The reigning Lakeside world champion Glen Durrant kicked off the defence of his title with a fairly comfortable 3–0 victory over Gary Robson. The number one seed got off to a flying start as he fired in a 13-darter on the back of a superb attempt for a 125 finish for what would of been a 12-dart leg. Robson had his chances to level uo the contest, but he missed a dart at D16 for a 108 finish, and it was punished by Durrant as he pinned D9 to break as he doubled his lead in the opening set.
The Teesside-based ace produced a 15-darter to seal the opening set as he piled in a 70 finish as he pinned D16.
The reigning Lakeside world champion averaged 95.94 in that opening set, in what was a comfortable trio of legs from Durrant. The Middlesbrough man picked up where he left off as the second set got underway as he fired in a 13-dart to win his fourth leg on the spin as he pinned D5 to break the throw of Robson. Duzza then went on to pile in yet another 13-dart leg in what was a tremendous start to the tournament from the number one seed.
Gary Robson agonisingly missed five darts at a double to get his first leg on the board, and he was punished in kind by Durrant as he took out 78 for a 15-dart leg to take the set 3-0. The defending champion upped the ante in that second set as he averaged 109.98 with a very impressive 117.44 first 9 average. However, the third set was packed with much more drama than the opening two sets. Robson got his first leg on the board as he took out an impressive 116 finish to break Durrant’s throw, however the Teesside star fired straight back as he took out 111 to level the set, with Robson waiting to pounce as he waited on D8. Durrant had squandered three clear darts to move 2-1 ahead, and it was punished by ‘Robbo’ as he pinned D15 to move 2-1 ahead. But, yet again as you’d expect, Durrant came firing back with a 15-dart leg as he took out 76 to move within a leg of the second round. Glen Durrant did safely book his place in the second round, but it wasn’t short of drama as the Middlesbrough man narrowly missed a dart at the bull to end the match perfectly with a 170 finish, but the pair between them went on to miss six darts at a double before Durrant pinned the winning D2 to secure his place in the second round. Durrant will face either Darryl Fitton or Justin Thompson in round two. Overall, it was a comfortable victory for the number one seed and a impressive display in his bid to defend his world title. A 95.29 3-dart average for Durrant on his way to victory will please him, but to his own admittion, he has so much more to offer.
Photo : David Gill