World number one Glen Durrant won the 40th staging of the BDO World Championship with a 7-3 victory over Dutch debutant, Danny Noppert,, on a memorable night of action at the Lakeside Country Club on Sunday evening.
Durrant had dominated the BDO circuit throughout 2016 and was under massive pressure to deliver this week after his previous World Championship heartbreak at the Lakeside. However, 'Duzza' held his nerve magnificently in Sunday's final to clinch his maiden world title and the 100,000 pound winner's cheque.
The 46-year-old Teessider averaged 93.48, landed thirteen maximums and posted 87 ton-plus scores to crown the greatest night of his darting life. Noppert battled valiantly and performed magnificently on his Lakeside debut, but he was convincingly beaten despite averaging 93.30 and also landing thirteen maximums.
The final began in blistering fashion, with Durrant registering seven perfect darts in the very first leg. The top seed then endured double-trouble but eventually pegged D1 with his eighth attempt at double to draw first blood.
'Duzza' extended his lead on D2 before Noppert opened his account with a 16-dart hold. The Dutchman registered his first maximum as he attempted to pressure the Teessider, but Durrant held firm to clinch the opening set with a 13-dart hold culminating on D3.
This was the first time Noppert had been behind in sets throughout the entire tournament, but he responded impressively. He posted his second maximum and dispatched a 64 finish for a 15-dart break, only to see Durrant respond in kind, securing the second consecutive 15-darter after he clinically converted a 100 kill on tops.
The Lakeside debutant wasn't deterred however. He fired in his third maximum and hit D2 for the third consecutive break of throw, before restoring parity at one set apiece in impressive fashion. Durrant left 66 after just 12 darts but wasn't afforded a shot, as 'Noppie' followed his fourth 180 by hitting D6 to complete a nerveless 72 checkout.
Durrant had the opportunity to break straight back early in the third, but he spurned three darts at double as Noppert sank D12 to lead for the first time. The Teessider replied with a 16-dart hold and registered his third maximum to pressure 'Noppie', but the 26-year-old took out 52 to regain the lead, before securing the initiative with a cool 13-darter via D12.
The top seed hit the front in set four with a clinical two-dart 81 combination, but Noppert responded in kind, with an 80 outshot for another 14-darter. Durrant maintained his composure however, nailing D16 with more conviction for a precious hold, before levelling up proceedings at two apiece; following his sixth maximum by nailing D3.
It was a pulsating affair with constant shifts in momentum. The third seed drew first blood in the fifth set by converting D10 for a 13-darter; having landed his fifth maximum earlier in the leg. 'Noppie' then wired the bullseye for a spectacular 164 finish as Durrant held throw on D4, before a dramatic third leg ensued.
The Dutch debutant crashed in his sixth maximum to continue his prolific scoring, but then spurned five clear darts at double to hand Durrant a golden break opportunity. The Middlesbrough man needed no invitation; taking out 56 to break, before following up back-to-back maximums with a 15-darter on D4 to claim a 3-2 advantage.
'Duzza' reacted to this pivotal moment with jubilation as he then kicked off the sixth set with his ninth maximum. Noppert appeared unflappable however and delivered an emphatic riposte to fightback once again. The Dutch ace secured an instant break with the best leg of the tournament; sinking D18 to round-off a sublime 10-dart leg.
The third seed then endured some jitters in the finishing department, but recomposed to double his tally on D4, before he had the opportunity to clinch the set without reply. Nevertheless, he spurned two set darts as Durrant pegged a nerveless 74 outshot to prolong the set, but Noppert held his nerve to hit D10 and level the contest inside 15 darts.
Noppert had the darts in the seventh set, but 'Duzza' reeled off a clinical sequence of darts to clinch the set without reply. Noppert made a sluggish start after the interval and Durrant took full advantage; registering successive 14-darters to seal command, before dispatching a 74 finish on tops to wrap up the set and restore his slender cushion.
Nevertheless, the eighth set was absolutely pivotal. The 26-year-old from Jourte halted his slide on D18 after Durrant missed three darts at double for a fourth successive leg, but he was unable to cement this hold. The pair each kicked off the second leg with their tenth maximums, but Durrant squared the set on D2 after Noppert spurned four at double.
The topsy-turvy nature of this content continued. Durrant missed D18 for a 147 checkout as Noppert secured the third successive break with a 13-darter on tops, but Durrant struck back with a clinical two-dart 72 outshot after Noppert missed D12 for the set. This error proved costly, as the Teessider then took out 48 in two darts to establish a two-set lead.
For the first time in the contest, Durrant had control and it was imperative for Noppert to hit back. Nevertheless, the Dutchman endured a frustrating set as the top seed moved to the brink of victory. 'Noppie' hit the front in the ninth set with a confident 60 kill, before Durrant claimed an error-strewn second leg.
The Teesside ace fired in his eleventh maximum, but bust an 80 finish, before missing the big single 20 on his return to the oche. Noppert couldn't capitalise however, missing five darts at double as 'Duzza' levelled on D10. The 46-year-old sensed blood, and recorded consecutive 13-darters to establish a commanding 6-3 advantage.
The Dutchman was faced with the uphill task of having to win four straight sets, but he continued to battle resiliently. He crashed in his eleventh 180 and registered a 14-dart break on D16, but Durrant produced a timely riposte; firing in a 14-dart break of his own to wrestle back the initiative.
The 46-year-old was closing in on victory, but squandered three darts at double to hold as Noppert posted D10 for yet another break of throw. 'Duzza' fought back once more however; recording his thirteenth maximum and a 14-darter on D12 to move to the brink of victory, before defying Noppie's 13th 180 to nail D16 and seal the famous title.
It was a disappointing evening for Noppert, but he enjoyed an incredible Lakeside debut and was proud of his efforts. "It was a really hard match today. It was not my best performance this tournament. I think he deserved this title; he was the best player this year, but I'm confident at the moment and I'm looking forward to next year."
Durrant was inevitably jubilant and admitted that this triumph marks one of the greatest moments of his life. "I'm the champion and it's a culmination of a journey and a real dream. It supersedes everything and I'll show real respect to this trophy. I'm the happiest man in England right now."