Smith surges into World Matchplay final bringing Durrant's dream run to an end
Michael Smith is into the World Matchplay final and will face Rob Cross tomorrow night after ending Glen Durrant's dream run at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
Smith saw off Durrant in a 17-10 win and will have a golden opportunity to win a first major title tomorrow night to finally end his run of misfortune in big finals.
He averaged 100.7 in the end; with nine 180's and fifty percent on the doubles in a polished performance from 'Bully Boy'.
At the first break, Smith was in command early on; he was 4-1 up with a 98 checkout to ask the question of Durrant even at this stage. It started to look ominous as Smith went 6-1 up capped off with a 111 checkout.
Durrant finally stopped the rot and reduced the deficit to 6-2 - Smith though went once again into a five-leg advantage going 7-2 up. From there it was 8-2 as his sensational finishing continued with 8/9 on the doubles.
Smith didn't buckle and went to 10-3 up and the question now was he going to finish off the tie or would the occasion get to him. Durrant took three of the last five legs though to go into the next interval with a glimmer of hope of clawing it back.
That was almost extinguished with Smith smashing in a 126 checkout to break back and go 11-5 up. Durrant broke back himself and a sequence occurred when they exchanged breaks. As a result it ended up 12-8 to Smith with Durrant clawing yet more legs back.
Smith at the next interval got back on track with a 13-darter to go 13-8 up. From there the writing was on the wall with him marching into a 15-8 lead meaning he only needed two and despite some late legs from Durrant, he edged over the line to cap off a brilliant performance.
Rob Cross (96.64) 17-15 (92.46) Daryl Gurney
Glen Durrant (94.16) 10-17 (100.77) Michael Smith