By the end of Friday’s play at the Lakeside, we’ll know the lineup for the 2019 BDO World Championship Ladies’ final.
An exciting schedule also features the four men’s quarter-finals. The first of those opens the afternoon session. Michael Unterbuchner stunned the Lakeside a year ago by beating Richard Veenstra to reach the semi-finals. Now he faces another Dutchman in Willem Mandigers, and it would be more eyebrow-raising if he didn’t win. Mandigers battled past Wesley Harms, a far cry from Unterbuchner’s 4-0 win over Wayne Warren. The fast-flinging Dutch star is already having his best BDO World Championship campaign. It might be about to get much better.
It has been four years since there was a Ladies’ semi-final that didn’t feature a seed. The winner of that tie, one Lisa Ashton, won the title. It wasn’t much of a surprise, given that she was the defending champion. But if Mikuru Suzuki or Maria O’Brien could take the title, there would be shockwaves. Suzuki was well below her best against Sharon Prins, perhaps put off by a dreadful first leg. O’Brien, a model of consistency who ground down Fallon Sherrock, will punish a slow start. The English ace had the highest average of the quarter-finals. Is she suddenly the form horse?
Conan Whitehead is absolutely a man on a roll. The Barbarian brutalised top seed Mark McGeeney, stunning the 2018 finalist with a 4-0 triumph. Scott Waites has suggested that the unseeded man will need to hit new heights to beat him, but it may be Waites who needs to find another level. The two-time champion was occasionally pushed by Richard Veenstra but rarely threatened. If Whitehead averages 96 again, there’ll be no respite for Scotty 2 Hotty, who may find his young opponent too hot to handle.
Closer to glory
While one half of the women’s draw is full of surprises, the other has had none. The seeds won in the first round; the higher seeds won in the quarter-finals. If the form continues, Lorraine Winstanley will be in the final. Despite her top billing, it doesn’t feel like the Derbyshire thrower is the favourite. Dobromyslova, who has been won at the Lakeside before, probably is. The pair are close friends but it’s the Russian who has the edge, winning all three previous meetings between the two at this tournament. Should Winstanley finally play to her limits at the Lakeside, she could live up to the seeding.
Scott Mitchell and Jim Williams clash in the only men’s quarter-final featuring both of the highest seeds in the quarter. The situation is much like Winstanley and Dobromyslova’s; Williams is the higher-ranked player, Mitchell the man with Lakeside experience on his side. Both whitewashed their second round opponent, a feat Mitchell also managed in the first round. It means the 2015 champion is well rested. But it also means that he better be ready for a real challenge from the Welshman.
Glen Durrant could’ve come into the final match of the evening off the back of a comfortable 4-0 win. But Scott Baker’s resilience and Durrant’s profligacy meant an extra 45 minutes of additional tension. But the two-time champion knew a third title wouldn’t be a cakewalk. Kyle McKinstry also faced a battle, eventually seeing off David Cameron. There are a lot of possible outcomes here. But it’s hard not to be at least intrigued by the prospect of Durrant meeting Mitchell in the semi-finals.
Click here for more information about the 2019 BDO Lakeside World Championship.
Afternoon session schedule
13:00 Michael Unterbuchner v Willem Mandigers
14:30 Mikuru Suzuki v Maria O’Brien (SF)
15:15 Scott Waites v Conan Whitehead
Evening session schedule
19:00 Anastasia Dobromyslova v Lorraine Winstanley (SF)
19:45 Scott Mitchell v Jim Williams
21:15 Glen Durrant v Kyle McKinstry
Author: Ed McCosh