Martin Adams stormed into the World Championship quarter-finals with an emphatic 4-1 victory over 2016 finalist Jeff Smith, as former BDO World Trophy winner Geert de Vos dumped out second seed Scott Mitchell to reach the last eight for the first time, in a cracking session of darts at the Lakeside Country Club on Wednesday afternoon.
Three-time world champion Adams secured his place in this year’s quarter-finals with an impressive 4-1 victory over last year’s finalist Jeff Smith. ‘The Silencer’ defeated Adams in straight sets in the opening round twelve months ago, but ‘Wolfie’ gained retribution for that defeat, averaging 89.94 and landing seven maximums to prevail emphatically.
Adams was averaging in excess of 97 for the vast majority of the contest, but his average dipped as a consequence of a scrappy fifth set. Smith recorded some clinical finishes but he simply couldn’t match Wolfie’s relentless scoring power, as the Canadian’s hopes of replicating last year’s run to the final were quashed at the last 16 stage.
Adams made a strong start to clinch the opening set convincingly. The pair exchanged 17-dart holds to kick off proceedings, before ‘Wolfie’ completed a regulation 57 checkout for the third successive hold. The 60-year-old was dominating the scoring stakes, and landed two maximums in the fourth leg to secure the set with a fabulous 11-darter.
Smith responded by clinching the opening leg of set two on D4; having missed D18 for a 156 outshot earlier in the leg. Adams squared the set with a 16-darter, before firing in two maximums in as many legs. Nevertheless, ‘Wolfie’ spurned darts at double in each leg, as ‘The Silencer’ clinically converted 48 and 76 checkouts to restore parity at 1-1.
Jeff kicked off the third set by registering his first maximum, but Adams held throw with a commanding 13-darter. The Canadian levelled on D5 after the three-time world champion missed four darts to extend his lead, but ‘Wolfie’ responded superbly.
Adams regained the initiative after following up his fifth maximum with a solid 15-dart kill, before producing another high-quality leg to break. The 60-year-old missed the bullseye for a spectacular 161 finish, but he returned to post D16 for his second successive 15-darter to regain the lead in sets.
‘The Silencer’ wired D16 for a 146 checkout early in set four and this was punished, as Adams dispatched a two-dart 64 combination to break. ‘Wolfie’ landed his sixth 180 and took out 78 for his fourth straight leg, and although Smith stopped the rot with a nerveless 80 kill, Adams overcame some double-trouble to hit D5 and establish a 3-1 cushion.
‘Wolfie’ drew first blood in set five with a confident 80 finish, before registering his seventh maximum to pressure the Canadian’s throw. Smith maintained his cool however, as he followed a visit of 171 with a crucial 71 checkout on D18. The next two legs resulted in scrappy holds of throw, before Adams had the opportunity to throw for a 4-1 win.
Nevertheless the fifth seed posted a very indifferent leg, handing Smith a golden opportunity to stay alive. Despite this, both men were overcome with nerves. ‘The Silencer’ squandered six darts to double to stay alive, as Adams eventually converted D1 at the sixth time of asking to seal his progression to the last eight.
Geert de Vos secured a spot in his maiden World Championship quarter-final after dumping out second seed Scott Mitchell in a pulsating affair. The Belgian had suffered five consecutive second-round exits at the Lakeside, but he finally ended that hoodoo after averaging 92.30 and landing nine maximums to prevail against the 2015 winner.
Mitchell kicked off proceedings by pinning D16 for an accomplished 15-dart hold, but De Vos responded with back-to-back maximums as he squared the set in 14 darts. ‘Scotty Dog’ pinned tops to regain the initative before the Belgian hit the same target for a 13-dart leg to force a set decider, which Mitchell clinched with a two-dart 60 outshot.
De Vos bounced back in set two by pegging D16 for the sixth successive hold of throw, but the 2015 champion levelled after responding to a De Vos maximum by hitting D5. The Belgian was beginning to hit the treble 20 with ominous regularity and hit two maximums in as many legs to record successive 15-darters to level up proceedings at 1-1.
The pair exchanged holds early in set three, before Mitchell went back in front with a tidy 13-darter. De Vos crashed in his seventh maximum en route to an 11-darter to heap the pressure on the former champion, but the Belgian lost his composure and squandered five set darts as Mitchell completed a scrappy 20-dart leg on tops to stay ahead.
This was a bitter pill for the fifteenth seed to swallow, but he found tops to win a nervy opening leg in set four. Mitchell levelled after following up his second maximum by hitting D2, but De Vos recorded two stunning legs to secure the set.
The Belgian posted a fine visit of 174 en route to an 11-darter, before landing his eighth maximum and converting a clinical 81 checkout for his second straight 11-dart leg, to restore parity once more.
The fifth set was a very nervy affair. Both men missed several darts at double in the opener as De Vos broke throw on D16. The Belgian then extended his cushion with a nerveless 60 kill after Mitchell squandered a further three darts at double, before Geert dispatched a 76 finish to seal the set after ‘Scotty Dog’ was unable to take out 80.
Mitchell was reeling and De Vos registered his sixth straight leg on tops.’Scotty Dog’ stopped the rot with a 13-darter, before landing his third maximum as he attempted to fightback. De Vos was unfazed however; he hit tops to move to the brink of victory, before hitting his ninth maximum to complete a groundbreaking win with a 14-darter on D5.
In the last remaining women’s first-round match, eighth seed Corrine Hammond breezed past experienced Canadian qualifier Patricia Farrell. After losing the opening leg, the Australian landed two maximums and averaged 70.08 to reel off six consecutive legs and set up a second-round clash with Deta Hedman’s conqueror, Casey Gallagher.
Farrell drew first blood by winning a scrappy opening leg on tops, but Hammond seized control from this point onwards. The Australian landed her first maximum and levelled with a fine 15-darter on D2. She then posted her second 180 and moved ahead on D4, before clinching the set on D5, with an impressive first nine-dart average of 104.
Hammond pegged D4 for her fourth successive leg, before capitalising on seven missed darts from Farrell to move to the brink of victory. The Canadian qualifier was really struggling in the scoring department and Hammond rounded off an emphatic straight sets triumph after nailing D14 to complete an unconventional 96 checkout (T20, D4, D14).
Photo Credit: David Gill
Wednesday January 11
Second Round (Best of seven sets)
Afternoon session (12.30-1600)
TV Coverage: Channel 4
Geert De Vos (15) 4-2 Scott Mitchell (2)
Corrine Hammond (8) 2-0 Patricia Farrell (Rd 1)
Martin Adams (5) 4-1 Jeff Smith