Greatbatch has semi-final plan

Shaun Greatbatch admits he has a plan up his sleeve to combat dynamic Dutch star Jelle Klaasen in tonight's Lakeside World Championship semi-final.

Shaun Greatbatch admits he has a plan up his sleeve to combat dynamic Dutch star Jelle Klaasen in tonight's Lakeside World Championship semi-final.

The former Norfolk Super League thrower set up an intriguing last four clash against young gun Klaasen after battling back from two sets down to overcome Glaswegian Paul Hanvidge 5-3 in an keenly contested 'Auld Enemy' quarter-final skirmish.

Klaasen has taken the Surrey spectacular by storm having steamrollered Dennis Harbour, Yarmouth's top seed Mervyn King and Paul Hogan.

World No 8 Greatbatch insists he will not allow himself to be dragged into a rapid-fire encounter against the 'Young Matador' that would suit Klaasen down to the ground.


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"Put it this way, Jelle won't be playing as quickly against me as he did against Paul Hogan," said the 36-year-old. "Reaching the semi-finals at the Lakeside is fairytale stuff for me. To be honest I can't lose now. Both Jelle and I are winners already."

The self-confessed Norwich City fanatic, from Briston, had previously suffered four first round exits at Frimley Green.

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Before his run to the last four Greatbatch was best known for hitting the sport's first televised live nine darter on his way to lifting the 2002 Dutch Open title.

The ex-Norfolk county star admitted on the eve of the championships that he was in the sort of shape to cause a few upsets, saying: "I've beaten everyone there and I'm a different dart player these days, even compared to 18 months ago. I can switch off for three or four legs at a time, just get myself in that zone where you see nothing except the board - I won't even hear the 2,000-odd punters."

In contrast, Klaasen is one match away from a Lakeside final on his maiden appearance and incredibly only started playing darts four-and-a-half years ago.

Klassen refuses to look beyond tonight's semi-final with many pundits already tipping him to set up an all-Netherlands clash against compatriot and four-time champion Raymond van Barneveld.

"I'm not thinking about that,' he said. "I don't even realise that I am through to the semi-finals yet, but I am sure it will sink in."

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