Saturday, June 6, 2020

‘Dynamite’ Durrant claims second PDC title!

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Tom Beresford
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Glen Durrant produced a series of scintillating performances to claim PDC Players Championship 15 in Barnsley as the three-time World Champion picked up his second PDC title since making the switch from the BDO in January.

‘Duzza’ completed a Euro-Tour qualification double in Barnsley on Friday evening, and the confidence from that carried through to Saturday’s 128-man event. Durrant was flawless in his opening two victories as he completed wins over Matthew Edgar and Simon Stevenson without even dropping a single leg.

As Durrant progressed through the rounds, the opposition was getting stronger, but as the tournament went on, the more Durrant cruised through the gears. In the board final, Durrant edged out Australia’s Kyle Anderson 6-4 in a match where both players missed opportunities, but Durrant managed to find enough in the tank to move into the last 16 at the Barnsley Metrodome.

In the last 16, Durrant faced another tough opponent in the shape of Danny Noppert, who has already claimed a PDC title himself in what was a rematch of the 2017 BDO World Championship Final. Durrant would’ve expected Noppert to throw the kitchen sink at him, and that’s exactly what the Dutchman did, but Durrant remained focused as he completed a 6-4 success to move into the Quarter-Finals.

In the last eight, Durrant faced Michael Smith, who looked down-and-out in his last 16 clash with Justin Pipe as ‘Bully Boy’ came from 4-0 behind to edge ‘The Force’ out in a 6-5 win. Durrant was really up against it early doors, but ‘Duzza’ remained calm and focused under pressure. Durrant produced a fantastic 123 checkout to move 5-3 ahead, and that proved to be the turning point as the Teessider completed a 6-4 victory over the St Helens man.

As the Semi-Finals loomed, Durrant was preparing himself for a clash with the World number one Michael van Gerwen. Now, the odds were stacked against Durrant before the match ahead of their first meeting since Durrant made the switch from the BDO. Durrant has had to defy his crirics ever since winning his tour card in January, but Durrant remained confident in pushing MVG all the way.

‘Duzza’ completed controlled the contest from start-to-finish, and the Teesside ace made the most of every single slip-up from the World no.1 as he thrashed MVG in a scintillating 7-2 victory. Following the emphatic result, that should surely eradicate any doubt that Durrant can make it as a top PDC professional.

In the final of PDC Players Championship 15, Durrant faced a player who you wouldn’t of expected to see in today’s final before the event started in the form of Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas. The pair have crossed paths many times in the BDO, but Durrant was the clear favourite before a dart was thrown, and the three-time World Champion stamped his authority on the final as he secured an assured 8-1 victory over the Lithuanian to claim his second PDC title, and surely there’s a lot more to come from ‘Duzza’.

Durrant spoke to PDC’s Dan Dawson just seconds after claiming his second PDC title:

“I had such a bad feeling at the European Tour last weekend, and this weeks gone absolutely perfect. Oh my god, I’m so happy right now.”

“I’ve had a fabulous practise this week, and I knew that I was in good form, and I knew that with the two European Tour qualifications yesterday, that I was pretty much in the World Matchplay. And I really just wanted to enjoy today, but it’s tough enjoy it when you’ve got Michael Smith, Michael van Gerwen and Darius in the final, but it’s sinking in now, and it’s pretty, pretty special.”

On the subject of playing Michael van Gerwen for the first time, Durrant added:

“I asked him (Van Gerwen) for his shirt, before we played, I asked him, is there any chance that I can have your shirt? And, then I thought ‘that was silly’ you’ve basically just given him utter weakness. And, he said ‘I’ll give you the shirt after the Premier League. I know that he didn’t play well, I was just trying to capitalise.

“I came here (to the PDC) for moments like this, and honestly, it feels absolutely fantastic. My wife’s here tomorrow and one of my old school friends, and the feeling that I’ve got right now, is second-to-none.

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