Christopher Kempf’s Match of the Week: Harms falls to Durrant in Lakeside last-leg decider

By Christopher Kempf
10 DECEMBER 2016 • 5:06PM 

MATCH OF THE WEEK: Glen Durrant 4-3 Wesley Harms (Winmau World Masters quarter-finals)

Is Glen Durrant coming to the end of his time in the British Darts Organisation?

Duzza certainly seems to have no qualms about encouraging such speculation.

His triumph at Lakeside this past weekend certainly had an air of finality to it, for with one notable exception, Durrant steamrolled the BDO field en route to a spectacular defence of his World Masters title.

That exception was Wesley Harms, who looked for the first half hour of the match as if he was about do to the BDO number one what Duzza had done to so many opponents in 2016.

After wiring the dart at the bull for a 12-dart 170 finish, Durrant’s scoring dropped off dramatically.

Harms responded to losing the first leg with a 180 in the first visit of each of the last two legs of the first set, smashing through the Englishman’s anaemic attempt to hold throw in 13 darts and comfortably holding his own in 17.

Harms would only give Durrant one more dart at the double in the first two sets as he opened up a 2-0 lead.

Although Harms, after five legs, had seemingly made it halfway to the semi-finals, the World Masters’ first to four best of three leg sets format in the quarter-finals, like a funhouse mirror’s distortion of one’s reflection, makes large leads seem small and blows small leads out of proportion to their surmountability.

Durrant won the subsequent two legs in five visits, halving Harms’ lead in just over five minutes and nearly equalising the two darters’ averages.

Just as it seemed that Durrant, throwing first in the third set, would begin to take the advantage over his lower-ranked rival, he failed to check out from 58, sticking his tongue out in disgust as two leg-clinching darts missed their mark.

Duzza abandoned the second leg, and with it the fourth set, to Harms with four indifferent visits.

Yet at this point Durrant was still only four legs behind. And gratifyingly for the defending champion, Harms began to feel his nerves with the finishing line in sight.

In an unexpected display of weakness, Harms proceeded to lose those four legs to his opponent, finding only one visit of 140 and never once attempting a dart at a double to win any leg.

Durrant did not produce any great heroics to erase the Dutchman’s advantage, indeed, his average improved only slightly over those four legs as he needed six visits to win two of the legs.

It was Harms whose performance fell significantly below par in finding only 14 trebles over the course of 20 scoring visits.

If the two darters had not fiercely contested sets their opponents had, to this point, they did battle in the deciding seventh set as much with themselves as with their opponents.

Harms raced ahead in the first leg, earning for himself six darts to win the leg from 83.

A dart well to the inside of the double five thwarted his efforts, allowing Duzza to come back from a poor position to break throw.

Then, incredibly, Durrant foundered on his own throw, failing to check out from 68 in two visits in almost identical fashion.

In the decider, with the Lakeside crowd cheering his comeback, Durrant finally turned up the heat with a score of 140 followed by an elusive maximum in his third visit, leaving Harms too far behind on his own throw to trouble his top ranked opponent.

With a Dutch thorn removed from his side, Duzza went on to claim a second World Masters title. He will have a fond memory of this triumph at Lakeside, even if it is indeed his last.

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