Glen Durrant admits he missed a “good opportunity” to go the distance and claim the 2019 World Matchplay title in his debut campaign at the Winter Gardens.
Durrant saw his dream run ended by an emphatic Michael Smith – who ran out a 17-10 winner in Saturday’s second Semi-Final.
Smith flew out of the traps to open up a 10-3 lead with an astonishing display of finishing which saw him miss just one dart in his first eleven attempts at doubles.
Durrant rallied back to close the gap to 12-8 but failed to make further inroads as ‘Bully Boy’ stormed over the line and into his first Betfred
World Matchplay final to face Rob Cross.
Durrant, who claimed the scalps of Adrian Lewis, Michael van Gerwen and James Wade en route to the Quarter-Finals, admits his slow start to the Semi proved fatal.
“I felt great backstage, better than when I played the first three games,” said Durrant. “I genuinely thought I was going to have a fantastic game and that’s incredibly disappointing.
“I didn’t come out of the traps once this week and probably that’s one thing I need to go away with and try and work out.
“I’m sure there’s positives out of this week, but when you’re backstage and you’re thinking ‘I can do this’ – I genuinely thought I could do it.
“I knew what the implications were of the Grand Slam etc but it just didn’t go tonight.
“Whether it was down to Michael playing incredibly well, but I knew I didn’t, it’s really disappointing.”
The reigning and three-time BDO World Champion, who secured his PDC Tour Card in January, was bidding to become the first unseeded player to lift the World Matchplay trophy since Peter Evison back in 1996.
Durrant’s £50,000 in prize money will rocket him into the world’s top 50 with only the power to add for the next 16 months, but the 48-year-old believes he has missed a golden opportunity to become a PDC major champion.
“You’ve got to grab your opportunities and take your moments,” he added.
“I knew I had the heart of Middlesbrough and the whole North East on my side and I’d have been incredibly proud to win that this weekend but it hasn’t happened.
“If you’re 20 or 30 you can say “I’ve gained experience there” but when you’re 50 next year you nab them times. It was a good opportunity.
“Michael Smith has got more talent in his little finger than I’ve got in my whole body but he doesn’t work as hard as me, I can promise you that.
“He’s a worthy winner and it’ll be a tremendous final.”