Durrant sees off defending champion Van Gerwen in thriller, Smith edges past Ratajski
Van Gerwen won for the first time against Durrant during the PDC Autumn Series but on stage, ‘Duzza’ still has the Green Machine’s number as the latter won’t make it number five as his only big stage win this year remains the UK Open.
In truth, MVG didn’t do a lot wrong with both players averaging 102 and one missed dart in the latter part of the match costing him.
Van Gerwen began by claiming the opening leg on throw against Durrant but he missed bull for a 132 checkout and Durrant replied with double six for 1-1.
They exchanged the next few legs with it very much all to play for albeit with Van Gerwen holding a slender advantage at the interval.
Durrant himself missed a 132 himself with double 20 instead of bull this time and Van Gerwen edged ahead 4-3.
Durrant squared it up and then the pivotal moment occurred. MVG missed one dart at double 16 and the former broke to go one away. In the requisite leg, Van Gerwen missed his shot at an 80 checkout and Durrant left 40 which he pinned for victory and he let out a big show of emotion.
He broke throw in the early stages to move 2-1 up on Ratajski. Despite that, ‘The Polish Eagle’ took out 74 to go 3-2 up with a 99 average at the time. He then led once more at 4-3 up after Smith missed a dart at double five.
Smith came back with consecutive legs to break through and go 5-4 ahead and he suddenly found himself one away. From there, he claimed the tie. Could it be Smith’s weekend?
James Wade (97.04) 6-3 (88.04) Jeff Smith
Nathan Aspinall (101.1) 6-1 (84.09) Darius Labanauskas
Daryl Gurney (102.36) 6-2 (88.09) Cody Harris
Gerwyn Price (101.46) 6-3 (88.49) Vincent van der Voort
Rob Cross (90.18) 6-0 (75.97) Steve Beaton
Peter Wright (101.49) 6-3 (94.13) Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen (102) 4-6 (102.5) Glen Durrant