The afternoon session from day 13 at Alexandra Palace featured two world champions, one world finalist, and an eight-time major champion. In the first match, 2006 Lakeside champion Jelle Klaasen tried to follow up his victory over the Power with a win over 2014 Lakeside runner-up Alan Norris. In the second match, James Wade looked to keep his dream of a maiden title alive against the reigning World Champion Gary Anderson.
Head to Head stats:
Norris 0-2 Klaasen
Klaasen kicked off with a 43 first leg with the throw, but then powered on to leave 90 after 12, which he took out bull-d20 for the first leg of the match. Norris then upped the ante, throwing in the first 180 of the match to leave 96, eventually cleaning up to level at 1-1. Third leg, Klaasen hit his first 180 to leave 110, which he converted on his favourite d18 for a 2-1 lead. Klaasen kicked off the fourth leg with six perfect darts, but missed the seventh. Meanwhile, Norris was waiting on 121, and he just wired the bull for what would have been a set-leveling checkout. A comedy of errors ensued before Norris finally took d4 to save the set. Norris jumps up in the fifth leg with a timely 180, but let Klaasen back into it after he missed d4 and d2, both inside. Klaasen missed the bull for a 122 before Norris kept his calm to drill d1 for the first set against throw.
Second set, Norris never was in danger first leg with throw, eventually cleaning up d10. Second leg, Klaasen missed bull for a 121, but converted 25 with his unique 13-d6 to level the set. After a nervy leg where both struggled to get down from around 200, Norris wired tops for a 68, while Klaasen waited on 20. Klaasen then took the gift, hitting d10 first dart for a break of throw and a 2-1 lead. But Klaasen never looked likely to hold and win the set. Norris was first to a finish, and leveled the set with a beautiful 82 checkout on tops. However, Klaasen stepped up in the deciding leg: He started with his fourth 180. Then, needing 116 after only 9 darts and with Norris not even on a finish, Klaasen found the treble with the second dart and d18 with the third for his first set.
Klaasen tried to finish off 82 the traditional 2-d20-d20 way, but missed the second d20. Norris then took out d16 for the second time in the match for a break of throw. He consolidated the break with a 16-darter on tops. Norris then mixed brilliance with pub league. He kicked off with two 180s, but then hit skinny 5 to end his 9-dart hopes. Left on 75, Norris hit t17, but then proceeded to bust after hitting fat 9 and and d7 instead of fat 7. But with Klaasen unable to save the set with an 87, Norris atoned, taking the 75 t17-d12 and with it a 2-1 lead in the match.
Norris started the fourth set with an 11-darter, finishing 81 on d12. Klaasen evened the set with a 65 on tops, and against the throw left his favoured d18 with a brilliant 137 from 173. After Norris missed tops for a 107, Klaasen hit d9 with his second dart for a break and a 2-1 lead. Throwing for the set, Klaasen seemed in control, but wired d10 for a 71. Norris then leveled with a 121 on the bull. Klaasen struggled to find a treble in the deciding leg, and Norris took 59 the conventional t19-d1 route for a 3-1 lead in sets and a 108.0 average in the set.
With Norris not on a finish, Klaasen missed d18 for a 132, but he hit d9 second dart for a 1-0 lead in the set. Klaasen then powered in his fifth maximum to leave 71. He converted the 71 like he did to knock out the Power for a break of throw and a 2-1 lead. Throwing for the set, Klaasen struggled to get going, and Norris eventually took out 81 with another conventional 7-t14-d16 combination to halve the deficit. But Norris could not level with the darts, as Klaasen ended a brilliant 13-darter on tops for the set with a 109.2 average and to close back to 3-2 in the match.
After Norris missed tops for a 64, Klaasen cleaned up 48 on d18 for a quality 14-dart leg against throw. Norris landed his seventh 180 to leave 127 and force Klaasen to take out 145 if he wanted to hold. Klaasen seemed up for the task, hitting two trebles before going well inside on d14. Norris could not capitalize, missing the bull for a 127, and Klaasen took out d7 first dart for a 2-0 lead. Both kicked off the third leg with 180s, but only Klaasen was able to get down to 141 with a second 180. Yet again on the 9, Klaasen finally made it seven perfect darts with a t20, but his dart at t15 went awry. On 56 for the set, Klaasen missed fat 20 first dart with a single 1, but took the set anyway 19-d18 to pull level at 3-3.
Level for the first time since he won the second set, Klaasen hit a brilliant 171 and left his favourite double after 12 darts, which he hit for a 13-darter and the lead. Norris responded with a 13-darter on d18 of his own to level the set and the match. In the third leg, Klaasen missed four darts at double before Norris broke on d10 to regain the lead in the set and the match. Norris left 76 after 12, and with Klaasen waiting on 83, took out tops last dart in hand to seal the set. Norris thus took a 4-3 lead into the last interval and would have the comfort of the throw in the eighth set.
