Noppert freezes out Smith in deciding leg to claim maiden PDC major title at 2022 UK Open

Danny Noppert has become the 2022 UK Open champion after edging past Michael Smith in an 11-10 victory in Minehead with 'The Freeze' denying 'Bully Boy' a chance at darting destiny again.

Despite the averages being a massive disparity, Smith's doubling woes helped Noppert stay with him.

He battled a partisan crowd who whistled throughout the tie, 'The Freeze' silenced them sending it all the way to a decider and producing a quality leg at the right time as the St Helens ace suffered his eighth major final and tenth overall TV final defeat and one where he will feel his best chance passed him by.

First blood went to Smith with a 62 checkout for a 14-dart hold and broke from there with a 54 checkout. A 180 and 124 checkout saw Smith continue to dominate as he held to go 3-0 up.

Noppert finally got off the mark with a first 180 and 114 checkout to hold and make it 3-1 and made it back to back legs to make it 3-2.

Smith faltered on the outer ring on return and Noppert cleaned up to break and make it 4-3 and throwing for parity. But again, it was a break as Noppert didn’t leave a finish and Smith hit double 19 to make it 5-3.

Again though, it was another break with Noppert making it five consecutive on double 10 to make it 5-4. He finally held to make it 5-5 on double 20.

Smith held to go 6-5 up after five consecutive breaks of throw before Noppert’s hold. He continued to miss darts at double though and handed Noppert a hold for parity at 6-6.

Both hit 180’s with Noppert missing 114 for a break but two missed at 75 from Smith allowed the Dutchman back for double 10 which he pinned again for a 7-6 lead and a break.

It was a poor leg though from Noppert and Smith hit 80 on double 10 to break back. It was another 180 for Noppert but he couldn’t pin 100 and it handed 97 over to Smith which he hit to hold and make it 8-7.

More missed darts at double from Smith though crept in and Noppert returned to hold and make it 8-8. Noppert missed 74 on double 12 for a break but again Smith missed.

Albeit he was handed a reprieve to make it 9-8 with the crowd whistling on every double Noppert was throwing at.

Smith hit a sixth maximum but Noppert was handed multiple shots to hold defying the whistles to hit double 10 again and make it 9-9.

Noppert hit a maximum but wasn’t enough to get onto a finish and he was hoping for a shot if Smith missed 112 which he got.

Albeit Noppert couldn’t hit 114 and Smith took aim at 68 to go one away and he pinned double 10.

Noppert took aim at 110 to stay in the tie but missed double 18, he got another shot though with Smith missing 124 on the bull. This allowed Noppert back and he hit double four to send it all the way.

Noppert hit a 180 at the perfect time in the decider as Smith’s scoring started to fall off but he wasn’t at a finish though after slipping into treble one on the next turn.

He left double 20 though with Smith on 146 but he couldn’t get a shot and Noppert returned for the title which he claimed.

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PDC UK Open Danny Noppert

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