locked horns with Jamie Hughes in this evenings second match at the Lakeside. Hughes got the match away with a ton whilst Williams responded with a 140. A few wayward darts from each was halted by Williams to leave a 120 shanghai effort. He missed and Hughes kicked off the leg scoring with a tops finish on 85. A 180 from Williams put him streets ahead needing just 62 to level it up; unfortunately he snatched the double and had to wait until his next throw to double 16 for the leg. A nice 121 from Hughes was slightly bettered by Williams in the opening throw of the third leg; 167 was needed by Williams but he left it well short on 110 giving Hughes a chance that he gobbled up on tops for a 57 out shot. An uncharacteristic 28 from Hughes put Williams on the front foot in the next leg and he soon left a 38 chance that he made no bother, doubling 19. Hughes was now throwing for the set and a 140 was made slightly sweeter for him when Williams suffered a bounce out. Hughes left on 160 knew he had six darts for the set and after leaving 40 after the first three he conspired to miss his next three on the doubles. Williams suffered again on his throw allowing Hughes to take the set on double 10.
Steady 140’s from Williams gave him two attempts at 161 that he set to 66 after his first throw; then successfully targeted double 16 to win the first leg of the second set. A brilliant 124 effort on the bull from Williams just missed to leave him 25. After missing on his return, Hughes took out 36 to level the set. Williams notched another 180 on the first throw of the third leg before Hughes added one of his own to put some real pressure on Williams. Hughes then added a 126 to leave 36 again that he was equal to again to move 2-1 up. Hughes now throwing for the set just needed to hold throw and a 134 helped him to a more than handy 61 that he smashed on tops to take a 2-0 lead in sets.
A poor 25 start in the third set was capitalised upon by Williams hitting a 140 followed by a 100 as Hughes couldn’t get out of double figures. As expected Williams broke the Hughes throw to make it 1-0 on double 1 despite missing eight darts at various doubles. A 139 and a 180 from Hughes gave him a chance to break back instantly and with a 130 he left himself 52 for the leg that he sorted no problems for an 11 dart leg. A 137 from Hughes got the third leg away and it looked to be going with throw until a 180 from Williams gave him a chance to break, he was let off the hook after he missed some doubles when Hughes missed a big number had to force a rethink and missed double 4; Williams moved 2-1 up two darts later. Now throwing for the set Williams had it all to do needing 156 with Hughes on 68, he left 96 after his visit and Hughes managed to leave 20 after missing tops. Williams himself missed tops and Hughes sealed the leg first dart and set himself to throw for the set. Williams was first down leaving 164 but Hughes added pressure leaving just 60 if Williams failed; Williams did fail and Hughes made it 3-0 in set two darts later on tops.
More bad luck for Williams in the opening leg of the fourth set as another bounce out detracted from his score to give Hughes the upper hand on his throw. Williams wasn’t giving up yet as he lashed in a 140 to leave 76, but he just missed tops letting Hughes in with a 102 chance. Williams managed to get back on the oche but wasted all three darts at a double and amazingly all three again after Hughes missed his chance. Nerves were now peppering the leg as Hughes struggled on tops with his throw and Williams returned again; again he missed but this time Hughes took his chance finishing off 20 on double 4. Williams was now looking like a flustered Tin Tin under the stage lights but he managed to break Hughes back to stop the rot, 1-1. A succession of 60’s was eclipsed with some heavy scoring by Hughes leaving 68 to go 2-1 up and one from the match. Hughes missed tops and Williams sorted out a combination to finish on double 12 to keep him alive. A big 180 from Hughes put him well clear in the fourth leg and he was perfectly placed on 78 until a 180 from Williams left him 41 and added some pressure to Hughes’ throw. Hughes maybe rattled was way off and Williams took the set.
Hughes was now throwing for the set and got off with a 100. He missed 66 for the leg with a stray dart at tops but Williams pulled his last dart at double 16 to sneak the leg. Hughes made sure next time to move ever closer to the match. Williams fired in a 180 and raced away to a tops finish with Hughes back in the two hundreds to level the set but knowing that he still needed a break to stay in the championships. Was this his chance as he knocked in a 180 to take the darts in the third leg, added a 140 to leave 121? He left it on 64 but Hughes turned up the heat leaving 40 if he missed; Williams did miss and it was 2-1 Hughes as he pinged tops first dart. Another two 180’s from Williams set up a fantastic 11 dart leg and he now had to do the hard work of breaking Hughes to take the set and keep the match alive. So, decider time with Hughes throwing first. Hughes was on the outshot first leaving 72 with Williams on 146. Hughes trebled 20 to set up double 6 but he was way wide, Williams had his chance but missed the treble in the permutation allowing Hughes to take the match on the unorthodox double 3 to go through.
The bookies favourite and BDO number 1 seed Glen Durrant was up against Paul Hogan in the final match of the evening session. Hogan kicked off with a 140 but then slipped up with a 26; luckily for him Durrant was also misfiring and Hogan first to a finish slotted 52 to open the scoring. A first maximum of the match from Durrant didn’t help him as Hogan took out a stunning 140 checkout to break Durrant’s throw and go two legs up. More great darts from Hogan, piling in the 140’s and a handy 90 gave him a 70 shot for the set. Brilliantly Hogan made it in two darts to whitewash the favourite 3-0 in the opening set.
