The men’s field has been cut down to 16 after the first round of the BDO World Championship, while the women’s first round reaches its conclusion on day five.
Six seeds have left the Lakeside already. Jamie Hughes and Cameron Menzies were the high-profile scalps in the men’s tournament, while only Corrine Hammond of the women’s seeds has lost her place. In the day five afternoon session, the last women’s seed looks to reach the quarter-finals. That tie is sandwiched between two games that, on paper, could be absolute classics.
Andy Baetens vs Scott Mitchell
One of the BDO’s hottest young properties is Andy Baetens, who has successfully reached the second round after a thriller against Scott Baker. Baetens was pushed all the way by his unseeded opponent, but held his nerve to take the victory. Next up for him is a much tougher prospect; Scott Mitchell, the fourth seed. The 2015 champion’s first round was even more fraught with danger. Darius Labanauskas, the man he defeated, averaged 99 – the highest average at the Lakeside so far. Mitchell, who averaged 98 himself, is the hot favourite here. Baetens and Baker missed 71 darts at a double between them in their match. The Belgian will have to step up his game in that regard, because Mitchell will not be so charitable.
Lorraine Winstanley vs Tricia Wright (Women’s)
The hot favourite to become women’s world champion rounds off the first round at the Lakeside. Lorraine Winstanley is the World Masters champion, and has been consistently the best player on the tour this year. That said, she has not enjoyed good Lakeside form, bar being one leg from reaching the 2012 final. Her bid to make good on her potential starts against fellow Englishwoman Tricia Wright. The 59-year-old reached the World Masters semi-finals in 2017, but was beaten 4-2 by Winstanley. The winner will take on Anastasia Dobromyslova, who is so far the form player in the women’s draw.
Danny Noppert vs Mark McGeeney
For the second time in a row, Mark McGeeney is involved in what looks to be the tie of the round on paper. The BDO world number one was drawn against Lakeside legend Martin Adams in the first round. It almost all ended in tears for the Gladiator, who scraped through in a deciding set. It was an emotional night too for Danny Noppert, but the 2017 finalist was imperious in a thrashing of Richie Edwards. Both players harbour major hopes of taking the title, but one dream must end at this early juncture. If first round form is carried over, Noppert is in line to send the second seed tumbling out.Lakeside 2018
Author: Edward McCosh