German qualifier Michael Unterbuchner caused the biggest shock of the 2018 BDO World Championship so far by dumping out third seed Jamie Hughes in a dramatic fifth-set tie-break, as eighth seed Cameron Menzies was also beaten on debut in a dramatic double-session at the Lakeside on Tuesday.
However, the biggest story of the day saw Unterbuchner defeat two-time semi-finalist Jamie Hughes in a topsy-turvy five-set tussle. The world number 79 came through a gruelling deciding-set tiebreak against David Cameron in the preliminary round and he won another marathon contest against the highly-fancied ‘Yozza’.
Unterbuchner averaged 89.52, landed five maximums and converted 31% of his attempts at double to record the biggest victory of his career so far, as Hughes was beaten at the first-round stage of the World Championship for the very first time.
The Tipton ace edged a bizarre opening set which saw five successive breaks of throw, dispatching brilliant 120 and 136 finishes to steal it. However, the Munich ace levelled up proceedings by clinching the second without reply, taking out finishes of 80 and 121 and averaging over 100 in the set.
Hughes responded by kicking off the third with a spectacular 152 outshot, but he spurned six darts at double moments later as Unterbuchner levelled on D10, before securing a 2-1 lead in sets by virtue of successive 14-dart legs.
The German was dominating the scoring stakes but Hughes produced nerveless 84, 97 and 72 finishes to force a final set, yet the 29-year-old qualifier opened up an early 2-0 lead in the decider. However, he then squandered two match darts as ‘Yozza’ pegged D8 in successive legs to force a tiebreak.
Hughes found D8 for his third successive leg after more missed doubles from Unterbuchner, but the third seed then squandered two match darts himself and this galvanised the German, who held his nerve superbly to reel off three consecutive legs and complete he biggest victory of his career so far.
Elsewhere, Conan Whitehead battled back from a set down to dump out eighth seed Cameron Menzies in an entertaining first-round tussle. The enigmatic Menzies produced the odd moment of brilliance on his Lakeside debut, but Whitehead deservedly prevailed after averaging 91.86 and firing in five maximums.
‘The Barbarian’ opened his account with a stunning 133 finish after Menzies began with a maximum, but the set went to a decider after four successive holds of throw. However, Menzies drew first blood; dispatching a clinical 86 kill on the bullseye to wrap up the set inside 15 darts.
The Scot fired in a 13-dart leg to establish a 2-1 lead in the second, but Whitehead responded brilliantly; following up a 14-dart hold with a classy 117 outshot to restore parity at one set apiece. Menzies converted a fine 106 checkout to force a third successive set decider in the third, but both spurned opportunities at double.
Nevertheless, Whitehead sank D8 to secure a 2-1 lead, before posting maximums in each of the opening two legs of set four to move to the brink of victory. ‘Cammy’ conjured up majestic 140 and 80 finishes to stay alive, but he was unable to force a final set, as the Gillingham ace followed up his fifth 180 with a 14-darter on tops to triumph.
Former World Master Martin Phillips defeated Lakeside debutant Daniel Day 3-1 to set up a last 16 tie against Unterbuchner. It was a scrappy affair, with Day converting just nine of his 43 attempts at a double. Phillips also struggled for large periods, but triumphed with an 83.23 average, three 180’s and a 29% checkout success rate.
Day kicked off proceedings with a maximum en route to a 15-dart hold, but Phillips fired back with a spectacular 139 outshot. The next two legs were shared, before the veteran Welshman made a costly miscount and squandered two set darts, enabling Day to draw first blood via D16.
The 57-year-old levelled up in the second set after Day spurned 17 darts at a double, but the roles were almost reversed in the third. Phillips cruised into a 2-0 lead but squandered six set darts as Day forced a decider, but the Welsh veteran responded; pegging D12 for a 16-dart break of throw.
Phillips, competing in his 15th Lakeside, appeared destined to record a clean sweep in the fourth after leaving 41 after 9 darts to close out victory. However, he spurned five match darts to gift Day a reprieve on D4. Despite this, the former Welsh captain regained his composure moments later to prevail with his seventh match dart at tops.
