Top seed Glen Durrant continued the defence of his BDO World Championship title with an impressive victory over Darryl Fitton, whilst Danny Noppert and Scott Mitchell became the latest big-name casualties to bite the dust on a dramatic day of action at the Lakeside on Wednesday.
However, the performance of the day saw defending champion Glen Durrant storm into the last eight after producing an imperious display to defeat former semi-finalist Darryl Fitton 4-1. ‘Duzza’ averaged 99.43- the highest average at the BDO World Championship since 2015, when he himself averaged 99.87 in the semi-finals three years ago.
Durrant breezed through the opening set without reply in a matter of minutes, with Fitton averaging a miserly 67. ‘The Dazzler’ upped the ante considerably in the second; averaging 101.73 and landing two maximums, but it was to no avail, as the Teessider claimed it 3-1 with an average of 103.24 to continue the procession.
However, the former World Trophy winner halved the deficit after edging a tightly-contested third set, crashing in three 180’s and capitalising on some uncharacteristic profligacy from Durrant. Fitton then appeared poised to level the match at two sets apiece, but the defending champion produced a moment of brilliance to seize control.
With Fitton sat on 137, Durrant fired in a brilliant maximum to leave 24 and subsequently returned to clean up D12 and establish a 3-1 advantage. The fifth set went the distance for the third straight set, but ‘Duzza’ held his nerve to triumph; kicking off the decider with his fifth maximum and pinning D9 to seal his progression.
Second seed Mark McGeeney produced a professional display to dump out last year’s finalist Danny Noppert in round-two. It’s been a tumultuous week for the talented Dutchman following the passing of his mother on New Year’s Eve, but McGeeney triumphed comfortably with a 92.13 average, four 180’s and a 32% checkout success rate.
‘Noppie’ clinched the opening set against the throw, taking out a clinical 110 outshot in the third leg for a crucial break. The Dutchman was scoring prolifically but McGeeney’s finishing was superior and ‘The Gladiator’ dispatched a spectacular 160 finish en route to restoring parity at one set apiece.
McGeeney then fired in a classy 120 checkout which saw him edge 2-1 ahead, but the turning point came in set four. Noppert had a dart to level up proceedings but was unable to take the opportunity. This gave the Stockport ace a two-set buffer and he crashed in a fine 127 kill to reel off his fourth straight set to storm into the quarter-finals.
Elsewhere, Belgian debutant Andy Baetens produced a brilliant performance to stun 2015 champion and fourth seed Scott Mitchell. Baetens averaged 94.55, landed two maximums and dispatched 40% of his attempts at double, as Mitchell bowed out despite averaging 96.39 and piling in three maximums.
The Belgian won six of the opening seven legs to storm into a 2-0 lead, but ‘Scotty-Dog’ reduced the deficit after following up a timely maximum with a crucial break midway through the third set. Baetens then appeared poised to re-establish his two-set lead, but Mitchell conjured up brilliant 121 and 141 finishes in successive legs to level the contest.
Baetens regained the initiative with a classy 127 checkout, before converting a nerveless 91 kill on the bullseye in the deciding leg of set five to move 3-2 ahead. Mitchell appeared poised to restore parity at three apiece, but the former champion squandered five darts at double in a nervy decider, which enabled the Belgian to complete a shock win.
Baetens will now take on Scott Waites for a place in the semi-finals, after the two-time Lakeside champion defeated the talented Dean Reynolds 4-2 in an entertaining affair. The Welshman landed eight 180’s and averaged 94.53, but ‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ prevailed with a 93.21 average, four 180’s and a clinical 64% checkout success rate.
Reynolds started strongly, winning the opening set and hitting seven perfect darts, eventually wrapping up the leg on D1. However, Waites took out brilliant 116 and 86 finishes en route to reeling off three successive sets to establish a commanding 3-1 cushion.
The Yorkshireman was finishing superbly, but Reynolds, who fired in eight maximums in total, showed impressive character as he reduced the arrears to 3-2 with the help of a 105 finish. Nevertheless, he was unable to launch an unlikely comeback, as Waites capped off a clinical display with an effortless 112 finish to book his spot in the last eight.
Wayne Warren dispatched another seeded Dutchman to book his spot in the quarter-finals for the very first time. The veteran Welshman had never won a match at the World Championship prior to this week, but he averaged 88.62, fired in eight maximums and converted 37% of his attempts at double to defeat tenth seed Willem Mandigers.
Warren eased into an early 2-0 cushion with Mandigers having missed 15 of his 18 attempts at a double, but the Dutchman responded strongly in the third; pegging three of his four double attempts to edge a tightly-contested five leg set. The fourth set also went the distance, but Warren restored his two-set lead courtesy of a classy 13-darter.
Mandigers then capitalised on some wayward finishing from the 55-year-old Welshman to win five of the next six legs, reducing the arrears to 3-2 and moving 2-0 up in the sixth. However, the Dutchman again lost his composure at a crucial juncture and Warren pounced; closing out victory by hammering home a majestic 136 outshot.
Finally, in the women’s section, Lorraine Winstanley breezed into the quarter-finals with an emphatic straight sets win over debutant Tricia Wright. Wright, 59, lost in the final of the only ever PDC Women’s World Championship back in 2010, but was making her Lakeside debut after enjoying a strong year on the BDO circuit.
Nevertheless, the third seed and women’s number one Winstanley brushed aside ‘The Wright’ stuff for the loss of just one leg. The recent World Masters winner averaged 80.02, posted seven 140’s and converted 32% of her attempts at double to set up a quarter-final showdown against three-time world champion Anastasia Dobromyslova.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2018 BDO World Championship
Wednesday January 10
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Andy Baetens 4-2 Scott Mitchell
Lorraine Winstanley 2-0 Tricia Wright (R1)
Mark McGeeney 4-1 Danny Noppert
Evening Session (7pm)
Willem Mandigers 2-4 Wayne Warren
Glen Durrant 4-1 Darryl Fitton
Dean Reynolds 2-4 Scott Waites