Boro’s finest has his moment in the sun


48-year old Glen Durrant is a three-time BDO World Champion, so his pedigree is undoubted. Late last year he decided to earn his PDC Tour card in 2019, and it’s fair to say that’s looking a pretty smart move right now.

The undoubted quality he possesses was rarely shown to greater effect than last evening, when he removed pre-tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen from the Betfred World Matchplay, in Blackpool, and he’s now as short as 9/2 to lift the title at the weekend.

The pride of Middlesbrough has been playing the game since around 1985, but it wasn’t until the new century was gathering pace that he began to really make his mark.

A well-served apprenticeship therefore laid the firm foundations for the kind of success he has enjoyed in recent years, and there’s a maturity, a realism, about his expectations going forward.

In the aftermath of the MVG win he spoke humbly of feeling the intense heat, and thinking in future of his weight, fitness, diet, in a bid to be even better prepared. In the wake of one of his most famous, nerve-jangling and highest-profile triumphs, there was still a calm serenity, a mellowness, about it all. ‘How can I be better?’ was one of the over-riding emotions.

It was so refreshing to hear, in the age of the sensational ten-second soundbite, and when the nonsense of legend status is conferred all-too-readily to undeserving but worthy souls, who possess a fraction of the perspective and foresight shown on this occasion.

James Wade, The Machine, stands in his way on Thursday, in a quarter-final for the ages. We go 8/11 Durrant, and 11/10 Wade. Brave men and women will pick one or the other to pull off the victory.

I’m going to pop down neatly from my comfortable perch high upon the fence and side with Duzza – for after expertly dealing with the bona-fide legend that is van Gerwen, he’s now the man to beat for me.

If you’re betting on Darts, Betfred