Lakeside 2017 Match Reports
Lakeside Day 8 - Afternoon Session - Men's 1st Semi-Final
Danny Noppert's dream Lakeside debut continues as he stormed into Sunday's final with an impressive 6-3 victory over Darryl Fitton in a high-quality semi-final. 'The Dazzler' averaged 95.73 and landed eleven maximums but Noppert's consistency won the day, as the 26-year-old averaged 93.57 to condemn Fitton to a third Lakeside semi-final loss.
The first set was a relatively tepid affair, as Noppert clinched it without reply. The Dutchman held throw in a scrappy opener, before Fitton responded with his first maximum. However, 'The Dazzler' spurned five darts at double as 'Noppie' converted a routine 56 kill to extend his lead, before wrapping up the opener by pinning D10.
Fitton kicked off the second set in style, landing a quality 127 checkout for a 12-darter. Nevertheless, Noppert squared the set with an effortless 72 finish, before converting a 61 kill for a break of throw and his second successive 15-darter.
Fitton crashed in his second maximum to leave 24 after 12 darts but he wasn't afforded an opportunity at double, as 'Noppie' produced a nerveless 79 finish on tops to double his lead heading into the first interval.
Noppert drew first blood in set three with a 15-dart hold, before Fitton levelled inside 14 darts. The 26-year-old regained the lead on D10, before Fitton forced a set decider with a nerveless 90 finish. Noppert seemed destined to surge 3-0 ahead, but 'The Dazzler' followed his third 180 with a spectacular 156 kill, to finish 476 in nine darts to steal the set.
Fitton continued his resurgence in set four; hitting the front with a 16-dart hold, before breaking inside 13 darts after the pair traded maximums. Noppert stayed alive with a 76 finish and a 14-darter, before squaring the set via D3. However, the Dutchman spurned one set dart at tops as Fitton pegged D12 to restore parity at two apiece.
The Stockport ace had the momentum but the Lakeside debutant fought back in set five. The pair kicked off with maximums, before Noppert registered a 14-darter on D8 to hold. The Dutchman extended his lead on D5, before cleaning up the set without reply on D9 after Fitton missed tops for a Shanghai finish.
The topsy-turvy nature of this content continued in the sixth set. Fitton drew first blood with his fourth 180 and a sublime 12-darter, but Noppert levelled after Darryl spurned three darts at double. The 54-year-old wasn't perturbed however; regaining the lead with a classy 14-darter, before dispatching a nerveless 67 kill on tops to level once again.
Noppert had yet to trail in sets in the entire tournament, and he maintained that record to storm 4-3 ahead. The 26-year-old defied a brilliant 174 from 'The Dazzler' to hold inside 14 darts, before doubling his tally after claiming a nervy leg via D6. Fitton posted an eighth maximum but it proved immaterial as Noppert took out 56 on D10 to seal the set.
The eighth set was a real high-quality affair, with all five legs going against throw. Noppert landed his fourth maximum and found tops for a 15-dart break, but Fitton fired straight back with his ninth 180 and a 14-darter via D8. However, Noppert registered a third successive break by crashing in a 121 checkout on the bull for a 12-darter.
Despite this, Fitton responded once more; dispatching an 81 finish for a 12-darter of his own to wrestle back the initiative. 'The Dazzler' had the advantage of throw to level up at four apiece but failed to convert an 82 finish on tops, as Noppert took out a magnificent 101 to move within a set of the final.
Fitton had fought valiantly throughout the contest, but the third seed sensed blood. Noppert hit the front in the ninth set with a brilliant 81 finish to complete a 12-darter, before moving to the brink of victory by hitting D10. 'Noppie' showed no signs of finishing line nerves and converted a quality 14-darter via D10 to seal his place in the final.