Hogan was blasting away at the treble twenty and was in danger of breaking Durrant again needing just 56 for a fourth successive leg; no mistake 16 and tops and it was 1-0 to Hogan to give him 4 out of 5 doubles. Hogan was well ahead in the second leg, leaving 81 that he smashed home on a bull finish to stun Durrant and his following. Hogan again rocketed away, collecting trebles for fun needed 44 to take the set in the next leg and he finished it off with two darts to make it 2-0 in sets and to record his sixth leg on the bounce. What did Durrant have to offer, was the top seed heading for a fall or was it just a temporary glitch?
Durrant got off the mark in the first leg of the third set but Hogan pulled the next leg back to level the set. A couple of 140’s from Hogan left him a 121 attempt that he messed up leaving 79. Durrant pressured the throw hitting 130 to leave tops but it was to no avail as Hogan took out the 79 on tops to move one leg away from the third set. Durrant was struggling with finding the treble on both 20’s and the cover at 19’s as Hogan added another 140 to his repertoire. Durrant battled back and finished off 86 on his last dart to keep him in the set at two apiece. Durrant looked like he had a new lease of life as the covers were going in this time, treble 19 being his saviour on a few occasions. Hogan needed shanghai for the set but missed the treble 20 by a fraction to leave 78 that he checked out on the next throw after Durrant had made a calamitous effort to save the set.
Hogan was now in dreamland and unbelievably made a 130 on the bull with Durrant on a one darter for the leg. Hogan was producing some of the most clinical darts ever seen at the Lakeside, with a 10 out of 13 record on the doubles. Hogan found himself in another great position requiring 101 for 2-0 in the set and knowing he would have six darts. Hogan left 36 and hit it second dart to need just one leg for the match and a major scalp. A cover treble 18 saved Durrant from a poor score and a massive 180 put him clear in the third leg, needing 170 with Hogan well back in the 200’s. Durrant left 51 that he took out on the next throw. A disastrous 30 start from Hogan was duly punished as Durrant fired in 100 and took the darts effectively with a 140. Durrant slipped and Hogan fought back needing 149 with Durrant on 79. Hogan left 109 as Durrant dropped short on tops, Hogan missed double 8 but had the chance to return after Durrant missed double 10 with all three darts. It was Hogans big chance but he inexplicably went in the double 16 to bust his score. Durrant came back from the dead to take double 10 and save the match and claim his first set.
Durrant snatched the darts from Hogan again in the opener of the fifth set with a 140 and a 180 as Hogan had his time to struggle in the double figures. Durrant needed 82 with Hogan on 104 but he missed double 5 letting Hogan in. Hogan missed by a whisker on double 18; Durrant returned to take the leg, last dart on double 2. Hogan was first at a finish on 161 but it was a big ask, leaving 61 as Durrant attacked 147. Durrant missed the double and Hogan stepped in to take his fifth leg in a row and to lead 2-0 in the set. Hogan looked a shadow of himself and Durrant also had had a role reversal with his body language suggesting he wanted to win and wasn’t beaten. Hogan had a chance to save the set on 84 and he did just that on double 12. Durrant was now throwing for the set and again cover shots with the last darts just kept him on throw. Needing 130 for the set Durrant again made a last ditch cover dart to leave a 36 on his return. He toed the oche and made sure doubling 9 for the set.
Durrant’s fans had livened up and Durrant gave them more to cheer about when he notched a 180 to open the sixth set. With 118 left, Durrant pulled off another treble 18 to set up 24 if he was to come back; indeed he did as Hogan pulled his double and Durrant doubled 12 for the leg. Hogan now with the throw put in two 140 efforts to leave 36. Again he hit the wrong double but managed to tidy up this time, seeing off double 14 for the second leg. Durrant now was at his formidable best in the next leg punishing all of Hogan’s slack darts to leave 36 with Hogan back on 156. Durrant got the scare of his life when Hogan blasted in two treble 20’s and wired the double 18. Durrant finished off 36 under severe pressure last dart and turned to face the crowd with a knowing glare to take a 2-1 lead. Hogan levelled on double 18 for a 66 outshot to set up a decider. Durrant started splendidly with a 122 and wasn’t punished when he slipped up as Hogan couldn’t find a treble in six darts. Durrant moved two hundred points ahead and with six darts for 76 polished it off no problem in three darts on tops.
It was now all or nothing for both players in probably the most tense match of the tournament so far. Winner takes all in a sudden death last set. A 180 from Durrant dug deep into Hogan’s throw and effectively gave him the darts. Durrant missed shanghai as did Hogan but it was Hogan who looked more upset as Durrant led for the first time in the whole match. Hogan looked beaten and obviously hadn’t been able to dispel that missed double for the match from his mind but he chucked in a 140 to give him a 161 chance that he managed to leave on 83. He returned when Durrant missed the bull but so did Hogan and Durrant went 2-0 up slotting double two needing one leg for the match. Hogan throwing to stay in it was putting up a fight with a quick fire 180 to leave 161 and a glimmer of hope. He left 83 with Durrant on 43, it was now or never for Hogan and he showed tremendous character to double 18 to stay in it. Leg four was away with a 140 each but Hogan gifted the advantage to Durrant hitting on 45 to Durrant’s 140. Durrant worked his way to 87, leaving 32 for the match. He stepped up and two darts later the match was over. 4-3 Glen Durrant.