Norris wired tops for a 160, and then proceeded to miss three at tops, the first time all match that he missed with three darts in hand. Klaasen then hit d10 for a 60 and a crucial break of throw. Norris, however, broke back with the best leg of the match, nailing d12 for a 10-darter that one dart earlier came within a millimeter from being the first 9-darter of the tournament. Back on throw, Norris scored merely 4 (s1-s1-s2) from 107, but Klaasen could not capitalize. Eventually, Klaasen missed two darts at d8, and Norris took out d18 to move within a leg of victory. But from nowhere, Klaasen again had six perfect darts to start a leg, and finished an 11-darter on d8 to force a decider. Klaasen’s brilliant form continued, throwing in his 11th and 12th 180s to leave 46 before Norris threw his 12th to leave 59. But Klaasen saved the match, hitting 10-d18 to force a ninth and deciding set.
In the deciding set, with Norris well behind, Klaasen hit tops for a 13-darter and a 1-0 lead. On his throw, Norris was only down to 286 after 9, but hit his 13th 180 to get back into the leg. However, he missed d16 for the 106, and Klaasen took out 68 t5-17-d18 to move within a leg of victory. Klaasen’s 13th 180 left 47, and with Norris not even on a finish, he finally took out d18 at the fourth attempt to make it five legs on the trot and a 5-4 win. Klaasen averaged 99.35 to Norris’s 98.38, and both averaged over 43% on the doubles.
Norris – 98.38
Klaasen – 99.35
Norris – 13
Klaasen – 13
Anderson vs Wade
Anderson 24-1-11 (7-1-0 in 2015) Wade
Anderson took out 68 on d4 to win the first leg, but Wade woke up with a 14-darter on d8 to level the set. Anderson threw in another regulation 13-darter with the throw for a 2-1 lead before leaving 86 after 12 to put pressure on Wade to take out 96. But Wade was up to the task, hitting d8 last dart in hand to force a deciding leg. Anderson missed bull for an 86, but came back after Wade couldn’t take out 145. The World Champion won the first set on the same d12 that won him the title 12 months ago.
With the throw, Wade could only manage a shot at 141, which he could not convert. Anderson then cleaned up 57 for a break. Anderson followed the break with 8 perfect darts, but missed outside d12 by less than a whisker. He eventually completed an 11-darter on d6. Three consecutive 140s left Anderson 81, and he finished a whitewash set on tops for a 13-dart leg and a 2-0 lead. Anderson averaged 118.66 in the set.
Anderson kicked off the third set with his fourth maximum, and he finished it off on tops for a 66 checkout and a regulation 12-darter. Against the throw, Anderson pumped in five trebles in three visits to leave a finish, and eventually cleaned up on tops for a 2-0 lead. Throwing for the set, Anderson’s fifth maximum left 161, and a 137 left him d12. He hit it at the second attempt to win his seventh consecutive leg, with Wade not managing a single dart at double in any of the seven. Anderson averaged a mere 106 in the set. Through three sets, Anderson had converted all nine of his attempts at 80 or less.
Anderson missed tops for the first time from six attempts in the match, and Wade capitalized with an 88 on the Mensur to hold and win his first leg since the first set. However, Anderson again left 130 after 9, and ended a 13-darter with a dart dead-center in tops to level the set at 1. Anderson’s sixth 180 gave him the lead in the leg and left 121, but he missed the bull. Wade then checked out 110 on d15 to hold. Remarkably, the 110 checkout was his highest score of the leg. That checkout woke Wade up, and he was first to a finish on Anderson’s leg. Wade missed bull for an 88 checkout, but Anderson missed tops again for a 64. Wade then took out d10 last dart in hand for his first set.
Wade finally found his first maximum with his first three darts of the fifth set, but he could not find a treble on a 121 that he needed to break, as Anderson held with a regulation 14-darter on tops. Anderson’s seventh maximum left 68, but Wade wired d19 for a 158 to hold. However, Anderson missed tops on a 60-something checkout for the third time in six legs, before Wade finally found d19 last dart in hand. But Wade could not find anything in the next leg, and Anderson held on tops for a 17-darter with Wade barely on a finish at 151. Anderson’s eighth maximum left 90 after 9 darts, yet Wade responded with his second 180 to leave 61. But the World Champion’s class came through in the end, hitting a brilliant bull last dart in hand for a 4-1 lead in sets. Anderson’s average through 19 legs was a staggering 105.71.
Anderson stole the darts with a ninth maximum with his first three darts of the set and left 84 after only 9 darts. With Wade waiting on 44, Anderson missed the bull. But Wade wasn’t up to the challenge, missing two at tops to hold. Anderson cleaned up the 25 on d6 for a break of throw and to move within two legs of victory. Anderson remained in top gear, throwing in a 13-darter on tops with Wade 211 points behind. Throwing to save the match, Wade took 9 darts to find a treble. After Wade finally found a sole d20, Anderson responded with a tenth maximum and yet again was on tops after 12 darts. With Wade still not on a finish after 15 darts, Anderson finally missed three darts at double, but he cleaned up d10 for a 16-darter for the match. Anderson averaged over 105 and 53% on his doubles. He was 13 of 14 on checkouts of 61 or less, with the only miss being in the final leg.
Anderson – 105.25
Klaasen – 88.05
Anderson – 10
Wade – 2
Alan Norris 4-5 Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson 5-1 James Wade
By Burton DeWitt