Darts is one of few sports in the world where there are two World Championships. The PDC World Championships at Alexandra Palace which is played over Christmas, and the BDO World Championships at the Lakeside in January.
The split in the game has brought controversy in many ways. Issues regarding finances, players switching codes and which champion is the real World Champion are just some of the problems regularly raised by fans.
But one thing we do get is some amazing matches from both sides of the darting world.
By Cameron Kennedy – @LiveF0rever_
Here we have a look back at the top 5 games from both World Championships.
5. Raymond Van Barneveld 4-3 Jamie Caven
Jamie Caven has been a brilliant floor player for years but had thus far failed to ever produce on the big stage.
Yet on this night Caven really came of age, despite defeat. You knew that Caven was up for this match when he produced a 120 and 136 checkout in the first set, but Barney fought back and won the next two.
Another decider in the 4th brought an amazing leg, with Caven missing double 12 for a 9 darter. Caven then hit double 9 to take the fifth set and lead 3-2. Barney, however, stepped up and spoiled Caven’s evening to take us into a final set and produced magic darts to take the 7th set 3-1.
4. Alan Norris 6-5 Jan Dekker
It was a surprising line-up for the semi-final of Lakeside, but one Alan Norris took full advantage of after he had defeated reigning champion Scott Waites and World Master runner up James Wilson.
Norris was understandably full of confidence going into this match but Dekker had an equally impressive run, beating 3 time champ Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams.
In what was a topsy turvy game, which saw Dekker at one stage lead 4-2, Norris fought to the bone to level and then lead 5-4. Dekker performed heroics to stop the charge and take us to a deserved deciding set.
An amazing 158 checkout in the final set wasn’t enough for Dekker and ‘Chuck’ Norris took it 4-2 in the tie break. An emotional performance from Norris which got him into his first Lakeside final.
3. Peter Wright 4-3 Michael Smith
In recent times when someone has produced a ‘Power Cut’ by defeating Phil Taylor, there next match can be a big disappointment, but for young Michael Smith that only inspired him to up his game.
In his way stood Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright who hit an outrageous 105.07 average in what many described as the best performance of both World Championships.
The leg of the tournament came in this match, with Smith’s 180 encouraging Wright to hit a 180 of his own to leave 41 to level the fifth set.
Smith instantly replied, as he hit a fabulous 136 to lead 3-2. Wright, however, refused to back down and steam-rolled the final two sets with incredible darts to book his place in the last 8.
2. Michael Van Gerwen 4-3 Gary Anderson
This was probably the match that Michael Van Gerwen will tell you he won the World Championship with.
Gary Anderson showed signs of the form that got him to the World Final three years ago by averaging 100 and leading 3-1 against Mighty Mike.
Just as we thought this World Championships was about to throw up yet another shock, Van Gerwen clicked into gear and upped his match average by 10 points to 100. He hit a massive double 9 to drag it back to 3-2 and then with Anderson waiting on 52 for the match, MVG hit a 66 checkout to level the match at 3-3.
From then on there was only going to be one winner as Van Gerwen nailed a double 8 for the match.
1. Michael Smith 4-3 Phil Taylor
Was there going to be any other choice for number 1? Of course not! Michael Smith produced one of the greatest upsets, not just in darts but in sporting history with this performance.
The 16 times World Champion was expected to push on towards title number 17, but things didn’t quite go to plan…
After taking the first set 3-0 it looked like Taylor was set for a comfortable victory but Smith was clawing his way back into the match.
He continued to level the match and not only did he take it to a last set decider, but the young man from St Helen’s held his nerve to take it to a tie break and hit the shot of the tournament by nailing a 128 on the bullseye for a historic win.
An incredible moment for Smith and one he’ll never forget