Durrant celebrates reaching a third consecutive major Semi-Final (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Peter Wright and Glen Durrant will collide in the Semi-Finals of the 2019 Grand Slam of Darts after 16-12 victories over Dave Chisnall and Michael Smith in Wolverhampton on Friday respectively.
The pair will face off in a televised major for the first time since the Quarter-Finals of this very event at the Wolves Civic two years ago – when Wright went on to finish runner-up.
Wright produced a ruthless mid-game burst of eight consecutive legs from 8-5 down on his way to closing out an impressive win over Chisnall with a 101 average.
“I’m feeling confident again, that was a good match and I’m glad to beat a great player like Dave,” said Wright.
“MVG was down 6-4 yesterday and it should have been a lot more and in my head I’m better than MVG so I thought if he can come back from that, so can I.
“I was messing about with my flights last night and decided to give them a go today, it didn’t take long to realise they weren’t right so I changed back to the old ones.
“I’ve got a day off tomorrow so I’m going to ask my wife to lock my darts away so I can’t tamper with them!”
The match began with successive holds of throw with neither player able to take advantage until the seventh leg when Wright pinned tops for a 65 checkout to break and lead.
That lead did not last long, however, as Chisnall broke back immediately with a 72 finish and levelled the match at 4-4 before going on to hold and then break again to take a 6-4 lead.
Wright returned from the second interval wielding a new set of flights, which didn’t immediately seem to change his fortunes as Chisnall extended his lead to 8-5.
The Scot then kicked in to gear, stringing together a run of eight consecutive legs including a stunning 131 checkout, finishing tops-tops to move five clear.
Chisnall then produced a fightback of his own to get within one leg of the former UK Open champion, but despite the revival and ten maximums from Chizzy, it was Wright who progressed with a 16-12 win.
The second Quarter-Final of the evening saw Durrant advance to his third consecutive PDC major Semi-Final at the expense of world finalist Smith.
Smith had defeated ‘Duzza’ in the Semi-Finals of July’s World Matchplay and in the Group Stage earlier this week, but the tenacious Teessider gained his revenge at the third time of asking.
Smith began the brighter, breaking throw in the second leg only to see his 2-0 lead disappear as Durrant broke back immediately.
It was Smith who was the happier player come the second interval as he took a 6-4 lead despite a 103 checkout from the reigning BDO World Champion.
The time off stage seemed to benefit the Lakeside Champion, though, as he reeled off six legs on the spin to give himself a four leg cushion with checkouts of 72, 92 and 110 along the way.
Durrant looked solid on throw throughout the match and a run of seven straight holds during a crucial period of the encounter set up the victory.
Durrant missed one match dart in leg 17 but would eventually get over the line in the next leg to secure his place in the Last Four of the Grand Slam for the first time.
“I’m just so happy to have made the Semi-Finals tonight but it would be nice just to go one and hopefully two better this time,” said Durrant.
“I’m having to show in the PDC that I can come from behind. I’m used to being a front runner so I’m showing a different side to my game now.
“I’ve come to the PDC trying to be nice to everybody, now it’s no more Mr nice guy – I don’t need to be nice and I was never nice in the BDO.”
Looking ahead to Sunday afternoon’s clash with Wright, Durrant added: “Since coming over to the PDC Peter has been the one to make me feel most welcome and it will be an absolute pleasure to play him in the Semi-Finals.”
The Semi-Final line-up will be completed on Saturday night as Michael van Gerwen faces Adrian Lewis following the mouth-watering repeat of the 2018 final as defending Champion Gerwyn Price takes on Gary Anderson.
Boylesports Grand Slam 2019 Results
Friday November 15
Peter Wright 16-12 Dave Chisnall
Glen Durrant 16-12 Michael Smith