Former World Trophy champion Geert de Vos defeated talented Dutch qualifier Derk Telnekes to set up a last 16 showdown against Richard Veenstra. The Belgian wasn’t at his explosive best but his experience paid dividends as he prevailed 3-1 after averaging 87.37 and landing seven maximums.
The sixth seed drew first blood in a tightly contested opening set, averaging 99.16 to clinch it in a decider. Nevertheless, the roles were reversed in set two as Telnekes prevailed in a five-leg affair to restore parity at one apiece.
Telnekes was acquitting himself impressively, but the turning point came in set three. The Dutchman left himself D15 but mistakenly thought he was on tops and this proved to be a critical error. Telnekes then displayed further fallibility in the finishing department, as De Vos fired in an eye-catching 130 checkout en route to a 3-1 victory.
De Vos will now take on 2016 semi-finalist Richard Veenstra, who defeated Northern Irish debutant Kyle McKinstry in a five-set thriller. The Dutchman stormed into a two-set lead, but McKinstry fired in nine maximums to level and force a final set, only for Veenstra to fend off the fightback and triumph with a 91.88 average and eight 180’s.
‘Flyers’ lived up to his nickname in the opening stages, wrapping up the first set with a 98 average, before continuing his fine form to extend his cushion. However, ‘The Village Man’ showed impressive character in the third, firing in a couple of 11-darters en route to reducing the arrears to 2-1.
Veenstra averaged 105.34 in a high-quality fourth set as he attempted to seal his progression, but he was denied by an inspired McKinstry who produced a stunning 144 checkout to force a final set. Nevertheless, the interval quashed his momentum and Veenstra’s experience paid dividends, as he sank tops to complete the win in the fifth.
Earlier in the day, Jim Williams edged through to round-two after coming from 2-0 behind to defeat Swedish Ironman Dennis Nilsson in an error-strewn affair. The pair missed an incredible 87 darts at double between them, but the Welshman eventually prevailed; averaging 81.27 and crashing in four maximums.
Nilsson converted nine of his 13 attempts at double in his preliminary-round win over Jeffrey Sparidaans, but it was a complete contrast in fortunes for the Swedish qualifier on Tuesday afternoon. He squandered an incredible 47 attempts at a double as he relinquished a two-set cushion against the ninth seed.
Williams had darts at double to win every leg in the opening two legs, but a lack of composure from ‘The Quiff’ enabled Nilsson to establish a two-set advantage. However, the Welshman responded strongly in the third; conjuring up a clinical 96 checkout to halve the deficit.
The pattern of missed doubles continued in a nervy fourth set but Nilsson squandered a number of opportunities to close out victory and he was suitably punished. Williams had the momentum as he forced a decider and he completed the comeback to seal victory on D10, as the imposing Swede was left to rue his profligacy.
Three-time world champion Anastasia Dobromyslova produced the performance of the first-round in the women’s section to blitz Anca Zijlstra in six straight legs. Zijlstra inflicted Dobromyslova’s only ever first-round exit at the Lakeside back in 2016, but the Russian gained revenge. averaging 82.73 and dispatching 40% of her attempts at double.
The 33-year-old defied an early maximum from Zijlstra to move 2-0 ahead with 17 and 16-dart legs, wrapping up the opening set with a 75% checkout conversion rate. Dobromyslova then landed her first maximum early in set two, before capitalising on missed opportunities from her Dutch opponent to seal her emphatic progression.
Aileen de Graaf also coasted through to the women’s quarter-finals with a whitewash win over Paula Jacklin. De Graaf averaged 72.73 as she reeled off six legs without reply to set up a last-eight clash against ten-time champion Trina Gulliver, with Jacklin averaging a miserly 62.23 and missing all four of her attempts at double.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2018 BDO World Championship
Tuesday January 9
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Jim Williams 3-2 Dennis Nilsson
Richard Veenstra 3-2 Kyle McKinstry
Aileen de Graaf 2-0 Paula Jacklin
Geert de Vos 3-1 Derk Telnekes
Evening Session (7pm)
Martin Phillips 3-1 Daniel Day
Anastasia Dobromyslova 2-0 Anca Zijlstra
Cameron Menzies 1-3 Conan Whitehead
Jamie Hughes 2-3 Michael Unterbuchner