In a week of shocks at the Lakeside, it is somewhat of a surprise that the two top seeds will compete in the final.

Mark McGeeney, with a 6-4 defeat of underdog Michael Unterbuchner, takes the second spot in Sunday’s final. He will meet defending champion Glen Durrant and battle for the £100,000 prize, and the biggest win of his life. The Unterbuchner fairytale is over, but the 29-year-old won hearts and minds on his brilliant Lakeside run.

The BDO world number one opened the semi-final in fine style, winning the first two sets. But it could have been a very different story, had Unterbuchner punished the misfiring McGeeney. The double trouble that plagued the German in the early rounds returned, allowing the Gladiator to build a 2-0 lead.

But this championship has been rife with comebacks. Unterbuchner himself has staged many. This was another. The T-Rex roared into life, while McGeeney flagged. From 2-0 down, the Munich man went 3-2 up.

Then it was McGeeney’s turn to fight back. The Gladiator battled his way back into the game, making it 3-3 before taking the next two sets. All of a sudden, the Englishman had one foot in the final. But the best German ever to appear at the Lakeside – not that he’s had much competition – was not done. A brilliant 149 checkout and an 11-darter not only made it 5-4, but gave him a chance of completing an almighty turnaround.

It wasn’t to be. McGeeney wrestled back control with an unusual 110 checkout, following double ten with the double 15 after a treble 20. One match dart missed the target but, needing 36 to seal a spot in the final, the second was straight and true. McGeeney will now make a bid for his first world title against Durrant in what should be an epic encounter at the Lakeside.

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Author: Ed McCosh