Wayne Warren became the oldest winner of a World Darts Championship as he claimed BDO glory courtesy of a 7-4…
Wayne Warren became the oldest winner of a World Darts Championship as he claimed BDO glory courtesy of a 7-4 victory over fellow Welshman Jim Williams in the final.
Warren, 57, secured a fairy-tale first success on the O2 Indigo stage as he recovered from 2-0 down to win seven of the next nine sets for glory.
A Rhondda roofer by day, Warren etched his name into the darting history books by eclipsing Martin Adams’ (54) record as the oldest World Darts Champion.
“This is only a dream, I can’t believe it,” admitted an emotional Warren.
“It’s massive, honest to god I tried my hardest tonight and all week.
“Jim and I are great mates and I think he will be world champion multiple times. This might have been my last chance.”
The first-ever all-Welsh BDO World final proved to be one-way traffic in the early stages as second seed Williams clinched the opening set 3-1 before surviving three missed darts from his compatriot to snatch the second in a decider.
Set three followed suit, but this time it was Warren who pinched it on double one to get off the mark and halve the deficit.
Williams was then left to rue key missed chances of his own as Warren held his nerve in a fourth set decider to restore parity, before overturning a 2-0 deficit in set five to move ahead for the first time in the match.
Williams responded strongly and landed a bull checkout on the way to rubber-stamping set six in consecutive legs, but only for Warren to quickly hit back to level terms.
Warren then squandered two darts to open up a two-set cushion as Williams seized his reprieve to make it four-all.
A 121 checkout on the bull helped Warren on his way to a 5-4 advantage and a run of five consecutive legs saw the veteran coast two clear for the first time.
Set eleven went to a decider, and with Williams poised on 38, Warren held his nerve to sink tops for the title.
Warren becomes the first Welshman to lift the world title since Mark Webster in 2008 and the fourth thrower from the Valleys to claim the crown, joining Leighton Rees and Richie Burnett.
Williams, who was beaten by eventual champion Glen Durrant in last year’s Semi-Finals, admitted: “It’s nice to be part of it but obviously I’m gutted.
“I couldn’t wish for a nicer guy to win it.
“I lost a bit of focus and you can’t do that against Wayne. The better guy won on the day.”
The tournament was the first to be staged at London’s Indigo at The O2 and was shrouded in uncertainty in the build-up, with Fallon Sherrock withdrawing from the women’s competition and the announcement of a reduced prize fund due to lack of sponsorship and poor ticket sales.
BDO Chairman Des Jacklin was not present on stage for the trophy presentations and both the men’s and women’s prize funds remain unconfirmed.
— Live Darts (@livedarts) January 12, 2020