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Neil Duff cut a slow start to defeating Thibault Tricol in an 11-set thriller to win the 2022 WDF Men’s World Championship at Lakeside.
‘The Duffman’ was a more impressive player, statistically, going to the finals but he made a slow start, averaging just 76 because he missed the first two sets without winning a leg.
He stopped the rot in the third, winning it 3-1, and missed a dart to score Tricol 112 and equalize the set after filling the deficit half.
Tricol was able to restore his two sets of cushions with a fourth 3-0, before Duff finally found his range, winning three on the spin to make it 4-3 and go ahead for the first time.
Duff made 11 and 12-darts in the eighth set, the latter ending with a great 121 finish, but couldn’t get it out, holding the tricolor at 13 and going to the final break.
Duff, the first North Irish player to compete in a World Championship final, created a great three-leg burst with 111 checkouts, winning the ninth set 2-0 down and leading 5-4 and into a win.
‘The French Touch’, who had survived eight match darts earlier in the week, though not leaving without a fight, were forced to make a decision by winning comfortably 3-0 in the tenth.
Although he failed to maintain that standard in the final set, he trailed 2-0 before missing a dart in the double 12 to keep his title hopes alive. Duff, like his all-week push, hits the tops in his second attempt to take 50 for the title.
Now WDF World No. 1, Duff finished with an average of 87.73 and six 180s. Tricol, the first French player to play in a television darts final, threw six highs and finished with an average of 86.95.
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