The biggest two shocks of the BDO World Championship so far occurred successively, with Jamie Hughes and Cameron Menzies both knocked out.
Eighth seed Menzies was well beaten 3-1 by the impressive Conan Whitehead at Lakeside. That was before German qualifier Michael Unterbuchner overcame Hughes, the third seed, in a five-set thriller.
Menzies was at his entertaining best with a series of flailed reactions, but his darts were not up to muster. After winning the first set, the Scot let it slip, and Whitehead pounced. The Barbarian was in fine form on his doubles, hitting the target with 58 per cent of his attempts.
That looked to be the biggest shock of the round. But then came Unterbuchner. The man from Munich had already become the first German to win on the Lakeside stage, but a dart-less David Cameron was a different prospect compared to Hughes.
It was clear from the start that Yozzer was not at his best. The Black Country ace failed to win on throw in any of the first three sets. That said, Hughes did notch up a 120 checkout in the first leg, and followed it up with a 136 and a 152 in the early stages. Unterbuchner found the bull for a 121, but otherwise looked as nervy on the doubles as against Cameron.
The world number 79 continued to take advantage of Hughes’ poor scoring. In the fourth set, Unterbuchner eked out a chance to take the match. But he failed to reach a finish, allowing Hughes to steal in and take the game to a deciding set. More chances came and went for Unterbuchner. The German, on 75, hit the single 17 but missed the single 18 to hit tops. Hughes punished it. Then along came two match darts, one at double 16 and one at double 8. Again, Unterbuchner could not finish Hughes off, and the seed recovered.
Then, with Hughes poised to take the match, two darts to finish Unterbuchner off went begging. It was just the prompt the underdog needed. Tops has not been too kind to him so far, but he struck it to end Hughes’ World Championship hopes in the first round. Unterbuchner, who averaged 89, will take on Martin Phillips next. Meanwhile, Whitehead faces Jim Williams in the last 16.
Tags: Cameron Menzies | Jamie Hughes
— BDO Darts (@BDOdarts) January 9, 2018
Author: Edward McCosh