Scott Waites and Scott Mitchell will collide in a battle of the former world champions in the quarter-finals, as top seed Wesley Harms, third seed Richard Veenstra and former Premier League ace Andy Hamilton all bowed out on day five of the BDO World Championship at the Indigo at the O2.
Two-time champion Waites launched a stirring fightback from 2-0 down to dump out top seed Harms in the evening’s curtain-raiser. Waites edged out three-time winner Martin Adams in round one and claimed another major scalp to reach his ninth World Championship quarter-final.
‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ opened his account on double eight, although Harms reeled off three consecutive legs to hit the front courtesy of 76 and 100 checkouts. The second set followed an identical pattern, with ‘Sparky’ coming from a leg behind to claim three on the spin – doubling his tally inside 14 darts.
Waites established a 2-0 cushion in the third, yet it appeared Harms was about to produce the ultimate act of escapism, converting tidy 76 and 80 combinations. The Dutchman was throwing for a three-set lead, but Waites fired in a timely 13-darter culminating on double 11 to reduce the deficit.
This appeared to unnerve the two-time semi-finalist, who began to display from some fragility in the finishing department as Waites levelled at 2-2. The Yorkshireman then capitalised on three missed set darts from Harms in the fifth to peg double 10 and secure the advantage.
The former Grand Slam champion continued his charge with confident 82 and 64 kills early in the sixth, before a timely 174 from Waites saw Harms spurn three darts to stay alive and the 42-year-old needed no further invitation to sink double 12 and complete the comeback.
Elsewhere, 2015 champion Mitchell produced a ruthless display to defeat two-time semi-finalist Michael Unterbuchner in straight sets to set up an enthralling last eight showdown against Waites. The scoreline perhaps wasn’t a fair reflection of the contest, but Mitchell’s timing was exemplary.
Mitchell raced to the opening set in three straight legs, following up a 100 finish with 13 and 14-dart legs. Unterbuchner kicked off the second with a superb 12-dart break, only to spurn five set darts in a nervy set decider as Mitchell sank a nerveless 90 combination on double 15 to extend his buffer.
The German landed a stunning 90 checkout on the bull and rattled in an 11-darter as he attempted to claw back the deficit but once again he faltered in the latter stages of the set, missing three clear darts to open his account as Mitchell gratefully landed a 14-darter to move to the brink of victory.
‘T Rex’ was bidding to reach a third successive World Championship semi-final and finishes of 71 and 82 gave him brief hope, yet for the third successive set Mitchell launched a fightback, starting with a classy 120 kill and culminating with 14 and 18-dart legs to triumph with a 92.58 average.
Third seed Richard Veenstra joined his compatriot Wesley Harms in exiting the tournament after suffering a 4-2 defeat against impressive debutant David Evans. Veenstra fought back valiantly having trailed 3-0, however ‘Stretch’ kept his cool to triumph with a solid 95.65 average.
Evans displayed debut nerves in his first round clash against Nick Fullwell but raced out of the blocks against ‘Flyers’, following up legs of 12 and 15 darts with a clinical 81 kill to establish the early initiative with a 102.32 average.
The 14th seed doubled his tally with a nerveless 124 checkout on the bull in a second set decider and legs of 15, 16 and 13 saw him continue the procession. Veenstra rallied however – a 101 combination featured in a fourth set clean sweep as he kept his slender hopes alive.
Veenstra continued his revival by wrapping up the fifth set to heap the pressure on Evans, yet the Englishman regained his poise in some style, conjuring up 146 and 113 finishes to move to the brink of victory, which he duly sealed courtesy of a two-dart 56 outshot in a sixth set decider.
Wayne Warren produced an exhibition of finishing to defeat former PDC World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton 4-1 and secure a spot in his second BDO World Championship quarter-final, averaging 92.69, taking out four ton-plus checkouts and defying a 95.58 average from ‘The Hammer’.
The Welshman drew first blood with finishes of 108 and 116 in the opening stanza, but he surrendered a 2-0 lead in set two, missing four set darts in the process. Hamilton capitalised, pegging double five before firing in legs of 14 and 16 darts to square proceedings.
The pair traded three consecutive breaks in set three, but after Hamilton squandered three darts at double for yet another break, Warren sank a clutch 64 combination to regain the initiative, having taken out 78 on tops in the preceding leg.
Warren was lethal on tops throughout the match and he kicked off set four with a classy 102 kill en route to establishing a 3-1 cushion, before producing a devastating set five display, averaging 115.06 and following up a majestic 138 checkout with a 14-dart hold to book his spot in the last eight.
The 57-year-old will take on Chris Landman for a place in the semi-finals, after the Dutchman completed an improbable comeback from 3-1 down to overcome debutant Ben Hazel. There was little to choose between the pair but an impressive mid-game surge from Landman led him to victory.
Hazel secured a tight opening set with a 97 average, with all five legs going with throw. ‘Mr Ben’ squandered an opportunity to double his tally in set two although roles were reversed in the third, with Landman frittering away two set darts and Hazel pegging double nine to reclaim the lead.
The Hertfordshire ace fired in a sensational 11-darter to open up set four, which he wrapped up with a two-dart 80 combination. However, Landman embarked on a stunning sequence of seven straight legs to force a decider and registered back-to-back 17-darters to prevail in a dramatic tie-break.
In the women’s draw, last year’s finalist Lorraine Winstanley produced a delightful display of doubling to defeat Casey Gallagher and set up a last eight tussle against top seed Lisa Ashton, as the women’s quarter-final line-up was completed on Wednesday afternoon.
There was little to separate the pair in terms of averages, with Gallagher actually edging that particular statistic. However, the former World Master sank two ton-plus checkouts and nailed 67% of her double attempts to triumph in straight sets.
Winstanley landed a sublime 134 finish to complete a clean sweep in the opening set, before kicking off set two with a 118 kill. Gallagher began to find the treble with more regularity but squandered three clear darts to force a deciding set and Winstanley pounced to prevail via double 12.
Photo Credit: Chris Sargeant/Tip Top Pics
Wayne Warren 4-1 Andy Hamilton (L16)
Lorraine Winstanley 2-0 Casey Gallagher (First Round)
Chris Landman 4-3 Ben Hazel (L16)
Scott Waites 4-2 Wesley Harms (L16)
Scott Mitchell 4-0 Michael Unterbuchner (L16)
David Evans 4-2 Richard Veenstra (L16)