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Christian slays Silverback 7-5 in thriller

Silent man Christian Kist let his darts do the talking as he toppled favourite Tony O’Shea 7-5 to lift the Lakeside world championship at his first attempt.

 

The debutant 25-year-old Dutchman, an out-of-work road worker, who began the tournament as a 66/1 outsider steamrollered his way to the title in 146 minutes blasting out eight maximums, a120 checkout and two 12-dart finishes to beat the man double his age.

But brave Tony O’Shea almost staged a remarkable comeback after battling back form 6-2 behind to 6-5.

Kist becomes only the third player from the Netherlands to lift the world crown, following in the footsteps of Raymond van Barneveld and Jelle Klassen – the last Dutch winner back in 2006. Both sent messages of support before the final.

Kist who comes from a small town in the east of Holland near to the German border and speaks no English, said through an interpreter: “I felt comfortable when I got to 6-2 and then Tony started to come back at me and that’s when I got really nervous when he got back to 6-5.

The Dutchman who has a pierced eyebrow and wears an earring said: “It was amazing, fantastic and unbelievable but it’s not really sunk in yet!”

Defeated O’Shea admitted: “Tonight I have just realised I am too old and too fat. I am pushing nineteen and a half stone and need to change my lifestyle if I am to take on these new kids on the oche who are young and fit. I gave myself too much to do when I was 6-2 behind. After five sets I was soaking.

“The Lakeside crowd this week have been the best I have seen,” said a grinning but perspiring O’Shea.

Silverback wrapped up the opening set unchallenged with the throw, despite a maximum from Kist.

The Dutchman displayed fighting qualities in the next after seeing a 2-0 lead turned round by the Stockport player who hit double eight to level. But Kist coolly exited on 62 with double 16.

The opening legs of the third set went with the throw, Kist missing the opportunity to steal the throw when he missed double tops for 76, O’Shea then missing the same double to take the set with 80. Kist hit a maximum in the next to pressurise the throw and move into a 2-1 match lead after hitting his favourite double tops.

O’Shea took the opening leg of the fourth set against the throw after Kist failed to finish 154 on double tops. The next two went with the throw and then the man from Vroomshoop unleashed another 180, exiting on double six against the throw. Kist requiring 40 watched impassively as O’Shea pounced hitting double 16 for a set-winning 68 finish.

The roadworker steamrollered the fifth set 3-0, taking the opening leg with a 180 and a 121, finished on double 18, hitting 75 in the next and completing the rout with double eight after O’Shea missed five doubles to save the set.

The opening legs of the sixth set went against the throw after Kist pulled off a brilliant 120, finished on double tops, Silverback snatching the next against the throw, finishing on 78 and then powering in a maximum in the fourth but missing double 16 for a 100 finish, the Dutchman levelling the set on bull and missing the same finish for a 121 checkout. But he clinched 25 on his next visit to the board to move into a 4-2 match lead.

Shaven-headed Kist hit a 180 to take the opening leg of the seventh againt the advantage, polishing off 75 with double eight in the next, O’Shea halting the rout with double tops but the relentless Dutchman took a 5-2 match lead, hammering in a 65 checkout.

O’Shea hit a 180 to take the opening leg of the eighth set against the throw the quick-throwing Dutch ace clinching double five and then moving 2-1 in front with a 76 finish, polishing off the set with double five, after the 50-year-old grandfather buckled, failing to get double 18 for a set-saving 61.

Brave O’Shea exited on 84 with a double 12 to take the opening leg of the ninth set but again the determined Dutchman swept back exiting on 56, the eighth seed holding his nerve to take the third leg and needing a tantalising four darts at a double to clinch the fourth leg and the set after Kist missed two attempts for double 12.

Kist scrambled to the opening leg of the 10th set with double four after O’Shea wired double 18 for 101. Silverback missed bull for 161 and Kist bull for 86, both missing further doubles before the Cheshire county player gratefully clinched double eight, winning the next against throw, exiting on 75 with double 12. He clinched 64 with double 16 in the next to reduced the match deficit to two sets – 6-4.

O’Shea extended his run of winning legs to five as he took the 11th set 3-0, clinching the set with a pressure 116 finish, completed on double tops after Kist missed bull for 121.

Silverback missed double 20 for a 120 in the opening leg of the 12th set as the grateful Dutchman grabbed the double and then he edged 2-0 ahead with double 12 in the next after O’Shea miscounted bidding to finish 112.

The Dutchman set the pace in the next but O’Shea pressurised with a maximum, Kist missing two match winning attempts for double 16, the Stockport sharpshooter missing double 14 for a 108 match-saving checkout. Cool Christian slammed in double 16 with his second dart to land the title and £100,000.

Photo: Henk Westerdaal