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Lakeside 2023 Day Four Evening Session Report

Neil Duff won on his first return to Lakeside since picking up the World Championship last April on Tuesday evening, as Jelle Klaasen, Leonard Gates and Deta Hedman also sealed progress to the next round.

Duff begins title defence with hard-earned win over Blom

Neil Duff began his World Championship title defence with a 3-1 victory over young Dutchman Moreno Blom but he was made to work hard for it.

‘The Duffman’ raced through the first set 3-0, taking out combination finishes of 64 and 66 along the way, but went into the break level as Blom took the second set courtesy of a 14-dart break of throw.

Blom’s good run continued at the start of the third set as he went 2-0 up but that only spurred Duff on, with the champion taking out 105 to make it 2-1 in the set before winning the next two legs to move ahead in sets again.

Just like the previous two sets, the fourth went all the way to a deciding leg and on that occasion it was Duff that prevailed, moving past a 120 out from Blom in the fourth leg to seal victory on double one.

Duff, who finished with an 84.83 average and threw four 180s, will return to the Lakeside stage on Thursday evening to face England’s Martyn Turner. 

Neil Duff celebrates his battling win over Moreno Blom

Klaasen stars on Lakeside return

Playing on the iconic Lakeside stage for the first time since January 2007, Jelle Klaasen was in sensational form as he dispatched Edwin Torbjörnsson in straight sets.

‘The Cobra’ raced out of the blocks, starting the match with a 76 out and ultimately winning the first five legs before Sweden’s Torbjörnsson got on the board in the third leg of the second set.

He wouldn’t find the outer ring again though, with Klaasen simply irresistible as he sealed the second set with a 72 finish and won the third 3-0 with a 120 checkout sealing his progress.

Klaasen’s 93.91 average is the second-highest of the week so far and will make him a favourite for his Last 16 meeting with either Darren Johnson or Dennie Olde Kalter.

Jelle Klaasen was an impressive winner on his first Lakeside appearance in 16 years

Hedman grinds out a gritty victory over Wajer

She suffered an early exit in 2022 but Deta Hedman got off to a winning start in 2023 albeit after a heavy battle with Aletta Wajer.

Hedman broke her opponent’s throw in the first leg of the opening set and she eventually sealed it 3-2 with a 14-darter.

Wajer was much more competitive in the second, opening up a 2-0 lead. A mid-set slump brought Hedman back into play and she levelled it up with a 96 out. She was unable to convert that into a straight sets win though, with Wajer taking out 64 to force a deciding set.

Wajer took out 90 to win the opening leg of the final set but didn’t find the outer ring again as Hedman took the next three to seal a 2-1 victory and a quarter-final meeting with Rhian O’Sullivan. 

Deta Hedman was a winner on her 12th appearance at Lakeside

Gates overcomes spirited Scott to reach Last 16

Tournament alternate John Scott put up a strong effort but was ultimately beaten in straight sets by the highly touted Leonard Gates.

Both men were averaging in the high 90s in a first set that went all the way. A 12-darter from Scott levelled it up at 2-2 and ‘Gnasher’ would go on to wire the bull for 129, before Gates pinned double 18 to take the set 3-2.

John Scott gave a good account of himself on his second Lakeside appearance

The second set was a bit more straightforward for ‘Soulger’, who won three legs on the spin to establish a 2-0 lead at the break after Scott had kicked off the second set with a 111 out.

Scott had the throw in the third set and led 2-1 but back-to-back 11 darters from Gates, the latter seeing the American get seven darts into a perfect leg, saw him advance to the Last 16 with a 3-0 victory.

Next up for the effervescent Gates, who averaged 88.31 in the end, will be either compatriot Danny Lauby or young Dutchman Jarno Bottenberg. 

Leonard Gates was in good dancing form before his win over John Scott

5th December 2023 – Evening Session Results

Jelle Klaasen 3-0 Edwin Torbjörnsson

Deta Hedman 2-1 Aletta Wajer

Neil Duff 3-1 Moreno Blom

Leonard Gates 3-0 John Scott

All photo credit to Chris Sargeant / Tip Top Pics

Tags: WDF World Championships Lakeside WDF Majors