Reigning women’s world champion Mikuru Suzuki will meet 16-year-old sensation Beau Greaves for a place in Saturday’s World Championship final, as four-time world champion Lisa Ashton also survived a scare on day six at the BDO World Championship.
The ladies took centre stage on Thursday at the Indigo at the O2 with four quarter-final tussles taking place throughout the course of the session, yet it was birthday girl Beau Greaves who stole the headlines with a dominant performance.
Meanwhile, in the men’s draw, Paul Hogan produced the performance of the tournament thus far, averaging just under 100 to sweep aside seventh seed Martijn Kleermaker, on a day which also saw wins for Jim Williams and Mario Vandenbogaerde.
Greaves celebrated her 16th birthday in style, defeating third seed Aileen de Graaf in a three-set thriller to book her place in the semi-finals. Greaves fired in three maximums and averaged 86.28 – the highest of the tournament thus far, to defeat the five-time major winner.
The 16-year-old stormed to the opening set without reply, posting a maximum, averaging over 90 and registering legs of 16 and 13 darts. She began set two in similar fashion by crashing in a second 180, although de Graaf converted a classy 109 kill to open her account.
The second set went the distance with Greaves narrowly missing the bull for a 161 finish and taking out 98, although with the teenage sensation poised on 58 to secure a straight sets success, the Dutch star produced a magnificent 126 skin-saver to keep her hopes alive.
De Graaf was finding the treble with increasing regularity – evidenced by her first nine-dart average of 90. Nevertheless, Greaves responded magnificently after the interval, wrapping up the decider in three straight legs, featuring a third maximum coupled with 17 and 16-dart legs.
Greaves will take on reigning champion Suzuki for a place in Saturday’s final, after the Japanese star defeated three-time winner Anastasia Dobromyslova 2-0. The scoreline didn’t provide an accurate reflection of proceedings, with Dobromyslova missing darts to win both sets.
Suzuki kicked off the clash with a 15-dart break after Dobromyslova missed double 16 for a 152, but the Russian moved 2-1 ahead after some slack scoring from ‘Miracle’. However, the 35-year-old then spurned two set darts and Suzuki – aided by a two-dart 80 kill, snatched the opening stanza.
Suzuki fired in a 16-darter followed by a clinical 90 out to move to the cusp of victory, only to squander eight match darts which gifted Dobromyslova a lifeline. Despite this, Anastasia again failed to convert two set darts and the second seed eventually triumphed with her tenth match dart.
Elsewhere, four-time world champion Lisa Ashton progressed to the last four with a straight sets win over last year’s finalist Lorraine Winstanley in a closely-fought affair which saw former World Master Winstanley outscore ‘The Lancashire Rose’, only to fritter away countless darts at double.
Winstanley boasted a quality first nine-dart average of 93.30 and crashed in three maximums. The caveat was her errant finishing – she converted just four of her 34 attempts at double, missing nine darts to claim the opening set and five more in set two which would have forced a decider.
Ashton will now meet 2017 finalist Corrine Hammond, who defeated Laura Turner in straight sets to reach her second World Championship semi-final. Turner started strongly and hit the front with a 74 finish, only for Hammond to reel off three consecutive legs and draw first blood.
The pair’s averages were decimated in an error-strewn start to set two and whilst Turner levelled the set with a two-dart 86 combination, the Australian followed up a 63 outshot with a 16-dart break to book her place in Friday’s semi-finals.
Paul Hogan produced another devastating display to reach his first World Championship quarter-final for 14 years, averaging 99.69 and piling in six maximums to complete a terrific 4-1 win over seventh seed Martijn Kleermaker.
Hogan averaged over 97 in his 3-0 success against Adam Smith-Neale and he made a similarly ominous start against the Dutchman – defying Kleermaker’s second 170 checkout of the tournament to claim the opening set with a 100 average.
Hogan doubled his tally with a delightful 126 finish on the bull which was backed up with a 14-dart hold, although Kleermaker somehow defied a 115 third set average from ‘Crocodile Dundee’, which included legs of 10 and 11 darts, to reduce the arrears to 2-1.
The Dutchman appeared poised to level proceedings after moving 2-0 ahead in the fourth, although Hogan reeled off three leg on the spin to restore his two-set buffer, before posting successive legs of 13 and 14 darts in set five to set up a mouthwatering quarter-final showdown against Jim Williams.
Second seed Williams eased into the quarter-finals for the third straight year with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Ryan Hogarth. Williams survived a match dart in his opening round win over Gary Stone but he breezed past the 15th seed with a solid 94.68 average on Thursday afternoon.
‘The Quiff’ edged a scrappy opening stanza which saw all five legs go with throw, before doubling his lead with legs of 16, 17 and 16 darts in the second. Williams then produced the heavily artillery which has seen him touted as tournament favourite to seal his progression in emphatic fashion.
The Welshman began set three with a tidy 101 combination and posted back-to-back 12-darters – courtesy of 81 and 121 checkouts to move 3-0 ahead, before defying a 13-darter from Hogarth early in the fourth by reeling off three straight legs in 17, 12 and 14 darts, including a 122 finish.
Elsewhere, Mario Vandenbogaerde and David Evans will meet in a battle of the debutants for a semi-final spot after the Belgian saw off a late rally from qualifier Dennie Olde Kalter to record a 4-1 success with a 90.63 average.
Vandenbogaerde appeared poised to record a whitewash win after winning the opening 11 legs of the contest, wrapping up the first three sets in 50, 50 and 49 darts respectively, as Olde Kalter toiled with inconsistency and double-trouble.
Out of nowhere, the Dutchman opened his account with an 82 kill before taking out 106 finishes in successive legs to get a set on the board, but Vandenbogaerde diffused the prospect of an extraordinary comeback – taking out 107 en route to clinching set five to nil.
Photo Credit: Alex Davidson/Getty Images
Corrine Hammond 2-0 Laura Turner (QFs)
Jim Williams 4-0 Ryan Hogarth (L16)
Beau Greaves 2-1 Aileen de Graaf (QFs)
Lisa Ashton 2-0 Lorraine Winstanley (QFs)
Mario Vandenbogaerde 4-1 Dennie Olde Kalter (L16)
Mikuru Suzuki 2-0 Anastasia Dobromyslova (QFs)
Paul Hogan 4-1 Martijn Kleermaker (L16)