Following his switch from the BDO, the three-time Lakeside champions’ stock has gone up and up, and he ousted Voltage in a nail-biter to gain another landmark win, and blow the bottom half of the draw wide open.
If Duzza’s run to the semi-finals of the Matchplay signalled he is a threat on the tour, this latest win showed he is here to stay, and is a contender for the top honours.
Meanwhile, Jermaine Wattimena stormed to a deserved 3-1 win over Peter Wright, which means for the first time in the Grand Prix’s current format, just one seed has reached the quarter-finals.
Earlier, there were wins for Nathan Aspinall and Dave Chisnall, who were impressive in disposing of Danny Noppert and Stephen Bunting respectively.
Durrant outguns Cross
The marquee tie of the evening started slowly, but its crescendo was steady, and it finished with fireworks.
The first four legs went on throw, with no eye-catching moment to grip the crowd. It was a match crying out for one player to take it by the scruff of the neck, and Durrant did just that with a 13-darter to grab the deciding leg of the set.
Voltage then found his spark, and seized the second set in some style, nailing a 144 checkout in the process.
The third set brought with it a drastic dip in pace – Cross taking the second leg in 28 darts, summing it up grimly. But when push came to shove, the BDO world champ found the answer. Taking out a 90 checkout on the bull to open the set, he ended it with a 109 finish. What happened in the interim was irrelevant – the scoreboard read 2-1 to Durrant in sets, and that is all that mattered.
Duzza looked to kick on in the fourth as the finish line came into sight, bagging his first maximum of the tournament, and backing it up with a 116 checkout. As Cross trailed 2-1, staring elimination in the face, the urgency kicked him into gear. The trebles suddenly became easier for him, as he broke throw, before sealing the set with a sensational 138 checkout.
With the chips down and nowhere to hide, both men raised their game. But it was Durrant who dug the deepest, sealing a crucial break of throw to take a 2-1 lead. He opened with 152, and from there had all the momentum to close out a famous victory.
Wattimena stuns Wright
Wright versus Wattimena had a tough act to follow, but both men did their best to live up to the penultimate clash of the evening.
The big Dutchman was the better player in the first set, but after the first four legs went on throw, Wright landed a 148 finish to stun his opponent and take a 1-0 lead. However, Wattimena quickly set the record straight, and stormed to the second set with minimal fuss.
With the third going to the deciding leg, Wattimena clinched it from behind, checking 100 with a stunning tops-tops finish. With the lead, ‘The Machine Gun’ embraced the occasion, and stormed to victory. Despite a late Wright rally, Wattimena finished 189 in four darts to seal the contest.
Aspinall huffs and puffs, but eventually blows Noppert away
After missing 16 darts at double to start the very first leg, Noppert was left scratching his head. The leg was beyond him, the set seemed beyond him, and he needed a shot in the arm.
However, things suddenly clicked for the Dutchman, and mere minutes later he exited the stage, one set to the good.
A rejuvenated Aspinall re-emerged, wasting no time in taking the second set 3-0, against the throw. The Stockport native was clearly invested, visibly emotional as he strove to avoid a growing list of upsets this week in Dublin.
Noppert came roaring back to seize the third. The pendulum swung back and forth, and in turn, Aspinall hit back in the fourth set. While his finishing left much to be desired, his scoring and starting doubles were too much for Noppert, as he brought it to the decider, with an impressive bullseye finish sealing the set.
Although he surrendered both the momentum and lead after winning his first set, he was not going to make the same mistake twice, and kicked on. Indeed, the 2019 World Championship semi-finalist hit top form when it mattered most, and ultimately eased to the third set in some style.
Chizzy too hot to handle
Dave Chisnall was one of the standout performers of the first round, when he dispatched sixth-seed Gerwyn Price, but he did not immediately bring that form to the oche against Bunting. Missing his first eight darts at double-in, he soon found himself two legs behind. But the form man soon found his groove, and stunned Bunting to take the opening stanza.
Once he found his mojo, there was an air of inevitability around Chisnall. The Bullet could not live with his opponent’s scoring, and Chizzy stormed into a 2-0 lead. From there, there was no looking back, and he heads for his quarter-final showdown with Aspinall as one of the tournament’s real dangermen.
Coverage of the World Grand Prix continues on Thursday with the quarter-finals on Sky Sports Action from 7pm and stick with us through to Saturday’s final from the Citywest Hotel